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Coming To Terms

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posted on Aug, 8 2021 @ 09:56 PM
Lots of people start out on the wrong path because of mixed signals in terminology. So they end up with gear they don’t need on their list like an electric rice steamer (a bit in-joke there). So I figured I’d start a thread to get a bit of a glossary going. So in no real particular order...

    Survival. This is an all encompassing term in dealing with the unexpected. This is the skill sets and gear focusing on adapting to an often changing situation. An example is working in an office and a tornado hits. Your building is damaged and not you are unable to shelter in place. You may be limited to the gear in your pockets or what you can scavenge and gather quickly. Again generally limited to what will fit in your pocket.

    Prepping. This is a separate and different philosophy to just Survival. Planning occurs for varied situations some more realistic than others. Typically it is the stockpiling of items and gear. Hand tools, food, water, water purification, guns, ammo, toilet paper, bunkers, etc. the idea is to outlast the situation. Great for blizzards and hurricanes (unless you have to evacuate). Not so great for situations without warning.

    Bushcrafting. Deals with camping with minimal gear. The idea being able to make what you need from the environment. The ultimate Bushcrafter would be able to be dropped naked in the woods and either walk out right away or stay 30 days before walking out on a bet or whim. Although knowledge and experience would tell them not to do it.

    Camping. Several styles and gear lists for each. Are you car camping, glamping, minimalist, hiking to do day camping, day hiking with a chance of having to spend the night? Camping is fairly far from the others but there is always room for overlap.

    Those four styles and how you fit on where they overlap will impact your ideas of what gear belongs in the following bags.

    INCH bag. An “I’m Never Coming Home” bag is what can kill a Prepper. This is the gear you will have the rest of your life...or at least until you go through it to drop the weight. You might see an old brace and set of auger bits in one. But almost guarantee you find a tool roll. Bet heavy on a screwdriver being in there too. Guns without ammo, and ammo without guns. Hopefully they know enough Bushcrafting to make a travois. This will most likely be an external frame bag.

    BOB bag. A Bug Out Bag is similar but different from an INCH bag in that it is meant as a 72+ hour bag to get you from one waypoint to another. Work to home or home to bunker. Contents will be similar to a long (week or so) hiking/camping. Expect to find ammo, cookware, a stove of some sort, axe/saw/hatchet/large fixed blade knife (or any combination), tent, sleeping bag, etc. You may see rope. This will probably be an internal frame bag but might be a military looking bag in the $30-$75 range.

    EDC. Every Day Carry. This can vary on the person and where you find it. This can be the Altoids Survival Tin you see in YouTube videos. (Note: I have only seen one that was functional for survival and it had a rolled up backsaw blade in there). It could be a haversack and a Hudson Pack or it could be a knapsack sized backpack. Lately sling packs have made a foray into this category. After a long search I found one at a good size and quality for the price of $20. Even has Molle straps on the front face and sides which was the extra arm twisting needed. Larger bags will be placed in an accessible location (car). These are the things you feel that you should always have on you.

    Rules of Three. One of the many rules of thumb that help you prioritize. Three minutes without air. Three hours without shelter. Three days without water. Three weeks without food. Three months without companionship. The idea being is take care of the immediate danger, exposure is the enemy, water is a priority, food is not as much as you can work past mild hunger, it is better to divide the load than to go it alone if for no other reason than the inevitable injure or illness.

    Gear. These are the items that are more convenient to carry than fabricate in the wild. These are Dave Canterbury’s 5 C’s and 10 C’s mnemonic. But basically a knife, cordage, means of having clean water, appropriate clothing (which is shelter) something to carry your gear in. This is where the debates begin on specifics and how minimal is minimalist. Kephart discusses layers. To that end he stresses pocket carry, haversack/hobo bindle (which is EDC items/overnight camping after a day hike), knapsack/Hudson Pack which is minimalist gear (week long camping or BOB), layer 4 basically pack mule/wagon/car etc.

    Hudson Pack. Very minimalist. This is basically a bedroll with extra clothing/sweater. It can be a wool blanket or tarp and blanket. A rope is doubled over and rolled into the pack. The pack is tied with cordage or strapped closed. Tie the ends of the rope together to form a shoulder sling or separate as “straps” for a backpack. A folding saw or hatchet can be slid into the roll fairly securely.

