Interesting opinion about survival kits

Posted by: Anonymous

Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/03/03 10:22 PM

Hello, everybody,
I like reading military books about survival experience of military people. I recently purchased book of Ken Connor "Ghosts: An Illustrated Story of the SAS" and read there quite interesting comments about survival kits (page 14): "The notional SAS escape kit. In practice soldiers in the Regiment only carried the escape compass. Living off the land is a full time occupation and escaping from the enemy means you must travel fast and far, not spend time searching for food." I also read some books of some ex-SAS guys who also wrote that they found not practical to use survival kits because they can be used efficiently only if you stay in one place for a long time. During my military training (I am from the former USSR) we were trained such things as finding north and south using stars, trees, churches and similar, but never been trained using survival kits. I remember asking one special forces guy why we are not taught how to survive if we, for example, get lost, and he said:" If you get lost you will bin most of your staff and run! This is the best survival technique". And I remember that when we had to run long distances even extra magazine seemed to be too heavy. Don’t you think that having too much of survival equipment may slow you down or give false feeling of security?
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/03/03 11:05 PM

There are totally different scenarios. As an escaping soldier you don´t want to be recaptured. As a survivor you want to be found and rescued. Most kits here are assembled for the latter scenario. So being slowed down by the attempt to survive isn´t a issue. If you know the limits if your skills and your equippment there is no false feeling of security just a bigger chance to achieve your goal.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/04/03 07:15 PM

I see your point. However, don't you think that the task of a lost soldier to get back is the same of a lost person? The difference is that the surviving person can be searched to be rescued while a soldier to be captured by the enemy and rescued by his fellows. And it seems to me that if people get into survival situation they would prefer to get out of it as soon as they can and would not have enough time for any delays, except situations when there is nowhere to run. I read somewhere suggestion that if you get into survival situation, you should not rely on possibilities that you will be rescued, but should try to get out by yourself. Regards,
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/04/03 08:16 PM

I agree up to a point, but in a survival situation you can afford as many delays as you want. A minimalist equippment can help to keep a situation from getting critical. The extra weight doesn´t really hurt. My PSk and FAK each weigh a little less than half a pound and not having them wouldn´t make me much faster (if it would I could still leave them behind). I prefer having it and not needing it to needing it and not having it anytime.
As you said, it depends on the situation whether you should try to get out on your own or wait for a search party. When you should wait, it´s too late to assemble your kit.
Posted by: Trusbx

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/06/03 08:06 AM

I think the although the task for both the lost soldier and the lost survivor is to get back to civiliation and be saved, as you rightly pointed out, the soldier has the enemy to contend with. Hence the need to evade and escape.
The situation for the other is slightly different in that the survivor may be a lost hiker / archeologist etc in the wilderness. That's where the kit becomes useful in helping to keep the guy/gal alive & warm till he is found.
If you have the skill and the inclination you may want to try and find your way out on your own, but with the advent of cellular phones / gps and personal locator beacons, sitting and hugging a tree may be better to allow the SAR teams to try and locate you

<img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/06/03 08:38 PM

I guess the issue is one of making sure that the kit is set up for that job at hand. I'm in the UK so there's no value in me packing food gathering kit for emergencies. We really don't have that kind of wilderness. Need to make sure I've got stuff to give me appropriate shelter, to alert rescuers and to give appropriate first aid. Of course knowing how to navigate is pretty important. I suspect much of continental Europe it's pretty much the same issue.

Now if I was in some parts of North America or Russia then it may be that distances are much greater. Feeding myself whilst either waiting to be found or making my to civilisation might be more important.

Reading some military history though shows that some soldiers have had to feed themselves from the land, for example British and Australians left behind in Malaya when the Japanese invaded. I guess that's where some of Lofty Wiseman's ideas come from. Most of the stuff I've read does emphasise that the SAS and such like do pack the kit needed for the area they are going into.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/07/03 02:40 PM

Sorry for the late reply; I’ve been negligent in reading messages for awhile.

Unlike most here, I agree with at least some of the concept. Quite some time back I said so, which stirred up a little controversy here, but then someone ported my message to another forum where it stirred up a lot more, and was pretty much shouted down. I remain unconvinced and unrepentant.

I’ve taken all food-related items out of my kits. No snares, fishhooks, lures, trapping diagrams, aluminum foil, tea bags, candy, silly little bouillon cubes, etc. etc. If the PSK is intended for short-term, from a few hours to a few days at most, I think it’s all a waste of space. You can go a month without food, I’ve personally gone 7 days with no loss of energy (quite the contrary) or other ill effects, and some benefits. I view the PSK as being a set of tools to get me OUT of a survival situation to something better, not a starter kit to play mountain man and start a life in the wilderness (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just a different goal). Procuring food is the activity that only works well if you’re not on the move, and, for the great majority of the situations, it doesn’t seem worth it to me- even if you’re stationary, and have lots of time to waste, it seems like it’s likely to burn up more calories than it gains, unless you’re pretty practiced at it. I think the tea bags and bouillon cubes are a cheap way for kit manufacturers to cater to your psychological needs, not your “real” physical needs.

Why waste time pursuing something you’re not going to really need for weeks?

Most of the shouting was from people who insisted that food and comfort is an important part of even short-term survival. I don’t really agree, but even if I did I wouldn’t be packing teddy bears, favorite magazines or toothbrushes in a PSK. If the point of the kit is survival, then every bit of space in it can be better devoted to just staying alive, rather than trying to be comfortable doing it.

The only remotely food-related item in my kits anymore is a P38 can opener that works nicely as a striker for the firestarters as well. I’ve thought about eliminating that too, but it’s tiny, light, and flat, and while optimum short-term survival strategy might mean NOT devoting time and energy to the pursuit of food, that doesn’t mean you should ignore any resources you come across. That simple little can-opener could dramatically reduce the time needed to exploit "found" food, and seems worth it to me.
Posted by: mick

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/07/03 07:24 PM

I agree that the kit you carry does dpend on your circustances and the area that you are in. Everyone has there opinion on the psk. the guy mentioned above thinks it's rubbish but if you read one of barry davis's books then there will be quite a large chunk devoted kit. Personally i think it comes down to personal taste as well as the terrain that you are in.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/08/03 04:22 AM

Presumed Lost,

This is a different point of view alright, at least from what Im used to reading. So I would be interested to know what you have in your PSK.

As you said "I view the PSK as being a set of tools to get me OUT of a survival situation to something better," I would very much like to know what tools you view as being important. Thanks

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/08/03 11:07 AM

Hi Neal,

I don't mean to be the least evasive- I can detail the contents of my kits if you like, but it does get a little involved. I have one for sailing, one for hiking (it's been WAY too long since either of those was used) and a somewhat more complex arrangement for my every-day or "urban" PSK, sort of three-stages involving an Altoids-size tin, a larger Rubbermaid-style flat rectangular container, and a shoulder pouch. The reason for the complexity of the urban arrangement is that I'm currently a LONG commute away from home, and a long subway ride away from my vehicle all day.

