Survival Gear Tiers

First Tier - First Line of Survival Gear

The first tier of your basic survival gear is the stuff that is always kept on your person, like in your pocket, which can be divided into three locations (wallet, key chain, pockets, and belt). It is meant for short-term activities.

The purpose of the first tier is to get you through the day-to-day routine. If you should find yourself stranded with nothing but what is on you, you would still be able to survive.


  • First Starter - small fire steel, waterproof matches, and waxed fire-started in a zip lock bag

  • Signaling - small signal mirror

  • First Aid - Band-aids, razor blade, antiseptic pad

  • Phone Card - Substitution for emergency cell phones

  • USD - Small amount of USD stashed in the zip lock bag

Key Chain

  • Cordage - Preferably paracord in the form of a key-chain fob. Paracord bracelet

  • Pinch light - Small pinch lights provide limited light, and LED version lasts forever

  • First Starter - Small fire striker

  • Pocket Knife - A small Swiss Army knife

  • Whistle - better than shouting when you need to attract attention

  • Compass - Button compass

Pants, Pockets, and Belt

  • Pocket knife - Full-size lock-back pocket knife with a sound clip (last-ditch defense).

  • Cell Phone- Nice convenience

  • Flashlight - If you will be out after dark - mini-maglight or similar flashlight

  • Multi-Tool - Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool

You may want to purchase a mini pocket organizer with the first tier kit, and you will have the means to obtain or improvise food, shelter, and water. You can signal, have a means of security, and can administer limited first-aid.

Second Tier - Second line of Survival Gear

The second-tier survival kit includes items that you can fit in a small carry bag like a fanny pack or Camelback backpack. It is the grab-and-go bag that you often keep in the car.

  • Fixed Blade knife - heavy duty survival knife. Something that can serve for defense and heavy utility duties

  • Full-size compass - Full-size compass for ease of reading

  • Water container - internal reservoirs

  • Fire starter - Wind-proof lighter and small fire-starting brick

  • Water purification kit - water purification tablets

  • Flashlight - Souped-up Mag-light or Surefire G2

  • First-aid Kit - Tweezers, Gorilla tape, adhesive tape, ibuprofen, band-aids, antibiotic and hydrocortisone cream

  • Simple Shelter - Emergency blanket and a lightweight tube tent

  • Cordage - about fifty feet of paracord cut in ten-foot lengths

  • Sign Mirror - better than a standard mirror with a hole in the center for accuracy

  • Multi-tool - A good Swiss Army knife

  • Rain Gear - Military issue raincoat or poncho

  • Others - Waterproof notebook and pocket addition of survival manual

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