Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

13 Survival Items No Hunter Should Be Without

Syndicate

Syndicate content
Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!

The Survivalist Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments

Archives

Survivalist
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

September 09, 2011
13 Survival Items No Hunter Should Be Without - 21

As we get ready for hunting season, it's time to consider the survival gear that we will be taking along with us. And as we wander off the beaten path, we should be carrying the equipment to handle the most common emergencies that we could face in the field.

1) If you need daily heart medicine, blood pressure pills, insulin or any other vital meds, bring an extra supply of them on all your outdoor trips. Also bring any event-related medications like asthma inhalers in case of an attack, or epinephrine pens if you are allergic to bee stings or certain foods.

2) A fully charged cell phone or 2-way radio in a waterproof container could be your ticket home.

3) Wear appropriate clothing and outer wear. Skip the cotton in most conditions, unless you are trying to activate your life insurance policy.

4) Lighters and other fire makers should be scattered throughout your equipment and clothing.

5) A metal cup to boil water provides you a safe and unlimited water supply, providing you have water to begin with.

6) Bring a rugged, waterproof light source, like a headlamp.

7) Carry a whistle and other signaling equipment.

8) Bring an emergency shelter like a space blanket or a Heat Sheets emergency bivy from Adventure Medical Kits.

9) Carry a quality knife for dozens of obvious reasons.

10) You'll need a first aid kit to keep the red stuff in, and the bad stuff out.

11) An emergency food supply can give you energy to keep going, and you'll sleep warmer at night with a little food in your belly.

12) Water purification tablets and a container for water should be on your list. 

13) Bring a map and compass, or a GPS.

What else do you bring on your hunts? What do you wish you had brought last time out? Let us know in the comments.

photo: yotut

Comments (21)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sabreur wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Very beneficial article and comments, thanks to all.

Useful for fire starting is a small sheet of aluminum foil (easily packed & carried) that can be shaped to contain and direct the sparks for the tinder/fire starting material (cotton balls & petroleum jelly or other). It helps contain & direct sparks to intended area and can be useful in windy conditions or as a cover rain or other precipitation.

The foil can also be used as a reflective material for mirroring or signalling.

Should you carry enough you can use it for cooking or as a fire/flame shielding hand warmer & clothing heater/dryer. (Just vent it to let any moisture out if drying wet items.)

Can even be used as a 'fuse' or conductor/wire replacement for battery/steel wool fire starter, etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jean Aquino wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

A block of magnesium. It will help start fires in the wettest conditions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from First Aid Expert wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

My favorites -
outdoor gear: www.first-aid-product.com/disaster/Outdoor_Camping_Survival.htm
&
wilderness survival gear: www.first-aid-product.com/pgSurvival.htm

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safety Guy wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

This is really cool...

Free 22 minute First Aid Video - "How to Use a First Aid Kit... What Your First Aid Course Didn't Teach You" - Learn basic first aid as this video outlines contents of a first aid kit and how them properly. Great for refresher First Aid Training between full First Aid Certification courses.

www.firstaidstore.com/t-free-first-aid-video.aspx
Brought to you www.FirstAidStore.com & www.AmericanCPR.com

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Risk Rarius wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Starting Fires in extreme conditions. Two items your first aid kit should have Pottasium Per-Mangenate (Conde's Crystals) and Honey. Works in rain (at least did on military survival course on Mt Ruapahu NZ). Small drop of honey on crystals instant exothermic reaction, enough to start hexi-stove tablets for cooking.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SERE wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Consider Steelwool instead of the Vaseline-cotton balls.

Steelwool can be ignited with flame, spark, or electrical current.

