Do you feel the call of nature and want to explore the wilderness, but feel like a bug-out bag could burn a hole in your pocket?
If you’re a beginning prepper, you have to start somewhere, then these basic survival items will enhance your outdoor experience and exponentially increase your odds of survival.
All while keeping the costs to a minimum.
On the other hand, if you’re an experienced prepper, then it’s likely that you’re already well aware of these items and have them in your bug-out bag.
However, it’s always a good idea to double check.
For both newbie and old salt preppers, this guide will make sure you’ve got the essential bases covered.
1. Water Filter
Water is the essence of life. You can carry on for weeks without food, but without water you won’t last more than a couple days.
What’s even more dangerous when roaming the wild is drinking from a contaminated source of water.
This can make you sick in no time and speed up the dehydration process as your body fights the bad bacteria in your system.
To stay on the safe side of things, a water filtering tool will allow you to drink from water sources like streams and lakes without having to worry about any side effects.
One effective tool that can filter over 1000 gallons of water without the need for replacement is the Life Straw.
This vital tool sells for about $20, a price entirely worth the potentially life-saving support it brings.
It has a microfiltration membrane that removes 99.9% of water-specific bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella) and 99.9% of water parasites, such as giardia and cryptosporidium).
And since the Earth is dealing with a plastic crisis, the Life Straw is also effective at removing microplastics down to 1 micron.
With this item in your bug-out bag, you can rest assured that you won’t have to deal with dehydration or any waterborne diseases during your travels.
2. Fire Starter
But for those of you who don’t want to go through any hassle, there’s an affordable and reliable way to make a fire.
For as low as $15 you can purchase a traditional Ferro rod that will fit in your bag with ease and ignite a fire in the blink of an eye.
To make things even easier, consider adding a few cotton balls soaked in Vaseline for sustained fuel that will have your fire burning strong and fast.
Remember to transport these flame balls inside a Ziplock bag to preserve their contents and avoid making a mess.
3. First Aid Kit
You really shouldn’t venture anywhere without one, especially if you’re just starting out with outdoor exploration and bushcraft.
This common item is available in almost every dollar store, and prices differ based on its complexity.
The good new is that you can find a good first aid kit anywhere between $15 and $20.
It’s advisable to always carry one with you when exploring. Even more, they’re a great addition for your home and vehicle.
If you haven’t already, you should stock up on some first aid kits for when things get rough.
Canned goods occupy the most space inside a prepper’s pantry. They make an excellent crisis meal since their life expectancy can extend up to a decade.
Carrying canned goods in your bug-out bag won’t serve any good, but if a natural crisis arises (flood, blizzard, tornado), you’ll be cut off from the grocery store and will have to switch to canned supplies.
To avoid the risk of searching high and low for your only can opener, I suggest you stock up on more of these, especially since they come so cheap.
Additionally, you can purchase a top of the line can opener for around $12 and carry it in your bug-out bag to help whenever the need arises.
P.S.: Don’t trust the cheapest can openers – they can break after one use!
Last but not least, a decent knife with a firm grip and thick and sturdy blade will go a long way in your travels.
There are just so many things you can do with a knife, so I’ll just point you to a decent model that sells for as low as $16 – the Kershaw 1970.
These five basic items will serve you well if you’re just starting with bushcraft, prepping or survival, or if you’ve been in the game for years.
The list of potential bug-out bag items can go on and on, but you’ll have to decide for yourself what additional items fit your specific needs.