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Sacamuelas 04-28-2004 14:05


Originally posted by lrd
This is how my husband and his brothers learned to fish from their uncle -- no line or hook needed.

I wouldn't recommend it, though.

You friggin Yankees are hilarious... THAT is called Catfish "Grabbin" not noodling or whatever the wussy sounding title was in that link. LOL

Sorry for the hijack... back to thread.

lrd 04-28-2004 14:33


Originally posted by The Reaper
There are other ways to determine cardinal direction.

It was packed in the kit. As I stated, items could be added or deleted, as needed.

It would be much more important if moving.

It occurs to me that having a watch could be handy as well.


I was thinking about a watch when I asked about the compass. My son's watch has a compass, but mine doesn't. It would be one less thing to carry if your watch had a compass...

How does wire fishing line compare to stainless steel utility wire?

QRQ 30 04-28-2004 14:53

I was hoping for a forum on "HOW to survive" rather than "What to pack". In survival training in the 10th in Germany they put us out in teams with the clothes on our backs, a canteen of water, ID cards and Dog Tags - PUNKT!! Brook Shields and Tom Hanks did it. I volunteer to have Brook Shields as my partner.

BTW: I don't think "noodling" is a yankee term. I've seen it on TV and believe it was in Missouri and Arkansas.

Razor 04-28-2004 15:40

Just found this thread; great discussion, TR.

Excuse me a momentary tangent--TR, I agree that the AMK PSP is a great 'starter kit' for a personal survival kit, especially when you compare the unit cost to the retail prices of the individual items. Heck, the Spark-Lite alone runs close to $10 from most sources. Did you find the STOP acronym on the downloadable instruction sheet from the site? Its much easier to remember than SURVIVAL, that's for sure.

Ok, back to the task at hand. For this scenario, I'm going to assume that my stay is set at no less than 60 days, and I don't have any requirements to signal to rescue crews (hence allowing me to focus on staying warm, healthy and fed).

Like most others, my 'Need' (bare minimum) list would include a knife with at least a 3" blade (a 5-7" fixed blade would be better), 15' of 550 cord (I really suck at making my own cordage), a full-sized Bic lighter (making a firebow or friction trench is a real PITA, and not very quick), and a couple square feet of aluminum foil or a sealable baby bottle liner--Gerber makes a good one (in case there's no trash around to carry water). Understand that I'm not saying I'm another Tom Brown; this is the minimum gear I'd want on me in this situation to survive. I'd want much more (soon to come) to be relatively comfortable.

As has already been stated, first task is to scout around a bit to find a good place to build a shelter (initially a deadfall shelter or lean-to), find a water source (preferably a stream or pond/lake) and gather fuel for my fire and other handy materials I could use later for tools.

Next, I'd start on my shelter to at least have something if I have to get out of the rain/wind, and to help me conserve heat when night falls. The easiest to build would be a deadfall lean-to, but this requires finding a long, stout piece of deadfall and a stump or other prop at least a couple feet high. Lean one end of the pole on the prop, then lean sturdy sticks against the center pole on either side at an angle, creating a sort of pup-tent, with the center pole being the top crease in the tent. You can then layer evergreen boughs on the framework, then soil on the boughs, then more boughs or leaves to add a water repellent layer to the outside. If there's no large deadfall, I can build a standard lean-to, using some of my 550 cord to build the frame.

Once the initial shelter work is done, I'd gather up more fire fuel and stockpile it near the shelter. Once I had multiple armloads set aside, I'd dig out a small 3-sided indentation in the ground (clearing away other flammables) a few feet in front of my shelter and start a slow-burning, log cabin style fire to eventually create a bed of coals. After the fire is burning healthy, I'd start work on a small reflector wall behind it to direct the heat toward the opening of my shelter. Since the soil is sandy, I'd build the wall frame from sticks and boughs, then cover it with sandy soil to help keep it from catching on fire. Later, I can find clay to cover the soil to make the reflector even more fire-resistant.

If I was successful in finding some discarded soda or food cans, I have a good container to go collect some water and filter/boil/store it. If not, I can use the bottle liner I brought to collect water and the foil to shape a bowl liner to boil it in. IIRC, cryptosporidium and giardia is not uncommon in this area, and unless you're carrying some Katadyn Micropur tabs, boiling is the only way to surely kill the cysts. Of course, you want to initially collect the cleanest water you can, and preferably from a running water source so there are no pools for bugs to nest. If I did find some discarded trash, I can use a plastic bottle to carry water and to build a multi-layer filter. To make the filter, turn the bottle upside-down and cut the bottom off. Put a matting of pine straw in nearest the neck (to keep the next layer from falling out), then add a layer of charcoal from your fire pit (to help remove some of the little nasties), then a layer of clean (no debris) sand (to filter out small chunks of organic material), then a layer of pebbles (to remove larger chunks of stuff), then another layer of pine straw (to remove the large initial chunks of stuff). To use, place your filtered water container under the neck, and pour your unfiltered water into the cut open bottom of the filter. This will remove most of the organic crud, but you'll still have to boil or treat the filtered water to kill the microscopic bugs.

