What's in your survival kit?

2:51 p.m. on November 9, 2011 (EST)
401 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

Hi, I have just begun producing some videos on backpacking.  A short video I just finished is about survival kits.  If you have a moment, check out what's in Dan's kit on the video.  I would love to hear some new ideas and tips on this from you guys.  Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/user/BackpackersReview?feature=mhee

11:19 p.m. on November 9, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

If you don't have time to watch or don't remember here's the list.

duct tape
small multi-tool (the kind with the needle nose pliers)
whistle
compass
3 forms of fire starting

  • fire striker
  • waterproof matches
  • bic lighter

vaseline coated cotton balls.
10' or so of cord
headlamp
iodine tabs
emergency blanket (really thin aluminium type)
ziplock bags
little bit of wire

He mentions that most rescues occur withing 48 to 72 hours and this will be what you need to survive that long. 

There weren't any kind of first-aid items other than duct tape (he specifically mentioned it). Now he mentions throwing this in your pack whenever you go for a hike.  I'm assuming that as a responsible hiker you would also have some sort of first aid kit with you. 

If my memory serves me correctly Troutman has a small pack similar to this that he takes with him when and where ever he goes. Even when he's set up camp and he leaves to go get water, fish or gets more than a stones throw from camp.  I don't remember what thread it's on around here but Troutman will probably chime in. 

I think that 3 ways to start a fire might be a bit over kill. I would probably dump the matches.

If it was winter I would seriously consider this Emergency Bivy instead of the aluminum foil blanket. It would probably come in handy anyway.

Some kind of tarp or maybe one of those plastic poncho's that you could be used to make a shelter.  The reason for this is because if you are hurt you may not be up to making a shelter out of branches and leaves.

12:20 a.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Equipment for,

shelter

fire

water

recovery

6:50 a.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,861 reviewer rep
1,325 forum posts

My pack is my 'survival gear'. I never go far from my pack, i take it with me everywhere unless i am just getting water. I always have a lighter and some dry birch bark, a fixed blade knife, and a compass on my person. As already mentioned we arn't trying to live indefinitely in the wild, most rescues take place with 48-72 hours.

9:01 a.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
401 reviewer rep
17 forum posts

Good points guys.  While there is no "right or wrong" way to make a survival kit, most of us would agree on the essentials and that it should be with us at all times in the wilderness.  

9:52 a.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

The minimum kit I carry varies a bit depending on my location and how demanding the conditions and trip will be. 

At the very least, I do not go away from camp or on a very short hike without a means of making fire, a knife, a jacket, and a pocket straw-filter. 

For day hikes, and in my bag when backpacking, I will carry:

- First aid kit (with duct tape, vaso-cotton, meds & pain killers, sunsblock, etc)

- Knife 

-Headlight or small flashlight

- Lighter, firesteel, and/or hurricane matches.

- Straw water filter or purification tabs/drops

- Emergency bivy or blanket

- Poncho tarp or Hardshell jacket (& maybe pants)

- Extra clothes (determined by conditions) 

- Day supply of emergency food

- Paracord

-  Compass & Map

- TP

- Water

2:21 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

To Dan's list, I would add:

1. Emergency Blanket

2. First Aid kit

3. Extra food for energy. In my case this might include some Kendall Mint, or glucose tablets, as well as something like a can of sardines.

4. Signal mirror. I have a Silva Ranger compass which has a mirror.

5. A couple of zip ties.

I always carry extra clothes, a head lamp, etc. The rule I use asks the question, "Can I spend the night out here without risk of becoming hypothermic." This includes not being able to make a fire because of injuries and/or wet conditions.

6:07 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,518 forum posts

I always carry a first aid kit, foot kit and survival kit. I don't care how short a hike. I even used it the other day when my hiking companion fell and scraped up her leg on some tree limbs. Cleaned the wound, dressed one of them and continued. We had a great hike and she is healing well. Nothing serious, but infection is always a concern as well as scaring (for most girls, scars are not victories. I kinda like em myself.)

7:18 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
155 forum posts

If you combine Gonzan's and Erich's posts that's about what I carry.

But I don't really call it a "survival" kit. To me it's more a "common sense" kit.

7:24 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,333 reviewer rep
628 forum posts

Can of sardines? Hahaha never heard of that, although I can absolutly see the reasoning behind it.

7:50 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
210 reviewer rep
4,346 forum posts

 

Episodes of LOST !! :)

8:29 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Jake W said:

Can of sardines? Hahaha never heard of that, although I can absolutly see the reasoning behind it.

Hey Jake, I carry this with me at all times in my kit. A lil dab will do ya. Great to help ya wake up in the morning. I believe it has mythical powers. 

Pain-100-001.jpg

10:39 p.m. on November 10, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

B.O.B. or Kit

12:03 a.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

@Callahan B.O.B. ?

Ya'll forgot the number one thing included in all cheap survival kits.  Fish hooks. :>

12:31 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Yeah fish hooks are pretty good in the desert

B.O.B.

