Survival Tools Every Camper Should Own

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You’ve probably heard people talk about survival tools and putting together a first aid kit. You may think you don’t need to because nothing has ever happened to you. 

You may only leave home for a day, and you use caution. But it only takes one time for a disaster to happen. You don’t want to wait for that one time before putting together your own survival kit. Let’s look at what every camper should own.

The Importance of Camping Survival Tools

When you hike or camp in remote areas, it’s very important to have a survival kit.

The wilderness landscape is rugged and beautiful. But it’s also far from emergency help.

Hikers and campers love the connection with nature but should always go prepared should unfortunate or dangerous situations arise.

These include wildlife encounters, hazardous weather, and injuries. Having essential survival tools can save your life and others. 

Where Can You Find Survival Tools?

You can go to the closest Walmart or get on Amazon’s app to find all of the survival tools you need.

You can also go to outdoor stores like REI or Bass Pro Shops, but your standard box store will also have most items you need.

Whenever you start making your kit, keep size and weight in mind. Buy items that serve multiple functions.

Make sure you have a place to carry each tool. If you hike or camp in the backcountry, you have to pack light.

Survival Tools Every Camper Should Own

Although you may never need any of these items, you don’t want to end up without them.

Hopefully, you never need an emergency blanket, but you’ll be glad you have one on hand if weather conditions worsen quickly.

Here are some items to add to your kit when you start putting together your survival tools.


WEYLAND Fire Starting Kit with Flint and Steel - Waterproof Campfire Starter Kit in MOLLE Bag for Camping and Emergency Survival - Incl Magnesium Fire Starter, Firestarter Tinder, Sticks & Fat Rope
  • This Fire Starter Kit makes a perfect addition to an emergency survival kit or bug out bag. Our fire kit includes a...
  • Essentials in this Fire Starting Kit are: magnesium fire starter, fatwood fire starter sticks, fero rod with paracord...

Starting a fire in any weather condition is important. Maybe you need warmth at night, want to cook a meal, or need to signal for help. Always have a firestarter in your survival tool kit.

This firestarter kit packs into a durable, water-resistant nylon MOLLE bag. It includes fatwood fire starter sticks, a Ferro rod with paracord lanyard and striker, and a fat rope stick fire starter.

You’ll also find a char cloth and hemp wick reusable match, fatwood wool tumbleweed, and paraffin wax.

This kit also features many water-resistant items. You can use the flash cotton fire starting tinder wicks, waterproof campfire sticks, and a pocket-sized bellow to keep it going.

Everything you need to create a fire in any weather condition comes included in this kit.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for compact kits to cook over a campfire, here are the 8 Best Campfire Cooking Kits You’ll Actually Use!

a man bending over a wooden fire blowing on the small flame

Rope or Paracord

620 LB Black SurvivorCord Hank, Black Paracord 550 Type III, Military Grade, Heavy Duty Paracord with 3 Survival Strands, Cordage for Camping, with Survival Firestarter.
  • MILITARY GRADE - SurvivorCord is not cheap. It is the original patented Survival Paracord, designed in collaboration...
  • THE ULTIMATE PARACORD - SurvivorCord is the only parachute cord you’re ever going to need. Our 550 paracord can...

You never know when a rope will come in handy. But having a durable paracord is even better. You can use it as a firestarter, catch fish or small game, and rig up an antenna should you ever need help. You can use it to tie things down or as a safety line as well.

This 620-lb tensile strength paracord includes a single transparent, high-strength mono-filament fishing line.

It also has a waterproof, twisted jute fiber strand and a 30 AWG metallic alloy multiple-purpose wire. And Titan offers 21 different colors from which to choose.

It’s stronger and more functional than other paracords.

Tarp or Emergency Blanket

Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets + Bonus Space Blanket - Compact & Insulated for Cold Weather - Designed for NASA, Outdoor Camping, Survival, First Aid Car Kit - Army Green, 4 Pack
  • Effectively reflects & retains heat: engineered with advanced dual-sided aluminized mylar technology, these thermal...
  • Portable design for any adventure: built with military-grade 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar - its ultra-compact...

You can use an emergency blanket as protection from wind, rain, or snow. These blankets retain 90% of your body heat to keep you warm until help arrives.

You can use a tarp to create an awning for shelter or as an emergency signal. You can keep an emergency blanket in your car’s glove compartment if you get stranded and have to wait for hours for help.

This four-pack means protection for multiple people. These dual-sided aluminized mylar blankets are windproof, rainproof, and snowproof.

The military-grade 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar material is durable and lightweight, weighing only 2 oz. Each blanket measures 52” x 82”.

A woman sitting with her back to the camera with a silver emergency blanket wrapped around her, one of the important survival tools on our list


GearLight 2Pack LED Headlamp - Outdoor Camping Head Lamps with Adjustable Headband - Lightweight Battery Powered Bright Flashlight Headlight with 7 Modes and Pivotable Head and Red Light
  • SUPER BRIGHT - Experience powerful hands-free LED camping lights that generate a brilliant, long-lasting beam with...
  • ADJUSTABLE COMFORT - The removable, washable, and adjustable headband on this LED headlamp ensures a comfortable fit for...

Headlamps are great accessories to keep your hands free while hiking or camping. When setting up in the dark or getting back to your campsite at dusk, having a headlamp to light your way is important for your safety.

You can keep yourself safe from walking straight toward a wild animal or getting too close to an edge. Don’t forget to add this survival tool to your camping kit.

The adjustable headband of this headlamp means both kids and adults can use it. Featuring over 10 hours of use in low mode and a 45-degree moveable head.

This GearLight headlamp will provide the light you need at any angle. The red light option helps protect night vision and has two strobe intensities. The white light option has three brightnesses and one strobe intensity.

You certainly want to add at least one of these weather-resistant and shockproof headlamps to your survival kit.

First Aid Kit

Surviveware Comprehensive Premium First Aid Kit Emergency Medical Kit for Travel Camping Gear, Survival Kits, Home Essentials and Outdoor Emergencies - Medium, Black
  • SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS: 100+ first aid supplies, 9 high quality survival essentials including premium knife, multi-function...
  • LABELLED FIRST AID KIT COMPARTMENTS: Labelled and organized inner compartments make it easy to find what you need in the...

A first aid kit should be the first item you add to your survival tools. Hikers and campers should always have a first aid kit easily accessible.

No one plans on getting hurt when enjoying the outdoors. But having bandaids, gauze pads, burn creams, alcohol pads, and such for small emergencies can keep you healthy.

This first aid kit has everything you need with more than 150 pieces. It includes safety pins, scissors, wet wipes, gloves, tweezers, and more.

Some tools work for general purposes like cutting a fishing wire or slicing wood chunks for a fire. The bag only weighs 3 lbs and measures 12” x 8” x 6”, so it won’t take up a lot of space.

View of a first aid kit and survival tools for a camping trip

Emergency Whistle

LuxoGear Emergency Whistles with Lanyard Safety Whistle Survival Shrill Loud Blast for Kayak Life Vest Jacket Boating Fishing Boat Camping Hiking Hunting Rescue Signaling Kids Lifeguard Plastic 2 Pack
  • SUPER LOUD survival whistle: double tubes emergency whistle, high pitched powerful noise maker with dual sound chambers,...
  • PEALESS DESIGN means no moving parts, nothing to obstruct sound, and nothing to jam, break or freeze. Lightweight and...

Emergency sleeping bags, hiking backpacks, and life vests sometimes come equipped with emergency whistles. This is because a whistle is so important when adventuring in remote areas.

If you need help, anyone within a mile of your location can hear the shrill sound of a whistle. Other backpackers know that sound means someone is in trouble.

The ABS plastic construction creates a durable and waterproof product. Whether you’re fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, or enjoying any other outdoor activity, you can easily find a belt loop, backpack, or life vest to attach this whistle to.

Or you can simply wear it around your neck. The 120db sound will travel over a mile away to alert others that you need assistance. Don’t leave home without an emergency whistle.

Keep in Mind: Looking to make RV living easier? These 25 Products will do exactly that!

Navigation Tools

AOFAR AF-4074 Military Compass Lensatic Sighting-Multifunctional, Fluorescent, Waterproof and Shakeproof with Inclinometer and Carrying Bag for Camping, Hiking, Hunting
  • Durable and Compact: Durable military metal compass. Thermoelastic liquid-filled capsule with floating luminous dial....
  • Unique Design: Luminous magnet arrow and dail, aiming line, magnifier viewer, tripod connection, gradienter,...

Should you get lost, a compass will help you find your way back to your campsite. It may also help get you to safety or help you identify your location if you need emergency aid.

GPS devices and cell phones may not have service or may run out of battery. Include a compass in your survival tools and learn how to use it.

Available in camouflage or black, this military compass measures 3.1” x 1.8” x 4.3” and can easily fit in the palm of your hand.

Various functions include a floating compass dial with a 360-degree scale, an adjustable prism lens, and a clinometer, enabling you to measure height and slopes.