If I was able to get all this done before nightfall, I'd collect some more firewood, and a pile of dry leaves that I would use to stuff inside my pants and BDU coat (check for critters first) for additional insulation during the night. I would avoid moving around at night to reduce the chance of 1) getting lost, 2) getting hurt by falling down or getting a stick in the eye, and 3) getting cold. I'd loosen my bootlaces to improve circulation to my feet, but avoid taking my boots off as they provide protection from wandering beasties and if I need to move quickly during the night I want my boots on.

Maple Flag 04-28-2004 16:16

My approach and kit
Good thread, and good replies. The basic principles of wilderness survival are there in various forms. I like the concept of 5 minutes without O2, 5 Days without water, etc. but also agree that this should not be interpreted to mean that you want to act NOW, not get into the mindset of waiting for the emrgency to come to you.

My activity list is similar:

-Day 1

Before I go to sleep the first night, I will scout a good location and build a debris shelter insulated enough to get me though the night.

Once done that, and again, before I sleep, I will get a fire started, and put good fire wood in the shelter to dry for future use.

Once done that, I will seek to purify water, but this can wait if needed for the next morning.

-Day 2

Purify available water on hand by means available.

Set out distress markers, signals, etc. Plan for large floating distress marker in lake if one is nearby.

Set up rain water collection facilities.

Plan foraging, trapping, and hunting. Test/consume food readily available in immediate area.

Continue to collect fire wood supplies in excess of planned daily burn. Include readily available smoke signal materials if aircraft should be heard in the area.

-Day 3

Implement foraging, trapping, and hunting plan, including constructing tools, traps, etc. In the process, explore the area looking for means or rescue, as well as means of survival.

Enhance and fortify shelter.

-Day 4 and on

Review foraging, trapping, and hunting plan from lessons learned the previous day.

Continue to collect/construct tools, markers, other assets while enhancing survival potential in other ways as needed.

My kit (real life) that helps to support the above activities:

1 L Nalgen bottle, containing inside:
Chlorine Water Purification drops
Day/Night signal mirror
Survival reflective blanket
Folding knife
Wire Saw
Lighters (2)
Magnesium fire starter
Soup and Sugar Cubes (looking to improve here)
Fishing Kit
Sewing kit
Button compass

I'm looking to replace the Nalgene bottle with a metal container with a screw lid that I can boil water in.

I also carry in my ruck a large 300 weight fleece blanket in day glow orange (keeps me warm at night, even if damp, and makes a great hi-vis marker panel during the day). It weighs little, but is a bit bulky.

NousDefionsDoc 04-28-2004 16:48

That pocket survival kit looks pretty good to me too. Good starter kit. Need to change the container and add some stuff, but not bad at all. Been nice to have back in the day at MACKALL.

Bill Harsey 04-28-2004 19:05

Hey c'mon guys, I gave you all a great survival clue back there, stealing food from other critters. You southern boys can wade in up to the family jewells in your water. Come on up here and show me how that's done would you? You can use that glacier just up stream to sun dry yourself on after your stuffed with trout.

The Reaper 04-28-2004 19:33


Originally posted by Bill Harsey
Hey c'mon guys, I gave you all a great survival clue back there, stealing food from other critters. You southern boys can wade in up to the family jewells in your water. Come on up here and show me how that's done would you? You can use that glacier just up stream to sun dry yourself on after your stuffed with trout.

I know, where you come from, eatin' roadkill is an accepted and necessary practice, but my family is trying to leave that chapter in our past.

'Bout July, that glacier will sound pretty good!


Sire24657 05-06-2004 13:49

Interesting thread; keep it going!!

When I begin to take my son into the deep woods in N. CA., these are things I hope to make him think about if something were to happen.

Keep it up, you pros!!



Razor 05-10-2004 13:42

Ok, time to try to breathe some life back into this thread.

Last post of mine, I listed the bare essentials I would want to have in the survival situation that TR proposed. Now, I'd like to expand the discussion a bit further and discuss additional equipment I'd carry to make life in that situation a bit more bearable.

If I could bring a small pocket/pouch survival kit, I'd probably bring along the kit I already have assembled and take with me when I'm going anywhere outside my normal commute. The kit is as follows:

