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Survival Bag


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Recently on a caching expedition my daughter and I separated and she got lost. Using her phone as the GPS the battery died. Took the fire department and search helicopter to find her 3 hrs later.

Lessons learned, you should always carry the following:

 

handheld GPS and extra batteries

Whistle

water

flashlight (thank goodness she had this, it is how they found her)

emergency mylar blanket

 

Of course there is a whole list of things you could carry, but these are the things I found most important. What do you carry in your bag?

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I dont carry the blanket and I live under a lot of false sense of securities, lol. But everything else you listed I carry in my backpack. It's cold here, I should get that space blanket...

 

I carry a few nut bars, flash light (3 actually), leatherman tool, and a nice big ol' fat knife + pepper spray. I always have an extra pair of batts for both my iPhone (2 extra) and my garmin.

 

I carry a few TOTT and a better than basic first aid kit, complete with a wireless battery operated cautery and heavy duty skin adhesive. I'm clutzy and have bad luck.

 

I have a smorgasbord of established trails around me and it would be difficult for me to get lost. If a trail exists, it's on my garmin. I'm way more likely to get injured or attacked than lost. in fact, I get injured with great frequency while on the trail.

 

If Im hiking solo, I check in with the man every now and then, and leave my 4g on so he can see me moving about the map on "find my iPhone".

 

And a bone for the dog too.

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I, too, bring a first-aid kit (including emergency blanket) on hikes. And a signal mirror. Moleskin to help prevent serious blisters.

 

I've never brought bear spray, as I'm not terribly concerned about being attacked by wildlife. I know what to do in case of encounters. Statistically, my chances of surviving a bad event on a hike are better if I bring extra water instead of pepper spray. (Your mileage might vary.)

Edited by CanadianRockies
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A lot of good items for short trips.

 

I would point out that there are differences in size / bulk and weight between Space Blankets and the rescue/emergency (mylar) blankets. Each has its uses, the aluminized mylar ones being both cheaper and more disposable. I carry both in my SAR pack for different uses.

 

That said, I keep most of my gear in the truck when caching, IF I go further than a few yards from it, I take what is appropriate.

Not much more than basic nav and accessories (pen, pencil, mirror, flashlight) if its a park and grab, all that and a bit more like the above list if its a short walk away in good country, that in a fanny pack or small bag on a strap. That gets tacked onto my 24hr SAR pack if I'm going for a fair hike, that one is supposed to support you (and sometimes others) in dire circumstances if needed. All that can be tucked into a large pack with more gear for major efforts (including camping out).

 

I have my hiking pole(s) rigged with a piece of utility cord (6mm) doubled up for a sling (for when you don't want to hold it) that has one of those GC type mini biners on it. When using the pole for walking or poking, I keep it around my neck (non slip). I have the makings of a 'survival' necklace in that, at minimum it has a fox - 40 pealess whistle there at all times. Sometimes a match case or small light, etc. Most of the time that is in my small packs as well.

 

One thing I'm big on is encouraging people to leave a trip plan with family or friends with a good itinerary and description.

This can be as simple as "I'm going to the xxx park" in town or a formal form filled out and left.

One source here in Canada is Adventuresmart Trip Plan

 

Information entered there can greatly assist SAR IF they have to come look for you.

Often family and friends can't remember clearly what you were wearing or even where you went and so on. They are upset.

 

As for things like bear spray... depends on where you are going. I believe in Murphy's Law, the only time I seem to run into nasty things is when I leave it (or any other useful stuff) in the car... so I carry it and other 'un-needed' items and never have that problem... my dive gear has an long ago opened pack of shark-repellant (USN grade), and I've never seen a shark in years, well there was one, but it wasn't a problem. Of course it's a conversation piece only. Principle is the same though.

 

One last thought, while having the bits with you is great, knowing how they work best is important as well, take the time to learn when you get something new to you.

 

Doug 7rxc

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I always try to remember tissue packets like this: http://www.thewholesalesupply.com/pocket-tissue-packets-p105.html. You can get them anywhere. Nature will call.

