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Thread: Survival Equipment

  1. #1
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    Default Survival Equipment

    I am new to Alaska. In the spring I will be bringing my airplane up (Stinson 108). I know I need to keep survival equipment on board. I've looked online and there are a number of places that sell a "complete" survival package. Are any of these any good or would I be better off putting things together myself?

    Also, what about a firearm? I'm thinking a 12 gauge pump shotgun might be the most logical choice.

    Russ N6063M

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    Hey Russ, I dont think you can go wrong with a 12 gauge pump. Mine has a side saddle with slugs and the sling is loaded with bird rounds. As far as survival Equipment, I made my own after looking at a BUNCH of online forums and seeing what was ready made. I spend less money on my own and I have everything I want plus some extra. Itís all dependent on your mission. My kit may not be the same as someone who flyís a different plane in a different area doing different things.

    This is what has worked well for me, in my plane, doing what I do.
    I have gone out to a remote site and played like I had a forced landing, set up and spent the night with just what I was carrying on my vest and pack. It made a difference in how and what I pack in my survival pack.

    4JB...

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    Go over to supercub.org and search, they have covered this extensively. You don't really say how woods wise you are, but asking a question like this is implies you don't spend much time in the woods. All you need is camping gear, a good stove that burns the same fuel in your wings, a fold up saw/small axe. Sleeping bag /pad. A tent that gets you out of the bugs in the summer. Food is a personal preference, but it is hard to beat freeze dried for survival food. The gun thing in Canada is a problem. In Alaska a good pistol, hunting rifle or shotgun. Depends on where you are at and where you are going. First aid, some way to communicate, 406 ELT, radio or satellite phone. A couple of gas cans and fire starter. You have to be able to get it out of the plane in a hurry. A backpack or duffle to grab as you are going out the door. Good luck

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    Listen to Piper...he's right.

    My thoughts are there is camping gear for comfort and survival gear to make sure you can live thru the ordeal. I suggest you have your survival gear necessary to stay alive on your person in a vest, coat and pants or flight suit so it will exit the plane with you in case you go down in the water and you loose the plane's supplies. An inflatable vest is a good thing too. Same logic goes for snowgos, 4 wheelers or whatever you're travel mode might be.

    There is lots of good info on the web...try to figure out how your worst case could happen and prepare for it before it happens...practice helps too.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    AOPA web site has a lot of good information on flying up here and what is REQUIRED...then add what you NEED and you will be set...

    here is a quick outline of the minimum of what's required by state statute...but in no way limits me to what I carry...

    AS 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment.

    (a) An airman may not make a flight inside the state with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:(1) the following minimum equipment must be carried during the summer months:(A) rations for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for one week;(B) one axe or hatchet;(C) one first aid kit;(D) an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers;(E) one knife;(F) fire starter;(G) one mosquito headnet for each occupant;(H) two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses, or Very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers;(2) in addition to the equipment required under (1) of this subsection, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:(A) one pair of snowshoes;(B) one sleeping bag;(C) one wool blanket or equivalent for each occupant over four.(b) However, operators of multi-engine aircraft licensed to carry more than 15 passengers need carry only the food, mosquito nets, and signalling equipment at all times other than the period from October 15 to April 1 of each year, when two sleeping bags, and one blanket for every two passengers shall also be carried. All of the above requirements as to emergency rations and equipment are considered to be minimum requirements which are to remain in full force and effect, except as further safety measures may be from time to time imposed by the department.


    I include a in a survival vest a firearm, sat phone, spot, and hand held GPS...In a small rafting dry bag in the back I include the required items in addition to a multi fuel stove, (runs on avgas) signal mirror, small 2 man tent and water purifying device, along with bug spray!!!...total weight less than 35 lbs...hope I never have to use any of it

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    The alaska statute stuff is a bit dated. When they dropped the gun req a while back for what reason? Lawyers?

    Go out and spend a week in the woods with your stuff. Now do it in the winter. Your brain is the best survival tool you have, use it to figure out what works and why. When you are comfortable by yourself in the woods, (takes a while).... Able to stay out of the food chain...you'll have it made....

