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Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills The Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to ancient and/or primitive style bushcraft/wilderness skills (e.g. firecraft, foraging, natural material construction, modern/primitive tools, long-term wilderness survival,...).


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  #41  
Old 07-13-2011, 04:30 PM
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dragonrider dragonrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richwads
While being prepared with proper equipment is always a good idea, we should remember that the EXPERIENCE of making do WITHOUT is invaluable in cultivating a mindset for improvisation under pressure. Testing an existing "survival" kit in order to experience it can be circumvented if instead, we always look for "convenience" and "comfort" and end up making our "survival" kit ready to deal with every contingency.

After all, it's the unexpected situation that catches us off guard, and a 10 lb butt pack with 2 liters of water on it is much less likely to be on the butt when needed!

Just a reminder to remember the theme .

I think the gear I purchased is definitely a bit off the theme I originally outlined. The original theme was spending a night using the actual survival kit I would carry on a normal day hike in which I did not INTEND to spend a night. The idea was to see what that experience would be like under controlled conditions, so I'd be prepared if it ever happened that I got caught outside with only that kit.

Some of the advice I received in this thread seemed to be more about what a person would carry on an INTENTIONAL minimalist trip. Usually that advice involved a much more robust kit than I would carry on a normal day hike, but a much more minimalist kit than my usual backpacking overnight gear.

I'd say this kit I've put together is in between a normal survival "10 essentials" kit and a more robust minimalist bushcrafting kit. I'm looking forward to giving it a try with the gear I've put together and eventually working into spending the night out with the survival kit I'd carry on a normal day hike. Believe me, this is a big step in the direction of a minimalist kit over what I normally carry on a backpacking overnighter!

As you mentioned, Richwads, EXPERIENCE is the most important factor. I think using this gear will provide some important experience that I can build on. It's a stepping stone.

Also, I'm meeting with the rest of my group this evening. We'll probably spend some time looking at each other's survival kit gear setup, and if it looks like I've strayed too far from the intent of the trip, they'll let me know!

Some of the guys went with me over the weekend on the surplus store outing, and judging from the kinds of things they bought and what they were looking at and talking about, I think they are planning on bringing more than they usually carry on day hikes too. So I think we are all pretty much headed that way, even if none of us have formally discussed changing the theme of the trip.

Another reason I think I ended up buying the gear I did was the Gee-Whiz experience of going to a surplus store after so many years of shopping mostly at big-name high-end sporting goods stores. I haven't set foot in a surplus store since I was a kid, and it was fun, and the stuff was cheap!

I weighed the gear, and it came in close to what you were describing. With all the new stuff I purchased, plus more or less the items I described earlier, it was a little less than 8 pounds --- no water, no food, no fleece (which I may count as an item I am wearing). Add in about a pound of food, the fleece, and 2 quarts of water, and it comes to a big 13-pound butt pack! That is definitely more than I typically carry for a day hike! But it's also less than half what I usually have for an overnighter. So it's a step in the minimalist direction, and it'll certainly give me an idea of what it's like to sleep overnight in a space blanket and poncho, which is probably the biggest difference between an unexpected night in the woods and a normal backpacking overnighter.
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  #42  
Old 07-13-2011, 08:33 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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The thought involved in setting up for your adventure may make you re-think what you should have with you on a day hike. I suspect many will have a water bottle, maybe a sandwich and a rain jacket (if it looks like rain) some may not even have that - after all, it's just a couple of hours strolling down the trail.

I've been as guilty as anyone doing that and most of the time we get away with it because nothing unusual or unexpected happens. A tiny kit I slip into my pocket is really a "something is better than nothing" deal and is the absolute minimum if it includes a Heat Sheet or similar blanket.

Within reason, I don't sweat the wieght too much. A well-balanced lumbar pack carries well and comfortable even if it is in the 8-10 lb. range all up. That may seem like a lot but water is heavy (2.2 lbs/qt) so starting out with 2 canteens amounts to nearly 5 lbs right there.

The thing is, the unexpected does happen. A mis-step sprains the ankle, rain boils up out of a clear sky, temperatures drop suddenly, a trail marker gets lost - any number of things can turn a pleasant stroll into a nasty situation. Sil-nylon, titanium/anodized aluminum and similar materials make it easier to have reasonable gear with you in a light and compact form. Far different from my early days when wool, cotton canvas, steel and leather were the order of the day.
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  #43  
Old 07-14-2011, 11:01 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
. . . . it'll certainly give me an idea of what it's like to sleep overnight in a space blanket and poncho, which is probably the biggest difference between an unexpected night in the woods and a normal backpacking overnighter.
Right on .

Baby steps (not meant in a derogatory way, but how I also approach this theme).