    Haversack You may hear it referred to as a Possibles Bag. In my opinion a possibles bag would be more of a large belt pouch that may hold the same or slightly more than a modern fanny pack. Fire kit, kleen canteen style water bottle, snacks, small tools like first aid kit or repair kit (canvas needles, waxed thread, duct tape), water filter/purification tablets, sharpening stone, cordage, possible to find in here (hence some call it a possibles bag). I generally keep a silnylon tarp and extra bandanas.

edit on 8-8-2021 by Ahabstar because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2021 @ 11:20 PM
I think you missed one very important one...'The Rule of Two!

"Two is one, and one is none"

In order of precedence, you have (4) rules...

1. PMA

2. Shelter

3. Water, and

4. Two is one.

You can survive a long time without food, but you won't survive more than about 72 hours without those (4) things, especially #1.

posted on Aug, 8 2021 @ 11:31 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

PMA ... PMA? Let's see ...

Programa Mundial de Alimentos ... I don't think that's it.

Psoas Muscle Area ... Nope.

Progressive Muscular Atrophy? Not that, either.

Phorbol ester phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate ... Can't see what use that'd be in a survival situation.


posted on Aug, 8 2021 @ 11:35 PM
a reply to: Ahabstar

Good info. This is the kind of post that deserves some attention but won't garner much discussion because the OP pretty much covers the topic and there isn't much left to say.

Except what the hell is PMA?

posted on Aug, 8 2021 @ 11:39 PM
a reply to: incoserv

PMA - Positive Mental Attitude.

ETA - It is the very foundation of any survival situation.

Go through any serious survival school (not Outward Bound) like NOLS (of which I am a grad), or SERE (military), and they will pound PMA into your skull with a ball peen hammer! You will NOT survive without PMA! It is Rule #1. Never forget it!!!

Even if you can only drag your broken body 3 feet in a day, you NEVER give up! You just keep pushing. You NEVER say you've been beaten or you're finished. You WILL survive, but only if you believe you will. The minute you stop believing you will survive is the same minute you will perish.

You just NEVER give up, no matter what!!!
edit on 8/8/2021 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 12:21 AM
For me, realizing that I am in a survival situation is the first step. You can wander quite a bit off course drifting with the terrain before you notice that you don’t have a compass and that you might be lost. Maybe you sat it down beside you, then walked away. Maybe you didn’t pack it in the first place.

From there I start doing an inventory. This accomplishes two things. It assures me of what I do have (and what I am lacking). Two, it is just enough of a methodical action to calm down and think clearly. If it is sunny enough I can do sticks and shadows to determine an east-west line. I can double check that by making a crude sundial on what it tells me north is and compare the time to my watch.

From there pick landmarks to navigate towards in the direction you need to go.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 12:29 AM
We had winter survival training up there at the base in Spokane. I've seen officers crack in the survival "mental " part of our training.
USAF Winter survival training. I also did the jungle survival training in the Philippines , USAF. I was also involved with the water survival training at Turkey Point at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.

The post is really good. Yes, one needs to keep their cool first of all, the other's are most important, but if one panics , ones survival and energy may not last very long.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 12:44 AM
a reply to: incoserv

I thought about Rule of Two because I have stated here and there over the years...but I wanted to leave some things open. Kinda like I mentioned the 5 and 10 C’s but did not specifically list them out.

One of the big things for me, when it comes to the Youtube Survival Videos is batoning with your knife. Huge pet peeve of mine because in a long term situation your knife is your best friend. You don’t want to do anything to hurt your best friend. Take the time to carve some wedges. You had to use a saw to get a flat top of the log, saw a quick shallow line to start your wedge. Point is that if you used your knife as a hatchet, it will have that tapered point like an axe or hatchet cut the log. Seeing that flat sawn edge and using a knife to baton “because that is what you have” or “because you can” is poor instruction. And a little dishonest in the process.

It is like the statement every multi tool is a hammer if you use it to bang on things.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 04:01 AM
I figured PMA comes with the practice of the skill sets described, but very true about having a survival attitude. You aren't going to live if you give up and die, pretty straight forward logic.

