Buying a knife for an everyday task isn’t too difficult. If you need a knife to cut bread, then you buy one made to cut bread — simple.

But survival knives are much more complex — not only do you need one that can perform all of the essential survival functions, but you also need one that can withstand rain, sleet, and snow. And ideally, you’d like to get one that can also protect you. Fingers aren’t much of a match for claws and fangs.

Below, we’ll go over two things —  our reviews of the top survival knives , as well as the elements to look for in the best survival knife. By the end, you’ll be an expert, and you’ll have a good selection of knives to choose from. Let’s begin.

Best Survival Knives Reviews

Here  we’re going to give you some knives to browse through. They vary in price, construction, and intended use — make sure to read several reviews from other knife owners too (we provide an amazon link to every single knife, so you can read some reviews from other REAL buyers before making your decision)

Please note that the list is in no particular order. #1 isn’t necessarily better than #4. They’re all worth looking at.

#1 — KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight


We’ll start off with a classic — the KA-BAR. Originally designed for marines in WWII, it’s still being used by them today.

Check out KA-BAR knife on Amazon!

What makes this knife so special is its diversity. It’s the perfect mix of survival and combat. In WWII, US marines were fighting in all sorts of conditions — rainy, snowy, dry, etc. You name it, they were in it. So the knife addresses all of these concerns, and it holds up to the fiercest of elements.

And considering marines are soldiers, this knife is perfect for combat situations. It works on both animals and humans.

The only downside of this knife is the fact that the tang isn’t full tang. It’s has what’s called a “rat tail tang”, which means that yes, it does extend all the way into the handle, but no, it does not extend all the way in terms of width. You won’t be chopping down trees with this baby, but at the same time, it can perform basic survival tasks.

The basics: 7” straight blade, leather handle, cro-van steel, made in the USA.

Get this knife if you’re looking for an easy, done-for-you solution. With over 900 5* reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that people love it. If you’re looking for something above and beyond, keep reading.

#2 — SOG Specialty Knives & Tools SE38-N Force Knife

SOG knife

This survival knife is a bit more expensive than #1, but it comes with all of the features that we’re looking for. Namely, it has a full tang, a hole for a lanyard, a 6” blade, and an ultra durable, reinforced handle that can withstand the worst of the elements while still maintaining its grip.

SOG knife on Amazon with real buyers reviews!

This is for those who want the best survival knife… and not a piece of jewelry. It doesn’t have any of the glitz or glamour that other models have — on the surface, it looks like a standard black knife. But when you hold it, you get that feel of a quality blade, you know?

It’s geared towards survival, not combat. It combines a serrated and straight blade by having a small serrated section towards the handle, followed by a straight section all the way to the tip. This allows you to use the lower section for the tasks that call for a serrated edge, but you can still sharpen it with a regular whetstone.

Get this knife if you’re looking for a true survival knife, but you don’t care about how it looks.

#3 — ESEE 6P-B Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE knife

The basics: 11.75” overall, 6” blade, 1095 steel, and a black molded polymer sheath.

Fitted for survival.

ESEE 6P-B sales page on Amazon

It’s like the third bowl of porridge: just right. It feels right, it looks right, and it cuts right. There’s not a whole lot of description on the product page, which is why you need to look at the reviews.

Other knives talk a big talk, but this one actually walks the walk. Click the link above — you’ll see that the buyers put the knife through a series of arduous tasks… cutting thick wood, etc. It held up perfectly.

And it can for you, too. This is one of the best survival knives. It’s made for experienced survivors, not newbies who are just getting their feet wet. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s one that will hold out on you for as long as you need to bug out.



A weird name for a weird knife. At first glance, this one looks like a machete.

Read what owners think of this knife!

Its machete-like design allows for greater slicing power. Actually, the GURKHA KUKRI claims to be able to out-chop other knives… and even full-fledged katanas.

A bold claim? Absolutely. But according to reviewers, it’s substantiated — one even said that he replaced his regular axe with this thing once he saw what it was capable of.

Would we recommend getting this knife as your only survival knife? Yes, but only if you know that you’ll be cutting through some serious material.

#5 — Tool Logic SL-PRO 2

Survival multitool

Cheap, somewhat sturdy, and very diverse. That’s what you should expect from the SL-PRO 2.

Get Tool Logic SL-PRO 2!

It’s more of a multipurpose tool than a survival knife — it comes with a fire starter, flashlight, and whistle. The blade is only 3” — enough for regular survival tasks, but not enough for the labor-intensive ones like splitting wood.

This is a small, practical knife that, because it folds, you can store almost anywhere. It’s good for those of you who want to have a handy tool that can double as a survival knife. It’s not that practical if you’re going to be going on month-long excursions in the wild.

So if you’re a casual survivor, get this one. If you’re a serious one, consider getting something a little bit more powerful, and then carry your fire starter, whistle, and flashlight separately.



Full tang? Check. Affordable? Check. Made in the USA? Check.

This is a shorter knife. It’s 10.5” overall, with the blade being only 5.25” long.

Despite its length, though, it’s incredibly thick: ¼”. Because of the thickness and length, you get an “indestructible” feel when you pick up this knife. And it holds up to that indestructible feel with its full tang.

