No one wants to find themselves stuck in a survival situation after what was meant to be an exciting outdoor adventure. But the reality is that disaster can strike at any time when you’re out in the wilderness.
Even if it doesn’t seem likely that you’ll need a survival fishing kit, is not wise to be prepared, anyway? As the saying goes, ”a little preparation never hurt anyone”, and there really is no way to predict the unpredictable!
If you’re interested in learning more about what exactly your survival fishing kit should include, this blog highlights what you need to know.
If you’re a fan of the outdoors and enjoy straying from the beaten track, you’ll understand that preparation is key, no matter the nature, duration, or location of your trip.
There really is no reason why you shouldn’t compile your own and keep it with the rest of your outdoor gear. They are small and lightweight, simple to make, affordable, and could potentially be the difference between starving and surviving.
This being said, it’s super important to be realistic in a survival situation.
Remember that in ideal circumstances, fishing can be tricky. In an emergency, the odds are stacked against you, which could make your fishing attempts even more difficult.
For instance, fish should be cooked, which means you’ll need to make a fire. Fishing can also be time-consuming and sap your energy, which you need to conserve as much as possible. You may not be able to find a decent body of water that is clean enough or contains fish.
Despite these odds, it’s still a good idea to create a homemade survival fishing kit and take it with you on all of your outdoor pursuits.
Before we delve into the details of what your kit should include, make sure to start off with the basics. Your kit should always include a good quality survival knife and a lighter so that you can start a fire.
Remember that matches are generally a no-no because they are useless when wet! But if you can get your hands on a storm-proof match kit, that should suffice.
It also helps if you have a basic knowledge of how to fish, and how to tie fishing knots. If not, make sure you include some form of knot-tying cheat sheet or instruction manual, too.
Here’s how to make a survival fishing kit:
This is a no-brainer, but your survival fishing kit should include at least 50-feet of fishing line. It should also be tested to 10-20lb strength. When packing the line, make sure it’s coiled correctly so that it fits snugly and neatly within your kit. The last thing you want is a tangle of fishing line to deal with.
You can make line coils by wrapping it around a water bottle. You don’t want your coils to be too small or tightly wound as your line will end up having kinks, and it will get tangled when you try to cast it.
Don’t make the mistake of including just one size hook in your survival kit. You want to include a range of different hook sizes, from large to very small.
If you know the region and the types of fishing you can find in that region, then pack your hooks accordingly. But if you’re exploring a new area and not familiar with its fish species, it’s best to back a variety of hooks to suit different types of fish.
Ideally, you should include more smaller hooks, than larger varieties. This is because large fish can bite small hooks, but small fish can’t bite big hooks. You’ll more than likely be catching smaller fish, than larger ones.
You also want to include a few bait keeper hooks so that you can use worms or insects as bait.
This is a completely personal choice, but line bobbers are a good item to pack because they help you to find and watch your fishing line easier. If you’re a complete fishing novice, bobbers also help you determine whether your line is being bitten or not.
You want to pack slip bobbers so that you can assess how deep your line goes into the water, too. Of course, you can create your own and use anything that floats as a bobber, such as corks, and Styrofoam.
Line sinkers are important because they drag your fishing line down under the water so that it’s deep enough for fish to reach your bait. They are also useful for line casting.
Just bear in mind that line sinkers are easy to lose, so you want to pack quite a few of them — roughly 12 or so in your survival kit.
If you are not including a fishing pole in your survival kit, you will have to improvise and make your own, such as a branch or fishing stick. This means that your fishing line is more than likely to have kinks and twists in it. A good way to avoid this is to pack a line swivel to prevent a ton of frustration!
Fishing lures are a good item to include in your survival kit because they speed up the fishing process. You may not have all day to sit around and wait for a single fish bite, so a fishing lure is a good way to combat all the waiting.
Lures are shiny and colorful by nature to attract the attention of fish. You also don’t have to spend a fortune on buying them, you can make your own.
This is not always a necessary option as you can forage for insects and worms and use that as bait. But if you want to save time and energy (which is always advisable), you can pack a few fake worms or fake fish to use as bait. Salmon eggs are also a good option.
If you aren’t packing a fishing pole, then you’ll definitely need a fishing reel. This will make your life a whole lot easier and will also save your hands when having to pull fish from the water.
There is also the option of a mechanical fisher or automatic yoyo. If you want to put out two-three fishing lines at once so you can get some rest, this is a smart tool to have on-hand. When a fish bites, this releases a trigger on the mechanical fisher, which sets the hook and reels the fish in for you.
Another alternative is a trotline. This is a heavy fishing line that includes hooks at different intervals. The line is sunk under the water with a weight and increases your likelihood of catching fish because of the many hook intervals.
No matter your situation or the region you’re exploring, you always want to make sure your survival kit includes a water purifying kit. Most water-treatment packs come in powdered form. Generally, all you need is one teaspoon to 2.5 gallons of water.
Most water purifiers use time-released chlorine and a flocculating agent to clump parasites, dirt, and metal particles together. This is then filtered out with a cloth.
Compiling a survival fishing kit is all good and well if you know how to use it. If you’re a complete fishing novice, you may want to write yourself a few basic instructions ahead of time.
When it comes to setting out your fishing line or using a trotline, it’s important to improvise and be creative. If one spot is just not bearing any fish, try out a different spot.
Hand lining is a little more difficult, but it’s not impossible to catch fish. You can also use a water bottle or soda can to wrap your hand line around like a makeshift reel.
For a makeshift fishing pole, opt for a long, flexible piece of sapling. Don’t go for a stick that is too rigid or brittle as it could snap under pressure and you could lose all your fishing tackle.
Keep this in mind: the more hooks you have in the water, the better. So invest in a trotline as this ups your chances far more than a single hook, line, and sinker.
You want to use natural, fresh bait wherever possible. The reality is that fresh bait always yields better results. Don’t stress if you run out of shiny lures, you can still catch fish with plain old hooks in the water!
Finally, it’s a good idea to think like a fish. This may sound strange, but they are hunter-gatherers by nature. So where would you hide and hunt for food if you were a fish? Natural feeding grounds for fish include river funnels and bottlenecks. Fish are also creatures of habit — don’t forget it!
If you’re an avid adventurer or outdoor thrill-seeker, you want to invest in a range of survival kits to suit your outdoor pursuits. A survival fishing kit may be the most basic kit there is, but you never know when it could save your life.
If you’re interested in building up your range of survival tools and essentials, check out our survival kit buying guide for expert advice!