Hiking Survival Gear List

Do you take the needed hiking survival gear with you?

Not having the right gear could result in a very negative hiking experience if things go wrong on the trail. It’s better to be prepared than unprepared in any event. This same truth goes for hiking, too.

Lucky for you,  finding the right gear isn’t that difficult once you know what the gear is.

But there lies the problem – figuring out what gear to take isn’t always easy.


Enjoy this free article with my recommended hiking survival gear based on my own experiences and thorough research of other hikers from around the world.

The Hiking Survival Gear List

Below is the hiking survival gear that you would likely want to take with you on hikes where you might need the gear to survive. A short hike through a small nature preserve is one thing, but if you’re going to go out into the wilderness, you want to be as prepared as possible.

  • Backpack with hydration pack – Get a 2.5-liter bladder for maximum water storage
  • Synthetic fast-drying towel – Dries off fast and is usually extremely lightweight.
  • Duct tape – Fixes gear, can be used for medical techniques, and is great for getting ticks off you.
  • Whistle – If you’re lost, don’t scream and waste your energy, use a whistle instead
  • Compass – Just make sure you learn how to use it
  • Waterproof paper maps – Get topo maps and learn how to use them with your compass
  • Multi-tool – Get a sturdy one
  • Folding Knife – Get a good one
  • Signal mirror – To send SOS to airplanes if you need to
  • Folding saw – Great for cutting small logs for a fire
  • Bear or Pepper Spray – Just in case!
  • Bug Spray – DEET is the best protection
  • Sunblock – Present sunburn
  • Collapsible cup – Easier to clean and carry
  • Cooking kit – Cooking cup and spork
  • Pocket rocket with fuel canister – Fire for cooking
  • Water filter – I like the Sawyer Mini the best
  • Trail bars/trail mix – Make sure it has carbs; you’ll need the fuel
  • Electrolyte tablets – This will help you stay hydrated
  • Water purification tablets – These can make most water safe to drink
  • MREs or Freeze Dried Food – It lasts forever; add water, and cook
  • LifeStraw – Just in case!
  • Water bottle – I would try to carry a couple of them to have extra water
  • Headlamp – Put the batteries in the wrong way until you need them to prevent accidental activation
  • Paracord – Good for shelters, clothesline, and more
  • Sun protective clothing – Keep the harmful sun off you
  • Sunglasses – Get UV protection
  • Dry sack – To keep gear dry that needs to stay dry
  • Power bank – To charge everything (Don’t forget extra cords)
  • Cell phone – Always good to take
  • Satellite Navigation and PLB – To navigate or send a distress signal
  • Handheld weather station – To know the current weather situation
Survival Hiking Gear

Extra Survival Gear for Colder Weather

Sometimes, you need extra hiking survival gear to make it through the colder months. This gear would go great on top of the recommended gear above.

  • Thermal blanket – Lightweight but will keep you warm when you need it the most.
  • Extra layers, socks, neck gaiter – Insulated spandex running tights and shirts work great because they’ll keep you warm and are extremely lightweight. Get wool socks.
  • Hand warmers – The air-activated ones will add heat when you’re covered up with your blanket or sleeping bag
  • Emergency sleeping bag – Sometimes, it’s worth the extra weight
  • Waterproof fire starter kit – Make a fire in any weather
  • Stormproof matches – They work well
  • Tarp – Emergency shelter using paracords and sticks


First Aid Kit

If you need ideas for survival gear for your first aid kit, these ideas may help you.

  • Antibiotics – For infections
  • Anti-diarrhea pills – To prevent dehydration
  • Antihistamines – For allergies and stings
  • Anti-inflammatory pills – For pain
  • Quick Clotting Agent – For severe lacerations
  • Splints – For emergencies
  • Blister bandages – For discomfort
  • Irrigation syringe – For cleaning wounds
  • Medical gloves – To be safe
  • Shears – For cutting through clothing
  • Ibuprofen/Tylenol – For pain and infection relief


And that sums up your basic hiking survival gear checklist. If you’ve enjoyed this checklist, please share it with your friends. If you’d like to give me a one-time tip for making this list, please Buy Me a Pizza. Be sure to subscribe to my email list for more hiking tips – it’s free!

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Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!

Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman

Founder, Hiking with Shawn

Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman

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