Steelwool is also functional to clean your knife / tools / metal cup (vaseline-cotton balls have no other functional use besides fire starter).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from magnacasa wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

With the Vaseline cotton balls, you should not soak the cotton. Dipping one side of the cotton ball into the Vaseline gives you a better chance, since the cotton by itself takes a spark easily. Once the cotton is burning (you may have to blow on it a bit, mostly it smolders), it acts as a wick to draw up the Vaseline. I always carry several in an Altoid Sours tin (the round ones with a better seal).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bulldogbob wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

You can use a spent brass shell for a whisle. Wooden matches in a zip lock, stuff inside a 1/2 roll of T.P. inside another zip lock for personal and as fire starter. A bandana is a must for so many reasons. I copy the hunting area section of topo maps to 8" X 11" and fold. I also have a larger area in a plastic sleeve, I then mark the general location for my wife with a dry wipe marker to give her a basic idea where to look, but I wipe it off so no one knows my best hunting areas and use it again. Food from the pantry, water in a canteen w/metal cup. I also have a small stuff sack I made, Xlarge shoe laces for drw string & eyelet at bottem, put a jacket in it for a pillow or worn like a backpack, but folds up into a pocket.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from marycg wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

One thing I do not see on you check list is what you will use for hunting like you gun and ammo. I found a great place to get both http://firearmsforyou.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DanC wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

As far as the cooton balls go, pull open the cotton ball until you get some of the dry cotton inside exposed, and then presto, pretty much will catch any spark thrown.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

I haven't had a problem lighting Vaseline treated cotton balls with a firesteel. Flint & steel is a totally different thing. The sparks from a firesteel are very hot and vaporize the Vaseline pretty quickly. I also carry some Tinder Quik, which isn't greasy and catches fire pretty quickly. My favorite tinder, though, is Birch bark.

Along with my knife, I carry a 6" sliding saw in my hunting pack. It doesn't weigh much or take up much space, but it works well for trimming branches and such.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Edwards wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

OK so all these things noted. I would personally recommend a pack mule to carry everything. U can pack a light generator on the mule also, who needs a fire bring a gas cooking stove with at least 3 burners on it and do not forget the butane bottle. This should all go on the mule.

Michael Edwards

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

T-Mac,

Mhill was responding to my frustration about flint and steel as a back-up fire source. Mhill said the Vaseline soaked cotton balls work, but you have to be able to melt the Vaseline first ("the first thing that has to happen is the oily substance must melt, once melted it will ignite and burn slowly. To get it to melt, you must first have heat, to have heat, you must already have a flame.").

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T-Mac wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Mr. Hill,
Please don't give up on the vaseline soaked cotton balls! They really do work, it just sounds like you might need a different approach. Try an open flame from matches or a lighter, then the greased cotton ball should light up easily and burn for 4-5 minutes. Good luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mhill wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I didn't find the Vaseline soaked cotton ball to work well at all. I use a flint steel regularly just to keep these skills sharp. I was interested about the Vaseline idea when I read it and just went out to my garage to try it; my findings: it didn't COMPLETELY work.

Anyone been in the military or is familiar with kiwi shoe polish? I find the Vaseline to be similar; the first thing that has to happen is the oily substance must melt, once melted it will ignite and burn slowly. To get it to melt, you must first have heat, to have heat, you must already have a flame.

I like to carry some cotton balls in an old salmon eggs jar to keep them dry. Cotton balls can be used for first aid and make a great spark catcher, they ignite really well. Once lit, adding a cotton ball with Vaseline will lite and burn much slower than without and therefore, burns much longer; which I like!

I just put Vaseline in another salmon eggs jar, and will start carrying it with me as well. After all, it can be used for first aid, chapped lips and now fire. I heated mine up to melt the Vaseline to a liquid, then let it sit and cool resulting in a neat and clean, level topped, air bubble-less jar of Vaseline.

Other things I use to start a fire with a flint spark: char cloth, magnesium, dryer lint and cotton balls. These all work great to catch a spark with. Char cloth typically won't flame, but rather smolder for a long time. A half charred cloth will however flame or an un-charred cloth will flame with effort using the smoldering char cloth. I like to have all of these on hand. It might sound like a lot but it all fits inside a salmon eggs jar, which as you can tell I love to reuse.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTPete wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Number 13 says map and compass or GPS. In my experience if you bring a GPS the batteries are gonna die right when you need it. Better to just bring the maps and compass with the GPS as a paper weight when the batteries die. Also, I would add a pair of leather work gloves for gathering wood so you tear up your hands when your light weight hunting gloves get ripped up. Just my opinion though.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Thanks for the confirmation Don44. I wonder if they work when they are very cold-I need to make some up, throw them in the freezer overnight and try to light them with my Swediah Firesteel that I keep in my kit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don44mag wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Cotton balls coated in vaseline works great, they burn for several minutes just add a spark.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

Very good advice.

