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Best Survival Gear (Review & Buying Guide) 2020

Being prepared for emergencies is all about planning for contingencies. Sure, there are some necessary components to survival: shelter, water, food, heat, medical care. However, the nature of an emergency is that they take us by surprise. So you’ve got to be ready for anything; surviving a power outage is inherently different than surviving a flood. That’s why it’s important to find versatile survival gear—items that are universally applicable.


The best survival gear consists of useful, durable tools that you can use in just about any situation. This way, instead of creating different setups for individual potential emergencies, you get general tools that will work in most survival situations. To help you track down the best survival gear around, we’ve compiled a list of the top options.

Best Survival Gear Reviews & Recommendations 2020

Benefits of Survival Gear

  • Emergency Preparedness. A well-rounded survival gear cache can ensure that you’re ready to handle virtually any emergency that may arise, whether it’s a simple automobile breakdown, or getting lost while hiking or portaging, or an unforeseen injury in the woods or bush when camping, fishing, hiking, or trekking.
  • Provides Peace of Mind. Being ready for any situation that may come up helps you to remain calm and know that you’re prepared to handle whatever comes your way. This peace of mind and presence of thought will be invaluable in emergency situations where every second counts. 
  • Buys You Precious Time in an Emergency. Having the proper tools to deal with emergency situations provides you with the ability to treat injuries, start a fire to get warm and dry, or set up protocols to help you get rescued, all of which can give you the luxury of extra added time to critically assess and plan your strategy for moving forward.

Types of Survival Gear

EDC Survival Kit

EDC stands for “everyday carry” and this kit encompasses only what you would want for everyday situations. It’s small enough to be kept on your person, either in a pocket, bag, or purse for quick and easy access and contains the most basic survival items, such as a pocket knife, needle and thread, safety pins, mini flashlight, lighter, tactical pen, etc.

Bug Out Bag

This is the next step up from an EDC kit. It takes the EDC concept and ramps it up considerably. This kit will allow you to handle long-term survival situations by holding everything you need to get by after a natural disaster or wilderness emergency where help is days away. These kits usually include emergency medical supplies, fishing and hunting supplies, tactical vests or belts, backpacks, and items needed to make shelters and fires for nighttime survival and comfort. They may also have water filters and MREs to sustain you for longer periods.

Top Brands


Founded in 1994, Vestergaard is the company that makes LifeStraw. It prides itself on being an innovative leader in solving global disease issues that negatively impact vulnerable populations. They operate on a humanitarian level, in which their greatest intention is to do good by developing breakthrough products, such as the LifeStraw Universal Water Bottle Filter that help save the lives of disadvantaged people.


RoverTac is a smaller company based out of Northern Cyprus that is committed to the research and development, design, production, and selling of survival tools, like the RoverTac Pocket Knife Upgraded Multitool and many other tactical hammers, multitools, knives, and axes that are ruggedly and uniquely designed to be the ultimate in survival gear. It prides itself on innovation and high-quality design and construction.


Marchway primarily manufactures rugged and ultra-lightweight, high-tech camping gear. It is well known for its ultralight folding camping chair, drybags, and heavy-duty super light camping cots. It has a great reputation amongst serious hikers and backpackers, who appreciate the lightweight, solid construction of its products.

Survival Gear Pricing

  • Under $50: Survival gear in this price range usually consists of comprehensive and compact kits, molle bags, camping gear, emergency shelters, and water bottles. 
  • $50 to $100: Gear in this price range consists of heavy-duty equipment, such as survival shovels, backpacks, hammocks, shelters, and tactical clothing that is designed to withstand the elements and resist harsh weather conditions and temperatures. 
  • Above $100: This price range is reserved for the most extensive survival kits that will keep you going for days to weeks, plus key large items like solar ovens, EPIRBS, rescue radios, and satellite-linked devices, and heavy-duty equipment.

Key Features


Good survival gear is constructed from reliable, strong, and truly durable materials that will ensure safety and won’t fail when you need them most. Materials like steel, 400D Oxford fabric, anodized aluminum, blow-molded plastics, and high-tech moisture-wicking fabrics are key features to look for when choosing the best survival gear.


The best survival kits are comprised of well-thought-out and useful items and are extensively designed to be able to handle virtually any emergency situation that may arise. They have a wide variety of items, such as flashlights, knives, first aid supplies, flares, water purification methods, blankets, cordage, and much more than you might think you need.


You want survival gear that you can carry with you without being overly cumbersome or heavy so that you can conserve energy and travel as far as necessary to get to a safe, stable environment. Lightweight survival gear is key if you’re an avid hiker, hunter, camper, trekker, or wilderness survivalist. You don’t want to unnecessarily waste valuable energy lugging a heavy load for long distances.

Other Considerations

  • Cost. Survival kits can range greatly in pricing, from the most basic kits to the most comprehensive, long-term survival kits. Good, reliable, rugged gear doesn’t usually come cheap, but you get what you pay for. Go for the best gear that you can comfortably afford.
  • Waterproofing. Good survival gear will, of course, be fully waterproof and able to withstand complete and total submersion in water or flood environments and still be able to function reliably. Whether it’s matches, flares, flashlights, food packets, or anything else you may need, all of it should work in a wet environment without any issues.
  • Restocking. A comprehensive and complete survival kit should be easy to restock from almost anywhere. It’s not full of obscure items that are difficult to find once you’ve used them all up. As your survival supply dwindles, you don’t want to have to search high and low for replacement items. 

Best Survival Gear Reviews & Recommendations 2020


  • Do your research. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting, what it’s made from, and how to use it before you purchase any survival gear. What good is it to you if you can’t use it?
  • Read reviews. Good quality survival gear comes from companies with great reputations who have been in the industry for a long time and have many happy customers and a proven track record.
  • Think about where you’ll be using your gear the most. If you plan to be in a desert environment, don’t buy survival gear for snowy or cold climates. Tailor your kit to your own personal needs.
  • Try your gear out as soon as you get it to see if it will work properly and as advertised. Examine it for quality and reliability. An emergency situation is not the time you want to find out your gear fails you.


What are the top 10 survival gear products?

A: The top 10 survival gear items are:

  1. Fire Starter – reliable, waterproof, and easy to operate.
  2. Survival Knife – high-grade and rugged construction that is able to cut through almost anything.
  3. First Aid Kit – includes bandages, antiseptic, tourniquets, gauze, tape, scissors, and much more to handle injuries in the field.
  4. Water Filter – be able to get drinkable water anywhere.
  5. Emergency Blanket – keep warm, or use it as a shelter from the elements.
  6. Flashlight – allows you to see or be seen at night, making rescue easier.
  7. Cords – can be used for dozens of different purposes
  8. MREs – emergency ready-made meals to provide you calories and sustenance
  9. Compasses – be able to know where you’re going at all times, minimizing your risk of getting lost.
  10. Proper Clothing – protect your body from hypothermia or overheating.

What is the best survival gear?

A: The best survival gear is constructed from rugged, durable, reliable materials and has a proven track record with many users. It’s practical and useful, and not based on gimmicks or things you don’t really need. 

What do I need in my survival backpack?

A: A survival backpack should have the 10 things listed above, but also a lightweight tent or shelter option, flares, a bow saw or axe for cutting wood, plastic bags or tarps to wrap wet items in, a towel, extra footwear, and an emergency radio.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve mentioned, high-quality construction and materials are what make a great survival item, like in the RoverTac Multitool Survival Axe. Great survival gear is well thought-out in design and purpose, like the Kosin Emergency Survival Gear Kit. A comprehensive and extensive supply of survival items will greatly improve your chances of success in survival scenarios.

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