 

A rescue whistle like this one: http://www.svendsensmarine.com/Rescue_Whistle_with_Lanyard_p/acr-2228.htm

 

A mylar rescue blanket: http://www.amazon.com/Primacare-1700038-Foil-Rescue-Blanket/dp/B000TEN9SC

 

Also, common sense. Let people know where you are going.

 

A spare charged cell phone. You can buy them at most places for $19.00 and you can dial 911 with no minutes on them.

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I, too, bring a first-aid kit (including emergency blanket) on hikes. And a signal mirror. Moleskin to help prevent serious blisters.

 

I've never brought bear spray, as I'm not terribly concerned about being attacked by wildlife. I know what to do in case of encounters. Statistically, my chances of surviving a bad event on a hike are better if I bring extra water instead of pepper spray. (Your mileage might vary.)

I'm new to the mountains and terrified of bears. Moreso than mountain lions. simply terrified!

 

The pepper spray clips onto my camelback and weighs a few ounces-but it's more for the 2 legged animals than for bears. Statistically, I'm FAR more likely to be killed/attacked/injured by one of those.

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Recently on a caching expedition my daughter and I separated and she got lost. Using her phone as the GPS the battery died. Took the fire department and search helicopter to find her 3 hrs later.

 

 

Thankful for the "quick" and safe location of your daughter! I can only imaging that it felt like days for you both. By 12 year old makes fun of me for constantly checking for here exact whereabouts when we are caching and such, but this is why. It is incredibly easy to slip away unnoticed in the woods here while caching. As a general rule I lead, she walks behind me and my GF brings up the rear so that the little one is always in sight of one of us. On those times when it is just The Bean and I, I am always talking to her, asking how she is doing, looking back at her or making her walk ahead of me

 

 

Great advice on items to carry for emergencies, from all who posted.

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I made small kits for my kids. They are in beach safes and they can put them in a pocket or around their necks. They contain.

 

a whistle

a signal mirror

water proof matches

fire starter

a small knife

a button compass

 

That's just what's in the kit. They also carry more gear in their packs based on the hike we're on.

 

I'll also say one of the best things you can do is learn before you go. I've taught my kids how to build fire with only what they find in the wild. How to find water. How to make shelters. How to stay calm, stay put, and get found. Your brain, your wits, and your attitude are the best survival tools you can ever have.

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99% of people who get lost and end up needing rescue are people who assumed that they were just out for a little bit in their neighborhood forest and there was no way they could get lost so they didnt bothering bringing anything.

 

i always have my multitool and a lighter on me and when i go caching my bag has 2 emergency blankets in it, first aid kit, batteries, flash light, small lantern, energy bars, and pre-packaged survival kit (http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Medical-Kits-Pocket-Survival/dp/B000G7WRDU).

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That must have been very scary, glad they found her quick.

 

Most of what I do is really short trips on established trails, so typically I don't bring anything.

 

However when I'm going on longer hikes I bring everything on your list plus alot more. Extra clothing, extra water, extra food, hat, change of socks, full first-aid kit, bear spray, hot packs, swiss-army knife, tweezers, afterbite, hand sanitizer, tons of extra batteries. I feel it's *very* important to bring a traditional compass along. You can easily drop your GPS or it could fail and if you also injured yourself then you'd be in big trouble.

 

I recently went on a long hike (long for me, anyway). When I started out it was sunny and warm and I felt silly that I had packed an extra jacket and hat as I always do. A couple hours later it started to snow unexpectedly and I lost the trail for a short time. The extra jacket and hat were very useful. It's amazing how scary things can get in a hurry. Also glad I brought the ridicuoulous amount of food and water I did, you never know what could happen.

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Great ideas in this thread.

 

What I carry:

water

protein bars & some candy

first aid kit

insect repellent

wind proof lighter

pocket knife

multi-tool

2 flash lights (minimum)

spare batteries for flashlights + gps

gloves

usually paper maps of the area as a backup

whistle

pepper spray

hand sanitizer wipes

tissue

rain poncho

sunglasses / clear eye protection

(seasonally) hand warmers.

