OK, I feel a novel comming on. Dang it Festus, you just keep me going in this section. I love the subject of survival.
The most important survival kit is....Your Brain. But Water, Food, Knives, Guns, Medical Supplies, Survival/ Camping Gear make it much much easier. When I was a teenager, I was hunting with my Dad, Grandfather and Great Grandfather at our camp in the Atchafalaya Swamps of South Louisiana. You could walk 50 yards away and get lost. The woods were thick, lots of water, reptiles and wildlife of all sorts, including some that were very unfriendly.
I got the brilliant idea of going squirrel hunting on my own after the morning duck hunt. Everyone was napping, so I was on my own. I wondered away and got lost. Stayed that way for almost 24 hours. I could hear them shoot every now and then and they could hear me, but the sound was confusing in the thick woods and off of the water, so I stayed put. After a night snuggling with a 20 ga. Double barrel under an insulated poncho I was found the next morning. I had a S&W 38 revolver, a survival kit on my belt, a canteen, and a good knife. I built a fire and found some comfortable branches and leaves to sit on. I had a Poncho with a warm liner, so I was comfortable enough. I had been taught to stay calm and when possible, stay put. I can't imagine being out there with nothing, because everything I had, made me more comfortable and also made me feel better because I knew I had it if I needed it. Being just a kid, at about 14, I would have been much more scared without a fire, without a firearm, without a flashlight, and without something to keep me warm and protected against the night air.
Personally, I believe survival is more mental then anything. It gets lonely very quickly. I watched a show the other night about this guy that was a movie and documentary maker, who went into the northern Canadian wilderness with the idea of staying for 3 months. I think it was called "Alone in the Wilderness". I think he lasted one and a half or two months, but couldn't take 3 months. He filmed himself throughout the whole time, and you could see him deteriorate mentally and physically over the weeks. Losing weight, no human contact, fear of the unknown, fear of the big critters with teeth and claws, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition made him call in for help to get the hell outta there. Survival is not fun, not glorious, not romantic, not brave. It's dirty, it hurts, it demoralizes and takes you down a notch. Your preparation and skill will get you through more than you know. But your gear will make you more comfortable.
One of the first things my Dad taught me about survival was that your mind will play tricks on you and your morale will go down hill. You have to find a focus. That focus should be getting out alive and foraging for food and water. Always keep a fire going for company and entertainment, and always stay warm. Hydrate your body and feed it as often as possible. When I was found by my Dad in those swamps, I had a squirrel cooking on a stick over a fire for breakfast. He laughed, but he also was proud that I was doing exactly what I was told.
It was policy, that anytime we left the camp, we had to have our survival kit or belt on. My belt consisted of a Military web belt, with a holster containing a S&W K-22 or K-38 6 inch barrel, a Marbles sheath knife, a Military canteen and cup in cover with water purification tabs, spare ammo in loops, or a pouch, a military OD poncho and snap in liner rolled up tightly and straped onto the belt on the back along with a pouch containing matches, a small mini-mag light and extras for woods survival. It seemed a burden sometimes to wear, but after that incident, I understood.
Nowadays, I keep the same gear, but being an older fart than I was back then, I'm tempted to have something to make coffee with in the morning and little Jack Daniels for the evening.:laugh:
Home made jerkies, cans of beans, cans of tomatoes (different cuts), water, cans of soups, in short grocery/pantry supplies that will last. I can put a miniature Costco or Sams down in my basement if my husband will let me....:sarcastic:-- ammo, guns, toilet paper, booze...there are so many things to list.:wacko:
In order of preference. My familiy's good health, my good health, a good cigar, some good vodka, a sane federal government that will make me feel like I am leaving something for my grandchildren. I know this forum is about CC etc but I'll put that subject under the category of good health.