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Mini Survival Kits, real survival or just feel good thinking ?

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Moe M., Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There's been allot of posting on several threads discussing Possibles bags, key chain survival kits, Nalgene bottle survival kits, and the old standby Altoids tin PSK's.
    I view these PSK's with more than a bit of skepticism, having experienced and worked in hurricanes, floods, and blizzards in which people were trapped in their vehicles and in their homes without power, heat, drinking water, or food for several days, I was also caught in a freak storm while hunting and forced to hunker down, build a shelter, and collect fire wood, all in a wet winter white out.
    I can truthfully say that I know what one needs to have with them to insure survival, it doesn't have to be a natural disaster of epic proportions, just a simple misstep, a bad judgement call, a slip on a slick rock or mud, and your on your own, you and your survival kit.

    More to follow.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  2. Kelly W

    Kelly W Scout

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    In any circumstance, something is better than nothing. One would want more than would fit in an altoids tin but might survive with something that would fit in it.
     
  3. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    The more experience I've gained, the more convinced I am of the fact that the more you know, the less you need.

    Also, having some essential items is better than no items, IMO, but other people's mileage may vary, and that's OK.

    That being said, the more options you can have the better it is. But we all have to draw the line somewhere. Ideally, we'd all take a couple hundred pounds of gear with us everywhere we went, but most of us limit our packs to 20-40 lbs.
     
  4. central joe

    central joe Guide

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    I am more in favor of the small possibles bag. I can put a couple of small kits in it, first aid/fire etc. Just my thoughts, and yes I agree with the more you know the less you carry, up to a point. A guy once told me to carry small, but effective. I tried to follow that advice. joe
     
  5. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    If you have everything you could possibly need accessible, you're in the parking lot of Walmart. Go in and get a sandwich. :D

    Otherwise, what you plan on always having deserves some thought - and practice. You will have to improvise.
     
  6. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Personally not a fan of "mini" survival kits, but something is better than nothing. When I go into the woods, I have appropriate clothing and carry a lanyarded knife, lighters, compass, whistle, and tiny light in my pockets. I usually carry a small daypack with a poncho and water bottle in the main compartment, and a small waterproof bag containing tinder, candle, notebook, pencil, spare batteries, headlamp, Polar Pure, repair kit, FAK, TP, and a few other odds and ends (sometimes including a fishing kit or other fire making methods). Quite often, I also have a 'brew kit' (cup, small stove, fuel tab, lighter, tea, sugar, spoon and a snack or three), skinning knife, and folding saw in the main bag as well. If I lose my daypack, I'll still be ok. If I have it, there's no excuse for not being comfortable.
     
  7. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    I'm certainly no expert, but it makes sense to me too arrange survival tools in layers and build outward. The Altoids tin kit is a basic beginning point and never intended to be comprehensive. Its supposed to be the stuff that's in your pocket when all else is inaccessible.

    Working in an office, I don't keep mine in my pocket everyday. Its in a Phase 10 dice game tin that measures appx. 3.5 x 4.5 x 1, (about twice the volume of a Altoids tin) and fits in the back pocket of my jeans, or a BDU cargo pocket with room to spare. This is normally kept in the bag that I EDC into work with me. If going into the woods, I take that little tin along with the other items I'm carrying. The contents of the shoulder bag that I EDC would get me through a night out and maybe longer.

    I also have another PSK in a Fossil watch tin attached to the back of my Cold Steel SRK, mostly tools and water purification tablets, etc. That's the most basic stuff that I want on me...That's why its on my knife sheath.
     
  8. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I said this in another thread, and again, it's just my opinion, I'm not suggesting that anyone is wrong in what ever they choose to put in their kits, or even whether or not they choose to have a PSK.
    I can't agree more that having something with you is better than nothing at all, what I am suggesting is that people who have never been close to being in a survival situation in their lives are putting their faith in a pocket full items that while handy to have are not going to save their lives in a serious situation.
    Most of the mini kits include first aid supplies that are sorely lacking, a couple of band aids and a few feet of duck tape is not a basic first aid kit, a 55gal. trash bag is not a shelter, a pen knife or a fixed blade knife with a two inch blade is not going to process fire wood or help you build a temporary weather proof shelter.
    Most mini kits don't have a suitable water container much less a pot capable of boiling water, most don't include any kind of hot drink mix, solid food, medications, I've seen some kits that have four ways to sharpen a knife but nothing to purify water or anything to carry water in, one kit featured a couple of hundred feet of paracord, bank line, and jute twine, but not one fish hook with which to get food in a state that has a stream, pond, or lake every two miles and the biggest and longest river in southern New England.
    A good survival kit doesn't have to weigh 10 pounds, and it doesn't have to be on your person every minute that you are away from home, if it's in your work place, in your vehicle, or anywhere close by enough to access it in a hurry.
    Another concern about small minimalist survival kits is that they are constructed in best case environments using imagined situations, then they are carried just as untested as the person carrying it.
     
