Survival Gear Essentials: What Every Veteran Should Have

As a veteran, you know better than most the importance of being prepared for anything. Whether you’re braving the great outdoors or facing unexpected situations in civilian life, having the right survival gear can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the must-have survival gear essentials for veterans.

From military-specific gear to everyday essentials, we’ll cover everything you need to know to stay safe and prepared in any situation. Don’t wait until it’s too late – read on to discover the essential survival gear every veteran should have.

Key Takeaways:

  • Survival gear is crucial for veterans facing unique challenges and situations.
  • Must-have gear includes reliable backpacks, multi-tools, and first aid kits.
  • Specialized military gear can also be useful in civilian survival situations.

Why is Survival Gear Essential for Veterans?

As a veteran, you know better than anyone that life can be unpredictable. You may have faced difficult situations during your service that required you to be resourceful and quick-thinking. When it comes to civilian life, being prepared with the right survival gear can make all the difference in challenging circumstances.

Whether you’re facing extreme weather conditions, a natural disaster, or simply getting lost in the wilderness, having the right survival gear can keep you safe and comfortable until help arrives.

It’s important to remember that veterans may face unique challenges compared to the general population. For example, you may have physical limitations from injuries sustained during your service, making certain gear more essential. Additionally, veterans may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can make it difficult to think clearly in high-stress situations. Having reliable survival gear can provide a sense of security and confidence, allowing you to focus on staying safe.

Overall, having the right survival gear is crucial for veterans to be prepared for any situation. From extreme conditions to unexpected emergencies, your survival gear can mean the difference between life and death. Keep reading to learn about the must-have survival gear essentials for veterans.

Top Survival Gear Items for Veterans

When it comes to survival gear, veterans know the importance of being well-prepared. Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip or facing an emergency situation, having the right gear can make all the difference in your ability to survive and stay safe. Here are some of the top survival gear items that every veteran should consider adding to their collection.

Essential Gear Description
Backpack A reliable backpack is essential for carrying all your survival essentials. Look for a sturdy, waterproof backpack with multiple compartments and comfortable straps.
Multi-Tool A multi-tool is a versatile and compact tool that can serve a variety of functions, including cutting, sawing, and opening cans. Look for a high-quality tool with rust-resistant materials and a durable build.
First Aid Kit A comprehensive first aid kit is crucial for addressing injuries and illnesses in emergency situations. Look for a kit that includes bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and other essential medical supplies.
Water Filtration System Access to clean drinking water is essential for survival. A water filtration system can help remove harmful contaminants and bacteria from natural water sources. Look for a portable system that is easy to use and can filter large volumes of water.
Fire Starter A reliable fire starter can help you stay warm and cook food in survival situations. Look for a compact and waterproof fire starter that is easy to use and can produce a strong flame.
Emergency Blanket An emergency blanket can help regulate body temperature and protect against hypothermia in cold weather. Look for a lightweight and compact blanket that is easy to pack and durable.
Navigation Tools Accurate navigation is critical in survival situations. Consider carrying a map, compass, and GPS device to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain.

These are just a few examples of the essential survival gear items that veterans should consider adding to their collection. By stocking up on these items and staying prepared, you can ensure your safety and increase your chances of survival in any situation.

Military Survival Gear for Veterans

Veterans possess unique experiences and skills that make them well-suited for survival situations. Military service has taught them to be ready for anything, which means they need specialized equipment that can handle extreme environments and conditions. Military-inspired survival gear for veterans can provide the necessary tools for any situation, from camping in the woods to facing natural disasters.

One of the most important survival gear items for veterans is a reliable and durable backpack. The backpack should be large enough to hold all essential items, yet lightweight and comfortable to carry for extended periods. Military-grade backpacks often have reinforced straps, waterproof material, and multiple compartments for organizing gear.

A multi-tool is another essential survival item that veterans should have in their kit. Military-inspired multi-tools have many functions, such as pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, knife blades, saws, and more. These tools can be used to repair equipment or prepare food, making them a versatile and valuable addition to any survival kit.

