Any survivalist or bushcrafter knows that a crisis won’t wait for sunny weather.
Whether it’s a cold spring night or a frigid winter day, the environment itself becomes a hazard that you’ll have to mitigate.
All survival is critically dependent on one, simple objective: keeping your core temperature within the range required for sustaining human life. Whereas sickness will cause your core temp to rise above what is healthy, hypothermia does the exact opposite (and death, of course, will bring it down to the same temperature that everything else happens to be at the time of passing).
So that’s why, in these seven essentials for your survival kit, I selected heat-generating gear items that are multi-purpose: They’ll keep you warm AND perform an additional function.
1. Winter Survival Blanket
Don’t let the name fool you. Sure, this amazing item is great during the winter, but it works just as well on a spring or fall night when temperatures are hovering around 32 or even 0. What is it? It’s a compact blanket that – when plugged into another great survival device, the Pocket Power Plus — will keep you warm for hours. Use the Winter Survival Blanket when out in the wilderness, when stuck on the side of the road, even when sitting in a deer stand. When a regular blanket won’t keep you warm, this definitely will.
The greatest part of it: It is much more than a blanket. You can wrap your chest with it and put on your jacket or coat, and you’ll be toasty for a long time as you walk. Additionally, the Pocket Power Plus can be used to charge your phone or your laptop – or even jump start your car.
2. Zippo Hand Warmer
On the heat generation-side of this item, it’s fairly obvious to determine why these little metal Zippo warmth sources made this list. But on the other hand, one of the reasons why I believe these are an excellent multi-purpose item is because they’ll allow you to carry along two interesting options:
- First, you can use the Zippo Hand Warmer as a designated container for carrying along extra Zippo lighter fluid.
- Second, since the device sustains a very small ember safely in its container, you’d even be able to use that ember to start a fire from a (well-crafted) tinder bundle.
With a Zippo Hand Warmer, you’re generating heat, containing extra fuel, and now able to safely trek with a live ember in one single metal package.
No soldier is a stranger to MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat). Even though they can be rather bulky in a pack, they’re almost a winter bugout no-brainer, because usually a single MRE is worth one gorging meal … or two to three well-rationed ones. It also just so happens that a complete MRE will contain its own no-flame chemically reactive heater. Just crack ‘em and they’ll go to work quickly.
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So, not only do you get additional packaged calories with MREs, but you’re also saving calories with their added packaged heat in your sleeping bag.
4. Nautical Flares
With this gear option, timing is everything.A nautical flare is designed to last around 15 minutes, it burns very hot, and if you use the kind designed for liferafts, you won’t even have to deal with the harsh, burning residue. Pop one of these smokes at the right time, and you can warm your hands, while waiting for the chopper to make another flyby.
A nautical flare is designed to last around 15 minutes, it burns very hot, and if you use the kind designed for liferafts, you won’t even have to deal with the harsh, burning residue. Pop one of these smokes at the right time, and you can warm your hands, while waiting for the chopper to make another flyby.
5. Fresnel Lense
Essentially, fresnel lenses are nothing more than flat, pack-worth magnifying glasses. While they are useful for seeing small things up close, perhaps the best part about these items for survival situations is the fact that they can start a fire on a sunny day without expending any calories whatsoever. As long as your tinder is in place, you simply need to focus the solar beam and hold.
6. Trioxane Fuel Bars
If you’re looking for a cheap way of starting fire — and one that’s obscenely effective — then trioxane fuel bars are a great way to go. In fact, if you’re only trying to boil water, then you don’t even need to set up a firelay. Trioxane fuel bars are one of my absolute favorite military surplus items by far for that reason.
7. Cotton Balls n’ Vaseline in a Prescription Bottle
This survival pack item is probably one that you already have in the bathroom closet; you just need to assemble the parts and stash it. Simply take 10-12 cotton balls, dip them in a jar of Vaseline, shove them in a small prescription pill container … and you now have a pack of coal-extended three-minute flames when situated under sparks from a ferrocerium rod. Two to three strikes, and you’ve got an infomercial break’s-worth of time to get that kindling lit.
And when you’re done, use the Vaseline on your fingers to heal and protect chapped lips.
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below: