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#11716 - 01/09/03 03:27 AM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits


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


#11717 - 01/09/03 04:57 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits


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.

#11718 - 01/09/03 08:17 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits
inkslngr Offline

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 54
Loc: AZ
"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.
"I'd rather be lucky than good any day!"

#11719 - 01/09/03 09:35 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits

>>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.

#11720 - 01/10/03 02:16 AM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits
Trusbx Offline

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Ed's Country
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="" />


#11721 - 01/13/03 09:26 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits
WOFT Offline

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 391
Loc: Cape Town, South Africa

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.
'n Boer maak 'n plan

#11722 - 01/14/03 04:25 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits


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.

#11723 - 01/14/03 08:51 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits

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

#11724 - 01/14/03 10:27 PM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits

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. :-)

#11725 - 01/15/03 03:38 AM Re: Interesting opinion about survival kits
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
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.

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