Outdoor Federation

What Do You Need to Survive in The Woods

There are many movies and television shows about people who have to survive in the woods or the wilderness. There’s even an entire reality television program based on such a situation. Those programs aren’t necessarily based in reality, however. If you are going out into nature, it is good to be prepared for any eventuality. Here’s what you need to bring to survive in the woods.

Woman all alone in the woods

Something to Start a Fire

If you are stuck in the woods, then perhaps the most vital thing you will need to do is start a fire. A fire will provide warmth, and cook food, and can also keep predators at bay. There are some people who can start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, but you can’t rely on that to be your solution. If it has rained recently, then you may not be able to find any sticks dry enough to use. It is best to bring at least 3 items that can start a fire in case something happens to the others.

Matches are a good option, and you can bring a lighter and a striker. Since moisture is a concern, you can also bring some dry tinder and lighter fluid as well. Make sure it is all stored in a waterproof container so that it is protected in case of rain.

Directional Aids

If you are lost and alone in the woods, you may need to try and find your way out. Just about everyone has a phone with a GPS these days, but you can’t rely on that since it can run out of batteries or you might be out of a service area.

Make sure that you understand how to use a compass, and also how to read a map. These two items do not take up a lot of space and are not very heavy, so there’s no reason not to bring them with you.

Fun Outdoor Quiz

Reading a compass and map reading are not as easy as they seem, so it’s a good idea to take a course and practice a bit before you head out on your adventure.

Appropriate Clothing


This may seem obvious, but many people head out into the wilderness dressed only for the weather as it is when they depart. It’s important to dress so that you have options. For instance, layers are good in case it gets too hot. Bring light rain apparel even if it is very hot.

Hypothermia should also not be discounted, even if it is a hot day. If it rains, especially during the night when it cools, then you could be in big trouble. Loose clothing is also good so that sweat can dry more easily.

Cotton is not a great material if you out in the woods. It holds moisture, so it does not insulate very well. If your clothing holds moisture, then you run the risk of getting hypothermia.

Water and Water Filters

You can go for weeks at a time without food, as unpleasant as it might be. However, you can’t go more than 3 days without water. Therefore, make sure you are prepared to have drinkable water at all times. Sure, you can bring a water bottle with you, but it is not practical to carry several days worth of water. You will need around 1 gallon of water a day for proper hydration. The water in the woods may be clean, but it might not. That’s where a water filter will come in handy. You can drink water from creeks and rainwater and feel confident that it will not make you sick. If you are able to make fire, you can also boil water to purify it as well.

A Knife For SurvivalSurvival Knife

Cutting things will probably be an important part of your survival activities. It could be ropes or stings that you cut, or you may need to sharpen sticks. A sharp knife will also be helpful if you need to skin something you have caught.

A survival knife must be kept very sharp since it will not help you too much out in the wild if it is not up to the task. In fact, it’s even better to bring more than one knife in case one breaks, is lost, or dulls down too much.

First Aid Kit

There are many ways you can hurt yourself when you are out in the woods. You can trip and fall on branches or roots, or you can cut yourself on any number of things. Having a first aid kit to tend to wounds and injuries could mean the difference between life and death.

The kit should have bandages, gauze, small scissors, disinfectant, and material to make a sling. Along with bringing a first aid kit, you should also take the time for a first aid class. The more skills you have, the better chance you have of surviving.

Survival Whistle

It’s a simple item, but one that carries so much importance. When you go out in the woods, carry a whistle around your neck at all ties. If you get injured or are in some distress, you can whistle to alert the rest of your group to the situation.

Also, if there is a search party out for you, a whistle can help them find your location. The sound of a whistle will reach much farther than the sound of your voice, so it can be a lifesaver.

Small Mirror

No, the mirror is not for making sure your hair looks nice while you are out and about. A mirror can help you signal to passing helicopters who are searching for you if you are lost. You can keep it in your first aid kit so that it is protected. It doesn’t take up a lot of room but can make all the difference.

You probably would never expect to get lost in the woods, but it is important to plan for it to happen, just in case. Pack these items to keep yourself safe if you need to survive in the woods.

And with that, we officially end this blog post. But before you go, can you do us a solid and spread the love (or laughter) by sharing this on your social media? Who knows, maybe we might even find someone who can relate to our content and benefit from it... Wink