Regarding "other" signaling items, a signal mirror (or an old compact disc!) could also be helpful. As to the whistle, be SURE it produces a LOUD sound...!! I keep a Storm (brand name) whistle in with my gear. It is so loud that I've never blown it without holding my ears...!!

You also may wish to check out something new by 4Sevens...a solid titanium whistle available in 100 or 120 decibels, at $20 and $40.

You can check it out at www.militarytimes.com/gearscout.

My cutting tool preference is a machette, which I'm very used to.

Be SURE you know how to make proper use of all of these items...garbage bags, space blankets, etc.

Bob Hansen/Pathfinder1

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

That's a good list. According to search and rescue members in my area, a light is THE piece of gear that would prevent most of their call-outs. A backpacker's headlamp goes a long way in preventing injury while you are later than expected in leaving the woods and is also very helpful if you have to gather material for a fire and/or a shelter after dark. I am happy to see you included a whistle too.

I like to have one contractor's heavy duty garbage bag with me always. It is for carrying out the heart/liver but can also be used as an emergency blanket or ground cover in addition to a space blanket.

In the late season where I hunt it can be below zero F, so I carry a spare pair of clean long underwear and socks in a freezer bag. I know if I have to spend the night outside that I will be thankful for an additional layer of dry long johns and socks.

I prefer to use a small hatchet for gathering a nights worth of fire wood, cutting boughs to sleep on and build a shelter. For me it is much easier to do this with a hatchet than any knife, especially when it is very cold.

Lastly-tinder. If you are depending on a sparking device as your back-up fire starter, you need a way to catch the spark and fan it into a flame. VERY IMPORTANT-This is something that needs to be practiced before hand. Last winter I tried out a flint striker and I had no trouble making a lot of sparks, but could not get a fire going. I had gathered the driest birch bark and old man's beard (moss) that I could find on that day, but neither would hold the spark long enough to blow into a flame. Then I tried some TP from my pack and same story. I have not yet tried Vaseline soaked cotton balls, which is next. Do not just throw a sparking device in your kit and figure you are good to go. When it's all on the line, every one of us will reach for our lighter or storm matches first, but there is a good reason to carry a striker as a back-up as long as you have a system that works.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from montananative wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I always bring some rope with me also. I bring orange marker tape to mark trails of downed game, there is survival reasons for having that to. And the most important item, toilet paper.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from montananative wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I always bring some rope with me also. I bring orange marker tape to mark trails of downed game, there is survival reasons for having that to. And the most important item, toilet paper.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

Very good advice.

Regarding "other" signaling items, a signal mirror (or an old compact disc!) could also be helpful. As to the whistle, be SURE it produces a LOUD sound...!! I keep a Storm (brand name) whistle in with my gear. It is so loud that I've never blown it without holding my ears...!!

You also may wish to check out something new by 4Sevens...a solid titanium whistle available in 100 or 120 decibels, at $20 and $40.

You can check it out at www.militarytimes.com/gearscout.

My cutting tool preference is a machette, which I'm very used to.

Be SURE you know how to make proper use of all of these items...garbage bags, space blankets, etc.

Bob Hansen/Pathfinder1

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTPete wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Number 13 says map and compass or GPS. In my experience if you bring a GPS the batteries are gonna die right when you need it. Better to just bring the maps and compass with the GPS as a paper weight when the batteries die. Also, I would add a pair of leather work gloves for gathering wood so you tear up your hands when your light weight hunting gloves get ripped up. Just my opinion though.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safety Guy wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

This is really cool...

Free 22 minute First Aid Video - "How to Use a First Aid Kit... What Your First Aid Course Didn't Teach You" - Learn basic first aid as this video outlines contents of a first aid kit and how them properly. Great for refresher First Aid Training between full First Aid Certification courses.

www.firstaidstore.com/t-free-first-aid-video.aspx
Brought to you www.FirstAidStore.com & www.AmericanCPR.com

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

That's a good list. According to search and rescue members in my area, a light is THE piece of gear that would prevent most of their call-outs. A backpacker's headlamp goes a long way in preventing injury while you are later than expected in leaving the woods and is also very helpful if you have to gather material for a fire and/or a shelter after dark. I am happy to see you included a whistle too.

I like to have one contractor's heavy duty garbage bag with me always. It is for carrying out the heart/liver but can also be used as an emergency blanket or ground cover in addition to a space blanket.

In the late season where I hunt it can be below zero F, so I carry a spare pair of clean long underwear and socks in a freezer bag. I know if I have to spend the night outside that I will be thankful for an additional layer of dry long johns and socks.

I prefer to use a small hatchet for gathering a nights worth of fire wood, cutting boughs to sleep on and build a shelter. For me it is much easier to do this with a hatchet than any knife, especially when it is very cold.

Lastly-tinder. If you are depending on a sparking device as your back-up fire starter, you need a way to catch the spark and fan it into a flame. VERY IMPORTANT-This is something that needs to be practiced before hand. Last winter I tried out a flint striker and I had no trouble making a lot of sparks, but could not get a fire going. I had gathered the driest birch bark and old man's beard (moss) that I could find on that day, but neither would hold the spark long enough to blow into a flame. Then I tried some TP from my pack and same story. I have not yet tried Vaseline soaked cotton balls, which is next. Do not just throw a sparking device in your kit and figure you are good to go. When it's all on the line, every one of us will reach for our lighter or storm matches first, but there is a good reason to carry a striker as a back-up as long as you have a system that works.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mhill wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I didn't find the Vaseline soaked cotton ball to work well at all. I use a flint steel regularly just to keep these skills sharp. I was interested about the Vaseline idea when I read it and just went out to my garage to try it; my findings: it didn't COMPLETELY work.

Anyone been in the military or is familiar with kiwi shoe polish? I find the Vaseline to be similar; the first thing that has to happen is the oily substance must melt, once melted it will ignite and burn slowly. To get it to melt, you must first have heat, to have heat, you must already have a flame.

I like to carry some cotton balls in an old salmon eggs jar to keep them dry. Cotton balls can be used for first aid and make a great spark catcher, they ignite really well. Once lit, adding a cotton ball with Vaseline will lite and burn much slower than without and therefore, burns much longer; which I like!

I just put Vaseline in another salmon eggs jar, and will start carrying it with me as well. After all, it can be used for first aid, chapped lips and now fire. I heated mine up to melt the Vaseline to a liquid, then let it sit and cool resulting in a neat and clean, level topped, air bubble-less jar of Vaseline.

Other things I use to start a fire with a flint spark: char cloth, magnesium, dryer lint and cotton balls. These all work great to catch a spark with. Char cloth typically won't flame, but rather smolder for a long time. A half charred cloth will however flame or an un-charred cloth will flame with effort using the smoldering char cloth. I like to have all of these on hand. It might sound like a lot but it all fits inside a salmon eggs jar, which as you can tell I love to reuse.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from T-Mac wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Mr. Hill,
Please don't give up on the vaseline soaked cotton balls! They really do work, it just sounds like you might need a different approach. Try an open flame from matches or a lighter, then the greased cotton ball should light up easily and burn for 4-5 minutes. Good luck!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DanC wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

As far as the cooton balls go, pull open the cotton ball until you get some of the dry cotton inside exposed, and then presto, pretty much will catch any spark thrown.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bulldogbob wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

