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Thread: Survival kits and Firestarters

  1. #1
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Default Survival kits and Firestarters

    I thought I would share my survival kits and firestarting options.

    I carry two survival kits. One in a Pelican 1050 Micro case in my pack and an OTIS firearm cleaning kit pouch on my belt. Contents as follows:

    Pelican 1050

    1 x Thermal Blanket
    1 x Folding knife
    1 x Fox Rescue Howler whistle
    1 x Rescue Flas Signal Mirror
    2 x #22 Scalpel blades & plastic handle
    1 x roll Fine Thread
    1 x roll Medium wax thread
    1 x roll Nylon builders line
    2 x small rolls duct tape
    Safety pins, small fish hooks and swivels in plastic vial
    Light My Fire firesteel (Scout model)
    4 x WetFire tinder packs
    8 x Tinder Quik tinder
    1 x Film cannister filed with magnesium shavings
    1 x Film cannister with Vaseline soaked cotton wool and piece of cotton wool made into a candle
    Water purification tablets (enough for 10 Litres)
    Chapstick
    Large Tea candle
    A couple of different sized needles
    Match safe with wind/water proof matches + striker + plus piece of cotton wool
    Length of 550 cord
    Photon light (the type that has the permanent on switch)
    Mini bic lighter with lanyard loop made from 550 and duct tape with a rubber band wrapped under the gas button to stop the button being depressed in the package and leaving an empty lighter (not pictured)
    A large piece of heavy duty foil (not pictured)

    I have a long piece of bicycle tube wrapped around the outside of the case to prevent accidental opening in my pack and can be used for firestarter.

    This the Pelican case with all contents inj place


    This is the contents of the Pelican case


    I am going to replace the folding knife with a full tang fixed balde when I can find one suitable

    The Pelican case also has a pen flare with two flares in it but I had too take them out to fly to Alaska

    In my pack I have about six more flares

    I tried for a long time to successfully light a fire with a magnesium block and flint, but found it very fiddly and not easy to get a fire going with. So I put the magnesium block in a drill press and used a 3/8 drill to make the shavings (I got 6 well packed film cannisers out of one block)


    Belt Pouch

    1 x Folding knife
    Light mY Fire Firesteel (Scout model)
    Fox Rescue Howler whistle
    Rescue Flas Signal Mirror
    Photon light (type with permanent on switch)
    Small roll of duct tape
    Small button compass
    Water purification tabs (enough to prufy 10 Litres)
    #22 scalpel blade
    1 x Wetfire tinder pack
    Piece of heavy foil
    Length of 550 cord
    Safety pins
    Water proof brass container with crumbled Little Lucifer firestarter
    Small roll of Stainless steel wire
    1 x Film cannister with - Vaseline Soaked Cotton Balls
    1 x Wetfire tinder pack
    Wax coated card (business card weight)
    Wax impregnated cardboard tinder sticks
    Sparklight Fire starter
    Mini bic lighter with lanyard loop made from 550 and duct tape with a rubber band wrapped under the gas button to stop the button being depressed in the package and leaving an empty lighter (not pictured)

    Pouch with contents in place


    Contents of the pouch



    The stuff in the pouch is either dummy corded with a piece of paracord to prevent loss of gear if the zipper comes open or in a small pouch on either side inside the pouch.

    i am going to replace the folding knife with a full tang fixed blade when I can find a suitable one

    I carry a chapstick, a photon light, a rescue howler whistle and a mini bic on a piece of 550 cord around my neck and I have a firelighting kit in my pack that has a full size Light My Fire Firesteel, VSC, film cannister of magnesium shavings, match safe with wind/water proof matches, wax impregnated cardboard tinder and a good length of bicycle tube.

    I have gained a whole heap of good info from these forums and I hope I never have to use the survival stuff, but I beleive I could in a pinch. I have practiced with everything at home and out int he bush.
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

  2. #2
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    Default

    Fantastic kits! certainly gives me some ideas on updating my survival kit. Thanks for sharing

  3. #3

    Default Survival Kits

    Nice kits you have. I've been trying to put together a complete kit for my boat, and am always looking for ideas. Be careful with those Light My Fire flints, though. They are nice, but I was keeping one in my float coat (which gets wet from the rain), and the water deteriated it. When it gets wet it just disolves and starts to fall apart.

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    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    Be careful with those Light My Fire flints, though. They are nice, but I was keeping one in my float coat (which gets wet from the rain), and the water deteriated it. When it gets wet it just disolves and starts to fall apart.
    Yeah, I noticed the same thing after the mule went belly up in a swamp with my pack on the bottom. That is one reason I have my pack kit in a Pelican, it is water proof. Everything else in the pack was soaked, but the contents of the pelican were bone dry. The mule was in the water for at least twenty minutes. I have a LMF Firesteel loose in my pack, and the next day you could see it deteriorating, but a wipe with a oily cloth seems to have fixed it. It is a problem, but I say, if you are aware of it, you can monitor it.

    oz
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

  5. #5
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default

    I've heard of people coating their firesteels with something - parafin maybe? I don't remember, but the word was that it easily scraped off once you needed to use it and kept it sealed from corrosion in the meantime.

    I'll be going through my kits next month probably - been too busy to do anything but replace expireable items at the start of this season. I'll try to share as well as you did when I get to it!

  6. #6

    Default Fire Starters

    Coating the firestarter sounds like a good idea. Let us know how it works out, if you try it.

  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Possible additions....

    Perhaps add a .5 liter or 1 liter Platypus foldable bottle to hold water. I love the wetfire stuff you got. Works great. Got some confiscated by TSA agents on two trips to Alaska recently. Put it in several bags so they dont get all of it. I got the fire striker (made by same company) from survivalinc.com as well. I got the orange colored one to keep from losing it. It stores one of the wetfire cubes on one end of the striker. Fantastic products. I would add a Quikclot sponge, made by z-medica (name recently changed) but a google of z-medica or quikclot would find it. Amazing stuff. The powder form is poured on major bleeds (arterial) and stops bleeding. The new form comes in a sponge so the ER doc doesnt have to dig out all the granules. Take a look at the Quik clot. Designed to stop blood loss on the battlefield. An amazing product. The silver model has zinc in it that will resist infection as well. Now sold on Cabelas. Worth every dime and belongs in every survival kit. Dont underestimate the difficulty in suturing yourself in a real life situation. I am an ER nurse and it can be difficult under controlled conditions. Get the quik clot sponge. It may save your life. In addition, Keflex (antibiotic) for any cuts/injuries to soft tissue. Get Cipro for any gastro upsets from contaminated water. Get Silvadene tube (creme) for any burns around the campfire. If traveling with anyone over 50 or with heart problems, take a small bottle of nitroglycerin. Just tiny tablets that go under the tongue and dissolve if chest pain comes about. They dissolve and serve to dilate blood vessels to facilitate better blood flow. A huge concern with anyone having a possible heart attack. It is the lack of oxygen (blood) that does the major damage associated with heart attacks. Aspirin has a similar effect as it thins the blood. In the absence of taking nitro tablets, atleast have aspirin in your kit. You may come across someone outside of your group having a heart attack. You never know. All require prescriptions, but are very inexpensive and good for several years past the expiration date (with the exception of the nitro tablets). Those items would cover the majority of things that get people hurt in the back country. Personal locator beacon. I got an ACR Terrafix w/gps. Also available at Cabelas. This is for anything the forementioned items cant take care of. Push two buttons and await rescue. Back up plan for the back up plan you might say. By the way, great kit man. Impressive indeed.

  8. #8
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Another point of view on wilderness medicine...

    While suturing isn't difficult, putting together the needed supplies and keeping things sterile is. There is a technique to be learned that will get rusty if not used. A wilderness alternative is a skin stapler. You can purchase a sterile single use stapler through several suppliers. Add several betadine wipes and you can clean and close a wound in the field within a minute or two. The stapler places the staples quickly enough to keep pain minimal, while putting in sutures with a needle is a slow and very painful process without local anesthetic.

    Quickclot is good stuff, but don't forget your basic first aid treatments of direct pressue and elevation if you use it. The stuff is not magic and all other procedures will still apply. It will greatly speed up the clotting time though. I've used the Quickclot dressings in the field and they do work very well in conjunction with your standard bleeding control treatments. As for arterial bleeding, you'll still need to use a proximal pressure point for at least a few minutes to allow the Quickclot to start working without all that blood pressure working against the wound. And a pressure dressing over it will still be required.

    Aspirin is good, but nitro is risky without knowing the patient's blood pressure and being able to perform an ECG of the heart. If they have it prescribed to them, that's one thing, but for a lay person without medical training to give nitro to someone else with "chest pain" is pushing the bounds of the good samaritan act too far. If you injure or kill the guy, you'll no longer be immune to civil liability under good sam as you are providing a prescription medication without a physician's order, which is negligence. The same goes for any prescription drug.