I've been a survival oriented prepper for many years and have have come to the conclusion that knowledge is key. You must be resourceful, be aware of your surroundings and have practical knowledge in a number of areas, esp. medical aid and personal safety. A jack of all trades and master of one, survival.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 08:52 AM
Let’s look at one of the fads that I consider dubious at best:

The Altiods Survival Kit

Field and Stream has a nice article. First thing to notice is the byline is “Online Editors” and not a longtime writer like David Petzal. Notice also how quickly “mission creep” comes into play as we start getting into level 2 gear. Level 1 is in your pocket. Level 2 is a small external like a belt pouch or haversack of EDC gear...which what this article really covers.

So we have means of making fire, fishing gear, water purification tabs, an oven bag to collect water, a tiny cut down candle (1 hour of burn time maybe 2). Squeeze light (maybe an hour or two of battery life), button compass, homemade signal mirror, snare wire, wire saw. First aid is two butterfly stitches and ointment. Half a glue stick, magnetized needles, some nylon thread, 2 feet of aluminum foil, exacto knife blade and some other waste of space items like a knot tying guide and water tablet instructions (1 tablet for 32 oz for 30 minutes or 1 hour depending on brand- can be written on the inside of lid with a paint marker).

This is what irks me (along with being a fad, because they are not as prevalent of a topic today). Altiods Tins are great for storing gear. Make a little First Aid Kit, Sewing and repair kit, fishing kit, fire making kit, flash card reference library, etc...I’ll praise you for that. That is sorting and stowing your gear responsibly.

So let’s look at what is missing. A quality knife. Shelter with a Mylar blanket or two (give me a minute), sufficient amount of cordage. What isn’t needed, fishing kit, snares, that aluminum foil, the matches, the knot guide, squeeze light, wire saw, glue stick, the extra fire starters (two are plenty)

The Altoids Tin Kit is meant for an overnight kit. Not a long term solution. All fire should be downed dry dead wood. Stuff you can break easily (use the fork of a tree for thicker pieces). Dental Floss is about 55 yards (50m) for $1 and comes on a spool the size of a bobbin. If you go through 155 feet of cordage in one night (or even a week) there is something wrong. Mylar blankets, I hate them and useless long term. However you can fly one as a tarp using small rocks as tie offs, while wrapping in the other one. They can be cut into strips and tied to branches as a moving, shiny signal marker for rescuers to see.

So to review: my tins are for specific kits. If I did one: knife (already have one in pocket this is a second), shelter, water, fire, cordage, bandana(s), if you need a cup because that bag is intimidating to drink from then this super expensive Silicone cup from Walmart will do. No it won’t fit in the tin but will slide in a shirt pocket. And really you should have a world bottle anyway. But for fun fold yourself a paper cup. It will fit the tin or use a small ziploc baggie.

I know these goofy plastic box kits are the latest fad. It is a bigger kit and almost reaches the functionality of SOL’s plastic box kit. You will pay for better gear. Stealth Angel made a whole company based on that box that now sells overpriced items from China. So does Amazon compared to Wish, but you have speed and protections with Amazon that is worth the bump in price. Stealth Angel is a speciality boutique (more overhead, less sales) compared to Amazon so you will pay more. Just the way it is.

So how do you get that level 1 kit? Make it yourself out gear you have that you think you would need both during a day of hiking and an unexpected spending the night. Then go out and try it out. You can try it out in the backyard. Then evaluate what was needed that you didn’t have and what you had but didn’t need. Make adjustments. Try again. You will quickly find that except under ideal conditions you will need more that than level 1 gear. You can make a lean to. But it doesn’t take long to admit that a tarp is a quick shelter...even if it is a Mylar blanket which is roughly 4’ x 7’ (and at $1 each when you buy 10 or more) it is better/quicker than nothing.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 11:01 PM

I mention them a lot. Because they truly are handier than a shirt pocket. You can find polyester, don’t buy those. You want 100% cotton. If $1-$2 each is “too much” buy muslin at the fabric store for roughly $5-$6 per yard or a whole 10 yard bolt for $50-$60. They should have plenty. Don’t like the color, by any dye you want as they are easily dyed. Now you can make any size bandana you want. Just allow for the hem in your sizing.

