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#109081 - 10/19/07 01:41 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: SoarnEagle]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Quite a few people feel that a mag/ferro bar is less than adequate for fire starting. I personally have had mixed results. A strong wind blowing, for example, will have those shavings of magnesium scattered everywhere. But better than nothing for sure...
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OBG

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#109083 - 10/19/07 01:52 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: SoarnEagle]
TQS Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Humboldt County, CA
I think that most people imagine "their" survival situation as being one that will not pose that much of a real threat to their life. I'm not sure why people do this. Maybe it is because they feel or believe that if it is in their kit then they will have to use it, and so they somehow avoid the more serious situations by carrying band-aids instead of an emergency field pressure dressing, for example. I can honestly tell you that if it only requires a band-aid, it is not life-threatening, and should not be considered a survival situation, and that is why there are none in my survival kit. I know there are execptions to every "rule", but for the most part what I am saying rings true. As far as I can remember, band-aids are to keep children screaming "Mommy!" from thinking they are going to bleed to death from their first minor bleeder or scratch, and they are effective at that. The infection issue is not something that concerns me since I will anticipate my survival situation as probably being typical in that I will be rescued or find my way "out" in less than a week, and not forgetting, it is only a scratch, so even if it does get infected, I know it won't kill me. Ha Ha Ha!

I guess the next obvious question is for me to ask, "How do you know what YOU need?" As far as I can tell, I don't exactly know, as I can't always "see" the future. Well, this means that I am not going to assume that my next survival situation is going to be an "ideal" situation requiring a mere band-aid. I don't think any true survival situation is.
So, I will include items that address immediate life-saving first aid needs, rescue, and immediate subsistence needs, in that order.
If I find that I have survived the car-crash off the road in the mountains, but that my arm is bleeding heavily, I will be glad that I am conscious due to the fact that I wore my seatbelt, and also that I have a field dressing in my "Altoids Tin". Oh, wait, I forgot, those don't fit in Altoids Tins. I guess I better not bring one then, as I'm sure my band-aid will suffice. Ha Ha Ha!

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The Bell Curve says ignorance is normal.


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#109092 - 10/19/07 02:10 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: OldBaldGuy]
TQS Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Humboldt County, CA
I have found the shavings to be useful, but a lot of work comparatively. I would rather spend that energy preparing a finer tinder. Firecraft is all about prep work. There are no short-cuts, even though "it" always seems to suggest otherwise.
Although, the magnesium shavings can be kept from blowing away if you remember to build a decent windshield. The reflector that is part of every campfire that functions at maximum efficiency should suffice.
I personally believe that magnesium shavings are an insult to expert firecrafting, but their usefulness in a dire situation will always be debated, remembering that "insult is always preferable to injury."
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The Bell Curve says ignorance is normal.


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#109104 - 10/19/07 02:59 AM Re: Concerning the “Altoids Tin Survival Kit” [Re: bmo]
TQS Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Humboldt County, CA
Bmo,
You wrote, "With all due respect, the word (not the phrase) you really needed to define was "survival.""

I respond by sharing the first part of the first paragraph of my book that I have been working on intermittently for the past decade, and which will probably take that much longer to finish. I am no "expert", nor do I consider my opinions to be necessarily true for anyone but myself, but since you expressed an interest in what my definition of survival might otherwise be, I will share this much:

(This is of course only a rough draft)

SURVIVAL

Survival: [(sur- < Fr. < L. super- = above, beyond, more than, over, upon,) + (viv < L. vivus = alive, life, living) + (-al < L. = action of, belonging to, characterized by, like, of the kind of, pertaining to, process of, relating to)].

Survival is that systematic state of mind and body that is expressive of a state of existence that is one step beyond death. An individual is alive because that individual has survived up until the present moment, and is not presently accompanied or influenced by any known factor that is sure to result in that individual’s death. Survival is usually thought of as a state of being that is base and temporary and exists only until all the basic physical and mental needs have been met to the point that other activities that are usually associated with “living” can begin.
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The Bell Curve says ignorance is normal.


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#109105 - 10/19/07 03:00 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: TQS]
SoarnEagle Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 13
OBG...

I never use the shavings.. so I wouldn't know about that... I prefer Cattail, Milkweed, Goatsbeard, or other "natural fluff", cotton (which I carry), or punk wood easily found that will readily accept the spark.

TQS...

We are talking here about an Altoid Tin...

I didn't say that you shouldn't carry more. However, in order to prepare for every possible thing that could happen you would have to tow a tractor trailer behind you. That's why I teach.. and stated above that you have to know how to use what you have. And you need to own your skills.

You're "scenario" above is quite possible. So it might be good to answer your dilemna. If ALL that I had was my "Altoid Tin" and you had your altoid tin and a field dressing.. we are both in about the same boat. If severely bleeding, as you posted, you have probably severed the brachial artery, or a branch thereof. Of course my bandaid won't stop the bleeding... Neither will your field dressing. If you notice in my above post I stated that I carry antibiotic bandaids. Thus I have a wee bit of protection in them once i stop the bleeding.

