Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 55

Thread: Survival Kits

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Survival Kits

    In my Hunter's Ed classes I try to get folks to at least THINK about some sort of survival kit. Any of you ever check out any of the "make your own survival kit" websites?

    I've worked as an EMT in some pretty remote places, and people sure seem to be oblivious to the dangers of the wild.

    I'd like to hear some suggestions regarding fire making. I have a few tricks of my own but I'm always looking for more/better ideas.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    I have matches in a waterproof case and a military firestarter with small white firestarter material. I also have some cotton balls soaked in vaseline in two old film roll canisters as a fire starter, they burn pretty hot. Of course the first thing to do is learn to make a fire that can take advantage of what you have.

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,163

    Default Firestarter

    I carry 20 minute road flares (vacuum packed) when I am snowmachining. If you can't get it to burn with a flare, it probably won't burn. They are good for signaling, and extremely windproof too.

    I second the vasaline soaked cotton balls. They work great. The set up also provides you with a small amount of vasaline for lip balm, or whatever.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  4. #4
    Member Adventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Waterboro, Maine
    Posts
    104

    Default

    When I was a kid we made our own water proof barn burner matches by dipping them in wax. We also dipped some light cardboard like cereal box material and carried some drier lint and had the whole thing vacuum packed down at the meat market so it would stay dry and fit in your pocket.

    Our hunter safety instructor stressed to us not to have all your survival gear in a pack that you can become separated from. He said "at the very minimum have some fire starter kit in your pocket, that way unless you actually lost your pants you'll be able to keep warm."

  5. #5
    Member EricL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska to Stay
    Posts
    670

    Default fire starter

    Can someone go into detail about the different types of fire starter folks are using? One of you talked about just using vasoline on cotton balls in a 35mm film container. How much vasoline does it take? Just dab the cotton ball on the vasoline or does it take quite a bit? Some insight would be great!! Eric

  6. #6
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,163

    Default Vasaline

    Basically you want to saturate the cotton. I have used cotton balls, but the best thing I found was the little 2" square cotton pads my wife uses to take off her makeup with. They are a little denser than cotton balls and seem to light easier. I burned one in my garage and it burned quite hot for almost 4 minutes.

    The vasaline is great because it is waterproof, and being oil based (petroleum jelly) it burns rather well. I did a demonstration during a snowmobile safety class where I took one of my cotton balls, dunked it completely under water, then proceded to light it with a bic lighter. It took a few seconds to start burning well, but it eventually did.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  7. #7
    Member EricL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska to Stay
    Posts
    670

    Red face thanks

    Thanks for the info Ak. Will have to experiment a little. Going along with the thread a little I got my first aid kit out to go through. I found out most of my iodine pads, painkillers, anit-infectant had expired last year! It might be a good idea for everyone to look at those dates before heading out!! Not sure if this kind of stuff gets weaker in strength or could make things worse if taken!? EricL

  8. #8
    Member akjw7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    535

    Default

    There are lots of great fire starter options - vaseline cotton balls work great. Flares are fun! Nothing is as good as your brain and a little practice.

    I have a blastmatch - think eagle enterprises in Anch might sell them. It gives a pretty impressive shower of very hot sparks and it gives you one handed operation of a firesteel - nice if you get a broken wing.

    Several other various ferrocerium rods (firesteels) - little hunk of hacksaw blade tied to it and reliable hot sparks for years to come.

    I think everyone has one of the magnesium/flint fire starters - I usually carry one of my other options though - much better sparks from ferrocerium.

    Military spark lite - very small unit and sounds like what Bill S. described - I've packed these in some very small pocket survival kits with several pieces of the supplied tinder.

    I made some char cloth a few years ago - pretty neat concept, great small tinder to carry, but I kind of botched the process...maybe I should try again next summer.

    What do I carry though? Usually have cotton balls or commercial stuff for tinder and for fire a butane windproof torch lighter somewhere, a waterproof matches container, and one of the ferrocerium rods as a backup. As alluded to earlier - they are spread throughout my gear so there is always one on me - unless I lose my pants!

  9. #9
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,991

    Default

    A word about Metal Matches (ferrocerium bars)....they corrode very quickly! I dip mine in a 50/50 beeswax/paraffin solution. It keeps the moisture out until I need to use it and does not impede spark production.

