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Best Survival Watch: What You Need to Stay Safe in The Wilderness

Best Survival Watch
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

If you’re going to be heading out into the wilderness you want to make sure you have all the tools to keep yourself safe and protected. So how do you do it?

Well the first thing you want to do is make sure you’re looking at safety products and survival tools. Getting the best survival watch is going to be one way that you can make sure you have everything you’re looking for.

After all, this type of watch is going to ensure that you are able to keep track of where you are and it’s going to keep you a whole lot safer.

Our top picks

ProductWeightBattery lifeGpsText
Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch2.8 Ounces-YesCheck price on Amazon
Suunto Ambit3 Watch-100 hours (rechargeable)YesCheck price on Amazon
Casio Pro Trek Watch12 Ounces-YesCheck price on Amazon
Suunto Traverse Watch1 Pound-YesCheck price on Amazon
Casio G-Shock Rangeman10.4 Ounces-YesCheck price on Amazon
Casio G-Shock MRG1.6 Pounds-YesCheck price on Amazon
Garmin Epix Watch3.04 Ounces3 days (watch mode)YesCheck price on Amazon
Suunto Core Watch0.8 Pounds-YesCheck price on Amazon
Casio G-Shock GW Rangeman3.36 Ounces-YesCheck price on Amazon

Features to Look For

The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’re going to be doing with your survival watch and what features it’s going to have. So let’s look at a range of the different features and things you should look at and think about when you’re planning on getting a survival watch.

You’ll definitely be glad that you went through with it and that you have everything you need. There’s definitely going to be a lot of great benefits and reasons that you’re going to be glad that you have this watch while you’re out in the wilderness.

Best Survival Watch

Style

The first thing you want to look at is the style of the watch that you choose. This is going to depend on your own personal preference but it’s also something that can affect how the watch works for you after all.

So make sure you’re looking at the options. Most survival watches are going to be large and may be a little bulky for some people but that’s not the case for all of them. You want to make sure you’re considering different options and deciding what you want when it comes to the size and overall style as a whole.

Traditional Features

You are definitely going to want a watch that is able to do all the things that your traditional watch is. That means you want to be able to tell time and you’re going to want to know the date and maybe even have the ability to set alarms.

Survival Watch

These are normal features and they’re going to be a great way to use this watch when you’re not actually out in the wilderness, which is going to be a bonus. Plus you want to know those things for when you’re out in the wilderness too.

Survival Features

You want to make sure that you’re going to have some good survival features as well and these can come with a range of different options. You may want to consider what those features are going to be. Some are going to offer you a compass option which is one of the more basic survival options you’ll want.

Survival Features

Others are going to include a heart rate monitor, navigation, GPS, activity log and a whole lot more. You’re definitely going to want to see several of those features and see if they will work better for you or if there are certain ones that will be more important.

The Products You Need to See

Now that you know how to shop for the right survival watch, we’re sure that you won’t mind recommendations. Here are the top watches that you need to look out for.

Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch

Weight: 2.8 ouncesGarmin fenix 3

Dimensions: 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.6 inches

Specific Features: 7 color options, Sapphire lens, wireless connectivity

Best for: Normal wear, long trips, running, cycling, golfing,swimming

This Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch has a number of different options including one with a heart rate monitor and one that comes in a complete set as a performance bundle, complete with extra straps and everything.

But with this particular option you’re going to get just the watch without the added features. That doesn’t mean it’s not a high quality watch, however, and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re going to be losing out on something.

Choose between 7 different bands and color options to get something that you’re definitely going to love and then make sure you’re checking out what this watch does come with. It has a 1.2” display screen that is not only visible in the sunlight but also has high resolution and color so you get something extremely unique.

Not only that but it has a sapphire lens that resists scratching and a special omni-directional EXO antenna to help you get an accurate location a whole lot faster.

This watch also gives you wireless connectivity so you’ll always be able to connect to hot spots around you and you’ll automatically sync to a Garmin Connect or get updates.

When you’re in watch mode the battery will last up to 6 weeks while it can last up to 20 hours in training or GPS mode and up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode. That means you’re definitely going to have enough power to stay connected and always know where you are.

PROS:

  • Great display
  • Connects to some phones
  • Durable battery
 CONS:

  • Display is not bright enough
  • Navigating through the screen is not user friendly
  • A little pricy

Check the price on Amazon

Suunto Ambit3 Watch

Specific Features: GPS, heart rate monitor,Suunto Ambit3
connects to smartphone, 50 hour battery life

Best for: Activity tracking

The Suunto Ambit 3 is designed to keep you informed while you’re in the wilderness. You’ll be able to keep the GPS on for up to 50 hours so you’ll always know exactly where you are and where you’re going.

