Survival Kits

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Rick Gruchy
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Survival Kits

Post by Rick Gruchy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:07 pm

Recently there was an interesting discussion on Facebook regarding Survival Kits. This discussion was very interesting timing as my group recently decided to work on Survival Kits for our Beaver. The Survival Kits are to be done along with Hug a Tree, being safe in the outdoors, and preparing for a winter Beaver Camp.

This got me thinking about how much fun I had as a youth building survival kits and what a great program activity it was for youth of all ages.

So, let's share ideas!

What should go in a survival kit? How would you make a survival kit differently for the various sections?

What tips do you have to keep them small?

Personally, I like to make them small enough to keep in my pocket and I am currently working on an Altoids Tin Survival Kit, but I recognize there are different views on this. Please share your views.

Any tips on hands on methods to learn how to teach how to use the different components of a Survival Kit?

YIS,

Rick

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Rick Gruchy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:20 pm

From the Facebook Discussion:

Tim Harbinson
Survival Kit from pages 27-28 of the 2006 Field Book for Canadian Scouting:
• Waterproof Matches or Lighter
• Compass
• Adhesive Tape and Bandages
• Medication
• Fire starter material
• Pocketknife
• Large yellow or orange garbage bag or Space Blanket (for shelter and warmth)
• Whistle (Pealess ones work best)
• Snack (granola bars etc.)
• Reflector/signal mirror
• Insect repellant
• Ointment
• Bandaids/Moleskin ™
• Water purification tablets
• Bouilon cubes
• Fishing line, hooks and lures
• Duct tape
• Two to four meters of light flexible wire (for making snares or shelters)
• Pencil and paper
• Aluminum foil (two sheets, 5 meters long) to make cooking pot and drinking cup, or for signalling
• An encouraging, short note from Mom or Dad giving instructions on what to do if lost in the woods.

Store these items carefully in a small metal container, one which could be used to cook in or gather water in if necessary.

Also from Facebook:

http://www.bedfordscouts.ca/files/Survi ... 20List.pdf

Rick Gruchy
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Rick Gruchy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:22 pm


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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Rick Gruchy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:31 pm

This is pretty cool. My son and I tested this last weekend and it worked quite well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHugMrvIxg0[/video]

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by 4thSackville » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:22 pm

I've always had a hard time trying to make a survival kit that had enough supplies but was small enough to carry. I have settled on a possibles pouch instead of the standard survival kit.
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The main difference being the pouch contains some "survival" items but also carries items I will use regularly when in the outdoors. It's big enough to be useful but still small enough to carry on every outing. I made it so it can be attached to my belt without having to take my belt off. It can hang low enough off my belt so it doesn't interfere with the waist belt on a bigger pack. It is still in the testing phase as I haven't had a chance to do much real hiking with it yet.

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by norma » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:31 pm

4thSackville wrote:I've always had a hard time trying to make a survival kit that had enough supplies but was small enough to carry. I have settled on a possibles pouch instead of the standard survival kit.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355786327.805194.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355786352.482375.jpg
The main difference being the pouch contains some "survival" items but also carries items I will use regularly when in the outdoors. It's big enough to be useful but still small enough to carry on every outing. I made it so it can be attached to my belt without having to take my belt off. It can hang low enough off my belt so it doesn't interfere with the waist belt on a bigger pack. It is still in the testing phase as I haven't had a chance to do much real hiking with it yet.
That's cool. It is a lot like the old coin purse that used to be part of the uniform. To carry your dues and a little bit of paper. Then they had that pencil that clipped to your belt also.

Image

I don't think that Scouts Canada still has one as part of the uniform.
Only thing that is left is the Beaver one (I think)
Image

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by 4thSackville » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:54 pm

Norma, yes it's like those but a bit bigger. I should still have my pouch from when I was in cubs somewhere :). We had all the gear back in the day...lol

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by norma » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:44 am

4thSackville wrote:Norma, yes it's like those but a bit bigger. I should still have my pouch from when I was in cubs somewhere :). We had all the gear back in the day...lol
I had the Brownie one with the pencil holder too. It is amazing how the 'useful' things were dropped from the uniform.

Perhaps this is what the pocket on the arm is supposed to represent? I still cannot fathom why they put it there, and nobody seems to know a 'real' reason for it being there lol.

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RakelaK
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by RakelaK » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:31 am

The little pocket is for guitar picks Norma.... something that should be in every emergency kit anyways... never know when a critical need to JAM might appear..... BE Prepared :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Sam Wallis » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:41 am

RakelA does that mean I should drop the habit of calling it the condom pocket?
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Rick Gruchy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:04 am

Stay on topic folks :lol: .

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by scouterguider » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:59 pm

Here are a few thoughts.... Probably not everything - but I think age appropriate and compact.


Beaver Survival Kit - Orange Garbage Bag, Whistle, possibly a snack

Cub Survival Kit - Beaver Kit, plus possibly a Knife and Safety Matches, reflector

Scout Survival Kit - Cub Kit, plus Flint/Steel, possibly the little foldable wire-saw things

Venturer/Rover/Adult Kit - Scout Kit, deck of cards (It is shown that survival is greatly increased if the person has something to entertain him/herself)

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Jody
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Jody » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:35 pm

The inclusion of certain items in these "survival kits" leads me to assume that some people are not taking "The Ten Essentials" with them on EVERY outdoor activity.

This is a far more important basic behavioural habit to teach the kids than almost anything else we might teach them in regards to their outdoor education.

