Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Monday, October 3, 2011

Make A Survival Kit Part Of Your Wardrobe

by Leon Pantenburg

I hadn’t dumped a canoe in years, so unexpectedly entering the water just above the John Day River’s Clarno rapids was quite a shock. I righted myself, pointed my feet downstream and tried to follow the course originally set for the canoe.

The Central Oregon rapids last about three-quarters of a mile, and we’d managed to hit a rock cross-ways right at the head.

My wife, Debbie, paddling in front, was also thrown out of the canoe. Her head bobbed above the rapids as she navigated the whitewater.  Several minutes later, I pulled myself out in the slack waters of an eddy.

From downriver, Debbie waved to show she was OK.  Picking my way over the rocks toward her, I did a mental inventory of my survival tools. Everything we had, all of our fishing, camping and survival gear, was headed downstream toward the Columbia River.

It was a hot day, with no danger of hypothermia, and the other members of our float party were at the scene. Neither of us was injured, and it was not a survival situation.  But if we had been alone, here’s the survival tools we had left: I didn’t lose my hat, glasses or the GPS in my pocket.  But the Moro knife was gone from its sheath on my belt, and the butane lighter in my left front pants pocket had disappeared.  A whistle was attached to my life jacket . I had charcloth in a plastic bag, firestarter and my key ring survival gear, except for the flashlight, still worked.

Debbie had a whistle, too, but her survival gear was somewhere downstream. But even soaking wet, we could have started a fire to warm up and signal for help.

You could get dumped out of a canoe, thrown off a horse that runs away or be in a shopping mall or hotel when there is a power failure. In these cases, all you’ll have is a survival mindset and the tools in your pockets or on your person.

But a little planning can help a lot if you make some basic survival tools part of your wardrobe.

This is what I carry on a daily basis:

These items are on a separate key ring that clips to my car keys or belt loop.
Integrate these items into your wardrobe and "wear" them every day. You may be grateful you did!

To read the rest of Leon's post go here.

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