To top it off, this knife is just over $70, making it one of the cheapest on the list. It’s not ideal for heavy cutting jobs, but aside from that, it’s perfect, and it won’t break the bank. It has a “quick” feel, if you know what we mean. It feels more like an extension of your arm than a knife.


Fallkniven A1 best survival knife

We’ll be blunt — this one looks like a standard kitchen knife. But it’s anything but that.

If you don’t mind spending close to $200, this is one of the best survival knives you can find. Multiple reviews attest to the fact that it holds up for years, and because of the laminated stainless steel blade, it holds its sharpness while also resisting the elements. Nice.

The blade is right in the middle, coming in at 6.5”. Full tang. Incredibly “grippy” handle — you’ll have a firm grip even if it’s raining or you’re sweating bullets. Or both.

Last but not least, power. We said that it retains its edge — it can chop down an entire tree and maintain its edge at the same time. Multiple reviewers talk about how they beat up their A1s regularly, and they boast about how durable it is.


tom brown tracker knife

Last but not least is the Tom Brown Tracker, which is the definition of a survival knife. This is not a hunting knife, but rather a survival one that can slice through almost anything you put it up against.

It’s so effective because of its construction. There are three “segments” a serrated edge, a curved edge, and a straight edge. So if you’re skinning an animal, you go with the curved edge. Slicing rope, serrated. Etc.

The width of the blade is both an upside and a downside. It’s ¼”, so you can do the more labor-intensive tasks, but you won’t be able to perform the intricate ones without difficulty.

Another upside and downside is the fact that it’s 1095 high-carbon steel. Holds an edge extraordinarily well, but you’ll have to oil it up frequently to prevent oxidation.

So is it the best knife? Not really. You could probably find one that’s better… but also much more expensive. This is a knife that does the job well while not draining your bank account.

If even one of the 10 above didn’t catch your eye, you can now read about the different elements of a knife that you should be looking at. You can find a knife on the list that is good as multipurpose tool, but you can also select one of the more specialized ones depending on your needs.

The 7 things to look for in the best survival knife

There are seven “elements” of any survival knife. When you’re choosing one, it’s important to keep them all in mind. Miss even one of these elements and you might find yourself with a not-so-useful tool… and in survival situations, you can’t afford that.

#1 — The length of the tang

tang-compressed2How much force you can exert on your knife is dependent on the length of the tang. The “tang” is the section of the metal from the blade that’s inserted into the handle itself.

The longer the tang, the more power you’ll have. We recommend going with a survival knife that has a “full tang”, or the blade extends all of the way to the end of the handle. This allows you to put an extreme amount of pressure on the blade — if the tang weren’t to extend all the way in, you risk it snapping off. (This ruins your knife, and can injure you at the same time. Not worth it!)

#2 — The type of metal used in the blade

metal-compressedSteel. Always steel. But there are two types of steel to consider: carbon steel or stainless steel.

We’re not going to sit here and tell you that one is better than the other, because they’re both good in certain circumstances.

Carbon steel has a tendency to stay sharper for longer. You won’t have to frequently sharpen it like you will a stainless steel one. But at the same time, it rusts easier in the elements.

Stainless steel doesn’t rust, but it’s not as resilient to becoming blunt. Expect to be sharpening a stainless steel one frequently — laminated stainless steel will hold its edge for longer, but it’s a bit more expensive.

So get a carbon steel survival knife if you’re in mild conditions, and a stainless steel survival knife if you’re in the elements. Also consider what you’ll be using the knife for — the more usage it gets, the more it will have to be sharpened.

#3 — The handle of your knife

knife_handleIt seems that in the past decade or so, manufacturers have tried to make survival knives “trendy”. They’ve started making hollow handles to store things in, and some have even inserted compasses into the handle…

Don’t get one of these knives! You want your handle to be a handle, and nothing else. That’s because you want your knife to be the best survival knife… and nothing else. It’s one of (if not THE) most important survival tools to have — don’t risk getting a mediocre one at the benefit of having a cool little feature installed.

As for the handle material itself, it doesn’t really matter. You can choose from either hard rubber or polymer on both. You’re set with either of them. Just make sure that it’s a real handle, and not a hollow encasement ready to break on you at a moment’s notice.

#4 — The length of the blade

blade  length-compressedWhen you picture someone in the movies using a survival knife, you probably picture him ripping out a massive, 2-3 foot blade. This isn’t effective.

You want your blade to be between six and 12 inches. If it’s shorter than six, it’s not very useful, as it simply does not have the length necessary to perform even the most basic of tasks. However, if it’s longer than a foot, not only does it become cumbersome, but the changes of the blade snapping off are increased exponentially.

Aside from that, it’s mostly about personal preference. You can feel safe picking anything within that sweet six to twelve inch spot.

#5 — The design of the blade: serrated or straight

knife blade-compressedStraight blades are straight up and down, whereas serrated blades have little notches through the length of the blade.

On the surface, serrated blades might seem like the smart choice. After all, those little notches help you slice things more easily — rope, the skin of that animal you just killed, etc.

The problem is that serrated blades can’t be sharpened with a good ol’ fashioned whetstone. You’ll have to have a special sharpener… and in a survival situation, you might not have anything but your knife. We’d recommend going with a straight blade, just to keep things simple. The alternative to this is getting one with both a serrated section and a straight section — you get the best of both worlds. Just having a serrated edge can lead to disaster if you lose the special sharpener.

#6 — The thickness of the blade

blade thickness-compressedBlade thickness is usually measured in sixteenths of inches. It’s hard to imagine that in your head, but when you look at an actual knife, the difference is apparent.

Due to the small differences, most people think that blade thickness isn’t important. It’s very important. Too small and your blade will bend and flex whenever you do anything. That’s not ideal — it’s hard to generate power with a blade that’s too thin, and the chances of it snapping off are greater.

At the same time, you don’t want one that’s too thick. That takes away from the effectiveness of it — you can’t perform certain tasks that require precision.

Survival experts agree that the “sweet spot” is between 3/16 and 4/16 (¼) of an inch. You’ll get a little bit of flex in this range, but not enough where you feel as though it’s weak.

#7 — The sheath that your knife is stored in

shealth-compressedEven if you have the best survival knife it is useless if you lose it, and it’s also useless if it wears down. A sheath will keep it attached to your body, protect it from the elements, and allow you to draw it at a moment’s notice.

You really want two things — a firm connection mechanism and a hole for the knife to be attached to something on your body.

By a “firm connection mechanism”, we mean that when the sheath goes on the knife, it doesn’t just sit there. It locks into place somehow. The most common thing you’ll see is a strap that crosses over right where the handle meets the sheath — this ensures that it won’t slip out.

Then, you want a hole that you can thread through a belt loop or lanyard. Carrying your knife in your pocket can work, but you don’t want to be doing that. It’s more dangerous, you’ll move slower, and you won’t be able to draw it as quickly. Oh, and you’ll probably lose it.

We hope this helped you. As a survivalist, you can’t be picking up the first survival knife that you lay your eyes on — it’s always good to compare the options and pick the one that’s best for you and your situation.

Good luck! In the wild, your knife is your best friend. Make sure you get a good one.


Our lives right now are pretty cushy. In fact, when you break it down, most of us just depend on just one skill to survive.

For example, if you know how to do IT, then you can get a job as “the IT guy” and get paid for it. You can then use that money to survive by buying food, shelter, clothing, and anything else you need.

When all hell breaks loose, you will no longer have access to these products and services that you take for granted. Your IT skills will mean nothing. You’ll have to do everything yourself.

There are a couple of things that you must know in order to survive related to water, food, and shelter. If you can’t do even one of these, then you’re doomed.

Below is a list of 10 survival skills. They’re all practical with no fluff — learn all of these and you’ll be pretty safe in a time where survival is necessary.

Skill #1 — How to start a fire

Even if you live in a warm climate, the nights aren’t so warm. How would you feel sleeping outside at 3 AM with nothing but a blanket?

It might be possible, but it’s not ideal. Fires can keep you warm so that you avoid diseases like pneumonia and hypothermia. (Those might not be a big deal in today’s cushy society, but they can be a death wish in a survival setting.)

ко�?терFires can cook food and boil water. Eating raw meat is asking for disease, as is drinking water directly from a natural water source without purifying it first via boiling.

волкFinally, fires keep away predators. Fires aren’t natural — when a predator sees a fire, he will get frightened and stay away from it. As long as you’re close to the fire, then you’ll be all set. It’s just that simple.

Watch the video below. It’ll teach you how to start a fire without matches or a lighter. (We recommend you stock up on these as well for convenience, but they’ll eventually run out.)

Make sure to pick up a portable fire starter. Starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together is nearly impossible — a basic fire starter with a flint and steel will make your life much easier. Fire is essential, which is why this is the first survival skill on the list.

Skill #2 — How to catch game with snares & traps

Think you’re going to go rogue, hunting down wild animals with just a spear or a gun?

Think again.

Most animals are incredibly skittish. Ever tried to run after a rabbit in your yard? Yeah, they’re faster than you, and their reflexes are out of this world. That’s assuming you can even find one to chase — wild animals aren’t stupid; they’re usually out-of-sight to avoid bigger predators just like you.

As humans, we don’t have speed on our side, but we do have smarts. Learning how to set effective traps and snares can allow you to spend an hour setting them at the start of the day and collect wild animals for you to eat later on.

р�?жьяIf you don’t know how to set snares, it’ll still be possible to kill game. From a statistical standpoint, if you throw enough spears, then, eventually, one will hit the target.

Something to consider, though: hunting takes time. If you spend all day trying to catch an animal but fail, what are you going to do? You just wasted an entire day and you’re still hungry.белка

Luckily, snares and traps are pretty easy to set. You just need a small amount of food to lure the animal in, and the snare will do the rest.

Skill #3 — How to clean game so you can cook and eat it

Catching and killing the game is the easy part. But, when you do that, you’re left with a whole animal — guts, intestines, feathers, skin — everything.

к�?рицаYou don’t want to be eating everything that’s inside of an animal. When we go out to restaurants and order lobsters, you can clearly tell which parts of it not to eat — they’re mushy, green, and just plain disgusting.