While the items vary from list to list, my group adheres to North Shore Rescue's list of "The Ten Essentials":

1. whistle (on lanyard and worn around the neck at all times);
2. headlamp plus spare batteries;
3. fire starter;
4. pocket knife and/or multitool with blade;
5. emergency blanket/tarpaulin;
6. spare food & water;
7. spare clothes;
8. first aid kit;
9. map and compass (GPS optional); and
10. cell phone.

And don't forget what we call the 11th essential: Toilet paper (about half a roll in heavy duty ziplock bag).

The only modification to NSR's list that I would make would be to include sunscreen & sunglasses (put cell phone in with navigation equipment).
Last edited by Jody on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Angus Bickerton » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:16 pm

Survival kits can be really tricky. A lot of the gear you'd want in an emergency kit should be carrying if you are hiking or camping anyway, as Jody points out (he posted just before I did!). From the Scout level up, the content of the kits should be the same. I don't see why you would differentiate between a Scout and a Venturer, as the Troop program, if it is being done properly, has a considerable level of risk, and a full kit is a necessity.

For instance, a Scout should be carrying a good sharp knife (3" blade is plenty, with a good strong handle), and a tinder kit (cotton balls with Vaseline, char cloth, flint/steel, etc.). Why? this starts a fire in any weather. The tea candle trick above is a great idea, and it would easily fit in a small tinder kit. This stuff should not be in a pack, it should be attached to your belt or in one of your cargo pockets. I'd take a fire over a deck of cards any time of year. Cheers you up, warms you up, helps you cook, purifies water. Plus, it increases your visibility. Besides, I hate solitaire. ;) I would put a multi-tool in this category as well, as something that should be carried on your person at all times while in the wilderness. These things are invaluable (the multi-tool I use has a really good saw).

Doing a survival belt out of paracord (king cobra weave) is a really great craft. It not only meets a program standards, it teaches knots, and gives the scout something they can really use. Unwind the cobra weave, and you could have up to 100' of paracord to help you build an improvised shelter.

And this stuff above is regular gear to be worn when in the wilderness, before you ever put anything in the survival kit.

After you cover basic gear, then get to the emergency kit, which, if the Scout is properly prepared otherwise, won't need the stuff he's got on his person. This prevents your kit from getting too big in the first place, which is really easy to do if you follow the Field Guide.
Last edited by Angus Bickerton on Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by RakelaK » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:55 pm

Rick Gruchy wrote:Stay on topic folks :lol: .
I was on topic.. guitar picks are a must have 24/7 item for sanity

Plus that little pack of first aid and standard/typical wilderness survival gear I carry at all times... that's almost as important ;)

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:40 am

I was on topic too, some of the urban hikes you might need.. oh never mind.
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by scouterguider » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:24 pm

Angus Bickerton wrote: I'd take a fire over a deck of cards any time of year. Cheers you up, warms you up, helps you cook, purifies water. Plus, it increases your visibility. Besides, I hate solitaire. ;)
You will notice that I did have items to make fire - and yes, I'd pick fire over a deck of cards too. I learned years ago (in Air Cadets) that people were greatly more likely to survive a plane crash (where they weren't found for a few days) if they had something like cards to entertain themselves. Obviously things like fire are MORE important - but where your head is is one of the most important things for survival, especially when rescue is delayed.

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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Sam Wallis » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:58 pm

for Beavers I might chose the cards or a toy over fire. get them settled keep them there. heck, half the year here your running the risk of burning down the whole area.
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by SteveMatheson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:04 pm

We were lucky enough to find survival kits in a local dollar store a few years ago. I'm not sure if these are still available. Has anyone seen these, or similar?

Sure, they were not sufficient... and some of the stuff in it was garbage (compasses often didn't work, light easily broke), but it gave a good start and a good package.
We made it an activity to supplement to an "acceptable" level.
http://wiki.scouts.ca/en/Activity-Cub_F ... rvival_Kit

Many of those Cubs still use that kit (rebuilt, many times over) to this day!
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Angus Bickerton
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Re: Survival Kits

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:53 am

scouterguider wrote:
Angus Bickerton wrote: I'd take a fire over a deck of cards any time of year. Cheers you up, warms you up, helps you cook, purifies water. Plus, it increases your visibility. Besides, I hate solitaire. ;)
You will notice that I did have items to make fire - and yes, I'd pick fire over a deck of cards too. I learned years ago (in Air Cadets) that people were greatly more likely to survive a plane crash (where they weren't found for a few days) if they had something like cards to entertain themselves. Obviously things like fire are MORE important - but where your head is is one of the most important things for survival, especially when rescue is delayed.
Actually, that wasn't my point. My point was that fire starting ability should be separate from an emergency kit. Fire starting should be part of the gear that you carry with you wherever you go, such as a knife and a multi-tool. These are essential survival tools, and if you are in the wilderness, your emergency kit should be in addition to these things. I used the deck of cards as illustrative of gear that you wouldn't necessarily use on a daily basis. I wasn't criticizing the content of your kit.

This is why emergency kits are problematic. Some stuff that is listed for the kit a person should always have, because they are always going to use them. I wouldn't think of camping without a decent knife, pocket hone, and tinder kit or lighter of some kind, and this is assuming that no emergency will occur. For emergency kits, I don't think the stuff you use every day should be listed. Otherwise, you end up with a kit that is as big as your pack.
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