My name is Barry; I am a husband, father, and an avid outdoorsman. My Mandays are spent outside. I love the outdoors and I strive to pass along my love and respect for the outdoors to my son, Sam, whom I share some of my Mandays with. My post will hopefully help you be more prepared for your next Manday adventure, or at least give you some gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your list.
I am neither a survival expert nor a genius. However, I was a boy scout, and “always be prepared” are words to live by. We all do our best to prevent any accidents from happening, but how much do we prepare for them. I am a free-spirited individual with great urges to get into the outdoors. Normally I pack up my stuff and head out for a day of hunting, fishing, or just hiking around. Until recently I saw no faults in my spontaneous adventuring. Recent events have changed my attitude.
I realized that my family would have no idea where I was going or what I was doing . My actions were not spontaneous, they were reckless. It dawned on me that all of the stuff I carry around in my attack-pack to prepare me for anything, would be of minimal assistance should I become injured in the wild. This is especially true if I had no cell phone service, or if I left the dang thing on charge in my Jeep. My family would not know were I was, and I would have no way to reach emergency services. I would be up a creek with out a paddle and my rescuers would be searching for a needle in a haystack.
I owe it to my loved ones to give them as much information about what I am doing and where I am going. Just the basic who, what, when, where and why would suffice. I might even go the extra mile and give them the names of the people that I am going with and their phone numbers, or if I am heading out alone, the phone numbers of people that are familiar with the area that I would be in. I often overlook this important aspect of being prepared. Trust me, I won’t from now on. In the future when I am out enjoying my Mandays, my loved ones will no where I am and they will be prepared should they not be able to reach me or if I do not make it home by a decent hour. Armed with this valuable information they can alert emergency services that I am missing and let them know where to look for me.
I am confident that if my general location is known the contents of my attack-pack would be more than enough for me to survive until I was rescued and maybe even aid my rescuers in finding me. What is an attack-pack; it is a beefed up messenger bag that I feel naked without. There are tons of companies making these bags, such as UTG, 5.11 and Maxpedition, and more and more men taking advantage of their usefulness. Women, your little secret is out! Purses are the best way to cram everything you need into a neat little mobile package. What do I keep in my bag you might ask? It really depends on what I will be doing that day. Here is a basic list of what I stow away for a normal Manday trust me any of these items would make for a great gift idea for your outdoors individual on your Christmas list.
-At least 50ft of para cord (I use it to make zipper pulls that can be unraveled to use the full length)
-Lighters (Even if you don’t smoke)
-Fire starters (I use a great flint and steel made by Light my Fire, and a ziplock bag of dryer lint)
-Headlamp (Princeton Tec makes an awesome 4mode lamp with an automatic SOS beacon)
-A good Knife ( My knife of choice is a Spyderco Endura, it is rugged and affordable)
-Flashlights (At least 2, I choose Surefire and carry their E2D and their Back Up)
-A reliable handgun and an extra magazine (You can not go wrong with Smith and Wesson)
-A spare pair of glasses or extra contact lenses
-A couple days worth of any meds that you take on a daily basis
- 1 ltr water bottle
-Energy bars, raisins, granola, Trail Mix
-Small notebook and pen
-Handheld GPS (I love my Garmin E-Trex)
This is a small cross section of what I normally throw into my bag before I head out. They are things that will keep me safe, comfortable and help me be found. I carry a lot of signal options; the SOS headlamp, super bright flashlights, whistles and my trusty Smith & Wesson M&P. If your rescuers can not see you, make sure that they hear you. A series of 3 gunshots or whistle blasts will indicate a distress call and they can be heard for a very long distance. A signal fire is also a great way to make your location known. A steady stream of smoke coming out of a canopy of trees is a good way to get noticed. A fire also does wonders for morale. Follow safe fire practices in doing so.
I hope that this post has made you think about being prepared or at least gave you some gift ideas for that hard to shop for person on your list. I will talk to you again soon; be safe and play outside.