Survival Gear

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

It’s that time of year again.  Be careful out there.  This is one man’s take.

Though Falls Creek is a short hike, winter is no time to fool with the elements. Read the harrowing account of Mischelle Hileman of Wallowa, who lost both legs to exposure after what was intended to be a 45-minute elk hunt in 2002, if you’re thinking otherwise.

Regardless of the time of year, I always carry matches, kindling, water, a compass, whistle, survival blanket, poncho, flashlight and lots of power bars — and generally the dog. Off-leash Well=behaved dogs are allowed off-leash throughout Eagle Cap.

I have my own list, similar to but slightly more robust than above.  I’ve discussed it before.

550 cord, a tarp or rubberized rain poncho, trekking poles, a gun, water, protein bars, a tactical light, redundant means of fire starting, a small water filtration device or a small container of household bleach, a tactical knife, clothing for warmth (e.g., parka, emergency Mylar thermal blankets), and a compass.

With this simple list you can have shelter, fire, self protection, warmth, light, and ability to stay dry.  And if you’re going out in the woods, stop and buy a lighter or Ferrocerium rod.  Do this whether you’re going in the wilderness for one hour, one afternoon, or one week.  Do it regardless of how long you intend to be in the wilderness.

I’ve also explained what I do for fire when intending to go into the wilderness.  For every night I expect to be in the wild, I put a briquette of match light charcoal and a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline into a waterproof container (one piece of charcoal and one cotton ball for each night).  The cotton ball starts immediately, and helps the charcoal to start within seconds.  This makes fire starting quick in the event that you get wet when it’s cold or in the case of wet wood.

As I’ve implied, with 550 cordage and a poncho or tarp, along with trekking poles, you can have shelter in under two minutes if needed.  With redundant means of fire starting along with charcoal or char-cloth, you can have fire even when everything is wet.  With a parka and mylar blanket, you can have warmth when you need it (I have many parkas, my all-time favorite is Simms).  With a handgun (and an additional magazine or a few loaded moon clips) you have protection, and with a good tactical knife, you have a cutting tool or a chopping tool.  I carry a heavy folder, such as a Ka-Bar Mule, or CRKT M16-14DSFG-Tanto, always something with serrated edge.  Otherwise I carry a Ka-Bar straight edge fighting/utility knife, again, with a serrated edge.

This is my version of ultralight.  This list doesn’t weigh more than 10-15 lbs.  In case I haven’t mentioned it before, unless something has gone badly wrong, I will always have my baby with me, like the writer above.


Comments

  1. On December 22, 2015 at 1:32 am, Steve Parker, M.D. said:

    I wouldn’t be surprise if your articles like this have saved lives.

  2. On December 23, 2015 at 1:18 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Don’t know. But the point of posting is to help someone, somewhere. I hope it has.

  3. On December 22, 2015 at 8:04 pm, gyrwan said:

    Survival Gear has become a thriving industry. It seems (to me, anyway) that it has outpaced any growth in hiking or camping as a leisure activity. Can anyone explain this to me?

  4. On December 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm, Fred said:

    gyrwan, This is not directed at you. It is something I wrote earlier in response to unbelievers who see America as an ill in the world that needs to fixed. I pray It will help to explain.
    John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    Why do millions of Americans have this feeling of impending doom? Why are
    many millions even preparing to the point that it is main stream news
    and preppers are having conventions to trade ideas and equipment? Why?
    God is why. Wholly inadequate to the task but by His grace I will non
    the less attempt to explain so that even the darkness can comprehend.
    A partial list – 50 to 55 million dead babies, trade in parts of
    sacrificed children, mixing of seed, homosexuality as equal to God given
    marriage, Idolatry of stuff, idolatry of TV, unjust war, and on and on.
    But mostly that which is coming for America is due to our unbelief.You
    don’t have to be a Christian to know that you can’t kill millions upon
    millions of babies and get away with it. You can’t have “leaders” (both
    parties) fallen completely into whoring out a nation for personal gain
    and expect to stay standing. Even as an unbeliever your version of the
    world has karma or dog eat dog or comes around goes around or survival
    of the fittest or collective conscience or pattern of life or cause and effect.
    Either way it ain’t pretty. The Bible presents a pattern
    of cause and effect to be learned from whether you believe it’s Holy
    Word or not. Most of the history of people in the Bible is seen as fact
    and confirmed independently. A partial list of what results from the
    above behaviors has been – plague, famine, war, pestilence, drought and
    flood. I have zero doubt these and maybe worse are coming to America if
    we do not repent. Believe or no, it’s arriving. You may think you
    have me fooled but you do not. I know you want this country destroyed. I
    know what you are and I know that your boss is the author of death and
    deceit. I know this because I used to be you. Thank you Jesus for your
    grace.of

  5. On December 24, 2015 at 1:25 am, gyrwan said:

    Fred, I concur. I asked my question largely because of the “results” you mention (“plague, famine, war, pestilence, drought, … flood” and, I believe, worse..)
    See my response to Herschel, below.

  6. On December 24, 2015 at 10:40 am, Fred said:

    I’m also interested in Mr. Smith’s response if he will. I would tell anybody that finds it incumbent on themselves to “prepare” to first understand yourself. Do you tend to hunker down in stressful situations? Do you tend to get away from threats? Do you turn and fight? How big is your family and what are their ages and ability vs needs? I would say to folks to look at past behavior and be honest with yourself. Fight, flight, or hide? all are legitimate means of defense. If you tend to get low and stay put, for example, but are preparing to go camping for the “first time ever” then you may end up very ill prepared. Of course those who are all in are prepping for all three as eventualities. Mr. Smith mentioned survivalblog.com which is a good resource to not only prepare but to understand the mind set as well.

  7. On December 23, 2015 at 1:13 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Hmm …

    Don’t know, per se. I posted this because I am an outdoors kind of person. I spend a great deal of time in the outdoors. I won’t ever spend any of it without taking basic supplies as I’ve discussed here. This is survival gear. Not gear for dystopia.

    If you’re referring to gear for dystopia, that is more complicated, and you need to follow the Survival Blog for educated and clever entries on that kind of thing. I would like to be better at it, but frankly haven’t had the time or money to invest in becoming a better “prepper.”

  8. On December 24, 2015 at 1:25 am, gyrwan said:

    Yes, I was referring to gear for dystopia, though I didn’t want to state it outright. People, like yourself, who have always spent time in the wilderness, have always carried some such gear, and will continue to do so when out of range of immediate assistance. That’s perfectly normal and understandable.
    But, it has always seemed odd to me that when “dystopia” — in whatever form it takes — arrives, some preppers have decided that they will (in some cases, for the first time ever) go camping.
    It’s probably a question for a different forum; but I thought you might have some insight.

  9. On December 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm, will_ford said:

    If you take and soak your charcoal with charcoal lighter fluid until looks glossy, let set for ten minutes soak it again put it in a small tin or a plastic bag it will burn neatly until it is ash. Works on the grill also. You can make heater with coffee cans also.

  10. On December 23, 2015 at 1:10 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Thanks for the tip sir!

  11. On December 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm, will_ford said:

    H.S. here’s another, take a metal coffee can. Fill w/sand to the first ring. punch holes all over the rest of the can with Ice pick. Fill with Soaked charcoal. lite. let burn until all charcoal is nice an white. Use channel locks. put in deer stand. No harmful fumes. DO NOT DO IT IN AIR-TIGHT AREA. lean your rifle over , NO fogging of scope on cold days. Nice and warm. works in lots of places. A rough-neck taught me that one. lol

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This article is filed under the category(s) Survival and was published December 22nd, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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