It might help to know that I also carry no first-aid gear in the PSKs. For one thing, I have little training in that regard, but mostly I'm skeptical as to the real value of anything small enough to carry in an Altoids tin. I've been gashed up a number of times, and it sort of seems to me that if you can stop the bleeding with anything that small, it was going to stop anyway. I'm also very leery of carrying any loose medications, prescription or even over-the-counter, in an urban setting- too easy for it to be misinterpreted and get you "detained" at some critical time. I do carry a small first-aid kit in my pack when hiking. I consider the aid that it can provide more "comfort" than "survival", but "comfort" is a perfectly legitimate goal when hiking.

Those idiosyncrasies aside, my kits don't vary that much from what most people list. Every kit contains some sort of knife or blade, at least two ways to make fire, a compass, an oven bag or similar for an emergency water container, one of Barry's tiny vials of iodine tablets, a whistle, a Photon micro-light, tiny multiple-fold reading glasses (which I need for reading or close work), a P38 can opener, and needle & thread, safety pins. The sailing and hiking kits contain "Featherweight" signalling mirrors. The sailing kit has more emphasis on water-resistance, cord, etc... the "urban" kit has more emphasis on information (pen & paper, phone numbers, phone card number, maps and tiny radio in pouch) and money.

Does that help, or would you still like the full breakdown? I keep lists on my Palm, but they're always slightly out of sync with the real contents, it seems.

I guess I'm missing why it would be a mystery what I carry, just because I don't think food-related items are appropriate for a short-term kit.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/09/03 03:27 AM


No, I dont need a detailed list. You said:(I guess I'm missing why it would be a mystery what I carry). I was hoping you had an item that I hadnt already read about.

I am rather new to this survival kit idea and am just in the process of gathering items and information of what I might carry in a kit. I think it prudent to have some things on me at all times, but I know me, and doubt that I that I would carry a kit like so many others. So I am on the lookout for things that would be usefull to me and that I would carry. (Somehow I dont think this is making any sense)

If I were to ask most anyone what was in their kit, I could probably almost predict the contents, maby not the brand or type but the basic items. But you didnt seem to me to be on the same path as most everyone so I took the chance asking, hoping really, that you had developed a kit that contained items I didnt know about. Was a long shot but you never know. You cant win if you dont play. <img src="images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

If I ever get it together, my every day carry will probably be key ring items, wallet items and maby a little something in a pocket. Im never without these.

Thanks again


Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/09/03 04:57 PM


Well, at least the part about being concerned whether you will really carry a kit makes perfect sense.

If it makes a difference, I think a lot of people have found that the Altoids-size tin is sort of a magic size- the largest container that can reasonably be treated as normal pocket contents, unless you normally wear jeans and t-shirts or something. I commute with the shoulder pouch, which gets hung up next to my desk, and just slip the tin in a pocket if I’m leaving the office without the pouch.

That aside, I carry a fair amount of stuff without the kit. I normally carry one of a few single-blade locking pocketknives, depending what I’m doing. I also carry a Leatherman Micra, a Windmill lighter, cell phone and palm. My keycase carries a P38 can opener and a BSA “Hot Spark” ferrocerium rod fire starter. My wallet carries a special little silver pen in the fold (where it takes up no additional space), a carefully folded oven bag, a fairly silly Brunton card kit that has a Fresnel lens and tiny, flat magnetized disk that can sort-of be used as a compass in good conditions.

The folding knife usually rides with the Palm, so the only “extra” items I had to get used to carrying were the Leatherman Micra and the lighter (I don't smoke). The Micra currently rides in my hip pocket in a neat little vinyl pouch that some folding spectacles came in- the pouch as a container was too bulky for the kit, but saves pocket wear in it’s current duty. Per my earlier posts, I’m currently trying to replace the Windmill lighter with one that incorporates a “real” compass.

So, I do have some stuff with me at all times without carrying the kit… but there are folks on-line here who have gone much, much farther in that direction than I have. I could do a little more, but I really don’t want a 5 pound keychain, either…

My “urban” PSK does contain some things most people’s don’t- I actually have a Gerber LST (just short enough to fit) folding knife in there, for one thing, as opposed to just razor or X-acto blades. I also put a lot of emphasis on the radio, maps, money and information. For the “wilderness” kits, though, the basics have been pretty much the same since we started making tools. The “ice man” had a kit not too terribly different in contents from the ones we discuss here.
Posted by: inkslngr

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/09/03 08:17 PM

"I think the tea bags and bouillon cubes are a cheap way for kit manufacturers to cater to your psychological needs, not your “real” physical needs.". . .

In any survival situation the first thing to be done is sit down and take stock of your situation, a mental or psychological activity to be sure.

Just as a well trained, well fed, well honed body performs at or near its peak ability, so to will a psychologically stable mind perform at its peak ability.

Perception is everything. If the mind percieves fear, the body responds with flight, or fight. The stomach growls and the mind percieves starvation and begins the process of conservation, whether it needs to or not.

Would a hot cup of tea or boullion broth say to the mind 'all is well'? Perhaps. The mind is a funny thing.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/09/03 09:35 PM

>>Would a hot cup of tea or boullion broth say to the mind 'all is well'? Perhaps. The mind is a funny thing.<<

It might indeed - food usually has that effect. I would respectfully submit that telling your body or mind that "all is well" when all is certainly NOT well can be a dangerous thing. Depends on the circumstances- but complacency can kill as surely as panic.

I contend, as I have before, that hunger- NOT starvation, that doesn't happen for weeks and your body knows it- sharpens the senses and the wits, and telegraphs to your body that you are indeed in a survival situation. For someone who has never experienced hunger in their life, this can indeed lead to panic, and they can imagine all sorts of dire things are happening to them.. but then, for someone who has never been without their teddy bear, that can lead to panic as well. The rest of us can afford to leave the teddy bears and candy bars and teabags behind. We might well miss them- that's not the point. The point is that they are not needed for survival, and thus, along with a WHOLE WORLD of things we might miss, but that are not really needed for survival, I personally think they have no place in the kit.

If you've never done it, you might consider giving your digestive system the first break of it's life and just stop eating for a few days. You won't starve, and most people report more energy and greater acuity, not less. Results can be clouded by withdrawal from sugar or caffiene, but starvation is not a possibility. In fact, three days is too short for most of the benefits. At the very least, you'll at least lose the fear of merely being hungry... because there's nothing to fear.

Now, if you really fly over wilderness areas where you might have to exist on your own for weeks, instead of hours or days, that's a whole different matter. I doubt if many of us do... and I sincerely hope you have more resources than will fit in an Altoids tin.

Talking, or thinking, about "starvation" in hours is simply nonsense, and if it's "your mind" that is the problem, then the solution lies there as well- not in carrying useless stuff to cater to the delusion.

Think of the thousands of generations of your ancestors, and the lifestyles they led. How many of them, do you suppose, never went hungry in their lives? Do you think they were on the verge of panic, of losing all sense and reason, if they missed a meal or two? If they had been, you wouldn't be here.

I wouldn't dream of dictating what anyone else includes in their kit, but I have no plans to put tea bags, candy, bouillon cubes, chocolate cookies or gummy bears in my kits anytime soon. "Comfort food" is just that- as comforting as it may be to have it in a kit, it's simply not needed for short-term survival, and inadequate for anything longer.

