Survival gear is about quality over quantity, needs over wants, functionality over whim. If you don’t need it, you shouldn’t have it. I learned this the hard way. As a kid, I remember getting my first survival kit. It was something cheap from the mall, with little more than a few tidbits. Nonetheless, I was overjoyed by my little box of fishing hooks, candles, Morse code instructions and a plastic compass. One night, I decided to test out my survival skills by camping out in the forest behind my house. Tent in one hand, box in the other, I had childish fantasies of catching fish and living like the king of the forest. I’d be completely off the grid, surviving off my own cunning.
By 9pm, I was back home, eating a reheated dinner I’d missed a few hours earlier.
My first attempt to go it alone was a total failure. In part, it was inevitable; I was, after all, just a kid. My survival box was hardly and help, either. With the exception of a small flashlight, none of the items in the box were particularly useful then, and certainly not now. In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve learned since that disappointing night, it’s that having the right gear for the job is critical.
In the past, we’ve published plenty of articles on what kind of survival gear you should have. New preppers should check out this list of basic gear. If you’re putting together your own bugout bag, this checklist is your best friend. On the other hand, it’s all too easy to forget that while there’s plenty of things you do need in a survival situation, there’s just as much survival gear that’s completely unnecessary.
In this list, we’ll be looking at survival gear that shouldn’t be in your basic survival kit or bug out. Some of these items might have once been a good idea, but are outdated by newer alternatives. Some were just bad ideas to begin with, or are just too cumbersome to be worth the effort. Whatever the reason, you don’t need any of this stuff on you in a survival situation.
Books are a survivalist’s best friend, but even the closest of friends need time apart. As any bookworm knows, books can get pretty heavy, pretty quick. Indeed, the best place to store an important book isn’t your rucksack – it’s your mind. So instead of stuffing your bugout bag full of reading material, try to read and memorize your favorites long before SHTF. If that’s not possible, then copy anything particularly important into a more compact notebook. Alternatively, consider investing in a Kindle or similar, which can allow you to carry a library in your pocket. The downside, of course, is the need to recharge every few days.