Essential Items for Military Survival Kits

Whether you are a seasoned soldier or a new recruit, having a well-prepared military survival kit is essential for your safety and well-being in any combat situation. In this article, we will explore the must-have items that every military survival kit should include. From emergency food rations to a multi-tool for various purposes, these crucial supplies will ensure that you are equipped to handle the challenges that come your way. So, read on to discover the essential items that could potentially save your life in the field.

Clothing and Personal Protection

Essential Items for Military Survival Kits

Military-Grade Uniforms

When it comes to military survival, having the right clothing is crucial. Military-grade uniforms are designed to withstand harsh conditions and provide protection against the elements. These uniforms often feature durable materials that can withstand wear and tear, as well as provide insulation and breathability. They also typically have multiple pockets for storing essential items, making them practical for survival situations.

Tactical Gloves

Tactical gloves are an essential part of any military survival kit. These gloves are designed to provide protection and dexterity, allowing you to perform tasks even in challenging conditions. Whether you need to grip a weapon, set up camp, or perform first aid, tactical gloves offer the necessary hand protection while maintaining flexibility and grip.

Combat Boots

Don’t underestimate the importance of a sturdy pair of combat boots in a survival situation. These boots are designed to withstand tough terrains and provide ankle support, reducing the risk of injuries. Look for boots with a durable sole and waterproof properties to keep your feet dry and protected.

Tactical Vest

A tactical vest is a must-have item for any military survival kit. This vest typically features multiple pockets and pouches, allowing you to carry essential items such as a compass, maps, and emergency supplies. It also provides a convenient way to distribute the weight of your gear, making it easier to move around and stay prepared.

Ballistic Helmet

In high-risk situations, protecting your head is vital. A ballistic helmet offers the necessary head protection against falls, debris, and potential bullet impacts. These helmets are designed to absorb and disperse the impact, reducing the risk of serious head injuries. Always prioritize safety and include a ballistic helmet in your military survival kit.

Eye and Ear Protection

In combat situations, eye and ear protection are of utmost importance. Protective eyewear shields your eyes from debris, dust, and potential hazards that can cause damage. Ear protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, helps protect your hearing from loud noises, sudden blasts, and gunfire. These items are crucial for preserving your senses and ensuring that you can remain alert and responsive in critical situations.

Shelter and Bedding

Lightweight Tent

Having a reliable shelter is essential for surviving in the field. A lightweight tent provides protection against the elements while remaining easy to carry and set up. Look for a tent that is waterproof, durable, and provides adequate space for you and your gear.

Sleeping Bag

A quality sleeping bag is a must-have for comfortable and restful sleep during military survival situations. Look for a sleeping bag that offers insulation and water resistance, keeping you warm even in damp conditions. Consider the temperature ratings and choose a bag that suits the climate you expect to encounter.

Emergency Blanket

An emergency blanket is an excellent addition to any military survival kit. These lightweight and compact blankets are designed to reflect and retain body heat, providing immediate warmth and insulation when needed. In emergency situations, they can also be used as a makeshift shelter or signaling device.

Essential Items for Military Survival Kits

Waterproof Tarp

A waterproof tarp is a versatile item that can serve multiple purposes in a survival situation. It can be used as an additional layer of protection for your tent, a makeshift shelter, or even a ground cover to keep your gear dry. Look for a tarp with reinforced grommets for easy tie-down and durability.

Globo LED Lantern

Having reliable lighting is crucial during the dark hours of the night. The Globo LED Lantern is a compact and lightweight option that provides bright illumination. Its long battery life and durability make it an ideal choice for military survival situations where reliable lighting is essential.

Navigation and Signaling


A compass is a fundamental tool for navigation and orientation. It allows you to determine your direction accurately, even without access to GPS or other electronic devices. Familiarize yourself with how to use a compass before heading out, and always carry one in your military survival kit.

Map of the Area

A detailed map of the area you will be navigating is vital for planning and staying on track. Study the map beforehand and identify key landmarks, water sources, and potential obstacles. This will help you navigate efficiently and avoid getting lost in unfamiliar territory.

GPS Device

While a compass and map are essential, having a GPS device can provide additional accuracy and convenience. GPS devices allow you to pinpoint your location, track your route, and even mark waypoints. Ensure your GPS device is fully charged and preloaded with relevant maps and waypoints.

Signal Flares

Signal flares can be a lifesaver when it comes to attracting attention in an emergency situation. These brightly colored flares are designed to produce high-visibility signals that can be seen from a distance. Make sure you know how to use signal flares safely and keep them accessible in your military survival kit.