    IMO Vasoline soaked cotton balls are the overall best fire starter because they are simple and cheap to make, very light weight and they work under just about any condition.

    An easy way to make them--
    Put a handfull of cotton balls and 2 or 3 tablespoons of vasoline into a partially sealed ziploc bag.
    Microwave on low until vasoline melts.
    Squeeze air out of bag and seal
    Knead cotton balls until fully coated

    If igniting VSC's with a sparking device (metal match or dead lighter) don't forget to pull them apart to increase surface area.

  10. #10
    Member akjw7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    535

    Default

    good points Erik - I seem to scrape most of my metal matches enough to keep them in good shape - but I should pull a few out of sealed kits and see how they are looking.

    Never tried the ziplock trick - next you'll see a bunch of posts from guys with PO'ed wives after they made a mess in the microwave! Definitely want to fluff them up (that's not on the instructions of either ingredient...for some reason)

    The other one I forgot from my youth was the steel wool and the 9V battery...haven't seen that one in many packs though!

  11. #11
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,991

    Default

    I once put a 3/8 inch metal match into my damp pocket and the next day the bar was about a third rotted away and I had a pocket full of green crud--they work great but are sensitive to moisture

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,607

    Default thoughts

    the vaseline and cotton balls are classic. and for a reason, they work. one thing to remember is to use 100% cotton balls. many are synthetic and wont burn the same from what i have heard. coat them well and when you want to use one (and one is all it takes to get a fire going in average conditions) break it in half. you want the spark/flame to hit the dry cotton. that is what starts the fire. it is the vaseline that is burning for the most part. the whole purpose of the cotton is to start the thing burning. break it in half and the slightest spark will get it going. i keep mine in a tylenol bottle. probably holds 22-25 of them. as mentioned earlier, also good to have for lips, cuts on hands,blisters on feet, squeeky back pack fasteners, etc... i found an incredible product made by www.survivalinc.com they have contract with the military for this stuff. it is small one inch by about 1/2 inch blocks of some lightweight white material (solid) and the slightest light on it and it burns like crazy. for a long time too. incredible stuff and i am getting ready to buy another batch of it. they also sell some super nice spark sticks. two different models and the sticks come with tungsten striker built in and have a compartment for one of these fuel blocks. absolutely incredible stuff. nicest by far i have seen yet. the drier lint is a great idea. i have tried that before and its free. small birthday candles are simple, cheap, and work better than you would think. strike anywhere matches in the plastic orange walmart tubes are hard to beat. simple and effective. throw one in every bag you take on a trip. they are dirt cheap and the airport security will confiscate it. but they dont check every bag usually. they busted me big time leaving nome the other week for a 13 day trip up in the noatak preserve. i lost 2/3 of my firestarter blocks and matches. good thing i too 3 times what i needed. dont fly without extra stuff in all the bags. they cant get it all. check out www.survivalinc.com my favorite stuff yet.

  13. #13

    Default Fire starter

    i've taken cardboard egg carton, fill the bottom with lint from the dryer and then pour melted wax over the top to seal the lint in. wrap up in waterproof ziploc and your ready for a fire!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Circle, AK.
    Posts
    616

    Default Practice

    Practice, practice, practice........We can have all the things we need but you have to know how to use that stuff in your kit. Practice building those fires after a rain, practice snaring rabbits, practice building a shelter etc. you'll be much happier you did when you need it. I do a survival camping trip at least once a year, it's fun and challenging and gives you a realistic view of a survival situation.

  15. #15
    Member Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Eielson Air Force Base
    Posts
    158

    Default White Gas?

    The other one I forgot from my youth was the steel wool and the 9V battery...haven't seen that one in many packs though!
    I still carry the steel wool and the 9v battery! It is just on of my backups. I carry 3 backups and one main refillable butaine lighter with spare lighter fluid. The fluid itself works fairly well even on the rainy days.

    Just a thought. Has anybody tried to put white gas in an air tight container. I know it burns for a good long while. I know you couldn't use a plastic container for it. Maybe a small heavy duty glass jar like the model paint comes in? It just came to me. I have to try and get back with you all.

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    297

    Default

    VSCs burn best when pulled apart no matter the ignition method -sparker, match, lighter.

