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Essential Survival Gear for Families: Practical Recommendations


It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore prepper you’re just an outdoorsman who wants to be ready or a regular family man who knows how quickly a natural disaster can turn into a total calamity… you need to be prepared.

Fortunately, you don’t also have to reinvent the wheel. In fact, there are several basics that every family should have on hand, whether at home or in their pack out in the woods, to help them be prepared for a string of bad luck that can quickly turn deadly.

The list that follows is a bare minimum. Some people might want to go further and that’s great – you can never be too prepared. However, this is the absolute bare minimum that you need to have for when an emergency strikes. 

Emergency Food Supplies

The cornerstone of any survival kit is a good supply of nourishing food. Long-lasting, non-perishable food items are the best. So look for dehydrated meals, canned goods, and energy bars. Keep a lot of ingredients on hand so that you can cook – it will help keep your family sane and it will also last longer.

At a bare minimum, you want enough for two weeks. Anything beyond that is great, but you absolutely can’t go beneath that. Even a “minor” disaster like a hurricane can knock everything out of commission for two weeks and the only food you’ll have access to after three days or so will be what you have on hand. So make sure to have a well-stocked pantry. 

Water Filtration Systems

It’s a simple fact: You can go a lot longer without food than you can without water. Another simple fact is that you probably can’t carry a ton of water around with you because water is a heck of a lot heavier than food. So what you actually need is a portable water filtration system that you can take with you. This makes it ideal not just for a survival scenario in the wilderness, but for a bugout scenario where your home, your castle, all of a sudden becomes just about the most dangerous place on earth. 

High-quality water filtration systems can remove contaminants and bacteria. What’s more, you can easily throw them into a backpack where they take up barely any space and weigh next to nothing. 

First Aid Kits

First aid kit

Accidents can happen anywhere and this is especially true if there’s a disaster scenario. So it’s essential to have a first aid kit on hand in your home and ready to go in your bugout bag

This is one place where a one-size-fits-all solution can do you a lot of good. So don’t be afraid to buy a “one and done” comprehensive kit including bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and other essentials. Family-sized kits are readily available just about anywhere. 


You absolutely need a versatile multi-tool is a must-have for any survival scenario. Look for a high-quality, durable option that includes features like pliers, screwdrivers, blades, and more. The more tools you have the better, because you never know what challenges a survival scenario might bring. So be like a Boy Scout and be prepared with the most versatile multi-tool that you can find. 

Flashlights and Lanterns

You have to be able to see where you’re going. A lack of vision in a survival scenario can mean broken limbs or even cuts and abrasions which can quickly become fatal in a scenario where you lack access to first responders or even basic medical care. So have lots of flashlights and plenty of batteries. Consider something solar-powered to have something ready for the long haul. 

Portable Shelter

In the event that you have to leave your home, having a portable shelter is crucial. The elements are going to be one of your deadliest adversaries in the event that you have to leave your home. So consider lightweight, easy-to-assemble tents that can accommodate your entire family. Your local big box or small-town camping store has exactly the supplies that you need to make sure your family isn’t left out in the cold if you have to abandon your home. 

Communication Devices

This is one that a lot of people overlook. However, communication is arguably just as essential as food, water, and shelter. It’s very easy to get separated when traveling as a group and that can be deadly in a survival scenario. 

So make sure that you stay connected with your family (and emergency services) with reliable communication devices. Remember, even if the ones aren’t down, in a disaster scenario, the bandwidth for mobile might be clogged so you can’t get through to the people you love the most. Portable two-way radios are effective in any scenario where cellular service is limited. Consider investing in a solar-powered or hand-crank emergency radio so you can continue to receive emergency updates from authorities in the event of an emergency. 

Warmth and Clothing

Your bugout bag should have stuff ready to keep you and your family warm. That means lots of warm clothes that you wear with layering in mind. This is the most effective way for you to keep your body temperature in your body and not leak out into the outside atmosphere. You’re also probably going to need way more socks than you think you do because you’re going to want to change your socks every couple of hours or so. Warm blankets are another thing you should keep in your car. Likewise, consider investing in low-weight, compact winter sleeping bags that can keep you and your family warm in even the bitterest cold. 

Power Banks and Solar Chargers

Your electronic devices are great, but they’re not going to be worth much of anything unless you have some way to power them. In the event that the power goes out – be it for two days or two months – you’re going to need some other way to keep power supplied to your devices. This is where backup power banks and solar charges to keep them juiced come in handy. 

We owe preparation to our families our families. What’s more, the investment isn’t much. Just spend an extra few dollars every time you go shopping or pick something up on Amazon. You’ll find that in no time you have everything your family is going to need in the event of an emergency. 

What essential gear did we leave out? Leave your prepper secret weapons in the comments below.

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , Last modified: December 29, 2023