 

I guess I should consider adding:

- emergency blanket

- field battery charger for phone

- small tube of sun screen

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A lot of good suggestions. Always stock your survival kit to fit the "please remember whats first" order of survival priorites.

 

Protection - clothes, emergency shelter, cordage, fire - you wnt to be able to sty dry and warm, mylrar blankets, the rope to make tent, crry an extra one for ground insultion. Flint striker for fire, tinder box.

 

Rescue - you want to be able to be seen and heard. Emergency whistle, extra cell btteries, bckup gps. Smoke producing plants...

 

Water - a crbon filter water bottle, iodine water tabs, nice hydro pack, a good canteen with a metal cup so you cn boil water.

 

Food - snack food is light and works well, but for longer term survival, carry a collapsble fishing pole, line and lures. Line can also be used to make snares as well as shelter cordage.

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Lots of good advice all through this thread.

 

I would just like to put emphasis on two points :

 

1) A topo map of the area (assuming you know how to use one) is usually more useful than a compass to find your way back. Unless you live in a featureless plain, it's easier to navigate with just a map than with just a compass. The map is better to find a trail, a road or a high point, and to avoid swamps and cliffs.

 

2) More important than anything you can bring is telling someone trustworthy where you are going and when you should be back. Even if you are sure it's a place where you can't get lost, you could simply step in a rabbit hole and break an ankle. And giving that person a list of the caches you are going for (with coordinates if they're puzzles) would be better than "I'll be in national park X, coming back in 3 days". Much narrower search area, and SAR teams use GPS now.

 

Just as a note, I wonder where those stats come from :

 

99% of people who get lost and end up needing rescue are people who assumed that they were just out for a little bit in their neighborhood forest and there was no way they could get lost so they didnt bothering bringing anything.

 

All the recent stats I've seen and my personal experience indicate that this is not the case. In North America, at least, a majority of searches are now for people with dementia (such as Alzeimer) and/or despondants. :(

 

But I agree with the general sentiment that people going for an afternoon hike are more likely to run into trouble they are not prepared for than people on a multi-week wilderness expedition. :P

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luckily abbey had her backpack with her, flashlight was the key to finding her.

Generally kids do better in the initial stages of survival situations as their "panic" doesnt last as long as an adults. So they tend to stop and sit much faster where an adult will continue to fight until they totally exhaust themselves.

Good job to abbey!

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I have 2 pre-packed bags that always live in my day pack. First is a waterproof bag with an emergency blanket, extra clothing and a Dri-Ducks waterproof shell. The other bag contains:

 

waterproof matches in a waterproof container

fire starter kit

small knife

About 20' of utility cord

sun screen

insect repellant

whistle

magnetic compass

first aid supplies (band aids, gauze pads, aspirin, etc...)

toilet paper

mini LED light (like the keychain lights, but with an on/off switch)

iodine tablets

 

I think I should add a signaling mirror to this kit.

 

On the day of the hike, I add some food that I won't eat unless I really need it, like dry granola or cliff bars.

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99% of people who get lost and end up needing rescue are people who assumed that they were just out for a little bit in their neighborhood forest and there was no way they could get lost so they didnt bothering bringing anything.

 

Come to think of it, I did get lost in a small wooden area nestled in the middle of a town. I bushwacked off trail to a power line strip that I saw on the sat map. It was a bad move. I was decently injured, fell and slid down a large, but soft, cliff and barely made it out, lol.

 

Middle of a city. Large city. Established trails.

 

I injured my shoulder and back pretty good, so much so that I had a difficult time walking. My iphone was in my pocket and fell out into a mud pile. (it was alright, but I hadnt anticipated that I would ever be without it), and I was bleeding from the wall of blackberries that I had to walk through... All in all, it took a few extra hours for me to get back to my car.

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For a child I also added a laminated note that had my sons name; my cell number and grandmas number.

I'm glad your daughter was found she had to have been scared.