I'm remembering Neytiri saying to Jake Sully "You're like a baby!" in the movie Avatar. Most of us are "like a baby" in this theme we're exploring .
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  #44  
Old 07-14-2011, 02:45 PM
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MoondogFiftyfive MoondogFiftyfive is offline
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With all due respect to the fellas at the "Mountaineers" those 10 essentials were ALWAYS on top of what you would normally carry for the conditions on the day and was a teaching tool and aimed primarily at climbers, not walkers.
I think more than anything it shows that most people carry far too little when they go for a day walk, not that you are carrying too much.

Most people carry far too little water, because aside from drinking it, water is a valuable tool in first aid.
Here is an old "survival" tip; when leaving the car have a drink of water, not just a little drink either, urinate to empty the bladder then drink 3 to 5 liters of water literally until your stomach is swollen and it becomes a little uncomfortable, the same would apply in situations where you have a long walk between water holes.


When going to sleep spend the time to make a decent shelter, as far as you can anyway, use the tarp/poncho and the space blanket in a small lean-to configuration with an air-gap between them, this will keep you much warmer than just wrapping yourself in them and hoping to get some sleep.
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  #45  
Old 07-14-2011, 03:58 PM
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richwads richwads is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoondogFiftyfive
Here is an old "survival" tip; when leaving the car have a drink of water, not just a little drink either, urinate to empty the bladder then drink 3 to 5 liters of water literally until your stomach is swollen and it becomes a little uncomfortable, the same would apply in situations where you have a long walk between water holes.
Excellent! Exactly what I was thinking! 'Course I can't drink more than a liter myself, but I've gotten along with a 1 liter bottle between refills (except where I've expected a dry daylong hike between camps) by emptying my bottle into the built in canteen in my gut before refilling and treating another liter and moving on.
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  #46  
Old 07-14-2011, 04:33 PM
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MoondogFiftyfive MoondogFiftyfive is offline
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Normally I can't drink more than a liter either, but it is possible with training to do so, the stomach as an ability to stretch to an enormous size; a very useful adaption when our ancestors had a mammoth they needed to eat before it went rotten
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  #47  
Old 07-14-2011, 04:36 PM
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dragonrider dragonrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoondogFiftyfive
With all due respect to the fellas at the "Mountaineers" those 10 essentials were ALWAYS on top of what you would normally carry for the conditions on the day and was a teaching tool and aimed primarily at climbers, not walkers.
I think more than anything it shows that most people carry far too little when they go for a day walk, not that you are carrying too much.
I am already coming around to the idea that my normal emergency items for a dayhike are not adequate. When I actually had to face the idea of spending a night out with only those items, it did not seem like enough --- hence the much larger kit I've put together. I'm not going to carry everything in this kit on every day hike, but I plan to beef up my normal kit a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoondogFiftyfive
Here is an old "survival" tip; when leaving the car have a drink of water, not just a little drink either, urinate to empty the bladder then drink 3 to 5 liters of water literally until your stomach is swollen and it becomes a little uncomfortable, the same would apply in situations where you have a long walk between water holes.

This is something I do already to some degree. I call it "cameling up" as in "about to hit the trail --- time to camel up." Sometimes it means I spend the first hour of the hike pissing every ten minutes, but other times I don't pee a drop --- which goes to show how you can be close to dehydrated and not even know it. Better to drink as much as possible when you have it, and have to take a few "comfort breaks," than to only have what is in your canteen when you are a few quarts low in your internal tank.

This is also why I wanted two water containers. It increases the chances of having some treated water when you arrive at a new water source. Ideally you'd be able to drink your fill, still have a full container of treated water ready to go, and a second container of water in the process of being treated before leaving any water source.
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  #48  
Old 07-14-2011, 11:38 PM
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MoondogFiftyfive MoondogFiftyfive is offline
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"Camelling UP" Yep I like that, describes the action perfectly.
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  #49  
Old 07-15-2011, 08:35 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
I am already coming around to the idea that my normal emergency items for a dayhike are not adequate. When I actually had to face the idea of spending a night out with only those items, it did not seem like enough --- hence the much larger kit I've put together. I'm not going to carry everything in this kit on every day hike, but I plan to beef up my normal kit a bit.
Same here - my "day" fanny pack now has (in addition to its prior meager contents of snack, TP and first aid kit) an AMK two-person emergency blanket, a flashlight, a hefty lockback knife, 50 ft of paracord, a hooded nylon windbreaker, and INSIDE, 18 oz of water in a steel bottle, none of which used to be in it. Also in my car is a full 750 ml SS water bottle and bottle bag with belt loop to supplement the fanny pack water. All this because when I hike wearing it now I picture spending the night out! Funny how that works .
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  #50  
Old 07-16-2011, 05:40 PM
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MoondogFiftyfive MoondogFiftyfive is offline
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I am in the process of rebuilding ALL my kit based on conversations in this thread.
Will probably buy a new poncho ( the C2Summit nylon unit ) but I just got a second hand Dutch army poncho as a start.
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