What you find in a fellow survivor's backpack depends largely on play style. For instance, you might find our friend KD Wolf carrying around some Human Steak. You might find his good pal Mr. Blackout tucking a Range Finder deep within his bag of loot. As for their friend Puhdado, you're likely going to find some potatoes, which if we understand correctly, must not be eaten by those who are close to him.
We're getting slightly off topic, but the point is that everyone values certain loot items over others in DayZ, but that doesn't mean some aren't universally more important. Today we're going to help your average post-apocalyptic wanderer prioritize what they should take with them, and what they should leave laying around for the bandits.
Improvised Stone Knife
We already covered how you can craft an Improvised Knife in a separate article, but now we're going to tell you why you should. First of all, it only takes up one slot of your inventory, and as of update 0.52 it will never deteriorate from its pristine condition. It can be used to skin and quarter bodies, open cans, cut Burlap Sacks into Burlap Strips for the Full Ghillie Suit or just stab your fellow survivors in the head. It's like the Swiss Army Knife that never wears down.
Bandages and Rags
This should be on the top of your priority list, as the minute you start to bleed you'll need to apply a bandage, or just bleed out and risk the dreaded Novo spawn. You should keep some actual Bandages around, as well as some Rags that you can craft by ripping up your t-shirt, or other shirts that you find while out and about. Rags and Bandages can also be used to craft a Fireplace Kit, but you'll also need some Wooden Sticks.
Splitting Axe and Firefighter Axe
We figured that we'd move in a direction that maintained the flow of things, so if we convinced you to try and build a Fireplace Kit, you'll (usually) need some type of axe to gather the Wooden Sticks. This piece of gear is more frequently used to slaughter zombies that will annoy you on your journey, or to kill other players in an epic axe fight along the coast. Take note that using your axe to cut down trees and open cans will worsen its condition, but killing zombies (or players) shouldn't.
Matchbox or Matches
Not that long ago, the developers set the time in DayZ to something crazy like December, which explains why we were all walking around freezing, which wasn't helped by the fact that they randomized the rain to act like it might in Seattle. This made raincoats an extremely popular item, but it also meant that just about everyone had a need for matches, an essential component to starting a fire and warming up. It's not as cold these days, but it's not exactly warm, either. Bring a Matchbox.
We're slowly getting into the more bandit-like parts of our backpack, but this isn't one of them. Instead, we'd advise you to take as many of these as you can find, simply because the act of making a splint in 0.52 is somewhat broken, and fractured limbs can be fixed with morphine. They are extremely rare, but as is often the case in DayZ, when you break your legs in a gun battle (or in the Fire Station) it will come in extremely handy.
This tip comes straight from a current conversation with the above mentioned live streamer, KD Wolf. We asked him what would be on his list, and besides an Improvised Knife and Bandages or Rags, Canned Peaches were his next suggestion. As he emphatically stated in his chat with us, "Peaches are life in DayZ." We couldn't agree more, as one of our characters on a private server is currently carrying around a Small Protector case full of them.
Leather Sewing Kit
You could also make an argument for the regular Sewing Kit if you're concerned about appearances, but the Leather Sewing Kit actually serves a greater purpose, which is to sew your skin shut after it gets sliced open by that Improvised Knife or desynchronizing zombie. It can also be used to fix one of our favorite clothing items, the Riders Jacket, as well as things like assault vests and boots. It will wear down with each use, however.
We briefly mentioned that you can sew yourself back together after getting busted open, but there's a major catch, one that had us and several friends frantically trying to save a dying buddy. Sewing your wounds shut with the Leather Sewing Kit can lead to infection, and to fix that, you're going to need the Alcohol Tincture, which can also be used on Rags that are worn or worse, returning them to pristine condition.
We guess that our idea of bandit-like loot is far more tame than most, since this is one of the items we'd consider relevant, mostly due to the fact that we acted like bandits by locking ourselves inside of an apartment building with one. It does have non-bandit functions as well, like locking yourself away while you grab drink from the fridge, or ensuring that you're safely hidden from sight so you can log out from your current session. You can also unlock doors to kill bandits... so there's that to consider.
Sawed off IZH-43 Shotgun
They should rename this one The Last Stand, because that's what it's used for. It will fit into your backpack by taking up four horizontal slots, and can be assigned to a hot key so that you can whip it out in a big hurry. The fact that it's not on your back will keep it a secret to other players, allowing you bust it out and start shredding faces while maintaining the element of surprise. To craft this, you'll need to cut the regular IZH-43 Shotgun with a Hacksaw.
That’s our must-have list of items for anyone who's about to gear up for an adventure in DayZ. Be sure to hit us up in the comments and let us know what's in your backpack.