You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Prepare for the worst

A small survival kit can make a difference in the wild

Dec. 22, 2008 - 07:19AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 22, 2008 - 07:19AM  |  
  • Filed Under

Most people don't head out on hunting, fishing or camping trips thinking something bad will happen at least, not to them. But Mother Nature is a tough taskmistress: quick to punish carelessness. Little things that are easily taken care of with a fully stocked medicine chest or a trip to the local physician can quickly become life-threatening when you're miles from help.

Creating your own personal survival kit makes sense and it doesn't even have to weigh 1 pound. Here are a few items recommended by a couple of survival pros at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Airmen 1st Class Christopher Ogilvie and Jason Penrod. They're "pack carriers" with the 22nd Training Squadron, part of the overall group that manages Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape programs for the Air Force.

"My little survival kit saved my life," Ogilvie said.

1. Razor blades come in handy for making small cuts.

2. Waterproof matches are perfect for those soggy, rainy, wet conditions.

3. A small ax, fixed-blade knife and 3-inch folded blade are the three most important cutting tools to keep on hand.

4. Small compass in case you get lost.

5. Keychain LED light for lighting dark paths or signaling.

6. Fishing lines and hooks for staying fed, if you're around water.

7. Plastic whistle to chase away bears or signal for help.

8. Duct tape can secure almost anything.

9. Small metal cup can be used to boil drinking water.

10. An Altoids can can be used like a mirror for signaling, and is a good size to hold fishing line and hooks.

11. Compressed fuel will start a campfire when kindling can't be found.

12. First-aid kit with bandages, medical tape and antibiotic cream.

13. Iodine tablets or a water purification kit. "Getting sick can really hinder your ability to survive," Ogilvie said.

14. Signaling device such as a "Firefly" strobe.

15. Cord is a key part of your kit and has tons of applications, from rigging a shelter to securing equipment.

Also carry:

Ziplock plastic bags for supplies or water.

A piece of cardboard, about 4 by 8 inches, repeatedly dipped in wax. "That handles my fire-starting needs. I can just shave off a small piece of cardboard. That cardboard will last me one week," Ogilvie said.

Rainproof poncho provides warmth or shelter for unexpected weather.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In OFFduty

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook