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#165044 - 01/26/09 01:18 PM Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth
DavidEnoch Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 74
Loc: Texas
Every time I see a well thought out survival kit, I print it out and keep a copy of it. Last night I was reading through several kits and got to thinking.

Why do we worry so much about making our kits so small and lightweight. Think of what it will take to be warm and dry on a wet rainy night. In my imagination, a survival situation will be wet with wet grass, wet ground, and wet leaves. Even if you get a fire going you will not have a dry place to sit or sleep and anything you would try to make a shelter from is also wet. Adding 4 pounds of shelter and warmth would make survival so much easier. With a decent pack, I don't notice the weight that much. 4 pounds would give you a warm dry place to sleep and a light sleeping bag or blanket. There are lots of ways to get there; a poncho and liner, a tube tent and sleeping bag, a bivy and sleeping bag, etc. will all make for a comfortable night out.

I always wear a day pack when I hike. A compact sleeping bag and a little shelter are very manageable in addition to a few survival tools, water and gear. All this together shouldn't weigh over 10 pounds unless I have to carry a lot of water.

David Enoch


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#165046 - 01/26/09 01:29 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: DavidEnoch]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Good points.

When I hike with friends I invariably have the heaviest pack. And if something bad happens we'll be glad for the extra gear I carry.

Most of us could stand to lose 4 pounds of fat and that would be a good trade for many reasons.




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#165051 - 01/26/09 02:24 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: Dagny]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
That is EXACTLY on target. I think shelter and warmth are two elements of outdoor/wilderness survival that are often overlooked while assembling "the kit".

You might remember Chris, our beloved moderator, saying a few weeks back that that his most important survival tool was his sleeping bag. He wasn't kidding.

My thought on the matter is that when out and about you need to wear enough clothing to SURVIVE (not necessarily be comfortable) a few nights outdoors. Outdoorsafe.com calls this "dress to survive - not just arrive". Your clothing should provide the majority of the insulation need to deal with the cold for several days.

Now, what about the wet ground and the rain/dew that is so often associated with unexpected nights outdoors? THAT is why it is so important to carry at least two 'chunks' of some kind of waterproof material. I myself like carry at least two large (50-60 gallon) orange plastic bags. Either sit on - or better yet step into - one of the bags, and then put the over your head AFTER tearing a face-hole in one corner. Those bags can easily cover a large part of your body without flapping edges and such. Plus, the color is such that it enhances your chance of being found.

BTW, lately I've been looking at bivy bags, and couldn't help but notice that some of the small solo tents, such as the Eureka Spitfire, weight and and might even pack about the same size as the bivies. Am I wrong on that?

Ken

Combine your plastic bag shelter with a fly net, and you are amazingly protected from whatever mught come your way.

Now, you may need to be a little careful to place the bags such that they can vent a little, so as to limit condensation, but that's not too hard.

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#165057 - 01/26/09 03:31 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: KenK]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Ditto.


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#165061 - 01/26/09 04:00 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: DavidEnoch]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
Loc: MINNESOTA

good thoughts,but this is where we get into what is a survival kit and what is the stuff we carry around when we go hiking,canoeing,rockhounding?..the "kit" to me is something small enought to be carryed un-noticed untill the moment you need to survive--matches-foil bag-ration bar-..the other stuff is the Lite-Hiker knapsack with enought gear to camp out if need be..my survival kit is the stuff i carry in the pockets of my PFD. compact food,a pot.Bic,and a Heatsheet bag are top items.-- i know it's hair splitting but i think of it this way.
the news report---"he "survived for a week before he was found"--V.S. "we found him camped out,lost, back in the hills"

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#165064 - 01/26/09 04:18 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: CANOEDOGS]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2129
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS
the "kit" to me is something small enought to be carryed un-noticed untill the moment you need to survive--matches-foil bag-ration bar-..the other stuff is the Lite-Hiker knapsack with enought gear to camp out if need be


I could not agree with you more!!

