Jump to content
WildSurvive Forum
Adi

Survival kits – Why and What

Recommended Posts

Word was that they were trying to build a sword out of it, but if I've got the dates right, that was a couple of years ago.  I didn't see anywhere that they had completed it.  It is a shame there isn't a material like ductile, fiber reinforced, diamond...grin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Word was that they were trying to build a sword out of it, but if I've got the dates right, that was a couple of years ago.  I didn't see anywhere that they had completed it.  It is a shame there isn't a material like ductile, fiber reinforced, diamond...grin.

Fascinating...., I use a lot of steel, but I work with wood....., sometimes acryllics and plastics but mostly wood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great article.  The only question I have is what is a Milbank or Bothe bag?  If you did explain in the article, I apologize for missing it.

 

nurkerool, a millbank bag is a water purifying bag issued by the British Army.  It filters organic matter like mud and leaf particles from the water but it doesn't sterilize it.

 

A Bothy bag is a fabric bag big enough for several people to fit in, to trap body heat among a group of people.

 

(Adi, if I screwed this up, let me know! :hugegrin:)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I  carry a pocket survival pak by doug ritter in part with adventure medical kits. i added matches in wax,floss,puri-tabs, razor,etc relpy for more info on my psk.

i also wrap it with 25 feet of para cord

reply for more info happy070.gif

:bandit: :party:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You dont need to ask for replies just post the info on your PSK someone will be interested in what you have done with it.

 

In this case i am interested.

 

I must actually do a write up on my PSK that i promised some time ago. I am so far behind on reviews at the moment, i have a commercial review that needs to be done and some for on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever you go out for a walk, nature watching, canoeing, fishing or hunting there is a potential of something happening which can throw you into a survival situation. Imagine you take your dogs out for a walk one evening to a quiet area; you have been there many times before. You slip and badly twist your ankle; it swells up and hurts too much to put any weight on it. Day is turning to night, a cool breeze, frequent showers and the temperature is rapidly dropping, you’re about a mile from the road but it’s likely to be morning until another walker discovers you. The problem is many people don’t consider this and those that do, often think “it won’t happen to me”, this is a very dangerous state of thought to be in because you have switched yourself off from the risk. The simple act of choosing to carry a survival kit has made you think of the risk and consciously started the planning process of survival.

 

There is one other thing that we should do every time we leave home. That is to inform someone where we are going and when we are due back. Tell a partner, family member or trusted friend. In some wilderness areas you can go and log your trip at a ranger’s station or with the police. It is most important to tell them you are back safe too, you don’t want to cause panic and fear to a loved one or mobilise a professional search team whilst you are relaxing in the bath. The information you give can be as simple as telling your partner you are taking the dogs out for an hour and will be at so and so woods or as complex as a completed route card for your multi day hike with next to kin and medical history information for everyone in your group along with a complete group kit list and breakdown of skills available. Make the information you give relevant and in proportion to the trip you’re making. This also adds to your planning process of your trip.

 

A survival kit is a selection of items that will help you to get out of a situation or at least stabilise your internal life support system to keep you alive and to communicate your location to others. It should complement your kit yet contain enough to support you when you have nothing else. This in mind your survival kit should be with you at all times. This means in a trouser pocket or attached to your belt, not in a backpack or even a jacket pocket. We often remove our jackets and leave it in the car or in camp, and we can lose a jacket or backpack. There is not a problem of carrying extra survival items in you jacket or backpack; in fact this is a good idea to supplement your kit further. A survival kit should address a number of basic needs. These are shelter, water, fire, signalling and navigation.  

 

Shelter is anything that helps use maintain our normal body temperature from the elements. Our first line of defence is our clothing; we should dress correctly for the weather conditions expected for the area we are visiting, taking into account weather forecasts, regional variations, day and night variations and local knowledge. Many personal survival kits that are designed to be carried on your person do not cover shelter and if they do the survival kit is often too big and bulky and is forgotten about in the bottom of a backpack. In the addition of your personal survival kit you should carry a survival blanket or bag, a bag is preferable, these pack down very small and are very light, these will comfortably fit in a trouser pocket or on your belt in the same pouch as your survival kit. If you are on a day hike you would be well advised to carry additional means of shelter in the form of the more substantial survival shelters such as a heavy duty survival bag, a tarp or a moisture vapour permeable (MVP) bivibag. If you are going out with your family or in a group a group Bothy bag is an excellent option, these are large nylon bags that as a group you climb into and sit on the edges. They are excellent for taking breaks on the side of exposed mountains in poor weather, for treating casualties out of the elements, for sheltering from a passing storm or as an emergency shelter. If you are planning to spend a night or two out then additional shelter is not as important as you should have the use of your sleeping bag and tent. Even if your tent is damaged you can still rap yourself up in it. It might still be a good idea to carry a survival or bivi bag.

