I hope I never need to use this stuff

11:03 a.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,325 reviewer rep
1,203 forum posts

You've read the articles about someone surviving after suffering an epic in the wilderness and you've probably also read the articles about those who didn't.  What made the difference?

I propose that the difference was not having a large fixed blade knife or hatchet (sorry Gary Paulsen) with fish hooks in the handle, a can opener on the blade and 100' of parachute cord wrapped around the handle.  I haven't read any articles which stated that the difference was that the survivors carried a compact chain saw which was able to cut 2" logs into convenient lengths (why not just break them?). "If only he'd had a bigger knife..." never seems to come up. 

I think that a proper mindset is way more important than gear but I also grant that some gear CAN save your bacon, but what is the absolute minimum?  This is quite possibly gear that will be dead weight for your entire hiking career so it had better be worth it. 

What gear do you bring and hope to never use?  Here is my list:

-Lighters, three or four, stashed in different places in my pack and pockets.

-An SOL survival blanket

-Benadryl

-Two or three different pain meds

-Athletic tape and a dozen band-aids

-Votive candle

-Sometimes a stub of a road flare

There are other things I carry which I do use a lot like a small pocket knife and some duct tape but I use these things often enough that they aren't really survival gear. 

Whats in your never hope to use it list?

11:13 a.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
BRAND REP TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,988 reviewer rep
468 forum posts

QuikClot! Don't carry it, but don't ever want to be in a situation where I wish I had.

Anything in the first aid kit beyond ibuprofen, a band-aid, or an ACE bandage. Truth be told, the less often (if at all) I have to dig into my first aid kit, the better.

The rescue whistle on my LMF FireSteel. Built into it, so it's not extra weight. This was actually a selling point for me: I could have some sort of rescue or distress signal without carrying something which was 100% dead weight.

12:23 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
59 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Definitely the bear spray. :)

12:28 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

FromSagetoSnow said:

I haven't read any articles which stated that the difference was that the survivors carried a compact chain saw which was able to cut 2" logs into convenient lengths (why not just break them?)

 I have to admit I didn't even notice the word survival in the product name, but if that product review has angered you I certainly apologize.  If you can just break 14" blow downs to help maintain rarely used trails then I definitely don't want you mad at me.

Whats in your never hope to use it list?

Loperamide

1:31 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
179 reviewer rep
174 forum posts

A gun.

Seriously, I don't leave home without one. Uh, come to think of it, I wear one at home too...

In my backpack rides a little yellow nylon ditty bag my wife made for me. It contains all the “what-If” and odds and ends that go into my pack. It weighs less than half a pound. Inside are two zip lock bags, one contains my first aid kit, the other my miscellaneous gear.   

As HornRimmedHiker wrote, the less the first aid kit is used the better. It contains aspirin, ibuprofen, benadryl, anti-acid tablets and imodium in addition to the usual band-aids, bandages, moleskin, antiseptic, a bit of tape, and sutures.       

I hope never to have to use the Imodium ( Giardia!) or the sutures!

The odds and ends bag contains my backup means of making fire ( and I always carry a Bic in my pocket ) which consists of a book of paper matches and a military surplus trioxane fuel tab. I also have a small compass with sighting mirror, a hank of strong light cord like Triptease ( but I’m not sure if that’s what it actually is ) a small sewing kit, a repair patch or two and glue for fixing Thermarest pads, a small amount of repair tape, a packet or two of eyeglass cleaners and uh, I forget the rest! The contents of the ziplock bags are written on them with magic marker.

I’ve used the thermarest repair stuff only once in many years of carrying those things, but I reckon it’s worth having.

Not sure if this stuff counts as “survival gear” or not. It’s certainly stuff I don’t leave home without, but for “survival” in the wilderness I rely primarily upon my rain gear, proper clothing, shelter, food and water in my backpack. That’s why I carry the silly thing!

Now, if I am somehow separated from my backpack, that’s a different story! In my pockets I always carry ( even now at work ) a sharp folding knife, a Bic lighter and a small flashlight. When backpacking I carry my map in one shirt pocket and a pocket pack of Kleenex in the other shirt pocket ( so I don’t have to go digging for the toilet paper in my wife’s pack ) and of course I usually have my chosen firearm.   