 

In the fall me, DD 11, and DS 8 (has aspergers) were caching in the city on a paved trail system. He wanted to go home and was mad and didn't believe we were heading back to van. DD was in front, DS had been with me and then ran ahead. Just then there were curves in trail, I lost site of him and Dd for a second. By the time I got around curve DD was there he wasn't.

We called and called, he didn't answer, people walking their dog towards us hadn't seen him, people going the other way hadn't seen him. Whistle blowing didn't have him respond. Finally the two sets of dog walkers started in the brush on either side. DS is terrified of dogs and started screaming. He was so mad he hid from us. :ph34r: I was so scared while he was missing, so now in his emergency beach necklace is I'd and phone numbers

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99% of people who get lost and end up needing rescue are people who assumed that they were just out for a little bit in their neighborhood forest and there was no way they could get lost so they didnt bothering bringing anything.

 

Come to think of it, I did get lost in a small wooden area nestled in the middle of a town. I bushwacked off trail to a power line strip that I saw on the sat map. It was a bad move. I was decently injured, fell and slid down a large, but soft, cliff and barely made it out, lol.

 

Middle of a city. Large city. Established trails.

 

I injured my shoulder and back pretty good, so much so that I had a difficult time walking. My iphone was in my pocket and fell out into a mud pile. (it was alright, but I hadnt anticipated that I would ever be without it), and I was bleeding from the wall of blackberries that I had to walk through... All in all, it took a few extra hours for me to get back to my car.

 

I don't know if anyone has seen the show about Maine state game wardens, but there was one episode where they went in as SAR (search and rescue) for a 71 year old man who for years maintained a part of the App Trail. Usually he was back before night but the night they got the call from his wife, he did not return. He wound up getting lost on one of the spurs and decided to wait until day break to find his way back. He turned up ok at his house the next day and explained what happened to the game wardens - said he was never more than 2 or 3 mins hike from the main trail.

 

The moral to the story, most people getting lost are never really that far from the trails, roads, etc. And one night in the woods can possibly kill you if you are not prepared. I know there are folks snearing at these posts "why would you need THAT for geocaching" or "its only a mile hike from my car" - none of that matters. All you need to do is tumble down a hill on a trail an not be able to get back up and break you cell phone. And your calls for help go unanswered. Then the sun goes down and it gets colder. Those items that are "why do would you need to carry that" my save your life. Don't take chances, most people who die are the ones who weren't prepared and didn't thinl they "needed that stuff because it was only a mile or two from the parking lot"

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Here is what I bring on 99% of my trips:

my GPS, extra batt for gps, flashlight and one extra batt for it,

ball pen, cell phone.

Noting else, not even water, but I always cry for it when I get back to the car.

Some time ago I did not even bring the phone,

since I hate when wife call and ask what I am up to :-)

but we made a deal, she dont call and I always bring it, I call if something bad happens.

I assume I am able to call in such a case (that may not be the case offcourse)

--

Reading this thread and many others like it, made me think a bit,

maybe I could and should make my self a mini survival pack, that is always with me,

it must be so small and handy it must always stay in the jacket,

since I guess it is when you least expect it, you need it the most.

--

We did perform a little experiment the other day

to see how far in a forest two groups of geocachers with phones and gps

could hear and find each other using just yelling..

man the result where NOT GOOD !! it is VERY hard to hear a yell and if you do hear it,

the direction is very hard to pickup, just 200-300 meters and the sound is gone.

Edited by OZ2CPU
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This is what I take on any trip/hike/walk that will take me out of view off the trailhead/houses/road/and such.

 

On my person.....

 

cell phone

GPS

Tritium Lensatic Compass

Zippo lighter

personal survival kit like the one my kids carry tucked in a cargo pocket.

4-inch bladed pocket knife in front pocket.

small first aid kit in other cargo pocket.

 

In/on my day pack is...