мя�?оWe only want to be digesting the meat on the animal. No matter what you’re killing, there will be certain parts of it that you can’t
eat. Skinning and cleaning animals is just as important as finding the game in the first place.

Squirrels aren’t the smartest animals and they live almost everywhere — there’s a video for you below on how to skin them quickly and easily.

We’d also recommend looking up your geographical location and seeing which animals are indigenous to it, then doing more research on your own on how to set traps for those particular animals.

Having a knife is vital for skinning squirrels — we’d recommend checking out some survival knives on Amazon or at your local sporting goods store.

Skill #4 — How to forage for food

You do everything right with your snares… you set them up correctly and in the right places.

But at the end of the day, they’re still empty. What are you going to do?

If you just wait around for your snares to magically get filled, then you might be waiting around for your death. You have to be proactive, and foraging for food is one way to do that.

You can’t just start eating every berry you find, though. Some are poisonous. Actually, most of them are. Taking a chance like that is just asking to get horribly sick.

Below is a video on how to identify different types of berries. What you’re going to want to do is pick up a book detailing different foods that are safe (and not safe) to eat.

ягодыYou MUST get some sort of guide to berries and other natural foods. If you don’t, then you’ll be blindly guessing, which can (and will) lead to your death almost immediately.

Skill #5 — How to find water

Finding water isn’t rocket science — all animals need water, and they can find it easily enough.

б�?тылка для водыIf you don’t take the time to learn how to locate water, though, you’re going to be relying on blind luck or man-made water sources like water bottles. You might run out of water bottles, and there’s a very good possibility that you can wander around without finding any water until you get dehydrated and die.

--1This is one of the best guides we’ve found on the topic. Another slightly easier method is to just pick up a map of your area — it’ll display water sources and how large they are. (Make sure you keep reading this list to learn how to navigate a map effectively.)

Skill #6 — How to build a shelter

You always have the option of buying a tent for your bug out bag, but what if your tent (or whatever pre-made shelter you’re using) gets destroyed?

You’re going to be exposed to the elements 24/7/365. When it’s a sunny day, that won’t be a problem…

But that’s what may happen…

Let’s say it rains, and you get sopping wet. Then, the temperature drops, and you’re still sopping wet. The moisture on your body makes your internal temperature drop like a rock. You won’t be able to sleep, and you’ll get sick with a cold almost immediately.

палаткаThat will happen over and over until you perish. It’s a morbid thought, but it’s true. Think about the climate of your region, then imagine that you had to live in that climate completely exposed all of the time. It would be miserable, and you’d have trouble doing other things necessary for survival.

елкиBuilding a shelter isn’t terribly difficult. It can be done with just a few sticks and logs. But you still have to know how to do it — winging a shelter will ensure it falls over constantly. Watch the video below for a real example of an ordinary person building a shelter.

If you want to make things a lot easier on yourself, get a tarp. You’ll be a lot more insulated, and you won’t have to find as much natural material.

Skill #7 — How to open a can without a can opener

кон�? банкаThis skill is more specialized than the ones we’ve already covered, but there’s a reason why it’s so useful: everything comes in cans, cans last forever, and you can pretty much live off of canned food for the rest of your life if you have enough.

открывалкаAll of that goes out of the window if you can’t open a can without a can opener. They’ll be the first things looted from hardware stores, and without the proper technique, just trying to smash a can open will ensure that your food goes everywhere.

It’s pretty simple. Learn it, memorize it, and keep it in your back pocket for when you need it.

(It’s a hassle and it takes a while, but it’s much easier than hunting animals or foraging for food.)

Skill #8 — How to defend yourself with a knife

драка 2Defending yourself with a gun is self-explanatory. Just point and shoot. Defending yourself even with the best survival knife is a little bit more difficult, because you have to get up close to the predator… but also stay far enough away where they don’t have a chance to strike you first. (Remember, predators have claws and teeth that can tear your skin apart like tissue paper.)

ножAs long as you know how to wield a knife, you can keep yourself safe. Check out this video below for some basic explanation — it’s worth looking into martial arts studios in your area to get a specialized lesson, too.

The video goes over defending yourself against other humans, but it’s relevant for animals, too.

Skill #9 — How to navigate with just a compass and map

You might think you have a good sense of direction… and that may be true, assuming that you’re traveling around man-made terrain.

The problem with the wilderness is that everything looks the same. It’s trees, bushes, and rocks over and over again. No matter how good your sense of direction is, you will get lost without a map and a compass.

Getting lost is a big deal for a few reasons. To start, if you get lost while hunting and lose sight of your camp, then all of your supplies are suddenly gone. This makes it infinitely harder to survive.

You’ll also have to navigate around certain areas to be able to find natural resources, like water. Without the proper navigation tools, you won’t be able to find these vital resources. There won’t be any GPS navigation in a survival situation… that much is for sure.

This video below is an excellent demonstration on how to use a map and a compass. It also goes over the features of a map so that you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly where you are on the map easily.

Skill #10 — How to mend clothing

Consider how many thorns, rocks, and plain ol’ branches there are in the wilderness. Any of these things can catch onto your clothing and tear it to shreds.

Wandering around with exposed skin is very dangerous. Not only will you be more exposed to the elements, but those thorns, rocks, and branches will now shred your skin apart — not your clothing. Even a simple cut can (literally) open you up to infection and disease.