First aid kits are also crucial for any survival situation, and military-inspired first aid kits are designed to handle more severe injuries. These kits often feature tourniquets, hemostatic agents, and quick clotting gauze, among other supplies. Veterans should also consider including a survival blanket, which can provide warmth and protection from the elements.

Additional military survival gear for veterans may include compasses, water filtration systems, fire-starting tools, and high-quality knives. These items are all designed to withstand harsh environments and provide a higher level of reliability and durability than civilian-grade gear.

Specialized Military Survival Gear

Many veterans have already been trained on specialized equipment used during their service, which can also be useful in civilian survival situations. For example, a gas mask can help protect against airborne toxins and particles, and a ballistic vest can provide protection against gunfire and shrapnel.

Other specialized military survival gear for veterans may include thermal imaging cameras, night vision goggles, and communication systems. While these items may not be necessary for every survival situation, they can provide a significant advantage in certain circumstances.

When selecting military survival gear for veterans, it is essential to choose items that are functional, durable, and well-suited for the specific environment or situation. Veterans should also consider their level of training and experience with the equipment, as some items may require more advanced knowledge to operate effectively.

Overall, military survival gear for veterans can provide the necessary tools and equipment for any survival situation. Whether facing extreme weather conditions or navigating unfamiliar terrain, these items are designed to withstand harsh environments and provide reliable performance when it matters most.

How to Choose the Best Survival Gear for Veterans

When it comes to selecting the best survival gear for veterans, there are several factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  1. Consider your needs: Every veteran’s needs are different, so consider what kind of environment you will be in, what kind of emergencies you might face, and what your personal preferences are. This will help you determine what kind of gear is essential for you.
  2. Invest in quality: Quality gear is essential for survival situations, so choose reliable brands and products that are known for their durability and functionality. This will ensure that your gear will last for years and serve you well when you need it most.
  3. Think about versatility: Look for gear that can be used in a variety of situations. For example, a multi-tool can serve many purposes and take up less space than multiple tools. This will help you maximize your resources and minimize the amount of gear you need to carry.
  4. Consider weight: While it’s important to have all the gear you need, it’s also important not to carry too much weight. Look for lightweight gear that is easy to carry and won’t weigh you down in an emergency situation.
  5. Read reviews: Before purchasing any gear, it’s a good idea to read reviews from other veterans or outdoor enthusiasts. This will give you an idea of how the gear performs in real-life situations and can help you make an informed decision.
  6. Test it out: Once you’ve chosen your gear, it’s important to test it out and make sure you know how to use it properly. Take some time to practice with your gear and make sure you feel comfortable using it before you need it in an emergency.


Choosing the best survival gear for veterans is an important part of being prepared for emergencies. By considering your needs, investing in quality gear, thinking about versatility and weight, reading reviews, and testing your gear out, you can ensure that you have the essential gear you need to survive in any situation.

Where to Buy Survival Gear for Veterans

When it comes to purchasing survival gear for veterans, it’s important to prioritize quality and reliability. While there are many options available, not all gear is created equal. Here are some top suggestions for where to buy must-have survival gear:

Outdoor Retailers

Outdoor retailers such as REI and Bass Pro Shops offer a wide selection of survival gear for veterans. These retailers often have knowledgeable staff who can guide you in choosing the right equipment.

Online Retailers

Online retailers such as Amazon and Backcountry offer the convenience of shopping from home and often have competitive pricing. Be sure to read reviews and research the seller’s reputation before making a purchase.

Military Surplus Stores

Military surplus stores offer authentic military-grade gear that is designed to withstand harsh conditions. These stores often have a broad selection of gear for veterans.

Remember to shop around and compare prices and products, but always prioritize quality and reliability when purchasing survival gear for veterans. With the right gear, you can be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Essential Skills for Surviving in the Wilderness

Having the right survival gear is essential, but it’s not enough to guarantee your safety. To increase your chances of survival in the wilderness, it’s important to also develop essential survival skills.

