I've been a backpacker for over 30 years, and I love going up to lakes in the forests here in Washington state. I've recently been hiking with a brother-in-law of mine and we've decided to test our survival abilities in the later half of this summer. As a self-inflicted rule we're only allowing each of us to bring in five items besides normal clothing. I've been running various items thru my head trying to figure out which would do me the most good:
Knife---can't live without it. However, I was watching Bizzare foods last night and Andrew Zimmern did pretty well with a machete. It was useful in chopping wood and hacking his way through the vegetition. Then I thought, "what about a hatchet?" same sort of thing, but even better for making poles for the shelter, and customizing the firewood. Not sure which one/combo to use here.
Compass---normally I'd say yes, but we're in a area I've been to many times and am familiar with. So I'm tempted to say no on it in this instance.
matches/lighter---possibly, I know how to use a bow drill to start a fire, but nothing beats a quick fire like flicking a lighter. I've also got a mag stick, but not sure there's an advantage over using a lighter to start a fire in this circumstance
emergency blanket---I'm leaning towards this
fishing pole---lots of fish there, so it'd make food a lot easier
cooking pot---can use it to boil water for drinking, and making stews, cooking food
water bottle---obvious reasons why it's good to have, but not really neccessary if to pot works well enough
tarp---easy shelter and water collector, not sure about it
Cord---probably bring some of it, too useful not to, and I'm not too good at making my own from whatever...
flashlight---I'm guessing a torch would also work fine here
toilet paper---ugh, can't imagine using leaves, with my luck I'd grab nettle by accident
water filter---might be a good choice, but boiling could work ok on it's own
plastic bags---good for storing water and collecting food
Late august/early September
Dewey lake area roughly 5000 ft elevation
Daytime temparound 75 f typically
Nightimte temp around 40-45 I'm guessing
Normally dryish that time of year
My five at the moment (changes by the minute):
What input/suggestions can you offer, or better yet what five things would you take if you were in our shoes?