Inside a Witz "Keep It Safe" waterproof, buoyant case:
  • 5 windproof/waterproof matches in sealed plastic pouch
  • Spark-Lite flint stiker
  • 4 Coughlin's wax-impregnated fire starters
  • 2 "trick" birthday candles
  • Wire saw w/ swivels and split rings
  • 1 Victorinox slim-handled 2-blade pocketknife
  • 2 X-acto knife blades
  • 15 iodine water purification tablets
  • 1 Gerber sealing baby bottle liner
  • 5 sqft of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • 10 ft of 3ft wide duct tape
  • Luminous Brunton button compass
  • White Photon III LED light
  • 2 6ft coils of brass snare wire
  • 3 sizes of heavy-duty needles
  • 2 large safety pins
  • 2 small safety pins
  • 30ft of monofilament fishing line
  • 6 fishing hooks of various sizes
  • 4 fishing swivels
  • 6 split-shot BB sinkers
  • 1 large fishhook/gaff
  • 3 butterfly closures
  • 3 1" x 3" adhesive bandages
  • 1 0.9g packet of triple antibiotic ointment
  • 2 Betadine 10% providone-iodine swabs
  • 2 2"x3" pieces of Rite-In-The-Rain paper
  • 1 pencil stub
  • 1 2"x3" Itoya magnifying lens
  • AMK Pocket Survival Pak laminated instruction sheet

The above kit can be carried alone, or combined in the pouch below:

Inside a Paraclete Small (5"x5"x2") GP pouch:
  • Small survival kit from above
  • Camillus CUDA EDC folding knife (changing to a Spyderco Endura)
  • Silva Landmark compass
  • 35mm film canister with windproof/waterproof matches, tinders and striker
  • Bic lighter
  • Boy Scout flint and striker
  • Red Photon II LED light
  • Dorcy AAA LED flashlight
  • Fox 40 whistle
  • 50ft of 550 cord
  • Carabiner
  • Bright orange cravat
  • 3 mini chemlites

Now, if I could carry an assault-sized ruck with me, I'd probably want to add:
  • Waterproof shell jacket/pants
  • 5-button wool army sweater
  • Change of BDUs
  • Watch cap
  • 5 pair of socks
  • Medicated powder (like Goldbond)
  • Leather glove shells with two pair wool inserts
  • Folding saw
  • More lighters
  • Mil-grade, tritium lensatic compass
  • Camp ax with at least a 24" handle
  • Waterproof tarp
  • 200' 550 cord
  • Larger LED flashlight
  • Extra AA and 123 batteries
  • 1L Nalgene bottle w/ nested cup (Maple Flag, here's your solution for a cooking container)
  • 2 carabiners
  • More comprehensive medical kit to include antibiotics, several sizes of bulky dressings, elastic wraps, bandaids, tape, moleskin, a bottle of Betadine, a few tubes of Bacitracin, NSAIDs, anti-diarrhea meds, antacids, antihistamines, antimicrobial sanitizers, sutures & local pain meds, a SAM splint, several cravats, a bottle or two of multi-vitamins, a hemostat or two, and scalpel with several blades (medics/docs, what else should I have on-hand for self-Tx?)

Anyone else have ideas to share?

The Reaper 05-10-2004 16:53

I like that list.

It addresses most of the basic needs without gold plating, and adds capability and comfort as it grows.

As a minimum, do you think you could survive (not necessarily prosper) for 60 days in Pineland with just the smallest kit?

The carabiners must be a 10th SFGA thing. I do not use mine that often, and would prefer the weight/bulk in other goods.


Razor 05-10-2004 17:02

It would not be very comfortable, but yes, I think I could survive in Pineland for two months during the time of year you stated. I could probably just get by with a little less than the things in the hard case, but I'd be a wreck at the end of it.

I added a 'biner to the small pouch kit because a) its aluminum so its pretty light, but strong, b) I have many of the tools from the pouch connected to it for accountability, and I could use it to dummycord things to me, but make them easy to remove and c) because I could use it to make a vertical haul line, a z-pulley, a rig to suspend a carcass for field dressing if I was so lucky as to kill something larger than a bunny or squirrel, etc. I tossed a couple more into the assault ruck list because I find 'em pretty handy for a number of basic pioneering-type mechanical advantage systems.

NousDefionsDoc 05-15-2004 11:19

I like your med kit list. I don't have very good luck with the Betadine swabs, they always seem to leak. I also wouldn't worry too much about the antacids - grubs and ants never gave me indigestion. LOL

Audience, Razor has focused his med kit on most likely. You are much more likely to have a small cut become a big problem than you are to be mauled by a bear. To me, survival is a series of small tasks - done well hopefully. Don't underestimate the value of antihistimines. Rashes and bug bites can drive some people insane.

Clean water, properly preparing your food, and being careful when utlizing your knife and other implements can go a long way.

The multi-vitamins are good. They can prevent disease in long term situations. Also keep the mind sharp.

The Reaper 05-15-2004 11:37


Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I don't have very good luck with the Betadine swabs, they always seem to leak. I also wouldn't worry too much about the antacids - grubs and ants never gave me indigestion. LOL


I always like the little 5 ml or so bottles of Betadine. Mine have seldom, if ever broken or leaked. I have been told that under emergency conditions, you can also use it for water purification and as a thyroid blocker.

Antacids have a lot of fillers and sugar, in addition to calcium, and can be an emergency source of energy.

Just my .02.


Sire24657 05-26-2004 15:17

Would it be better to have a headlamp instead of a handheld flashlight (like a Petzl, etc)?

Just a question,


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