A simple yet effective signaling tool, a whistle can help alert others to your presence or call for help in an emergency. Choose a whistle with a loud and distinct sound that can carry over long distances. Attach it to your backpack or gear where it is easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Fire Starting and Cooking

Waterproof Lighter

A waterproof lighter is an essential tool for starting a fire in wet or damp conditions. Look for a durable and reliable waterproof lighter that can withstand rough handling and extreme temperatures. This will ensure that you can always produce a flame when you need it most.

Firestarter Kit

A firestarter kit is a valuable addition to any military survival kit. These kits often include waterproof matches, tinder, and firestarter rods, providing you with multiple options for starting a fire. Having reliable fire-starting tools is crucial for cooking, generating warmth, and signaling for help.

Essential Items for Military Survival Kits

Portable Stove

A portable stove is a convenient and efficient way to cook food and boil water in the field. Look for a lightweight and compact stove that is compatible with common fuel sources such as propane or butane. Choose a stove with adjustable heat settings for versatile cooking options.

Cooking Pot

A sturdy cooking pot is essential for preparing meals and boiling water. Look for a pot that is lightweight, durable, and has a heat-resistant handle for safe handling. Consider the capacity of the pot, ensuring it is large enough to meet your cooking and hydration needs.

Mess Kit

A mess kit is a compact and organized way to carry essential cooking and eating utensils. These kits often include plates, bowls, utensils, and cups that can be nested together for easy storage. Look for mess kits made of durable materials that are easy to clean and resistant to rust.

Water Procurement and Purification

Water Filter Bottle

A water filter bottle is an essential tool for procuring safe drinking water in the field. These bottles are equipped with built-in filters that remove bacteria, protozoa, and other harmful contaminants from untreated water sources. Look for a water filter bottle with a long filter life and a capacity that meets your hydration needs.

Water Bladder

A water bladder is a convenient and hands-free way to carry large volumes of water. These hydration systems typically consist of a flexible bladder that can be worn like a backpack and a drinking tube for easy access to water. Ensure the bladder is made of durable materials and features a reliable closure mechanism to prevent leaks.

Water Purification Tablets

Water purification tablets are a lightweight and compact alternative for purifying water. These tablets typically contain chemicals such as iodine or chlorine, which effectively kill or neutralize bacteria and viruses. Keep a supply of water purification tablets in your military survival kit as a backup method for treating water.

Collapsible Water Container

Having a collapsible water container is essential for procuring and storing water in the field. These containers are lightweight, foldable, and easy to pack. Look for containers made of food-grade materials and with a capacity that meets your needs. Ensure the container is leak-proof and durable to withstand rugged conditions.

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches are an important addition to your military survival kit. These matches are designed to be weather-resistant and able to ignite even in wet conditions. Having multiple fire-starting options, including waterproof matches, ensures that you can reliably start a fire for warmth, cooking, and signaling.

Food Rations

High-Calorie Energy Bars

High-calorie energy bars are a convenient and long-lasting source of sustenance in survival situations. These bars are specifically designed to provide a high energy density and a balanced mix of nutrients. Look for bars with a long shelf life and compact packaging, making them easy to carry and consume on the go.

Essential Items for Military Survival Kits

MRE (Meals Ready-to-Eat)

MRE, or Meals Ready-to-Eat, are a staple in military survival kits. These meals are designed to provide complete nutrition and are packed with calories to sustain physical activity. Each MRE typically contains an entrée, side dishes, snacks, and a heat source for warming the meal. Having a few MREs on hand ensures you have a reliable source of food when fresh options may not be available.

Canned Foods

Canned foods are another valuable food source for military survival kits. Look for canned meats, fruits, and vegetables that have a long shelf life and are packed with nutrients. Ensure you have a manual can opener or a multi-tool that includes a can opener for easy access to the contents.

Dried Fruits and Nuts

Dried fruits and nuts are lightweight and nutrient-dense snack options for your military survival kit. These snacks provide essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, allowing you to keep your energy levels up in the field. Choose a mix of different fruits and nuts to add variety to your diet.

Food Vacuum Sealer

A food vacuum sealer is a useful tool for preserving perishable foods and extending their shelf life. By removing air and sealing the food in airtight packaging, you can prevent spoilage and maintain the food’s quality for an extended period. This can be particularly beneficial for long-term survival situations or when access to fresh food is limited.

First Aid and Medical Supplies

Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)

An Individual First Aid Kit, or IFAK, is an essential component of any military survival kit. A comprehensive IFAK should include bandages, antiseptics, wound dressings, adhesive tape, and other basic medical supplies. Ensure the kit is compact, organized, and contains supplies to address common injuries and medical emergencies.