  9. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    I say Lowes. :33:
     
  10. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Scout

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    I agree something is better than nothing. I could survive a couple days with just my pocket knife and Bic lighter, which is my EDC. Life would suck and I hope I never have to use just that for more than a day or two.
    The smallest kit I have that I consider a stand alone survival kit is my 2 quart canteen carrier (mil surplus) kit. It has enough gear that I could be comfortable for a few days in most any weather.
     
  11. Doc.

    Doc. Tracker

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    Moe said "...a couple of band aids and a few feet of duck tape is not a basic first aid kit, a 55gal. trash bag is not a shelter, a pen knife or a fixed blade knife with a two inch blade is not going to process fire wood or help you build a temporary weather proof shelter."

    Just not true. We're talking emergency survival, not indefinite sustainability. The vast majority of emergency survival situations last 24-48 hours. If you can't survive with said items above for that duration of time then skill development is what's needed. Doc.
     
  12. 1773

    1773 Guide

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    I guess it depends on what your situation is, I see no point in trying to put a whole bunch in a little bitty box. However with that said, more than once I have had to go get people who were in real danger of dying, and ironically probably would have had it not been for their cell phone working, that would have not really been in any trouble at all if they would have been able to make a fire, a lighter and some dry tinder would have changed their situation immensely for the better. So are you going to survive for weeks out of an altoid tin, probably not but might that small cache of fire making supplies. that mylar sheet and a garbage bag turn a life threatening night into just an inconvenience quite possibly. Like most things in life it all depends.
     
  13. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    Things increase your chances of survival - however many things you have. Given that about 75% of wilderness fatalities are heart attacks, falls, and drowning, a ton of gear MAY not save you. In the Montalvo study, a volcano killed as many as hypothermia. But it would be a shame to crawl ashore after the canoe flips only to die because you can't start a fire due to lack of skills and simple gear.

    So you take what seems reasonable under the circumstances - for you.

    These threads are good for making us think - not to decide anything in any absolute sense.
     
  14. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    PSK's are a way to develop a thought process..IE. "what if's"...practice skills and build confidence.
    And is just plain fun.... and trying to avoid one more thing-itis......

    First kit ever "kit" was because I dropped my cigarettes in a marsh crossing...

    So....Plastic cigarette box...with room for matches....for the smokes/matches .
    But had headaches/upset stomach once in awhile (nite before)...so aspirin and Tums...wrapped in aluminum foil....unfolds for mini cup...stuffed in box.
    Next came a page from Field and Stream w/deer cleaning instructions...and a couple of bandaids....

    My PSK was born, waterproof and a comfort......
    Been a battle ever since....
    When I found I needed something and didn't have it....add to the kit....

    Then get a bigger kits and so forth.
     
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  15. Nakadnu

    Nakadnu OBSERVER Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    IMO,
    a true survival kit needs to be tailored to the individual and the area they are inhabiting. I have yet to see a prefab kit that is even remotely suited to the areas I frequent.
    Some of my AO is nothing but sagebrush, shortgrass and cactus. When I go out walking in the winter I fill all my coat pockets and carry a shoulder bag of "survival" gear. Not a specialized kit in a tin or pouch.
    It seems the stereotypical survival kits are geared towards a wooded area with readily available water.
     
  16. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    In one Survivor Man episode, there was water in a deep crack in rock. He had empty whiskey bottles. He needed cordage long enough to lower a bottle down into the water. Instead, he drank water from a rodent dropping-littered rock basin - when he had those whiskey bottles and desert sun. :(
    So what's between your ears is, as noted by several above, potentially critical. He needed cordage OR to know about SODIS
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  17. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    Mini survival kits are a carry over from military personnel that had limited space to carry basic items. We all adapted the concept and built our own and the practice still goes on. I have to say that although I do keep a small kit together, it is not really a survival kit to me, it is more of a all in one place emergency gear kit. Fire, fishing, navigation aides and other small items. It is kept in one small pouch that I can toss into my daypack or weekend pack and know that I have some essentials available.