 

After shelter, water is the most important thing to preserve life. Your survival kit should at least have some water purification tablets and a heavy duty bag for collecting and storing water in. If you keep your survival kit in a belt pouch the pouch can be used to filter your water to help remove any suspended mater within it. You could include some heavy duty tinfoil to make a pot to boil your water in. Boiling water is still the best way to purify water. You could include a Milbank bag, a length of plastic tube, a water bottle and cook pot or metal mug in you backpack and/or a purification pump on longer trips.

 

Fire complements shelter, water and signalling. It provides heat to keep use warm and enables use to boil water. A survival kit should contain at least two different forms of fire lighting. Matches should be included along with a spark producing fire steel. A magnifying glass is a good addition too, the Fresnel lens is a good option as they pack away well and are light. Some form of tinder should be included. This can be anything from cotton wool, manufactured tinder’s, natural tinder’s, a candle or my favourite a length of rubber bicycle inner tube. It is also advisable to carry additional matches and a couple of Bic lighters on your person and scattered around your kit but it is important to keep your matches in waterproof containers.

 

Signalling is vitally important to attracting attention to you. No one should venture out with out a whistle and it is a good idea to back this up with a torch and a heliograph signal mirror. All these things should be carried in your survival kit or on your person. The international distress signal is three, three whistle blast or torch flashes, in Europe though it is six but if searchers are looking for you they will investigate anything that is out of ordinary. Searching for a loan person or even a group can be very difficult so anything that helps the searchers is an advantage, if someone has raised the alarm that you have not returned by a given time and has passed on information about your trip; you have a head start for being rescued. In many cases you will be rescued with in hours of being reported missing. Anything in your kit that stands out from the environment will attract attention to you so think outside of the box. A word of warning a forest fire is a very scary experience and is very likely to kill you and possibly others so do not set fire to the environment to attract attention.

 

All advise on survival suggests its often best to stay put when you find yourself in a survival situation but there are times when you have been turned around and you don’t know exactly where you are but because you have planned your trip or live locally you know the lie of the land and a simple compass may be all you need to know in which direction to go to get to a landmark, camp or road and get yourself out of a forced night out or a survival situation. It is good practice to carry and know how to use a map and compass. The best compass to have is a base plate compass that is attached to your person and your map in a pocket.

 

There are some additional items that should be included in your survival kit. A knife of some description is a must and a solid fixed blade knife attached to your belt is your primary survival tool. Some people prefer to carry a folding blade; if this is true for you then you should choose a lock blade with a blade length of at least 2 ½ inches. Most survival kits contain a one sided razor blade or a scalpel blade but these require you to make a handle, a pack of five surgical scalpel blades in a foil packet and a surgical scalpel handle are a great option. A wire saw is an option but likely to break, a folding pruning saw is a preferable option kept in your backpack.

 

A method of mending your clothes or kit is advisable in the form of a needle and strong thread and possibly a length of heavy duty sticky tape. A couple of safety pins will not take up much space in your survival kit either. A length of strong nylon cord is very useful. It’s also a good idea to keep a good length of paracord type string in you backpack. Pencil and paper should be part of you navigation equipment but you can include a small pencil and paper to your survival kit for leaving messages, making notes or keeping a survival log. A survival aid memoir with basic survival instructions is very important, when we are forced suddenly into hi stress situations our brains struggle to function properly and our IQ roles back several million years, by having some simple instructions help use to focus and guide us through the experience. A list of survival kit contents is also useful, at a glance we know what’s in the kit.

 

There are a few things we can carry with us that do not appear in the kit; these are knowledge, improvisation and experience. By thinking about carrying a survival kit we have started planning for something going wrong, by practicing and knowing how everything in your kit works we are gaining knowledge, this can be expanded by reading and or doing a survival course. This all expands our knowledge, starts to teach us how to improvise and is always adding to our experience. The more we plan for our trips out and experience new things on those trips the more experienced we become. With knowledge and experience a survival situation should be nothing more than a relatively comfortable time forced to stay out until you are picked up by rescuers.

