In a survival situation such as a natural disaster, civil unrest, being stranded far from civilization, or any other plethora of reasons that would cause you to live off of the land and survive on your own, fishing could be a critical consideration to get food. Let’s take a look at a bare necessity fishing setup that you can employ in these situations.

Bare Necessities

There are really only 3 components that you really need to keep in a bug out bag or in your survival gear for fishing. These 3 components are hooks, line, and sinkers. Sinkers could technically be removed from this if so desired but in my opinion, they will help you in many survival fishing situations and they take up very little space.

A photo of aged fishing tools on a wood table


When it comes to anything survival the simplest solution is often the best, and for line, I would recommend a standard monofilament line. For strength, I would keep things relatively light as well, you may have large species of fish wherever you are located, but in my opinion, I would keep the test of the line around 6 to 8 pounds.

Even at this lower test rating, you will be able to wrangle in some decent fish if you hook into one, but we are in survival mode, so your target fish should be the ones that require the least amount of energy and time to catch, like panfish or other common and easily catchable species in the areas you are located.


Again, we are going for simplicity here, single hooks are going to be the choice in this matter. Smaller hook sizes that work for small fish are going to be your best bet to complement the line we talked about earlier.

Aberdeen style hooks will work great all-around for both smaller fish like panfish as well as trout, with 6 to no. 10 sized hooks being your best size for these species but hooks don’t take up much space and it would be a great idea to bring an abundance in a variety of sizes.

A photo of a pike on top of a cutting board


Sinkers are going to give you the ability to keep your bait presentation in specific spots despite water conditions such as current. Sinkers will also give you the ability to throw the bait out farther by hand by slinging the line out like a slinger would in ancient times.

And obviously, sinkers give you the ability to rest your bait on the bottom which is beneficial for predominant bottom-feeding species like perch, catfish, bullheads, suckers, carp, and even animals like crayfish.

As with line and hooks, sinkers take up very little space in a pack, and come in a variety of sizes, and are also sold in variety packs with conveniently separated compartments.


In terms of bare-bones survival equipment for fishing, these three items are all you need. All three can be put into your survival kit in great quantity and take up little space. Having these in your kit can also mean the difference between getting food on a given day or not eating.