According to the Federal Government, everybody should have a survival bag, because you never know when a natural disaster will hit you. It’s also a good idea to have one in your car, just in case you break down somewhere and end up spending the night on the road unexpected. If you should have a survival bag anytime, you should definitely have one when you go hiking – even if you don’t plan to be out for long.
Good news: you can build one for around $100. Here are some suggestions:
Backpack ($10): Buying new, good and cheap backpacks can be a challenge, but beginners often don’t have the money to shell out big bucks for a backpack. Instead of going for a cheap backpack that will tear on you after just a few hikes, buy something that’s been used, but still in good condition. Ideally, check the bag in real life before buying it, so you can make sure all the zippers and buckles are good.
Fire Starter ($3): Don’t just buy matches, buy stormproof ones. They will make sure you can get a fire going in any weather.
Portable Water Purification Tablets ($7): Water purification kits are expensive, so tablets are a good solution. It doesn’t taste as good, but it makes sure that the water sources you have access to will be suitable for drinking.
Flashlight ($14): A good LED flashlight can save you from getting lost in the dark. This one is very sturdy, water resistant and can light up an entire yard. All you need.
Meals ready to eat ($10): Many experienced hikers go for real MREs, which are self-heating meals soldiers eat in the field. They aren’t expensive – around $3 to $6 each, but you often have to buy them in bulk, so it might not be the best bet for beginners. Instead, go for food you can easily store in a dry place and that doesn’t expire quickly, like nuts, energy bars and meat jerky.
Swiss Army Knife ($20): It doesn’t matter what people say, you don’t need a giant blade with you at all times. Go for a classic SD instead, it’s more versatile as it includes scissors and a screwdriver.
Shelter (around $40): There are many ways one can build a shelter outside. You can buy a used tent and sleeping bag, which will be around $20 each. A $4 space blanket is also a good option if you want to ensure you can keep yourself warm.