Basic Survival Kit

Basic Survival Kit

Weather conditions vary greatly in Australia and depending on location or the season will determine the type of survival kit you develop.

Below is a basic survival kit list covering many (but not all) of the things you’ll find useful in the event you encounter and unexpected overnight stay in the bush:

  • Before setting off always advise someone (family or friend) where you intend exploring and provide an approximate return time/date
  • Shirt – long or short sleeve preferably robust with many pockets – Work wear style is ideal
  • Shorts or trousers – preferably robust with many pockets – Cargo style is ideal

Note: If shorts are worn it’s a good idea to include a pair of gaiters to provide some lower leg protection against scratches from prickly vegetation, these may also provide some level (albeit minimal) protection against snake bite

  • A quality leather belt that can be used for various tasks other than keeping your pants up
  • Quality pair of comfortable, supportive hiking boots
  • A broad brimmed hat
  • Quality socks – (wool or cotton)... And a change of socks in the event the ones you are wearing get wet
  • Something warm and compact to retain upper body warmth overnight – A hoodie is ideal
  • If the terrain you are exploring is uneven, rocky or steep a hiking pole or similar can help maintain balance and reduce the risk of a fall
  • An insect net
  • Insect repellent
  • A rain poncho to keep you as dry as possible
  • A backpack/combination hydration camelback bladder
  • A quality compact first aid kit that includes a compression bandage
  • A compact water filtration/purification device – e.g. Life Straw type
  • A robust one (1) litre water bottle (aluminium type is ideal because it resists cracking, splitting or being punctured if dropped and a method to secure it to a belt or backpack (e.g. Carabiner type clasp)
  • A cigarette lighter (BIC type or similar) or some another means to light a fire – e.g. waterproof matches or flint and steel... Ensure any/all of these items are suitably secured so they cannot accidentally ignite
  • Flashlight, preferably an LED type, lightweight and compact in size and spare batteries (alkaline type) to suit
  • Topographical map of the area you are exploring especially if you intend venturing off defined tracks
  • A compass and the knowledge to proficiently use it in conjunction with topographical maps
  • A length of Para-Cord (a 5 metre length bundled up into a small package) or other robust light weight rope, twine or string that can be used to secure firewood for carrying or aid in the construction of an overnight shelter – e.g. lash/tie things together
  • A quality robust knife with a blade not less than 100mm (4 inches) in length – A folding/pocket type is adequate but a fixed handle/blade type knife, c/w sheath is more practical
  • A pocket survival hand operated type chain saw to aid in cutting wood... Ensure this device protected so it cannot damage/cut other items
  • A small signalling mirror (about the size of a beauty compact) or equivalent shinny reflective material (e.g. a piece of polished stainless steel approximately 100x100x2mm (4 inch square x 1/8 inch thick)
  • A loud lightweight plastic whistle, c/w lanyard
  • A survival/emergency space blanket
  • A few energy/muesli bars, fruit (orange/apple/banana), a sandwich, packet of chewing gum will help keep hunger at bay
  • A GPS (Garmin, Magellan etc.)... and spare batteries (alkaline type) to suit

Note:  For convenience it makes sense to match the battery type/size of all your other electronic devices

  • A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

Note:  The last two items on this list are by far the most expensive but both greatly improve your chance of survival and/or being found in the event becoming lost or injured and are unable to walk

All of the above will comfortably fit into a small to medium backpack, doesn’t weigh that much and will make an unexpected overnight stay in the bush more comfortable but may even save your life.

Back to blog