When contemplating the purchase of a hunting rifle for the purpose of wilderness survival, most hunters automatically think of the venerable .22 LR. They are relatively inexpensive, readily available and the ammunition is both cheap and easy to transport. However, they also are noisy to shoot and a bullet fired from a .22 LR can travel over a mile.
An excellent alternative to the .22 LR is a modern air rifle. They cost about the same and are quieter when fired. In fact, members of the Lewis & Clark expedition carried air rifles for hunting in hostile Native American territory for this very reason. Also, depending on the rifle and caliber chosen, they can be used to hunt both small and large game.