You have read the claims and watched the videos where someone claims that theirs’ is the best method, or the best tool and so forth. The saying, the best tool is the one that you have with you still holds true. However when you have a choice, choose wisely.
The best method is the one you know how to implement when in a survival situation, and not some theory that you discovered by watching a YouTube video, a video that may have taken 12 days of filming to get it just right. You do not want to go into the woods with theories. You want uncomplicated methods and tools that work under any condition.
When your fingers are stiff from the cold, and your pulse is racing you want tools that do not need a lot of manipulation for them to work and you want uncomplicated methods that can literally be performed by anyone in any situation.
They need to work when you are not on top of your game. Anyone can do anything in their garages or backyard if given enough time and resources, but out in the wilds there are no editing of videos, no second takes, and no coffee breaks to discuss theories.
You can literally go broke trying to keep up with the “Jones’s” when it comes to survival gear. Survival gear envy is what we will call it going forward.
If you do not know what you need and why you need it, someone will come along and enlighten you and then likely lighten your wallet or purse at the same time. Educate yourself so you only purchase what you need, and not what someone else tells you, that you need.
The point is, if you have to watch a video on how to properly use a survival knife, or to start a fire with a magnesium stick, for example, then you do not have enough hands on experience, and there is only one way to gain practical experience.
Technology and bush craft do not mix well in most cases. When in the wilds it is what skills and knowledge you bring with you that will keep you alive, and not what you can learn by surfing the Internet, because once away from the tentacles of technology, you have nowhere to surf, but inside your own mind to find the answers. If you go to the woods uneducated you may not leave.
How Do You Decide What You Need
To decide what you need, you must know what you need to do in the wilds to survive. Match the gear to the task, and to your own skill level and knowledge. If you have never used a handheld GPS system, for example, and assume you can learn once you get lost, then you should leave it home, or better yet sell it and buy a map and a compass.
1.) Can you start a fire with wet matches and wet tinder? No of course not, so you need fire starting materials that are impervious to moisture. Therefore, you should know by now that you need a magnesium stick, a Ferro rod, and tinder protected from moisture. Simple, cheap, and easy to pack, it really is that simple. If you complicate it, then it will be complicated.
2.) Can you build a shelter from forest debris? Maybe you can, and maybe not depending on the area and it depends on how honest you are when evaluating your own skills. Do not assume you can, know you can, and again there is only one way of knowing, and that is by doing. Carry a shelter, so you are always assured of having a shelter, again very simple.
3.) Can you carry enough water with you to survive for three days, five days a week? Probably not, because of the weight, so what do you need to have with you. You need the means to collect, filter and purify water. Purification tablets, coffee filters, cheesecloth, charcoal and/or a pot in which to boil water, simple and easy to pack and by no means complicated.
4.) Do you know what plants and trees can be used to treat wounds, stomach problems, tooth aches and so on. If not then of course, you need a quality first aid kit. Take your time and spend a little money to make sure your medical supplies are high quality and of sufficient quantity.
Two low dosage pain reliever pills will not cut it, so add on to any kit you buy off the shelf. Research what you need, or ask your doctor. Some of the items are just fillers, so know what you need and what you do not need as a practical matter.
5.) Can you navigate without a compass and map, can you walk in a straight line without a compass. Not many can, so you need a compass and a map of the area, and if you are not willing to take the time to get topographical maps of the area you expect to be in then stay home.
6.) Most people cannot find food just lying around the forest. It takes years of experience and that means hands on experience out in the woods to discover what is safe to eat and what is not, as far as wild edibles are concerned.
Most people know that anything with fur and feathers is edible, but animals will not offer themselves up on a platter for your dining pleasure. Fishing however, is a reliable means of gathering food with little skill needed, so carry a small fishing kit.
Pack as many protein bars, bags of trail mix and beef jerky as you can. You can sustain yourself for days on this type of food as long as you have clean drinking water.
To hunt successfully, you would need hunting tools and materials. Snares and traps are fine if you have the skill, otherwise it usually is an effort in futility, and may even result in a few bruised or worse, fingers or toes, if you do not know how to set a deadfall properly.
Stick with what you know works unless you are properly geared up for hunting and take that literally about geared up. You would need a firearm, or a long bow, a crossbow, or a hunting slingshot to stay well fed.
You have seen the survival reality show stars go for days without any substantial amount of food, and you can too, but you want to bring food with you not only for energy but for psychological reasons as well.
People panic over food when there is none to be had, and so some people will eat things they should not thinking they are edible, just to satisfy their food anxiety. People do not starve to death three days into being lost, but they do panic, so know this, and prepare for it.
Your Priorities Are:
- Rendering First Aid To Yourself If Required
- Constructing A Shelter
- Making Fire
- Having Water With You and The Means to Filter And Purifying a Water Source
- Know How To Self Rescue Or Aid Your Rescuers by Having Signaling Materials
- Knowing How To Navigate
- Having a Food Supply or Know How To Obtain Food In The Wild
Some may disagree with the priorities themselves, or what you should do first, but that is ok because, what you do and when, is largely dependent upon what bush craft training and skills you have and your mindset.
Knowing what the priorities are allow you to gather the gear, materials and gain the skills needed to ensure you can meet the requirements of survival. Your objective is to survive until rescued.
To Accomplish Certain Tasks There Are Items You Need That Have Not Been Mentioned
- Fixed Bladed Knife
- Cordage and Paracord is Recommended
- Snare Wire
- Machete, ax or folding saw