 

Items I have left out of a survival kit. If you have done the right thing and informed someone where you are going and when you will be back, most people in a survival situation will be rescued within 72 hours, we can live without food for much longer than this so food should not be a consideration within your survival kit. It would be sensible to carry some extra food in your backpack though, just in case. Food procurement has not been considered either, catching and collecting food takes a lot of energy and is very hit or miss, mostly weighted on the miss side. You are not likely to collect enough food to replace the energy used so in most cases its better to conserve that energy. The easiest source of good quality food in the wild is fish so it might be a good idea to include a small basic fishing kit in your survival kit, you might find yourself next to a river stocked with fish. Again if you are going for a longer trip or to remote areas it would be a good idea to carry a fishing kit, gill net and snares or even a rifle in your backpack.

 

A basic first aid kit should be carried separately on the person from your survival kit backed up by a more comprehensive first aid kit containing your medicines in your backpack.

 

Choosing a survival kit can quite difficult there are so many options out there, do you buy one or build your own. As many of use that have studied survival for any length of time know, there are many survival kits on the market that are a compromise between amount of equipment it contains and quality of equipment. Many kits are aimed at a price bracket with the equipment in them being sourced to meet that cost. This more often than not means the kit contains cheap items that are not designed specifically for the task in hand, are of poor construction and can not withstand the riggers of the outdoors. Some kits are filled with nothing more than children’s toys. Be aware of this and be aware that some reputable outdoor companies and even survival kit supplier’s sale very cheap poorly made survival kits. If you want to buy a survival kit research it first and try to find some reliable recommendations for it. Finely don’t skimp on money, your life might depend on it.

 

Many survival kits are aimed at the military market; these kits are often good but are designed for military survival which covers more advanced survival techniques which dictate they have more items found in them. This does not mean the items found in these kits are of the best quality. The items are often a compromise between weight, size and cost. A soldier often operates with only his fighting kit, he does not have the luxury of supplementing his survival kit with other survival items in his backpack so his survival kit has to hold more items to cover more eventualities but still being as small and light as possible. Take a fighter pilot for instance. He does not carry much personal kit so his survival kit is quite large, bulky and heavy. It is delivered to the pilot from within his ejector seat once he has been ejected, which also carries other survival items such as a hand axe, personal life raft with its own sea survival kit, rations and water, signalling kit in the form of radio, strobe lights and flares. His parachute is part of his kit and will provide shelter and even his helmet is a survival tool.

 

As civilians we are not constrained by many of these limitations so our survival kits only need to cover the fundamental survival skills meaning we can concentrate on quality of the items. With this in mind it is often best to source our own survival items    and build a kit that best complements us. By doing this we can buy the very best survival equipment we can afford to cover all the skills of shelter, water, fire, signalling and navigation. Some survival items are quite hard to find on there own so it is often a good idea to purchase a survival kit as a head start and replace items with better items as you find them and/or to supplement the kit with other items.

 

A survival kit should be an evolving piece of kit as it is changed and updated. My survival kit is like the preverbal broom that has had its head changed fifteen times and it handle changed nine times over the years. My survival kit started life over 20 years ago and has constantly evolved with the only original item left in it being the metal surgical scalpel blade handle.

 

Military personnel often have rules called standard operating procedures that dictate a survival kit must be carried and this often includes how, what and where it is carried. Civilian pilots and sailors often have laws dictating that they must carry survival items but there are no such laws governing people that go into the outdoors, it is down to the individual to decide if and what survival equipment they carry. Many people, even experienced outdoors people know they should carry something but don’t know exactly what. Let’s have a recap on each of the areas in survival we need to consider and list some of the items that can be carried in a survival kit, on the person or in a backpack.

 

Shelter

 

PSK 

Foil survival blanket or bag,

 

On person

Plastic survival bag, tube tent, large rubbish sacks.

 

Backpack

Advanced survival bags, tarp, MVP bivi bag, Bothe bag, sleeping bag, tent.

 

Water

 

PSK 

Water purification tablets, heavy duty tinfoil for making pot,

 

On person

Material water filter, water bottle,

 

Backpack

Water purification pump, Milbank bag, flexible plastic tube, large water container or bladder, pot for boiling in.

 

Fire

 

PSK

Matches, waterproof matches, fire steel, magnifying glass, homemade, manmade or natural tinder.

 

On person

Matches, Bic lighter, fire steel, homemade, manmade or natural tinder.

 

Backpack

Matches, lighter, homemade, manmade or natural tinder, fuel, stove

 

Signalling

 

PSK

Whistle, heliograph signal mirror.

