It seems that everybody has just skipped right over Thanksgiving lately. All that you need to do is to walk though just about every department store and there are no turkeys, pilgrims or cornucopias. It is kind of disheartening. I love Thanksgiving! It is a time for hunting and eating; two of my favorite things. This Thanksgiving will be the first anniversary of my dads hunting accident. I am thankful that he was able to get help and live to see another Thanksgiving.
Thanks to my dad I have something to blog about. I think that a basic survival kit should be an everyday carry item. They are simple and can be packed in everything from Altoids tins to Tupperware tubs depending on what they will be used for. Today I will be covering everyday carry. I have broken down what you will need into a few simple categories: fire and light, signaling, water and food, knives and tools, personal protection, and medical.
Fire and light:
I have listed these items first because I believe them to be the most important. I carry a good flashlight and spare batteries everyday. I can't tell you how frequently I use my flashlight; it seems that everyday in some situation I think to myself "dang I'm glad that I have a flashlight." It does not have to be a super expensive blindingly bright light, any reliable light will work. Always carry extra batteries because they seem to die at the time of most need. You never know when the lights in your parking lot will go out and you will have to walk to your car alone in the dark. Alone and in the dark, that situation invites to many bad guys, and a flashlight may be all that you need to stay safe. In addition to my trusty flash light I carry some simple things that I could use to start a fire. You never know when we may need to start a fire whether it is to keep us warm or signal for help. I always have a couple of lighters on hand and a flint and steel. My belly button, and pockets always have an ample of amount of lint to use to start fires, lol.
Most people overlook this simple but useful part of my kit. I have a whistle and my flashlight to signal for help. Screaming your head off to get people to notice you would get old after awhile and the screeching of a few loud whistle blasts will turn peoples attention to you quickly. If it is dark sound would be useful to notify people that you may be in danger but light will let them pinpoint your exact location much more easily. My old man would have been in a much better situation if he had these items during his descent down the mountain with a broken leg.
Water and Food:
You won't make it long with out food, and without water your timeline becomes even shorter. I always carry my one liter jug in my pack; even if I don't drink it I feel more comfortable having it in there. You won't find any skittles in my satchel but there is hardly a time when you will catch me with out at least a box of raisins and a granola bar. I know that it isn't much but if you think about it, if your place of work were to be locked down or if you had to be stuck somewhere for an extended period of time unexpectedly its nice to have a snack and a drink.
Knives and tools:
I have a strange fascination with knives, I carry at least 3 of them on me or in my everyday carry bag ever since I watched the Today Show about hiker that had to use a dull knife to cut off his own arm. I use my knife everyday for simple tasks and feel naked without it and hopefully I never have to use to cut my own arm off. Another standard in my pack is my multi-tool. I use my leatherman just about as much as I use my knife. It has screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters and a plethora of other gadgets that I use to do everything from repairing my spectacles to fixing my jeep. It is a must have!
Personal protection is a major component to my everyday survival pack. I don't just carry my firearm, because if all that you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail. As I have stated I do carry a firearm; I also carry a spare magazine just in case. Pepper spray is also a vary viable solution to one's personal protection needs. It will cause tremendous pain, greatly impair your attackers vision and gives you a fighting chance to escape. Tasers are also very useful, they allow you to shoot two barbed projectiles into your attacker and then apply a healthy dose of electric current to them rendering them in most cases helpless. The pocket knife listed above is a great edged weapon if you are in a life or death situation and the flashlight makes for a great striking weapon.
shazam, instant ice pick.
Carrying a dose or two worth of whatever medication you take is an essential. If you are unable to drive home due to bad weather, you will soon realize that your prescriptions are worth packing. As a diabetic it is not an option to go without these items. I also pack some Tylenol and some tums. Something else that you may want to think about is a spare pair of glasses. Depending on your vision a broken pair may leave you stranded. I don't buy multiple sets of glasses, I merely use my old sets. Even if my prescription changes, my old prescription is more than satisfactory for a short term solution.
You may think that this is overkill, and in a way you are right. I have at least two items from each category on me about everyday. I guess it is the boy scout in me. Its just my nature; overkill rarely fails. Since there are several cases in which we have items that fit into multiple categories you could go with a bare bones kit. I would not go with less than a flashlight, pocket knife, lighter, whistle, your meds and a spare set of glasses. Needing something and not having it is much worse that having something and not needing it.