Posted by: Trusbx

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/10/03 02:16 AM

I too squeezed a gerber LST into the kit. Make more sense than an paper cutter blade. But I kept the scalpel blades though..... <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: WOFT

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/13/03 09:26 PM


I don't think starvation is the only objective in food procurement. Replacing minerals/sugars/vitamins etc is also a priority. After hiking all day without a proper meal, my mom got really sick due to hypoglyceamia. (sorry, spelling might be wrong). There were other complications (hypothermia, mental stress, fatigue, and a weight of 45kg), most of which might be present even in a short term survival situation.

I agree when you say <<I wouldn't dream of dictating what anyone else includes in their kit>>, but I belive that you need to try cater for a diverse range of situations. And, your PSK might not always be just for you.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/14/03 04:25 PM


I appreciate the feedback, but I remain unconvinced.

With all respect to your mother (Boers still have reputations as excellent marksmen), I know that if I personally couldn't skip eating and hike for a day without becoming "really sick", I'd be much more concerned about the health implications of that, than possible "survival" scenarios.

Hypothermia is a complicated issue, and I certainly recognize the value of food in staving it off- there have been times on the trail where food, carbs especially, have made the difference between sleeping and feeling cold all night for me... but we're dealing with very limited space here, and I'd contend that the space is much better used for firestarting and maybe even inusulation or chemical heat pads (both of which I carry every day, this time of year in the Northern hemisphere) than for bulky foodstuffs.

Again, it isn't a question of what would be "nice to have".. certainly, food makes it onto that list (I personally probably enjoy it more than most- and it shows). The question is what's most appropriate for a small personal survival kit. I just don't see that many scenarios where the appropriate reaction to a short-term emergency is... eating.

The same criteria would seem to apply to any number of items that “other” people might need- they'd be "nice to have" in some scenarios, but they're not generally likely enough to be needed to rate inclusion in a small personal survival kit. By definition, it’s “personal”.. it’s intended to get YOU through. You can’t realistically carry everything that YOU might need, much less what others might need, and if you don’t survive, you can’t help anyone else.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/14/03 08:51 PM

I also took all the food related items off my survival gear (Knife). The only problem it created was missing a few opportunities to either fish or trap on several camping trips.

Granted such items are not really necessary for survival but since I always take my survival gear on camping trips it is nice not to have to miss it if I run into fish, or easily caught birds, etc.

I put my snare wire and fish hooks back on. It's not like they take up that much space or weight. Mac
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/14/03 10:27 PM

To each their own, but that seems like a strange approach- carrying something in the PSK just because you might want it while camping. That could equally apply to almost anything.

I've never trapped, I don't aticipate doing it for pleasure (it's illegal in most areas I've been anyway), and I'm usually not staying in one place in the wild long enough to maintain a trap line, but I do carry a small (about 6 oz) fishing kit backpacking even when I don't expect to use it. Though it's pretty light, it's still too big for a PSK.

Camping is not survival, unless you're really doing it wrong. :-)
Posted by: Chris Kavanaugh

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/15/03 03:38 AM

Lets think outside the box for a minute, or PSK. I became dissatisfied with my PSK medical supplies. I merely acquired a second container dedicated to First Aid essentials. The later input of Beachdoc and Trustbox inspired yet a second reappraisal of what I could and couldn't,should and shoudn't attempt. So, I am usually packing two boxes secure in deep,well buttoned pockets. Is there some dresscode or wilderness rule requiring merely one PSK? What about 3? Those who find some form of food a priority,real or not can simply build a aggressively thought out PSK and add more units for food,first aid etc.. A small tin for food items is still no Moveable feast. Yet for fun I just loaded a tin with tea, bullion cubes, food tablets, chocolate, a bit of jerked meat , dehydrated fruit and matches.
Posted by: Trusbx

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/15/03 07:35 AM

I agree with Chris.
Never limit yourself to just one box. It would be silly to just try and squeeze whatever your equipment you deem to be necessary just because it fit into that one tin.
More means more choices. In an emergency situation, why limit your choices ?
We all carry what we deem necessary and if it goes beyond the standard PSK so be it. As long as you are comfortable carrying it.

Of course you may want to limit how much to carry, or else you'll end up like Crazy Eric <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/15/03 11:44 AM

When I head for the hills for a few days it is usually to either practice my survival skills or to teach my daughter (11) or other young people that are interested. Sometimes we just camp (Tents, bags, BP stove) and other tmes we go with the bare essentials and improvise (Tarp/Poncho, fire, etc).

Either way I always stress the importance of carrying the basics should you be forced to spend the night or stay longer than you planned.

Food gathering, eating for that matter, is not essential in a short term situation. I like to be able to fish and trap becuase I like to. I also carry a "wrist rocket" slingshot for the same reason. Critters are tasty.

I have also been in a "survival situation" in which food was a definate issue. I'll relate the story here later. Nobody was going to die in our ordeeal but we were all reduced to scant rations and had to partially live off the land. Fishing gear fed our group.

The only food related item that I make sure I have with me is salt. I know for a fact that I loose a great deal of it and am subject to severe cramps after a day or two of heavy perspiration (We got lots of that here). My personal kit is full of little salt packets stashed away here and there. In my pack I usually have a bottle of electrolyte replacements tablets as well (buffered salt).

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/15/03 05:08 PM


I think the conversation may be stumbling over differing defintions of exactly what a PSK is, and how it's use affects the definition.

For instance, to my way of thinking a PSK inside a backpack (or horse pack) is probably redundant and, if used routinely, not really a PSK at all. To me a "survival kit" is not just supplemental gear, but the minimum I absolutely want to have with me if I'm separated from the pack and my gear. My definition is a kit for true emergencies only, when you really have nothing else.

As such, it's hard enough forcing the self-discipline to keep one ALWAYS on my person, without multiplying it by two or three. It seems to me that talking about multiple "kits" and not-really-essential items is muddying the role it was intended to serve.

When I say that there are items I would not include in the kit, I'm not saying that I would voluntarily do without those items, either in civilization or the wilderness. I carry some reserve food for the unexpected when backpacking . I also carry, as I said, fishing gear and a first-aid kit. By not including them in the kit itself I'm not saying that I'd voluntarily do without, just that I don't include them in the list of absolutely-needed-for-survival gear that I'm not willing to take ANY risk of being parted from. So, to me, other pouches and containers that I'm willing to leave in the pack, or desk drawer, or commute bag, don't qualify. That's just supplemental gear, and mostly it is subject to use in less-than-emergency conditions.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/15/03 08:43 PM

I agree with opinion that PSK should be assembled not based on what may get useful, but what will be essential in a real emergency when you do not have access to your backpack, car or other. The situation, when some items of equipment will improve your chances to survive, I mean, not to die. All the rest can be put into the backpack, including food and water. If you use snares, slingshots and fishing equipment when you are not in danger, you can put them in a backpack as well. I agree with opinion that, the bulkier and heavier the PSK will be, the less desirable it will be on you all the time (not backpack), hence, you have less chance to have it on in a real emergency situation. If you store PSK in a backpack, you should treat your backpack as your PSK (and I agree, backpack also PSK to some extend, but large one, however, I believe most people want to have it easy to carry). To my opinion, PSK should be used as the last resort when everything else had been tried to escape danger. To my opinion, GPS and Communication equipment (Satellite or mobile phone) is the best PSK for most real emergencies, therefore should be on you all the time.
I would also agree that there is a little chance that you may get into a real emergency under equipped, if you expect it.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/16/03 01:38 AM

It's probably heresy to say it here but I have gotten away from the PSK over the years. I pretty much just have the things in my wilderness pack and my survival knife. The knife has all the stuff I can't live without. Everything on the knife is a scaled down version of things in the pack, for the most part.

