As for Hygiene products I keep them in a zip-lock back in my assault pack int he trunk of my truck. Never under estimate the psychological power of Hygiene. Think about how you feel exiting a shower after a long day of doing yard work after a long Saturday afternoon. You feel refreshed and clean. Well, the same concept applies after hiking several miles with a pack on your back, setting up camp, foraging for food, starting a fire, and settling into a makeshift chair or seat next to the fire. If you can clean yourself up a little, you can make yourself both physically and psychologically, and both are VERY important for your survival. Here is what I carry in travel versions:
- Antibacterial Purel
- Liquid or a bar will do
- Dish soap from the kitchen in a small plastic bottle
- Toothpaste and a Toothbrush
- Fingernail and Toenail clipers
- Hat (baseball cap and a winter hat)
- Small hand towel and a washcloth.
Many of the items included in the Hygiene portion of my kit serve more than one purpose. For instance, the Purel Antibacterial lotion is 60% isopropyl alcohol, and acts as a gel accelerator if you light it. It burns a hot blue flame and can help you start a fire if you need to, floss doubles as fishing line or to bind, the hand towel can be an improvised sling, etc…
Well, admittedly, navigation or orienteering is one of my weakest skills. However, I this is what I use, as well as continue to try and learn about orienteering techniques to help keep me from getting lost or that will help me to get to my destination eventually. Here is what I keep in my kit:
- Two compasses. Why do I keep two compasses in my kit. First, I have been lost in the woods before. That weird panicky feeling that comes over you when you are not in control of the situation causes you to question what you know. It has been proven that when people are lost and panicked they will question the validity of their compass. When they do, they are further lost. That said, I keep two because I can pull them both out simultaneously, and if they are both pointing north, then I am psychologically put at ease and feel better about my decision to go in a particular direction.
- Whistle. Something preferably without a ball. If you have something with a ball and the ball falls out of your whistle, it becomes worthless. You might as well throw it away.
- A non-breakable signal mirror.
- Aluminum foil – not only can you cook with it, but it is reflective…
I keep a bit of redundancy when I keep fire making equipment. I do this again for a couple of reasons. First, fire in the bush is your friend. Fire keeps you warm, cooks for you, keeps the wild animals away, and psychologically makes you feel more at home and comfortable. Here is what I keep in my kit:
- Home made waterproof strike anywhere matches
- Cotton balls/dryer lint
- Magnesium stick starter
- Fire Steel
- Magnifying Glass
I think redundancy when thinking about fire making. I want to be assured that if I need to stay warm and comfortable i can get a fire started…
Well, that’s all for now. Next post will be around comfort supplies.