    I consider there is much more to survival in the wilderness that what fits in a small pouch but the little kit is some essentials to aid in having a comfortable outing. My true survival kit is everything I have with me, including my clothing.
     
  18. field-expedient

    field-expedient Misfit Bushclass II

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    There be countless stories of people who have successfully endured and survived some pretty rough odds with virtually no gear with them. I bet if you asked them they would have liked to of had a extra little box of trinkets with them, even if it were just full of mints.

    There likely also be some cases where those who didnt make it might of stood a better chance with a few extra tools.

    No guarantees with survival, with or without gear. Having practiced primitive skills I can say for sure that there are some things I just dont want to be without in a time of need.

    "feel good thinking" is important. Positive mental attitude and the will to survive is necessary.

    It seems to be a trend these days for people to try and disprove and discredit everything they come across. I guess thats easier than actually doing stuff , but whatever, I am more apt to listen to someone like Lofty.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  19. Gii shi kan dug

    Gii shi kan dug Supporter Supporter

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    I would really like to "LIKE" this many more times
     
  20. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Supporter Supporter

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    Better to have something than nothing at all, though to be honest I have become a walking PSK. Multiple knives and methods of fire starting are constantly on my person, along with the tools to make other things I may need in the bush.

    Some basics, and even more knowledge I all I hopefully need to get out of a jam.
     
  21. IA Woodsman

    IA Woodsman Overwatch Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass Instructor

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    Here is a exercise I did with a Altoids tin PSK. I will let you be the judge.







     
  22. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    @Moe M. Your OP suggested extreme outside situations. As others mentioned, something is better than nothing. As far as EDC, I work indoors and carry minimal/comfortable things in my pockets that I use often. I always have more stuff around me, than I am carrying. The closer I get to my vehicle, then the more stuff I carry. The vehicle has more stuff. Home of course has the most stuff.

    Once I make it to the vehicle, (it's a non-treacherous stroll across the parking lot, in normal conditions) my worst-case scenario is having to walk home. The vehicle has stuff for that.
     
  23. holygoat

    holygoat Tracker

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    I have a little skepticism about PSKs. When I'm out in the woods, I'll have proper gear with me. When I'm not, I'll only have what's in my pockets, and my needs differ enough that I 'spend' the space and weight on other things.

    I always have a SAK, a lighter, good tweezers, a knife, paper (wallet), a 'cut kit' with water tablets and common medication, and usually a pressure bandage. I make sure to have appropriate clothing, and usually have a water bottle. The odds of me needing Benadryl or a pair of scissors are much higher than me needing a fishing kit or friction fire in my pocket. I have a medical kit, warm clothes, spare glasses, a spare phone and charger, flares, cordage, and water filtration gear in the car.

    That said, when my wife hikes with me, she has a little PSK in her daypack. Odds of her needing it are slim, but it's light and it's better than nothing if I happen to drop dead.
     
  24. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I understand where you're coming from Terry, I've watched many of your videos and commented to myself how I wished I had your knowledge and skills in survival and woodsmanship, I consider myself to be a seasoned outdoorsman, but I'm no Ray Mears or Terry Barney, nor are most of the members reading these pages.
    My wake up call happened when I was in my early thirties, I was hunting the big woods and got twisted in a Cedar swamp during a white out in what was supposed to be a clear and sunny day, I felt the panic of being lost, I felt the danger in the situation I was in, I had what amounted to a minimalist PSK in my pockets except for a tarp of any kind, but I did have a USGI canteen and cup, a few tea bags and a couple of candy bars, I managed to control my fear and start the prep to survive the night cold and wet.
    The short version is I didn't have to spend the night, after about five hours, after dusk, I hadn't returned to our meeting place my hunting partners got worried and came looking for me on snow machines, I was able to signal them with my rifle and to my embarrassment they found me cold ,wet, and hungry, but with no serious injury.
    The next day I learned that about eight miles away from where I became "twisted" a young sailor (a native from the area) who was home on leave and hunting with his brother and another friend was caught in the same storm, became lost and died of exposure.
    I honestly don't know if I could have survived that night without the help of my friends, in theory those bare essentials that I had with me if I'm to believe that these mini kits are as effective as some folks think they are I should have been ok, even if not comfortable, but I was far from ok or comfortable.
    I believe in planning for emergencies, in having a kit that is practical and that takes into consideration that in most survival situations there's going to be a certain amount of fear, confusion, and second guessing, IMHO the more practical survival gear that one has the better his/her chances of surviving get.

