These are the basics because wherever you are in the world, from arid desert to Amazon rainforest you will depend on these items for survival. Sure, we've all seen Bear Grills, or Survivor Man, where they make fire out of sticks and create a knife by edging a stone, however the bottom line is- the average person does not have the survival skill necessary to do these things. Even with the ability, it is still dangerous since you are expending precious energy and becoming dehydrated in the process. These are suggestions of what the average person with moderate woodland skill should have.
They are in no specific order, a fire mechanism, knife, poncho, and bungie chords. These are the tools to provide someone with the foundations of survival which are water, food, and shelter.
Char cloth can be created with anything that is relatively thin and 100% plant fabric. Char cloth (also called charpaper) is a swatch of fabric made from vegetable fiber (such as linen, cotton or jute) that has been converted via pyrolysis into a slow-burning fuel of very low ignition temperature. Using a small tin container you can ignite small patches of fabric and smother them before complete ignition. This will leave the fabric extremely dry and blackened. When ignited, this cloth will smolder for a period of time. Mixed with tinder (thin twigs/ branches) and provided oxygen from someone blowing on it
and just for kicks : )
Here are some additional "fun" items. I have way too many crazy things but I won't list all of them. It would take forever so here are a few of my favorites. Next to my particulate (gas) mask, this is probably one of the most useless items I own, NVGs (generation 1). The great thing about them is you can see perfectly clear in near pitch black conditions. The bad news is that if you move around with them everything will get blurry. They can only be focused to one range at a time. Nevertheless these are perfect for observing your surroundings at night. If you ever wondered what that sound was you can sit there and see exactly whats moving around without it knowing you are watching. These are old, and price for around $200.
This next item is basic but exponentially more useful, the HUMVEE flashlight. Its a self powered flashlight, strobe, and electronics charger. Its the same as the normal wind up flashlights you see at Wal-Mart except with a few perks. The first one is that its composed of high strength plastics and metal. I've backed over the thing with my car and it works like it never happened. It also featured 3 light functions (high beam)(LED)(and Strobe). If that wasn't enough it has a small adapter on the side to attach nearly any electronic device (cell phone) and charge it by winding the handle. Admittedly this will take a ton of energy in order to charge even the smallest phone but its your best option when your deep in the woods and need help with a dying cell.
Finally we have the very effective Colorado series Garmin handheld GPS device. Nowadays everyone can simply use their I-Phone for navigation however your I-Phone won't withstand the elements like this device. It can be submerged (8ft) underwater for up to 30min without being compromised. It has an excellent display with full color topographic maps. It can focus from within a few feet to over 5,000 miles with a turn of the dial. I must say that this model is old (2008) but it gets the job done. Beware your battery life with the back light on however.
If you don't recognize this movie I'm disappointed in you, and Chris Farley was probably dead before you knew who he was. A damn shame, anyway with some good knowledge and a few of the basic items, you stand a good chance of surviving in nearly all conditions. Just remember don't try and steal falcon eggs.