Are you really prepped or are you doomed for failure?
You have a survival bag made and you believe that it is up to par.
However, many times those which take on off grid living find that their survival gear is greatly lacking.
Understanding the common mistakes which new wilderness survivalist make concerning their survival gear will ensure that you do not do the same.
So here they are, the top 10 mistakes to avoid in your Survival Gear.
1) Keep away from Goliath Sized Packs
You want to ensure that you can carry all your gear in your survival pack, but at the same time the pack has to be manageable.
Getting a pack that is huge will only make you a target for others which are trying to survive as well as become a burden to you.
As you will be toting the pack over large distances, ensure that the pack does not weigh more than you.
Image Source: Flickr user Jonathon Seah
The best survival packs are those which contain all the necessary items in the smallest space.
Consider, if you have to tote a 70 to 100 pound bag on your back that is the equivalent of carrying a 9 year old child all day.
2) Don’t pack just water, pack water purification tools
If you pack bottled water and a few canteens and expect to survive then you have already been defeated.
Water will be your primary objective in wilderness survival.
You need to ensure that your pack has water filters, water purification tablets, and that you have a way to heat up water.
Water purification tablets should be used with any water which is held for a day of more to ensure that you do not get contaminants.
When possible, you should save those bottled waters and canteens for days when you cannot find any fresh water.
3) Don’t forget to pack paracord
String is often overlooked as a luxury item.
However, a nice amount of paracord can be used to make fishing line, it is needed for a bowdrill, it can be used to hang your clothes or to make a very quickly shelter (if you have a tarp or large sheet).
Where it may not appear at first glance that string is important, you do not want to have to sacrifice your clothing or weave rope cords if you can avoid doing so.
4) Go beyond the standard first aid kit
Your emergency preparedness kit needs to go beyond the everyday first aid kit.
By this I mean that you need to have ample gauze, bandages, tweezers, superglue, needle, thread, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Nail clippers, pillars (for when tweezers just won’t work), and if possible a survival heat blanket. These are best to have packed in your bug out vehicle.
Do not forget to pack Benadryl or the equivalent either as you may have an allergic reaction to plants and other digested food.
5) A pack without a whetstone is a doomed pack
Regardless of how sharp your knife and axe are currently, they will become dull. Yes, you can make you a “natural” whetstone, but why?
This is time that can be dedicated to hunting and tracking and other survival skills.
Besides, if you are in a situation where you need a sharp blade you do not want to have to go about finding a suitable substitute for a whetstone.
The size of the stone does not matter too much (though you do not want to get one that is too small) so long as you can keep your knife and axe sharp.
6) You forgot to pack dehydrated food
Yes, you are going to hunt and gather food in the wild.
Until you can actually do so, you have to eat.
Finding a good game trail can take days to find. If your wilderness survival begins in winter, plants and game may be unavailable for a substantial amount of time.
To minimize the probability of starvation, you need to have non-perishable food. The best way to do this is with dehydrated food.
Dehydrated food lasts a very long time, and let’s face it if you forget food it will probably outlast you.
7) Don’t pack your gun
You may have seen on prepper videos and other survivalist broadcasts that certain survival gear packs have guns stored in them.
This is a very bad idea.
First, it is impractical to have one in your pack.
If someone comes up on you and you need a gun, the time that it takes to get out the gun and then use it will be too long.
The person will already have fled or mugged you.
You’ll want to have your gun on your person, ideally in a gun holster.
8) Avoid florescent colors when selecting a survival pack
Logically, a fluorescent survival pack will hinder your chances of survival.
First, as a survivalist you want to blend into the surroundings and not be noticed. Colors which attract attention are a danger to you.
The more attention that you draw from other survivalist the lower your chances of survival become.
Yet, your main concern should not be from the other survivalists.
Consider, if you are trying to track or capture game and you have a bright pack giving away your location you won’t be successful.
This is why camo was invented.
Pick a pack that has natural greens, browns, or one that has a cameo pattern.
By picking a design that accents your natural environment your chances for survival increase dramatically.
9) Have a way to repair your pack
The easiest way to have your survival gear go to ruin is to have a damaged pack. You can easily avoid such by packing a small sewing kit, or better yet, choose duct tape.
Tears and rips are bound to happen to your pack.
If left unattended, they will grow leaving you to decide what gear can be carried and what gear must be sacrificed.
10) Pack a complete pack; do not rely on a partner survivalist
Finally, do not pack a half pack.
Those who go into a survivalist “partnership” do so with the lowest probability for survival.
If you are in a wilderness survival situation, your pack should have everything you need to survive.
Think about it.
If food rations get low and your pack does not have the food in it, who is going to be the person to control the food.
If an emergency happens and the decision comes down to you or him, do you think that your survivalist buddy will let you live and die?
More than likely they will not.
Make sure you pack a complete survival gear kit.