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    Survival? A 406 ELT, a sat phone, and a way to stay healthy and warm for a day or two. Statistically that's all you'll need after a survivable accident since rescue ops will be in play. Chances are much better that you'll find yourself sitting out bad weather for a few days. No emergency so no rescue required. Dry and warm are key. Stay hydrated. I keep granola bars and Spam in my pack. Guns have never been important in my experiences. I carry one but I've never needed it. I wouldn't use a packaged survival kit. I can do far better making my own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Survival? A 406 ELT, a sat phone, and a way to stay healthy and warm for a day or two. Statistically that's all you'll need after a survivable accident since rescue ops will be in play. Chances are much better that you'll find yourself sitting out bad weather for a few days. No emergency so no rescue required. Dry and warm are key. Stay hydrated.
    That about sums it up. Put together your own kit with this in mind. KISS. Keep it simple.

  9. #9
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    Since you would have to fly through Canada on the way here, possession of a firearm could get you in trouble. Although the fine folks of western Canada are VERY MUCH different than the eastern socialist who make up their bizarre laws. So sometimes they do not look very hard...

    I wear a nomex float-vest that carries enough stuff to keep me alive for few days of surviving. In the plane I carry one or two boxes of gear that can make a bad landing into a pleasant camping trip.

    As Mr Pid said.... A 406 elt or a 406 personal locator beacon on your vest, plus a way to stay warm and dry while waiting, are about all you need.

    One of these photos shows the orange plastic water-tight box that I have loaded up with gear. This is an older photo and I have now replaced the MREs with Mountain House freeze dried food. The camp stove works on AV-GAS. I also have a Gerber folding saw in there these days since it is a LOT more handy than a hatchet.
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    Let me start by saying I'm not a pilot, I am (or was) an A&P. I once worked a temp contract with the Department of the Interior up here. One thing I noticed is that their survival gear was always so well stored, they would never be able to get to it unless they had a soft landing on flat ground with no fire. Whatever you pack, like a couple folks said, make it accessible. That is hard to do. Hard to pack cargo AND survival gear and have it all convenient.

    I second the 406 ELT. I don't think anyone eve listens for the radio beacons anymore. Have one permanently installed in your plane and one on your person. If your plane sinks, you have another. The Arctex units for your plane are really good.

    If you want to buy a kit pre made, go to Eagle Safety on Old Seward just north of Dowling next to Alaska Industrial Hardware. They pack all the kits for the DOI planes as well as the escape slides for the passenger planes. They know their stuff.

    My last suggestion to you is, if your not back country savvy, start learning and building your skill set. Start learning scout craft (some folks call it bushcraft) wilderness skills. (Lots of stuff on the web.) You might also consider checking out a place called Learn To Return on.....C Street (someone correct me if I'm wrong) south of International Airport Rd. They offer some quality training courses, and I believe (again, someone correct me if I'm wrong) that almost all of their staff are former Air Force SERE instructors. My girlfriend's dad went through their waterborne landing dunk tank course and found it to be really well done.

    You're in a good position having your own plane in Alaska. Wish I could fly and wish I had one.

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    Everyone has some good advice. I don't agree with Mr Pid on the gun part though. I've had to use my gun numerous times. I hang out in some pretty wild places. Brooks Range grizzly and Interior moose don't really have much respect for you. I would certainly not only carry a gun but be darn good at hitting something with it. The WX can go bad for long spells, you might want to kill something and eat it. A friend of mine had a nice survival bag in his cub. He was cruising along under a low ceiling on the North side of the Brooks when the engine quit. No place to land except some pretty big rocks, split the belly fuel tank and flipped her over. He crawled out with what he was wearing. The plane burned completely. Weather got worse like it does up there. Fogged in for three days. He was able to get some wire off the plane and snare parka squirrels. Froze his ***** off, No ELT, burned up, was a 121.5 model (this was mid 90's)....moral to the story....you might want to be wearing something useful, if....it's all you get out of the plane with...

