On Monday I posted asking what you all would put in a small survival kit. I read through your replies and using some of your ideas and some of mine here’s what I came up with.
In the first photo I’ve laid it all out so you can see what I have. Going from left to right from the top I have:
- the bag (in camo)
- noodles and power bars
- canteen cup with instant coffee (why bother trying to survive if you can’t have coffee?)
- alcohol for the stove and wax firestarter
- one of my home made MREs (Check out that post if here if you haven’t seen it yet)
- plastic spoon
- alcohol soda can stove and pot stand
- pararcord bracelet that I made
- plastic baggie with ibuprofen
- red carrying/organizing bag
- small multi-tool (with flashlight on it) and carrying case
- blue whistle/compass/match container with a full complement of matches
- survival knife with firesteel
- two quart canteen (I love these bigger canteens)
- (lower left) char cloth
- large bandana
- plastic heavy duty contractor bag
- Not shown is a small sleeping bag, bug dope, head lamp and a bigger firesteel
When packed the bag still has room in it, but I don’t need a lot of other stuff. I might put a small first aid kit in, but what you see above is all I need to live in the woods for a few days or a week. Like I – and other readers – have pointed out, the more wilderness knowledge you have the less gear you need in order to survive. Really, most of what I have above is for convenience and comfort, but altogether it weighs less than fifteen pounds with the canteen full.
A closer picture of one of my home made MREs. I put a small can of fruit in this one, which I probably wouldn’t do again, but they are super-handy when you’re putting together a bug-out bag or just getting ready to go camping.
Does The Kit Work?
After I put it together last night I decided to give it a try, so around 9:00 pm I headed out to the small camp in the woods behind my house. I started a small fire and laid my stuff out and decided I could camp quite comfortably with what I had with me. I used the fire instead of the stove to make coffee to conserve fuel and ate one of the power bars.
Here are a few pictures of my camp and some gear after I got set up.
An interesting thing happened while I was sipping my coffee. I heard something coming towards me from the west (there’s nothing out there in that direction except more woods) and at first I thought Mrs Jarhead had let the dog out to come find me. As it got closer I realized it was smaller than my dog. I pointed my head lamp in the woods expecting a skunk, but it turned out to be the feller in the last picture (below) about half-way up on the left side of the tree. Can you see him?
Yup. It’s a porcupine. He walked right into my camp. If this had been a true survival situation I’d have eaten this guy before digging into my supplies to conserve the packaged stuff. I ate porcupine once at my grandfather’s and found that it had a gamey and slightly bitter taste to the meat – maybe because of all the bark they eat, but it’s sure better than starving to death!
The only thing about the bag I don’t care for is the straps. It’s not really designed to be a backpack, so I can’t complain. What happens is that when the bag is full it’s too big to fit your arms through both shoulder straps, so you have to carry it with just one strap. Not a big deal at this light weight, but after a few miles it would get annoying.
Post thoughts and comments below.