It's an airforce survival knife with a rubber sleeve over the sheath under which is all the stuff I wouldn't want to live without. I figure if I've lost that knife, I have also lost the pants as well and that would be a far greater emergency for I would fear the embarassment of a rescue.

I don't go into the wilderness here without my pack. I usually go into the wilderness to practice survival skills (including food gathering) so I take the bare essentials I'll need. I often go by myself. I always take a cell phone.

To my way of thinking a PSK that is always carried on the person would have to be justified by a lifestyle that could easily put one in the wilderness unexpectedly. If I am going anywhere near, through, or over wilderness I throw the pack in the vehicle. Some people here think I'm a nut but the contents of that pack have saved the day enough times that the people in my life have stopped making comments. I'm in and out of the stuff enough that to have it all in a neat PSK would be a pain. Most of my stuff is in heavy duty ziplocks in the pack. Mac

Posted by: NAro

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/16/03 01:29 PM

Pict, the point is that your knife (rigged with the stuff you couldn't live without) IS your PSK. Who says it has to look like a box! My PSK is either in a waterproof neck pouch, or (believe it or not) in an old leather "secret zipper compartment" money belt. But, as Presumed Lost says, it consists of the bare minimum I think I'd need to keep alive until help reached me, considering the geography I'll be in.

In the past, though I carry many less critical comfort items (usually in a small fanny pack)it has taken discipline not to raid the PSK. E.g., when my pocket lighter failed, I'd use the bic in the PSK to light my pipe or cigar. I've gotten better about that. The PSK is last ditch survival, nothing less.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/16/03 03:17 PM


As one heretic to another, sounds like your set up is very nicely evolved for your needs.

I pretty much agree with respect to the kit/pack redundancy. I’ve carried some sort of “kit” on any hike from a few hours to a few weeks for decades, and I can only think of once or twice where I used anything in the kit, and those weren’t survival situations. Still, it’s comforting to have if there’s any chance you might be separated from the pack- and the larger the pack, the longer the trip, the more chance there is.

I confess though that that’s part of the reason that I’ve most recently concentrated on the “urban” version, and my every-day-carry. I’m much more likely to get caught by surprise in an urban emergency than I am to unexpectedly find myself in the wilderness.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/16/03 07:25 PM

It is interesting to see that here are quite a few “heretics” with limited PSKs. <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I join your club. <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.
Posted by: Milestand

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/17/03 05:28 PM

I believe the most important purpose of the PSK is as an aid to focus your mind on survival situations. It achieves its optimal utility at the moment you assemble it and thereafter serves a primarily symbolic function.

This discussion reminds me of my high school Latin class -- most everyone hated the weekly grammar tests and it was standard procedure to write out a little cheat sheet with the appropriate words and conjugations. I discovered after a while that in the process of deciding what the important information to include on this cheat sheet and then the careful writing of it on a tiny sheet of paper -- I no longer needed the physical paper because it had by then been stored in my memory.

Survival is surely a state of mind more than any little tin of odds and sods. Onboard skills beat outboard tools. (Of course, a mini Bic lighter and a knife sure speed things up...)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/17/03 07:30 PM

>>I believe the most important purpose of the PSK is as an aid to focus your mind on survival situations. It achieves its optimal utility at the moment you assemble it and thereafter serves a primarily symbolic function.<<

My first reaction is that a rabbit's foot could probably do as well in that role, and be a heckuva lot easier to carry.

It is certainly true that the sort of person that pays attention to survival kits rarely needs them, and the sort of person to whom it would never occur needs one most often... but I'm not sure that it follows that the function is therefore "primarily symbolic".

Not that a symbol is necessarily a bad idea. Maybe people who carry PSKs should wear a mutually-recognizable symbol, like a building wearing a civil-defense sign? <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: dchinell

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/17/03 09:38 PM

Oh geez. I was trying to avoid sharing this, but here I go.

I DO thing the PSK is a tremendously powerful talisman. I went through an extensive education process, supplemented with field experiments, to select and assemble my PSK.

I swear I can FEEL the power in that sucker when I slip it into my pocket.

It's not as spooky as it sounds. It's just that the PSK does represent an important process and state of preparation and readiness. We put a lot of our persal energy into creating them.

That's what makes a powerful talisman.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 12:22 AM

As I see, each of us have own opinion about PSKs. Some think that PSK is for the last resort and should contain minimum required items, while some argue that the number of items in the PSK can be increased. I see the point of both sides and I was thinking, that it might be a good idea to have one small PSK on you all the time and still have another one, larger in size and more functional, may be even somewhere in backpack or car. The first PSK is used only as the last resort. The reason of having the second PSK is because since it is already assembled, you reduce your chances to forget some necessary items at home. At least it happens with me that I forget some items at home. They are not vital, but would still make my life easier and reduce travel expenses. What do you think? Regards
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 12:56 AM

As the "P" stands for personal it´s no surprise that everyone has at least one opinion on his / her kit (I have three different kits for different purposes). IMO your aproach is reasonable. Have fun when you assemble your kits.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 02:56 AM

I too was inspired by BeachDoc and went for a second Altoids tin with just meds. It's become natural for me to carry a lot of stuff in my pockets. Live long enough and you'll use just about everything, either for yourself, or for someone else in need, though it may not be in true survival situations. I don't see the reward in being a minimalist with survival gear - life has too many bumps in the road. Regards, Tom
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 07:58 AM

I understand and would probably have agree with u in many way, i feel relaxed and comfortable but still aware even though people lkaugh and mock eg, today i'm going to a city on bit of buisness(i'm hopinbg to buy a share in surgery) and it has took me 4 hours to decide whether it was wise to take a blade!

Posted by: jet

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 11:59 AM

As the "P" stands for personal...
Ah! Thanks, M a x. That's why I've been so confused by this thread! I've always assumed that the P stood for Pocket! I've always assumed that if it's not a pocket survival kit, then it was just an "SK", not a "PSK". <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

So, I'm reading this thread and thinking of other threads where someone writes something similar to, "I like to carry a bigger PSK as a fanny pack..", and I've thought to myself, "Well, then, that wouldn't be a PSK,... it would be an FPSK. Or they write something akin to, "I prefer to make my backpack into my PSK", and I've thought to myself, "But that would make it a BPSK then. That's totally different...". <img src="images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I feel better now. I get it now. I'll specify which kind of Personal Survival Kit I'm writing about when I use the acronym from now on.

FWIW, I can see carrying the extras and niceties in larger containers. That's what they're for, and that's what I do with them. But, for an actual pocket survival tin or kit, I have to agree with Presumed Lost ... it's just too small for anything but true basics.

