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#286638 - 10/05/17 04:51 PM Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2265
My style is to try various types of gear - sometimes carrying for months and evaluating what works (and what doesn't.) I'll list some of my findings in this thread.


#287894 - 01/17/18 03:19 AM Re: Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear [Re: TeacherRO]
WesleyH Offline

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 79
Excellent idea TeacherRO. The more I think about it, the more I realize how many things promoted as "Survival" equipment or even bad idea that continue to be promoted in the now daily deluge of "Survival books" by people no one recognize save their parents.

As an example, in a recent "SOS, Would you survive" show by Creek Stewart (who seems to be a good reference) was considering a summer desert survival situation and made the proverbial solar still. . He only got sand for his effort, HOWEVER he made no mention of placing shredded or broken cactus, or other greenery in the pit before sealing. (how much water COULD he have obtained?) Granted, solar stills are generally not worth the effort, but even urine would distill back to potable water.

or, what are the survival rates of people who carry 3 to 5 thin mylar blankets, vs the heavier duty versions?

Much needs to be done on equipment, techniques and use of equipment by trained vs. untrained personnel.

Thoughts anyone?

Edited by WesleyH (01/17/18 06:11 AM)

#287904 - 01/17/18 03:41 PM Re: Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear [Re: TeacherRO]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 854
Loc: Colorado
Most of the survival gear I've carried for years and years has never been tested in survival situations.

In some respects this is a good thing because it means that my planning has always worked out to safety.

But recently I've begun making a point of practicing a skill or two on each outing just to learn. Things like making fire with just a firesteel and stringing up a poncho tarp arrangement have proven to me that you must practice using the items for them to be helpful when needed.

Things like my emergency matches and Personal Locator Beacon probably will not ever be tested - if my planning and execution skills remain good.

#287906 - 01/17/18 05:49 PM Re: Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear [Re: unimogbert]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6350
Loc: southern Cal
"Proper planning prevents p###-poor performance" is certainly true, but sometimes Fate intervenes. On land, at least, a survival situation develops as the result of a cascade of poor decisions, eventually resulting in difficulties.

The classic survival situation arrived with air travel, where in one minute you are floating serenely above the clouds - minutes later you are on the ground in a very different environment - alpine, jungle, sea, Las Vegas, the Hudson River - you name it. Shipwreck is sort of an intermediate category, but land based emegencies usually develop gradually.

If the land based traveler is half-way well equipped for conditions, there is really very little gear that is carried explicitly for survival. Something like a poncho (good extra layer for cold and rain, as well as the basis for shelter), one or two alternatives for lighting a fire (the weight and bulk can be trivial), and a bit more water and food than you might think absolutely necessary. I emphasize water because most of my experience has been in arid regions, where H2O is gold...Not so much the case in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.
Geezer in Chief

#287907 - 01/17/18 06:15 PM Re: Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear [Re: TeacherRO]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1295
Loc: North Carolina
And sometimes things happen that are completely outside of your control. In a true SURVIVAL situation, it is likely something catastrophic with injuries and in harsh conditions. Being disoriented and isolated for a time, if properly equipped, is merely an unplanned camping experience, as Peter Kummerfeldt describes it.

Even in a catastrophic situation, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. Skill/training/experience is the best thing you can have in such situations. This comes from practicing and using your "survival" gear. As Hikermor says, a reasonably equipped backpacker is well equipped for survival. What most lack is training in the proper skills.

#287909 - 01/17/18 08:01 PM Re: Test, carry and learn - evaluating gear [Re: TeacherRO]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2265
...and fitness, mental prep and having tried out your gear. ( and what ever assumptions you may have made)


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