Outdoor Gear: Winter Survival Guide

If there’s one thing that’s true about our customers, it’s that they’re very serious about the quality of their gear. The right gear makes a big difference on any mission or outdoor adventure, and when you’re in a survival situation it can mean the difference between life and death.

We’ve pulled together what you need to focus on in a survival situation and the gear that will help you succeed.  


match boxFire is important in any survival situation, but when we’re talking about outdoor winter survival gear, fire is life. It provides warmth, gives you a place to cook, lets you boil water to make it potable, and helps deter wildlife.  

A fire starter kit is a good addition to your survival gear because it lasts much longer than a lighter or matches. You also don’t need to worry about it getting wet. We like the Rothco silver G.I. Aviation survival fire starter – the sparking insert and magnesium shaving edge make starting a fire pretty easy even under tough conditions.   

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You could also go with a heavy-duty match box. The matches make starting a fire much easier, but the tradeoff is you’ll have a much more limited supply. We like the Rothco Plastic Match Box, which is completely waterproof, lightweight, and easy to carry.  


snugpack shelterYour outdoor survival gear isn’t complete without adequate shelter. Sure, in an emergency situation you might be fine with a lean-to or other DIY structure, but things are going to be a lot easier if you can just hunker down in a tent.  

The Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent is a great option due to its portability and durability. Designed to stand up to driving rain and wind, this extremely well-ventilated tent packs up small enough that it makes sense to carry it with you on any mission.  

If you don’t have a tent or pre-made shelter with you, you should be sure to bring a good military poncho and poncho liner. The 5ive Star Gear Military Ripstop Poncho is small enough to keep in your pack and sturdy enough to keep the rain and wind out. Pair it with everyone’s favorite military poncho liner, the Woobie Poncho Liner, to keep the cold out and your body heat in.  


sure-pak MREsWe recommend including a few MREs or Meals Ready to Eat in your pack to ensure you have food for a few meals. Sure Pak Complete Meals are a fan favorite at US Patriot, but there are a few different manufacturers and options.  

MRE’s are self-contained, so there’s no need to have a mess kit if you’re relying on them. But a mess kit can come in handy if you’re cooking anything else you’ve packed, hunted, or gathered. Plus having a cooking pan, like the one in the Rothco GI Issue Mess Kit, means you have a place to boil water to make it potable if needed. 

A Way Out 

rothco compassWith the basics covered, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll get out of a survival situation.  

You’ll need at least a basic wayfinding tool like the Rothco tan military marching compass. Unlike a GPS tool, this military compass will work anywhere, anytime. Solidly constructed, it can stand up to whatever you throw at it and will function perfectly even while you’re moving.  

If you’re in a situation where you have a map of the area, you’ll also want to have a military protractor, like the US Patriot Tactical Military Triangle Protractor. This small tool can be a powerful aid when it comes to reading maps. It’s small and lightweight, so it’s easy to keep in your pack.  

Another low-tech tool you’ll need to get yourself back to civilization is a good signal mirror. The 5ive Star Gear 2×3 Signal Mirror is a highly reflective mirror that has a sight hole to help you accurately aim sunlight to get attention or even start a fire.  

Bonus: Paracord 

paracordParacord is good for everything from climbing to securing heavy loads – it’s a true multipurpose tool. We like the Atwood Rope OD 100′ 7 Strand 550 Paracord because it holds up to 550 pounds, meets military specifications, and is American made.  

Still have questions about military survival gear? We have extensive guides on everything from boots to hats, and articles sharing insight on outdoor and military survival gear too.

Get the Gear 

Ready to buy some tactical survival gear? We have everything you need.  

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