    I would recommend folks stick with stuff from a good first aid class and over-the-counter medications only. Your best alternative is to have the means to call for help and the skill to stabilize immediate life threats. Medical services, including helicopters, are becoming available in many areas of Alaska and they carry the proper personnel and equipment to care for the ill and injured at an advanced level. In some areas you can call directly to a medical flight service dispatcher, provide GPS coordinates, and have a helicopter hovering over you in less than an hour. Find out if such service is available in the area you are traveling and what communication options are available to reach them.

    By the way, those are some great looking kits. I too found that grinding up my magnesium block (I used a course wood rasp) in advance saves a lot of potential problems in the field. Can you imagine having just pulled yourself from a fall into cold water and trying to shave off that magnesium while violently shivering? Me neither. Make it as simple as you can. Blocks of wax mixed with wood shavings also work great - either homemade or commercial.

  9. #9
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    Default I like the kits and the other info

    I love the kits. We are in the process of putting together our Alaska emergency kits (for home, vehicles, and camping/hunting/fishing). It seems our kits from Hawaii may not meet our needs here! Who would have guessed?!?

    You have given us some very good ideas. One thing I would like to pass on: for small cuts, we have added a small tube(s) of super glue. Not to be used for large cuts, but it closes up a small wound nicely if you can get the edges together. Of course you probably wouldn't win plastic surgeon of the year with super glue, but it works.

    Thanks again for posting the kits and the info.

    Stuart
    http://www.cafepress.com/naturesgym

    Fun is the best workout of all.

  10. #10
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default superglue

    Just a note on superglue. There is a difference between the grocery store superglue and the skin adhesive used in hospitals. The primary difference is that skin adhesives are sterile and packaged in a purpose designed applicator. However, in a field expedient setting, if you can get the wound cleaned out well and blot the skin completely dry on either side of the wound, you might be able to get by with regular superglue.

    Do not apply superglue directly from the squeeze tube onto the skin and do not get it inside the wound. The technique is to moisten a Q-tip and apply a very thin layer on the undamaged skin surface of each side of the wound. Then the skin is carefully pushed together so that it is the edge of the good skin on each side of the wound that is bonded together with the edges being rolled into the wound ever so slightly.

    It is actually a very tricky technique to get it just right. If the wound is small enough for superglue, you'd probably be better off using Steri-strips or butterfly closures and covering it with an adhesive bandage, IMHO.

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    Default I agree

    Joat:

    I agree. Make sure the wound is clean and dry. Keep the glue out of the wound. Etc. We carry it just in case. For instance, when you can't get adhesive bandages or tape to stick, the glue comes in handy. Be careful to monitor for infection and seek medical help quickly if the wound swells, turns red, or seeps fluid. Oh yeah, it isn't good if it turns black either.

    The glue can also come in handy for quick, temporary fixes of broken supplies/equipment.

    I agree with JOAT, glue should be used as a last resort remedy.

    Stuart
    http://www.cafepress.com/naturesgym

    Fun is the best workout of all.

  12. #12

    Default Fire starting

    In my survival gear, I also carry a road flare. The logic behind that is that if you have just fallen into a creek or something like that, it's very simple to start a fire with a road flare and nothing else whether you're using wet tinder or whatever. Other than that, very similar to what I carry.

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    Default Road Flare

    The road flare sounds like a pretty good idea. Do they degrade or something over time? How often should you change them out? Do you carry it in a special container or just a zip lock or something?

    Stuart
    http://www.cafepress.com/naturesgym

    Fun is the best workout of all.

  14. #14
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I've taken road flares and cut them off to about 6" long (or whatever fits the space you're storing it in), capping the cut end with wax. Obviously I'm keeping the end with the starter on it and using the other end to help get my burn pile started. As long as you don't get them wet, they will last for decades.

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    I guess I need to add a few of those to our emergency supplies and camp supplies. Thanks for the helpful info.

    Is there anything, not already mentioned, that may seem peculiar to put in your supplies? Why would you add it?

    Just looking for those out of the ordinary suggestions with the reasoning why. Thanks again.

    Stuart
    http://www.cafepress.com/naturesgym

    Fun is the best workout of all.

  16. #16
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Perhaps add a .5 liter or 1 liter Platypus foldable bottle to hold water.
    I had been looking for something to hold water and fixed it accidentally. After the mule drowned my pack, as soon as I got home, I set about making sure the stuff in my pack would be protected from water.

