What To Bring To Survive In The Woods?

What To Bring To Survive In The Woods?

If you think survival in the woods is an easy feat, then you are hallucinating. In any survival situation, the first thing you need is to be prepared. There are things that you can prepare to give yourself the peace of mind that you will be able to survive whatever is yet to come in the woods.

What to bring to survive in the woods? Water and treatment supplies, food and processing items, shelter and warmer, fire kit, hygiene items, medical kit, weaponry, communication tools, containers for storage, and survival tools like ropes, flashlights, and navigation equipment.

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Below are the items that you will need to bring in order to survive in the woods. The items are sort into ten different sections for easy checking, so make sure to take note of each of the items.

Aside from that, this article includes tips that will allow you to maximize your survival bag, a tip that every one of you should know.

Essential Items To Bring In The Woods


One of the common prepper mistakes is not bringing water. You need to be always hydrated while you struggle to survive, making water an extremely essential item. Store water—preferably purified—as much as you can and find an abundant water source in the woods beforehand.

Water Container

Prepare a container with one or more liter capacity to carry your water. Bring a canteen water bottle like Jadedragon Military, a stainless steel water bottle with a large mouth (can also be used for boiling and cooking), or hydration backpacks like CamelBak HydroBak.

Water Treatment Supplies

Treat water to make sure your water is safe for drinking. Bring agents that can chemically disinfect water, such as iodine tablets. Portable filters like LifeStraw Personal Water Filter can also do the thing.

If any of these is unavailable, boil water or leave water-filled plastic bottles under the sun for a day or more (solar disinfection).

Food And Processing Items

Survival in the woods would demand lots of physical exertion. You need food to prevent you from gassing out early and helping your body function efficiently every day.

Dry Foods/Canned Goods

Secure nutrient-dense, non-perishable foods like Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs), canned beans, granola bars, and peanut butter.


Sooner or later, the foods you stockpile from groceries will run out, and you will need a renewable source of food. Since you’re in the woods, take advantage of the land (especially if you have secured shelter) to grow your food.

It will give you a long-term solution for starvation. Plus, this will provide you with fresh vegetables and fruits to eat.

Baby Foods

If you have a baby with you, bring milk, cereals, and other foods for babies.

Portable Stove

Bring a lightweight, portable stove like TOMSHOO Camping Stove, to cook your food anywhere.


Have a pan, pot, or portable mess tin for boiling water and cooking. Washable utensils are recommended. Go for collapsible bowls, sporks (spoon and fork combo), and items that don’t take much space in your bag.

Food Containers

Take hold of resealable plastic bags and food-grade buckets with gasket lids for food storage, especially when you grow your own food.

Shelter And Warmth


Unless you learn to make survival shelters out of debris, bring a tarp or a tent. Make sure it’s big enough to accommodate you and your family. If possible, go for lightweight, water-resistant tents like GEERTOP‘s or Kelty Salida’s.

Sleeping items

Unless you want to freeze in the cold, bring a groundsheet, sleeping bag, mat, or blanket to help you stay warm at night. Make sure everyone in your company has its means of warmth.

Fire Kit

Fire can be useful in keeping warmth, boiling water, cooking food, keeping wild animals away, and even signaling for help—secure lighter, matches, or fire steel like Texas Bushcraft Fire Starter to help you start a fire. Do not think of spending your energy in striking stones or spinning sticks.

Clothing And Footwear/Apparel

Clothes And gears

Bring clothes—preferably made from synthetic materials—that are suitable for your climate and blends to your environment. Long-sleeved shirts and pants would protect your skin from the sun’s heat, wild animals, and treacherous terrains.

Also, bring camouflage suits, night vision, rain gear, and life jackets if available. Don’t forget a baby carrier if you will bring a baby with you.


Grab a pair of boots/tennis shoes and socks that comfortably walk/run for miles. Care for your feet!