    In my view it's one thing to plan a PSK and put one together when the weather is warm and you're well fed, hydrated, and rested, it's quite another to have to depend on one when you're cold, wet, without a stash of dry wood, the snow or rain isn't letting up, and all you have for a shelter is a piece of plastic drop cloth or a construction garbage bag to crawl into and curl up into and hope your fingers and toes stop being numb.
     
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  25. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    "Kit" is best understood in the British sense = gear.
     
  26. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There seems to be a little confusion about what I'm talking about when referring to mini PSK's, I'm not discussing kits that are augmented by larger kits, I'm talking about stand alone personal survival kits that people carry as EDC's or that carry into the woods for a short hike, at work, or wondering away from their camp and other gear to collect fire wood, water, or just a little exploring, intending to survive if faced with an emergency with their little kits.
    Mike Barton (Bushcraft Barton) has an excellent video titled The lost Hunter, in it he shows just how quickly a pleasant morning hunt can go south and turn into a serious survival situation, and how stress can affect ones ability to make sound judgements, in this case the hunter goes into familiar woods carrying what he will need for a few hours of hunting, when he has no luck he decides to go a bit further into unfamiliar woods and things start to go wrong.
    I suggest anyone interested in or needing a survival kit take the time to view that video, it's easily found on his Bushcraft Barton channel, and well worth the time it takes to watch it, it's about more than just having a PSK, it's about awareness, good judgment, and handling the fear that comes with being alone, lost, or injured in a remote or strange environment.

    As an aside, I was watching some of the news reports and video footage of hurricane Harvey in Texas a couple of days ago, a reporter was interviewing a middle aged couple from the mid west who had come to Texas to check on their new mobile home, they had owned the land in was on for about ten years and had an older trailer that this new one replaced.
    The new mobile home had been delivered and set up by the dealership about a couple of weeks ahead of the storm, the new owners had not yet seen it on their lot, they explained to the reporter that as familiar as they were with the area and with their lot they couldn't find their lot or their new mobile home without the aid of a GSP unit, the damage to the area made it totally unrecognizable much like the way back out of the woods or to camp would look to someone not familiar with an area they had come into just hours before viewing from a different perspective, making it allot easier to get lost, especially at dusk or dark.
     
  27. foxfire

    foxfire Supporter Supporter

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    Survival isn't comfortable. The mini kits are so you have the basics in case you become separated from your main gear or in cases where one doesn't bring emergency planning gear while out in the woods or on the water, etc, etc.
    It is better to have some than none. You may spend a cold night huddled by a small fire but you should survive if you can keep the fear and panic under control. Stop what your doing take a minute to think what do I need to do to survive this. Once your wits come back you'll be ok. That's why you stop and brew up so you put something warm in the body and clear the mind. It won't be the hilton but you will survive if you don't panic. Emergency heat sheet don't take up much room in the pocket. And a small plastic drop cloth or piece of tyvek either in your coat pocket or pack. I use to store my emergency survival gear in the game pocket on the back of my coat.
     
  28. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Adventurer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I had a First Sergeant who used to say "I don't wanna hear about your problems or complaints unless you follow them with a proposed solution." (plus a few other colorful words)

    I am a proponent of familiarity with gear and practicing skills, but even a rookie with a PSK will do better than he would without one.

    @Moe M.
    My question for you is this: If you think it's silly that guys throw an altoids tin with some fish hooks and bandaids and a button compass in their pocket when they take the dog for a long walk in the woods, or if they toss a slightly larger one in their trunk or luggage when traveling cross country, what alternative do you propose?
     
  29. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Adventurer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Do you think you're better off in that situation without the PSK than with one?
     