I actually tend to carry my "kit" in pieces in my pockets rather than in some kind of container. Its just what I perceive to be the critical elements - cell phone, ResQme, knife, fire starting gear, flashlight, whistle, bandana, small compass ... When moving a distance away from my truck (shelter), I'll throw two big orange garbage bags in my back pocket (I don't carry them around work or when out shopping and such).

The one part I don't carry that I probably should is some kind of signal mirror. Unfortunately they just aren't tough enough or small enough to survive the pocket environment. I've also been thinking about adding a small spool of some kind of cord - which is in my pack(s) right now.

I've tried to carry a little pouch on my belt, but I find it uncomfortable.

My daypack and backpack carries the bigger - living a bit more in luxury gear.

Ken

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#165070 - 01/26/09 04:26 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: CANOEDOGS]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Personally, the reason I don't like carrying a big kit is because the bigger the kit, the more likely it is going to be left behind when you really need it. A lot of times people get into trouble when they least expect it, like a short dayhike, wandering away from camp to use the restroom, exploring a side trail, etc. Those times are when they will most likely leave things behind "just for a minute", especially if it's heavy or bulky.

I do carry a heat sheet bivy bag on every hike, regardless of duration. If there is a very remote chance that I might be spending the night, I'll pack some extra clothes and a poncho/tarp. If there is a decent chance that I might be out overnight, I might carry a regular bivy. For anything more, I'm probably camping anyway and have a full shelter and bag. But that's inside my pack, which might be put down to take a break or whatnot. I'll still carry the really essential equipment on me.

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#165071 - 01/26/09 04:29 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: Dagny]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Dagny
When I hike with friends I invariably have the heaviest pack. And if something bad happens we'll be glad for the extra gear I carry.

Most of us could stand to lose 4 pounds of fat and that would be a good trade for many reasons.


Sounds familiar... how many times have you heard stuff like, "hey, we're just going out for the day", "what's all that stuff for?", "which pocket is the kitchen sink in?"

If I'm with friends in an unstructured activity, when it starts raining, snowing, or someone needs a FAK, or they want to start a fire to warm up, my pack is the go to place for the group? I guess I don't worry about what they think. I don't feel comfortable going out unprepared, so I just try to act responsibly.

Incidently, if I'm the one leading the group, I make sure that folks bring the essentials, or the don't go with me in charge. (Which gets into the whole area of outdoor leadership, but, that's probably another thread.)

Shelter and warmth are so vital, I think everyone here is hitting on some key points.
_________________________

- Ron

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#165080 - 01/26/09 05:10 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: Be_Prepared]
Still_Alive Offline
Finally, I am a
Member

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Utah
I agree with KenK. I try to carry everything in my pockets, without letting it get out of hand. I work in an office environment, so cargo pants with each pocket fully loaded doesn't exactly cut it.

In the winter here in Utah, I carry a Heat Sheets blanket and a cheap poncho in two of my coat pockets and take my coat everywhere I go. I have gloves and a stocking cap, in the other pocket. Weather-proof shoes/boots are worn all the winter long. I try to buy stylish AND functional clothing--I don't stand out, but I have what I need when I need it. If a coat doesn't have 4 pockets, it probably won't fit my needs. Same with pants as well. Fleece vests are great in the winter and give 2 more pockets.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "If I thought we were going to be out this long in the cold, I'd have brought [insert preparedness gear here] too!"
_________________________
“Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.”
W. Edwards Deming

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#165088 - 01/26/09 05:30 PM Re: Carrying 4 pounds of shelter and warmth [Re: Still_Alive]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Think about weight tho. If cold is your greatest enemy in a given
situation, a couple of pounds of down or polarguard will be more welcome than the same weight of food/water/knife etc.

You obviously can't carry a sleeping bag in an altoids tin, but
I have seen gear lists here that included three or more knives and
multitools and several flashlights, a backpack that empty weighs
4 or more pounds, etc.

Leave out some of the redundancy and allow for the weight of a light sleeping bag or parka.

For example, here is a synthetic sleeping bag that weighs around 2
pounds total.

http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=31&p_id=1121773

I'd take that over a 2 lb hatchet any day.

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