Your Ultimate Camping Survival Kit Checklist

By 12Survivors

A guest post written by Sellmark marketing intern Nate van Noort.

No matter who you are or where you go camping, emergencies happen. It’s important to be prepared to survive them. People prep for nuclear disaster, hurricanes, power outages and zombie apocalypse robots taking over the world…or just getting stranded in the wilderness. No matter what you prepare for—on a camping trip or otherwise—you must have basic survival gear.

paracord-wrapped handle, full tang fixed blade hunting knife
The 12 Survivors hunting knife has a full tang and paracord-wrapped handle.


The most important thing you can bring is a knife. If you find yourself in a survival situation, your chances of survival are infinitely increased with a knife. It can be used as a substitute for an ax or hatchet for cutting firewood and makes a good edge to strike against flint to start a fire. Fixed blade knives are ideal. They are more durable and resilient than folding knives because they don’t have any mechanical movement. A knife is also helpful in food preparation—you can slice fruits and vegetables, open cans and field dress game. The 12 Survivors Hunting Knife is a fantastic fixed-blade knife constructed of full tang steel with a paracord-wrapped handle that can be used for constructing a shelter, used in first-aid and to set traps for obtaining food.


green paracord pod (grenade) with survival kit inside
Made of 47′ of paracord, this kit is accessible without unraveling and has room for additional gear!

Cordage or rope is one of your biggest assets when trying to survive. 550 parachute cord is recommended due to its high strength and durability. I almost always wear a paracord survival bracelet and usually bring an extra one to clip on my pack while camping. One neat thing about 550 cord is how it lengthens when wet. This is useful when you need a tight hold on something. Get it wet and then secure it to the object. When the cord dries it will tighten. This is great for making grips on walking sticks and fixed blade knives. The 12 Survivors Paracord Survival Orb is a 550-cord ball with a mini survival kit in the middle. The kit includes fishing lures, a band saw, bandages, duct tape and a razor blade. It includes a convenient detachable strap for easy attachment to your pack.

Man using a pocket water filtration straw to drink from a body of water
The pocket water purifier allows you to drink straight from the source!


Finding drinkable water in the wildness is next to impossible; however, your survival depends on it. It is imperative to have a filtration system to clean your water. In some cases, you can simply boil the water to kill all the bacteria but when you are limited on resources and in survival mode, you’re going to need a better, more efficient option. The 12 Survivors Pocket Purifier is a lightweight and compact water filtration straw that cleans up to 1,500 liters of water. The filter contains antibacterial granular activated carbon and a hollow fiber UF membrane to filter 99.999% of bacteria and protozoan cysts. It includes a fail-safe, full-filter cutoff that stops letting water through the straw preventing you from drinking contaminated water. It has a conventional threaded cap, so it can be screwed on to a standard soda bottle or on the 12 Survivors Reservoir collapsible water bottles.

Signaling Equipment

man cranking an emergency crank light and radio
The emergency crank light and radio never needs batteries.

If lost or caught in a survival situation without a working cell phone, you will need an alternative way to contact people and signal for help. A mirror or flashlight can be used to signal aircraft and cars. Having a flashlight would make this a lot easier, but what if the batteries died? Would you have spares? Or did you forget them in a draw in the garage? 12 Survivors makes a fantastic emergency hand crank radio and flashlight combo powered by manual hand crank—it never runs out of batteries! It also includes a radio, so you can scan nearby stations to get updates on weather and news.

Red ultralight roll up first aid kit
The Ultralight first aid kit rolls up and is extremely lightweight.

First Aid Kit

You never expect to experience an injury while camping, and in most cases, it’s not serious, but when it is, having a well-prepped first aid kit greatly increases your chances of surviving. In the wildness, small injuries can become big injuries—in a survival situation, you must be your own first responder. We only have a limited supply of blood, so you only have a small amount of time to dress an injury. Having an adequate first aid kit nearby by will give you that extra time. The 12 Survivors UltraLite Mini First Aid Kit is a small roll-up kit that can handle a variety of situations. The kit includes over 90 pieces of equipment including bandages, moleskin, medical tape, sheers, tweezers and alcohol wipes.


Integrated ceramic knife sharpener with magnesium fire starter with leather inlay survival multi tool
The Sharp N’ Spark is a fire starting tool and ceramic knife sharpener.

Having a fire in a survival situation can be lifesaving and comforting. You can use it to cook and keep warm on cold nights. Starting a fire with matches or a lighter is fairly straightforward. You gather tinder, kindling and other small sticks, and set up a “teepee” or “log cabin” structure. But what if you don’t have matches or what if they got wet during a thunderstorm? You’re going to need a reliable source of starting a fire. The 12 Survivors Sharp and Spark is a unique 2-in-1 device that provides the tools to sharpen your knife blade and start a fire. It contains a magnesium rod, which when struck with a piece of metal (knife) produces a large amount of sparks to ignite tinder and small pieces of wood. It also includes a coarse and fine triangle bit sharpener to re-profile and sharpen your blade. Further, it also has a diamond-coated sharpener that provides a course and fine manual sharpening method. Given its fire-starting capabilities and knife-sharping functions, this makes the idea survival tool to have.

What is in your survival kit? Tell us in the comment section.

About the Author

Aspiring pilot Nate van Noort is currently a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington majoring in Marketing with a minor in Finance. His family are big pheasant hunters, sharing hunting land in the Texas Panhandle near the city of Perryton. Nate enjoys sporting clays and shooting his Glock. When he’s not studying, working or out at the lease, he’s playing disc golf, reading or wakeboarding.