You can use a spent brass shell for a whisle. Wooden matches in a zip lock, stuff inside a 1/2 roll of T.P. inside another zip lock for personal and as fire starter. A bandana is a must for so many reasons. I copy the hunting area section of topo maps to 8" X 11" and fold. I also have a larger area in a plastic sleeve, I then mark the general location for my wife with a dry wipe marker to give her a basic idea where to look, but I wipe it off so no one knows my best hunting areas and use it again. Food from the pantry, water in a canteen w/metal cup. I also have a small stuff sack I made, Xlarge shoe laces for drw string & eyelet at bottem, put a jacket in it for a pillow or worn like a backpack, but folds up into a pocket.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SERE wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Consider Steelwool instead of the Vaseline-cotton balls.

Steelwool can be ignited with flame, spark, or electrical current.

Steelwool is also functional to clean your knife / tools / metal cup (vaseline-cotton balls have no other functional use besides fire starter).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Risk Rarius wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Starting Fires in extreme conditions. Two items your first aid kit should have Pottasium Per-Mangenate (Conde's Crystals) and Honey. Works in rain (at least did on military survival course on Mt Ruapahu NZ). Small drop of honey on crystals instant exothermic reaction, enough to start hexi-stove tablets for cooking.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don44mag wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Cotton balls coated in vaseline works great, they burn for several minutes just add a spark.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Thanks for the confirmation Don44. I wonder if they work when they are very cold-I need to make some up, throw them in the freezer overnight and try to light them with my Swediah Firesteel that I keep in my kit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 25 weeks ago

T-Mac,

Mhill was responding to my frustration about flint and steel as a back-up fire source. Mhill said the Vaseline soaked cotton balls work, but you have to be able to melt the Vaseline first ("the first thing that has to happen is the oily substance must melt, once melted it will ignite and burn slowly. To get it to melt, you must first have heat, to have heat, you must already have a flame.").

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Edwards wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

OK so all these things noted. I would personally recommend a pack mule to carry everything. U can pack a light generator on the mule also, who needs a fire bring a gas cooking stove with at least 3 burners on it and do not forget the butane bottle. This should all go on the mule.

Michael Edwards

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

I haven't had a problem lighting Vaseline treated cotton balls with a firesteel. Flint & steel is a totally different thing. The sparks from a firesteel are very hot and vaporize the Vaseline pretty quickly. I also carry some Tinder Quik, which isn't greasy and catches fire pretty quickly. My favorite tinder, though, is Birch bark.

Along with my knife, I carry a 6" sliding saw in my hunting pack. It doesn't weigh much or take up much space, but it works well for trimming branches and such.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from marycg wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

One thing I do not see on you check list is what you will use for hunting like you gun and ammo. I found a great place to get both http://firearmsforyou.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from magnacasa wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

With the Vaseline cotton balls, you should not soak the cotton. Dipping one side of the cotton ball into the Vaseline gives you a better chance, since the cotton by itself takes a spark easily. Once the cotton is burning (you may have to blow on it a bit, mostly it smolders), it acts as a wick to draw up the Vaseline. I always carry several in an Altoid Sours tin (the round ones with a better seal).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from First Aid Expert wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

My favorites -
outdoor gear: www.first-aid-product.com/disaster/Outdoor_Camping_Survival.htm
&
wilderness survival gear: www.first-aid-product.com/pgSurvival.htm

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jean Aquino wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

A block of magnesium. It will help start fires in the wettest conditions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sabreur wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Very beneficial article and comments, thanks to all.

Useful for fire starting is a small sheet of aluminum foil (easily packed & carried) that can be shaped to contain and direct the sparks for the tinder/fire starting material (cotton balls & petroleum jelly or other). It helps contain & direct sparks to intended area and can be useful in windy conditions or as a cover rain or other precipitation.

The foil can also be used as a reflective material for mirroring or signalling.

Should you carry enough you can use it for cooking or as a fire/flame shielding hand warmer & clothing heater/dryer. (Just vent it to let any moisture out if drying wet items.)

Can even be used as a 'fuse' or conductor/wire replacement for battery/steel wool fire starter, etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)