Survival Tools

What Do People Need to Survive? Your 2021 Guide!

Life is a big quest and journey that cannot be completed without the help of others and the things around us. In fact, as the biblical saying goes, man cannot live by bread alone. But, in terms of the physical aspects, this means that people need something to live. So, what do people need to survive?

In this blog post, we will share to you the basic needs of every human being. These are the essential things necessary for survival. Aside from that, adventurous people that love to go in the woods also require some things for survival. If you want to know what things are those, just stay with us here and discover the things for survival in everyday life and living in the woods.

What Do People Need to Survive: The Basics

Actually, when we speak of the things that involve what do people need to survive, there are seven basic human needs for survival. It is basically patterned on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Moreover, the ranking of these needs highly depends on one’s life situation.

Below are the basic needs of every human being in order to survive everyday living. Let’s check them out and try to discover the reason why they tend to be important for us.

Clean Air and Oxygen

Basically, the air is one thing that what do people need to survive. We usually inhale the air and it is composed of a gas mixture that is highly essential for our survival. Generally, oxygen is the main substance in the air that keeps us alive. People actually utilize oxygen in order for our body to perform important tasks such as production and transportation of energy.

In a day, a person needs about 1.85 pounds of oxygen based on NASA. Moreover, the World Health Organization revealed that in 2012, there are 3 million premature deaths because of air pollution. Yet, the low to middle-income countries have recorded the largest death rate of about 88%.

Unclean air generally contains pollutants like the particulate matter and the ground-level ozone. These pollutants typically have a great impact on the health of humans once breathe in regularly.

Water – the Flow of Life

It is actually surprising that dehydrated Americans comprised about 75% of the population. This typically happens because of their failure in meeting the water requirement of the body regularly. That’s why if you are about to ask what do people need to survive, water would be one on the list.

Yet, there are some factors involved in determining the quantity level of water that one’s need. Those factors include the following:

what do people need to survive
  • Activity level
  • Age
  • Alcohol or coffee consumption
  • Diet
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Medication
  • Temperature

Actually, the food that we consume can generally give off some water into our body as it is one of the things what do people need to survive. However, the human body natural loses around ten to twelve cups of water every day. We lose water through sweating, urinating, exercising, and even through our tears.

Through this, the fluid loss must be replaced before it leads to chronic dehydration that will eventually result in kidney stones and liver damage. Moreover, dehydration can also be a result of consuming alcohol, coffee, and herbal supplements. But water loss from all these factors depends on the water content.

Food – Eat to Live

What do people need to survive is primarily food. Without food, we will be hungry and tend to starve. However, humans can live for about 3 weeks time even without consuming any food. But, this period of survival vary depending on the following factors:

  • Activity Level
  • Age
  • Body Mass Index
  • Gender
  • Health Status
  • Pregnancy

Generally, the food that we consume involves two types of nutrients – the macronutrients and the micronutrients. Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are the examples of macronutrients which fill up the body in big quantities. Despite the need for lesser quantities, micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are also similarly important with that of the macronutrients.

Both of these nutrients combine powerfully to maintain the health and energy of the body. In this case, what do people need to survive is a healthy diet that contains both the macro and micronutrients.

Moreover, the following natural body phenomenon occurs the moment you do not consume food for a long time:

  • 6 hours of not eating: The body will use the excess fat and convert it to glucose
  • 3 days of not eating: During this time, the body metabolism will reduce and start starving. Large quantities of the energy of the body will basically supply to the brain.
  • A week of not eating: If the body does not consume any food for a period of one week, the amount of micronutrients will reduce and will eventually affect the immune system. Knowing this, the body will be on a higher risk for infections.
  • 3 weeks of not eating: For a period of 3 weeks, the muscle tissue will be broken down so that the high protein content will be utilized.

If the food, as part of what do people need to survive will not be provided, starvation will trigger a heart attack or organ failure to occur in some instances. These may be a fatal result of food starvation.

Because of that, it’s always important to bring extra food when you’re out in the outdoors. It will help immensely during a survival scenario.

