Any good outdoors-man knows that there are basic things necessary to survival. Whether it is food, shelter, or fire. I am a firm believer that one should have a basic kit in there vehicle at all times, to insure preparedness for survival. Ideally, a kit needs the minimum items to insure survival in a bad situation, and these are the things you need.
- A method to start a fire
This can range from all-strike matches, which will light even when wet, to a Magnesium strip for shavings. I recommend the magnesium strip, along with a piece of flint to spark the magnesium. Magnesium burns at 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so it will catch very easily. The flint, in conjunction with a good knife, will allow you to spark the magnesium.
- A knife
One never knows when they will need a good knife, whether for cleaning game, or for staring a fire. I suggest something with a blade between 3-7 inches. longer knives are excellent tools for any purpose, but especially for defending oneself in close brush. A knife can also be used to create additional defensive weapons and even hunting implements.
Rope has many uses in a survival situation, whether for rigging a splint, or for making snares, to assisting in shelter construction. There are many rope types available, but for a good all-around cord, I recommend 550 cord. It is used by the military for many things, and can be broken down for use as bow-string if necessary. Another good option for a climber, is climbing rope, 1000lb test, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch diameter.
- A hatchet
Machete’s are good, but not everyone wants to swing a machete in thick brush. A good Hatchet however, is a necessity for any woodland survival kit. It makes work much easier. It allows for more complex shelter creation, and can even assist in watercraft creation for faster travel near the water. A simple hatchet can be purchased almost anywhere, but for survival purposes you will want one that offers solid construction and is not more than 14-16 inches from butt of the handle to the head, preferably all metal construction.
The last and most important part of survival is knowledge. Being prepared with a good kit is excellent, but make sure you research different techniques for survival, including how to rig a snare, making a bow and arrows, and how to set up a shelter. I will post more articles on these things later.