My Altoids tin-style Pocket Survival Kit is no place for placebos, luxeries or "feel-good" morale-boosting tricks. It's got a very little bit of room for a few essential tools for a practical realist, and nothing more. And a small Pocket Kit is not the place for food of any sort, in my personal opinion. Food just takes up too much space!

My Fanny Pack usually carrys a water bottle & FAK, as well as extra items too large for my pocket kit. It's still not camping gear ... it's still just a minimal Survival Kit, but there's a lot more room for stuff in a fanny pack than a pocket tin. But I still don't pack any food in it. I've fasted for ten days before, so I guess I have different priorities.

Right now, though, I'm wondering if indeed it might not be reasonable to keep some small emotional support materials in there. I have not room for even a packet of salt in my pocket kit, but a fanny pack kit could carry a bullion cube & a tea bag with a packet of salt & another of sugar, easily enough. If nothing else, it might help me calm down whoever I might be with. To someone who has never gone a day without a meal before, a tin of hot salty broth & another of hot sugary tea may be just the thing to get them stable enough to deal with better. Hmm, yeah I like that...

My Backpack has the food, the utensils, the luxuries, the extras, the stuff to make my going fun and happy. That's where I keep my Camping & Hiking gear, including a larger FAK. And that's where I keep my food. For emergencies, I keep a nice flat Altoids' "Big Tin" in the very bottom with "Survival Gear" in it, stack the FAK on top of that and then stuff the "Camping/Hiking" style (fun & luxury) gear on top of those two items. The big tin can carry more than my pocket tin, the larger FAK can carry more than the one in my fanny pack, and this gear I'm saving for emergencies thereby stays completely sealed away and separate from the hiking, camping, sleeping & cooking stuff I'm constantly getting into while I'm out and about.

I have now even gone so far with this idea as to create a slightly larger PSK out of a Windmill Lighter tin for my jacket, coat or windbreaker pocket, to supplement the normal slightly smaller Altoids PSK in my trouser or pants pocket. (Can you tell by now how much I like, really really like, redundancy? <img src="images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />)

So, I'm a big believer in multiple "kits", each of a size determined by carry method, and each with contents determined by size. When I'm talking about other kits, I like niceties and extras, but when in the past I have talked or written of my PSK, I've automatically been thinking of my pocket kit - the smallest, most intensely selective subset of gear that I might be able to get my hands on in a crisis!

If I can't get to any of the stuff I carry in my car, I at least have my backpack. If I am away from my backpack, I at least still have my fanny pack. If I somehow lose my fanny pack, well heck, at least I still have this ultra-minimalist set of utterly basic tools and raw materials in my pocket to use for cobbling together some way to hang on for a little while... Eash level, by its nature, has less room and less tolerance for "morale" built into it, and that just seems obviously right and necessary to me.
Posted by: Tjin

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 12:16 PM

hmmzz... doesnt PSK stands for personal/pocket survival kit ?
atleast that what i get of dougs review page of PSK's ... ( look at the titel )
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 03:28 PM

Well, the personal part serves better to explain the range of opinions on the kits <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />. The pocket size is what makes it feasible to have it on you all the time (for me it was also a reason to have different kits). So I guess you´re right with your interpretation for that acronym (and you have a source prove it).
Posted by: jet

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 01/18/03 05:47 PM

hmmzz... doesnt PSK stands for personal/pocket survival kit ? at least that what i get of dougs review page of PSK's ... ( look at the titel )
Exactly. That's why I now feel better. Because the ranges of answers make more sense to me now that I've updated my acronym. I no longer have to try to figure out how someone thinks they're going to fit a power bar (or more) in an Altoids tin if it's not a pocket kit as I had been thinking of it, but a personal kit (which would give a lot more options). <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/16/04 07:34 AM

Re-entering old topic! <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Yesterday, I finished reading Chris Ryan's last book called "Ultimate Survival Guide". If anybody does not know this author, here is some information about him
I would not say it is a serious survival guide, but it is a very interesting to read book with good and simple explanations. I would recommend it to read, but probably not to buy- it is not priced as an average book. A few of his opinions are very interesting:
1. satellite or mobile phone and GPS are probably the first items that should be in the survival kit when you travel to a dangerous or isolated area. He claims satellite phone saved his life when he was in Siberia and might have changed many things if his patrol had one in Iraq. Of course, they may break down, and you should not rely on them only, but there are good chances that it will not happen, especially if you keep them in some protective cover. Other items, as I understand, are also important, but these two items are must for a dangerous trip.
2. Snares are useful. Even if you try to move fast you will still find them useful- you put them before you take rest and take them out after having rest. Therefore they do not slow you down significantly.
So, I am thinking now how to budget my money to get one Satellite Phone and GPS (I am thinking about it more than a year <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />). Plus I think to start learning how to make snares, but where to practice? I think it is illegal in my country <img src="images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />.
Posted by: ScottRezaLogan

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/16/04 03:28 PM

Concerning your Question at the End of your Post, you may have some real Areas of Point, concerning Running Far and Fast! But this shud be Alleiviated somewhat by some of our Smaller Kits. [color:"black"] [/color] [email]Ebakeev[/email]
Posted by: ScottRezaLogan

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/16/04 03:58 PM

There is an Excellent Book by a guy named "Ferguson" on GPS. As well a Good Few Other Good to Excellent Books on GPS or Related Topics. Here in America, Quality Bookstores such as the Larger Borders or Barnes and Noble are a Best Source. I Don't know how such a Book Acquisition system may be in your Country.

Sorry that I Don't know More on Ferguson right now than his Surname, -but I can Find such Out, along with the Title of his Book, Etc. And Post Back with that Shortly.

I Have Read / Soaked Up a Lot of What is in his Book though! Again it's Comprehensive and Excellent! I can Only Highly Recommend It!

Be Aware, as you may Already be, -that things like Forest Leaf Cover, Canyon Walls, and Many Other Factors such as he and Others Mention in such Books, -Can and Does Totally Interfere, with your GPS Efforts, Out There in the Field! [color:"black"] [/color] [email]Ebakeev[/email]
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/16/04 05:49 PM

I doubt that snares are a useful option when you move. IMHO it´s a waste of time to put them out for just a couple of hours in unfamiliar terrain. You have to look carefully where the animals come and you have to set up the snares and collect them before you move. This may well mean to invest some sweat. It may be better to rest instead. The odds for catching something that way are small at best. Beside of potential waste of water it could have a negative effect on your morale when you don´t have success.
Posted by: bountyhunter

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/17/04 03:41 AM

Your bio and your post do not tell us what country you are from, but if you have neighbors with gardens or a garden of your own, I doubt anyone is going to report you for catching some stray rabbits.

Outbuildings tend to have field mice or rats and you can always snare them for practice. Just be careful to not set a snare where a pet like a dog or cat roams. If you want to taste cat, check your local laws or keep quiet if you snare one.

Posted by: benjammin

Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 06:14 AM

Guys, I gotta tell ya, I really don't do PSK persay, in that I don't carry anything on me that remains static, is bare essentials, or has limited function. I gave up trying to come up with something small that would contain everything I might find essential at any given time.

