Carry These 3 Items All the Time—They Could Save Your Life One Day

Because you should always be prepared for the worst.

Carry-These-3-Items-All-the-Time—They-Could-Save-Your-Life-One-Day-671905105-TextureMANTextureMAN/shutterstockWant to know how to survive a plane crash? What about a terrorist attack? To put your mind at ease in nearly any situation, you can almost guarantee your survival if you never leave the house without a few essential items.

Right off the bat, your first instinct might be to search for help the minute you realize you’re in trouble. But survival experts insist you should stay put until help finds you, instead; doing so will make it easier for the search and rescue teams to pinpoint your location.

What should you do until then, you ask? Prepare to hunker down for the long run. That’s where your three pieces of survival gear come into play, Stewart says. (Make sure you have the six skills required for any emergency, too.)

For one, you should have something to start a fire on you at all times. Fire-starting tools are inexpensive to purchase, and you can easily carry them around in a backpack or pant pocket. But even without a fancy gadget, all you really need is something to light the first flame.

“You can use cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly as a fire starter,” Stewart told USA TODAY. “They are water resistant and will start a fire with just a spark.”

Second, you’ll need something to purify your drinking water, such as a canteen that can boil water or a water filtration device. Stewart recommends buying a $20 Lifestraw, which “can be struck into the nastiest, muddiest pool of water you can find and you suck the water out like a straw.”

Skeptical? It could still save your life, Stewart says.

“I always say: you stake your life on your water source,” he said. “If you are in a bad situation and drink, you take the risk of drinking wild water that has microbiological organisms that can quickly kill you.”

Finally, Stewart recommends having a tarp, or anything that can be used to shelter you against the weather. Even food should take a back seat to these three essential items, he says.

“Everyone gets really worked up about food, but the human body is designed to last a long time without food. It’s on the bottom of the list when it comes to survival priorities,” he said.

You can keep all three items with you in a backpack if you’re hiking or camping, or even a car if you’re traveling on the road. But when it comes down to it, the best thing you can do to ensure your own survival happens before you even leave.

“Tell at least three people where you are going and when to expect you back,” Stewart said. “I can’t tell you how often survival circumstances are worsened because no one knows people are missing.”

Statistically speaking, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find yourself in a true life-or-death situation—thankfully.

[Source: USA TODAY]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for