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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Survival II

Here are a few added thoughts, aided by input from other folks. Most of the old timers I grew up with told me that if they could only have one tool to survive with in the wilderness, it would be an axe. With an axe, they could build anything else they needed. I agree with them, but unless you habitually carry one in your car, you probably won't have one, and the odds of having one on your person are pretty astronomical. Of course the USFS requirement for axe, shovel & bucket in every vehicle going on National Forest land, which is probably one of their most intelligent rules, should help you remember to stock your rig with one. The rule was made to help in fire fighting, but all three items work great for general survival. Another neat trick that I had forgotten was passed on to me by a customer. Vic's comment on my last survival post reminded me that a book can be quite useful in a survival situation.
  • Entertainment: Reading helps the hours pass while you wait for rescue.
  • Fire starting: Dry paper makes pretty good tinder. (Not the clay-coated slick paper found in nicer books, but the coarse pulp paper used in most paperbacks. Clay coated paper doesn't ignite well.)
  • Toilet paper: The pages from a paperback probably work better than the slick little squares some public toilets dispense and they can be burned after use. Way better than using pine cones!
  • First Aid: You can rig a makeshift bandage out of a page. It will help keep a small cut clean and help close the wound.
  • Note paper: If worst comes to worst, it gives you something to scribble your farewell messages on.
Obviously a book adds some bulk and care has to be taken to keep the pages dry, but the multiple usage you get from one makes it worthwhile. (Me) (Blacktail Books)