When SHTF, your focus needs to be on survival. The last thing you do not want to do is spend hours gathering supplies or worrying about carrying them.
The best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time. Start by stocking up on these SHTF gear items.
That’s why we’ve compiled these essential items and you’ll need for a bug-out bag in one place so that all you have to do is click and go when shit hits the fan.
Table of Contents
Different survival gear for different type of SHTF situation
There no one size fits all gear and tools that work to prepare for all kinds of SHTF situations, so make your judgment on which items are a priority to prepare.
SHTF Gear that Suit Your Personal Need
It’s important to select the gear items which are fitting for your own needs and situation.
You may have to alter some of these items to suit your personal survival situation, environment, and other factors.
For example, If you live in a warm place, you can leave behind the winter clothing, boots and other cold weather items.
1. First Aid Supplies
Don’t skimp on first aid supplies. You want to be able to treat a range of injuries and be able to deal with common injuries that could otherwise be life-threatening.
Include a First Aid Kit in your emergency preparedness kits. Be sure to include basics such as adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, scissors, tweezers, and tape in your kit: vitamins, iron supplements, Anti-diarrhea Medicine, Nutritional Bar.
A first aid kit can be an essential component of your bug out bag. You never know when you will need to perform basic first aid tasks.
Get a small first aid kit to keep in your car or RV. A good first aid kit is compact and lightweight, so there is no need to carry an entire medical kit on every trip.
2. Portable Water Filter & Water purification tablets
A portable water filter can come in handy if you get stuck off-grid. It can be important if you do not have access to a water system or your tank is empty.
Filter should be easy to carry and light enough to be able to lift and put away easily.
Make sure your has a portable water filter in your shtf gear list. It’ll allow you to drink clean water from streams and rivers that you might not otherwise be able to access.
They’re lightweight and extremely compact.
They also don’t need to be treated with chemicals or attached to a faucet, and they can be used in most cases if water is available.
Like Sawyer Squeeze Filter. This type of filter is super easy to use, it’s lightweight and small, but most importantly, it’s extremely powerful at filtering out ultra-trace minerals from contaminated water.
Water purification tablets are a convenient and effective way of ensuring that the water you consume is safe to drink.
They work by removing any pathogens or other contaminants from your water supply. This ensures that the water remains pure and healthy.
3. Bushcraft Knife
Bushcraft Knives are here to stay, and they’re a great tool to have on hand when SHTF.
These knives will not perform like a fixed blade knives, but they can be used for cutting rope, wood, and other things.
After all, you need something that won’t cut you up if it slips.
And also for self defense if you get into a bad situation, because you never know who could be a threat when SHTF.
There are numerous bushcraft knives on the market, most of which have different features.
There is no “one size fits all” knife. Be sure to chose knife that you feel comfortable using, and one that will suit your needs and expectations.
4. Fire Starting Tools
During shtf situations, you might need to light a fire.
This is for cooking food, heating, and signaling emergency rescuers.
That’s why having all the tools you need for starting a fire and being able to get it started safely is a top priority.
Some of the best fire-starting tools include magnesium fire tablets, ferrocerium rods, and either a FireSteel (Strike Force) or Flint Sticks, made from flint.
Magnesium fire tablets are a type of fire starter that can be used to start fires. The tablets are made of magnesium, which is an easy-to-find metal. Magnesium is flammable and burns very hot, so it’s the perfect starting point for a fire.
Ferrocerium Rods are long pieces of metal used to start fires by using a strike and spark method. The rods work similarly to other fire-starting tools, but they’re particularly convenient because they can be rasped through fine-gauge steel wool or cotton for use as fuel.
FireSticks are similar to flint and steel, but they contain no flint. FireSticks produce an extremely hot and bright spark that can easily ignite the fuel.
5. Flashlights and Batteries
Make sure you have hand-held flashlights and extra batteries on hand.
A flashlight is essential for finding things in the dark when SHTF. It can be used to find items and to be able to navigate without tripping or running into things.
Nothing is worse than not being able to see in a situation of crisis.
Batteries are always a critical item to have on hand, so regardless of what happens, make sure you have extra batteries for your flashlights and other electronics.
This will help you get through the night if the power goes out.
Sometimes it may not be easy to find candles or other light sources, so a flashlight can help light up your surroundings.
6. Communication Devices like Radios or Cell Phone Rechargers
Being able to communicate with others is an extremely important aspect of bug-out bags and emergency preparedness.
This is critical for many reasons, including coordinating group movement, ensuring the safety and well-being of yourself and your family, and making sure that you can reach emergency services.
Cell Phone Rechargers are one thing to have if your phone dies or there’s no electricity around you.
Radios are great for getting in touch with other people, especially if you get separated.
7. Gear cover
They protect your gear and keep it from getting dirty or contaminated with dirt, sand, or salt water.
A good gear cover will help protect your gear from rain, snow, sleet, hail, and other things that can damage your survival and tactical gear.
Window bags or drybags are also helpful in wet environments.
The best way to keep your clothes clean and fresh is to use a laundry bag. These bags have many benefits, one of which is that they help protect your clothes and luggage from getting dirty and contaminated.
They can also be used if you need to hide your bag for some reason.
8. Survival sleeping bag
A survival sleeping bag is included because it can be used for many things from sleeping.
They can be used to keep you warm, and they can even double as a swaddle blanket.
It’s important to have a good thermal sleeping bag because there is no telling what you may run into when disaster strikes.