Bug Out Bag

3:13 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

I actually do often carry a small tackle kit that fits in the little platic snap top containers "Big League Chew" bubble gum came in. In this region, the panfish, rockbass, and trout in mountain streams are quite easy to catch with a small spinner fly or rooster tail. 

3:40 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Funny Caleb, I do the same thing. Only difference is I use a pill bottle for my container.

Dryer lint is a good thing to have as well or a snuff tin of fatwood shavings.

8:30 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

I agree there is no one right way to put together, or carry, an emergency kit.

I also agree with TheRamblers point about keeping your pack close by, and I like thinking in terms of your whole kit as your survival kit, although a separate bag with just the emergency items in it is an easy way for many people to pack.

Exactly what you carry or how you carry it depends on a lot of factors but I think the basics hold true for most everyone with few exceptions.

Because I like to make camp and stay in one place for a weekend or longer while doing dayhikes away from camp (I'm not a thru hiker most times) I choose to use the lid of my backpack to carry my emergency items.

The pack I have has a lid that detaches and becomes a fanny / hip pack, or can be slung over one shoulder. I carry this for dayhikes and fishing trips away from camp instead of carrying my whole pack. It stays with me and does not leave my sight.

Remember Murphy's law?

I'll bet the one time I leave my stuff behind will be the one time I get lost or hurt, or both. Just like car insurance, I carry my emergency stuff always just in case.

Anyway, I generally carry the following items although some serve dual purpose in my pack:

First aid items

Extra food

4 Micro Pur tablets

Metal water bottle w/water

Bandanna

Small knife

Small light

Bic lighter / Firesteel / Tinder

Map & compass

Chapstick / Small amount of sunscreen if needed

Small amount of duct tape / length of cord or shoe lace

Extra clothing as needed

Bivy during winter

FISHING KIT!

9:03 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

....I forgot to mention that if I'm away from camp for the whole day such as scouting & fishing I will bring an alcohol stove and small fuel bottle to cook lunch.

I guess it's not truly part of an emergency kit for me, but at just a few ounces it's worth considering, although they don't easily tolerate really cold temps like white gas stoves do.

12:40 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
60 reviewer rep
115 forum posts

For the most part we aren't really talking about survival kits though if they're in your pack.  My "survival kit" is what I carry on my person.  I only need my survival kit if I get separated from my pack some how, and if my survival kit is in my pack well, you see my dilemma.  So what I would have to refer to as my survival kit would be what I keep in my pockets;

butane storm lighter(shiny chrome so it reflects well), gerber knife, pur tablets, TP, couple clif bars, watch, headlamp?(sometimes)  and maybe some lip balm.  

In winter with my chest pack, added to that would be a couple grabber my coals hand warmers and a small water bottle,extra glove liners.

I make it a point to wear pants, shorts with a good pocket or two so I can carry these items comfortably.   Its not very extensive but I know I can stay alive for 72 hours with these plus my clothing, barring any serious injury (leg fracture/head trauma).

I have never used one but am going to look into one of those filter straws, they seem like they'd be extremely useful in an emergency.  

For firestarter I take the dryer lint put it in paper egg cartons drizzle melted wax into it and let it cool.  Then I rip them apart and you have a nice powerful fire starter compact enough to put in your pocket.

9:29 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

MoZee said:

For the most part we aren't really talking about survival kits though if they're in your pack.  My "survival kit" is what I carry on my person.  I only need my survival kit if I get separated from my pack some how, and if my survival kit is in my pack well, you see my dilemma.  So what I would have to refer to as my survival kit would be what I keep in my pockets;

butane storm lighter(shiny chrome so it reflects well), gerber knife, pur tablets, TP, couple clif bars, watch, headlamp?(sometimes)  and maybe some lip balm.  

In winter with my chest pack, added to that would be a couple grabber my coals hand warmers and a small water bottle,extra glove liners.

I make it a point to wear pants, shorts with a good pocket or two so I can carry these items comfortably.   Its not very extensive but I know I can stay alive for 72 hours with these plus my clothing, barring any serious injury (leg fracture/head trauma).

I have never used one but am going to look into one of those filter straws, they seem like they'd be extremely useful in an emergency.  

For firestarter I take the dryer lint put it in paper egg cartons drizzle melted wax into it and let it cool.  Then I rip them apart and you have a nice powerful fire starter compact enough to put in your pocket.

With dryer lint I personally like the idea of using wax instead of vaseline because it's less messy to carry.

I do think carrying a survival kit in your pack is a legitimate option for some people depending on their environment and activities.

I also think carrying these items on your person makes very good sense for the same reasons. Obviously you are talking about very basic items and keeping them close and handy to use.

I used to carry lots of stuff in cargo pockets and a small Mora around my neck, but for the activities I engage in carrying these same items in a shoulder bag or fanny pack is more comfortable and allows me to carry more things such as a bivy and my fishing gear since a lot of my trips away from camp are fishing trips where I'm working sections of stream.

I found that carrying a knife around my neck bushcraft style was a real pita and completely unnecessary for what I do. If you are actively working with the knife for extended periods around camp it makes sense, especially if you are seated.

But even for me a small light & compass sometimes goes in a shirt pocket. Or a  Bic lighter, small knife, Chapstick, etc. are things I like to carry in a security zip pocket for convenience when I'm not carrying a backpack.