By having some basic knowledge on how to repair clothing, you won’t need to find new clothing — you can just fix what you currently have. It won’t be the prettiest, but let’s be honest — in a survival situation, looking good will be the last of your concerns.

In order to be able to mend clothes properly, we’d recommend picking up some basic knitting supplies that are in a protected case. You won’t be able to lug around a sewing machine with your supplies, and if your supplies get ruined then you’re out of luck.

Why THESE survival skills?

If you look around the internet for a list of survival skills, then you’ll find some very long lists — some with up to 100 “necessary” skills. Most of these “necessary” skills are more on the “helpful, but not necessary” side.

The truth is that our daily lives only allow us for so much time to prepare for survival. You need to know the essential ones — the 10 in this list — before anything else.

Learn these skills and rest easy. Even if the time does come where survival is necessary, you’ll have the knowledge that you need to beat the elements and stay alive.


You need certain skills to survive in a disaster situation. That’s a given. But reading a massive list of recommended skills can be overwhelming — it’s not like you can master 50 skills simultaneously. We asked a bunch of survival experts and website owners one thing…

What are the three most important survival skills to master?

Here are their responses. Start with these.

Robert Richardson from

The three most important skills, when it comes to surviving in a wilderness setting, are knowing how to find foodwater and shelter. These three things are the fundamental building blocks to learning how to survive in the wilderness. If you take any one of these skills out of the equation, you put yourself at immediate risk and severely lessen your chances of survival.

Shaun Marrin from

Here are the three skills I would suggest for every prepper.

The first skill I’d pick would be first aid, there are 5 basic first aid skills every prepper should know, they are cleaning and dressing a wound, making a makeshift splint or sling, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and treating someone that is in shock.

The second skill would be the preservation and storage of food. Things like field dressing a fresh kill, smoking meat, preserving the harvest of a garden using dehydration and canning techniques, as well as pressure canning meat and vegetables.

The third skill I would suggest is defense. There are seven rules of self defense that everyone should learn. They are self defense has no rules, don’t put yourself in bad situations, confidence, stay aware, control the situation, hurt them first and get away as soon as possible.

Jim Cobb rom

With regards to wilderness survival, the three most important skills to master would be:

Fire building — knowing how to reliably get a fire going in virtually all conditions is crucial. Fire helps you moderate your core temperature to prevent hypothermia. It boils water so as to make it potable. Fire can also serve as a signal for help. Plus, it has a strong psychological benefit.

Navigation — being able to figure out where you and what direction to head to find help is critical. Entirely too many people today rely upon technology to do this for them. Know how to read a map, determine compass direction, and plan a route. While it is wise to stay put and wait for help to find you, if you have the skills and experience in navigation, you can self-rescue.

Panic prevention — keeping a cool head under pressure is very important. It is quite alright to be a little frightened if you get lost. But, don’t lose your head over it. Keep calm and let your rational mind take over. Make sound decisions based on the information available, rather than jumping to irrational conclusions.

Roy Huntington from

Medical skills going beyond just the obvious. How to suture, medicate (often using antibiotics/etc. available at the farm supply store). Even minor surgery if needed.

«combat» mindset so you don’t become a volunteer victim, including how to control your own emotions and anger so it doesn’t cloud your ability to think clearly and objectively about situations.

General tool skills of every kind, including small engine mechanics, welding, fabricating, how to drive tractors, bull-dozers, fork-lifts, back-hoe, etc.

But that’s just what I think. I think I’d assume one had good defensive gun skills. In all honesty, that’s part of No.2 and while most people focus on guns and ammo, how many guns can you really carry and how much ammo can you really move and manage?

Dan Buglio from

Simply put — survival goes in 3’s.

Shelter is most important. Without adequate shelter, exposure to extreme cold or heat can kill you in 3 hours.

Water is Next. Without the ability to locate, collect and purify water, 3 days and you will be in BIG trouble.

Lastly is Food. A human can survive for up to 3 weeks without food as long as they have shelter and water. After three weeks, starvation really kicks in and you are at severe risk.

So there it is. Surviving in the wild requires skills in the area of Shelter, finding and purifying water and the ability to find food.

Johnnie L. Mock PSP

My three survival priorities are based on worst case SHTF scenarios.

  1. Weaponcraft skills and equipment: You can have the best survival equipment and skills available, but if you cannot protect yourself and family you end up being a supply room for someone else, and a meal for the vultures.
  2. Medical Skills and equipment: 911 is going to be a memory, so you need to handle all medical emergencies on your own. Your skills should approach EMT level.
  3. Fire making: Anyone can throw a poncho over a limb to get out of the sun or rain, but if you cannot build a fire in extreme conditions, your time is limited

And there you have it — real advice from real experts on skills to start learning right this second. You should master more than three skills, but if you’re looking to equip yourself with the essentials right away, pick three from the list and go to town. In a survival situation, they’re the ones that you’ll need the most.


Many argue that the most important segment of survival is right when disaster strikes. The hours and days following can determine your future in a big way.

If you put some effort into survival supplies before it’s necessary to have them, then you will be prepared. If you don’t, then you’ll be competing with all of the other unprepared folks who are scrambling around in desperation.