One of many lists of uses And I have even done a wrap and tie to make field expedient socks. But for me this is a valuable picture. The two key ones being the single wine bottle wrap which can be done to a water bottle and use a carabiner to clip to your belt loop. And the watermelon carry, after passing the second knot through the first pull the second through again and it locks into a secure pouch again a carabiner to either a rope or other cordage as a crossbody strap. A series of looped knots makes for a bandolier of pouches all without a single stitch and can be undone. Pro tip: always use square knots also known as reef knots to easily undo them. The other styles are useful for organizing small gear securely in your bag

But honestly carabiners, cordage and bandanas will cover more uses than I care to type out.

posted on Aug, 9 2021 @ 11:42 PM
Ranger Taco

This is essentially a three season mobile shelter solution. Having a closed cell foam pad or inflatable sleeping pad helps insulate you from the ground but is not part of the original. The Ranger Taco is a poncho, thermal space blanket (not the Mylar blanket this a thicker tarp with the Mylar on one side an heavy duty) and a poncho liner. Spread out and assemble in that order. Lay down and fold over you because you are the meat in the taco. All of these items are approximately 5’ x 7’ and go together easily. Total weight is about 3.5 - 4 lbs.

This is the type of space blanket I’m talking about

Water Very essential and a little mnemonic: A pint is a pound the world round. Which isn’t true. One pint of water is actually 16.04 ounces. So a quart is 2 lbs (32.08 oz). A liter is a kilogram at 4 C. So you can carry water, but not a lot of water. Eight 8 oz glasses of water will be two quarts (64 oz) which is four pounds. Not bad, but you will use closer to a gallon a day with cooking and cleaning.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 12:04 AM
a reply to: Ahabstar

Well, that is, IF you have a hatchet. Batoning has a place, but it depends on what you have. In the absence of a hatchet batoning is a safety trade off. Carving firewood in a high stress situation can be dangerous. Batoning on the other hand is pretty fast way to make small kindling without much effort and pretty low risk. Stab yourself in the leg in a survival situation and your exit just became harder.

The other thing to know is carving wood will dull a knife faster than batoning wood. Yes, there is a risk of breaking a knife if it's not a full tang knife, but again it's a balance.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 12:09 AM
You should always go into a survival situation knowing water is the most difficult thing you will deal with. Resource management in a survival situation is critical. Devote your initial energies to secure water, and plenty of it. Never wait to get water, it should be your number one pursuit after shelter. I actually think water is more important than shelter when it comes to resource management.

Water is the heaviest thing you will carry.

Water is the most difficult thing to keep clean, or keep from spilling/leaking.

Water is the most likely thing which will compromise you somehow (i.e. getting wet, then cold or make you sick, etc.)

Never underestimate the difficulty of water.

A golden rule is...water always wins. Always.
edit on 8/10/2021 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 12:23 AM
Most important tool you can have?

A knife. Period.

Folding knives are convenient, but I never go anywhere without a fixed blade knife.

Leatherman do it all tools are fun, and they're handy on a jobsite, but they're not made for survival. Fastest way to injure yourself with a knife is by having the wrong knife.

Side note - Camouflaged knives look cool, but leave them at home. If your knife is camo, spray paint it bright orange or green. Spending an hour looking around for your camo knife in the dark, when you're cold and wet, wastes time an energy. You want something you can see, regardless what your buddies say.

Also, never stab your knife into a stump or wood. Yeah, it looks all cool like Rambo, but you're risking the tip and you will absolutely take some of the edge off near the tip.

Cool doesn't matter in a survival situation. Only your life does.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 12:36 AM
FAK's...I could write an entire book on FAK's. I will spare you.

Bottom line is need to be able to do three things:

1. Stop the blood
2. Secure the injury (i.e. splint, etc)
3. Cover the wound and/or secure a dressing (w/ pressure)

That's it! Cover those three bases and you're good. Doesn't have to be pretty, duct tape is just fine.

I hesitate to say this next part, but don't get too crazy worrying about infection. If you're in a survival situation long enough for infection to become an issue then you've got bigger problems than the infection. This is not to say you shouldn't try to debride the wound and clean the area as much as possible and hit it with some antiseptic (if you have some), but don't worry too much about trying to do a surgically clean dressing in the field. Do the best you can, and keep moving.

