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Q:
What's everybody's favorite (or most useful) piece of survival gear?

from T-Mac on 03.24.11

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Answers (20)

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from James balrd 3/20/2014 at 10:53am

My favorite is a good full tang knife about 7inches so you can cut trees down for fire wood.You can cut wood for a shelter. Use as a striker for a magnesium fire starter cut rope,spear fish and notch wood for snares.

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from stoneageliving 3/16/2014 at 12:36am

knife is #1 hands down for me at leat, i love knives and been carrying them eversince i could walk, i heard other people saying this or that but knife is the one, you know what they say: nature is you survival kit and your brain is your survival tool, the cardinal rule is to avoid getting in bad situation in the first place, a bit of caution and care goes a long way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tioughnioga 8/27/2013 at 08:46am

The stuff I make or assemble myself: Bottle-cap candles, various kinds of tinder-fuel combinations, and all the oddball stuff that doubles as survival gear (guitar strings for snare-wire, for example). They're my favorite because survival kits can save your life in two ways: One, in the woods; and two, at home when you just need some stress relief. Tinkering with my kit is right up there with cleaning a gun or making fishing lures.

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from NightWolf 7/30/2012 at 09:54am

I asked my kids and they both said "Daddy"
I agree with most everyone on here.
I always have a Leatherman, a Zippo, and a Swiss army knife

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from TheMaster 5/28/2012 at 02:52pm

a knife

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from Ishi 12/27/2011 at 03:02pm

Compass. I want to get home as soon as possible. Before dinner if possible.

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from Bob Hansen 10/5/2011 at 02:36pm

Favorite AND useful ONE piece of gear? That would have to be a good, sharp sheath knife. One that could be beaten through larger branches with a chunk of wood, for example, and still perform other duties.

This knife could make fire-making gear, an emergency shelter, be used as a spear, could cut vines or bark/inner bark for cordage, provide firewood, make a deadfall and/or snare (w/cordage), etc.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chapie 6/6/2011 at 02:11am

Can't beat a good all around knife. I've always liked the leatherman multitools for blade, saw, pliers, and tools. Still haven't found a fixed blade sheath knife that I like. A big (Army issue) poncho, some 550 chord, water, snacks, first aid, small flashlight, and spare ammo are what I carry when in the woods.

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from KBear 6/1/2011 at 02:17am

Paracord.
Can be used to make shelter, firebow for fire, snares for food,unwoven to a few threads for fishing line, tie down bandaging, and if needed, can be used to hang a water bottle over a fire(which should be metal, so water can be boiled in it).I'm sure i missed other uses, but you can never have enough of it. A knife is real handy too.

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from 25-06 guy 5/23/2011 at 09:12pm

My leatherman and a firestarter. But knowledge is the best.

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from alexbrown 4/19/2011 at 07:17pm

my hunting knife

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from Bob Hansen 4/19/2011 at 04:23pm

NOTE: if you carry a lighter as a survival item, be SURE it's not a "plastic" one that has a see-through reservoir. My experience is that fail too many times after just limited use, after as few as six flicks of the spark wheel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from eli 4/11/2011 at 11:26am

A well made sharp knife, folder or fixed blade, are my choices. Each has it's place and a Swiss Army or Schrade Tool are two of my favore folders.
A full tang, single edge knife, with a blade from 4 to 5 inches, Scandinavian style, with a long, straight back, and single bevel, with a birch bark or leather handle would be my choice for dedicated 'survival' knife.

An Air Force airman's survival knife or K-Bar with a non-serrated blade would also serve well.

A small, 600 grit diamond sharping plate or small, rounded diamond 'steel' kept with a knife sheath are also great to have on hand.

A few feet of bradded picture wire ducktaped onto the back of a leather sheath come in hand for small animal snares, likewise, if your sheath has a top flap, like a SAK or multitool does, a few hooks taped inside the flap could be useful.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Warmil 4/10/2011 at 01:43pm

My Zippo and Benchmade are comforts but nothing will replace what survialmanjgb said, "knowledge is the most important."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shemp54 4/4/2011 at 03:37pm

A Gerber Multi-Tool i bought about 5 years ago USA made it even has 2 small sockets sets, also some strike anywhere matches about 100 in an old medicine bottle. And a Old Timer hunting knife it's old but nice.

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from survialmanjgb 3/27/2011 at 03:34pm

knowledge is the most important, without that you die

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods 3/24/2011 at 06:50pm

I always have a pocket knife and a Bic lighter with me even though I don't work in an outdoor environment all the time. I would have to say that some sort of knife would be THE most important survival tool.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa 3/24/2011 at 05:07pm

I always carry a small bottle of nitro tablets for my heart and inside of that a few shortened kitchen matches. The bottle is carried in the same pocket with my knife. The cotton along with the matches in the watertight bottle added to wood shavings made with the knife are my "fire" start kit. The nitro in the bottle is my "kick" start kit.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from DivineStrake 3/24/2011 at 03:04pm

I never go anywhere without a firestarter of some sort. Usually it's a Swedish Firetsteel or UST Blastmatch. Tossing a space blanket or emergency bivy from AMK in my pack is a no-brainer as well. As you can probably tell, I don't like to be cold.

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from Smitty 3/24/2011 at 09:07am

Definitely my Leatherman tool followed closely by a PowerLighter (from Brunton) and a SteriPen water purifier.

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from Smitty 3/24/2011 at 09:07am

Definitely my Leatherman tool followed closely by a PowerLighter (from Brunton) and a SteriPen water purifier.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from DivineStrake 3/24/2011 at 03:04pm

I never go anywhere without a firestarter of some sort. Usually it's a Swedish Firetsteel or UST Blastmatch. Tossing a space blanket or emergency bivy from AMK in my pack is a no-brainer as well. As you can probably tell, I don't like to be cold.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from survialmanjgb 3/27/2011 at 03:34pm

knowledge is the most important, without that you die

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods 3/24/2011 at 06:50pm

I always have a pocket knife and a Bic lighter with me even though I don't work in an outdoor environment all the time. I would have to say that some sort of knife would be THE most important survival tool.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa 3/24/2011 at 05:07pm

I always carry a small bottle of nitro tablets for my heart and inside of that a few shortened kitchen matches. The bottle is carried in the same pocket with my knife. The cotton along with the matches in the watertight bottle added to wood shavings made with the knife are my "fire" start kit. The nitro in the bottle is my "kick" start kit.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheMaster 5/28/2012 at 02:52pm

a knife

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 25-06 guy 5/23/2011 at 09:12pm

My leatherman and a firestarter. But knowledge is the best.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chapie 6/6/2011 at 02:11am

Can't beat a good all around knife. I've always liked the leatherman multitools for blade, saw, pliers, and tools. Still haven't found a fixed blade sheath knife that I like. A big (Army issue) poncho, some 550 chord, water, snacks, first aid, small flashlight, and spare ammo are what I carry when in the woods.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen 10/5/2011 at 02:36pm

Favorite AND useful ONE piece of gear? That would have to be a good, sharp sheath knife. One that could be beaten through larger branches with a chunk of wood, for example, and still perform other duties.

This knife could make fire-making gear, an emergency shelter, be used as a spear, could cut vines or bark/inner bark for cordage, provide firewood, make a deadfall and/or snare (w/cordage), etc.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shemp54 4/4/2011 at 03:37pm

A Gerber Multi-Tool i bought about 5 years ago USA made it even has 2 small sockets sets, also some strike anywhere matches about 100 in an old medicine bottle. And a Old Timer hunting knife it's old but nice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Warmil 4/10/2011 at 01:43pm

My Zippo and Benchmade are comforts but nothing will replace what survialmanjgb said, "knowledge is the most important."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from eli 4/11/2011 at 11:26am

A well made sharp knife, folder or fixed blade, are my choices. Each has it's place and a Swiss Army or Schrade Tool are two of my favore folders.
A full tang, single edge knife, with a blade from 4 to 5 inches, Scandinavian style, with a long, straight back, and single bevel, with a birch bark or leather handle would be my choice for dedicated 'survival' knife.

An Air Force airman's survival knife or K-Bar with a non-serrated blade would also serve well.

A small, 600 grit diamond sharping plate or small, rounded diamond 'steel' kept with a knife sheath are also great to have on hand.

A few feet of bradded picture wire ducktaped onto the back of a leather sheath come in hand for small animal snares, likewise, if your sheath has a top flap, like a SAK or multitool does, a few hooks taped inside the flap could be useful.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen 4/19/2011 at 04:23pm

NOTE: if you carry a lighter as a survival item, be SURE it's not a "plastic" one that has a see-through reservoir. My experience is that fail too many times after just limited use, after as few as six flicks of the spark wheel.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alexbrown 4/19/2011 at 07:17pm

my hunting knife

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NightWolf 7/30/2012 at 09:54am

I asked my kids and they both said "Daddy"
I agree with most everyone on here.
I always have a Leatherman, a Zippo, and a Swiss army knife

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stoneageliving 3/16/2014 at 12:36am

knife is #1 hands down for me at leat, i love knives and been carrying them eversince i could walk, i heard other people saying this or that but knife is the one, you know what they say: nature is you survival kit and your brain is your survival tool, the cardinal rule is to avoid getting in bad situation in the first place, a bit of caution and care goes a long way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from James balrd 3/20/2014 at 10:53am

My favorite is a good full tang knife about 7inches so you can cut trees down for fire wood.You can cut wood for a shelter. Use as a striker for a magnesium fire starter cut rope,spear fish and notch wood for snares.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KBear 6/1/2011 at 02:17am

Paracord.
Can be used to make shelter, firebow for fire, snares for food,unwoven to a few threads for fishing line, tie down bandaging, and if needed, can be used to hang a water bottle over a fire(which should be metal, so water can be boiled in it).I'm sure i missed other uses, but you can never have enough of it. A knife is real handy too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi 12/27/2011 at 03:02pm

Compass. I want to get home as soon as possible. Before dinner if possible.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tioughnioga 8/27/2013 at 08:46am

The stuff I make or assemble myself: Bottle-cap candles, various kinds of tinder-fuel combinations, and all the oddball stuff that doubles as survival gear (guitar strings for snare-wire, for example). They're my favorite because survival kits can save your life in two ways: One, in the woods; and two, at home when you just need some stress relief. Tinkering with my kit is right up there with cleaning a gun or making fishing lures.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write an Answer Your comment (200 characters or less):