Read the prepper’s checklist below. In fact, we’d recommend you print it out. Each and every step is important. If you can do them all successfully within those crucial hours and days following a disaster, then you’ll be ready.

#1 — Create a game plan to find each other


Surviving in a group is much easier than surviving alone is. Not only will you be able to join forces to attain the vital resources that you need, but you’ll also be able to give each other motivation to “keep going”. (A disaster can really bring you down.)

The issue is that our lives in 2014 are spread out all over the place. At any given time, you or your loved ones might be 1, 2, or even 20 miles away from home.

Let’s use a family as an example — Mom is at home, Dad is at the office, and Billy, the son, is at school.


Where is everyone going to meet?

чбThis is something that you need to discuss with your familyand friends before disaster strikes. There’s no guarantee that the phones will work during a disaster. If you can’t communicate, then you can’t find each other. The world is a big place.

список чбMake sure to plan a couple of different locations to meet. If a tornado hits your house, then you (obviously) won’t be able to meet at the house. Maybe go to a friend’s house, or a relative’s.

Planning a couple of different locations ensures that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to find each other eventually.

#2 — Stockpiling food and water


Finding your loved ones is always the first priority. Without them, what’s the point in surviving?

After creating a game plan for that, though, your next priority on your prepper’s checklist should be to stockpile food and water for a couple of months.

Stockpiling survival food isn’t hard if you do it early. You can go to any wholesale store like Costco’s or BJ’s and get bulk canned food for pennies on the dollar. Don’t wait until you need it — by the time you get to the store, it’ll likely already be empty.

Water’s a little bit more difficult because of the space factor. Make sure you get gallons (not the small, .5 liter bottles) to conserve space.


How much, you ask?

конс банкаIt’s really up to you. We’d recommend getting a couple months’ worth of food (because it’s harder to find) and at least a month of water. You can always collect rain water down the line.

The average person needs around 1 liter per day at a minimum to survive, so take the number of people you want to support and do the math. There are around 4 liters in a gallon of water.

курицаMake sure to get a variety of foods — you need protein, carbs, and fats to survive. Peanut butter, canned meat, canned beans, and rice will hit all of those necessary macronutrients while not breaking the bank.

#3 — Secure your house


Even if you get your family safe and you stock up on what you need, that doesn’t mean that other people who haven’t prepared will leave you alone. And desperate times will lead to desperate measures — if others need the supplies that you have, then they’re going to try to get them by any means necessary.

An easy way to secure your house is with some simple wood. Go to a local home improvement store and pick up some solid wood — the exact type will depend based on how much money you’re willing to spend. (Ask one of the workers — they will point you in the right direction.)

This will also protect you from wild animals.

#4 — Get a gun, or at least a weapon


Now, if your house is adequately boarded up, then it’s going to be off-putting to people who want to break in. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have to travel outside of your house, though. And if these people are desperate enough, then it’s relatively easy to break through wood.

If you don’t have a way to defend yourself, then you’re a sitting duck. Others will slowly work their way into your house until they get through. When they do, you won’t be able to do anything to defend yourself or your family…

…unless you have a weapon

ножSimple weapons like bats, swords, and knives can help if you’re close to these intruders, but think about it — you don’t want them anywhere close to you or your family. What if they have weapons, too? And what if there are more of them? And what if they’re stronger than you are?

ружьяYou can stop them from setting foot near your house with a gun. Remember, they’re trying to break into your house for survival. If they get shot while trying to break in, then that’s a pretty pointless endeavor.



--2Owning a gun can also help you hunt for food. Your cans won’t last forever. Once they run out, it’s much safer to hunt in the wild than it is approach other people — they’ll be trying to stop you at all costs, just like you are trying to stop intruders at all costs.

If you can’t legally get a gun where you reside, consider some sort of other long range weapon like a crossbow, throwing knives, or even a slingshot. Whatever you can do to fend off attackers at a distance is a huge plus. And again, wild animals don’t have long range weapons — hunting is much easier with them.

#5 — Get an energy source


Buildings provide some decent insulation, but they aren’t perfect. If you live in a cold climate, then your house (or wherever you’re staying) is going to get freezing in the winter without some heat. (Think about how cold it gets if you take a vacation and leave the heat off, even for a few days.)

If you don’t stock up on energy, then you might find yourself struggling to survive in a house where you have plenty of food and water. The third piece of the puzzle is shelter, and shelter means nothing if you’re freezing.


How do you “stock up on energy”?

костерThe easiest way is to stock up on wood, and then get appliances (like stoves) that can run on wood. Fire can keep you warm, boil water, and cook food. Those are really the only three things that you need.

энергия чбObviously, a gas generator is more effective, but it’s not like gas is available everywhere. (Everyone who hasn’t prepared like you have will be siphoning gas from cars and buildings immediately to try and feed their appliances, too.)

Wood can be kept almost anywhere, including outside. If it gets wet, it’s not a problem, because it dries out. Just make sure it’s protected like the rest of your house — if you’re in an urban setting, then it’s going to be in high demand… especially in the colder months.

#6 — Get some entertainment


What are you surviving for?