Typically they are light weight and can be folded up, rolled up, stuffed into a gear bag, or just carried.
They are also extremely versatile and can be used in many ways from temperature control to a blanket to a bed.
9. Food, MRE, Energy Snack Bar
Also, prepare survival food supplies like MREs (meal ready to eat) or energy snacks.
In an emergency, your body goes into what’s called starvation mode, where it thinks it’s starving and slows down everything so that you conserve energy.
This mode can be detrimental and life-threatening if the crisis is long-term.
It would help if you always had a supply of food on hand with different nutritional needs for adults and children.
So be sure to have enough food and water to keep you going for long term
10. Food Preparation Items / backup Cookware
In addition to food supplies, you also need to have cooking gear and utensils available.
They all need to be lightweight and ready when disaster strikes.
Some of them even collapse down into small pouches that will easily fit into your bug out bag or pack.
If you have to wait for a rescue, this is the perfect gear for making hot meals or boiling water.
It would make a big difference if you have access to all these tools.
They can also help if you need to sterilize water for medical use.
11. General Clothing Items
Clothing is not something you want to forget. It’s also something you want to plan for out of necessity.
You’re going to want warm clothes, extra clothes if you can’t wash your current ones, rain gear, and other clothing items depending on the climate in your area.
Having clothing in your bug-out bag helps protect you from the elements and reduces the chance of frostbite in colder months and sunburn in warmer months.
It also can help cover up and cover your tracks for tracking purposes.
Clothing is important not only to protect yourself from the environment but also to conceal yourself.
12. Navigation and Signaling Devices
With this kit, you will need a good backup to stay on track and find the way out.
You will also need a good way to signal for help when you need it most.
Navigation can be very difficult in an emergency setting, and distractions can easily cause you to get lost.
I will suggest you have a map and compass, but I will recommend something extra too.
For the general kit, I would recommend having an FM Radio.
This will allow you to stay informed, and if you ever need an emergency call for help, you can use it to do that.
Not only can you stay on track, but you can track the weather.
Another important item in any bug-out bag is a small whistle.
With this, you can call for help and signal rescuers or other people at a distance with the sound that you are in trouble or need assistance.
The final piece of this list is a good pair of binoculars. With these, you can see where you are going and your route.
This is important as you may need to survey a location or shelter before settling in for the night.
Whether you get caught out or stay put for an extended period, a map and compass are an absolute must in any bug-out bag.
13. Cordage for Emergency use
Paracord has so many uses and should be a part of every kit.
The most common paracord use is tied into bundles and used as part of a sling or lifeline.
Sling loads can help cliff jumpers get out of the water or drag people out of mud and quicksand.
14. Emergency Blanket
For a survival situation, it’s important to have a backup bed.
Sleeping on something other than the hard ground can be a big help as you are traveling in the dark and trying to remain calm and keep still.
It can also be used for warmth or as a signal for rescue.
15. Footwear and Coverings
Footwear is important for many reasons.
It can help prevent frostbite.
Footwear is also important in the case of evacuation.
Maintaining your footing and walking with a good balance will be crucial when miles are on the line and your body is tired.
Footwear should be lightweight, sturdy, and durable.
16 Sewing Kits
These will help mend clothing, shoes, or other items that may become ripped or torn.
Sewing kits can also be used to stitch up wounds and help you heal faster.
They can also help if you need to fix things in a hurry.
17. Documents, Money, and Valuables
These are things that you might need to get home or to another place if you have to bug out.
You will want to keep these items with you at all times so that they don’t get lost.
They should be contained in a waterproof bag and kept with your most important things.
The documents I would put in this kit would be home insurance papers, passport, driver’s license, social security card, and so forth.
18. Gas Mask
Gas masks can filter out dangerous airborne chemicals and gases.
We have no way of knowing what we will face or how much of a threat some hazardous materials can be.
It should also protect your eyes from dust, smoke, and other irritants.
Another aspect of gas masks is that you can use them as improvised tools in a dire situation.
19. Tactical Gloves
These can help protect you from hot surfaces that could burn you.
They can also help protect your hands and give you extra grip when doing things.
A compass is an important tool for campers, hikers, and people that live in the wild.
It will help prevent you from getting lost while traveling and keep you on track.
A whistle is used for signaling people and animals in the area.
It can also be used to get attention when you are lost or need help.
22. High-proof Alcohol
High-proof alcohols can be used for medicines, disinfectants, and as fuel for fires.
They can also be used to keep food from spoiling and can help sterilize containers that you may need them for medical purposes.
Having a towel in your bug-out bag is important because it can be used to clean yourself and others after an injury or wound.
It can also be used to dry yourself off if you get wet or use it in case of a fire.
24. Garden Seeds
Growing your own food will be crucial in a survival situation as it’s easy to get hungry or lose energy when you lack food for too long.
25. Pens & Papers
With pens and paper, you can leave a trail for others to follow, or you can write your own notes and thoughts.
26. Duct Tape
Duct tape is an important tool to have in any emergency kit with multiple uses.
It can be used to stop bleeding, bind sprains and broken bones, repair clothing or blankets, and even used as a tourniquet or sling for wounds or injuries.
27. Ziplock Bags
Having some bags will help you keep your gear organized and help you keep organized for the long haul.
These items will help you survive in an SHTF situation.
Keep in mind that they all depend on each other and should be tailored to your specific needs.
For example, if you’re bugging out with kids, remember the importance of water purification tablets for both adults and children.
If you have allergies or need certain medications, make sure to bring them with you!