If you want to survive the Wonderlands, you'd be wise to seek out Wards at your earliest opportunity. When equipped, Wards envelop your Fatemaker in a swirl of shielding magic, so your soft, fleshy bits can withstand axe slashes and razor-sharp arrows with ease.
But don't get complacent, because taking too much damage will cause your Ward to break; you won't be safe again until it recharges. As you'd expect, a Ward's rarity often determines how much damage it can withstand before it shatters and needs to recharge.
Wards in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands are produced by three manufacturers, all of which seek to improve your survivability with their own unique spin on shielding:
Ashen Wards are quick to recharge when broken, so you can duck in and out of combat without fear of mortal injuries. The tradeoff for this rapid recharging is a lower max capacity, so don't assume you'll survive should you decide to waltz into the midst of an enemy horde.
The tinkerers at Pangoblin like to make Wards with boosted shield capacity, so you can laugh in your enemy's faces as they fruitlessly try to stab you to death. But you may want to run and hide if and when your Ward breaks, as it'll take longer to recharge.
Hyperius' Wards offer bonuses when you've kept your shield in pristine condition. For example, they might deliver a crackling electric shock to the first enemy who strikes you, or empower the first shot from your gun with increased damage at the cost of some of your Ward's energy.