    I ended up putting it all in a Nalgene bottle. I was amazed at how much stuff you can get in one of them, and in the event of the unexpected happening, I have something to put some water in as well as the 3 litre Camelbak I carry all the time anyway.

    I fitted the following in the Nalgene:

    3 x 19mm plastic tubes that hold a total of nine aerial flares
    An aerial flare pen launcher
    A folding knife.
    A LMF Firesteel and a Spark lite and about ten Tinder quiks
    A mini bic lighter
    A box of wind/waterproof matches
    A heap of commercial made tinder sticks
    A small roll of duct tape
    A LMF spork - not sure why that is in there, but it is
    A roll of bicycle tube

    That is the stuff that was in my pack, unprotected.

    I would add a Quikclot sponge, made by z-medica
    I like the look of that stuff. It is proving difficult to get in oz. I will probably get some next time I order stuff from Cabelas

    I would recommend folks stick with stuff from a good first aid class and over-the-counter medications only
    I agree. Except for the likes of Quikclot, I don't think I would be comfortable stitching someone up or whatever without training. If it's that bad, I say, get out of Dodge PDQ.

    It's not directly related to this thread, but I also put my First Aid kit in a 1050 Micro case and I have a my regular fire starter kit in a 1010 micro case now and I have a 1010 micro for my extra ammo (I had to dump the 14 rounds that were underwater for 20 minutes in a commercially available ammo wallet) and my digital camera fits snug as a bug in a rug in a 1010 as well. Everything else in my pack is either waterproof or unaffected by water. The micro cases don't add much weight, but are watertight and impact resistant.

    Is there anything, not already mentioned, that may seem peculiar to put in your supplies? Why would you add it?
    When I can find them, I am going to add an unlubricated condom to the pouch I carry on my belt for collecting water. It's a little peculiar but I have read it on the forums before.

    Some great responses to this thread. Thanks for the info.

    oz
    Last edited by ozhunter; 10-21-2007 at 05:01. Reason: Not fininshed yet
    il vaut mieux Ítre bon que la chance

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess this is nothing fancy, it's not store bought, takes a little bit of home work.

    Well here goes. I roll news paper up in a tight roll and tie with string, soak in hot wax. Cut in one inch chunks and put in my possible pouch (a few).

    Along with that wetfire or it's GI equivalent and my preferred means of ignition (Alaskan lighter) and my saved from my survival airman's vest (Vietnam era) large chuck of magnesium alloy, I feel well covered for heat.

    I've noticed one item missing that I think is forgotten here and that is a good candle. I can not stress how important that one item can be for someone in dire straights.

    One other item that I took with me from my survival vest from my Uncle Sugar days was that plastic blanket. The reason was it is not possible to tear or gouge it. I have used it now for nearly 40 years and have never seen anything on the market like it.

    There were so many good things we had back then that you can not find for sale anywhere. If any of you current GI airmen out there, you are indeed lucky, if you mine what Uncle has available.

  18. #18
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    Default The condom

    I can see the utility of the condom. I think I will leave it out though. I don't think I could explain why it was there to my wife's satisfaction!!!

    I have also seen the condom used over the end of a tube for an elk call. It worked pretty good. Actually, the guy I was hunting with had a couple of non lubricated condoms and used them on his personally engineered elk call. The first one broke pretty fast, but the second one lasted until he bagged his elk. I had not thought to use it to collect water, but it seems like it would work pretty well.

    The rolled newspaper soaked in wax is an excellent idea as well. That will get added to one of my kits.

    Thanks for the good ideas.

    Stuart
    http://www.cafepress.com/naturesgym

    Fun is the best workout of all.

  19. #19
    Member akfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Candles

    One thing to consider in AK is that you may not always have access to firewood! In higher elevations and/or latitudes firewood can sometimes be scarce. You may consider including some tea light candles in your pack. I take 3 of the metal coated candles and wrap them with duct tape. This creates a cylinder approximately 2" long (the width of duct tape). I usually include enough candles to last through at least 1 night, as hopefully you won't be more than a day away from the river bottoms or a firewood source.

    The candles last approximately an hour each and if you can sit on your pack, put your space blanket over/around you, and burn a candle between your legs it will bring the temperature under the space blanket up 30-40 degrees. You may find it uncomfortable being hunched over, but the candles may keep you alive. It helped me once about ten years ago! Just make sure you try the candles and verify their burn time! Don't buy the cheap ones as they have smaller wicks or don't burn as long.

  20. #20
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default mainer_in_ak suggested snares on another forum...


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