Survival Kit for Dummies
A survival kit made simple.
I saw a guy walking out of REI the other day with one of those “for Dummies” books and he seemed obviously excited about his new purchase. I’ve never read one of these “for Dummies” book (however I’m pretty sure my wife thinks I should read plenty of them!). A survival kit is such a simple thing I would assume anyone should be able to understand the value and want to invest in one. However, the most common misconception surrounding outdoor survival is that people simply will not admit it might happen to them. Everyone thinks they will be Rambo if they are faced with a life-threatening incident. Is a Rambo scenario really practical though? Most likely not.
Should you believe what you see on TV?
Survival in mainstream media is portrayed as either a military or primitive pursuits. Tactical and bushcraft survival is cool because it is exciting, it is dramatic and the reason it is so popular is that it sells! Yet, primitive and tactical survival holds very little practical application for everyday hikers, campers, and backcountry enthusiasts like you and me. Additionally, it is amazing how much misinformation is out there.
The web and outdoor literature is filled with "survival" tips, instructions and gear that simply does not work and is not worth the few dollars you pay for these items. Survival is not about gimmicks it is about keeping yourself alive. Survival is not about how cool a knife bigger than your head is, nor is it about these crazy scenarios we see on TV starting fires by rubbing sticks together and being naked in the woods. What!?
What exactly is "survival"?
Survival should be simple. Who has time to set up an elaborate survival shelter? Most survival incidents happen last minute. It is late, you realized you are lost. Do you think you will have adequate time to build a survival shelter? Most likely not. You will want to shelter yourself immediately. You will want to build a fire that puts off plenty of heat immediately.
Survival is the will and desire to stay alive in unforeseen circumstances. It is important to understand the threats posed in the outdoors. The weather can overwhelm you. It is a lot easier to get lost than one may think. When this happens will you have the gear to ENDURE the emergency?
If there were a "Survival for Dummies" book it would more likely be titled, "Don't be a Dummy" and venture into the backcountry without the gear and confidence needed to ENDURE a wilderness emergency.
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