Wilderness Support Packages

  • Patrick Johnson
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Patrick Johnson created the topic: Wilderness Support Packages

So most people know this as a Survival Kit. I thought I would add my kit here, and tell you why I put what I did in there.

When I was in survival school we learned that survival comprised of a few things. The first being able to survive in the environment we are in. We need to be able to move to a more survivable area if the need arose. We needed to be able to leave as little an impact on the local area as we moved about. The rest of it isn't in the scope of this but involve evasion, escaping, and rescue. Fun things like not silhouetting against the sky line, and how to travel by the stars.

So everything we do must conform to the Rule of 3. You have 3 minutes to live without air. You have 3 hours to live without shelter. You have 3 days to live without water. You have 3 weeks to live without food.

To meet the ability to survive in the environment, the kit must have shelter capabilities.

To meet the mobile aspect to survive the kit must be wearable.

To meet the moving from one place to another survivability aspect the kit must be able to be deployed and repackaged at any time.

So I carry two kits. One that can be in my pocket at all times, and one I can wear. A big kit and a small kit.

Big Kit

Tube Tent - This is an emergency shelter and helps prevent heat loss from radiation and wind chill. When placed on a bed of pine needles, it can also help prevent heat loss from the ground.

30 to 50 feet of 550 Parachute Cord - I cannot even begin to explain how useful this is. Make sure you have the right type of Parachute Cord. The right type of cordage will be made up of fiber bundles, which will be made up of thread. So 3 layers of cordage that make up the Parachute Cord.

4 Heavy Duty Construction Trash Bags - These bags can be used as an emergency poncho, blanket, oven, or whatever. There are a lot of uses for this.

4 Clear or White Trash Bags - In desert survival these bags work nicely around plants to gather water. It also has a whole lot of other uses.

Surgical Tubing, or those rubber hair bands girls wear these days - You can make sling shots out of these, or spring traps. It's just nice to have and can end up being used for a lot of things.

9 Hour candles - It's always good to see where you're going, and to help light up the camp.

Water Purification - I use a 1 oz. GLASS (very important) bottle with 8 grams of USP Re-sublimated Iodine Crystals.

Notepad and Pencil - While this can normally be seen as a sort of luxury item, I feel it's important to have in your basic kit. If you are alone, writing down your thoughts is very important. It helps you unwind and think about the tasks needed for tomorrow. All the preparation in the world isn't going to work if your mind isn't in the game to begin with.

That's the basics. Every thing else that I add are comfort items. Here's a list of my comfort items I've taken with me.
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Spices - Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt, Hawaiian Clay Salt, whatever strikes my fancy.
  • Tabasco Sauce - Makes anything edible. Ever had squirrel? Ever had squirrel with Tabasco? Makes it like a feast. Also makes bugs a lot easier to eat.
  • A second small kit
  • Space Blanket - Aluminized Mylar. It's very flimsy and easily torn, but a must have for me. You can use it as a hat so you don't cook in the desert. You can use it as sunglasses in bright sun or in the snow. It's just good stuff to have in my book.
  • Hand crank Flashlight - Just in case.
  • Tinder - I keep my tinder in pill cases. With one pill case having cotton balls (real cotton, the package says danger flammable), and the other one has steel wool.

That's it. I don't carry anything else in my survival big kit. This kit can fit into a satchel bag that's no bigger than a grocer bag. When rolled up and compact, this stuff is very small and out of the way. A good example on the size is all of this fits into an ammo magazine dump pouch.

So here's what goes into my small kit.

Ducktape - Do I need to explain why I need ducktape?
Balloon - This acts as an impromptu canteen.
Fish Hooks - These are stored on a strip of paper with tape on the other side. This way I can store them safely and they can be popped out like a pill. You can use these to fish, or to catch wild game on land.
Split Shot Weights - These are weights for the fishing line and other uses.
4 to 5 Safety Pins - Used for making a gig (survival here) and other uses.
2 feet of heavy duty aluminum foil - The number of uses are incredible.
Flavor Packets - I usually take my flavor packets from Ramen.
Snare Wire - I use Galvanized Steel wire at 24 to 28 gauges from Home Depot.
Boy Scout Match or Flint and Magnesium - This is emergency fire starters. Magnesium is amazing in rain storms.
10 feet mono filament fishing wire tested at 6 lbs.
Double edged razor - emergency knife or scalpel.
Easy Awl needles/Sewing Kit - Sometimes something needs stitching

So those are my kits. The small kit travels with me and the big kit can be left at camp if need be. These kits need to be mobile and small. If kits are too complete, people tend to leave them behind. So they need to be small, and versatile. One thing I do with my small kit is I tend to stuff it all into a pill case. So things like the flavor packet, or spices, I put into straws that I cut up and burn the edges to seal them.

One thing I need to mention is that there are pieces to my gear that I never go without when in a survival situation. Even in civilian areas, they do not leave my side.

Pocket Knife - I carry a regular swiss pocket knife. This cost me about 80 US and it was worth it.
Multi-Tool - This is not part of my pocket knife. And this also comes with me where ever I go.
Clothes - Kind of an obvious duh moment here, but a lot of people think that wearing certain clothes are ok. They are not. A simple T-Shirt in the dessert is a no. You need a good hat, long sleeve shirts and loose fitting pants. In the mountains you need things to retain heat, but NO COTTON! Cotton kills since it stays cold when wet. Cotton is a big no no. I have two pairs of BDU's that I live with when out and about. A nice tan one and a nice black one. I have two tactical response boots that I wear. Because they match the colors. Always moisture protect your boots!

So I have my big kit, my small kit, and a back pack. The backpack usually has MREs or other such things. And that's it. Feel free to critique my gear, make suggestions, or what have you.

One crisis at a time.
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Jax replied the topic: Wilderness Support Packages

Thank you, there are some good reminders in here. I need to look into a tube tent. Do you have any recommendations?
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  • Patrick Johnson
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Patrick Johnson replied the topic: Wilderness Support Packages

At least 4 mil plastic. Make it heavy duty and durable. I pretty much pick up the clear ones so I can see what's around me.

Side note: If you don't have a tube tent then that's what the construction trash bags are for. You can cut the ends off of two bags and tape them together. This makes an impromptu tube tent. Make sure you have some good shade because direct sunlight is going to make those things toasty.

One crisis at a time.
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