But there are exceptions to this. Last weekend my wife and I took three nephews on a two night hike to Fault lake, Idaho. We camped two nights at the  lake at an elevation of 6,000 ft., and climbed to nearby passes and in general goofed off above the tree line. Late one afternoon my wife set off to hike around the lake. I goofed off playing in the water for a while, then set off on a swim around the lake in the other direction to meet up with my wife. The only easy way around this end of the lake was to swim around several outcrops jutting into the lake.       

Anyway, because I was swimming I had nothing at all with me except the shorts I was wearing. I met up with my wife and we explored the end of the lake together. Going back, we clambered over a rocky hill instead of swimming or going the long way around. I’m fine hiking barefoot, at least for a while and my wife lent me her shirt to fight off the goose bumps I was getting ( wet and cold wind ). But should something unexpected have happened such as running across a bear on the far side of the lake, then I’d have had nothing but my wits to deal with it.

3:17 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

Been carrying moleskin for a decade and never used it for myself ( I have given to others a couple times).

 

3:51 p.m. on August 28, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,071 forum posts

Bear spray, Ruger LCR in .357., and first aid kit. Everything else gets used.

10:46 a.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,325 reviewer rep
1,203 forum posts

Lonestranger, I think the chainsaw is a great base camp tool and anyone who wants to carry one has my 100% blessing.  I wasn't picking on that tool specifically, just the whole idea that people think that a survival situation might involve building a cabin, planting corn and setting a trap line.  I just think that some of the things we carry for a survival situation might benefit from re-evaluation.  I think a more realistic idea of a survival situation might be Mumblefords' epic: http://www.trailspace.com/forums/backcountry/topics/147152.html#147279

10:54 a.m. on August 29, 2013 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
179 forum posts

My situation may be different from those who frequent National Parks and such.

I don't carry a dedicated "survival kit" while backpacking; everything I bring is essential, with most items having more than one purpose. My tent fly, for instance, has doubled as a sail on some raft and canoe trips.

I also do not take bear protection, whether a fire arm or spray or bells or what have you even though I live in an area thick with Grizzlys. Although, I have carried a firearm for longish trips where I expected to hunt along the way, but this is different from what is allowed on most people's hikes.

In many situations I just carry the basics; shelter, sleeping bag, pack. Most everything else can be acquired or improvised from the land around me. 

However, I do bring a sewing kit which I have used on every trip; I find patching gear and darning socks relaxes me and pretty much all my gear has been repaired, at some point, in the field.

 

8:38 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,379 reviewer rep
743 forum posts

I carry anything that came with Bear Grylls picture on it. Sure, the 2' long machete takes up space in my pack, but....

Seriously, I carry a good first aid kit. A SOL blanket, IF I'm not carrying a sleeping bag. Water purification. Some fire starter (I don't normally light a fire when I'm out.)

But, then, even the remotest trails in Illinois will be trafficked most days. I rarely get a full day in without seeing one or two other people.

1:18 p.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

G00SE said:

I carry anything that came with Bear Grylls picture on it. Sure, the 2' long machete takes up space in my pack, but....

 I was reading a discussion on WB or VFTT the other day about when it is appropriate to have a talk with someone you meet on the trail to make certain they are prepared.  I think seeing even one BG logo is either a good reason to get involved or a good reason to run 8p

8:17 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

HornRimmedHiker said:

QuikClot! Don't carry it, but don't ever want to be in a situation where I wish I had.

Sounds contradictory. I'd rather carry QuikClot and be glad I never had to use it than not have it and need it. That's just part of being prepared. 

My emergency kit has pretty much everything given in the OPs list, plus variations depending on season and the size of the group. I will not, however, be shy about pulling any of it out at any time if I think it will be useful. 

 

8:47 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Peter1955 said:

I'd rather carry QuikClot and be glad never had to use it than not have it and need it. 

 +1

12:51 a.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
836 forum posts

suture. have used it, not for myself. sewed up a mountainbiker who took a nasty spill and sprung a leak. also used it to reattach a packstrap, again, not mine.

July 24, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Just ordered new backpack Newer: Hiking boots
All forums: Older: Successfully Hatched Southern Brook Trout! Newer: New regulations for Everest