I think most of us have  probably thought of likely scenarios in which we could become separated from our pack or survival kit and I'll bet they are somewhat different scenarios based on our experiences, environment, or activities.

I'm going to start a new thread in Backcountry on this topic of becoming separated from our packs / kits because I think we could all benefit from each others input and experiences.

11:54 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

I always have firesteel on a cord around my neck, a map in my pocket, and a knife on my person. If I am somewhere that water filtration is truly a must, I will carry my my water purification or filter on me as well. 

If I am solo, I will always have my emergency/survival kit on my person in some form or another. 

9:14 p.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,308 reviewer rep
1,076 forum posts

This:

FB01-oblique.jpg

That is a Spyderco FB01, with a Maratac AAA flashlight inside a few inches of Gorilla Tape mounted between the Kydex and a small Tek-Lok, and a couple fire straws behind about 10 feet of mil-spec paracord. The blade is mirrored to double as a signal mirror. I always wear my 10 year-old Suunto Vector, and carry at least one lighter. If I lose the lighter, I can still make a fire bow...What you see weighs under 9 ounces.

It is either mounted on my backpack strap, or on my belt. The Tek-Lok makes this transition very easy. I make the switch even if I set the pack down to get water, though I have couple packs which allow me to wear it on my belt all the time.

Now, in my pack I always (at least) make up the rest of the "Ten," adding water purification, a heatsheets bivy, sunscreen, (more easily accessible) firestarter, map, FAK, food/water, and an extra layer (even if it's just a windshirt). Then I add my personally-preferred items, usually a Leatherman PS4, a whistle, and a Brunton 7DNL plate compass.

The majority of my kit, though, is in my head. You may need to carry more or less depending on your specific skill-sets/level of training. Also, the items I choose to carry are based on the trade-offs with which I feel comfortable. Many would choose items with different levels of durability/longevity, or with altogether different engineering and function. The things I choose also occasionally change, depending usually on my identification of some thing I would consider a "better" option---more applicable to the situations I expect to encounter--than whatever it would then be replacing. For instance, sometimes I feel I need to bring my Waki...

3:34 a.m. on November 13, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Jake W said:

Can of sardines? Hahaha never heard of that, although I can absolutly see the reasoning behind it.

Hey Jake, I carry this with me at all times in my kit. A lil dab will do ya. Great to help ya wake up in the morning. I believe it has mythical powers. 

Pain-100-001.jpg

 Love this one

3:12 p.m. on November 14, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

Several people had already mentioned a lint/egg carton fire starter. These work. However, traveling in areas with plentiful birch trees, birch bark substitutes well. That being the case, my survival kit items can vary depending on locale and current conditions.

3:53 a.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

Is this kit for surviving my wife or the elements?

6:52 a.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

It's for when your wife runs you out of the house without your pack.

10:25 a.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
33 reviewer rep
20 forum posts

If things are that bad with the wife perhaps you should keep the "bug out bag" in the car trunk or better yet the "other apartment".

On fish hooks: If you are really in a must survive situation, scrap the fishing attempts and "eat the bait". Consider that some dead Greek guy once postulated concerning the chicken and  egg saying that the "actual" must have come before the "potential". Perhaps there are more important things to do than "hope for a bite".

Water, Shelter, Food. What more can you ask for?

I am in a continual process of trying to strip more and more junk out of my pack in an attempt to reduce unnecessary or redundant items. When items need to be replaced I have tried to improve quality and decrease weight which then allow room for a few "luxury items" like my stove and sleeping pad :).

Minus water, I'm at about 20-21Lbs. This includes food and gear for 3-5 days

Emergency change of cloths, 3x socks & skivy's, poncho, basic toiletries & hygiene, 1st aid & emergency supplies, tarp tent(currently AppyTrails3), 6x9 tyvek ground cloth,sleeping pad,sleeping bag(varies seasonally), nylon bivi sack, SVEA123 w/pot  & utensil(singular not the whole kitchen), extra fuel depending on season and duration,IMCO super(in my pocket), LED head lamp w/spare batteries, key chain led flashlight, NiteIze zipLit, water tabs, BIC, fire steel, disposable oil candle(light or fire starting), small pocket knife(in pocket) w/extra tied inside pack.......

I have not counted the weight of my trekking poles. They are carried but not "in the pack".

Currently looking for a medium sized light weight pack. Toes are in the water and if I ripped out the old one I'd replace it immediately. I know that I could reduce 2.5lbs with a new model but letting the old one sit on a shelf is almost as bad as sending it to the land fill.Something inside me wants to use my old gear as long as I can. If its serviceable, use it. If its useful pass it along to someone who will use and appreciate it. Comparative research before random impulse buying and purchasing the highest quality gear will often reduce waste and improve sustainability.(reduce, reuse, recycle)??

If it has been a while since you have really looked in your pack, not just one pouch or pocket at a time take a few minutes and dump it out on the floor. Look through it to group and categorize items. You may find a lot that can stay home.

