Map, Compass & GPS

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

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Serious Hiker's Day Pack

I was present at one of Peter Kummerfeldt's last seminars during  the Northwest Sportsman Show in Portland, Oregon earlier this month.  After 50 years of providing survival training he is scaling back his busy travel schedule.  

Peter Kummerfeldt - Outdoor Safe Image
During a 50 year career he as written an outstanding book - Surviving a Wilderness Emergency - and taught thousands of people the concepts of survival in the backcountry.

If one was to visit Peter after a one hour presentation, followed him to his both, you would find his wife Mary selling their select line of survival gear.  Children would be waiting to learn how to start an emergency fire with a metal match and cotton ball (loaded up with petroleum jelly.)

Peter also had an array of handouts.  My favorite was the handout that listed the contents of his day pack.  His pack is not that of a minimalist and contained far more that the "ten essentials." I have attached his day pack contents, there is a lot of equipment but the total weight is about 20 pounds.

This year he emptied his pack and talked about the key items and several recommendations.  I took notes and here are a few highlights for your consideration:

  • A waist band on your pack is essential to balance the load properly.  That said, when crossing swift water unbuckle the waist band so that it can be shed  quickly. 
  • Peter is a big proponent of stainless steel water bottles by Klean Kanteen.  Nalgene are fine but watch out for the cheap ones from China.
  • The Coughlin brand offers a small, light stand up rubber/plastic cup that takes little room.
  • A 10' x 10' nylon tarp is a big plus.  Light weight, water proof and strong.  A blue poly tarp works too but it is heavier.
  • Visit the feed store and buy some "vet wrap" to put in your first aid kit.  Vet wrap is an adhesive wrap that holds gauze sponges and bandages in place.  I think of Vet wrap as the duct tape of the first aid world. 
  • A Esbit stove and the fuel tabs is a nice addition to warm water in an emergency. 

What ever you put in your pack see if you can use or manipulate your equipment with just one hand.  Often when folks are in an emergency situation an injury is frequently involved and single hand operations might be a necessity.

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