Never give up...PMA!

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 12:54 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

99.99999% of all survival guys will say “Carry a FAK” and “Take classes with your local Red Cross”

It seems I had to do my recertifications for first aid and CPR every 18 months, 12 months for state criminal background checks and two years for federal. I drove school children and MR/DD and they always seemed to have different timelines between the two. Suffice it to say, your children were probably certified safer with me than their teachers.

But good field expedient clotting agents are cigarette ash, cool white ash from a fire and paprika. While they seem “dirty” all three are clean. Real honey (not the corn syrup crap) is a good emergency salve. So is pine sap resin. Both are naturally antibacterial.

We can spend days on medicinal herbs.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 07:12 AM
a reply to: Ahabstar

Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting even for a moment that people shouldn't carry a FAK. All I'm saying is people don't need to carry a trauma bag for a FAK, and some go completely crazy on FAK's. As for certifications, yeah, I did that for many years also. I don't do it now, but at one point I had to get my EMT 1 and wow, you want to talk about recurrent training to keep that puppy valid, oh man!

I was talking with this guy one time and he was all into the EDC thing. The subject of FAK's came up and this guy wanted to show me his FAK. Holy cow, this guy was set up like a level 2 trauma center! Asked him how he was going to 'carry' all that stuff, and he whips out a whole pack just crammed to the brim with a duplicate copy of the same stuff. Asked him how he was going to carry all his other stuff, and he pulls out another pack, this one a chest pack. Then he had a bag which clipped between the two on each side for other gear. Must've had 50 lbs of gear. Don't know how far anyone would be able to lug all that stuff, but to each their own.

So, I guess my point here is there's a balance. On the one end of the spectrum you've got the Altoids tin approach, and at the other end of the spectrum you have the guy I noted above. I think somewhere in between the two is more reasonable.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 08:08 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Dad had a giant Zebco tackle box in the trunk of the car. Now in his defense he was a founding member of the life squad in town and was the President of the Little League and Pee-Wee Football. And God knows I used it on myself and others quite a bit. Pretty awesome to care of a friend that planted his elbow in my windshield while skateboarding. Not so awesome his putting the elbow through my windshield.

But what I was getting at is no one ever talks first aid. Back in the radio days, we actually did a show on first aid. What we didn’t discuss ahead of time was everyone’s level of knowledge and experience. One went in specifically to do pararescue. Another was a Ranger with medic training but his MOS was radio operator, an EMT, a guy studying for his RN, a State Police Officer married to a nurse and me who had studied the manuals and sat through the training classes as a kid and also working as security in a hospital as an adult, yearly Red Cross Certs and even a HazMat First Responder Cert...I was the low man on the totem pole on that show.

Many things can be handled with duct tape. Special flex material knuckle bandages with Spongebob are too specific and costly for covering immediate needs in the field. If you have gauze and a Coban, great. But a little strip of t shirt or bandana duct taped does wonders too. Cut your own butterfly stitches if a deep wound and you stopped the bleeding. Bandage as needed from there.

Duct tape also is a good fire starter.

posted on Aug, 10 2021 @ 08:50 AM
a reply to: Ahabstar

Good elbow injury has got to be one of the most painful injuries you can ever get. I don't believe you can even think without moving your elbow, and I know you can't breathe without moving it. I was in a bad truck accident back in about '87 (serval broken ribs, broken leg, scalp lacerated to the bone and over 400 stitches, massive blood loss, shattered left hand with open fractures, broken collarbone, multiple internal injuries), I was a mess. Got airlifted. ER doc asked me what hurt, all I could say was my elbow. I'd hyper-extended my right elbow as in like bent it backwards, nothing broken or torn, just hyper-extended. My Gawd did that hurt! He asked me if I was serious. About 4 surgeries later I was stable enough to go to the ICU. To this day my only pain memory of that incident was my elbow. Even thinking about an elbow going through a car windshield sends chills down my spine!

Speaking of FAK's, I still have my original trauma bag from my EMT days. I don't carry it with me in the truck anymore, but rather keep it at the house. I keep it stocked and current, which is a lot easier now with the internet. Medical grade supplies like that are not something you're going to pick up at Walmart or a drug store. If you ever need some sources just let me know.

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