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Survival Gear

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NY Yankee:
Every outdoors man, hunter, angler, hiker, should carry some basic survival gear to get you through a dark and lonely night should you find yourself unable to return to the truck or camp. Many of these items may be mentioned in other lists but I would like to do a list of specific things you may want to make a bit of room for. They are not heavy and you will be happy you have them if you need them.

There are 6 priorities to consider and you should have at least something to cover them all;

1. Signal for help. If you can get out of trouble before it becomes a survival situation, you are ahead. Cell phones are great if you have service or can text, A good signal mirror can be seen for miles and can signal ground service as well as aircraft. A small emergency road flare is good for getting attention and for lighting a signal fire too. Dont forget a good flashlight and some extra batteries. A Storm or Jet Scream brand emergency whistle - they can get someone's attention (rescue dog?) for a long, long way away. Many hundreds of yards. Your voice will be shot after a couple of minutes. You can blow the whistle all day long. I cut the back piece out of an old florescent yellow t-shirt and put it in my pack. It is very visible from the air when you wave it vigorously.

2. Build a fire. This provides you warmth, signalling, a way to boil and disinfect water, and makes you feel better as you sit near it to keep warm. I always have 3 ways to start a fire and some extra tinder to get it started if nothing is available around me. Storm proof matches in a watertight container, two Bic lighters in a Ziploc bag, and a ferrocerium rod if the others fail. Strike sparks into some Vaseline-soaked cotton balls and you will get it started.

3. Gather water. Either carry a full canteen or a large stainless steel bottle so you can boil water once you have collected it from a stream or pond. I keep a SS drinking cup nested over my bottle too. A small bottle of 2% Iodine will also help disinfect the water, 5 drops per quart or liter. I also have a new 3 foot length of fish tank hose to use as a drinking tube if needs be. Water is an absolute necessity.

4.Make shelter. Carry a lightweight plastic sheet or tarp to make a roof, wind break, or at least, wrap around you. Two plastic 55 gal drum liners can do the same and can be used for other things too. Don't forget a roll of cordage to use to tie it down or up or whatever. Even simple sisal cord will work, it just needs to be strong cordage. I do not like nylon because it comes unwound if you cannot melt the ends and can be tough to keep knots tight. Same goes with 550 Paracord. Put in a long sleeve t-shirt and a knit hat if it will get cold at night.

5.First aid. A good first aid kit should have at least one trauma bandage to deal with blood loss as well as bandages
 for the other boo-boo's. Everybody needs at least a basic FAK. Look into building one of your own.

6. Food is a controversial topic because all the experts say you don't need food for several days but I wonder if they have ever tried it?  When you haven't had anything to eat in many hours, it's an ugly feeling. I get an upset stomach and worse, low blood sugar too. A few meal replacement bars do not weigh that much and go a long way in making you feel better as you wait to hike out or for help to come. This will be up to you though.

This all may seem like a lot of extra stuff but it really isn't. A couple of extra pounds in your pack may make life a little easier once bad things happen when you least expect it.

SAM E. STEPHENS:
I always get made fun of because my pack always has stuff like you talked about but everyone sure don’t hesitate to use my stuff when they need it...

,,Sam,,

NY Yankee:
 :biglaugh: Sam, I know, me too. I strongly believe the Boy Scouts got it right!

Wudstix:
On track.

BAK:
Agreed   :help:

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