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Beyond PLB s, Smith said a survival kit should include items like a map of the area, a compass, a space blanket, first aid, a flashlight or headlamp, and fire-starting supplies.

A new study looks at who lives and who dies when lost in the wild.

He recommends keeping the essential stuff physically attached to your body in a pouch on your belt. Gear needs to be customized for each trip, Smith added. Even people driving through the Rocky Mountains, Smith said, should have a survival kit in their car, including a sleeping bag, warm extra clothing, food, water, and charged-up cell phones. To trim a survival kit down to its top 10 essentials is to reveal the utmost necessary items for ad hoc shelter, warmth, communication, navigation, and sustenance in the deep backwoods.

Personal Locator Beacons: These are smaller, affordable, reliable, and offer many new features. Satellite Messaging: Sending text messages via satellite phone has gotten affordable. Cell Phones: While cell phones are still not percent reliable in the backcountry, service coverage and the usefulness of smartphones has increased dramatically in the last seven years. While cell phones are still questionably reliable in the backcountry, many adventurers will carry them anyway as they also serve as light cameras and can help with GPS and electronic compass navigation.

Today, most of them also work as a flashlight. Regardless, they are worthless if the battery is dead, so plan accordingly. Tents, sleeping bags, pads, backpacks, and cookware for camping -- we review all the gear you need for the Great Outdoors. The right gear in your backpack can literally save your life.

But what to bring? We interviewed three survival experts for advice and top gear picks for survival situations. Survival Gear To Save Your Life A survival kit is something most hikers, hunters, and explorers will never break open.

Why some lost hikers live and others die

Camping Tents, sleeping bags, pads, backpacks, and cookware for camping -- we review all the gear you need for the Great Outdoors. Matthew Matheny was just going to go on a short hike on Mount St. It took helicopters, 30 rescuers, dogs, and a drone six days of searching before they ultimately found him. A former boy scout, he stayed alive by eating berries and, amazingly, bees.

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That changed when four unlucky people went into a mine in December and became trapped. Rescuers had to deal with a winter storm and not knowing where exactly the stuck people were, but things changed once one of the miners found his way out and could direct rescuers to the other three, who were rescued after five days. It was one of the saddest stories of the year: A ferry capsized in Tanzania and more than people died. But after rescuers gave up hope of finding anyone alive, they heard sounds coming from inside the sunken ship.

He stayed alive for 49 days, eating fish, and drifting thousands of miles, before a freighter spotted him. It may not have been the most dramatic rescue of the year, but it was one of the most sensational.

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Paul, Minnesota and quickly found itself 10, then 15, then 20 floors high. The world was captivated —and concerned that the raccoon would fall or get stuck.

10 Incredible Stories of Survival

After some naps on high-up ledges, the raccoon ultimately found its way to the roof, where a it was lured into a trap with cat food and was brought back down to ground level…using the elevator. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Warp Drive Is Theoretically Possible. Angela Hernandez, Facebook.

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Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Trapped in a Cave. Buried Under a Collapsed Building.

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Wikimedia Commons. Stranded in the Himalayas. Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi, Flickr. Lost in the Woods—as a Baby. Lost in the Outback—as a Great Grandma. Devastated by Wildfire. Crashed at the Bottom of a foot Cliff.

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John Gress Getty Images. Trapped in an Abandoned Mine for Five Days.