A compass allows you to find your bearings and determine in which direction to go in your attempt to find your way back to camp or elsewhere. A compass is of no use if you don't know how to read it, however, so learn how to use a compass well before it ever becomes a necessity for saving your life. You will find a link to a web page that instructs you in the proper use of a compass in the Resources section.
Map and GPS Device
An emergency survival kit will ideally include a map of the area or a portable GPS system. If you are a regular when it comes to enjoying the wilderness, you should take steps to include GPS options on your cell phone. The point is to have at your disposal some method of locating your lost position relative to the closest point of civilization. This could mean a camp, ranger station, town or even just a highway. Keep in mind that a cell phone or GPS device may not receive a signal, so pack a map just in case.
A pocket knife or a knife that can fit on your belt should be a part of your wilderness survival kit for several reasons. A stout knife can be used to cut limbs to make a debris hut or cut bamboo to make a swamp bed or even help to dig a snow cave. A knife is also useful for skinning game for food.
Matches in Waterproof Container
If you want to eat that game well done instead of absolutely raw, a pack of matches placed inside a waterproof container is another wilderness survival kit must. Give your waterproof container a test well before you head out. Submerge it in water overnight and if the matches strike on the first attempt the next morning, it is pretty much guaranteed that they will be useful in a survival situation.
A package of water purification tablets and a collapsible cup as well as package of condoms. The condoms can be tied up to allow you to carry water with you so you don't have to remain by the water source. The purification tablets make the water safer to drink and the collapsible cup more easily fits into your kit.
A bright orange bivvy bag offers protection from the elements when you are trying to sleep at night. The bright color can work as a signal for searchers to locate your from a plane or helicopter. Choose a bivvy bag that will pack small enough to fit inside your emergency kit carrying case.