For anyone really interested I'm willing to "dump the ruck" and send a more detailed list in a "private topic"

AR

2:26 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

anlrolfe said

On fish hooks: If you are really in a must survive situation, scrap the fishing attempts and "eat the bait". Consider that some dead Greek guy once postulated concerning the chicken and  egg saying that the "actual" must have come before the "potential". Perhaps there are more important things to do than "hope for a bite".

In the Appalachians it would be a good idea to carry a spinner bait and some fishing line instead of just fish hooks.  You don't need bait then.  In Florida I would make some small dough balls and let them dry and store them in with some hooks and line.

If I wanted to play Bear Grylls, I would rig my t-shirt with a line to each corner and place it in the water with some bait in the middle.  When the minnows (mosquito fish) came to investigate, pick it up and eat them.    

6:13 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

Erich said:

Several people had already mentioned a lint/egg carton fire starter. These work. However, traveling in areas with plentiful birch trees, birch bark substitutes well. That being the case, my survival kit items can vary depending on locale and current conditions.

 Yes, good point. In the Southeast (and probably lots of other places) the sap from yellow pines works very well as a fire starter plus has other uses as a binding or waterproofing agent. You don't have to damage the tree to collect any just look around for it dribbling from broken branches & bark, or areas bored into by insects.

6:23 p.m. on November 15, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Callahan said:

Equipment for,

shelter

fire

water

recovery

 Add to this a couple of food bars

2:03 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

ocala, if you really  "wanted to play Bear Grylls", then you would have a helicopter at the ready and a nice hot shower and hotel room waiting. That's the best survival gear.

2:35 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Erich said:

ocala, if you really  "wanted to play Bear Grylls", then you would have a helicopter at the ready and a nice hot shower and hotel room waiting. That's the best survival gear.

 You also left out a camera crew with a support team on stand-by...

2:42 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Erich said:

Several people had already mentioned a lint/egg carton fire starter. These work. However, traveling in areas with plentiful birch trees, birch bark substitutes well. That being the case, my survival kit items can vary depending on locale and current conditions.

One of the reasons I tend to carry dryer lint, etc is because I have this thing against scavenging for necessities from my surroundings. If one pulls bark from the trees it make the tree more susceptible to being damaged from invasive species of insects(beetles) being the bark is the tree's first line of defense.

If one was to need to strip bark from a tree for survival purposes get a little from multiple places and not alot from one spot.  This will cut down on the amount of damage one does to the tree. 

3:25 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

 If one pulls bark from the trees it make the tree more susceptible to being damaged from invasive species of insects(beetles) being the bark is the tree's first line of defense.

 I agree with the concept of not damaging a live tree to start a fire, and carry vaseline soaked cotton balls for this purpose. 

However, on most species of birch, if all you are carefully removing are modest amounts of the tufts of flaking paper-like bark you will not harm the tree at all. This is true of Red Cedar trees as well. The defense layers of the bark are not the layers that are tufting and flaking of, but rather those that are still bonded to the living layers underneath. Those bonded layers are not effective or helpful in starting a fire at all, and do not come off easily.  If someone is doing this, they neither know what they are doing nor serving their purpose.

I do not speak out of hand on the topic, but am trained and studied in forestry. I was fortunate to win two  state competitions in the subject years ago. 

So, all that rambling to say, I agree- don't harm trees, though judiciously using the tufting bark of certain trees shouldn't be detrimental.

3:36 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

gonzan said:

judiciously using the tufting bark of certain trees shouldn't be detrimental.

 I am with ya on this one. I just worry that some may not be aware of this possibility and just wanted to fire that little tid-bit of info out there. 

10:50 p.m. on November 16, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

You can do the same thing with long leaf pine bark.  Take a few layers off hear and there.  Their pine cones are excellent once you get your tender started.  If you can find a downed long leaf the core is some of the best fat wood ever grown by a tree. It won't rot and termites won't eat it because it has so much tar sap.  Just scrape some off into a pile. Once you get some finger thick pieces burning you can dry out damp wood.

9:39 a.m. on November 17, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

gonzan said:

judiciously using the tufting bark of certain trees shouldn't be detrimental.

 I am with ya on this one. I just worry that some may not be aware of this possibility and just wanted to fire that little tid-bit of info out there. 

 Definitely, a good thing to mention. 

12:35 p.m. on November 17, 2011 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,406 reviewer rep
262 forum posts

I carry lots of that stuff, too, but I also carry a few zip strips and a little buck knife plier/multitool (3oz?).  I have used the pliers countless times...and the zip strips several.  Saved a whole snowshoeing trip with those two items alone.

12:37 p.m. on November 17, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

Sorry all, I didn't mean to imply that you should use live trees to collect firewood. Birch trees and a few others can have their outer bark removed with no damage to the tree(birch trees naturally shed their bark). The beauty of birch bark is that even after the wood of a fallen tree itself has long rotted away, the bark will remain and often still possess enough resin to burn easily. As well, some mosses(Old Man's Beard for instance) can be used as firestarters. 

The point being that with regards to food, fire and shelter, in emergency situations, knowledge of what your environment can provide is an elemental skill. Knowing which plants are edible, which wood burns easily, how to dig a snow cave or build a simple shelter, should all be items in your survival kit.