You’ll also be able to keep track of other features and aspects of your own personal health like your heart rate and your activity. That’s going to help you stay in shape and it will improve the quality of your workouts at the same time.

You’ll be able to see when you’re hitting your optimum levels and you won’t have to worry about putting in too much effort for something that you aren’t getting much out of.

This watch has a sapphire glass so you’re going to get the best of the best and it has easy to use buttons, timer, sweat-proof band and a whole lot more.

You’re going to be prepared for absolutely anything with this because you’ll be able to slip it on and start working harder right off the bat. You won’t have to worry about anything and you definitely won’t have to worry about it getting broken or waterlogged.

This watch is going to stick it out with you no matter how long your next workout is. And it’s going to help you out if you find yourself stuck out in the wilderness on your own.

PROS:

  • Can be connected with your phone
  • Records heart rate
  • Long life battery
 CONS:

  • The interface is not user friendly at first
  • Has no vibration alert capabilities
  • The audible beep is too soft

Related: Often when cycling or doing any other kind of outdoor activity, it is difficult to multitask or do other activities such as checking your watch. You need total concentration during such activities. It is for this reason that customers who buy this watch also buy the Suunto Bike Mount.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio Pro Trek Watch

Weight: 12 ouncesCasio Pro Trek

Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches

Specific Features: Analog and digital watch, altimeter, barometer and thermometer alongside alarms, stopwatch, timer

Best for: Traversing the wilderness

With this Casio Pro Trek Watch on your wrist you’re going to have absolutely no problem finding your way absolutely anywhere.

It’s not only a great looking watch that will help you keep the time, but it’s also a super advanced watch that’s going to help you know exactly where you are and where you’re going at all times.

That’s because it includes everything you’re going to need from a thermometer, compass, barometer and altimeter to world time and power saving features that are going to help you keep track of everything you need to know.

With this watch you’re getting something super high quality as well because it has a strong resin case, a sapphire dial and quartz built in for movement. Not only that but it’s super easy to use with the resin band and you won’t have to worry about anything happening to it because it is entirely water resistant.

In fact, it’s designed so that you can even take it into the water with you if you’re going swimming or snorkeling to 100 meters. That way you don’t have to worry about anything that might happen to you while you’re out in the wilderness because your watch is going to be able to take it without any problems.

PROS:

  • Has a temperature feature
  • Can be strapped to your backpack
  • Solar powered rechargeable battery
 CONS:

  • Requires more glow in the dark on the hands
  • Pricy

Related: This is a survival watch and while out in the wild the watch is prone to getting hit or getting any kind of accidents. That is why customers who buy this watch also buy the Tempered Glass Screen Protector. It provides full screen coverage and has anti fingerprint bubble free crystal clear. The screen protector is hard enough to withstand any scuffs and scratches by knives, keys and any other substances.

Check the price on Amazon

Suunto Traverse Watch

Weight: 1 PoundSuunto Traverse

Specific Features: Water resistant, GPS, activity tracker

Best for: Wilderness travel

f you’re looking for a tool that’s going to help you out when you’re traveling through the woods then the Suunto Traverse Watch is a great option for you.

It’s just the right size to fit on your wrist comfortably and it still provides you with plenty of information in a super easy to read format.

That way you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to figure out where you are or where you might be heading in case you get lost and you’ll still be able to keep track of other things like the date while you’re at it.

This water resistant watch can help you figure out where you are based on its built-in GPS and can even give you a map of where you’re heading according to that GPS. That way you’ll be able to find your way around.

You’ll even have a mileage counter that can let you know how far you’ve traveled and an ascension one as well, that will help you figure out how high above sea level you actually are. That’s all on top of the traditional watch features and all of these aspects are super easy to use.

PROS:

  • Rechargeable
  • Accurate GPS readings
  • Long battery life
 CONS:

  • Imported
  • Expensive as compared to others in the market
  • The display is difficult to see in bright light
  • It may not connect to all devices

Related: In order to take good care of the Suunto Transverse watch, buyers often buy it together with the DFlectorshield Screen Protector. It comes in 3 pack. One amazing thing about the screen protector is the fact that it has a free lifetime replacement program.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio G-Shock Rangeman

Weight: 10.4 ouncesMen's Casio G-Shock RANGEMAN

Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 2 inches

Specific Features: Ultra durable, timer, barometer/altimeter, thermometer, compass

Best for: Extended outdoor activity and wilderness travel

The  Casio G-Shock Rangeman is designed to give you a whole lot of durability in a small package. You get a watch that definitely looks rough and rugged and ready for anything, which it definitely is.

