Feb 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm #1234394
This is being moved from what type of knife forum.
Whats in your survival kit and how do you jusify it. Also have you ever used it. AliFeb 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm #1481296
I don't have time to go into a full gear list right now, but one point of discussion I think is important is carrying tinder.
Everyone has firestarters but it seems to me that most don't carry adequate (or any) tinder, which could *argueably* be equally important.
Many tinder options are not heavy, nor necessarily bulky; I don't see why it wouldn't make it into a kit.
I like using jute twine dipped in parafin. Let it harden and cut it into 2-3" strips.
Break the wax, fluff up the end, and it lights easily with a spark (even a broken lighter should do it).
With what I make, 2-3" piece burns for about 5-6 minutes.
25 of these sticks in a small 2×3" ziplock weighs only .5 ounces and takes littile space.
In addition to a firesteel, this is with me all the time; I use them for lighting the woodstove, campfires, survival, whatever. I've never been unable to start a fire with this combo…snow, rain, soaked wood, whatever.
How you prepare your wet wood and get suitable kindling is a whole other issue….
I've always thought more attention should be payed to bushcraft on these forums- most people don't even know how to "really" use a knife, etc…
Let's go Ali!! (I know you've got that b a d a s s tracker knife…)Feb 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm #1481303
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
Well, go for it. I'm all ears….how do you prepare kindling in wet conditions?
(I use cotton balls and vaseline for tinder….have had trouble getting things going when wood is wet, though.)Feb 27, 2009 at 1:31 pm #1481304
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Me thinks too many people are watching "Man vs Wild" :)
I had extensive survival training when I was in the military, and can take care of myself with very little. Learning how to do this is probably useful. But too many people are in our wilderness areas, so I am an advocate of bringing what you need. Foraging for food and shelter is also time consuming.
If you must, then go ahead. One thing about tinder is to pick it up as you go, and keep it in your pack, or somewhere else if you have decided to forego a pack. Often you can find a downed tree or branch which is wet, but with Ali's knife you can dig into the dry sections of the wood. In addition, dung makes a fine fuel above the tree line where wood is often nil.Feb 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm #1481309
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
1.Compass with mirror
4.Pocket knife with 2.5" blade
5.30 feet of 5.5 mm cord (used to hang food)
6.Headlamp (used every night)
7.Extra batteries (for headlamp and insulin pump)
8. Space blanket (if cold enough)
9. (2) Energy gels (emergency use only)
10. Insulin bottle (emergency supply)
11. Syringe (emergency use only)
12. 1 quart ziplock bag
13. Seven iodine tabs (inside ziplock bag)
With the exception of the energy gels, iodine tabs, space blanket, insulin and fire starting tool every item in my survival kit are items I use nearly every day when out on a trip. In fact the last six items on my list are the only ones truly used only for survival.
All of these items are packaged together into a zippered stuff sack that I refer to as my “Kit”. I tend to view my kit less as survival gear and more as items that I could not function without. As such I always know where the kit is and it can function as survival gear if need be.Feb 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm #1481314
Dryer lint makes great tinder. Easy to find and cheap too.Feb 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm #1481333
I store my dryer lint in my belly button. Finding dry wood is not that difficult even here in the pnw. One think I do on every hike is seach out tinder and kindling as I hike. I dont do this for daily use so much as to learn what burns and what doesnt. even in the wilds of Hawaii I was able to strip small branches for kindling and all I had was my tiny swiss knife. I always carry something with me depending on where I am going. Tip, that paracord you are carying is a great fire starter. AliFeb 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm #1481338
"…how do you prepare kindling in wet conditions?"
DISCLAIMER: I'm hardly an expert…these are just my experiences.
It's been my experience that "wet" wood is often not wet, not on the inside anyway, especially with thicker pieces.
A good fixed blade knife should be able to split up to wrist sized pieces with a baton. Split your wood down, exposing the core (which is typically more dry). Using wood from the core, shave the thinnest pieces possible; kneeling and bracing the spine of your knife against the soft spot below your kneecap helps here- draw the wood back against the blade- much safer, much more control to shave fine strips. Even when damp, it doesn't take too much heat or flame exposure to light these shavings if they're thin enough. After you have a bunch of these, split more wood from the core into slightly less than pencil-sized strips and make very thin feather sticks from these.
You can make them much smaller than the one pictured here for wet wood. It takes a sharp knife and good technique (again draw the wood against a braced blade, not the other way!- Most people shave wood completely backwards!)
It's all about increasing the surface area of the wood you're trying to burn…the more surface area, the thinner the shavings, the faster it will dry and light.
A shaving less than a millimeter thick but 1/4" wide will usually dry in seconds when exposed to a small flame- slowly build up from there. I think it's all in the knife-skills, patience in preparation of shavings and feather sticks, and carrying an adequate supply of good tinder.Feb 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm #1481355
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I suppose if I were truly desperate and there wasn't a single thing anywhere to burn, I could cut a little of my hair. I got lots on my head and elsewhere, too.Feb 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm #1481359
Fire isnt always a must. We assume that it will be too cold or wet in an emergency situation. I use fire as a way to occupy my mind but rarely have I ever used it to actually survive. Again its good to practice and know how to make one. I know from experience I can easily go five days with no food and can survive down to freezing. I met a guy with badly twisted ankle slowly hiking out. He had devised a crutch but was still suffering badly. I offered to carry him out or at least assist but after 4 days he had something to proove. I asked him why he didnt just jump in the river and float the last few miles and was dumfounded that he hadnt thought of that. I gave him half my food and went on my way. My point is there is always a better solution the more you practice the more you know. There are only two things you need to survive a disaster anywhere. AliFeb 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm #1481399
@maynard76Locale: New England
Here is the man himself- Mors Kochanski.