For preppers, having hard-to-perish foods at home is also very important during emergency situations. For more information about long shelf-life foods, you can read more on our article about vacuum sealed dry beans and dehydrated chicken.

We’ve compiled a guide on how to stock food for at least a month cheaply for home preppers. If you’re more of the gardening type, go read our article on the best foods to grow for survival!

Shelter – Protecting Your Body from the Elements

Actually, most forms of protection from the outside elements are considered as a shelter. Basically, it includes the house, tents, or even the car. This is basically one of those things what do people need to survive. The shelter can generally protect you from natural dangers like cold, rain, snow, storms, and hurricanes.

Shelter, primarily our home, includes in the things what do people need to survive. Besides, there are 2 main benefits of a shelter that increases your chance of survival

  • Safety Naturally, the shelter can keep us from harm caused by nature’s elements. Aside from that, it also protects us from attacks coming from criminal or animal sources. The locked windows and doors can provide safety and security. You can also use alarms, sensors or surveillance camera for enhanced security.
  • Privacy Once you are inside your home, you can basically store your valuables from the sight of the public eye. This is important if you want to shift from merely surviving to actually thriving in the environment

Because of that, it’s always a priority to have shelter in place, either during emergency and survival situations or during your day-to-day activities. If you don’t know how to build a shelter, read our article about the best type of shelters and how to build them.

Sleep – For a Lively Day Ahead

What do people need to survive is enough sleep that should be around 7 to 9 hours per night. However, this actually varies with age as the infants up to 2 years old child needs to sleep about 11 to 17 hours. Moreover, newborns have a higher demand for sleep which is about 14 to 17 hours that eventually decreases as they grow.

what do people need to survive

Aside from survival, people also need to sleep because of the following:

  • Growth
  • Brain development
  • Energy conservation

On the other hand, if sleep is lacking, our own health will be deprived.

The activities of today’s time trigger people to get more productive and lead a more stressful life. Trying to do everything prevent the eyes and brains from shutting down. If you are not allowing your eyes to shut in time on a regular basis, you will experience the following:

  • Trouble in focusing
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Higher risk to acquire diseases
  • Weight gain
  • Losing the sex drive
  • Faster skin aging
  • Impaired judgment

Because of that, always find time to sleep and get some rest, even during highly stressful survival and emergency scenarios. Having too little sleep can even decrease your chances of survival due to impaired judgement, loss of energy, and poor immune system.

Safety – For a Comfortable Living

When we speak of safety, it actually pertains to human state wherein we are protected from harm and dangerous elements. What do people need to survive is the state of being safe from threat and any harmful sources.

Safety can come from many sources, one such source is shelter as we’ve discussed before. Another could be defense tools such as survival knives and guns that can keep you safe. Home safety is no different, you’ll need tools to help you defend your home during a home invasion.

Clothing – Dress to Survive

Actually, what do people need to survive is clothing that would protect our body from extreme weather conditions and natural elements. Moreover, without wearing clothes, people would be at a high risk of developing infections, serious health conditions, and hygienic issues.

Socially speaking, clothing is also important in various aspects such as the following:

  • Covering the private parts of the human body
  • Removing temptation and lowering the competition on romantic aspects
  • Make one’s self more presentable
  • Deal with sanitary conditions
  • Enhance stronger, individual image

Besides that, clothing also has a functional aspect to it. You can store your EDC gear inside the pockets of your EDC jacket. You can conceal-carry a gun that’s holstered to your concealed carry tactical belt or jacket. You can also put your EDC gear inside your purse so that you’ll be ready anywhere anytime.

In general, there are seven primary things that people need to survive everyday living. These are considered essential for every human being.

What Do People Need to Survive in the Woods?

Many people love to be in the woods and explore its beauty. However, there are essential things that people need to survive as they have a long trip in the wood.

In general you should refer to the 5C’s of survival when preparing your survival pack. However, you’ll also need to keep in mind other needs such as food, water, and comfort/amenities that’ll keep you sane during the trip in the woods.