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  30. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    You should check out the BushClass section of BCUSA, specifically this Advanced level student practice thread:
    (A) Live Out of Your PSK for 24 Hours Student Practice
    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/thre...24-hours-student-practice.102520/#post1785076
     
  31. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Adventurer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @Moe M.
    After thinking about this for a few more minutes, I am wondering if I am still missing your meaning. Are you saying that untrained, unpracticed individuals might make a little survival kit and think they are now safe and saved when they should really be out learning skils? That I agree with.
     
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  32. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    The mini kits, like the Altoids tin kits, are good for what they are: a very minimal amount of gear for survival. These would be practically worthless to someone with no training or experience.

    Putting together an effective kit, I use a Condor bottle carrier and a couple of add-on MOLLE pouches. I include a sturdy fixed blade knife, a fire starter and other necessary PSK items. This kit rides on a shoulder strap and is good for an afternoon hike or just to keep in the vehicle or in the desk of an office.

    Steve
     
  33. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Depending on what part of the country your AO is (mine is Maine/NE most outdoor folks/woodsmen in this area consider a PSK even though most never heard of it just as GBG (get by gear) which translates into a good EDC pocket knife, Bic and/or ferro rod, proper clothing for season, bandanna and what's between your ears and can get by for a night or two no matter what season.
     
  34. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Interesting discussion.
    When I was young we went camping all the time. Sometimes we had a tent, food, cook gear, sleeping gear (think car camping).
    Other times all we had was what we toted in, usually wrapped up in a blanket.
    As I grew older, I learned that carrying a few items (tarp shelter, cordage, cook pot, sleeping bag) was all that I needed.
    When I joined the military, all of a sudden I was rucking around an 80 lb combat load! After going through the recon indoctrination, I was back to carrying a much lighter load (mostly batteries for the radios and ammo).
    I never carried a PSK, and I still don't. I do carry items in my pockets or on my person for the "what if's".
    I think it all boils down to what any reasonable person with a few skills is willing to carry for their comfort, whether it's a "feel good" thing or not.
     
  35. Bent Chile

    Bent Chile Tracker

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    I tend to agree with "something is better than nothing" but when did it become fashion for a man or should I say adult to not have a pocket knife and fire source in a pocket everyday? For me that's just part of being dressed but it seems that for some a lighter and pocketknife is a survival kit. My wife carries a SAK in her purse for crying out loud and walking across the lawn is her "bush time". Any bush crafter that steps out the door without a knife and fire in their pocket should stay in the basement. Some say oh I'm not allowed a knife at work...well unless they make you dump your pockets who is gonna know unless you wave it around like a child.
    To me what most put in a altoids tin should be EDC except maybe fishhooks, if it won't fit as EDC then put it in a bag and call it a PSK. But for most of us crafters a PSK should weigh at least a couple of pounds by the time you have a proper FAK, container for boiling/carrying water a compass and some type of shelter material even if its a piece of plastic/canvas or blanket
     
  36. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    I think the biggest problem with the concept--and I mean the Altoid tin PSK concept--is that many new guys start with the container, not the contents and not the skills. It's easy to watch the videos, make a list, hog down the last remaining mints in your tin, and start ordering gadgets online.

    But, the more you know, the less you need to carry. And the converse is true--the less you know, the more you are going to need to carry. Some people are taking big risks stepping into the woods with just an Altoids tin crammed with some gadgets barely held together with a Ranger band, and vague memories of the last YouTube video they watched.

    @IA Woodsman video showed that it can be done--with practiced skills, while also wearing proper clothing. But it also showed that it takes a lot of time if that is all you are going to be left with in a LWE situation. Discounting time to set up cameras, etc., he spent not minutes, but hours to gather materials for shelter, gather firewood, check fishing lines, repeatedly gather and treat water, build/improvise/repair tools, etc. He started activities for the video around 9 or 10 a.m. My guess is that most people who recognize they are lost at that time of the morning aren't going to stop and spend the rest of the day prepping to tough out the night. They are going to keep trying to get un-lost, and then by mid-afternoon or later, start prepping for an overnight.
     