Now obviously, I would pull out my full field FAK. But we weren't talking about that. And since we weren't talking about mini or maxi kits (which are also in my car right next to me) I won't use my bandanas as compression dressings. I will, instead, think outside the box. I was not driving naked to the local nudist colony, so I have a cotton T-Shirt on, and probably another pullover or button down over it. So I will take out my neck knife, which thankfully hasn't opened in the crash and skewered my heart (Or I would have had to use the other band-aid) smile I cut the cotton T-Shirt into a strip and roll it into a compression bandage. Since it is long I can tie it around my arm and effectively stop (or at least slow the bleeding for the time being)... How am I doing?

I think you get my point. We were talking about micro kits.. not full fledged field kits. Obviously I wouldn't purposely go into a possible "situation" without more unless I desired to. And for the "band-aid" record... I don't use them for most cuts (Unless it is on my 3 or 5 year old). Rather... for something deep that won't stop bleeding (severe knife cut.. etc) I would cut them into 3 lengthwise pieces (So instead of 2 or 3 bandaids I have 9 or 10 "butterfly closures").

Hope that clears up any misunderstanding smile

- Soarn

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#109106 - 10/19/07 03:20 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: SoarnEagle]
TQS Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 141
Loc: Humboldt County, CA
Mugwort is one of my favorite tinders. It works beautifully with friction fires, such as the hand drill and the bow drill.

I'm not trying to prepare for every situation, just the very basics (immediate basic life-saving first aid needs, rescue, and immediate subsistence needs). I don't need a trailer for those, only a belt pouch that is about 10x the size of an Altoids Tin. It really isn't all that big comparatively. I'm not talking about carrying road flare firestarters, heart defibrillators, and SBCA CBRN respirators.

With regards to the bleeding scenario, we just have a differing opinion concerning materials effectiveness and importance placed on timing.


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The Bell Curve says ignorance is normal.


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#109110 - 10/19/07 03:38 AM Re: Concerning the &#8220;Altoids Tin Survival Kit&#8221; [Re: TQS]
SoarnEagle Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 13
TQS...

Thanks for your kind reply smile And I doubt that we have much, if any, difference of opinion.

I absolutely agree with you friend. I don't carry an "Altoid Tin" since I ALWAYS carry my mini with me EVERYWHERE that I go. It is never more than 100 yards from me... EVER (100 yrds would mean that I am in the back of Wally World perusing the newest Gerber or Shrade blade) smile

You can find my "Mini Roll" on the "Ditch Kit" thread. Weighing less than 6 pounds total (2 kits.. I only showed one.. the other is a military field kit bag with some FAK and other preps) it isn't too hard to keep by my side.

As for fire capabilities.. I am a pyro... I am extremely proficient at bow drill (less than 15 secs to coal), proficient at hand drill (4 to 5 passes) (my fav hand drill is "Equinus Canadensis" (locally called "Horseweed") on Cedar or Sycamore), Extremely profient at Flint/Spark throwing, Extremely proficient at Magnifying glass (usually less than 5-10 seconds to flame once the tinder is prepared). And... I can also use a lighter smile But here at the base camp (home) I have a fire going almost all the time. IF I lose my coal (such as in the heavy rain we had last night) my favorite "wilderness" firestarting method is to lay out my wood... Pour a 1/2 cup gas (unleaded type) on the wood, and throw a match from 10 foot smile Works every time! For the record for those not familiar with this technique.. NEVER throw gas on an already lit fire!!!

- Soarn

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#109368 - 10/21/07 12:51 PM Re: Concerning the “Altoids Tin Survival Kit” [Re: TQS]
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
An Altoid tin can't contain bulky items such as a shelter, food and drink. Part of the idea is that the tin provides tools to help you acquire those things from the environment.

The emphasis is on items which are hard to improvise. For example, there's no real substitute for light, and if it's pitch dark it's hard to improvise a torch from found materials, or to do anything else, really. Hence a small photon light in the PSK. There should also be a knife, cordage, something to start a fire, and means to carry water, because those things, while possible to improvise in the wild, can be really tricky or time consuming.
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#109460 - 10/22/07 12:16 PM Re: Concerning the “Altoids Tin Survival Kit” [Re: Brangdon]
bigreddog Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 253
Originally Posted By: Brangdon
An Altoid tin can't contain bulky items such as a shelter, food and drink. Part of the idea is that the tin provides tools to help you acquire those things from the environment.

The emphasis is on items which are hard to improvise. For example, there's no real substitute for light, and if it's pitch dark it's hard to improvise a torch from found materials, or to do anything else, really. Hence a small photon light in the PSK. There should also be a knife, cordage, something to start a fire, and means to carry water, because those things, while possible to improvise in the wild, can be really tricky or time consuming.


True. But I often fold a space blanket or disposable poncho up - and guess what - they fit in a pocket that would take an altoids tin. And wrapping yourself in a space blanket is a lot easier than trying to whip up a lean-to under pressure.

Shelter is the big short coming in most psks, but actually, the bare minimum is easy to take.

(As an aside - I use my edc odds and ends all the time - not to survive airplane crashes or teotwawki, but the more usual mini-crises that plague us - a snapped bootlace out walking or a gashed knuckle at work. Survival doesn't have to mean disasters, and a stitch in time....)

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