A survival backpack is an essential tool for any outdoor adventurer. But not only that. With a well-equipped emergency backpack you are also well prepared for various emergency situations.
It contains everything you need in an emergency to get by the first few days away from home.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the survival backpack, why it is so important and what items to keep in it. We also present recommended models.
What is a survival backpack?
A survival backpack is a backpack specially designed for emergency situations. It contains a basic set of items needed in an emergency situation.
First and foremost, these are water, food, first aid materials and other things necessary for survival in nature. You should plan for at least three days.
A survival backpack is suitable for all kinds of emergency situations – from a short survival situation in the wilderness to a longer infrastructure failure in a major disaster.
But an emergency backpack is also very helpful in the event of a house fire, a gas leak, a short-term evacuation due to a World War II bomb or extreme weather conditions (e.g. flooding).
Such a backpack is also known under the names: escape backpack, prepper backpack, emergency backpack, survival backpack or tactical backpack. But a good trekking backpack is usually also suitable for this.
An emergency backpack is also officially recommended by the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.
These are our favorites (buying guide):
Are you looking for the best survival backpacks? We particularly like these models:
- high wearing comfort
- different sizes
- padded back
- padded shoulder strap
- different sizes
- Perfect load transfer and optimally balanced, secure fit thanks to the Aircontact contact back system
- Slim, medium-duty, ergonomic hip fins with zippered pockets
- Back length adjustment through adjustable strap height with the VariQuick system
- Device for hydration system (deuter Streamer 3.0 – not included!)
- Separate bottom compartment with removable shelf
- Concept: trekking
- Backpack leisure and sports goods
- Access to luggage also via the side wall
- Top loading main compartment
- Tactical backpack is ideal as a hiking backpack, combat backpack, trekking backpack, travel backpack and outdoor backpack
- large main compartment with intermediate floor
- Padded and adjustable back & shoulder straps
- 65 liters volume
- waterproof polyamide fabric
- ✨Durable Military Backpack: Made of high quality 500D CORDURA and heavy duty YKK zipper. Reinforced seams and strong back straps increase durability. High-quality materials can provide a better sense of security.（WITH rain cover）
- ✨Large Hiking Backpack: This large tatical bag measures 65 x 30 x 24cm, 45L capacity, can easily accommodate your 3-4 days travel and outdoor adventure needs. The unique and breathable backpack makes you feel more relaxed during the journey.
- ✨Lightweight travel bag: This men’s sporty bag has a large capacity of 45L, but the backpack weighs only 1.48kg. It is very light and can greatly relieve your shoulders while riding.
- ✨Multifunctional Sports Bag: This backpack is very suitable as a weekend bag, travel bag, motorcycle bag, gym bag, military bag and tatical bag.
- ✨Excellent Shopping Gift: This military bag can be a great gift for your family, lover, friends, colleagues. It is a good travel, outdoor adventure, trekking and mountaineering companion! The practical military bag is convenient for our everyday life.
Bestsellers: Popular survival backpacks
In the following list you will find the survival backpack bestseller on Amazon. This list is updated daily.
Emergency backpack properties
A survival backpack should have some important features to be reliable in emergency situations. This includes:
- Robustness and durability: A survival backpack should be well made and made of robust materials so that it works reliably even under tough conditions and stress. You should pay special attention to the zippers, as they are often subject to heavy wear.
- Comfort: A survival backpack should be comfortable to wear and offer a high level of comfort with padding, especially if you have to carry it around for a long time. It should be well balanced and padded to increase comfort. Larger models should have a waist belt and adjustable shoulder straps. Ergonomically shaped and padded shoulder straps can also be an advantage.
- Capacity and organization: A survival backpack should offer enough space to accommodate all important equipment and supplies. It should have various compartments and pockets to store things neatly and easily accessible.
- Weather resistance: A survival backpack should be protected against various weather conditions and come with water-repellent properties so that it offers protection even in rain and snow and the equipment does not get wet.
- Latches and Security: High-quality models should have secure latches and locking options to protect the gear inside from theft and other threats.
What belongs in a survival backpack (packing list)?
There is no definitive list of items that belong in a survival backpack as it depends on the individual needs and preferences of the wearer.
However, there are some basic items that should be included in a survival backpack, such as the following essentials:
- Water and food: These are important to provide your body with the essentials every day and to maintain your strength.
- First Aid Supplies: A first aid kit should be included in every survival backpack to treat injuries and other medical emergencies. This includes materials such as rescue blankets, compresses, gauze bandages, plasters, wound dressings, bandages, etc.
- Tools and Gear: A survival backpack should contain tools and gear for things like making fire, sending signals, and purifying water. A flashlight and a multi-tool are also essential.
