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Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105085 11/28/06
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Lee24 Offline
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When I am out for a long time, I carry small, light net, 5x5 feet.
It can be used to catch bait fish, eating fish, and birds.

A Conebear trap is light and will kill squirrels and rabbits instantly.

I always carry some fishing tackle. Mono, but also some 30-lb Spiderwire. No time for sport.

I also make my own snares from black nylon coated stainless steel saltwater wire fishing leader, with a large swivel on one end, and a smaller one that will pass through it on the other end, for tying to a branch.

300 BP

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105086 11/28/06
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hmt Offline
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For those looking for a good poncho/tarp ...

Backcountry Gear has the GoLite on sale for $36!!!

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/tentdetail.cfm?PRODUCTS__ProductID=GO3070

I have had good service from this retailer in the past and just ordered a second GoLite as a backup to the one I already have.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105087 11/28/06
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hmt Offline
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The Thermo Lite Bivy is listed in another thread, so thought I would list a site that has them on sale now for anyone considering buying one ...

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/amk_emergency_bivvy_single.html

They have lots of other really lightweight stuff ... just some of it isn't overly durable ... service has been good ...

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105088 11/29/06
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Pretty good thread going here. I think this may be my first post here, but I have poked around a bit. Usually don't do a lot of posting anywhere except the Kifaru boards, and not a great deal there. After reading about the contents of some of the daypacks I went out into my shop and did a little playing around with some of my gear, just to see what I could stuff into the little pack I carry as a day pack.

In the Kifaru E&E, you can get the following:

Kifaru ParaStove
SuperTarp/Annex
Titanium pot and cup, spork, fuel canister and salt and pepper
Pocket Rocket Stove
In a small pullout I carry the following:

lighter
compass
speedy sharp
Blast Match and film canister of Vaselined cotton balls
Gps
Scorpion flashlight
head lamp
Swiss army knife
Leatherman

If you ditch the Super Tarp /Annex and substitute it with the original paratarp, you can also get a 1 liter nalgene bottle , head net, stocking cap and gloves, small bag of gravel and 2 packs of ramen noodles.

On the back I have added some shock cord threaded through the Pals webbing so I can strap on a military poncho. I also stick my Tomahawk through the compression straps.

You can also do away with the stove and tarp and substitute a Hennessee Hammock and a little bit of other stuff for a Summer kit. I have a list of stuff I carried on an overnight canoe trip this past summer if that interests anyone. I know this is kind of a winter gear thread.

Hopefully this info helps someone make a more informed descision, or saves sombody the trouble of spending hard earned money on things that might not fit in there current setup.

Ozark

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105089 11/29/06
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WoodsWalker Offline
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Wow.

I didn't know you can fit a parastove and ST with annex in the E&E. One good thing about these small heated shelters is that they make you 100% safe from any cold. Just keep the stove running and overheating is the greatest risk. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Take a look at those Golite Sil ponchos on sale. I am getting some for holiday gifts but pack one all the time. Only 10oz.

Alpha

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105090 11/29/06
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Shag Offline OP
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I am at this point going to add the Go-lite poncho and The canister with vasalined cotton balls. I gotta decide on a small cooking stove and pot. Thanks again for the ideas.

CD


Your Every Liberal vote promotes Socialism and is an attack on the Second Amendment. Period. You will suffer the consequences.
Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105091 11/29/06
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Okanagan Offline
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That Golite poncho is a good deal. I'm tempted to buy it myself. Many uses for it.

Many are covering good material, and I find myself repeating stuff I've posted over the past few years. But I'll break my thoughts into two long posts and add them here.

Like somebody else posted, I donít carry as much stuff as a good many here, and a lot of it is used routinely most days, not just carried for emergency use only. A big leaf size garbage bag is one of my basics. It will make a poncho as some have said, or cut open will make a ground sheet or small tarp. Iíve used them as ground sheets a lot, as improvised rain shelters several times also, hunkering out a rain storm under a tree or bush. Good trees are hard to find in sub alpine and of course non-existent higher.

I have two systems, one in my pockets that always are with me, and the other in a small daypack I have nearly always. My goals are to stay dry, stay warm, be able to start a fire if viable and to stay warm enough and dry enough to survive without a fire. My first line of survival gear is the clothes and layers that I wear to hike or hunt. With no cotton, a good insulation layer and weatherproof outer shell you are off to a good start in surviving a wet night.

The shirt & pants pocket gear has at minimum a butane lighter and a troxane tablet, compass and pocket knife which are part of my usual hunting gear. In a Gore-Tex parka pocket a garbage bag, 1/3 cup stainless steel measuring cup with an envelope of soup or oatmeal wadded up in it, and usually that is in a Ziploc with another envelope or two, a candle stub, troxane, waterproof matches, some Band-aids, Tylenol II and a space blanket. A couple of tear open chemical hand warmers and my usual cover for head, hands and neck go in the parka pockets if Iím not wearing them.

Toque (stocking cap), gloves or mittens, etc. are part of my constant use items. I hunted in falling snow yesterday and put on and took off my toque, neck gaiter and gloves four or five times as I walked and got hot or sat and got cold. My Taiga rain pants fold to the size of a bar of soap and sometimes I have those in my parka pocket.

Stepping up to daypack basics I always carry some way to insulate myself from the ground, usually a thin closed cell foam pad against my back. Some of mine are larger than needed to sit on, and others are folded double and open to almost a ĺ length pad. As others have indicated, insulating yourself from the cold ground is more important than having a blanket or sleeping bag over you. In addition I usually carry an ultra light tarp as mentioned elsewhere, of spinnaker/kite cloth. Sometimes carry stove, Titanium pot, water filter, GPS, etc. but not always for any of these. Ditto for a bigger first aid kit, Moleskin, more food, etc.

