Just how often do hear about people going out on hikes and ending up being rescued by EMTs because they were ill prepared for Mother Nature’s tendency to f*&! up a good weekend of hiking? Way too often, if you ask me. Call it Bear Grylls Syndrome, but I’m always amazed at how light some people pack when wandering out in the mountains, thinking the elements are all rainbows and unicorns, and that somehow nature will provide the keys to survival.

Mountain Survival Kit

I decided to write a quick review of what I always carry with me when I’m out in the mountains. Of course, the duration of the trip and the destination dictate what can and cannot be brought along. I always start with a good weather-and-land assessment. For example, I will carry more water in the summer, as many water sources can be dried up. In the fall, I will go for items that can keep me warm.

Here’s what I carry, no matter the season:

  • 1x water/wind resistant butane lighter
  • 5x SOL all-weather fire cubes
  • 50 ft. 550 cord (usually bright orange/red)
  • 1x climbing leash (made out of static line and carabiner)
  • 1x NARP hypothermia prevention kit
  • 1x foldable knife (more often than not my trusty Gerber Gator that I’ve had for years)
  • 1x MSR Micro Inline filter for Camelbak bladders
  • 1x MS2000 strobe or VS17 signal panel (sometimes both)
  • 1x metric shit ton of batteries for headlamp, strobe, GPS etc.
  • 1x first-aid kit (a few triangular bandages, pressure bandage, trusty Band-Aids, alcohol tabs, gauze. The idea is having the basic kit to stabilize yourself for the most common injuries related to falls.)

Mountain Survival Kit

Of course, I could’ve added much more kit to it, but as I said earlier, where I go will dictate what I will most likely need. Also, a lot of items should not even be regarded as survival tools, such as a headlamp with fresh batteries, a good multitool, proper clothing, etc. These should be your EDC out there.

Enjoy nature’s beauty as much as you can, but just don’t be that guy who ends up on the five o’ clock news because he got rescued, possibly putting other people’s lives at risk due to his own negligence.