Thursday, October 8, 2015
A Survival Kit: What For?
Every survival book and guru shouts and pounds you better have a “kit”. We have books and articles warning of the dangers lurking out there. We have folks who sell the kits, dictating what should be in them. It is to the point if you do not have a kit, as dictated, you are going to die. Without a kit you are just helpless and stupid for not having half a brain and not half the sense god gave a goat. With all of that being said, look at what we have, a whole industry on survival kits has arisen, leaving once again your pockets running short of bucks.
The books sell and the articles gain acclaim over the contents of said kits. Whole careers are based on the fear factor of a survival kit. I feel it leads to a false sense of security. Depend on yourself and the skills you own, that factor seems to be overlooked.
How many of you have ever gone into the bush with just your survival kit tucked somewhere about your body and tried to use it? Do you really even know what is in it? Do you know how to utilize what is in it? A prudent person would really test it ahead of time, just like all other gear. I have been asking this question now for a few weeks. What is in your survival kit and have you ever used it? Answers range from “I don’t want to mess up my kit,” to, “I can't get everything back in it” “I’ll
My point is, if one has the skills and own those skills, you should be able to survive with nothing but what is normally in your pockets and the knife on your side, and many could do well without the knife. Almost every outdoorsman I know carries a pocket knife. Some carry a few folded up contractors bags in the back pocket, a huge plus for shelter and keeping warm. You can put the contractors bag next to your skin and put your shirt on over it causing you to be warmer. Plus you can use it as a way to carry water and a way to shed rain. You have deeper knowledge than you know and you can reach inside your brain—the survival kit you always have with you—and put it to use.
What do you need? depending on where you are, depends on what you need, but most might need shelter. It takes time to build a good shelter worthy of keeping you warm, so start early and use what is available. Keep it small and tight, so it doesn’t take much to warm up the inside. If you can, pile up duff, leaves, browse or other stuff and burrow into it like a critter. You can stuff your shirt with duff and other forest materials. Even newspapers work by balling them up and stuffing them in your shirt or jacket.
Use stones and break them until you have a discoidal blade that can make cuts. Now you have a knife. This leads you to being able to craft traps for food. The traps I would use are deadfall traps no cordage needed and the triggers are easy to carve. If you must use cordage take off your underwear cut into strips and twist it, now you can make several Paiute deadfalls. If the plants are around for you to make cordage so much the better, however, that is a skill you have to already know. Learn trap placement. Sometimes on a “run” no bait is needed. make a lot of traps, like 15 or twenty.
Most carry a lighter, matches, or a fire tool in their pockets. Failing that, a hand drill or a bow and drill could be the answer for fire.
Water is the difficult one. Being able to carry it will be out of the question, however you just might use one of your boots to haul a bit of water with you. Move it to your camp and with fire heat up some small stones, make sure the stones don’t come from the river, place them in the boot of water and bring it to a boil in no time flat . We have purified water that tastes like your feet, but life saving never the less.
If you are able to make fire, remember that three fires placed several feet apart, that smoke are great attention getters. Place green boughs etc on the fire to make it smokey. Stay in place if you are lost, only if it is safe. No shame in being lost, just embarrassment. Better that dead.
Most survival kits have fishing line and a few small hooks, but alas you don’t have a kit. If fish are in the water and it is a stream, dam it up where the creek is narrow, try hand fishing, try to hit them and stun them with a limb. If you are handy make a fish trap, a worth while skill to learn. A spear might answer the problem. Not saying it will work but at least it will keep you busy for a day or so.
72 hours seems to be the number that is touted about for rescue, most likely fairly accurate. If you have not been able to take meat, look forward to a fine meal when the rescue party shows up. Try to stay at least hydrated . Contrary to all the above if you do have a survival kit it might actually help you or not, depends on whether your brain will help you cobble ideas together for uses of your kit. Your brain is the perfect survival kit.
By Dude McLean
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