Survive and Thrive: Unveiling the Top 10 Special Forces Survival Kit Essentials

We get questions all the time on what gear would a Special Forces soldier put in his survival kit.

Or “Do you have a survival kit you could recommend that is already put together”?.

Lets take a look at some survival kits and items where you can build your own. The best place to start is to check out the survival kit that is issued to soldiers from the legendary 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

First off; Why would you need a survival kit like the Special Forces Group would use?  The quick answer is that you always want to be prepared for anything at any time. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I want to see what gear they carry and see if it works for me.

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#10 550 PARACORD

Paracord is an indispensable tool in survival scenarios due to its remarkable versatility and durability. This lightweight yet robust cordage, often made of nylon and consisting of multiple inner strands, possesses unparalleled strength, enabling it to withstand heavy loads and harsh environmental conditions.

Its resilience makes it a reliable asset for various tasks, from constructing shelters and setting up traps to securing gear, fashioning emergency splints or tourniquets, and even creating fishing lines or makeshift slings. Its ability to serve as a cord makes it invaluable for tying down items or fashioning tools when a robust rope-like material is required.

I like that the inner strands of paracord can be extracted for more delicate tasks such as sewing or crafting fishing lines, further extending its utility in survival situations.

In emergency situations, paracord’s uses become even more critical. It can be utilized for signaling by tying brightly colored strands to create visible markers, aiding in rescue efforts. Furthermore, when unraveled, paracord provides a length of string that can serve various purposes, from dental floss to securing bandages or even fashioning emergency ladders or belts. Its compact and lightweight nature allows it to be easily transportable and conveniently packed into a small space, making it an indispensable addition to any survival kit, enabling individuals to adapt, improvise, and address unforeseen challenges in the wild or during emergencies.

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The Pelican 1020 Micro Case is a testament to durable and reliable protection for your valuables, offering a robust shield against water, dust, and impacts. Crafted by the trusted brand Pelican, known for its exceptional quality, this case boasts an IP67 water-resistant certification, making it crushproof, dustproof, and able to withstand submersion at 3.3 feet for up to 30 minutes. Its compact dimensions of 5.31″ x 3.56″ x 1.68″ interior and 6.82″ x 4.75″ x 2.12″ exterior ensure a snug fit for various gadgets, from cell phones like the iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 4, to cameras, GoPros, or other electronics.

Special Forces are issued the Pelican 1020 Micro Case with Clear Lid and Carabineer which held all of our survival gear and tools.

The case is water resistant, small and slim and hard to break. Notably, the case’s design features such as the automatic pressure equalization valve and the rubber liner serve as robust safeguards, maintaining interior pressure and forming an O-ring watertight seal. The inclusion of a carabiner enhances portability while the stainless steel hinge and latch pins ensure secure closure. Trusted by military personnel, divers, and first responders for its reliability since 1976, the Pelican 1020 Micro Case comes with the brand’s Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence, underscoring its enduring quality and functionality.

While the case excels in providing sturdy protection for rugged activities, it’s important to note that it is not designed for swimming or prolonged submersion. Nevertheless, its versatile utility and Pelican’s commitment to excellence make it an indispensable accessory for safeguarding your electronics and valuables in various adventurous or demanding environments.

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The LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool stands as a paragon of functionality and durability, embodying the essence of quality craftsmanship. Constructed with stainless steel, this multitool is a versatile companion for various tasks, whether at home, work, or out in the wilderness. Its compact dimensions of 3.8 x 1 x 2 inches and lightweight design make it easily accessible, ensuring it’s always at hand to assist in numerous situations.

Contains all the goodies that normally come with a Leatherman multi-tool which has a small knife, screwdriver, scissors pliers, and several other useful items.

Boasting 14 tools integrated into one sleek frame, the Wingman is equipped with essential functionalities such as pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, a package opener, bottle and can openers, a file, and even a ruler. A standout feature is its one-hand opening capability, enabling swift access to all tools, including those tucked inside.

I like the inclusion of a locking blade ensures safe and secure cutting, allowing users to tackle tasks with confidence. Leatherman’s commitment to quality is underlined by their 25-year warranty, a testament to their confidence in the longevity and enduring performance of this multitool proudly made in Portland, Oregon.

Designed and assembled with premium materials, the LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool offers exceptional versatility without compromising on quality. Its compact form, coupled with an array of handy tools, makes it an indispensable accessory for anyone seeking reliability and convenience in their daily tasks, making it an indispensable companion for a multitude of endeavors.

This is one item you will not want to toss out as you will find many uses for it later. Even if opening up a beer after surviving a mission makes this tool worth it.

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A signal mirror is a crucial tool in a survival situation due to its effectiveness in attracting attention and signaling for help over long distances. It operates based on the principle of reflecting sunlight to create a bright and highly visible flash that can be seen from miles away.

In emergency situations, especially in remote or wilderness environments, a signal mirror can be instrumental in catching the attention of rescuers or passing aircraft. By aiming the mirror’s reflective surface towards a potential rescuer or a search party in the distance, it can produce a powerful flash of light, akin to a beacon, that alerts others to the location of the distressed individual.

The flash is noticeable from considerable distances and can be a vital tool when trying to communicate your position without the use of electronic devices or when verbal communication isn’t feasible.

I like that the signal mirror is lightweight, compact, and doesn’t require batteries or power sources, making it a practical and reliable tool to carry in a survival kit. Its simple yet effective design allows for ease of use, even by individuals with minimal training or experience.

The mirror’s ability to produce flashes of light significantly increases the chances of being spotted in remote or challenging terrains where visibility is limited. In dire situations where seeking help is paramount, a signal mirror can be an invaluable asset, potentially expediting rescue and ensuring a higher likelihood of survival by alerting search parties to your presence.

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A compass is vital in survival for precise navigation, especially in remote or unfamiliar settings where landmarks are scarce. It aids in maintaining orientation, guiding individuals back to known locations, sticking to planned routes, and seeking safety.

In a survival scenario, a compass is crucial for preventing disorientation or getting lost. It offers a reliable sense of direction, enabling informed decision-making and preventing aimless wandering. By establishing and maintaining a clear course, it reduces confusion, increasing the chances of finding help or reaching safety promptly. I like the US Army style compass that has both a compass and signal mirror.

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A fire starter is an indispensable tool in a survival situation for several critical reasons. First and foremost, fire serves as a source of warmth, providing essential heat in harsh or cold environments, helping prevent hypothermia, and offering comfort during the night. It becomes a crucial element for survival, especially in adverse weather conditions or in areas with extreme temperatures.

A method to make fire offers the means to purify water and cook food. Boiling water ensures its safety by eliminating harmful bacteria and parasites, reducing the risk of contracting waterborne diseases. It also allows for the preparation of safe and edible meals from foraged or hunted food items, aiding in sustaining energy levels and overall well-being. Additionally, fire can be a source of light and signaling, providing visibility at night or alerting potential rescuers to one’s location in emergency situations. Overall, a firestarter is a fundamental tool that contributes significantly to various aspects of survival, including warmth, food preparation, water purification, and signaling for help.

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A knife stands as one of the most critical tools in a survival situation due to its unparalleled versatility and utility. It serves as a multipurpose tool capable of a wide array of functions essential for survival. With a knife, one can perform tasks such as crafting shelter by cutting branches or fashioning a lean-to, building fires by shaving wood or creating tinder, and processing food by butchering and preparing game or fish. Its ability to fashion tools or construct necessary items from available resources greatly aids in adapting to the environment and meeting basic survival needs.

Moreover, a knife is pivotal for self-defense and protection in the wild. It provides a means to ward off potential threats, assist in crafting weapons for hunting or defense, and ensure personal safety in encountering wildlife. Additionally, a knife serves well in medical emergencies, enabling the cutting of bandages or cloth, creating splints, or performing basic first aid procedures. Its multifunctionality and durability make it an indispensable asset in almost every aspect of survival, offering solutions to numerous challenges encountered in outdoor or emergency situations.

I like the Mossy Oak survival knife as it has a heavily serrated edge so I can cut down small trees to create a shelter. I can also use it to hunt or skin an animal.

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A hand saw is a really important tool in a survival kit. It’s great for making shelters by cutting branches and logs quickly and accurately. These shelters keep you safe from bad weather. Also, the saw helps get firewood in smaller pieces, which you need for staying warm, cooking, and asking for help by making smoke.

A good friend of mine who is former Special Forces showed me that he was using a small chain saw in his pack. He was able to build a small shelter after he cut several 3 inch by 7 foot long branches to create a roof. The hand chain saw is light weight and compact and definetly works quicker than having to use your survival knife.

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Iodine tablets serve as an invaluable resource in a survival scenario due to their capability to purify water. Clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental necessity for survival, and in many outdoor environments or emergency situations, natural water sources might be contaminated with various pathogens or bacteria. Iodine tablets effectively disinfect water by killing bacteria, viruses, and parasites, making it safe for consumption. These tablets offer a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-use solution for turning suspect water into potable drinking water, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and ensuring hydration, a critical element for survival.

Another advantage of iodine tablets is their long shelf life and durability, making them suitable for inclusion in survival kits or emergency packs. They remain effective for extended periods, providing a reliable method to purify water even in harsh or remote environments where access to clean water sources might be limited. Their portability and convenience make them an essential tool for anyone preparing for outdoor adventures, emergencies, or survival scenarios where access to safe drinking water is uncertain or compromised.

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Having extra batteries in a survival situation is crucial for maintaining essential electronic devices and ensuring one’s safety and ability to communicate or navigate. In emergency scenarios, battery-powered devices such as flashlights, radios, GPS units, or emergency beacons play a vital role. They provide light during dark periods, enable communication with rescue teams or other survivors, and offer the means to navigate through unfamiliar terrain. Additional batteries prolong the functionality of these devices, providing an extended window of access to critical tools necessary for survival, especially during nighttime or low-light conditions.

Furthermore, in some cases, electronic gadgets can be the only means of signaling for help or receiving important updates. For instance, a flashlight or signaling device can alert search and rescue teams to your location, while a radio can provide essential weather updates or communication with emergency services. Extra batteries ensure that these devices retain their functionality for an extended period, increasing the chances of successful communication, navigation, and ultimately, survival in challenging circumstances.

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Having the ability to create fire and possessing a reliable lighter or fire starter is an integral aspect of survival due to its multifaceted utility. Fire serves as a primal tool, offering warmth in harsh conditions, aiding in food preparation by cooking and purifying water for safe consumption.

Its presence is crucial for signaling rescuers, generating visible smoke over long distances. I put my lighter in a plastic bag. I also add a few cotton balls or some tissue paper for starting the fire.

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All soldiers a a small personal med kit no matter what. This med kit is used by special forces operators around the world. A buddy of mine now uses his when he goes out on overnite backpacking trips.

It is small enough and connects to your gear with its Molle design.

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Needles and pins for repairs
Snare Wire

Question: Who are the US Army 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky?

The United States Army 5th Special Forces Group (5th SFG), also known as the Green Berets, is an elite special operations unit specializing in unconventional warfare, counter-insurgency, and other specialized missions. The 5th SFG is based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Established in 1961, the group has a storied history and has been involved in various conflicts and operations around the world.

The Green Berets are recognized for their expertise in foreign internal defense, direct action, special reconnaissance, and unconventional warfare. They undergo rigorous training to develop specialized skills that enable them to operate in diverse environments and respond to a range of mission requirements. The 5th SFG is part of the United States Army Special Forces Command (USASFC) and operates within the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Their distinctive headgear, the green beret, symbolizes their unique capabilities and distinguishes them as one of the most elite and versatile special operations forces in the U.S. military.

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