The Perfect Survival Kit

Much literature on building a survival kit consists of endless lists of what you should have in such a kit. These lists are found in books for those venturing out on their first hike, to books written for those with extensive wilderness experience. These Ten Essentials and similar lists are taken as the outdoor equivalent of the Ten Commandments: bring these items, and you can commit no wrong against nature. The items listed are often useless, because the person doesn't even understand how it would be used to save their life or signal for rescue if lost or injured. 

One such ubiquitous item which makes me laugh is the pocket knife. How is the average person who ventures into the woods only once a year going to warm himself, obtain water, or signal for rescue with that? A folding pocket knife with a non-locking blade used by a person who normally only opens cardboard boxes with it is dangerous, and more likely to result in a cut finger than tinder for starting a fire. 

Lists are useful for suggestions of what to bring, but carefully evaluate each item. Instead of thoughtlessly following a list, think of the priorities in a survival situation, and take the items which will enable you to adequately address each of these priorities quickly, even if partially incapacitated by illness or injury.

Survival priorities are best remembered as a generalized rule of threes. A person can live:

3 seconds without blood
3 minutes without oxygen
3 hours unprotected in cold or heat
3 days without water
3 weeks without food
3 generations once rescued from the situation

Note that once you've addressed your immediate threats, your next priority is signaling for rescue. Always make adequate signaling equipment a top priority. The best way to ensure someone will find you is to let family, friends, and park officials know where you are going and when to expect you back! Signaling for rescue can often be done while working on one of the priorities, such as stopping to blow a whistle every few minutes while building your shelter for the night.

Address each of these priorities for yourself by:

1. Bring the items which will allow you to address these priorities. (See Equipped To Survive)
2. Obtain knowledge of how to properly use the items.
3. Practice using the items in extreme conditions.

Once you've done all of this, you now have the survival kit which is perfect for you!


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  4. (comments above were posted and deleted by me for testing)

  5. Good content. Are you gonna keep them coming?

  6. Thank you, wandering owl. Things have been busy, but I have a few posts in my mind I plan to type in soon. :)