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13 Camping Products You Need to Survive

Before you head out for that next outdoor adventure, here are 13 camping survival products you should be sure to pack up and take with you.

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Filtration via

Water Filtration System

Don’t get stuck in the woods without water. This mini water filtration system ($20) fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces. It removes 99.99999 percent of all bacteria and protozoa to ensure you won’t get sick on the trail. You’ll wish you knew these 8 camping hacks earlier.

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Fire Starter

Matches are great until they get wet. Having trusty fire starters ($14) that light even when wet will ensure you’ll survive the cold and fight off any nearby predators come nightfall. “It sparks up pretty well, and it’s lighter than my other flint and steel combination I own. I’m using this one from now on,” one buyer said. Make sure you know these 10 major grilling safety mistakes.

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Axe via

Hand Axe and Saw

Having a small hand axe or saw can make getting through a survival situation a bit easier, as you’ll have a way to cut down branches for firewood or make a shelter. This hand axe and saw ($20) is lightweight and comes with a plastic case. “Handled occasional chopping and sawing off branches up to an inch in diameter pretty well, no breakage of any kind. Reasonably sharp out of the box, easily sharpens with a file. Overall inexpensive starter axe/saw combo, functional as a light-duty camping tool,” said one buyer. Keep food cold while camping with these tips.

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When the sun goes down, you’ll want to make sure you can see as complete darkness can make even the most experienced campers disoriented. This headlamp ($11) has five light settings and is water-resistant and the battery lasts for days. It also allows you to go hands-free, unlike flashlights. These are the 28 best foods to bring when you go camping.

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Compass via


While the GPS on your phone is a great tool, a compass is a great camping survival item to have on hand in case you need to help navigate your way home safely. This multifunctional military tactical compass ($24) features a fluorescent light so you can read data at night. It’s also waterproof and shake-proof. “I like this product for my uses of camping and hiking. I bought the camo design. I find that it is well-made and accurate. After exposure to light for a couple of minutes it will glow in the dark,” said one buyer.

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First Aid Kitvia

First Aid Kit

Never head into the woods without a first aid kit. A camping survival first aid kit should be light, but also contain items such as gauze, tweezers, antiseptic and aspirin or ibuprofen. This first aid kit ($16) contains 299 essential first aid supplies and comes in a clear plastic case. Here are 10 first aid remedies that use pantry staples.

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Waterproof Poncho

Make sure to include a waterproof poncho with your camping survival gear. This poncho ($16) will keep you dry and has a hood with a cord adjuster to keep the rain out of your face. It’s lightweight so you can pack it in with the rest of your supplies. It also has eyelets on the hem for use as a shelter or groundsheet. “It’s breathable as a poncho and fairly easy to set up as a tarp if you know what you’re doing. Mine comes in at 8.4 ounces. Definitely a good choice for a budget rain gear/shelter combo,” said one buyer.

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Emergency Whistlevia

Emergency Whistle

Include an emergency whistle in your camping survival gear in case you get lost. This whistle ($9) provides up to 150 decibels so it can reach much further than your voice alone. The package includes two whistles with key ring and two carabiners and lanyards. “Excellent quality, extremely lightweight and compact. Do not have to worry about getting damaged, very sturdy. Piercingly loud. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the extras (carabiners and lanyards). The lanyards were better quality than much of what you find in stores,” said one buyer.

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Survival Cord/Ropevia

Survival Cord/Rope

A cord or rope is an important survival item as it will help you climb steep trails, tie bundles of firewood and even drag any animal you’ve hunted and killed. This survival cord ($28) was originally designed at the request of special forces in Afghanistan and includes cords for fishing line, jute tinder to quickly start fires and a multi-purpose wire. “I have been teaching primitive and emergency survival skills for around 18 years now. The Titan Survivor cord is exactly what I have been looking for as it replaces four different items that I had to carry before,” said one buyer. These are the best no-cook camping foods for your next big adventure.

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Emergency Blanketvia

Emergency Blanket

An emergency blanket will help you retain body heat in survival situations. This emergency blanket ($16) is waterproof, windproof and moistureproof to help you stay dry in damp, wet, rainy and cold environments. It can also work as a ground cover or sleeping bag liner. “From the natural disaster you didn’t expect, to the camping trip gone wrong, the multitude of various uses these blankets can provide is abundant, to say the least. Love that they can be cut, arranged, and utilized to individual needs and scenario,” said one buyer.

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Signal Mirrorvia

Signal Mirror

If you happen to get lost in the woods, a signal mirror will help search and rescue helicopters spot you. Store it in your first aid kit to protect it from getting damaged and so you can find it easily. This signal mirror ($13) aims reflected light flashes up to 25 miles away. “Nice little signal mirror. Accurate aiming. A little small for use as an actual mirror, but would work in a pinch,” said one buyer. Don’t want to rough it in the woods? These 32 items make for awesome glamping.

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Survival Knife

A reliable knife should be added to every camping survival kit. A survival knife will allow you to sharpen sticks, cut strings and skin any animals, if needed for food. This knife ($30) has a bottle opener and glass breaker, along with leather sheath for carrying. “Very impressive look and quality. The knife is sturdy, has good balance and good grip. The sheath made from real leather. The knife arrived with a razor-sharp blade. Will come very handy during camping trips. Well worth the money,” said one buyer. Here are 8 ways you’re abusing your kitchen knives without realizing.

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Dry Backpackvia

Dry Backpack

Carry all your camping survival gear items in a dry backpack ($150). This model is waterproof and can be used as a flotation device and to keep clothing and gear dry. It is the perfect 40L (not too big, not too small) size and has six pouches to let you store three days of food and water, along with any other items you may need. Here’s our complete family camping checklist (with a free printable).

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Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.