(Photo: Joel Bear Studios LLC)

Essential Survival Tools

Our favorite stuff from the past seven days

Joel Bear Studios LLC(Photo)

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

We cover lots of gear every week. We feature the coolest stuff in this weekly column, every Friday. The theme this week: survival. 

Exotac Nanostriker Fire Starter ($26)


Don't get caught in the woods without a fire starter. The Nanostriker clips onto a key ring and the replaceable ferrocerium rod works when wet. Just in case, the aluminum case is waterproof when sealed. 

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Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .5 ($15)

(Adventure Medical Kits)

You could make or own first aid kit. Or you could buy the pre-well-stocked Adventure Medical Kit. It packs down to the size of your hand and weighs only 3.9 ounces, but it includes helpful tools like safety pins, antihistamine, and butterfly bandages.

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Klax Axe Head ($180)


Available in three models, these axe heads have a knife blade, gut hook, hex wrenches, bottle opener, and a ruler built in. The proprietary clamping system makes it a easy to attach to a hiking pole or broken tree branch.

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The Pocket Shot ($25)

(The Pocket Shot)

While it may sound like a toy, the Pocket Shot will launch a steel BB 350 feet per second, making it an effective hunting and defense weapon. Made of polycarbonate and latex, it’s the puck sized tool is small enough to fit in your pocket. An additional attachment allows it to shoot arrows.

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Ka-Bar Tactical Spork ($7)


In survival situations, gear that has multiple functions could save your life. Made from food safe Grilamid, the six-inch Tactical Spork has a comfortable handle and a deep spoon end. Pull sharply on the handle to release the 2.5 inch, serrated blade.  

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Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle ($60)


The Ultralight bottle is one of the simplest and most compact water purifiers on the market. Just fill the 16-ounce bottle from any stream or lake and press down. In less than 15 seconds, the water will be filtered and you can drink straight from the bottle. The replaceable carbon filter lasts for about 300 uses or 40 gallons of water. 

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Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel ($100)

(Goal Zero)

Plug your phone or GPS directly into the Nomad 7 Plus to charge from anywhere in the backcountry. Easy-to-read LED indicators provide feedback on panel-to-sun placement to you know exactly where to place the device to maximize charging. 

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National Geographic Printable PDF Topo Maps (Free)

(National Geographic)

National Geographic recently released their topographic quads for free. By zooming into the map on their website, you can quickly find and print a 7.5-minute topo for any location in the U.S. 

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Petzl Reactik+ Headlamp ($110)

Petzl Reactik+ headlamp.
Petzl Reactik+ headlamp. (Petzl)

The 300-lumen Reactik+ uses reactive technology to adjust brightness based on the conditions: if you’re looking at a map, the light will soften. If you’re scanning the horizon, the light will narrow and intensify. The MyPetzl Light mobile app allows you to check the headlamp's battery life on your phone and adjust the beam for different activities like trail running, climbing, and backpacking. 

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Lead Photo: Joel Bear Studios LLC

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