 

2 L. CamelBak

50 feet of paracord

tri-fold shuffle

6-inche survival knife.

flashlight

2 rain ponchos

one MRE

map of the area I will be in

extra batteries.

fire starter kit.

two 1 L. water bottles with filter straws.

food/snacks for the day if hike is long enough.

back up GPS.

extra socks.

fully stocked first aid kit.

leather gloves

multi tool

small bundle of twine

pad of paper and a pencil

four unlubricated condoms

some rubber bands

water purification tabs

sewing kit

 

Edit: Now to repack :lol:

Edited by Totem Clan
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From the Geocacher University site, I printed one of the hang tags for my car. It's bright green and says, "Geocacher" on it; I laminated it and wrote my name and phone number on it. I figure someone would notice my car eventually if I didn't make it back, you know? I also keep several of the official business-size geocaching cards with me, in case I encounter anyone suspicious of what I'm doing poking around. Other than that, I take most of the standard stuff listed here (and always have my first aid kit in my pack--it does no good back in the car!).

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This is what I take on any trip/hike/walk that will take me out of view off the trailhead/houses/road/and such.

 

On my person.....

 

cell phone

GPS

Tritium Lensatic Compass

Zippo lighter

personal survival kit like the one my kids carry tucked in a cargo pocket.

4-inch bladed pocket knife in front pocket.

small first aid kit in other cargo pocket.

 

In/on my day pack is...

 

2 L. CamelBak

50 feet of paracord

tri-fold shuffle

6-inche survival knife.

flashlight

2 rain ponchos

one MRE

map of the area I will be in

extra batteries.

fire starter kit.

two 1 L. water bottles with filter straws.

food/snacks for the day if hike is long enough.

back up GPS.

extra socks.

fully stocked first aid kit.

leather gloves

multi tool

small bundle of twine

pad of paper and a pencil

four unlubricated condoms

some rubber bands

water purification tabs

sewing kit

 

Edit: Now to repack :lol:

whats in your night pack? :anitongue:

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My daughter was found quickly 3hrs because she had a flashlight with her even though when we started out it was daylight. It was also 78 degrees when we left but only low 60's when they found her, she was cold. A whistle or extra batteries would have made a huge difference. SARA wouldn't have needed to come out. Please be prepared. This taught us that even close to home you need to carry your bag.

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This is what I take on any trip/hike/walk that will take me out of view off the trailhead/houses/road/and such.

 

On my person.....

 

cell phone

GPS

Tritium Lensatic Compass

Zippo lighter

personal survival kit like the one my kids carry tucked in a cargo pocket.

4-inch bladed pocket knife in front pocket.

small first aid kit in other cargo pocket.

 

In/on my day pack is...

 

2 L. CamelBak

50 feet of paracord

tri-fold shuffle

6-inche survival knife.

flashlight

2 rain ponchos

one MRE

map of the area I will be in

extra batteries.

fire starter kit.

two 1 L. water bottles with filter straws.

food/snacks for the day if hike is long enough.

back up GPS.

extra socks.

fully stocked first aid kit.

leather gloves

multi tool

small bundle of twine

pad of paper and a pencil

four unlubricated condoms

some rubber bands

water purification tabs

sewing kit

 

Edit: Now to repack :lol:

whats in your night pack? :anitongue:

Just the condoms. :ph34r:

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My daughter was found quickly 3hrs because she had a flashlight with her even though when we started out it was daylight. It was also 78 degrees when we left but only low 60's when they found her, she was cold. A whistle or extra batteries would have made a huge difference. SARA wouldn't have needed to come out. Please be prepared. This taught us that even close to home you need to carry your bag.

 

I'm really glad your daughter was found safely - I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying this experience must have been for all of you.

 

In addition to extra batteries, you should really always carry a backup flashlight:

1. although LED lights are very reliable, flashlights can still break. (Example, some are more waterproof than others and weather could impact this.)

2. You can easily drop and lose one if you are under stress

3. There are many backup options that are of such inconsequential size/weight that there's really no reason NOT to carry a spare.

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I notice that one thing that is totally overlooked is behavior of the lost person. One of the most important things that can be taught to a person traveling in an unfamiliar outdoor setting:

 

When you discover you are lost, just one thing: STAY PUT. . . Don't get yourself more lost and farther from where you are supposed to be. . .

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