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  37. Ranger99

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    jmho- if you have to backtrack to your car or a locker that's on the other
    side of the building or maybe even in another building, you've already lost.
    if your firstline gear isn't on you when you need it, you've lost.
    knives need to be on your person. cordage needs to be in a pocket. etc.
    these kits and packs and boxes and such I see on yoofloob won't do anyone
    any good if they're at home, in a locker, in a car, in the south barn, etc.
    and you can't immediately get to it. extra gear is a good thing, and I have
    gear in all the places I 've mentioned, but there is also a minimum of
    things in my pockets everyday everywhere I go.
    all that said, I want to add here that I'd never ever drink from a container
    that I found somewhere. I've seen too many full of urine and tobacco spit.
    I don't think I could ever get one of those clean enough to satisfy me.
     
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  38. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    "I don't think I could ever get one of those clean enough to satisfy me."

    And if it were a survival situation - that is, life or death?
     
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  39. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    "Your gear should be "old friends" -- fully dependable and performance-tested. If it is, you should be comfortable in your ability to use the gear and in its ability to help you meet wilderness survival needs."
     
  40. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    LOL, this is starting to look like a Ruger vs. Smith & Wesson debate, first off, I never suggested that anyone is silly for carrying a PSK, I carry one in each of our vehicles, but, they are considerably bigger than an Altoids tin or USGI Mag. pouch, and they contain gear and tools that I can count on no matter the weather or the threat for a minimum of a week, more if I forage and take game.
    As for alternatives, I'm not here to tell anyone what to carry, my intent for this thread is to point out that putting ones faith in a few marginal pieces of gear to effect self rescue or to survive until found is far from a sure thing, and a hell of a risk to take.
    Two examples, first, you're out on a day outing in the high desert and some how become lost, day time temps are about 100*F., night time temps are going to dip to the low 60's, your minimalist PSK has the means for fire, a small survival knife or SAK Farmer, and a large trash bag among a few other items, you have a USGI canteen that's half full of water, and you have a light windbreaker jacket, you might be a little cold in your trash bag, but you will survive pretty well with your minimal kit.
    Now for the second, let's take Terry's video of his overnight test of his small personal survival kit, but for this situation you're in the eastern woodlands on a deer hunt alone, it's the beginning of November, the weather has turned cold early and there's already ice forming on the ponds, the temp at noon time is in the high 30's.
    You hadn't planned on a full day or going very far into the woods, but as you're answering the call of nature you're almost run over by a spooked spike horn, and you start tracking it, you've seen it a few times but haven't gotten a good shot at it, but you stay on the track, eventually he takes you into some wetlands and you loose the track.
    A little tired from the hike you sit for a minute and take a sip of your water, when you get up from your little break you realize that the sun is getting low in the sky, you've been out allot longer than you had planned, and you aren't sure which direction you need to go to get back to your truck, you have a button compass, but you didn't bother to take a directional reading when you went into the woods, you were only going in a few hundred yards and taking a stand.
    Like IA Woodsman in his video, you're dressed for moderate cold, you have a survival tin with a few pieces of gear, a small survival knife, ferro rod, a little cordage, a wire saw, a few fish hooks, a couple of band aids, duck tape, a light duty space blanket, small pen light, a folded one liter water bag, and a square of aluminum foil.
    We saw Terry go about making those preparations needed to make a shelter, and have a fire through the night, he didn't have much luck foraging or fishing, all he could get was a couple of hundred calories, we saw his kit carry him through the night, although he said his fingers and toes were getting numb from the cold, he had to leave his shelter and stay close to the fire to stay warm as temps dipped below freezing.
    Now lets for the sake of making a point throw in a wet storm, could be rain, sleet, snow or a mix of all of the above, his underware, socks and shoes are already damp from working to build his shelter, collect his fire wood, assemble his fire pit and the other odd tasks he needed to do to prep his camp.
    His shelter isn't insulated well enough for the low temps, the space blanket barely covers the top of his bedding which is not weather proof, at this point, with this kit being his only gear, he's in serious trouble.
    You could make a case that you wouldn't go into a situation like that armed with only a small PSK, and you'd be making my point, just saying anything is better than nothing doesn't cut it when a real survival situation requires more than you can stuff into an Altoids tin, compass case, or magazine pouch, and most survival situations do.
     
  41. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the reply, yes, that's part of it, we have new people coming into the hobby every day and new members signing up here just as fast, their interest may vary, be it hiking , backpacking, camp life, or crafting, they read these threads and learn from them, if they read a tutorial on how to put a minimalist kit together, make one up and think they have it covered if they get into trouble, they may be in more trouble than they think.
    Between stuff like this and how easy the experts in videos make it look to make fires with bow or hand drills, build shelters, catch fish, find edible plants and such, many of us know that it's not all as easy as it looks in a video.
     