5:31 p.m. on November 17, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

Yes Erich I knew what you meant, birch bark just peels off on its own.

I did learn last year that driftwood, even when dry, does not burn very well. More specifically what I had was Cypress drift wood. I was on a lake island and it was plentiful.

7:04 p.m. on November 17, 2011 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
204 forum posts

I keep a mini (from the airplanes) of tequila.  Who knows when you'll need alcohol to treat a bad wound, or fried nerves ^_^

7:07 a.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

travelnate said:

I keep a mini (from the airplanes) of tequila.  Who knows when you'll need alcohol to treat a bad wound, or fried nerves ^_^

My spousal survival kit has a mini - bar that is.

Ed

8:39 a.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,861 reviewer rep
1,325 forum posts

I didn't see anyone mention dental floss. It is a very multi purpose item and has a breaking strength depending on the brand from 20-25lbs. Clean your teeth, use it to sew for repairs or first aid, fishing line, fishing net, shoelace, cloths line, snares,and the list goes on and on.

I always carry a small container of it, along with many of the other things already mentioned. Firewire or other similar fishing line is very similar but stronger, but also much much more expensive and not quite so easy on the teeth!

 

 

6:02 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

TheRambler said:

I didn't see anyone mention dental floss. It is a very multi purpose item and has a breaking strength depending on the brand from 20-25lbs. Clean your teeth, use it to sew for repairs or first aid, fishing line, fishing net, shoelace, cloths line, snares,and the list goes on and on.

I always carry a small container of it, along with many of the other things already mentioned. Firewire or other similar fishing line is very similar but stronger, but also much much more expensive and not quite so easy on the teeth!

 

 

 Yes your right, I didn't see it mentioned either.

I have been leaving mine at home recently, I have carried some for a long time, but since I usually have monofilament or fluorocarbon  line with me I have reconsidered.

Your also right about the Firewire, it is tough!

6:52 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

trouthunter said:

"Your also right about the Firewire, it is tough!"

I agree that and this is what I use/carry instead of carrying floss and or monofilament/fluorocarbon line.  With the advent of synthietic braided lines and the such I find monofilament or fluorocarbon to be mostly usless.

In regards to it's strength.  I caught my first 4 ft Barracuda on 6lb Firewire and my first and only Sailfish and Marlin on 25lb Firewire.  All fish were caught with spinning reels.

10:13 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

Yes, dental floss is part of my kit. I always try to have a redundant system..dental floss, thing diameter braided, and a couple of lengths of larger diameter braided. Different kinds of fire starter as well. Having only one line of defense is trusting too much to luck, like not having a change of socks, extra gloves, etc. I don't take an extra tooth brush on my expeditions...that would be overkill. ;-)

10:19 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

apeman said:

trouthunter said:

"Your also right about the Firewire, it is tough!"

I agree that and this is what I use/carry instead of carrying floss and or monofilament/fluorocarbon line.  With the advent of synthietic braided lines and the such I find monofilament or fluorocarbon to be mostly usless.

In regards to it's strength.  I caught my first 4 ft Barracuda on 6lb Firewire and my first and only Sailfish and Marlin on 25lb Firewire.  All fish were caught with spinning reels.

 Yep, but I won't catch Brook Trout on Firewire! haha

10:36 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

trouthunter said:

apeman said:

trouthunter said:

"Your also right about the Firewire, it is tough!"

I agree that and this is what I use/carry instead of carrying floss and or monofilament/fluorocarbon line.  With the advent of synthietic braided lines and the such I find monofilament or fluorocarbon to be mostly usless.

In regards to it's strength.  I caught my first 4 ft Barracuda on 6lb Firewire and my first and only Sailfish and Marlin on 25lb Firewire.  All fish were caught with spinning reels.

 Yep, but I won't catch Brook Trout on Firewire! haha

 Nope, the wiley little brookie will not be trixkded by the evil black line!

10:59 p.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
20 reviewer rep
63 forum posts

Dental floss is a really good addition, it is truly multi purpose. Took an archery course in college, they tought us how to make a very nice bow string from several layers of dental floss. Do not know if a survival situation would ever get that primitive, but a good example of its usefulness.

8:05 a.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
827 reviewer rep
586 forum posts

I carry the following;

Two emergency blankets I taped together with duct tape to form a large bag big enough for two if needed (weighs 5 oz). Aquamira frontier pro filter. Pj cotton balls (3). Firesteel. Waterproof matches. Jute twine (good for tinder) Compass. Small led light w/a strobe setting. 1 pr chem handwarmers. 25 ft paracord.

I have a leatherman wave in my pack and I carry a cig lighter too

11:30 a.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

Since we're talking about survival here it probably means Murphy showed up. If after tripping you and breaking your ankle, he decided you needed to be more miserable he might throw a little wind and rain your way making you wet, cold and wishing you had a fire.  So for those of you who carry lighters...