- Clothing and protection: You should also have clothing and protection for different weather conditions and environments in your survival backpack. This includes, but is not limited to, rainwear, warm clothing and shoes with good tread.
- Medication: Remember to pack painkillers and urgently needed medication.
It’s also wise to pack a survival handbook or other resources that contain important information and guidance for emergency situations in your survival backpack.
You should check at regular intervals whether the stored food and medicines are still good and replace or refill them if necessary.
The first aid material should also be checked regularly and replaced if necessary.
Escape backpack packing list
Specifically, a packing list could look like this, for example:
- rain cover
- dry bags (waterproof)
- Tactical Flashlight
- multi tool
- Notepad and pen (tactical pen)
- Emergency cooker with fuel
- Emergency ration (e.g. NRG-5)
- drinking bottle
- Drinking water
- Water treatment tools
- Glow sticks or glow sticks
- tin opener
- Tableware (cup, bowl, spoon)
- lighter and matches
- garbage bag
- cord (tearproof)
- Waterproof document case with important documents
- rain cover
- Hand towel
- Hygiene products
- Tent (Camping and Overnight)
- sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag
- protective mask
- Battery operated radio
- Cell phone with camera
This packing list is only an example and should be adapted to your personal needs. Not everything that fits in a backpack has to be needed by you.
Buy survival backpack with contents
If you don’t want to put together a backpack yourself, you can also buy a survival backpack with contents. Such finished backpacks are available in different sizes, so that they are suitable either for individuals or even for families.
If you decide on an emergency backpack with filling, you will have a survival backpack immediately after purchase, which is already packed and ready to use at home and is therefore always ready to hand.
How big should a survival backpack be?
The volume of a survival backpack depends on various factors, such as the planned area of operation, the length of stay and the number of people for whom supplies and equipment have to be carried.
An outdoor backpack for a short trip into the wilderness can be smaller than a backpack intended for a longer stay or for several people.
In general, a survival backpack should hold between 30 and 80 liters of storage space, depending on the needs and preferences of the wearer.
Smaller packs of 30 liters or less are sufficient for shorter trips, while a pack of 50 to 80 liters offers more space for supplies and gear.
However, it is important that the backpack does not become too heavy, as you should still be able to carry it without any problems.
Therefore, you should make sure that the ratio of weight and capacity is appropriate.
What material should a survival backpack be made of?
A survival backpack should be made of robust and durable materials that work reliably even under tough conditions and stress.
Some common materials for survival backpacks are:
- Nylon: Nylon is a durable and durable material that is lightweight and resistant to damage. It is also water resistant and easy to clean.
- Polyester: Polyester is also an extremely strong and durable material that is lightweight and resistant to damage. It is also water resistant and easy to clean.
- Cotton: Cotton is a natural material that is breathable and soft. However, it has the disadvantage that it is heavier and less durable than synthetic materials and gets wet more quickly.
- Leather: Leather is a strong and durable material, but it is also heavy and expensive. It has the advantage of being breathable, water-resistant and good for making bags and other accessories.
It is important that the material of the survival backpack is weather resistant to protect the contents from rain and snow. Therefore, we recommend materials such as nylon and polyester.
How should a survival backpack be packed properly?
A survival backpack should be packed properly so that all the necessary items are quickly available when needed.
First of all, carefully select and organize the essentials such as food, water, tools, clothing, first aid materials and other emergency equipment.
After selecting the items required for each situation, pack them according to their size and use.
For example, heavier items should be placed on the bottom of the main compartment and lighter items on top. Also, make sure to pack a waterproof cover or inner liner in case of rain or water.
Smaller items should find space in the inside pockets.
Another important consideration when packing a survival backpack is to use easy-to-access pockets for commonly used items like a knife or flashlight, preferably on the side.
External straps can also be useful for attaching larger gear like a sleeping bag or tent to the outside.
Finally, take some time to practice packing and unpacking your survival backpack so you know where everything is and you can easily access each item when you need it.
Where should an escape backpack be kept?
A fully packed emergency backpack should be stored where it can be accessed quickly in an emergency. Because in such situations things often have to happen very quickly.
Because of the items it contains, the backpack should be stored neither too warm nor too cold. Room temperature is ideal. The backpack should not be left in direct sunlight, nor should it be kept in high humidity.
As an alternative to a genuine survival backpack, you can also use a suitable hiking backpack or trekking backpack, as long as there is space for your necessary utensils.
But other models can also offer the possibility of use as a survival backpack. In any case, you should choose a backpack that can comfortably accommodate all your gear.
A ready-packed survival backpack, which is immediately available in an emergency, can calm your conscience. Such precautions are quickly taken care of and can be decisive in a crisis situation.