posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:23 PM
If I may add to your rant...
What bugs me in this forum and others like it is that people spend too much time fantasizing about their kit, and coming up with all sorts of
ridiculous items that they just can't live without.
Example: The discussion is about firearms for survival, and inevitably someone starts talking about the .50 BMG, or the M-16, neither one of which is
a survival firearm in all likelyhood. In my opinion, those two items are more of a hindrance than a help, and god help you if you took someone's
advice and decided to go into the wilderness with an M-16 as your only form of self-defense and game getting. God help you..because nobody else
Then there are the discussions about which jacket is better, the 300 dollar one from this outfitter, or the 375 dollar one from that outfitter. Let's
be clear, clothing and accessories made for recreation are NOT survival gear, and the dollar amount paid for gear is not indicative of its performance
level in a survival situation.
Then there are the people who have never been out in the pines, talking about their awesome kit that weighs about 200 pounds all together. It drives
me nuts. Every piece of gear needs to weigh as little as possible, and there are a ton of things that would be nice to have in a couple of
situations, but simply cannot be included because of the weight/utility ratio - but that doesn't stop the fantasy...
The most trusted and respected authorities on hiking, backpacking, and long-distance walking are all in agreement - weight matters. The less you
carry, the faster you move, and the less energy you burn per mile, and per hour. This is absolutely critical. If you carry too much, you will drain
your batteries, and that Santa Sack full of high-end gear you're carrying will do you no good - it's just going to go to the guy who finds your
I think there are a lot of well-meaning people, who have a real interest in preparing for the unexpected, to give themselves and their families a
measure of insulation against all the things that could go horribly wrong, and those people deserve accurate, helpful information, not a bunch of crap
that could end up costing them dearly.
I feel really sorry for all the people who will inevitably be hamstringed by all the bad info floating around. When they get out there, and realize
that they never thought to bring snare wire, or worse, they lugged it out there and don't know how to use it, that sucks! I can't count how many
people pack fishing tackle, but don't understand the fundamentals of finding and catching fish. Why bother?
There are people who carry three knives and don't know how to properly use any of them; how to avoid injury and get things done efficiently. There
are folks who carry a blast match, a pack of lighters, a box of matches, and a flint/steel, but never bothered to learn how to construct a fire that
will light and stay lit. Firecraft is taken for granted by a LOT of folks.
Kit has much, much less to do with your chances of survival than knowledge, preparation, practice, and the ability to improvise. Example: If you
don't have a solid understanding of animal behavior, you can bring a howitzer into the woods and still go hungry - it's so important to make the
distinction between theory and practice, and I feel like it's not being done in a lot of these discussions.
Tons of people pack the gear they need (and a lot they don't), but they often don't seem to know how to apply it. What's the use of lugging fifty
pounds of traps if you don't even know what a game trail looks like?
Then, on the other extreme, are the folks who fancy themselves true-grit, monkey-man woodsmen, who know in their heart of hearts that they can survive
with nothing but their trusty knife, a loin cloth, and some paracord. I'm not saying it can't be done, but some carefully selected equipment
increases your odds of survival - there's no argument, it's fact. Why make a bad situation worse by trying to go all Grizzly Adams during
It's not a game. It's serious. People who don't take it seriously probably shouldn't be engaged in the discussion at all, because they're not
learning much, and they could actually be hindering someone else's chances of getting the necessary information.