Here's an interesting wind proof lighter test.  IMCO vs Zippo in the wind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PdPQKE51kA

IMCO after being put under a faucet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vwGDBzJx6Q


IMCO in a wind storm.  The guy claims it's a Danish hurricane and that  hurricanes in Denmark aren't that powerful.  Understatement of the year.  It probably made "good stiff breeze" on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. There didn't even appear to be any rain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfwsZcb52pw



2:09 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Now I am going to have to throw in an elastic bandage.  Maybe the reason for the bandage is why I am having to use the survival kit.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT3lVUFa5EnP3_mji9FVGS

3:11 p.m. on November 23, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Added and ACE Elastic 3" bandage, many uses.

12:31 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
192 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

Iridium and Laphroaig.  And a team from 1st Recon Bn.  You know...for bears.

8:09 a.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,861 reviewer rep
1,325 forum posts

Re: ACE bandages

IMO carrying an ACE bandage is a waste of money and resources. You are far better off carrying a roll of athletic or duct tape. You can wrap anything the same way as an ACE, it will stay on better, and can be used for many other things as well.

Problems I see with ACE bandages used for their intended purpose. 1)Bulky when in use if wrapped properly, good luck getting your boot on. 2) They slip and slide ALOT and can cause some wicked blisters if you even manage to get your boot on. 3) They are like sponges and hold an astronomical amount of water which you don't want on your feet.

I have successfully wrapped an ankle, knee, toes, hands and all manner of other things with just athletic or duct tape. The only con to tape that I can think of is its a little harder and more painful to take off.

6:59 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

TheRambler said:

Re: ACE bandages

IMO carrying an ACE bandage is a waste of money and resources. You are far better off carrying a roll of athletic or duct tape. You can wrap anything the same way as an ACE, it will stay on better, and can be used for many other things as well.

Problems I see with ACE bandages used for their intended purpose. 1)Bulky when in use if wrapped properly, good luck getting your boot on. 2) They slip and slide ALOT and can cause some wicked blisters if you even manage to get your boot on. 3) They are like sponges and hold an astronomical amount of water which you don't want on your feet.

I have successfully wrapped an ankle, knee, toes, hands and all manner of other things with just athletic or duct tape. The only con to tape that I can think of is its a little harder and more painful to take off.

 I agree, duct tape works. If padding is needed under the tape an extra shirt works good, and the sleeves make it easy to tie on. This also works well for wounds on shins etc.

I like to carry duct tape and gauze pads as part of my FAK so I can just make my own bandages / bandaids the size I want; I find duct tape far superior in adherance to any bandaid I have tried.

To me this is just more secure and versatile.

Good point about the ACE bandages holding water.

3:15 a.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

trouthunter said:

 I agree, duct tape works...

 +1

Ed

12:09 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

at least an Ace type bandage can be reused and offes compression, umm.

8:06 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

Callahan said:

at least an Ace type bandage can be reused and offes compression, umm.

 My dad's partner at work was on a WMS conference faculty for the pediatrics unit, and he told me those are an absolute necessity because of the reusable aspect! but compression is also great!

of course him and my dad get me any supplies I want, so my med kit and resupply never cost too much!

edit: read what trouthunter said, I probably have some special brand, cause i've never had a slip or slide with them. my dog went to "Re-Education Center" recently and was in his kennel for such long periods of times that he'd lick his front legs (out of boredom i suppose) until it was flesh. We had to put it over his knee and sure he couldn't bend it greatly but he was able to move about and it wouldn't shift too much. And he's a year old golden/lab mix so he's pretty dang active!

but my dad's partner said he would use it for an open wound, put a gauze pad over it and wrap tightly to stop the bleeding quickly, when its done you could loosen it up, and change the gause pad out to avoid infection.

9:22 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

Just to clarify since it seems to be necessary....

Big difference in how you stock a medical facility and how you stock a backpack.

In a backpack space is a limiting factor, I have found ACE bandages to be bulky and unnecessary considering that duct tape or athletic tape will accomplish the same task and it is an item you will have with you anyway (or should). Multipurpose.

The cling or adhesive versions of ACE bandages do stay put quite well but duct tape is even better in this aspect at 1/10 the bulk and weight.

Also if you are in the back country and sprain your ankle (as The Rambler notes) good luck getting a boot back on over an ACE bandage.

Additionally I have found duct tape & cut gauze to be preferable to band aids for cuts & scrapes. I still carry a few band aids, but I find cutting duct tape to the exact shape and size I desire and adding a gauze patch with some Neosporin creates a bandage that out performs any commercial brand I have tried.

I do not think I am in any way compromising my FAK or sacrificing needed items in an effort to save space or weight.

Your needs may be different.

9:34 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts

I agree with both the Ace bandage AND the duct tape. The most ingenious thing I ever saw was a kid (Boy scout) splint his friends fx radius/ulna with a t-shirt, duct tape and a skateboard. Paramedics gave the first aider a big pat on the back for it.

4:57 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,406 reviewer rep
262 forum posts

In the winter, I also carry a chunk of the thin foam wrap stuff that comes on furniture in the winter. It makes a great dry pad, and if push comes to shove, I could lie on it in the snow to insulate me from the cold while in my emergency bivvy sack; I also carry my silk liner and chemical hand warmers. 