A life full of nothing but eating, talking, and sleeping can get bland very quickly. It’s important to keep your spirits up with some entertainment.

Most of the entertainment today — video games, phones, newspapers, etc. — won’t be available in a survival situation.

Stock up on board games, playing cards, and puzzles to stay busy. (You can play an almost infinite number of games of Monopoly and never get bored.)

Closing thoughts on your prepper’s checklist

This is just a general guide. It’s a great place to start, but everyone is different.

After doing everything on this checklist, think about what you’d want in a survival situation that you don’t currently have. Then, go out and get it. You never know when a disaster might strike — it could be five years from now, or it could be in a couple of hours.

As long as you do the checklist, then you’ll be prepared.

Good luck.


Buggin’ out? Don’t use that term lightly. You don’t “bug out” when you have a final exam in twelve hours that you haven’t studied for.

You bug out when something serious happens. A natural disaster. A war. Something that uproots your entire life to the point where you need to survive on your own with just a backpack.

Having a complete bug out bag is essential for these situations. If you’re missing even one component, then you might find yourself in a survival situation without the necessary tools to… well… survive.

Pack your bag with the following ingredients. All of them combined will ensure that you can survive for a reasonable amount of time.

The first necessity: water


You can go for a while without food — up to three weeks. Lots of people fast intentionally for days at a time for the health benefits.

You can’t go without water, though. The human body is around 90% water. If you go without water for a day, then you’ll start to feel sluggish and a headache will begin to form. Three days without water and you’re dead.

How much do you need?

бутылка для водыThe common recommendation is 64 oz of water a day. While that’s optimal, in survival, you sometimes need to conserve your water. Most humans can live off of just one liter (or 33 oz of water) per day.

Always load your bug out bag with a bare minimum of one gallon of water per person. This will, in theory, allow you to live for four days without
any problems. More is preferred, but water is heavy, so it’s up to you on how you want to divvy out the weight for your bag.

How to get more water?

--1It’s impossible to carry enough water to last you for weeks, so the first thing to do in a bug-out situation is find a source of water. Most sources of water — especially still water — aren’t safe for consumption, though. You need to sterilize it.

The obvious way to sterilize water is to boil it. That’s not always an option, though. What if you don’t have a heat source?

Enter the SteriPen. This thing is nothing short of magic. Here’s how it works:

1. You fill a container with .5 liters of dirty water

2. You insert the SteriPen for 48 seconds. (Yep, just 48 seconds.)

3. The water is now safe to drink.

It lasts for up to 8,000 cycles, which is 4,000 liters of water. That’s 11 years of clean drinking water if you’re drinking a liter per day. The SteriPen is lightweight, and it’s pretty durable. Just don’t go smashing it against a rock or anything. It’s $50 — $100, depending on which model you get.

Check out this video of the SteriPen in action below:

Make sure to grab a couple of refillable water bottles so you can have water in reserve from your SteriPen.

The second necessity: food


Three weeks before death might seem like a while compared to water, but it’s not that simple. After even a day of no food, the body begins to operate well below optimal functionality. Headaches, fatigue, and memory loss are all symptoms of hunger.

Where to start?

конс банкаCanned foods are a good start. You can get almost anything canned. Beans, meat, and peanut butter are all fantastic. They’re all high in calories, and they supply the essential micronutrients that you need to function.

Get them at any grocery store, or even online at a place like Walmart.

We’d also recommend some food that can be made by just boiling water, such as rice and pasta.

With a backpack full of meat, beans, peanut butter, and some sort of grain, then you will be able to get all of the necessary macronutrients — carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The human body needs all three to function — even if you get plenty of two of them, you still need a little bit of the third.

How to keep going

курицаJust like water, food eventually runs out. Ration it. Don’t gorge on your supplies even if you’re hungry — the human body can adapt to small amounts of food very quickly. (Think about cavemen — did they always have food available 24/7?)

If this is a minor bug-out situation, then you’ll be able to last for a couple of weeks with ample canned food. Past that, you’ll need to hunt and forage, just like our ancestors. Don’t worry — further down this list, we’ll be including supplies that will allow you to do just that.

The third necessity: shelter


Think you’ll be sleeping on the ground in a bug-out situation? Think again.

Bugs. Predators. The elements. Without shelter, humans are pretty vulnerable. While we’re at the top of the food chain in our society, in the wild, we’re certainly not. An animal like a bear can sleep on the floor of a cave and rest pretty easy — if we do that, we’re sitting ducks.

палаткаfoldable tent is the easiest solution. It folds up (duh) so it’s easy to move, but it also provides some protection.

We’d also recommend getting a tarp, too. Tarps are pretty much bulletproof in regards to wild animals. Tents, on the other hand, are pretty flimsy.

елкиIf something happens to your tent, you want to have a backup.

Tarps can fail too, though. It’s always a good idea to have some knowledge on how to build shelters so you can improvise.

Weapons to hunt & stay alive


Take a look at your hands. Do you see claws? Take a look at your teeth. Do you see fangs?

Humans are good at some things — like running for long distances — but in terms of hand-to-hand combat, we’re atrocious. We don’t really have anything to match the sharp beaks, talons, claws, and fangs of other animals.