What I did was got a messenger bag, put things in it I use everyday, added things I think I might need once in a while, and every so often change some contents to suit the conditions I may find myself in. I carry a small assortment of esstential OTH meds, along with any current scripts I need. I keep my wallet in it, my security badge for work, wire ties, string, floss, some duct tape, a compass, a lighter, some matches, a mylar bag shelter, an LED flashlight, some paper and some writing utensils, a couple condiment sized peanut butter containers, money, a needle and some thread. I keep a Leatherman, a penknife, another lighter, more money, my keys, another LED flashlight (photon style),my sunglasses, and a hankerchief on my person every day.

That's pretty much it. I may add one or two items or take something out occasionally (like my PDA or my GPS). Otherwise, I do fairly well. I work out of doors at remote locations in wilderness settings under isolated conditions, so I keep other supplies with me in vehicles I use. Since I am a communications specialist, I also keep a cell phone, a programmable uhf and a programmable vhf radio with me when I am away from the office. I also have a small HF transeiver that I can use to talk around the world on using only a 9 volt battery.

There are things you can do to improve your chances. If you think the mindset daily, the messenger bag is no big deal, and you learn how to deal without the stuff you can't take with you. I like to eat, and a couple tablespoons of peanut butter aren't going to break me, but will make my stomach be quiet for a while without depleting my body of water needed to digest it too much (digestion of food requires the use of a lot of the body's water). When I was doing escape and evade, water was always the big concern of the group, not food. The one time we did hunt together, we caught and tried to eat an Armadillo. It was the worst tasting piece of pork you could imagine, and even after doing without food for 4 days, I could only gag down 3 bites.

When we got back to base, those flattened peanut butter sandwiches looked so good, I couldn't open my mouth to say thank you when the mess cook handed me one because it was watering so much. I also couldn't quit drinking water for two days, and got sick twice from overdoing it.
Posted by: dave750gixer

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 01:43 PM

My first post on the boards and I'm a heretic. Oh well.

I dont have a PSK as such. I used to have the normal tobacco tin type but dont any more to much of it is of no use to me. I do have an EDC though.

I live away from home during the week and stay in temporary let accomodation or hotels. In an urban area. Live in a rural area at the weekend and have a 200 odd mile each way commute at the weekend by motorbike. I dont have access to the normal home items you have at home so I carry them with me. I also go hiking, climb and dive. My partner and I also travel a lot at the weekends showing dogs. Whole lenght and breadth of the country.

My emergency items are the ones I use all the time and dont keep a specific set only for emergency use. Set up to provide normal living in town as well as emergency use in event of breakdown or accident on the way home. I dont carry any foraging items with me since in the UK I am not going to be more than 3 days from help and I wont starve in that time. I do carry a SAK which gives a bottle opener, can opener and corkscrew along with a titanium spork to eat with - takeaways if that counts as foraging!. The only specific item of emergency not to be used kit I carry is a £20 note in a small spy capsule. My EDC is also split into 3 sets. trouser pockets, jacket pockets and small daysack. my lists are a bit different from everyone else and are very heavily biased towards FAK both for me and also for children and pets when at home.

Its nice to see someone else from the UK who has also made the decision not to carry food and foraging gear as emergency stuff. and for the same reasons as me. I feel slightly less heretical now <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In my pockets now are: SAK, 6" needle nose vise grips, spy capsule with £20, inova microlight LED torch, maglight solitare, sliver gripper tweezers, swisstec utilikey, keys, mobile phone and some money. plus very small FAK - plasters and an antiseptic wipe.
In jacket pockets are wallet- ID, money and credit cards, titanium spork, silva compass, personal FAK and some meds, screw gate carabinner, bic lighter, spark lite and tinder, box of matches, magnesium block and ferrocerium rod, Fisher space pen. I tend to never be without that lot they dont take up much space or weight

In daysack - goes to and from work with me. Larger FAK and meds kit, 10m paracord, small climbing sling, 4 4" nails, screw gate carabinner and 2 carabiners. waterbottle and mug.

The one thing I do miss is a good knife and would like to carry a Falkniven F1. Legal problem in the UK for EDC though. But I do put it at the bottom of my pack when doing the bike commute along with a high vis vest, 4 light sticks and an Inova 24/7 torch
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 02:22 PM

Welcome to the ranks of the publicly visible here.

Someone has wakened an old thread, and one in which I've already said more than I should, not a little of it about the seeming inappropriateness of focusing on food procurement, for most of us, for most kits. On this and some other forums that has, in the past, produced spasms of knee-jerk outrage.

So, welcome to the ranks of heretics, as well.

Key to message for "American" English speakers:

temporary let accomodation - rented rooms
motorbike - motorcycle
takeaways - "take-out", as in food
daysack - daypack
torch - flashlight
plasters - adhesive bandages, "Band-Aids"

Sorry, couldn't resist. <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I am curious about the carabiners and sling. Do you find much use for them, other than climbing? I have such gear, but wouldn't have thought to carry it unless I expected to go climbing. Also, nails but no hammer. Please enlighten.

Posted by: Eugene

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 03:32 PM

I'm kind of in the same boat. I don't carry some of the normal PSK type of things since I'm hardly ever outside of the city. If/when I do plan to go outside I have that type of stuff in my truck to it can be added to my carry. Also I don't carry and fisfhooks for example since eating fish makes me sick.
Posted by: dave750gixer

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 06:06 PM

The nails come in handy surprisingly often. a 4" nail is quite tough and I have used it as a small prybar, the last time on the traditional tin of paint. Most people end up using a screwdriver or knife blade which isnt a good idea. If the nail bends you can throw it away and get a new one. The sharpened tip also make a very good striker for use on ferrocerium rods. You can also use it as a nail <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> In fact so useful that I would carry 1 in my trouser pockets if they didnt keep cutting through the pocket and falling out leaving me to repair the hole <img src="images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

I dont carry a hammer as I can usually find a brick or stone to use to pound it if I have too.

I havent tried this personally but I imagine putting it in the corner of a windscreen or window and hitting it with something would be a good way to break glass in an emergency.

I used to only carry one but came accross someone on another site who carries 4 and makes a small stand out of them when boiling water in a sierra cup, havent tried this myself yet buy I reckoned carrying another 3 nails wouldnt kill me. I dont notice the weight at all. I suppose that they would be a quick way of making a trident type thingy to catch fish and frogs for those who feel that they need to forage to survive <img src="images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

The carabineers are handy for a few things and with paracord can be used to pull/hold/drag/lift a surprising amount of weight. The sling I just sort of threw in there recently since I had the carabiners anyway. Doesnt weigh much but is stronger than paracord and as its a bit wider its easier to hold. I've used it a few times to jury rig things together. But not hugely successful. May well give way in my pack to something else.