It is waterproof and shake-proof, so you know it will be reliable no matter the conditions.

Survival tools that include a map, compass, knife, and rope all on a table

Weather Protection

Swiss Safe Emergency Rain Ponchos (3-Pack), Reusable Mylar Poncho for Men, Women, Kids, Adults + Emergency Gold Thermal Blanket for Camping, Hiking, & Outdoors (Dual-Sided: Army Green & Orange)
  • EMERGENCY USE: Complete protection from Rain, Wind, Snow, Heat, Cold, & Extreme Conditions.
  • HEAVY DUTY MYLAR: Military-grade heavy-duty 26-micron Mylar resists tears & rips. Fully reusable.

An emergency blanket or sleeping bag can also double as weather protection. But they’re designed more for stationary use.

If you need to keep moving, having a poncho on-hand will improve your experience. Plus, a poncho can protect your backpack and gear from the elements.

This three-pack comes in six different colors and has military-grade heavy-duty 26UM Mylar.

This material is tearproof, durable, and reusable. It also retains 90% of your body heat to keep you warm in colder temperatures.

The universal fit means everyone in your party will have protection. In addition, Swiss Safe provides a 100% guarantee or your money back.

Multitool or Swiss Army Knife

LEATHERMAN, Signal, 19-in-1 Multi-tool for Outdoors, Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Survival, Durable & Lightweight EDC, Made in the USA, Grey/Yellow
  • A Leatherman for Everyone: For the last 40 years, Leatherman has been empowering millions to conquer the expected and...
  • Engineered to Withstand: From our Portland, Oregon factory and backed by our 25-year warranty, our multi-tools are built...

A multi-tool or Swiss army knife may be the most expensive item in your survival kit, but it’s not one you should leave out.

It’s well worth the investment to buy a heavy-duty one instead of packing eight to 10 different tools. A multitool saves space and weight with an all-in-one design.

Most include pliers, wire cutters, knives, a saw, hammer, bottle and can openers, etc. You never know what kind of tool you’ll need.

This Leatherman has 19 tools. It also includes a fire-starting Ferro rod, 420HC combo blade, and emergency whistle.

As it only measures 4.5”, you can fit it in your pocket or a hiking backpack or tackle box compartment.

Plus, you can access it with one hand, which may come in handy if holding back a tree branch or securing a rope. Leatherman provides a 25-year warranty on this product.

Safety Tip: Do you know how to properly drive in fog? When driving in fog, here are a few things you should always do.

A swiss army knife with all of its tools open on a table

Multi-purpose Camping Shovel

Rhino USA Survival Shovel w/Pick - Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Military Style Entrenching Tool for Off Road, Camping, Gardening, Beach, Digging Dirt, Sand, Mud & Snow. (Survival Shovel)
  • AMERICAN OWNED, FAMILY OPERATED - Join the Rhino Family & Support a USA based Father/Son Business!
  • ULTIMATE MULTITOOL - Fire Starter, Whistle, Bottle Opener, Saw, Hoe, Fish Scaler + More All-In-One

Finally, a camping shovel is another essential item to add to your survival tools. But a multi-purpose shovel is even better.

Having items that you can use for multiple purposes saves space and reduces weight. You can use a multi-purpose camping shovel to dig holes, start a fire, or break a window.

But its main purposes are to dig a place where you can use the bathroom, dig a trench around your tent, or move embers around in a fire.

This survival shovel by Rhino USA comes with a lifetime warranty. So if you bend or break the shovel, you’ll get a replacement at no cost.

The shovel collapses to 7” and extends to 31”. You can also use this product as a bottle opener, saw, hoe, fish scaler, and more. It also comes equipped with a whistle and a serrated knife.

How to Store Your Camping Survival Tools

Now you need to store all of the survival tools you need. You don’t want them damaged or ruined when you need them.

Make sure to get a durable, waterproof container so nothing inside gets damaged. You also want to keep the kit organized.

If you have to spend several minutes finding the tool you need, you may have lost precious time.

You also want to put them in a place you can easily access. Keep them in one or two easy-to-grab bags or containers. 

Preparedness Can Save Lives

Having survival tools with you is essential when exploring the outdoors. The percentage is low of having a life-threatening emergency. However, hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and camping in the backcountry still have many risks. 

In addition to having a survival kit, make sure you have some knowledge of poisonous plants and wild animals in the area. Learn bear safety tips.

Always know where the closest emergency center is and your camping location so that you can effectively communicate with first responders.

Being prepared and having a plan may just save your life. What survival tools will you add to your camping checklist?

Last update on 2024-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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