I thought I was just embracing overkill, until a man just a couple of weeks ago got turned around up at Paradise on Mt. Rainier and died from exposure while showshoeing. Don't think my kit is quite the overkill I used to.

5:40 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

 Duct tape AND blue foam pad. 

You want a splint, just cut off a section, tailor to surround the affected limb, and duct tape or tie in place withy cord to retain form.  Works amazingly well; double wrapped it makes an effective knee brace.  Don't ask why I know.

You want a compression bandage, cut a piece of foam pad (or wad from a sock), apply it over the bandage or gauze, and hold all in place with duct tape.  Compression force is determined by how many layers of foam employed, and how tightly wrapped the tape is wound.

-------------------

I agree with Mike, and see little value for an ace bandage.  Useless for ankles or knees in the backcountry.  Other less critical applications have viable alternatives.  In any case as the above examples illustrate I am a firm believer that a camping FAK actually should have relatively few items, since ingenuity can inspire you to use other items you already have on hand.  Honey and pancake syrup are good antibacterial ointments, whiskey as an antiseptic, etc.  Use your grey matter and save both weight and bulk.

Ed   

2:24 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
723 reviewer rep
945 forum posts

My med kit varies greatly depending on how long I intend to be out. On long trips(several weeks) or on trips in crowded areas, I might throw in an Epi pen. Tampons are also helpful as they are sterile and soak up a lot of blood in event of traumatic injury. The extremely small size can be used instead of Rhino Rockets(my son has had major nosebleeds, as have I). Duct tape is always part of the mix, as it can be used for many things. Dental floss can be used for many things as well. As far as the ace bandage issue, I have not carried one in years. The sticky back ace type bandage works well and is not bulky, a small section of a foot or so can be used to hold gauze, etc.

6:18 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,308 reviewer rep
1,076 forum posts

I find Leukotape to be more useful than duct tape, and an Israeli Bandage can be a good option too, especially in groups. 

9:18 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
49 forum posts

theres too much stuff in mine. I have gone pretty lightweight with all my equipment yet i still have this heavy freezer ziplock bag full of the following:

compass, headlamp, moleskin, duct tape around chapstick, emergency blanket, matches, lighter,2 extra AAA batteries, small amount of fishing line, hook, snakebite kit, small hand sanitizer, small liquid soap, 3 zip ties, spork, salt/pepper, ace bandage, 2 bc powder,  and a few assorted first aid packets, toilet paper.

convince me to leave some stuff at home please!

9:32 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

jock said:

theres too much stuff in mine. I have gone pretty lightweight with all my equipment yet i still have this heavy freezer ziplock bag full of the following:

compass, headlamp, moleskin, duct tape around chapstick, emergency blanket, matches, lighter,2 extra AAA batteries, small amount of fishing line, hook, snakebite kit, small hand sanitizer, small liquid soap, 3 zip ties, spork, salt/pepper, ace bandage, 2 bc powder,  and a few assorted first aid packets, toilet paper.

convince me to leave some stuff at home please!

Most of that stuff is good to keep, but by all means dump the snake bite kit, it is totally useless.  Perhaps the discussion backing my assertion can be found searching this forum, but otherwise I am sure many links on the web exist to explain proper snake bite first aid.

Ed

9:40 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

whomeworry said:

Perhaps the discussion backing my assertion can be found searching this forum, but otherwise I am sure many links on the web exist to explain proper snake bite first aid.

Ed

 Is this the thread?

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/backcountry/topics/101383.html

Not sure but this is the most recent "snake thread" I can remember where the bite kit came into the conversation. 

12:15 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
192 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

Perhaps this is pedantic, but is not a survival kit sometimes distinguished from a first aid kit?  Mine are separate.  Perhaps it was just the discussion about whether to bring duct tape or an ace bandage, but a subject with this much contribution can easily get confused.  Of course, perhaps I am easily confused.  If I am, I obviously wouldn't know it. 

That said, I have noticed a bunch of things listed above which I do carry.  And here is where I question if I am being too pedantic, but I have (when it comes to the things I've seen listed above) three groupings of items: Survival Kit (which has yet to be opened except to modify contents, check expiration dates, or experiment/play/show off), First Aid Kit, and a Frequently Used Useful Thingies Kit (which is less a kit, and more like just some stuff in my pack).

In the last kit (which is not really a kit), I include ziploc freezer baggies, duct tape, bandanas, paracord (in 550 and 350 weights), AA and AAA batteries, and bic lighters and a fire steel (or, sometimes, my initialed EGA zippo and a fire steel).

In the First Aid Kit I have a bunch of things, some came with the bright red bag, some I included because of an experience, some I included because I have a vivid imagination.  Occasionally -- but not frequently -- there is that Ace Bandage in there!

The Survival Kit has things related to shelter, water and getting found: space blanket, bic lighter, vaseline infused cotton balls, chemical water treatment, signal mirror, boat whistle.

I'm sure I've left something out.  Pedantic, but incomplete.  I might be the definition of a boor.

9:38 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

davidtierney,

Actually you raise a good point I think, carrying these items is done differently from one person to another in my experience. I think the main consideration is to have them with you, and to know how to use them if need be.