This pic was taken by "Mungo" as I didnt have a camera that weekend. One of most instructive weekends of my life.
His book " Bushcraft" is the survival/bushcraft bible.
You can take most of the "survival" books you own and throw them in the trash.
We need to define survival as opposed to bushcraft.
In a survival situation you are just tryng to stay alive until you are rescued or able to self rescue thats it. Bushcraft is more about actually living off the land -even homesteading and farming can be considered bushcraft.
Survival is short term by definition. You dont need to eat!!
I mean if you have food on you or can easily gather it -like if your camped in front of a patch of bluberries and wheat, go for it, but I always had a problem with "Survivor man" spending the bulk of his time searching for food -you can live for months with out food only a few days with out water.
Fire is very important because with it you can keep warm and signal. You also need a shelter of some sort and of coarse water. Thats about it, except for a plan to get to help. And thats the whole point.
Bushcraft is a related but whole new level. Its about living off the land and thriving -not merely surviving.
I basically use the kit I was taught to by Tim Smith and his teacher Kochanski. A Mora, firesteel, matches, compass, mirror and then add whatever else you can make work.
Tinder can be home made and carried- which is smart.
But it also can be found, and its smart to know the what and where of what ever environment your traveling in.Feb 27, 2009 at 7:22 pm #1481404
@maynard76Locale: New England
Also, I think fire starting is best learned face-to-face through demonstration.
I had read all kinds of "survival/bushcraft" books but it wasn't until I was able to take classes with knowledgeable instructors that I was able to "get" it.
Some things take a chapter to explain and 2 minutes to demonstrate. I could show people here who have questions easily in person but I wouldn't know where to begin if I had to type it. And there is the crux of the problem.Feb 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm #1481448
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Diane wrote: "I suppose if I were truly desperate and there wasn't a single thing anywhere to burn, I could cut a little of my hair."
Or pull some fuzz from your socks or fleece, or in an emergency, cut some insulation from a jacket, etc.
As several have said, there is stripping a piece of wood down to the dry stuff. Cattail fluff, birch bark and some fungi can be used. In the Northwest, there are usually dry dead branches that can be snapped off for kindling.
I carry tinder in a spy capsule– Tinder Quick tabs or cotton balls with petroleum jelly. If you have your kit, there is stove fuel and alcohol hand cleaning gel is great. Alcohol swabs from your first aid kit work too. I add an Esbit tab even if using an alcohol stove.
Tinder is just the start. You want a good supply of kindling and a couple decent chunks of wood. Always have two pieces of wood– they keep each other burning so to speak. Remember that you don't need to cut a long piece, just keep feeding it into the fire.Mar 1, 2009 at 11:47 am #1481748
Here is a video of the contents of my survival kit. http://s253.photobucket.com/albums/hh70/sjdm4211/?action=view¤t=MOV00981-1.flv.
A few things have changed since making the video but for the most part it is the same.
I have a similar kit that I use when I go out for weekend long barebones trips. I have built shelters and fires, purified water, gathered wild edibles, caught and cooked crawfish, trout and red eye and built improvised tools with nothing but what was in the kit.
I can't tell you all how much my kit weighs but I think a well thoughtout pocket sized survival kit is light enough that every UL backpacker should have one. Add a knife, stainless canteen, emergency blanket or bivy, proper clothing and some basic wilderness skills and your chance of survival is much better.Mar 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm #1481751
One thing I do on every backpacking trip is collect birch bark along the trail. I keep gathering it until both my cargo pockets are full. I can't tell you how many times I have came across people who had no idea that birch bark is an excellent fire starter and will catch a spark from a ferro rod.
I have given out so many BSA Hotsparks to children and then showed them what they can do with birch bark. It is awesome to see there face light up with the biggest smile when they find out they can build a fire all by themselves. Thats when you get to them, when they are children. Once they grow up they think they know everything and they won't take advice from anyone.
I once saw a grown man struggle to get a fire started with a bernzomatic torch. Granted it had rained the day before but thats no excuse. It was pathetic, A man should be able to start a fire. I tried to show him but he thought he knew what he was doing. I took wood from the same downed tree he had. I cut logs with my small folding saw and then split it with my knife. I gathered some kindling for about 20 minutes. I got my birch bark and my LMF scout ferro rod from my pocket and built a fire that lasted all night.
I have also witnessed people resorting to using there stove fuel to keep a fire going.Mar 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm #1481791
1.1 birthday candle (in with matches below)
this is for firestarting and when you feel like crying you can pretend it's your b-day
2."XUL" first aid kit
3.MYOG w/p Strike anywhere matches and striker (in mini ziploc)paired with Bic lighter in my cook kit
I already have my knife, compass, water purification etc., and there is no gear that can replace the 50lbs. of knowledge in your head!
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