Here we are in the winter season of 2017 and the wilderness survivalist community is growing more than ever! With every year, the number of women in this field continues to grow. Women survivalists, whether they choose to go solo or join their significant other, are increasing in numbers. I must say, I’m impressed! If you are just getting into the wilderness survivalist scene and are going solo, my guess is you probably have questions. I certainly did when I hit the scene almost a decade ago. I learned through a lot of trial and error and I continue to learn every single day! In this article, I want to share the winter outdoor gear and other necessities to get you started. Of course, you can add items to this list. After all, the needs of every person (man or woman) will always vary.
Winter Outdoor Gear For The Woman Survivalist
The following list, however, is a great place to start:
- Hiking Boots
- Waterproof Gear
- Survival Knife
- Sleeping Bag/Hammock
- Fire Starting Kit
- First Aid Kit
Let’s get started!
Hiking boots are a must when you are outdoors! A good hiking boot, in my opinion, should have these qualities:
- Should go above your ankle for full support
- Must have a quality rubber sole with good tread that can withstand any type of terrain
- Should be water resistant
- Should have comfortable yet supportive insoles
Tip: Replace your shoelaces with 550 strength paracord. Every survivalist should always carry paracord!
- Speedlace Design With Oil Resistant Sole
- Upper Part Of The Boot Is Made Of A Canvas And Nylon Material
- G.I. Style Boots Feature A Panama Sole Vulcanized To The Boot
You want your coat to be warm, yet lightweight as possible and weather proof or water resistant. If you plan on being outdoors often, you’ll want to choose a dark color. Machine washable material is best.
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These three items are a must for every outdoors person, especially in extreme winter elements. Hypothermia is a real threat, killing an estimated 1300 people a year!
Tip: Gloves with removable fingers will be appreciated when it comes time to tackle tasks such as starting a fire.
Adding waterproof gear will be appreciated in the case of being caught in rain, snow, or ice…and in some climates in the United States, you may experience all three in just a day’s time! Adding a poncho (or two) to your gear will always come in handy!
Tip: A poncho will also serve as great cover in a temporary shelter.
If you are just starting out, a lightweight backpack is your best option, in my opinion. If you hike for miles at a time, you’ll appreciate the lighter weight. I started out with a large, heavy duty pack. There is nothing wrong with that of course, however, just like a purse, we women want to fill it to it’s full capacity (which I did) and after about 2 miles of hiking, my back began to ache. When it comes to traveling on foot, go as lightweight as you can. Then, as time goes on, you can upgrade the size of your pack.
Also, make sure the material is weatherproof with at least two zipper compartments so you can keep your gear better organized. Finally, make sure it has external storage for a sleeping bag which I’ll go over in just a minute.
A survival knife is one of the first survival items I ever bought for myself. A fixed 4 ½ inch blade with a belt sheath was my choice. After almost a decade later, it’s still in great shape and sharp as ever!
A knife used for survival is not a ‘on the whim’ type of purchase. For me, I shopped around for a while. I wanted to make sure my future knife was a good fit for me. People will advise you on knives (the brand, style, etc) but, the best way to know if a knife is the perfect fit for you is to just go shopping for one. Pay special attention to steel quality, blade shape, and the grip. Believe me, you’ll know the perfect knife for you as you go along.
- TITANIUM COATED RAZOR SHARP STEEL - Like other Hoffman Richter knives, the Talon uses high-quality 440C Steel, for a perfect balance of edge retention...
- PIERCING 5.5" LONG FULL TANG TANTO BLADE - This rugged 3/16" thick blade is the ultimate combination of balance & power, with a tanto tip design that...
- PARACORD LASHING SYSTEM & GROOVED GRIP FOR IMPROVED HANDLING - Secured with aircraft-grade torx bolts, the Talon's beveled handled is designed so...
Depending on who you ask, a sleeping bag is a necessary outdoor gear item for some but, not for others. I only include a sleeping bag if I’m going camping. It’s a matter of preference…how much you want to add to your pack.
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A good alternative is a hammock. It takes up a lot less room! A hammock can also double as a gill net (fishing net).
Fire Starting Kit
We have written many articles here at Survival Life regarding fire starting kits. These are my favorite picks for beginners:
- Emergency Fire Starting Kit (it’s pocket sized so, it’s great for travel)
- DIY Fire Starter: The Cotton Ball (quick and easy!)
- How To Build A Fire (step by step instructions on how to build a fire, great for beginning survivalists)
First Aid Kit
Another area of survival that we here at Survival Life take pride in is first aid kits. Here is a detailed article on first aid kits – one of my favorites on our website! First Aid Kit List
Click here for more great articles on how to make the perfect first aid kit for you!
A necessity to anyone’s pack is prepackaged snacks or MRE’s (meals ready to eat). Check out my article, Homemade MRE’s for Preppers, for a step by step guide on how you can make MRE’s right in your own kitchen!
An item that I am NEVER without! It can be used to ward off predators while out in the wilderness (most wild animals hate loud noises), you can signal for help in the wilderness in case you get lost, and it can attract unwanted attention to a potential attacker (the last thing an attacker wants is unwanted attention in public).
This is one of the most important items to add to your winter survival gear. If you are surrounded by snow, you can become snow blind without wearing proper eye gear. It’s a devastating condition that can be completely preventable. This is one of those instances where it paying a little extra for quality is worth it.
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Check out these articles on other great tips for the woman survivalist:
Survival Tips: Self Defense for Women
Nicole Apelian: A True Survivor
Don’t forget a good water filter, such as made by Sawyer, small and portable, but effective, and some come with a collapsible water container (like Platypus makes) which would be vital for collecting water! Gotta have clean water!