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July 09, 2019 2 min read

Having a survival backpack loaded and ready at a moment's notice means all the difference between surviving and struggling to survive following a catastrophic event. Whether the disaster is a tornado, earthquake, hurricane, food shortage or even war, being self-sufficient and prepared to cope with   the loss of electricity, gas, access to fresh water and shelter significantly increases your chances of making it through the first several weeks of a manmade or natural calamity.

20 Essential Survival Backpack Items

  1. High-calorie protein/meal bars
  2. Water purification tablets (one tablet purifies one quart of water)
  3. Waterproof/strike anywhere matches and several Bic lighters
  4. Multi-functional knife (contains scissors, spoon, etc)
  5. Candles
  6. Hand sanitizer/alcohol wipes
  7. Bandages (large and small size)
  8. Antibiotic cream
  9. Ibuprofen
  10. Metal cup
  11. Emergency whistle
  12. Compass
  13. Flashlight/extra batteries
  14. Solar (space) emergency blanket
  15. Small pot for boiling water (water needs boiled at least 10 minutes to kill pathogens)
  16. Duct tape
  17. As many bottles of water your backpack can hold (and you can carry)
  18. Waterproof poncho
  19. Fishing line and hooks
  20. Small mirror for signaling helicoptors/aircraft

What You Should Know About Water Purifier Tablets and Finding Water

Carrying too many bottles of water in a survival backpack not only weighs down your backpack but can also cause back strain. Learning about purifying waterand finding water is better than trying to pack multiple bottles of water in your backpack.

Water purification tablets kill microorganisms in contaminated water so that is can be used safely for drinking and cooking purposes. Tablets contain chlorine, iodine and/or sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione to disinfect dirty water. To ensure you won't get sick from drinking non-bottled water, use one tablet per quart of warm water and two tablets for colder water. Wait ten minutes before drinking one quart of treated water. An opened bottle of water purifier tablets should be used within 60 days of exposure to oxygen, since oxygen tends to degrade ingredients.

Another water purification technique is using makeshift water filters to strain debris and sediment from pond or stream water. This can be anything from cotton cloths and coffee filters to mesh screening or cheesecloth. You can also invest in a portable water filter that manually forces water through a ceramic filtering device to deliver particle-free drinking water.

When water resources run low, you may find water in depressions made by rock formations that can collect rainwater. Look for rock depressions in shady areas that inhibit evaporation by sunlight.

Stream beds that are nearly dry could harbor water beneath the beds. Dig in low areas of a creek or stream bed and you may find water a foot or two below the bed. Also, if you hear frogs, birds and other animals in the distance, this could indicate the presence of a water source. Following bees back to their hives is another way of finding water, since bees often build hives near ponds or creeks.

It's never too late to get started on creating your survival backpacks today. Begin preparing for the next natural or manmade disaster.