Bandages and Gauze

Having an assortment of bandages and gauze is crucial for treating wounds and preventing infections. Include adhesive bandages of various sizes, sterile gauze pads, and adhesive tape in your military survival kit. These supplies can be used to dress wounds, control bleeding, and provide protection against contamination.

Antibacterial Ointment

Antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin, is an essential item for treating minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Applying a thin layer of ointment to the affected area can help prevent infections and promote healing. Include a small tube or packet of antibacterial ointment in your first aid kit for immediate wound care.


Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are important for managing pain and reducing inflammation. These medications can provide temporary relief from headaches, muscle aches, and minor injuries. Keep a small supply of painkillers in your first aid kit, ensuring they are properly labeled and within their expiration date.

Field Surgical Kit

While not essential for every military survival kit, a field surgical kit can be valuable in certain situations. These kits typically include sterile instruments, sutures, and other medical supplies for more advanced wound management and surgical procedures. If you have the necessary training and experience, and anticipate potential injuries requiring such intervention, a field surgical kit might be worth considering.

Tools and Equipment

Essential Items for Military Survival Kits


A multi-tool is a versatile and compact tool that combines various functions into one. Look for a multi-tool that includes pliers, a knife, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and other commonly used tools. A multi-tool can be incredibly handy for repairs, building shelters, or performing other tasks requiring a range of tools in a compact form.

Survival Knife

A survival knife is an essential tool for wilderness survival. Whether you need to cut rope, prepare food, or defend yourself, a reliable and sturdy knife is indispensable. Look for a knife with a fixed blade, made of high-quality stainless steel, and featuring a comfortable and grippy handle.

Folding Shovel

A folding shovel is a versatile tool that can come in handy for various purposes. From digging fire pits to clearing debris, a compact and durable folding shovel is a must-have in a military survival kit. Look for a model with a locking mechanism for stability and a comfortable grip for extended use.


Paracord, also known as parachute cord, is a lightweight and strong cord that has numerous uses in survival situations. From setting up shelters to securing gear, paracord is incredibly versatile. Look for a high-quality, mil-spec paracord that can support significant weight and withstand environmental conditions.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is a classic survival tool with countless uses. This versatile adhesive tape can be used for repairs, securing equipment, makeshift bandages, and much more. Pack a roll of high-quality and durable duct tape in your military survival kit, as it is sure to come in handy in countless situations.

Communication and Navigation

Two-Way Radios

Two-way radios are invaluable for communication in the field. These devices allow you to stay connected with your team members, coordinate movements, and call for help if needed. Look for radios with a long range, durable construction, and reliable battery life for extended use.

Signal Mirror

A signal mirror is a simple but effective way to attract attention over long distances. These mirrors often feature a sighting hole or targeting grid to help aim the reflected sunlight accurately. Familiarize yourself with the proper technique for using a signal mirror and keep one accessible in your survival kit for emergency signaling.


As mentioned earlier, a whistle is a compact and lightweight signaling tool that can be heard over long distances. In addition to the whistle mentioned in the navigation section, it is also beneficial to include an extra whistle in your communication kit. This ensures that you have a backup signaling tool or can distribute whistles to team members for coordination purposes.


A headlamp is a convenient and hands-free lighting option for military survival situations. Look for a headlamp with adjustable brightness settings and a long-lasting battery. Consider a headlamp that is water-resistant and durable to withstand rugged conditions.

Solar Charger

Keeping electronic devices charged can be challenging in survival situations. A solar charger harnesses the power of the sun to recharge your devices, providing a reliable source of power. Look for a solar charger with a high power output, multiple charging ports, and a compact design for easy storage and transportation.

Personal Hygiene

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Maintaining oral hygiene is essential even in challenging situations. Pack a compact and travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your military survival kit. Keeping your teeth clean can help prevent dental issues that may arise during extended periods without access to dental care.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a hygienic essential when clean water and soap are not readily available. It helps eliminate germs and prevent the spread of bacteria. Pack a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your personal hygiene kit for times when handwashing is not possible.

Biodegradable Soap

Biodegradable soap is an eco-friendly option for staying clean and maintaining personal hygiene in the field. Look for soap specifically designed to be used in natural water sources, ensuring it does not harm the environment. Remember to always follow Leave No Trace principles and dispose of soapy water responsibly.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is a practical and hygienic necessity in any survival kit. Opt for a compact and lightweight roll that can easily fit in your pack. Consider packing toilet paper in a waterproof bag to prevent it from getting wet or damaged.

Feminine Hygiene Products

For female soldiers or outdoor enthusiasts, including feminine hygiene products in their survival kit is essential. Pack an adequate supply of tampons, pads, or menstrual cups, depending on personal preference. Consider individually packaging these items in waterproof bags for hygiene and privacy.

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