Have you been thinking about how crazy and out of control the world has been getting lately? Even in the first world we are seeing fully blown SHTF situations like never before. While a 72 hour bug out bag will get you through most situations, what if you want to prepare for the long term? What if you want to build a kit that can sustain you for the long haul? In this post I show you exactly what you need to build a long term survival kit for fully blown bug out and never come back situations.
If you’re building a kit for the long haul there are a number of gear considerations. First, you want to go for high quality stuff. The gear you buy has to last, unless you think you’ll still be able to place orders on Amazon during the apocalypse.
Cheaping out on gear is not an option for this particular kit. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Lots of gear on this list is cheap especially when ordered online.
You also want to include gear to maintain the gear you have. If something breaks you should have tools to repair what has broken. Along similar lines, gear with multiple uses should be favored over gear with only a single use. This allows for not only redundancy but a lighter pack due to choosing tools that are multi-use.
Long term survival kit checklist
Knife – Let’s start off with the most important piece of gear in your kit. A knife proves time and time again to be the one item you don’t want to leave behind. With a knife you can cut cordage, baton wood for your fire, defend yourself, smash through glass, dig, and a host of other survival tasks. There are a number of survival knives out there. My personal favorite? The ESEE-5 hands down. The ESEE-5 was designed for downed pilots who needed to RAMBO their way to safety in enemy territory. Check out my full review of the ESEE-5.
Bushcraft hatchet – A hatchet or compact axe will serve you well in the deep bush. If bugging out means starting over, a bushcraft hatchet will make wood processing a lot easier. A bushcraft hatchet is small enough to fit inside your bug out bag but large enough to do serious work once you’re ready. The bushcraft hatchet of choice? The Fiskars X7 hatchet of course…
It’s not what you expect a bushcraft hatchet to look like. It has a modern look and doesn’t give off a very “rustic” vibe. It’s a good thing long term survival is not a rustic fashion show because this hatchet might lose. However, when it comes to raw chopping power, this hatchet over delivers and outperforms many other “manly” looking axes. It’s a well balanced hatchet with a wicked sharp edge.
Cooking kit – you can get by for a few days without a cooking kit. But on day 5, you’re gonna be kicking yourself in the ass for not packing something decent to cook with. Long term bug outs do not have to be uncomfortable. Anything you can pack that will restore a sense of normalcy to the situation is a plus. Food is one of those primitive things that brings us back to our center. You can’t make rabbit stew without a pot!
A camping mess kit fits the bill.
It’s a basic kit with all the essentials you need to get the job done. You won’t exactly be making dinner for a whole family but if you’re flying solo it does the trick. Remember, all this gear is going in your bug out pack so you’ve got to think about compact yet effective gear.
Hunting rifle – Now we’re getting to the good stuff. This wouldn’t be a complete list of long term survival gear unless it included a hunting rifle. If the shit truly hits the fan where will you get your food? How will you defend yourself? Every store will be completely looted within days and you’ll have to rely on your hunting prowess to get by.
Many hardcore survivalists recommend the AR-15 as the best all around rifle in a fully blown SHTF situation – and I’ve got to agree. Especially if you have to smash your way through a major city amidst complete chaos, a .22 just isn’t going to cut it. The AR-15 can be modified in a number of configurations and ammo is plentiful. When you run out of ammo or something breaks, you have the best chance of finding parts and ammo that work with this rifle.
The semi-auto nature of the AR lends itself well to a fully blown survival situation.
Boots – Clothing and boots are one of those things people rarely think about when making a survival kit. Boots are in fact one of the most important pieces of gear on your body. I can personally attest to a pair of Vasque GTX boots. Especially if you have a narrow foot and skinny ankles, these books are great at providing strong ankle support, super grippy treading, and keeping your feet dry with a Goretex lining.
I could flesh out this list with a laundry list of expensive gear but if we’re talking long term, you better know to secure the things you need from natural materials. Nobody was born with this knowledge. The modern age has all but removed primitive skills from society. We get our food from the grocery store instead of hunting. Our water comes out of a magical faucet.
The thing is, at one time we knew how to do all of this. Relearn these lost skills by reading up on how humans used to get by.
The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook
This is the book to read if you want to learn how to heal the body with plants. Plants offer humans a wide range of medicinal benefits. This book helps you identify what plants can be used medicinally to heal all kinds of physical illnesses. When you can’t call up the doctor, who will you turn to?
A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game
Let’s say you nab your self a fine looking deer. The meat will spoil if you don’t preserve it in some way. Do you want all of that protein to go to waste? Preserving food is a skill you must learn in a long term survival situation – especially if the grid is down and you don’t have a means of refrigeration.
SAS Survival Handbook
Yes, you’ve probably seen this book mentioned before. It’s widely considered one of the best survival books out there and for good reasons – it covers every possible survival situation you could imagine across many different climates and environments.
Long term survival is 10% gear and 90% skills. If I were you I would begin practicing for survival by familiarizing yourself with fire making, water purification, plant identification, and definitely read up on the books I listed. In a few months you’ll have a well rounded understanding of what it takes to survive.
Thanks for reading!