The deep green color looks great and the thick outer coating means that this watch is shock resistant and won’t break even if dropped. It also has metal coated sensor buttons to make sure they  are protected from damage and debris that may enter into the watch during normal wear.

You’ll be able to take this watch out into the wilderness with absolutely no problem and you’ll be able to keep yourself safer while you do so. After all, the last thing you’re going to want is to be caught out in the wilderness with no way to get back home. This watch can get you in and out of the woods every time without having to worry.

PROS:

  • Fitted with a thermometer
  • Great solar power
  • Shock resistant
  • Can be used at home, work or while outdoors
 CONS:

  • The size of the display makes it impossible for others to read
  • Pricy

Related: Because the wilderness is often difficult to predict, customers who buy this amazing watch for survival also frequently buy it together with the CoolFire Professional Solar Watch Charger. With this charger you can be sure that it will charge your sophisticated solar watch very fast and it does not over heat.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio G-Shock MRG

Weight: 1.6 poundsCASIO G-SHOCK MRG

Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.2 x 3.6

Specific Features: Date, time, location, shock resistant

Best for: Style, outdoor excursions

The Casio G-Shock MRG is designed not just to be an outdoorsy watch, but also to be a stylish one. It’s actually made to look just like a traditional men’s watch with metal instead of plastics, rubber and other synthetic materials.

Instead, it’s made with titanium which makes it ultra-durable and shock resistant as well as being drop-proof. This makes it look stylish when you’re wearing it for any reason. It’s also designed to give you a range of different features that you’re going to want if you decide to head out into the wilderness with it.

Though more expensive than other watch choices, this one definitely has some great features that are going to make up for that.

It makes sure you know exactly where you are at all times and that you’re going to be safe heading out into the wilderness whenever you want.

You’ll be able to keep track of everything you need in order to find your way back out and you’ll be able to keep the stylish look that you want at the same time. So there’s no need to change out your watch when you get home from the office and want to head outdoors. You’ll be able to just head right out.

PROS:

  • Bullet and kid proof
  • Durable
  • Sleek design
  • User friendly
 CONS:

  • Costly
  • A little bulky

Related: For a watch that delivers all the goods, the Casio G-Shock Gravity Master might just be a great buy. It is tough solar power, features auto hand home position correction and has a handy led super illuminator light, just in case you want to check the time in the dark. definitely a solid alternative to the above watch.

Check the price on Amazon

Garmin Epix Watch

Weight: 3.04 ouncesGarmin epix

Dimensions: 0.7 x 2 x 2.1 inches

Specific Features: Touchscreen, topographic maps, thermometer, compass

Best for: Extended travel in the wilderness

If you’re looking to head out into the wilderness in areas you don’t know or even in areas that you do but that you want to explore more thoroughly you’re going to love the Garmin Epix Watch.

This watch has a traditional size face to it but it’s actually a 1.4” high resolution touchscreen that not only gives you all the information that you’re looking for but does so in color.

So you’re going to have no problem seeing everything on this screen and getting all the information you want.

There are several different faces that you can get for this watch to make sure that it has everything you’re looking for and you can even download a range of different apps and widgets that make it easier to get everything you need for heading out into the wilderness.

You can track it and attach your watch to your social media as well as attaching it directly to all of your smart devices like tablets and phones to make sure you’re getting your text messages and emails all at the same time.

PROS:

  • High resolution touch screen display
  • GPS accuracy
  • Rechargeable
  • Long life battery
 CONS:

  • The display is not as bright
  • Does not have a software based MP3 playing option
  • Not very user friendly during the first few days

Check the price on Amazon

Suunto Core Watch

Weight: 0.8 poundsSuunto Core

Dimensions: 1.93 x 0.57 x 1.93 inches

Specific Features: Altimeter, barometer, storm alarm, activity tracker

Best for: Extensive activity, extensive outdoor use

If you want something that is going to keep track of absolutely everything you’re doing outdoors then you’re going to want the Suunto Core Watch.

It can not only give you all the normal watch functions you’re looking for from telling time to giving you the date and even a compass, but it also gives you functions like an altimeter, barometer, activity tracker and a whole lot more.

