Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Whether taking your dog on a hike or deep sea fishing for the afternoon, having a survival kit on hand is a great idea. A survival kit includes basic tools and supplies that will help you out in case of an emergency. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, but most offer basic protection against the elements, warmth, first aid, a means of obtaining food and water, a way to signal rescuers and assist you in finding help. The survival kit you choose depends very much on the environment you plan to be in as well as your level of skill. Here are a variety of survival kits to suit a multitude of different situations.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Survive Outdoors Longer Hybrid 3 Kit
The Hybrid 3 combines survival, medical and gear repair supplies into one lightweight and compact package. All the items come conveniently organized inside dedicated pockets for each section so you can get to what you need quickly. An LED headlamp serves as a great backup light and is bright enough to guide you down the trail in the dark. A mirror and whistle send audio and visual emergency signals for miles, while the fire starter and waterproof tinder can get a fire going in almost any conditions.
Additional survival tools include nylon cord, button compass and a blanket to keep warm should you get caught out all night. On the other side of the kit, you’ll find a smart selection of bandages and dressings to stop bleeding and close wounds, as well as medications to treat swelling, pain, fever or allergic reactions. Additional first aid items address common hiker problems such as blisters and bug bites. For gear repair, a roll of duct tape and series of cable ties can fix almost any gear disaster well enough to get you home.
Best for Pets: Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Dog Series Trail Dog
Many people adventure outdoors with their dog and just like humans, they may get hurt and require first aid. Many of the first aid solutions meant for us won’t work well on our pets, so Adventure Medical kits designed the Adventure Dog Series. The Trail Dog is a dog-specific first aid kit that includes medical solutions for all types of injuries dogs encounter most on the trail – primarily to their paws, eyes and ears. Included are an assortment of dressings, fur-friendly self-adhering bandages, eye wash and tools such as splinter picker/tick removers to remove ticks, thorns or foxtails.
Your dog may be the sweetest Labrador on the planet but when hurt, biting becomes a real issue. Safely administer first aid by first muzzling your dog with the included triangular bandage. A small amount of hydrogen peroxide is helpful to induce vomiting when needed and antihistamines come in handy should your dog be stung by bees. A pet first aid manual walks you through treatment in the most common scenarios.
Best Budget: Bear Grylls Basic Survival
Weighing just over four ounces, this is the perfect survival kit to buy, stick in your backpack and never hope you need to use it. But if you did, you know it’s there and it may just save your life. The Bear Grylls Basic Kit follows the adventurer’s mantra of “Stay Prepared. Stay Alive.” Inside the waterproof bag, an eight-piece kit includes a fire starter and cotton ball to use as emergency tinder. The emergency whistle will help you alert rescue personnel, while a small Gerber knife, sewing kit, snare wire and emergency cord can be used to repair gear, snag a fish to eat, and even sew up wounds in a pinch. To ensure you know what to do with the kit, a pocket guide walks you through Bear’s survival techniques, with land to air rescue instructions on the back of the pouch.
Best for Car: Always Prepared 149-Piece Roadside Assistance Auto Emergency Kit
If you are worried about you or your loved ones breaking down on the road, give yourself some peace of mind with the 149-Piece Roadside Assistance Auto Car Emergency Kit from Always Prepared. Made of eight-gauge copper wire, the jumper cables will get your automobile quickly back on the road should the battery die. Further car assistance items include a tire pressure gauge, multi-tool, gloves, bungee cords, cable ties and PVC tape. Stay safe as you make car repairs with the reflective safety vest, warning triangle for the road, mechanical flashlight and light sticks. For major accidents, the kit provides a heavy duty tow rope, combination window breaker and seatbelt cutter and adjustable wrench. Survival items include a complete medical kit, Mylar blanket, rain poncho, and whistle to call for help. All the items are secured in a sturdy duffel bag that fits nicely in the trunk of a car or in the backseat.
Best for Boats: ACR Globalfix V4 EPIRB Survival Kit
In boating accidents, every second matters. When no help is in sight, ACR’s Globalfix V4 EPIRB Survival Kit has everything you need to quickly abandon ship and alert the Coast Guard of your emergency. The floating EPIRB distress beacon tells the Coast Guard who you are, where you are and that you need help. A personal locator beacon adds a second level of safety, alerting rescuers to your exact whereabouts in case you should get separated from the EPIRB. The SOS-capable strobe light automatically activates when emerged in water, while a smaller water-activated flashing survival light can be attached to a life jacket. A signal mirror and whistle provide additional ways to signal rescue services. All this gear is stored in the grab-and-go RapidDitch Express bag designed to float with up to 15 pounds of gear and made from reflective fabric for visibility on the water. The straps unhook to act as two four-foot tethers designed to keep everyone connected while in the water.
Best for Scouts: Survive Outdoors Longer Scout
Built with the Scouts in mind, this backpack-friendly kit helps kids focus on the priorities in a survival situation, namely escaping the elements, staying warm and signaling rescuers so that they are easy to find. A lost Scout can keep warm and protected from wind or rain with the heat-reflective two-person survival blanket and start a fire with the waterproof tinder and simple one-handed fire starter.
After the basic needs of shelter, warmth, medical and hydration have been met, the sewing kit works both for gear repair and as a fishing line to catch dinner, while duct tape repairs gear or even minor injuries in a pinch. Signal rescuers from miles away using the 100-decibel whistle and flash mirror, while a small compass is on hand for basic navigation. All the contents are stored in a waterproof bag for protection and easy storage.
Best for Hiking: Ultimate Survival Technologies FeatherLite Survival Kit 2.0
For outdoor, human-powered adventures you don’t want to be weighed down with tons of stuff but you still need the basics to survive in an emergency. The FeatherLite Survival Kit 2.0 from Ultimate Survival technologies weighs just under eight ounces and has everything you need should you get lost. Signaling items include a mirror, light stick and whistle to alert rescue services, while a flashlight ensures you won’t be caught out in the dark. A small compass can help you get back on course but should you need to hunker down for the night, an emergency blanket and poncho will keep you warm and protected from the elements. Fire-starting materials include a pack of waterproof matches and a sparkwheel. A knife built into a carabiner adds to the useful items found in this compact kit.
Best for the City: Urban Survival Kit For Two People
Whether you live in earthquake country or a place susceptible to floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, it pays to be prepared. The Urban Survival Kit includes everything you need for two people to survive for the first few days after an emergency event. Packets of water, a water bottle and water treatment tablets will meet your clean water needs, with plenty of survival food rations to give you energy. Keep warm and protected from the elements with ponchos and emergency sleeping bags. Utility items include a stainless steel multi-tool, dust masks, work gloves and paracord. A mechanical flashlight doubles as a phone charger and requires no batteries to operate. All these items come packed inside a tough, military-style backpack, with an emergency whistle and button compass to help navigate you out of a bad situation.