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  42. whtshdwwz

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    Keep it real simple, kill the main breaker Friday when you get home.....lock yourself out of your house....start taking notes of what you really need to sleep in the back yard until Sunday morning....try to keep it so you can manage the weight....you will be suprised what you really "need" and as you become more comfortable and confident your pack with adapt to your individual needs....most importantly have fun and be safe.
     
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  43. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hypothermia can happen quickly, without proper shelter or the tools to build one in a hurry your little kit won't keep you alive, get wet in cold temps and you can be dead in 15 minutes, in cold weather a hot drink of any kind can go a long way in regulating your core temp, you won't have time in an emergency to make a bark pot and heat stones to get your water boiling, you need a pot or metal cup, a stout knife or folding saw will help you gather the materials you need with allot less loss of calories and time, a trash bag may make a decent rain jacket, but it's not a shelter or a replacement for a tarp/poncho.
    Skills alone won't carry the day if you don't have the tools you need to put them into practice when you're thirsty, hungry, wet, cold, and running out of time.
     
  44. Wasp

    Wasp Supreme Knotter Supporter

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    Its been said before, "if you know you're going to need survival gear, then stay home!"

    How many of people have a knife, firestarter, fishing kit, cordage, water/food storage, snares, compass, can opener and more everywhere they go? No I mean everywhere; in every vehicle or at work or an impromptu hike or fishing? I do. Depending on which kit I also have shelter (SOL 2person), poncho, bandanna, flashlight and more and it's all small and light enough to fit in my pocket for a hike, or motorcycle ride.

    Now generally I have a GO bag with far more and extensive gear, still nothing compared to my even larger day packs which are smaller still than an actual outing bag.

    If i can make a shelter, store some water, build a fire, procure some food, and find my way, I'm 99% more prepared than the majority of the country, and I can do so out of my pocket kit even if my larger bag elsewhere by circumstance.

    These small kits can be made for very little money and be put in every vehicle at work or wherever. They aren't intended to be stand alone or take the place of larger preparations, they are a just in case means to make yourself more comfortable and have more an edge than otherwise in an unexpected situation if you don't have your larger kit.
     
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  45. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Just something to ponder Steve, when there's no emergency you can get by on a good cigar and a Bic lighter, on the other hand when you're caught in the middle of nowhere, in a flooded out area, in the wake of a hurricane or twister, that's when you need a whole bunch of survival stuff.
    IMHO, carrying a small tin with a few items that don't amount to much for survival in a real emergency is kind of backassward, don't cha think.
     
  46. Wasp

    Wasp Supreme Knotter Supporter

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    Nope, I don't.

    If you've got the wherewithal to bring your whole kit, then why didn't you bring enough to camp? How many people even here haul all of their gear around every time they leave home to go to work or a drive over thirty miles?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  47. TerBear

    TerBear Scout

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    My mini survival kit is what I carry in my pocket everyday, whether its my 18 mile drive to work or a four block drive to the grocery store. It's not gonna keep me alive on it's own, but it's gonna increase my chances or staying alive.
    Left front pocket...small change pouch with a Winchester three bladed folder, bic lighter, whistle, flint & steel (more for fun than anything else)
    Right front pocket...maxpedition pouch with Leatherman sidekick, Uncle Bills sliver grippers (tweezers), eyeglass repair kit, small asst. of zip ties, ferro rod, small container of vaseline cotton balls
    On my belt...Fenix LD12 flashlight and my phone
    It's not a survival kit that may or may not go with me...it's my everyday carry.
     
  48. Doc.

    Doc. Tracker

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    Sounds eerily, in an ivory tower kind of way, that you're positing the importance of gear/equipment over and against skill and knowledge. Is that what you want to communicate?
     
  49. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That's not what I suggested at all, if that's what you understood I may be able to help you through it, just point out the actual statement that I made suggesting that gear is more valuable than skills and knowledge and we'll work through it word by word slowly so that you can better understand what I really said.
     
  50. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Do you normally have problems understanding what you read, or am I typing too fast ?
    That's not even close to what I suggested.
     

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