    Another is bicycle innertube cut into rings. They light fast, burn HOT and are waterproof!

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    650

    Lightbulb fire starting ideas

    w.s.i. P60 hot spark flint fire starter (my choice) or if you prefer a blastmatch or magnesium match. Wet fire tinder TM.

    vaseline impregnated cotton balls in a film can

    dryer lint in a film can

    fresnel magnifying lens

    waterproof butane style mountaineering lighter, as well as backup lighters.

    small handfull of pop sickle sticks, for dry kindling wrapped with many rubber bands, the rubber burns well as stated above.

    waterproof matches in a match safe. these can be made at home with strike anywhere matches and your wifes clear nail polish.

    2 highway road flares.

    fine steel wool pot scubing pads.

    when you need a fire, you really need it and it is no time to play around. stay warm, stay dry, get help.

  18. #18
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The BEGINNING of the road!
    Posts
    1,132

    Default

    I took the Boy Scouts out on a camping trip this weekend. I have only been with this troop about 2 months now and don't know a lot about the boys or their training. It was fairly cold (compared to what they are used to) and dark when we arrived Friday night at about 9:00pm. They immediatly wanted to start a fire (that's always the first thing kids think about!). They first were to put up their tents. When they finished, we gathered around the "fire area" I had cleared. Since EVERYONE wanted to build the fire, I challenged them...

    I said, "I want each of you to "start" a fire using only what you have on your body or in your pockets and burning of clothing is not allowed".

    As they moaned and groaned, I pulled out a zip-loc baggy from my right pocket and proceeded to start a fire using some dryer lint, cedar bark shavings, wax coated cardboard, and waterproofed matches. When the fire (and embarressment/"cheating" comments) burnt out, I pulled another baggy out of my left pocket and proceeded to build a fire using some dryer lint, cedar bark shavings, a "snail" candle, and a flint & steel. I ignited the lint with spark, then the shavings, the candle, the candle continued to burn and needless to say...my point was made with the boys.

    My point in sharing this story with you is that you can have the best fire starting stuff, but it isn't going to keep you warm unless you 1.Keep it on you and 2.know how to use it and 3.Actually KNOW that you KNOW how to use it.

    The two methods I used work for me...and I KNOW they work for me because I have tried them (at different times of the year and in different levels of moisture content). Are they the only means of making fire, absolutely not. You folks have outlined some great ideas and I will try most of them to see if I want to add any of them to my arsnal!

    btw...having a hard time locating cotton balls that aren't synthetic based, anyone know of a brand I can try?

    Stay warm!

  19. #19
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default ... on to round two!

    OK,
    How about we agree on a container we can all easily lay our hands on, and see if we can come up with a "Kit" that is easily carried at ALL times. (a la the Altoids kit.)

    Some of you have made excellent suggestions and I'd like to see this pay off for all of us. My HE students too.

    This outta be fun huh?

  20. #20
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The BEGINNING of the road!
    Posts
    1,132

    Default I'll start

    Quote Originally Posted by Shortwave View Post
    OK,
    How about we agree on a container we can all easily lay our hands on, and see if we can come up with a "Kit" that is easily carried at ALL times. (a la the Altoids kit.)

    Some of you have made excellent suggestions and I'd like to see this pay off for all of us. My HE students too.

    This outta be fun huh?
    I generally carry two survival kits on my body, one up high and one down low. As I stated before, if I am "pinned" in such a position that immobilizes me, I want to be able to reach atleast one of them. For my lower body kit, I like to use something with a concave shape to it so that it stays close to my leg and doesn't form a "pressure point" (generally wear it in a cargo pocket). I came across a "camper's soap box" that fits the bill. I used to have a container that was specifically for a firstaid kit built with a concave side to it, but I think a buddy or a brother made off with that. The one I have measures about 4x5x1". I use another small box (flat with locking lid) that is approx the same size and carry that up on my chest/shoulder area. I have never carried flares, but am going to start, so I will have to come up with something larger.

    Some things I have used in the past:
    plastic box that taps or cutters come in (I just cut out the dividers)
    small sewing box (even has dividers)
    zip-loc baggy (careful getting close to fire, it will melt in your pocket)
    small tackle box
    nylon pouch with zipper

    as you can see, I could use a little help in this department too...so please help us out!
    Joshua

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •