Your Survival Kit and You

Too many people go out with the wrong mindset. It may seem like the right way to be thinking at the time and place, but it is completely wrong. There are a few things I mean by saying this. First, you think that if you have a survival kit, that is good enough. Yes, it is good that you have your survival kit, as opposed to not. However, even the most knowledgeable face the dilemma of not actually knowing what to do with the stuff they have in it.

Your Survival Kit and You

The idea of a survival kit is to help you survive. However, little can be done to help you survive if you don't actually know how to use the equipment you put in it. There are a few things that you need to do before just throwing together a kit and then heading away. The first of these things is to make sure that you know how to use it appropriately.

"But, other people say it works, why do I need to do it?" is a question asked frequently (At least from my perspective), Well, first the question this person just asked is answered within itself. Other people say it... right there, did you catch that? Other people are not you. (It is like saying Michael Jordan is so good, I can't wait until I am old enough and take his place) You are unique, in every way. This includes knowledge of how to build a fire. The knowledge of tying knots. The knowledge of snaring. The skill to catch fish. The weight you carry on you. Right on down to the type of knife you choose.

To solve the problem, do the tips I provide to be more prepared if something actually happens that you get stranded in the wilderness.

Fire is the most common thing that people cannot create even with the equipment.

- Get the materials that you have to start fire in your survival kit, and then try and start a fire. Prepare just as if you were in the wilderness, and try to get that fire going. For some of you, this is not as easy as you thought? Practice. For those of you who found it easy, good, but add in some wind and rain to the mix, numb your fingers, go for a day or 2 without food, then try it. Not so easy, is it? When you can successfully start a fire with the items in your kit, in bad weather, you are good on that aspect. If you can't get that Magnesium and flint to work for you, drop it out of the kit because you can't do it.

Shelter
-Many people simply go out, and expect there to be a shelter there if you need it. Well, it doesn't always happen like that. 7 out of 10 times, it won't happen like that. 2 out of 10 it isn't sufficient to last you, or it isn't waterproof enough. To fix this, get your shelter equipment, go outside, and see if you can build a suitable shelter. Add in some weather effect as well, to simulate survival. Once the shelter is built, try to sleep a day in it, and see if you can make it. If it is good enough, you have this aspect down pat. If not, try and try again, as you will NEED shelter no matter what.

Water
-Let's say you have been out for 3 days and you still have one bottle of fresh water and your filter. There is also a source of water right near you. I suggest you save that bottle of water and start filtering and drinking that water (If you know it works). Why? In case you get hurt and can't do as much, and if you do, you still have water to sip on while being injured.

Signaling
- The only thing you can really do to practice is use a signal mirror and see if someone can see it from a distance. If they can, good job. If not, practice makes (near) perfection.
-You may also blow a whistle to see if it can be heard from a distance. Have a friend help you with it.

Also, there are a few things you should try out before you put them in your kit, and they are:
-Sewing. If you have a sewing kit in your survival kit, and you can't sew, you are dead out of luck. So, practice sewing. I don't care if you think it is girlish. When you are in the woods and need stitched up, remember what you thought.

-Snaring. If you have good snaring items, and you know how to make a snare, you have what you need. Make sure you see if what you do, will actually catch an animal before you go out and set 10 only to find that they can't actually hold in the animal (Whilst practicing, try to make it so you can either release the animal, or it can get away. Unless you are trapping for them anyway, that is)

- Fishing survival style. Get out what you have in your kit, and then start fishing with it. If you can't catch anything, improve it to where you can catch stuff out of the fishing items you have. This may be your most valuable food source, so take your time with this one, make sure you can do it effectively.

-Using the many features of your multi-tool. It has many items on it, test out and see what each of them can do. When you see a can opener, think of the other things you can do with it, rather than the fact that it is a can opener.

Now, there are more that you should be familiar with, these are just a few that should be the most obvious and the most commonly messed up ones.

And, remember, the kit is only as good as you make it. With intent on this meaning even if your kit is the best money can buy, if you don't know what to do with the stuff, the kit isn't actually good. (To you, anyway)

-Dale Reynolds & Wesley Reynolds

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