With the exponential rise in the number of websites and the number of internet users over the past decade or so, there comes a proliferation of websites retailing every product possible. Survival gear, too, is no different. Searching for a good website from where you can safely buy quality products becomes a nightmare if you do not know exactly where to buy what you need. Even with normal store shopping, the variety of products on display is baffling. It is impressive to see the array of products that guarantee your survival in every situation imaginable. However, while some of these products are truly remarkable innovations, it is unfortunate how many are merely fancy gadgets with no application whatsoever in a real survival situation.
So if you are gearing up to meet a survival situation, how do you decide what to buy for your survival pack and where to buy it from? Well, the best way, I feel, is to start from the comfort of your home. Search the web, first of all, for information about what items you are most likely to need in the kind of situation you are preparing for. Read up on the needs you will have to satisfy and suggestions on how to satisfy them. In a desert, for example, your immediate needs are water and shade, so read up on water bottles having long shelf lives and on easy to carry tents, ready-to-build huts or other types of shelter. Then look for websites providing such items, and try to visit survival blogs to discuss with other people which products are best. Do not blindly trust any website’s claims of the quality and effectiveness of their products. Cross check and research thoroughly before you decide to buy an item off the internet.
Alternatively, if you are visiting you local outdoor equipment or disaster survival store, then you will have to research a little on the kind of items you need to find and the kind you need to avoid, for with no background knowledge you are likely to fall into the trap of smooth talking salespeople and end up buying substandard or simply useless products. Read web articles or survival handbooks to help you decide what items to buy, or ask a friend or relative who is an expert in this area. Usually, you need to avoid overly fancy looking items that you will take ages to learn to operate – real survival situations are usually more about improvisation and using time tested, reliable techniques for meeting your needs, and fancy machines usually hinder more than help.
There are also other considerations you need to pay attention to while filling up your survival pack, some situations require you to prepare for extended time away from home comforts. For example, a mountaineer could get lost for weeks, and would certainly need items that last him that long. Therefore he would need to pack a large number of items, although the golden rule for outdoor expeditions is always to travel light. To counter this problem, look for lightweight, compact items that can fit in a side pocket or belt pouch. Make sure that tents and sleeping bags are light and can be rolled up and slung over a shoulder or are otherwise easy to carry.
Finally, a word of caution about purchasing survival pack items: never, ever go for discounted or on-sale items simply because you are saving money. The money you save could end up taking your life, in case the discounted items are shabby, low quality, or in any way unreliable. Go for established brands and the highest quality items, for it is the most precious of your belongings – your life – that is at stake.