 

On person

Torch, mobile phone, epirb personal location beacon, two way radio, strobe light

 

Backpack

Signal panels, flares, smoke, satellite phone.

 

Navigation

 

PSK

Button compass,

 

On person

Base plate compass, map.

 

Backpack

Spear compass, maps, GPS

 

Miscellaneous Items

 

PSK

Scalpel blade and handle, string, needle and thread, pencil and paper, strong sticky tape, survival instructions

 

On person

Fixed blade knife, torch, first aid kit.

 

Backpack

First aid and medication, folding saw, axe, food, snares, fishing kit, gill net cooking pots.

 

The final note if you do get thrown into a survival situation first Stop, Think, Observe and Plan, move away from further danger and treat any injuries. Take a moment to compose yourself, contemplate the situation, make a physical check of what you have to hand and build a strategy. Next you need to set out your signals, construct a shelter and prepare a fire, in what order these happen in are up to you but the order should be dictated by the circumstances. Acquisition of water should be thrown in there somewhere too but one would hope you have enough on you too see you through the first stages of the situation. Once this is done you need to build a routine to keep you occupied, spend time in making yourself as comfortable as possible and conserve as much energy as possible. Try to keep in good spirits and stay positive.

 

Copyright © 2008 Adrian Floyde

 

nice topic! very long though lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

anyone want to see my kit? happy070.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif happy061.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a video I came across on building yourself a necker survival kit. This guy has some other good videos also. Good information.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tatonka,  Thanks for posting that.  I really liked how the whistle looked when he put that on his kit and made the knife so you could not even see that he was wearing a knife.  His knife is just a good alround look.  I thought also that it is cool that he used the Boy scout hot spark.  I have them to and just love them.  You can barly scrape them on cotton or milkweed and they light up great.  all in all a pretty neat set up.

 

Bryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I had a hard time operating it one handed, It slipped around in my fingers. I also tried getting a spark out of it after it was wet and couldn't get it to spark at all. I replaced it with a Coghlans sparkrod off which I pulled off one of the magnesium blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just take a hack saw and slice down a Magnesium Block Ferro Rod combo like the Doans?  If you want thin and portable drill a hole in one end and then slip that into your kit or onto your survival necklace.  Take an old Hacksaw, cut off a piece and sharpen one edge into a mini knife combo striker.  I have made these strikers, got the idea from another site, and they work well and take up almost no space.  Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have problems with the mag bar trying to contain the shavings as I lose most of them. I just use the blast match or the strike force as both are larger bars and put out plenty of sparks. In a wet condition however if you can get a good pile of shavings you will have a better chance.

 

Yes the hack saw does work well shaving the bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got my firesteels, included were a couple of small bags of magnesium shavings.  I've been trying to think of a way to pack this where they will have a chance of spilling all over the inside of my fire kit. After reading another post yesterday about the pen barrel, I thought why not take a pen barrel, cut it to the length you want, leaving the small cap (not the cap that covers the writing end, the opposite side) on the end, fill it with the shavings, get a cap from another pen and close up the tube.  That should keep it secure and when you need it, you can remove one cap, sprinkle however much you need and away you go.  I will give this a try and post pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stuff I got with my firesteels appears to be the filings from when the bars are cut to size.  I'm sure he sweeps up the waste from the cuts and sells that too.  When I was thinking about it, why wait until you need it, perhaps in an emergency situation to shave off the magesium when you can grind it off and package it ahead of time in the comfort of your garage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Ill look at Walgreens the next time Im in there to see if they have magnesium powder to try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me know what you find and how it works, Swede.   

I also see 10 pound bags of magnesium turnings listed on eBay for about $30.  I'd definitely be careful not to spark that entire bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my friend Karen one of these:

 

http://www.survival-supply.com/ultimate-survivor-bottle-p-4356.html?osCsid=7af36a49d158c6df8d5ed6033cae9e69

 

4776.jpg

4776a.jpg

 

Ultimate Survivor in a bottle

A 32oz BPA-free water bottle packed with essential survival supplies. Comes in assorted colors.

 

THIS KIT INCLUDES:

 

1 32 oz BPA-Free Water Bottle

1 Carabiner

1 Multi-Function Tool

1 Multi-Function Whistle/Compass

1 Flashlight

2 Batteries

1 Survival Blanket

2 Hand Warmers

1 Candle

1 Box Waterproof Matches

1 Emergency Poncho

20 Piece First Aid Kit w/Pouch  

1 Reusable Zipper-lock bag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×