Survival Backpack: How to Package it

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Understand the importance of a survival backpack

What is a survival backpack?

A survival backpack is an emergency pack designed to provide all of your essential needs for at least the first 72 hours following a disaster. It usually contains groceries, tools, first aid kits, and other essential items that can help you survive in extreme conditions.

Why is a survival backpack important?

The importance of a survival backpack stems from the need to be prepared for emergency situations. In the event of a natural disaster, prolonged power outage, or sudden survival situation, the ability to remain self-sufficient and meet your own needs can mean the difference between life and death.

What should an effective survival backpack contain?

The composition of your survival backpack may vary depending on your specific needs, the environment you find yourself in and the nature of the possible disaster. However, here are the essential items that every survival backpack should contain:
1. Water and water purifiers: It is recommended to carry at least three liters of water per day per person, and water purifiers for situations where you need to make water drinkable.
2. Food : Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods, such as energy bars, pemmican or freeze-dried meals.
3. Survival tools: A multi-purpose knife, compass, survival blanket, lighter or matches.
4. A first aid kit: Including bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers.
5. Change of clothing and protective elements: To protect you from bad weather.
6. Hygiene items: Such as soap, toilet paper, bath towels.

Choosing the Right Backpack for Survival

There are many types of survival backpacks available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing your bag, it’s important to consider both its ability to hold all of your supplies and its durability. Among the most recognized brands, we find 5.11 Tactical, Osprey And The North Face. Remember, a durable and reliable backpack is an investment that can save your life.

Understand this, a survival backpack is more than just a “kit”. It is your guarantee of security and autonomy in the event of an unforeseen situation. Preparing it well and keeping it on hand can give you unprecedented peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared for the unexpected.

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Essential items to include in a survival backpack

Water and means of purification

Water is the most important element for survival. Without it, a person can succumb to dehydration in just a few days. It is therefore imperative to include drinking water in your survival backpack. However, water weighs around one kilogram per liter, which can quickly weigh down your bag. It is therefore just as crucial to carry a means of water purification, such as purification tablets or even better, a water purification straw like the LifeStraw.


Food is the second essential item in your survival bag. The ideal is to have foods that do not take up much space, weigh little, have a long shelf life and provide a lot of energy. Energy bars, beef jerky, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are perfect examples of this type of food.

Shelter and warmth

Emergency shelter is extremely important to protect you from the elements. A survival tarp, also called a survival blanket or thermal blanket, is an essential item to include in your bag. This type of blanket is lightweight, compact and designed to reflect and retain up to 90% of body heat. The brand Survive Outdoors Longer provides excellent survival coverage.

First aid kit

A first aid kit is another essential item in a survival bag. Be sure to include dressings, bandages, disinfectants, essential medications and immobilization equipment. The brand Adventure Medical Kits offers well-packaged and compact essential kits.

Survival tools

A good survival knife, strong rope, a collapsible shovel and a reliable way to make a fire are some of the basic survival tools you should have in your bag. Waterproof matches, lighters and fire starters are all good choices for starting a fire. The survival knife Morakniv is a reliable and durable choice.

Means of communication and orientation

Finally, you should always have a means of emergency communication and navigation, such as a whistle, signaling mirror, satellite phone or personal emergency beacon. A compass and map of the area are also essential. A reliable choice for the compass would be the Suunto MC-2.

Pack carefully

So, we have covered all the essential items to include in a survival bag. These are basic necessities, but remember that every situation and person is unique. You may need to adjust this list based on your own needs and situations. The key is to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. A well-packed survival backpack can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation.
Always refer to this list when preparing your survival backpack. Preparation and knowledge are the keys to survival. Stay safe and always be prepared!

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Techniques for effectively packing your survival backpack

Choosing the right backpack

Before you even think about filling it, you need to choose the right backpack. A survival bag must be solid, robust and offer good storage capacity. Brands like Osprey Or The North Face offer technical bags adapted to survival in the wild. Also consider choosing a bag that has several compartments for better organization of your equipment.

Know your carrying capacity

It is important to know your carrying capacity so as not to overload your backpack and tire yourself unnecessarily. As a general rule, it is advisable that the weight of your bag does not exceed 20% of your body weight.

Opt for survival essentials

Your backpack should contain the survival essentials that are:

  • A first aid kit: bandages, disinfectant, sterile compresses, etc.
  • An item for making a fire: lighters, matches, etc.
  • A Swiss army knife or multi-tool pliers
  • A signaling element: whistle, signaling mirror, etc.
  • Change of clothes adapted to the climate and season
  • Long-life food
  • A water filter or water purification tablets
  • Emergency shelter: tarpaulin, ultra-light survival tent, etc.

Organize your bag efficiently

An effectively packaged survival backpack is one where everything is in its place and objects are easily accessible. So, you can opt for the three zone rule:

  1. Bottom area: This is where you place heavy items and those you rarely use like the sleeping bag or emergency shelter.
  2. Middle area: this is where you position items that are a little less heavy and used more frequently. For example, a change of clothes or your food stash.
  3. Top area: this area is dedicated to light objects that you need to be able to grab quickly, such as the first aid kit, the water filter or the Swiss army knife.

By following these organizational rules, you can be sure of being able to quickly access your equipment when needed.
Packing your survival backpack is therefore a task that requires thought and organization. Remember that the most important thing is to adapt to your needs and your environment to increase your chances of survival.

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Maintain and update your survival backpack

Maintaining your survival backpack

One of the first things to do is to keep your backpack clean and in good condition. A dirty or torn bag can affect the functionality of your tools and the bag itself.
This involves:

  • Inspect your bag regularly for tears or damage.
  • Empty all compartments and clean them with a damp cloth.
  • Wash individual items according to the manufacturer’s instructions, such as water filters or kitchen utensils.

Evaluate and reevaluate your equipment

It is essential to re-evaluate your equipment regularly to ensure everything is functional and relevant to your needs. Some items may become obsolete or damaged, requiring replacement.
This could include:

  • Test all equipment periodically to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Replace items that have a shelf life, such as first aid kits and food rations.
  • Research the latest products available in the market, such as Tact Bivvy 2.0 of Survival Frog which can replace an old sleeping bag.

Reorganize your survival backpack

Storing your items is also crucial, as it can affect your ability to quickly access tools when you need them in a survival situation.

  • Place emergency items (survival blanket, flashlight, whistle) in an easily accessible pocket.
  • Use zippered pockets or dividers to organize your gear.
  • Maximize space by using multifunctional items, such as the 5-in-1 emergency utensils from SE which includes a can opener, a bottle opener, a ruler, an adjustable wrench(!) and a saw scraper.

Adapt your survival backpack to your personal needs

Finally, remember that your survival backpack must be adapted to your personal needs. This involves taking into account factors such as your health, where you live, or the weather conditions you may experience.
This could include:

  • Pack specific medications and medical supplies if you have specific health conditions.
  • Include navigation tools if you live in the woods or remote territory.
  • Pack appropriate weather gear, like warm clothing for cold climates, or rain jackets for humid areas.

Keeping your survival backpack in good condition and up to date can make all the difference during a survival situation. By following these steps, you will ensure that you are equipped and ready to respond to any emergency situation that may arise.

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