  12. #12

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    Just build your own. You will have to adjust it to time of year. Winter means a lot more gear!! I carry a .44 but if I was to start over I would go with a .45 auto. good advice from everyone so far. I had a vest with a lot of small stuff in it including sat phone but it was getting in my way so have gone to quick pull bag in map compartment. Big stuff in in belly pod or upper baggage.
    DENNY

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    I like all of these responses as well. Has any one ever decided to make any of these items themselves ie. the vest, cooking some of the food they take or shaving down the handle on a specific tool?
    Life is to short, live life to the fullest

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    Quote Originally Posted by cressaar View Post
    I like all of these responses as well. Has any one ever decided to make any of these items themselves ie. the vest, cooking some of the food they take or shaving down the handle on a specific tool?
    Start reading in some of the ultra light backpacking forums, etc. I used to do long distance backpacking (Appalachian Trail) and that group is good at paring things down to a minimum. Also, check out I think it's called family preparedness, it's an LDS prepper website, but I think they talk about prepping emergency food instead of buying it. At this point, you're moving into an area where aviation (survival after a crash) has a lot of overlap with general outdoor survival/bushcraft skills, and you'll likely find more info in those arenas than in an aviation forum. Just goes to show that Alaska requires all her people to be well rounded individuals.

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    What you need to do with your list is start with NOTHING and say to yourself,,,
    " Ok if I had nothing else at all , what one thing would keep me alive until tomorrow ? "
    FIRE.

    "Ok now if I had fire and only one other thing, what would that be to keep me alive for another day?"

    Then you build your list from there.

    My basic survival box contains:

    This kit contains the following items:
    1 Flare pistol and flares,
    3-ea red smoke and red flare hand-held signal devices,
    1 multi tool
    1 wire saw,
    1 camp hatchet,
    1 folding wood and bone saw with two blades
    Several boxes of waterproof matches,
    1 single burner av-gas burning cook stove,
    1 cooking pot with lid, several spoons, (Stove is stored inside)
    6 Freeze dried meals,
    mosquito head net,
    1 net type hammock that doubles as a fish net,
    2 orange ponchos,
    2 silver space blankets,
    1 fist-aid kit,
    1 signal mirror,
    1 camp candle,
    2 fire sticks
    1 compass
    1 whistle
    Fishing kit
    Insect repellant
    Snare wire kit
    Extra band-aids,
    toilet paper

    I rotate the freeze dried meal and things like matches... I eat the old meals for lunch or dinner when my wife has to make an out-of-town trip so it is just the hounds and I...
    Chili-Mac will give a German Shepherd and a Rhodesian Ridgeback gas like you would not believe
    . During moose season I often end up cooking a couple survival ration meals just before we fly home.

    Plus I have had to use this gear on several occasions when we had to camp out while waiting for the weather to improve. The trick is not to get carried away and eat up everything during the first night....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    I'll be wearing season appropriate clothes and will have a knife and flashlight on me. Add to that.... A blast match. Some wet fire cubes. A titanium cup for water. A sil tarp. I'll survive with that. The pack has some comfort items added for the wait-it-out events. Candy. Sleeping bag. Tent. Hatchet.

  17. #17
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Herr Pid,

    What is a sil tarp...???

    I have a orange tube tent it the rear lumbar area of my float-vest. Is it something like that ?
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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    Here's one. http://www.integraldesigns.com/produ...ail.cfm?id=726 There are several brands and sizes. Waterproof, windproof, lightweight, and they fold up very small. A vacuum packer will help with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    What you need to do with your list is start with NOTHING and say to yourself,,,
    " Ok if I had nothing else at all , what one thing would keep me alive until tomorrow ? "
    FIRE.

    "Ok now if I had fire and only one other thing, what would that be to keep me alive for another day?"

    Then you build your list from there.
    I like that. Hope you don't mind, but, if I ever teach Wilderness Survival Merit Badge again (which is HIGHLY unlikely) I'm going to plagiarize your entire comment as the intro to my next class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Chili-Mac will give a German Shepherd and a Rhodesian Ridgeback gas like you would not believe.
    our new neighbors have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I had never heard of them until they moved in. What a great looking dog those ridge backs are. Super friendly and playful, too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I'll be wearing season appropriate clothes and will have a knife and flashlight on me. Add to that.... A blast match. Some wet fire cubes. A titanium cup for water. A sil tarp. I'll survive with that. The pack has some comfort items added for the wait-it-out events. Candy. Sleeping bag. Tent. Hatchet.
    I have some titanium stuff, too, but I won't buy anymore of it. I've found the aluminum stuff (quality stuff not chinesium) to be just good, unnoticeable weight difference, and cost half as much. From now I buy Al or stainless. Although, I really do like the Snow Peak to stuff.

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