One thing I forgot in my jacket pocket from earlier is water purification tablets
Posted by: dave750gixer

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 06:23 PM

after reading again didnt explain about the carabiners. can be used to attach various things to your belt or pack for ease of use even the non climbing carabiners you can get. A lot of the things in my EDC seem to have loops on them or split rings. So one is useful. I added more since they are so handy <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> some examples I'm sure you could think of more

tie to paracord for a handle so you can haul on it without damaging your hands so readily

use on a loop on a pack to form a handle for ease of use or hauling (a friend of mine in the Royal Navy always has one on his rucksac since it can be used to clip said rucsac securly to the line when transfering between ships)

locking one makes for secure fastening on packs on the bike at "reasonable" 200 mile commuting on motorway speeds

along with tape sling can be very quickly looped round a tree trunk above a branch as an anchor point for shelter tarp (I know I could tie paracord but this is much quicker) or as an anchor for hauling gear up or lowering down a slope or a safety line

improvised knuckle duster to break car window in an emergency (note - havent actually tried this)
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 06:58 PM

improvised knuckle duster to break car window in an emergency (note - havent actually tried this)

This will only work with tempered glass. When you use it like a knuckle duster you will very likely be bruised without breaking the glass. The best technique would be punching with the radius of the carabiner (very much like hammering a door with your fist). The glass tends to take more than one punch before it breaks. You should wear gloves when you try. Punching with a pointy object (e. g. a nail) breaks the glass with less force.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 08:44 PM

Might want to rethink the fish hooks, they're great for birds and small game too, just gotta bait 'em right.

Posted by: aardwolfe

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/17/04 08:50 PM

I agree - survival in a non-military situation is usually completely different from someone in a "behind enemy lines" escape and evasion. The latter is more akin to someone escaping from prison and trying to avoid the searchers.

If you're not trying to escape from the local authorities (for whatever reason) then the almost universal rule of thumb is to stay where you are and wait to be found. The major exceptions to this are:

1. You're experienced and skilled enough to find your own way out. According to some of the NASAR publications I've read, about one third of all lost hunters rescue themselves.

2. You know that no-one is going to be looking for you (e.g. the Chilean(Argentinian?) soccer players in "Alive"), or they're going to be looking in the wrong place (e.g your light plane has been forced 50 miles off course to avoid bad weather and your ELT is busted).

3. You're in an inhospitable location without enough supplies or equipment to survive if you stay put. (Joe Simpson's "Touching the Void" has been discussed in a number of threads recently; he admits in his book that their cardinal mistake was trying to reduce weight by leaving excess fuel behind. For the want of a $5 canister of gas they both almost died. Had they had one more canister of gas for the stove, they could have holed up in a snow cave, melted some snow to quench their thirst, and waited for the storm to break. Without it, they had no choice but to continue descending the mountain in a whiteout.)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 08:51 PM

Unless you're willing to cut your hand up pretty bad, DON'T.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 08:57 PM

I'm in the Uk also, and like you, I don't carry a PSK. I do have a large, variable EDC. I live in the country and spend much of my life outdoors. This means that my EDC usually includes a large folding saw (Bahco Laplander) as well as a fixed blade + a lot more stuff.

Like you I don't carry any food or foraging equipment, but I do have a fair knowledge of wildfoods. Knowledge plays the part of a huge amount of gear that you could carry, and it weighs nothing. Once you have a knowledge base, you can see that practically every plant in the british hedgerows is edible!

Sorry this is a bit of a waffle.
Posted by: dave750gixer

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 09:06 PM

I wasnt thinking of holding a carabiner in my fist and punching through the glass with an uppercut. Hold carabider in fist and strike downwards - using side of hand not fingers end, the way you would use a through tang knife like the Falkniven F1 to hammer on tent pegs. and with lots of small blows aimed at the window not through it. to crack first not pile all the way through on a big blow and lacerate my hand. The carabiner I have is not symmetrical and has a ridge round the circumferance which gives some of the advantages of a nail but easier to use. It is difficult to hold a nail and strike with it without your fingers sliding down towards the glass. You may not have something available to strike the nail with (if you did obviously the nail would be a better option) and I dread to think of the injuries you could sustain by striking the nail with the heel of your hand. this is emergency use if I actually had something available nearby desinged to break through glass like you see on trains then I would use that in preference

I suppose the best emergency window breaker would be steel tipped heel on a pair of stilletos but unlikely to be available unless you are a) female or b) on your way to a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

just reread this lot and realised someone else had already explained this was the way to do it - sorry. I was replying very long windedly just to agree with someone <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> been a long day!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 09:12 PM

Edible, yes, tasty, no. Pretty much the same here in the states, with a few (very) poisonous exceptions. try out the plants you're sure of before you need them and you'll find that a spice kit is invaluable (mine includes: garlic powder, onion powder, Heinz 57 steak sauce, which is great on more than just steak, and of course Tobasco). With a few spices, anything that's nutrient-valuable can be made to taste good enough to eat, no sense in not enjoying your meal. <img src="images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: ScottRezaLogan

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/17/04 09:37 PM

Oh!, in Survivi-Prep, as well as in Life, -You've Gotta Watch Out for Holes in Pockets! In Addition to Preventative Measures as Keeping Sharp / Chafing / Grating things Out of there!, -We Shud Make it a Regular Practice to Check for such Formed, Developing, or Potential Holes! Along the Same Principle of Checking your Chlothes and Etc.for Scorpions, in the Desert. Though this perhaps Need Not be as Often.

Similarly, Watch Out for Nails Sticking Into your Attic Roof!, -especially but Not Limited to Moving Around up there in the Dark! This Never Happened to me, but I Cringe Evry Time I Look at Such! From Day One, upon First Seeing such many years ago, as an older kid.

And those Grated Catch Drains along the Sidewalk / Pavement (Brit.) / Roadsides / Curbs / Kerbstones! Also the Several Inch Vertical Openings immeadiately Above such, in the Curb Face itself. Those are Big Enuf to Lose Important Things, a Lot Larger than Keys, Cards, and Coins!

Money, Coins and Change, Keys, Rings, Checks, ID, Credit and Other Cards, Mail and Important Family Photos and Other Special Sentimentalities!, -The List Goes On! -In a Loose, Careless, or Accidental Moment, -They can Go Tumbling In! Before your Very, Horrified Eyes, or even Unbeknowngst and Undetected by you! If Over or Near such a Grate, you just Happen to Be!, at such a Moment!!

This too has Never Personally Happened to me. But I Leerily Cringe somewhat!, Evry Time I Look At, or Find myself having to Walk Past One!

In my Own City, as well as Others I've been in, -I See Public Pay Phones!, -Right Over These!!! I Looked Down into one such Sidewalk Grate. (There Too!, Not Only Limited to Roadside Storm Drainage) And Sure Enuff!, I Saw Plenty of Quarters, Dimes, and Other Coins and Change!, Down There! And thats just what was within Sight! Hoo Knows How Much had been previously Washed Down into the Piping, Over the Years!

I See Homeless and Other Beggars,-Some Not so Needy or Noble, Sitting Right Atop Those with their Cups!!! I've Cautiously Advised more than a Few, to Watch Out that they Don't Ever Have an Accidental Spill!! Experience can be a Best Teacher, but What a Way to Find Out!! A Full or Mostly Full Cup of a Day's Hard 'Earned' Change!, in a Moment just Goes Tumbling In!!!!!