Here are some important survival skills that every veteran should possess:


Fire is one of the most important resources you can have in a survival situation. It provides warmth, light, and the ability to cook food and purify water. Knowing how to start a fire without matches or a lighter could save your life.


Knowing how to navigate without GPS is a crucial skill for any wilderness survival scenario. Compass and map reading, GPS, and natural navigation skills are all important to learn.


A shelter can provide protection from the elements and keep you warm and dry. Knowing how to quickly build a shelter using natural resources is an essential skill for survival.

First Aid

In a survival situation, injuries can happen. Knowing how to properly treat injuries and illnesses can save your life or the life of someone in your group.

These are just a few of the many skills that veterans should aim to acquire to increase their chances of survival in the wilderness.

Remember, having the right survival gear is important, but it’s not a guarantee of survival. Make sure to also learn and practice essential survival skills to ensure your safety in any situation.

Maintenance and Care for Survival Gear

Having the right survival gear is essential, but it’s equally important to take care of it to ensure that it remains functional when you need it the most. Here are some tips on how to maintain and care for your survival gear:

Regular Cleaning

Clean your gear after each use to remove any dirt, debris, or moisture that could damage it over time. Use a soft-bristled brush and mild soap to clean your gear, and then rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

Inspect Your Gear

Inspect your gear regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges, broken buckles, or rusted metal parts. Replace any damaged parts immediately to ensure that your gear remains functional.

Store Your Gear Properly

Store your survival gear in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture from causing damage to it. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight, which can cause fading or warping, and keep it away from any sharp objects or chemicals that could cause damage.

Replace Batteries and Other Consumable Items

If your survival gear uses batteries or other consumable items, such as water filtration cartridges, make sure to replace them regularly to ensure that your gear remains functional. Check the expiration dates on these items and replace them before they expire.

Stay Up-to-Date with Maintenance Instructions

Read the manufacturer’s instructions for your gear to learn how to properly care for it. Some gear may have specific maintenance requirements, such as lubrication or reapplication of waterproofing agents.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your survival gear remains in top condition and is ready to use when you need it. Remember, proper maintenance and care are as important as having the right gear in the first place.

Testing and Training with Survival Gear

While having the right survival gear is essential for veterans, it’s equally important to know how to use it effectively. This is why testing and training with your gear is a critical step in your preparedness journey.

Start by reading the instructions and user manuals for each of your gear items. Familiarize yourself with their features, functionalities, and limitations. Practice using each piece of gear before you need it in an emergency situation.

Consider taking a survival skills training course to sharpen your skills and learn new techniques. These courses can cover topics such as fire-making, shelter-building, and wilderness navigation. Many of these courses are designed specifically for military veterans, so look for those tailored to your experience and needs.

Make sure to test your gear in realistic scenarios, such as a weekend camping trip or a wilderness survival simulation. This will give you a chance to practice using your gear in a controlled environment and identify any potential issues or weaknesses.

Remember that survival gear is only as useful as the person using it. Regular testing and training will help you build confidence in your abilities and increase your chances of survival in an emergency situation.


As a veteran, being prepared for any situation is crucial. That’s why having survival gear essentials should be a top priority. By having the right gear, you can increase your chances of survival in an emergency or survival situation.

From a reliable backpack to a first aid kit and specialized military gear, there are plenty of must-have items for veterans. But it’s not just about having the gear – it’s also important to have the skills to utilize them effectively. Acquiring essential survival skills such as fire-making, navigation, and shelter-building can be just as vital as having the right gear.

Remember, survival gear requires regular maintenance and care to ensure optimal functionality. Don’t forget to test and train with your gear so that you can be confident in using it during emergencies.

Now that you know the importance of survival gear essentials for veterans, it’s time to prioritize your safety and preparedness. There are plenty of reputable sources where you can purchase your gear, and plenty of resources available to help you learn essential survival skills. Stay safe out there.