Introduction: Survival Basics & Tips

About: Sponsored drift trike rider from Brisbane, making and modifying is how i live. Follow me and i'll follow back :) Instagram @dapper_drifter

Basically this instructable is a guide for what to pack to in preparation for a survival scenario.


This is NOT a professional guide. Neither is it the be all, end all of survival guides. This is simply what I would take as the basic kit in a survival scenario. But you should always take more than you think you will need. For example- I personally would take a flare with me if i was to go out somewhere really isolated, and a larger machete or parang. TAKE THIS ADVICE AT YOUR OWN RISK


First rule of surviving- be prepared.

This means knowing where you are going- what resources are around you, distance to closest populated area and its location, weather reports, etc. And always be sure that someone else knows where you are going and what your itinerary is, and whenever possible let them know how you are going.

Always pack for at least an extra day- this includes food, clothing, and other items that you would consume daily. If something happens one morning, you'll know that you have a back-up in place.

Be aware of risks involved- animals, terrain, etc. This way, you will know what to expect and won't freak out when you run into an obstacle.


Tools are very important. Without them, you don't really stand as much chance of surviving. But always ensure you know how to use your tools, otherwise they are basically paperweights. Here is a BASIC list of what to take:

KNIFE- knives are important when in a survival scenario. They can be used as a defensive weapon (protection from animals), offensive weapon (hunting and such), and as a useful tool for construction, destruction, eating, and much more. Ensure your knife is always clean and sharp, and look after it with your life.

MULTITOOL- These are amazing pieces of gear, and the more complex the better. But so long as you take care of your multitool and keep it safe- it shouldn't let you down.

SCISSORS- These are great, and a small pair are even better. I use them to cut cord, fishing line, even wire. They should always be sharp and cut easily.

CARBINER- These are brilliant for holding and attaching gear to bags and other things. The best option is to take some climbing grade carbiners, as these are made to hold substantial weights.

CREDIT CARD TOOL- These are somewhat useful, and i don't leave home without it. They are fairly cheap on ebay too.


Having a campfire at the end of the day can be a useful tool, and also boosts morale. However, it's a pain when you cannot get one going.

Fires require three things- Fuel, Ignition, and Oxygen. Without any of these- there won't be a fire.

FUEL- There are three main types of fuel for a successful fire: Tinder, Kindling, and the bigger Logs. Tinder is a very fine, easily ignited fuel. I use firelighter shaved into some fine bark to get it going. Always ensure this is kept dry and easily accessible. Kindling is smaller bits of wood such as twigs and small branches. This increases the fire's size easily, and makes it easier to burn the larger logs. The Logs are the main burning material. These burn longer and will provide a steady source of heat.

IGNITION- This is usually in the form of a smaller flame, such as that from a match or lighter, or the spark from a flint and steel. I personally take 2 lighters- a cheap plastic one, and my Zippo lighter. The cheap one acts as a back-up in emergencies when the Zippo doesn't work (rare occasion). And I also pack my flint & steel. This is my absolute emergency firelighter, mainly because I prefer the speed of a lighter. Although matches may be a good idea, I don't take them because they aren't waterproof, and I use a lot of them to do the same job as the lighter would do.

OXYGEN- NEVER light a fire in a cave or somewhere similar. Always ensure there is enough oxygen in the air to light a fire. If you can breathe- your fire will too.

ALWAYS BE FIRE SAFE- don't mess around. Fire can be deadly, or it can save your life. Be responsible, and NEVER let your fire become uncontrollable.


It's always important to have gear that you can use to make more gear out of. Shelters, signals, rafts, sleds, and other amenities are important to surviving comfortably. Always know how to build at least one type of shelter, signal, and raft. Sleds are only necessary if you will be carrying larger loads. Here is a list of the basics that I would pack.

DUCT TAPE- I always take 2 rolls of this stuff. I take a high-visibility roll, and a cheaper roll in a darker colour. The high-vis is for anything which i would use for signalling, or any other attention grabbing construction. The darker roll i use more because it is cheaper and I can use it to break up my form if I am hunting something. Duct tape can be used to fix just about anything.

SUPER GLUE- I usually pack a tube just in case something of mine breaks, and it needs gluing back together. Make sure you wrap the tube in tissues though, as leaks can be horrific.

ZIP TIES- As with duct tape, these are amazing. I love them and always pack some. My friend even fixed his shoe with them!

PARACORD- I always wear some of this around my neck as a necklace/emergency supply. It's strong, light, and extremely useful. Always pack about 10m of it.


It is always important to take some forms of technology with you, even if you are going off-grid on purpose. Here are the three main items I would pack:

TORCH- These are VITAL to survival at night. They act as a deterrent to animals, a signal for help, and a method of illumination for you. I take my JOBY torch every time, as it has a flexible tripod base, and a variable intensity dial. But also pack a smaller handheld torch too, and always ensure there is enough batteries to last your trip PLUS EXTRA

PHONE- This is important for emergencies. It's always vital that you have a form of emergency contact, such as a phone or emergency beacon. Always ensure it is fully charged and you have enough credit to make calls. If you are overseas, ensure you can contact emergency services within the country.

POWER PACK- This acts as an emergency power source for any mobile or other rechargeable device you have. It is recommended that you invest in a well trusted brand, and always keep it fully charged.


First Aid is vital if you become injured during your trip. But always ensure you know what dangers are out there, and be prepared for them as such. Remember to always know what you are doing, and know when you need emergency services. As well as some medications, these are the three main things I would pack as first aid:

ABSORBENT DRESSING- I take a larger section that i can cut into strips and hold in place with duct tape. This should be kept in a sterile packaging until needed, and only used when necessary.

OINTMENT/DISINFECTANT- I use this to clean a wound before applying a dressing to it, or to cover a smaller wound instead of using a dressing. The brand I use is an Australian brand (I live in Brisbane), and is a natural product made from papaya. It varies on your personal preference however, so take your pick.

ALCOHOL WIPES- Again, these are a way of disinfecting a wound. Always pack a few- KFC usually give out some for free if you're really going to be cheap. These also work brilliantly for lighting fires.

If you don't like the idea of using duct tape as a bandage- buy a nice large roll of bandage material. This can be very useful for other purposes such as wrapping a knife handle to make it more comfy, or a sling for a broken arm, or a tourniquet for a more serious injury (where you would definitely try to get emergency services).


Camp within your limits- don't go camp up the side of Mount Everest if it's your first time camping. Always stick to what you feel comfortable with, and only gradually begin to challenge yourself more.

Practice your techniques- work on your fire lighting skills, learn to hunt, build shelters in your backyard. Anything you do will assist you in your endeavor.

Keep fit- Even when you are out camping, keep active and fit. Exercise regularly and eat healthy. Don't pack junk food for a camping trip- you will do damage to your body.

Take company- If you can help it, take a friend you know will be an asset in a survival scenario. The last thing you want is to be alone with rain pouring and night falling while you build a shelter in a hurry. Companionship is vital to human survival- it's proven that we can't live without interaction. So when faced with a survival situation, it's even more important. Plus, you can carry more gear together and be more prepared.

Find something to do- Never just sit around and do nothing. You should always be keeping your mind active and working when in a survival scenario, otherwise you'll just give up. Meditate, take a book, walk around and study nature, build something useful. If you get bored, your survival rate drops because you start to give up.

And ALWAYS be safe. Don't go messing around with wild animals, or climbing trees that you don't have to, or anything dumb like that. Surviving is a serious thing, and you should never take un-necessary risks.

Thanks for reading my first ever instructable. Hope you enjoy it and may it come to good use for you.

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