I find that nowadays I prefer to carry a lot of these items as part of my main kit.

I do keep my first aid items in a small bag, but most of the other stuff I use as opposed to having it stashed away in a stuff sack or bag that only gets opened in case of emergency.

I have a survival kit in the sense that I keep these items in the lid of my backpack because the lid detaches and can be worn as a lumbar pack or shoulder bag for trips away from camp. Even in camp though I am constantly using items from the lid.

I think it is also good practice to use your "survival items" on trips so that you gain proficiency with them, and so that the replaceable / perishable items stay rotated out with fresh ones as you state in your post. Items like batteries, emergency food, antiseptics, and chemical water treatments. That's not to say you can't do that with a "sealed kit" you can, I just trust the use & rotation method more myself because I know how I am.

I like to use my Firesteel or other primitive fire starting supplies at least once on every trip. Even though the bic lighter is faster & easier I like to be well acquainted with my back up items and have confidence that I can use them well under challenging conditions. Most of the people I have hiked with do this too.

 Of course, there are plenty of ways to do things and my way is my way, yours may be a little, or a lot different.

The important thing as you already know, (short of preventing a bad situation to begin with) is to have the items on your person in serviceable condition and be skilled in their use.

You would think a lot of this this is common sense, but it is something I had to learn years ago and so I think it is a good topic for us to talk about so we can help those new to hiking and backpacking.

Mike G.

12:13 a.m. on February 1, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

I like your movie and envy your movie-making skills. I've been working on my movie-making skill and have achieved idiot status.

I carry a combo emergency and first-aid kit. Right now it weighs 5 oz.

Mostly, it's a combo of a few bandages, a lightweight ace-bandage, surgical tape, some drugs, knife/scissor/tweezer/pen combo with a ground-down file for the flint, a 3/20 in X 2in. flint, an irrigation syringe, non-latex surgical gloves, plastic-wrapped organic tampons (awesome tinder), and a head-full of knowledge.

We also carry a 36" sam splint next to the back panel in my pack. We've gone through the  Sierra Club leadership training, which was great. We generally practice fire-starting on most of our trips and have enjoyed a range of survival books, movies, and classes. We've joined our county's SAR team and are currently going through the training. We spend the vast majority of our backpacking time off-trail in Yosemite.
DSC09060.jpg

6:35 a.m. on February 1, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,861 reviewer rep
1,325 forum posts

IMO I find the ACE bandage to be useless dead weight in the backcountry. I prefer athletic tape or duct tape, though i am sure that surgical tape would work as well. Why? you ask, well the answer is simple, but better seen and experienced first hand. Wrap your ankle with the ACE, and then try to get your boot on....well, it doesn't work. Tape is just as effective, and still allows you to put your boots back on. You can also use tape for other repair related tasks, and even for treating blisters. A multi use item for sure.

 

12:34 p.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

Yeah, not to sure about the ACE bandage. It's not really the ACE bandage, it's one of those bandages that you get when you give blood. We're always messing around with stuff, trying new things. At .86 oz., it's not that bad. I think we were trying fill a large wound niche.

12:59 p.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
50 forum posts

Those blood center bandages are found at farm & ranch stores.  Used for bandaging horses or other livestock.  All the colors too!

1:56 p.m. on February 3, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

That's funny, I didn't know that.

2:35 p.m. on February 3, 2012 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

UST - Delta Stormprrof Lighter

3:34 p.m. on February 6, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,406 reviewer rep
262 forum posts

I just re-read this thread.

One rule of thumb I was taught is do not bring anything that has just a "single use" -- which made me realize that no one has said anything about the use of safety pins.  Obviously they have myriad uses from the typical holding things together to being fashioned into fishing hooks.

Pretty light tools for good solutions.

12:41 p.m. on February 7, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

Oh yeah, second, we carry safety pins pinned onto our packs. Oddly, we also starting carrying these little #2 Nite Ize plastic carabiners for gear testing and they have really bailed us out on a couple of occasions. And now that Callahan mentioned lighters, we carry a mini lighter for our wood burning stove and a mini lighter backup. But, we don't store any of this stuff in our emergency bag.

7:47 a.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

Callahan said:

UST - Delta Stormprrof Lighter

 Good, except not recomended for above 8K'

Ed

8:47 a.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

whomeworry said:

Callahan said:

UST - Delta Stormprrof Lighter

 Good, except not recomended for above 8K'

Ed

Why?

 

5:57 p.m. on February 8, 2012 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,445 reviewer rep
5,389 forum posts

My experience is that, surprisingly, the basic simple Bic lighters work as high as I have used them (up to 17,200 ft), but all the "storm" and "windproof" lighters (except the good old Zippos) don't seem to work well above about 9000 or 10,000 ft. I have gotten some to work briefly if I turn the pressure valve way down, but they all seem to just hiss away and not hold onto the flame.

December 18, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Looking for remote backcountry in South California Newer: Airbags for avalanche really work
All forums: Older: FS: Dana Design Arcflex Astralplane Newer: NJ/NY Outdoor Gear Shows?