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#5703 - 04/22/02 09:42 PM Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?

Do Tea Bags have enough multi-use value to earn a place in your PSK? Here are the uses that I've read tea bags have.<br><br>-Drink/Nutrition<br>-Mild medicine/pain relief<br>-Bandage<br>-Tinder

#5704 - 04/23/02 12:10 AM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I carry a few.Their inclusion is almost mandatory in the British Commonwealth. A familiar item is always a terrific morale booster. All the uses you listed are valid, if limited. Some of the reenactor/blackpowder sutlers offer traditional chinese black tea in small solid blocks. Any instant drink is always helpfull for palatability.

#5705 - 04/23/02 04:15 AM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?

Absolutely positively yes! I always have a few shoehorned in somewhere. After all, what is the point of surviving if you can't have a nice cup of tea when you really need it?

#5706 - 04/23/02 12:36 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?

Er, no.<br><br>Iíve been the minority opinion on this before, and there are lots of people that feel otherwise, but there are currently no food related items in my PSKs other than a P-38 can opener that doubles as a striker for the ferrocerium rod. No Mainstay rations, no candy, no fishhooks, no snares, no aluminum foil, no bouillon cubes, and no teabags. If I were flying over the boonies regularly I might reconsider, but food is such a low priority for short-term survival that I consider such things "comfort" items- and comfort is not the objective.<br><br>Tea has no nutritional value (in terms of calories, anyway). Itís a diuretic, which could easily contribute to dehydration. If it kills pain, I havenít noticed that effect, and it certainly canít have been much pain. If a tea bag stops bleeding, it was going to stop anyway. I havenít tried it as tinder, so I donít know if the filter paper will catch a spark, or flame from a glowing spark- I would think ordinary paper would work better.<br><br>My personal view- and again there are many that disagree- is that comfort items have no place in a PSK designed for short-term emergencies, because seeking comfort and short-term survival are too often at odds. A cup of tea is less likely to keep you alive in an intense survival situation than feeling complacent and letting your guard down is to get you killed. The object is to get through the situation still breathing by whatever means, not to set up light housekeeping. <br><br>FWIW, I drink a LOT of tea (Japanese style green tea) during the course of a normal day, so it's not that I wouldn't miss it.<br><br>Let me say again, there are plenty of people who disagree, and I completely respect their right to make their own choices. Many of the arguments resulting from my previous posting (which got migrated to another forum), though, seemed to distill down to the fact that they'd rather be comfortable, physically or psychologically.<br><br>Here's what I posted on 10/2:<br>_________________________<br><br>For whatever itís worth, I tend to be VERY suspicious about the value of food-related items in any short-term survival kit.<br><br>Itís often cited that you can go for up to a month without food. Iíve fasted for up to 7 days, and many times for shorter periods. After the first 2-3 days you actually gain energy, as the 20+ percent energy ďoverheadĒ of your digestive system shuts down. Any weakness in the first 2-3 days seems to be psychological, and real detrimental effects seem to take at least weeks. We didnít evolve without going hungry for decades or more at a stretch- it may even be unhealthy.<br><br>Hunger makes you much more alert, speeds your reflexes, sharpens your senses, all of which are very good things in a survival situation- thatís what millions of years of necessity will do to an organism- hunger seems in fact to be a cue to the body that you're IN a survival situation. I think itís reasonable, for short-term kits, to sacrifice the prospect of some comfort for an increased chance of living through the period.<br><br>Personally, for the ďurban bugoutĒ kit, the only food-related item I have, or am planning to have, is the P38 can opener. Since my typical wilderness excursions are two days or less on foot from my vehicle, not involving aircraft over mountain ranges and deserts, even for the wilderness kits Iíve decided to forgo the fishing gear and snares- the object of those kits is to get out of the situation, not to become a mountain man. I think the typical tea bags and bouillon cubes in an off-the-shelf kit are sort of a joke- reassuring for those who fear hunger because it's so unfamiliar. At worst, food could lead to a comfortable false sense of security and complacency- which could easily kill you.<br><br>None of this applies, obviously, to deep wilderness situations where it might legitimately take weeks to get out. Nor does any of it apply in the least to water consumption.<br><br>So, you might want to at least give it a second thought. Are you preparing a kit to help you survive, or really worrying about short-term comfort? Might you actually be trading one for the other?<br>

#5707 - 04/23/02 03:14 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
Not in the PSK directly, but perhaps in one's gear elsewear. A teabag is rather bulky and would come at the cost of stashing more critical items, or add additional bulk to the PSK. <br><br>Also remember, the volitile oils in the leaves disapate over time, so you'll want to replace them often. That also runs afoul of my PSK intent where I don't want to be unsealing and sealing the dran thing too often, just when the meds and other items with a shelf life require replacement. Tea leaves would require a more frequent replacement cycle than the other items.<br><br>Lastly, if you run out or forget to carry tea bags on an excursion, there are many natural herbs in the fields and woods that one could use instead. Amny of them do have medicinal value. Start by learning a few common ones and trying them out in small quantities in non-survival situations. Just like anything else, you don't want to try anything for the first time in an emergency situation if you can help it.
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

#5708 - 04/23/02 03:33 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Presumed, there is merit in both arguements. The psk in it's minutae reflects bigger issues. Comfort may be a secondary issue in our experience and mindset. But add a child or senior citizen to the scenario. A favorite toy grabbed as you head for a tornado shelter: the upset english lady who just witnessed an aircrash and is talking about the blitz as you buy her tea. A tea bag may be wasted space in a PSK, but Im not going anywhere without my rucksack, teddy and Earl Grey ;o)

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (04/23/02 03:43 PM)

#5709 - 04/23/02 05:30 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
If you do carry a tea bag, you really need to consider how you will be boiling water to use it. <br><br>So the shirt pocket kit must be inclusive of at least a tin or foil to even have the option to make tea. Finding a tin can around an urban setting is easy enough, but a wilderness setting less likely. Brewing up in an Altoids tin seems hardly worth the effort for 3 oz of tea.<br><br>So if a tea bag is included in the PSK, so should a reasonable way to brew up.<br><br>I have a 600mL metal cup in my carry bag with tea bags. Comfort and calm provided by the ablity to brew up is worth the effort.<br><br>My PSK has one tea bag, no foil, in a plastic fly box....Why is it here? Hum...because it is my UERK...(urban emergency response kit)....Yea that's why.

#5710 - 04/23/02 05:52 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
AndyO Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 167
Loc: Jawja
I didn't know you had such a big nose! ;[
Two is one, one is none. That is why I carry three.

#5711 - 04/23/02 07:26 PM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?

You've all made valid points and have done exactly what I come to this board for. You've given me something to think about.

#5712 - 04/24/02 12:00 AM Re: Does a Tea Bag Have a Place in Your PSK?
bones Offline

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 73
Loc: Western / Central Australia
In the Aussie SAS Kit of Bob Cooper, besides the uses already mentioned the cooled damp tea bag is also applied to burns and scalds as a first aid treatment. Not sure if this is a real medical technique based on the tannins or if it is just an "old wive's tale" being perpetuated. A brew is a great morale booster, not so much the drink, but the time taken to rest and perform the everyday ritual of boiling the kettle/billy/foil cup, especially when performed in a stressed/unusual environment. Then tea becomes a symbol of normalcy, not just a refreshing drink. The time taken to heat the water is valuable time to think your situation through.(Also, noting the diuretic effect, you don't drink tea if your water supply is limited).

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