This is Similar to Carelessly Spilling your Only Water Supply!, in the Midst of the Desert!!!!! To so Learn That Hard Way!!! Say in the Mid-Sahara, Mid-Summer, Mid-Afternoon!, Aside one of the Driest of Dunes! Like Deep in Southernmost Algeria!, -You Suddenly Lose Most to All of your *Only* Water Supply! You Watch your Priceless Water Visibly Sinking into the Rapidly Drying Sands! Right Before your Eyes! Heartbreaking! And of Mortal Concern! Let's Hope that one Doesn't Have to Add Unavoidable Shame and Stupidity to that! Either Way, -You're *Out of* Water!, in the Midst of the Hottest, Most Isolated, Sahara! Reading of this Possibility or Prospect, Has been one of my Greatest of Survival Inspirations! / Pearls of Wisdom!

Coins and Other Important Things into a Catch Grate, are Like that too! So Watch for This and These!, as Well!!!

And What if you just Happen to be Walking on an Older, Substandard One?! And Go Crashing Down into One yourself! What if it is Too Deep, and Vertically Walled, to be Able to Climb Out of!? What if there is No Ladder?! What if you Get Injured or Otherwise Disabled in the Process?! I Think it would be a Good Idea and Practice, to Try to Avoid Walking Directly On and Over these!, where all possible. Though the Great Majority of these, of course are Not readily Cave-Innable.

And then there is the Wind! Be it Sudden Gusts, or of a Steady Strength. Even a Light Breeze can Do it! This can be Very Instrunmental in such Catch Basin Deposition! Of your Valuables! As well as Acting as a Great Snatcher of your Valuables as well!, even Nowhere Near a Grate or Basin! It can Rapidly Send your Important / Precious Items a Sailing Far Off from you! Either Along the Ground, or Well Off Up Into the Air!

Or into the Water! Such as Along a Shore, While Driveing over a Bridge, or in a Boat. Even without Wind, you can just Lose Something in Water like that! Try Finding your Expensive Glasses, Once they've Fallen into a Lake! As well as into it's Muck Below! Even if you could Remember the Exact Spot in which you Lost Them! Which Isn't Likely!

Or Losing Valuables to the Wind or Otherwise, Over a Precipice or Other Height!

Windsnatch Dangers are Far from Limited to just a Catch Drain and Such, of a Vicinity! (Though thats where this Little Topic Arose from)

Then there's Another Pet Caution of mine. Which Involves how Valuables and Other Things, are Always Getting Lost Behind Desks, Cabinets, Furniture, and Other such Like! Watch for That as well! From Time to Time, Also Check Behind such Locales! Missing Something Important, Precious, or Valueable?! It may be as Close!, as Right Behind your Desk!!! Down into the Sofa!, is Another! You'll Always Find some Coins and Such, Down there!

There's at least Several Other Such Important Examples!, One of which I've Temporarily Forgot. Which the similar "Holes in the Pocket!" Caution, Brings to Mind.

In Both your Survival-Prep Life, as Well as in Life Overall, -Keep Mindful and Watchful of Them!

[color:"black"] [/color] [email]dave750gixer[/email]
Posted by: ScottRezaLogan

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/18/04 12:26 AM

Same with the Ramen Soup Flavoring Packets that survivalperson has Spoken of, back under "Salt Packets" (I Forget at the Moment, which of our Two Main Forums that was on) [color:"black"] [/color] [email]wildcard163[/email]
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/18/04 04:15 PM

A spring-loaded center punch is the proper tool for breaking tempered glass windows - works great, without effort or danger to the hands and doesn't weigh much more than a decent ball point pen. If that doesn't work for you then consider the res-q-me tool, which will fit on your key-ring and be even lighter than your nails but still break car windows just fine.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Thinking outside the box, again... - 03/18/04 04:28 PM

Just brainstorming here but.....

A couple of 'biners

1) holds things on to your belt, pack, keychain

2) Improvised toggle to replace button (A little large but better than dropping trou.... <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

3) compined could make a compound pully arrangement to increase your pulling power

A couple - 4 nails + improvised hammer / multitool, stone, brick, handy piece of metal from wreck of downed plane you are climbing out of etc.

1) attachment point for biners used as #3 above

2) Steady / reinforce damaged structures

3) Pot-stand for small stove

4) leather awl

5) Attachment point for snare wire

6) point for spear (hunting and self-defense)

7) Chisel for wood working in shelter building

8) Nail for shelter building.

9) pin replacement for grenade <img src="images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/18/04 04:48 PM

If you are on the move you will need water and food. Water more than food but both would be nice. If you are truely in the wilderness and the local McDonalds or Grocery dumpster or neighbor's freezer is not available then you may want to attempt to gather some food. Animals are edible without question. Plants can kill you if you eat the wrong one or the wrong part of an edible one. When setting up camp at the end of a day it is little difficulty to set your tarp to collect the maximum amount of dew or rain in-case there is any. Similarly if you have some snare wire you could have a hiking staff or find a similarly sized branch and fashion some snares (4 to 6) squirrel sized along it ar 2 foot intervals and lean it against a tree a little ways away from your camp. Takes almost no time and you may find some nice fat squirrels hanging there next morning. Squirrels will take any short cut to and from the ground. Along a leaning branch is much easier for them than straight up the side of the tree. A 6 foot squirrel pole with 4 - 6 snares at 2 foot intervals is actually quite likely to produce if you are in a woods that has squirrels, chipmunks, or other tree-climbing rodents. In a jungle it may even bring in a monkey. In this case you aren't trying to find the animals natural pathways, instead you are providing a pathway that they will naturally prefer.

Likewise with a box-trap baited with yesterdays left-overs. A baited trap in an area where the local racoons, squirrels, skunks, possums etc have become habituated to table scraps may well produce overnight. I think of the number of sleepless nights at campgrounds kept awake by the music of the racoons foraging among others coolers, and the nearby dumpster. This works just about everywhere that there has ever been interaction between these nocturnal omnivores and humans.

In both these cases you simply set the trap after setting up camp for the evening and take it down (along with whatever produce) in the morning. It is nearly effortless to setup the squirrel pole or the box trap and the food value of a racoon will certainly be worth it, a couple of squirrels make a decent lunch if not a dinner.

If you are trying to harvest rabbits, beavers, dear or any of the more elusive, less human habituated game then you will certainly have to put more effort into it. OTOH, whilst moving along your way you may be able to recognize an animal track that goes your way. Following it to your camp and then placing your snare there and moving a ways to the side may be a decent, low effort way to snare the more elusive game. If you happen to camp near a beaver pond it would be wise to place your snares where the beaver is likely to be since the beaver will certainly be a larger meal than the more certain squirrel
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/20/04 10:29 AM

Hello, everybody,
First I would like to give a few answers. I live in the UK and I find the population density is very high here that it would be difficult to find a real wilderness. The main danger here IMHO is from elements. Therefore my question was about survival situation when you are abroad.
I got a bit strange thought now: I do not know how to use snares, but I shoot quite well from handguns. It is illegal in many countries to have a compact firarm, however, most countries do not require a license to own air pistols. What you think if you put air pistol into the PSK? It can travel in luggage between different countries and very convenient. Something light, preferably not requiring CO2 gas. It won't shoots rabbits, but sparrows without any problems! I think I will put this question as a separate topic.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits - 03/20/04 02:37 PM

There was a very indepth and interesting thread on the use of air guns for hunting just a few months ago