Skip to main content

Survival Needs and Wants

While creating a survival kit, discuss each item’s use, also discuss whether each item is a need (necessary for survival) or a want (makes survival easier). Apply the concept of needs and wants into your own life outside of a survival situation.

Back to Activity Finder


  • If you were lost, what would you need to survive? What are some things that you could pack in your survival kit that would help you meet these needs?
    • How would you start a fire?
    • What supplies would you need to build a shelter?
    • How will you make water safe to drink?
    • How will you start a fire?
    • What will you use to signal for help?
  • What additonal supplies would be nice to have?


  • With your Section, discuss the different needs that you might have if you’re lost in the forest.
  • Discuss the different basic necessities that you would pack in your survival kit in order meet these needs. Are there additional items that are not exactly needed, but would make survival easier?
  • While discussing, you can create a survival kit of your own with some basic survival supplies - don't forget to bring it with you on your next adventure!


  • Does your Scouter have any additional supplies in their survival kit that you do not have in yours? Are those supplies needs or wants?
  • Do the items in your kit change with the seasons? What additional items might you want for a winter survival kit?
  • Which materials in your survival kit may fail or not work as intended? Are there other items that might be better than those you have?
  • Are there other fancy, luxurious or more expensive options that could replace the items in your survival kit?  Based on your needs, would you want to add in these products or not?
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map

Keep it Simple

  • Discuss your different survival needs and wants by going through a Scouter’s survival kit.

Take it Further

  • If you already have a survival kit, build a winter survival kit and bring it on all of your winter adventures!