Medical Kit

  1. First Aid Essentials – Make sure you have supplies to clean your wounds and prevent infections—store essentials like antiseptics, disinfectants, bandages, gauzes, and tapes.
  2. Vitamins And Medication – Bring multi-vitamins and supplements. If you have a specific ailment, keep medications for that.

Hygiene Items

Maintain proper hygiene if you do not want to get sick. Here are the essential hygiene items:

  1. Bath soap
  2. Dishwashing soap/bar soap and sponge
  3. Travel-size toothbrush kit
  4. Toilet paper and wipes


In the woods, you might encounter wild animals and forces, and you need to defend yourself. Carry a weapon that you know how to use. It may be a gun (bring a belt, holster, magazines, and ammunition), a machete, or a large knife.

Consider a stun gun or pepper spray if you want a less deadly self-defense item.

Communication Tools

Set up a communication system with everyone you plan to take in the woods. You have high-tech gadgets like mobile phones and tablets, but there is probably no network signal in the woods. Prepare portable radios like BaoFeng Two-Way Radio instead.

Bring spare batteries, chargers (preferably solar), and power banks if available. Low-tech signaling devices like whistles can be helpful, too. Have a notebook and pen where you write down your whereabouts.


Get a big, durable, water-resistant backpack like Mardingtop Molle Hiking Backpacks, where you can store and carry all the essential items. Also, bring additional load-bearing equipment like belts, bandoliers, or chest rigs to help you get your things faster and distribute weights to your body.

Other Survival Tools

  • Ropes – These items are incredibly versatile and useful for many situations like hunting animals, carrying loads (pulley system), and making shelters.
  • Adhesives – Duct tapes and super glue
  • Battery-operated Flashlights – Bring extra batteries, too.
  • Sharp Tools – Be equipped with a lightweight, heavy-duty ax, knife, hatchet, or tomahawks like SOG Tactical Tomahawks to chop woods and dig the ground.
  • Navigation – Bring a compass-like AOFAR Military Compass and a topographical map like Rand McNally 2020 Large Scale Road Atlas to ensure you will not walk around in circles in the woods.

Maximize Your Bag By Reducing Its Weight

Find Alternatives

Be wise when choosing the items that you would bring along. Choose a lightweight and space-saving items. Here are some suggestions you might consider:

  1. Go for MREs instead of canned goods.
  2. Find multipurpose tools like a hobo tool instead of buying separate items like spoon, fork, knife, bottle opener, and corkscrew.
  3. Choose retractable items like collapsible bowls instead of ceramics.
  4. If you’re looking for a container to store water for a long time, get water pouches instead of water bottles.

Learn Skills

A long-term solution for hunger is growing and hunting your food. If you learn these food-gathering skills, you won’t need as many foods to bring in your bag. Moreover, if you know how to make a shelter out of debris, you can exclude tarp or tent and leave more space in your bag.

Be Resourceful

One of the biggest keys to survival is being able to make useful things out of limited and seemingly useless resources. If you’re resourceful enough to come up with a survival plan using as many things in the woods, you won’t need that much supply in your bag.

Related Questions

1. Should I fill my survival bag at maximum?

Though many “preppers” do this to “maximize” your bag, it is also essential to save some room to keep handy items you may find along the way. At least you still have room in your bag if you happen to find an abandoned gear or bunch of fresh fruits that would be very useful in your survival.

2. Why does my survival bag need to be lightweight?

Many survival enthusiasts and experts recommend limiting the weight of a survival bag to 10-25% of the carrier. It is indeed essential to keep it as light as possible so you can comfortably carry it around. As the simple rule says, “Pack what you can carry for miles.”


To conclude, preparedness can help you to be ready for any situation that may come to your way, including survival in the woods. Getting your materials ready can take you far in your survival feat.

On the other hand, preparation is not about how many supplies you have prepared beforehand. But, it is how much you have molded and conditioned yourself.

If you have prepared yourself for a particular situation or any emergency situation, you will be able to walk through, even with limited resources or nothing at hand.