We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

9 Safety Items No Hiker or Camper Should Be Without

Someone huddles under a thermal blanket, someone drinks out of a river with a blue LifeStraw, and someone lights a waterproof match

Emergencies can happen at any time. Whether you’re on a short hike or an extended camping trip, these survival products can help you stay safe in even the most dangerous situations.

No one expects to get lost or stranded, but it’s easier than you might think to wander off a path or find yourself in inclement weather during a long hike. It’s always better to take precautions if you’re going to be in a situation that takes you far from a cell signal or other people.

These survival products can all be lifesaving in emergencies. Each one is also easy to pack and costs under $30, so you can feel safe without spending a fortune.


Someone drinks out of a river with a blue LifeStraw

One of the first things to do if you find yourself lost in the wilderness is to find water. LifeStraw is a filtration device you can use to access clean water from virtually any source.

LifeStraw removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites, including E. coli, salmonella, giardia, and cryptosporidium. Each filter is rigorously tested and can clean up to 1,000 gallons of water before it will need to be replaced.

Thermal Blankets

A woman huddles under a silver blanker with her child

Staying warm can be a huge challenge in survival situations. Instead of lugging around a thick wool blanket in your backpack, grab one of these thermal blankets.

They’re made of Mylar, which is lightweight, versatile, and multifunctional. They also retain heat, reflect sunlight, protect you from rain, and can even be used as an emergency shelter.

Waterproof Match Kit

A waterproof match kit and someone lights a match

Building a fire is also important for wilderness survival. It can keep you warm, provide light, keep animals away, and allow you to cook food.

Your chances of lighting a fire get exponentially greater with a good set of matches. This waterproof kit protects the matches from rain or snow in a durable container. And don’t worry—you can submerge these matches in water, and they’ll still burn.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit with all the content laid out and two people overlook a scenic overview
Protect Life

No one should go on any adventure without a basic First Aid kit. A simple bandage and a dab of antiseptic ointment can keep a small cut from turning into a dangerous infection.

This kit is lightweight and compact, but contains 100 different First Aid supplies. You’ll get bandages, gauze, antiseptic towelettes, tweezers, eyewash, and much more.


A man holds a pocketknife in one hand
Smith & Wesson

Whether you need to cut tree branches to build a shelter, sharpen a stick for fishing, or skin an animal for dinner, a pocketknife has endless uses. This one is made of carbon stainless steel for ultra-durability.

It also contains a liner lock for safety, so you can throw it in with your hiking or camping gear without worrying. There are two different serrated edges and a straight edge, so it can saw, slice, and whatever else you need it to do.

Paracord Bracelet

Two men wear paracord bracelets on their wrists
Atomic Bear

A paracord bracelet is an easy addition to any survival kit. It can be worn on your wrist while traveling for even more convenience.

This bracelet is small but contains 12 feet of military-grade paracord that can be used to create shelter, construct a bow, or build a fire. It also holds a compass, emergency whistle, ferro rod striker, and fire starter.

Solar-Powered Lantern

Someone holds a cube-shaped lantern

Most people don’t want to lug a lantern around in their backpack, but having light when it’s dark can make your survival experience much better. This solar-powered option is compressible and super lightweight, so it’s easy to take with you wherever you go.

It’s also waterproof and can be charged via USB or solar power. On a full charge, you’ll get up to 24 hours of light. Multiple brightness settings provide up to 75 lumens of LED light, which can seriously come in handy on a dark night.

Survival Hacks by Creek Stewart

The front and back covers of a survival hacks book
Adams Media

Brush up on your survival skills with these Survival Hacks from Creek Stewart, then be sure to slip it in your backpack in case you need a reminder on your adventure. It’s chock-full of tips and advice on roughing it in the wild.

You’ll find information on everything from tying a canopy shelter with soda can tabs to removing sticks with a plastic straw. It also shares guidance on basic survival principles, like being innovative and using all available resources.

Survival Tabs

Someone picks up a beige-colored vitamin tablet
Survival Tabs

No one wants to be trapped in long-term survival mode, but if it ever happens, these survival tabs will keep you alive.

Each serving contains 100% of the daily value of 15 essential vitamins and minerals. You’ll also get 240 calories and 4 grams of protein per serving. While those numbers are low, the nutrition profile is enough to sustain a person for eight days if one serving is taken each day.

Stocking up on survival products might feel unnecessary, but you won’t regret owning these if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. Want to learn even more survival techniques? Check out these reality shows about people roughing it.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?