Survival training

The Best Survival Tools - Full List

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 31, 2019
The Best Survival Tools - Full List

There are many different situations that could lead to a horrifying survival scenario - and any of them could happen to you. So, be prepared. Remember this OneHowTo article, it may save your life - even if you're not an extreme sportsperson. Ask yourself if you're equipped to address the situation should you find yourself alone or abandoned in a serious life-threatening situation.

A well-stocked emergency kit in the car is a good place to start if you're traveling on the road. If you go camping or hiking, you'll want to include some survival tools in your backpack. Simple rule: it is better to have something and not need it, than need it and not have it. Take a look at this list for the best survival tools.

You may also be interested in: How To Light A Fire With A Battery And Foil
  1. A compass and a map
  2. Starting a fire
  3. First aid kit
  4. A mirror for survival
  5. Flares
  6. A survival knife
  7. Swiss army knife

A compass and a map

A spinning arrow and the wind can lead you to safety. After all, with some modest map-reading and orientation skills, you should be able to find your way back the safety of a shelter.

Compasses work using a magnetised pointer with the natural magnetic field of the Earth to indicate the North and South poles. If you have a compass and a map of the area, you can locate specific points and get to where you need to be.

If you're stuck without a map, but you still have your compass, at least you can get going in the right direction. Now that GPS is on the scene, compasses have taken a back seat. While a GPS may be better in tracing your exact location anywhere on Earth, it depends on you having a charged battery. Depending on the case, a compass is based only on the magnetic field of the earth can be a better alternative.

In this sense, there are also several hiking apps that can help you pretty well.

The Best Survival Tools - Full List - A compass and a map

Starting a fire

In a survival scenario, a fire offers many things - warmth against the cold, heat to cook food and to purify water, and a potential rescue signal. It also gives you the security of light in the darkness, which helps you keep calm.

In addition to a first aid kit, any hiker, wanderer or camper should bring a small fire starter. It may be a basic one or a specific model with a waterproof case, at least two lighters, waterproof matches, a flint and maybe even a small magnifying lens. You can also buy a pack of flares and cut them. They make excellent emergency fire starters if you've got wet leaves and logs.

Choose whatever is within your reach and set off controlled small fires. It's fun, and it can even help save your life in an emergency.

First aid kit

Any blow or hit to your body can leave you battered and bruised. And if you suffer a deep cut, you'll need to have a well-equipped first-aid kit.

It is important to know what to pack. Start with your usual medications, if you have any, and a solution to clean wounds - antibacterial ointments, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, analgesics, aspirin.

Also, you may want to keep tweezers, gauze, bandages and burn ointment.

It's a good idea to have a first aid manual for specific instructions and to get an idea of how to act in the face of danger.

The Best Survival Tools - Full List - First aid kit

A mirror for survival

A mirror can help you survive in a scenario where everything goes wrong, especially if you're lost. If you are able to find food, water and shelter, then you are doing well - but you still have to be rescued if you want to go home. The trick to this is a signal mirror.

Any old or small mirror will work. Size is not important in this case. Signal mirrors work best on clear days with direct sunlight, but they can also be used on cloudy days. Not only that, but you can reflect headlights, lights and even headlights to hail the attention of someone.


Flares are for the worst survival cases where you have to accomplish two things - to stay alive and find rescue services. If you get lost at sea, in the thick of the woods or on a deserted island, then you may want to devise your own survival plan. Smoke signals are a legitimate form of emergency signalling (three quick puffs). A mirror is also an option, but if you want a clear signal that an airplane, helicopter or boat you can see, then you should opt for a flare.

There are many different types of flares to choose. Some require a gun and are shot into the sky. Others are hand held and emit a red flame and you then wave it above your head.

One high end flares device is a laser flare. A beam that can be seen day and night projects for up to 48 kilometres. They cost a pretty penny compared to simpler versions.

A survival knife

Most survival knives are the same in function and appearance. Like Rambo's knife. They have long blades with jagged edges on one side and a hollow handle. Hidden inside the handle there is a small survival kit with matches, hooks and line, a compass, and sometimes much more. When buying a survival knife, you get what you pay for. A cheap knife will have a dull blade and it'll be brittle.

Swiss army knife

It is a modern multi-tool that you cannot forget. It consists of two halves joined by a pair of tweezers in the centre. Usually they weigh 140-300 grams. Most come with a flat screwdriver, blades, a can opener, a bottle opener, scissors, and even more.

If you want to read similar articles to The Best Survival Tools - Full List, we recommend you visit our Recreational activities category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
1 of 3
The Best Survival Tools - Full List