This watch can actually tell you the maximum depth when you go snorkeling or if there’s a storm coming. That way you’re always prepared.

With this watch you have a durable unit and a range of different options to choose from in regards to color and style. That way you’re going to have something that you want to wear.

Plus you’re going to be kept informed about everything, including sunrise and sunset, so you’ll never be caught unaware by the loss of daylight. This watch is going to keep you safe and make sure that you can get anywhere you want to or need to go when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.

PROS:

  • Comes with clear easy to follow instructions
  • Fits well
  • Classy look
  • Durable
 CONS:

  • The screen display does not have enough contrast
  • Buttons constantly jam
  • Altimeter and barometer are unreliable
  • Strap fall off often

Related: For great and durable use, customers who buy the Suunto Core also often buy it together with the Energizer CR2032 Replacement Batteries and Ace Armor Shield Shatter Resistant Screen Protector. The batteries offer great low temperature performance and have a 3 voltage lithium low drain. The screen protector is made specifically for the Suunto Core.

Check the price on Amazon

Casio G-Shock GW Rangeman

Weight: 3.36 ouncesCasio Rangeman

Specific Features: Shock resistant, timer, barometer, thermometer, altimeter

Best for: Extended outdoor trips

This Casio G-Shock GW Rangeman is definitely a great option for you to head out into the wilderness for any purpose. You’re going to have a super sturdy and durable watch that will help you stay safe no matter what you’re doing.

That’s because it’s designed to make sure that you always know where you are and what you’re getting yourself into, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost. Rather, you’ll be looking for new ways to test out this awesome watch.

The built in altimeter, barometer and thermometer all make sure that you can keep yourself safe and aware of your surroundings while the carbon fiber insert makes sure that your watch is super durable from the inside out.

Not only that but it’s extremely simple to use so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get to the right screen or the right information. You’ll be ready to head right back out there into the wilderness in no time and you definitely won’t have a problem finding a way to get yourself back home when you’re done.

PROS:

  • Shock resistant
  • Weather resistant
  • Solar powered
 CONS:

  • Display is only readable in goo light condition
  • Pricy
  • A little larger

Related: Just like any other item, sometimes due to wear and tear parts of a product may fall off. But not to worry with the CIVO Military Watch Bands you no longer have to worry about the band of your wrist watch falling off. The bands come in a wide range of colors and can fit all hands. The length is adjustable and the band itself is quite easy to install.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

No matter how much you’re heading out into the wilderness you want to make sure that you’re prepared fully and that means you definitely want to make sure that you’re using good quality tools.

One of these watches is definitely going to be a great choice, but there are plenty of other options too. So what kind of survival watch have you used? Do you have recommendations about what to look for when choosing one?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • David Roberts

    I am an active man who loves extreme conditions. I love to go camping in the deep forest. Of course there is no map which could help you in the forest. So I always rely on the Garmin Epix watch. I use a compass of this watch on every hike.

  • Russell McCarty

    Hi David! I bet you love the Garmin! It’s very accurate and the interface is incredible. You get good value for your money since the brand is trustworthy. In my opinion, you can’t buy a cheap survival watch when your life is on the line.

  • Steven Spencer

    Hello Russell! I want to buy a watch that looks very stylish and complements the image of the person and emphasizes its uniqueness. I like the G-Shock Rangeman Master Of G Series Stylish Watch very much. I’m going to buy it!

  • Russell McCarty

    The G-Shock Rangeman is a very popular watch and I can’t find anything bad to say to this watch. The product is excellent and a stellar brand. You won’t be disappointed with its performance and has all the features that you’re looking fore.

  • Cynthia Carter

    I love outdoor activities and I want to look stylish at all times. I recently found my grandfather’s watch. He told me that he doesn’t need it anymore. What do you think, can it be useful to wear the vintage survival watch? Is it okay to wear men’s watches for women?

  • Russell McCarty

    Hello Cynthia! Is your grandfather’s watch still working? I think it would still be better to choose from the newer models today since there’ll be newer features that you can enjoy. I guarantee you’ll love the new survival watches we have today.

  • Allison Myers

    I want to buy a new watch for me so I decided to look for different variants on the internet. I really like the Casio Men’s Prw-6000y-1acr Pro Trek Black Analog. I think this is the most beautiful watch from your list! I’m sure that in reality it looks awesome!

  • Russell McCarty

    Well, it looks good Allison and since it’s from Casio, you can be sure that it’s outstanding features won’t let you down. This trusted brand has been my favorite for years and I know it will offer you years of quality wear.

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