We do have our smarts, though. Humans have come up with a staggering number of weapons that can take out even the most vicious predators with a single swipe or shot.

What to get?

ножKnives: Knives can hold off attackers, but they’re also useful for pretty much everything else in survival. Hell, you can even sharpen a stick to make another weapon for a group member if you have a survival knife.

You can get a knife at any sporting store, or you can shop online for them.

--2Guns: Guns can kill anything. The laws vary by state, but you can get a basic pistol + a couple rounds of ammo for just a couple hundred bucks no matter where you live. (This serves a double purpose — it can protect you from other humans who are attacking you with regular weapons, too.)

Clothing to resist the elements


How hard is it to sleep when your feet are cold? How about when it’s too hot, and you’re drenched in sweat rolling back and forth in your bed?

Take these annoyances and amplify them tenfold. That’s how difficult it will be to sleep if you’re not prepared for the temperature.

Oh, and in the wild, you just can’t afford to get sick. If you catch the flu at home, you can take a few days off of work, make some hot chocolate, and watch a couple seasons of your favorite TV show on Netflix.

In the wild, something like the flu is a death wish. You won’t be able to gather food, and getting over a sickness like that without the proper amenities is very difficult.

You can always take layers off, but you can’t make more out of thin air. Even if the temperature during the day is warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, it likely won’t be at 3 AM at night.

Get blankets, jackets, sweatshirts, gloves, and plenty of socks. It’s vital that you protect your internal organs (around your chest) to not get sick, but having cold extremities (hands and feet) can make you plain uncomfortable.

Light & fire


Some people claim they can “see in the dark”. It’s true — at night, our vision adjusts to the darkness.

But not enough.

If you’re stumbling and bumbling over sticks, rocks, and fallen branches, the risk of hurting yourself is increased exponentially. If you break a bone, well… good luck.

Get four things:

1. An awesome flashlight with a long battery life

2. Backup batteries for the flashlight (the above comes with backup batteries)

3. A fire starter that’s not reliant on batteries or fluid

4. A bunch of Bic lighters to start a fire easily (can be bought at any convenience store)

With these four tools, you’ll easily be able to see in the darkness and start a fire without any difficulty. The beautiful thing about Bic lighters is that they can get wet, dry off, and still work. Matches? Not the case.


костерStarting fires is essential for warmth, water, and food. There’s a lot of food that needs boiling water to cook. Boiling water is the easiest way to sterilize it. And everyone knows that sitting around a fire will warm you up, even on the coldest of nights.

Bandages & general first aid


A scrape or cut in regular society isn’t a big deal. Even if you don’t put a bandage on it, there’s still a miniscule chance of it getting infected, because our daily lives (in general) don’t expose us to too much dirt and grime.

Not only that, but we wash our hands, we shower, etc. There are a lot of opportunities to clean our wounds even if we don’t tend to them directly.

In survival mode? Not so much. When you couple a cut with daily dirt and grime, the chances of it becoming infected increases by quite a wide margin.


Once something is infected, you’re SOL. It’s not like you can go to the hospital and get some antibiotics.

The solution is to take care of any cuts or scrapes right when you get them by sterilizing and then bandaging them.

first aid kit will give you everything you need. It’s lightweight and water-resistant, too.

Navigation (no, not a GPS…)


This one is especially pertinent if you live in a rural area. During a survival situation, you may have to push yourself out of your previous living area to find food and shelter. If you don’t have navigation — namely, a compass and a map — then you very well may aimlessly wander until your passing.


картаThis isn’t fear-mongering, it’s just the truth. While some people have a good sense of direction during an activity like driving, unknown areas with no landmarks are much different.

компасGet yourself a comprehensive map of your area and a good compass. Both of these materials are cheap — don’t skimp on them.

List of important places


Having a bug-out bag is a good start, but what if something serious happens? What if something happens to the point where civilization isn’t restored for months… or even years?

Surviving off of nothing besides your bug-out bag will become difficult. It’s good to stock up on the supplies that you’ll need — namely food, water, and weapons — and stockpile them somewhere safe.

список чбMake a list of the locations of key points. These points might include supermarkets, clothing stores, hardware stores, etc. You’ll want to be there when it’s a dire situation. And you’ll be able to get there with your navigation devices covered a few paragraphs up.



Finally, make sure you have a couple of tokens to remember the things you love. For example, a picture of your family.

You never know when disaster will strike. Surviving all by yourself can get very lonely. Always make sure that you have something to remember what you’re surviving for.

The Full Bug Out Bag List

  1.  Water + some sort of water purification system
  2.  Food that covers all of the necessary macronutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins)
  3.  Shelter to protect you from the elements and predators
  4.  Weapons to hunt and fend off attackers (either human or animal)
  5.  Adequate clothing to be comfortable and not get sick
  6.  Fire sources & light sources
  7.  First aid equipment to prevent infection
  8.  Navigation tools to get around and a list of key points that you’ll want to visit when disaster strikes
  9.  Mementos to keep you motivated to survive

That’s about all you need. It won’t last you a lifetime, but it will last you for a couple days, weeks, or months, depending on your circumstances.

Don’t skimp on a bug-out bag. It’s a one-time cost that can, literally, save your life.