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Surviving the unexpected, what gear should you have?


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Kurt the Cyber guy Survival Gear must haves. I thought it worth sharing here.


Former Navy Seal, Mark L’Hommedieu, 46, found himself in the remote Columbia River Gorge to help but instead took a bad spill on his dirt bike that thrust him 40 feet toward a ravine and into a creek. After he pulled himself from the water, it was his next action that is getting all the attention of survivalists around the world.

Realizing he’d broken his leg, an arm, some ribs and collapse one of his lungs he did not give up. Mark’s Navy SEAL training kicked in and in a matter of short time, he’d taken out his shoelaces to secure a spare iPhone charging USB cable against his leg creating a make-shift splint.

It worked and Mark was able to hang in until backwoods hikers rans into him 24 hours later and signaled a rescue by climbing up to higher ground to reach 911.

It got me thinking about my own survival instinct and training that kicked in while trapped in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina.. and how that one experience has taught me to have some basics ready to go just in case.

Here are my top 6 must-have items to have for surviving the unexpected in life.​

If you ever catch up with me in New York, Los Angeles or any corner of the world, these items won’t be far from my reach at all times:

6 Survival Gear Must-Haves To Save Your Life

1) Spot GPS Messenger – I go nowhere on the planet without this emergency GPS beacon that can summons help in seconds vis satellite and send an “I’m okay” message to family and friends. Get it here.

5 Survival Gear Items That Can Save Your Life

2) Leatherman Skeletool 7-tools in one. Stainless steel won’t rust and this all-in-one tool at just 5 ounces acts as emergency pliers, a sharp blade for cutting, wire cutters, large bit driver, removable pocket clip and bottle opener. Ironically the most unrated but super valuable low tech survival items seldom get the attention they deserve. Get it here.

5 Survival Gear Items That Can Save Your Life 5 Survival Gear Items That Can Save Your Life

3 & 4) Reinforced duct tape and nylon ties. These two items are miraculous in a disaster. A couple nylon ties and secure a knife to the end of a stick to help you catch fish and fight off the wild. No access to a first aid kit? A standard issue of reinforced duct tape can cover a wound and keep you alive for all of about $3.


5) American Red Cross First Aid App in both Android and Apple IOS versions is the perfect rescue tool to have on hand. It will help you manage a disaster and succeed at teaching you how to keep a level head until help arrives. Once you download it, you won’t need wifi connection to get a lot of use from it in a pinch. iOS Android

5 Survival Gear Items That Can Save Your Life

6) Chosen by leading NGOs for humanitarian relief worldwide the LifeStraw at $17 on Amazon will keep you from going thirsty when water supply goes bad in a disaster. LifeStraw removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters. It’s super lightweight and easy to fit into any bag. You’ll want one LifeStraw per person. Time Magazine Invention of the Year winner and already in use by millions around the world. This superlight LifeStraw uses no batteries and no chemicals to clean the most filthy water making it safe to drink. Get it here.

Are there any tools I left out? Share your favorites below.


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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I think the LIFESTRAW is a great addition to any backpack, bug-out-bag, or trunk-bag.

I don't own one, but I do have a SAWYER compact filter. Very similar to the Lifestraw, comes in handy when hiking.

The SPOT locator in the link above is the newest model 1 way communicator, it is the SPOT Gen 4. Cost on that unit is currently $99 and the plans start at $12 per month.
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Well-known member
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Depends on where I'm going and how light I need to travel, but I usually try to have a firearm, ammo, and someway to start a fire. Fishing line and hooks can be handy too.


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
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Depends on where I'm going and how light I need to travel, but I usually try to have a firearm, ammo, and someway to start a fire. Fishing line and hooks can be handy too.
Agreed for here in the USA.

I've backpacked across England, Spain and parts of France and Germany. Motorcycled across 1/3rd of Canada. No firearm carry for US citizens in many parts of the world.

But in every case, having something like a SAWYER Mini or a LifeStraw makes a lot of sense. These things weigh only a few ounces. The Lifestraw is more convenient if you don't carry a water bladder. The Sawyer allows you to fill the bladder in a stream or pond and connects in-line in your water tube.


Proudly Deplorable
GOLD Site Supporter
These items are must haves if you are traveling and get caught in a weather disaster. They will assist your survival attempts quite well. But hardly Prepper tools.
I would avoid the scotch brand tape. Gorilla or nothing for me.

A good sized hunting knife is a must. Didn't see one on the list.

It should be big enough to cut sapling wood, and have a handle full of survival stuff like matches, or a sun lens, and fishing gear. A good six or more inches makes it a useful weapon should that need arise. I never travel the woods, lakes or rivers without it.
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Bronze Member
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Leatherman for the win in most situations, but training/knowledge is one thing that cant be "downloaded" and be available to one's need in an instance.

Any tool is as good as its operator! :)


Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
Any tool is as good as its operator! :)
And this is my downfall. I'm a mechanical idiot.

I have the tools. I can do many of the basics. But I'm often clueless.

Oddly enough I can bleed the fuel injectors on an antique diesel tractor but can't figure out how to do anything beyond adding wiper fluid or oil to a modern diesel. I managed to fix my air conditioner without calling a repairman, but that damn check-engine light on my daughter's VW is still on, despite everything I try to turn it off (other than putting a piece of tape over the light)

Snowy Rivers

Well-known member
Tools are great......and in the case of back country travel...be it on foot, in the Jeep or other 4x4 or the snow cat communication is paramount.
5 miles into the back country during extreme weather...be it hot or cold can be a death sentence if if things go bad wrong...

If you are young and in top shape you can handle things better, but if you are an old cogger.....the situation can be serious really quick.

A satellite phone in the back pack, the 4x4 or the cat can be literally a lifesaver.
The little Spot jobs mentioned earlier in this thread are OK, but being able to talk directly to someone can be a lifesaver...

The pics below are of our Sat phone kit....
The hand set can be removed from the kit and carried in a back pack....The unit can be plugged into the vehicle with the omni directional antenna on the roof (Magnetic) and operate as a base station using the corded hand set...

Many smaller units are available by various manufactures and are all great....


This is only one portion of the items that can and should be considered when in the back country....tools, water, food, clothing to survive the elements.....a first aid kit.......and on it goes...

Even out on the highways.....many mountain passes are devoid of cell phone coverage.....An accident or medical emergency can be a serious event that can turn deadly in short order without the ability to summon help.

Most folks have cell phones these days....but when it says NO SERVICE.....That lovely magic box is a paperweight....and useless....

A satellite phone is the ticket.......


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