Knife or Cutting Tools

Initially, the humble survival knife is an important thing to have as you are in the woods. It is generally useful in numbers of activities which make it good to carry along the way out there. Because of it’s versatility and multiple uses, we recommend everyone to at least have 1 knife in their EDC and survival kit.

What kind of knife you’ll bring also depends on the type of work you want it to fulfill. If it’s heavy duty work, it’s better to use a fixed blade knife. However, if it’s light work, you can get by with a swiss army knife or a generic folding knife.

Besides knives, you’ll also need other forms of cutting tools such as an axe for splitting wood and cutting down large trees. If you’re planning on cutting down a lot of wood, bringing a saw or a foldable saw would be recommended too. Your wrist and hands would probably be pretty sore if you keep using your machete and axe to cut wood.

What people need to survive in the wild

Rope and Wire

What do people need to survive in the woods are rope and wire or other forms of Cordage. Basically, the rope is the main thing to tie things like tents. Aside from that, creating snares is the primary purpose of having wire within your trip in the woods.


As we have discussed earlier, food is an essential thing that people need to survive everyday living. With this, the food is also an important thing needed to survive in the woods.

To easily address your starvation, you must have to bring with you packed or preserved food. Good options include nutritional bars, dried meat, and crackers.

However, you can’t keep relying on dried and pre-processed food for survival. You’ll also need to know how to cook and use a stove to prepare food. We’ve compiled a guide on the best propane stoves and wood stoves that you can use to prepare food in the wilderness, go check them out!

Gun or Bow and Arrows

Basically, having only crackers in the woods for a long period will not sustain your diet. Knowing this, you need to have some weapons that can help you hunt for some food. These weapons are also good items to protect you from elements that you may encounter in the woods.


Since water is essential in our everyday living, going in the woods and staying there for a long time necessitates you to have clean bottled water on hand. Aside from that, it is also a good option to bring some purification tablets in case you run out of bottled water and you need to get it from the woods.

Sleeping Bag

What do people need to survive in the woods? Generally, you need to have sleeping bag. Remember that sleep deprivation can havoc one’s health and don’t let being in the woods a hindrance for having sufficient amount of sleep. That’s why you need to bring sleeping bag with you. A thick sleeping bag with added insulation is actually a good choice.

If you live in cold conditions or are planning a trip into cold areas, it’s better to use specialized sleeping bags rated for cold temperatures. You should also double the protection by using a sleeping bag liner if you plan on visiting areas with below-zero temperatures.

First Aid Kit

There are actually lots of harmful elements in the woods that may cause accidents. Most of it happens unexpectedly. So, what do people need to survive in the woods is basically the first aid kit. It is very important to carry it as you go along in the woods.

Heat Sources

Heat sources like the lighter or box of matches are what do people need to survive in the wood. These are very helpful to have because it will produce fire to do the cooking, make light, and give warmth.

You’ll need a primary source of combustion such as a magnesium rod or a match as the main fire starting kit. You’ll also need a back up fire starter in case your primary fails. These could range from a second magnesium rod to a magnifying glass fire starter depending on your gear and plans.

After securing the necessary combustion tools, you’ll need to create a campfire. Use the best quality firewood for your campfire so that it’ll burn hot for a long time. You can identify good and bad firewood by it’s moisture content and also it’s freshness. Rotten and wet wood is a no-no if you’re looking for an easy to maintain and hassle free campfire.

Final Thoughts

What do people need to survive? Actually, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there are seven essential things that people need to survive daily living. These things, when provided appropriately can help people to achieve a happier life.

Moreover, people with active lifestyle tend to go in the woods and look for some adventure. Going there for a period of time also needs bringing of some essential things. These are highly beneficial for them to survive the damaging elements that they may encounter on the outdoor. So, better to bring them with you as you go on with your trip.

At the end of the day, if you’ve applied and prepared based on our guide as well as the 5C’s of survival that you can read here, you’ll be pretty prepared for almost anything.

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