Long before humans cracked the code of science and invention, they were subject to more primitive lifestyles. Living amongst insects and animals that are far more dangerous, survival was an everyday struggle.
In today’s time, we have long forgotten the ability to survive in the wild and resorted to a life of comfort.
However, we did build survival tools that enable us to venture out into forests without worry, given that you pack the proper set of tools.
To make it easier for you, we have listed down some of the best bushcraft gears you should carry to ease your ventures in the wild.
Surviving in the wilderness is not an easy task. Investing in a bushcraft backpack will facilitate the process of carrying all your necessary equipment and accessories.
When choosing the right backpack, ensure that it can withstand the harsh weather conditions and the outdoor wear and tear. Also, the backpack should be spacious, with many compartments inside that allow you to carry all your survival gear.
Be sure to check out our best bushcraft backpack review before deciding on your purchase.
It’s wise to keep simple and well-written survival manuals in your bag, in case you fall into precarious situations. Packing more than one manual gives you access to a wider range of survival tips and tactics.
Often these manuals will teach you methods of starting a fire, fishing, purifying water, and tons of other survival skills. So, if you’re a newbie in the bushcraft game, you better hit the books.
Forests and bushes don’t have maps like our cities do, so you need to keep proper track of your path if you want to make it out alive. You’ll soon realize that even with all your food and shelter needs fulfilled, losing your sense of direction can put you in grave danger.
Looking into your survival manual, you might come across the idea of using the sun and stars to guide yourself. It’s a good idea, but you’re placing your bets that the sun and stars would be visible all the time.
Large forests often have trees with thick leaves that create a barrier between you and the sky, making it impossible to figure out which side the sun is on.
To avoid a longer than necessary, stay in the woods, you must pack a compass in your bag of essentials. This device enables you to map your path deep into the forests with better chances of returning safely in one piece.
We strongly advise you to invest in a good multipurpose compass, but if you already have one laying around, then don’t go for a new one.
Carrying a quality survival hatchet opens doors of endless possibilities for you, whether it be cutting wood, shaping branches, or even hunting food.
One of the best uses of the hatchet is to cut wood for the fire. The long handle amplifies your applied force, allowing you to cut through pieces of wood with ease.
Other than that, hatchets act as an offensive weapon, giving you a better chance of survival in case you get into trouble with the inhabitants of the forest, such as bears or lions.
Hatchets come in all sorts of different types. Some hatchets can take up a bit of space and also add significant weight to your bushcraft backpack. Others come in smaller sizes but are not as heavy-duty. Therefore, when deciding on a hatchet, make sure you focus on its reliability and weight.
Have you ever tried starting a fire by smashing rocks together? Practically speaking, it is not an easy task to accomplish.
There are several fire starter blocks and pastes that make the whole process a lot easier. All you need to do is, cut up a small piece from the block or place a little bit of the gel/ paste on your pile of tinder. This way, when you ignite the fire starter, it will generate heat, which will burn the tinder and start your fire.
When it comes to fire in the wilderness, you must take into account the weather conditions. Starting fires in wet conditions can be quite the challenge as the damp wood needs to be dried up before it catches fire.
For scenarios as such, we recommend a magnesium fuel block with an embedded flint rod or a ferrocerium rod. These will work best in dry, wet, and windy conditions, making them the ultimate solution to your fire starting problems.
To start the fire, you would need the means to light the tinder. You can choose to carry waterproof matches, but you need to keep in mind that matches are limited in supply.
Alternatively, butane lighters last far longer than matches and are easier to use.
Portable Water Filter
On average, humans can live up to three weeks without food, and only three to four days without water. Whatever the weather conditions are, you will definitely need to keep your body hydrated.
To meet the mineral needs of your body, you would need to find drinking water. Finding water in the wilderness isn’t really the hard part, rather purifying the water is what makes it difficult.
It’s certainly true that boiling water from streams and lakes will kill the harmful bacteria that inhabit it. But the downside is that it also requires you to carry a container to hold the water and build a fire to heat it.
What’s the solution? A portable water filter, ladies and gentlemen. More specifically, a straw type filter, which is proven to be the most convenient type.
In essence, these water filters are like high tech straws, you dip one end inside the water body and suck from the other end. The water travels through the straw and gets purified along the way to give you clean drinking water.
Now that we have taken care of the water situation, we need to think about procuring the food to provide our body with energy.
You might find several fishing methods in your survival manual, starting from using fishing lines and hooks to fishing kits. Whichever method you decide to go forward with depends on your preferences.
Furthermore, you can choose to be adventurous by investing in fishing lines and hooks, which would require you to assemble the whole set up.
The fishing kit is an easier alternative which comes with everything you’ll need to catch fishes. They are also very compact, enabling you to allocate space for your other gears of survival.
The woods can be a very scary place to be in during night time. Moreover, the calmness of the forest and blinding darkness can inevitably arouse an eerie feeling inside most survivalists.
To see better, we suggest you pack a high powered flashlight in your backpack. Flashlights will let you see better when you’re outside your shelter; this way, you won’t trip over objects in your path or be hit by random tree branches.
Living and sleeping in the forest leave you open to attacks from various species of insects. Some are so small that you might not even notice till they bite you, while others may attack in armies, like mosquitoes.
To protect yourself from the deadly bites of these insects, we suggest you carry some form of insect repellant.
Insect repellants come in the form of creams that can be applied to your bare skin, or even solutions that can be placed on your clothing. These solutions usually give off a strong smell that drives off insects.
Also, you can opt for mosquito netting as they will provide you with stronger protection from those blood-sucking nuisances.
Assuming that you’re not a survival expert, we suggest you bring your own easy to assemble shelter. Pro survivalists make shelters out of branches, leaves, and sticks.
In case you don’t have the necessary skillset to build a shelter, you would want to invest in a quickly assembled shelter that protects you from life-threatening conditions.
Ready-made shelters are widely available and very easy to assemble. They are also more sturdy and reliable than the shelters made out of branches and leaves, providing you with all-round protection.
Since early times, knives have been one of the most distinguished survival tools. In the modern-day, knives come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, which makes it difficult to choose.
Generally, any knife you invest in will enable you to poke holes, cut objects, dig through dirt, and even shave!
While almost all knives will more or less serve the same purposes, it is your preferences that will drive your choice when it comes to investing in a bushcraft knife.
Ventures in the wilderness require you to challenge yourself to great heights. In order to reduce the troubles and hardships nature has to offer, you need to pack the right equipment and accessories. Hopefully, the gears mentioned above will enable you to survive in the wild with ease.
Brian Millar is the owner and author of Backpackreviewed. Brian spent every possible minute outside. His passion for the outdoors led him to earn a degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010. A guy who is trying to get away from his desk so that he can fish, hike, travel and just be in outdoors!!! Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!