From reading a survival situation in a plane crash, I got an idea that I partially used myself one night and now have improved, but it requires a fire. Heat rocks, then roll them under you as you sit or hunker with a poncho type shell around you that reaches to the ground. The heat from the rocks will rise, warming you, and be trapped inside the shell. Could be a long night, with little dozes at best between changing hot rocks, but would get heat from the fire to you more efficiently and keep a person alive. A pad on a small stump etc. would help to sit on.

I carry usually at least three ways to start a fire. My waterproof matches are in a plastic prescription bottle, separated from a strip of wet or dry emery cloth/sandpaper.

I only carry a saw when Iím planning on cutting antlers off, or sometimes when predator hunting and want to improve on nature a bit by trimming limbs. Ditto for pruning shears, excellent for improving impromptu stands, but wouldnít carry them normally for survival. Each of us has different priorities.

Like Kutenay said, itís best not to count on having to start a fire, though I sure hope to. In the whole NW WA and SE BC for the past few weeks, Iíd defy 98% of humans to get a fire going in the bush using items carried in a daypack, and my real opinion is that 99.9% couldnít do it tonight. In most locations near here tonight, I wouldnít waste time trying to start or sustain a fire, but would put the effort on something else, like rain/wind protection and insulation.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105092 11/29/06
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WoodsWalker Offline
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Here is another pitch for the Golite poncho. A longer A-frame with bleak.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The Golite poncho does not make the best tarp but it is far better than nothing and it works good for a poncho and wind break. I would take the 36 dollar deal.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105093 11/29/06
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Okanagan Offline
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This is a mix of gear and anecdotes of using it in wet conditions.

A good friend of mine spent a night in sleet and high wind in a steep wet canyon right on the border northwest of Mt. Baker, (can you say wet?) a few years ago. He got rim rocked at dark dragging a buck down and wisely stayed put for the night. He spent the night propped against a big fir tree on a fearsomely steep slope of icy slick on frozen ground, no fire. He stayed warm and comfortable he said, and the uphill side of such trees usually have a small flat spot, big enough to sit on if not lie down. He had Gore-tex shell top and bottom over fleece and wool layers and some snack food for inner fuel. Donít know if he used his space blanket but he had one. Horrible stormy night, everybody really worried about him though I told the search master at 3:00 AM that he was the best qualified to survive of anybody I knew, and if he hadnít broken a femur or something like that, he was OK.

One of my routines is to be downright fanatical about not getting wet, if there is a chance that I may spend the night out. On backpack hunts away from a vehicle or fixed shelter, staying dry may be the single biggest difference in staying alive, no matter what you have in your pack. If I am quite sure Iíll be back in a dry warm place for the night, I donít mind getting wet and hunt accordingly.

No cotton on my body is another rule Iím fanatical about, but I live on the wet side of the world. Buying and having several pairs of synthetic shorts and/or wool underwear, pants and shirts handy and routine for any outing makes that a reasonable deal, even for outings when you donít plan to be away from your vehicle.

If and when you get really wet, the biggest and most immediate survival decision is whether to quickly head for someplace warm and dry or start that minute to do what you can to dry out on the spot. You are losing core body heat and mental abilities by the minute, so act while you can still use muscle and mind well. I.e. Salish, in his thread, decided to try to walk out and then to walk to a farm he could see in the distance (if I remember his account correctly.) It worked, especially as he met some warm, dry and helpful hunters on the way. With wet cotton clothes and no way to start a fire, he had little option other than walk out, unless he could find a hay stack. Golly hay is warm when you burrow into it or pull it over you.

I've waded to retrieve ducks in near zero F. temps andhad a partner swim to retrieve some. My pants froze like stovepipes with a crack at the knees. My friend stripped naked, swam to get the ducks, slicked off what water he could and dressed again. Teen agers. He was warming within minutes as we walked three miles home, which shows that dry clothes will warm you up again if your metabolisim is still functioning to generate heat.

As I look at the survival gear pictured on this thread, I would leave some out and lighten some of the rest, at least for hunting. I always hope to carry out a lot of meat, so take mininimal gear in my pack or day pack. For wet or winter camping just to be camping, I take more survival/comfort gear.

The fluorescent flagging tape is good, but a whole roll is heavy. Most of this we have posted at times in the past so please forgive the repeats. I wind several yards of the flagging tape on itself, so that there is no useless hefty center, and then cut it with a sharp knife around the roll, lengthwise. One cut in the center makes two half width tapes. I usually do two cuts to make one width of tape into three narrow ones. I put a rubber band or some adhesive tape on it to hold the roll together and usually put it in a small Ziploc bag with other items, like spare batteries. The tape weighs less, goes three times as far and I recognize my own from anybody elseís. You donít need much if you are looking for it. I've only used it to mark down game or a route into a good place.

Most of my cord is now even thinner and lighter than parachute cord, still plenty strong for tying down a tarp or meat to a pack. I dye it bright orange if I can't buy bright colours, so I can find it on snow or dry ground. I donít need to rappel with it, though I usually have one longer piece of parachute cord strength. For knives, I carry a smallish pocket knife and a lock blade light weight Buck folder, and unless it is a long multi day trip, no sharpener.

I often sit on my pack at impromptu stands, rather than take the pad out of it to sit on. The day pack itself will add to insulation, either under you, over you or with your feet and as much of your body stuck in as possible. Have bivvied that way, and one pack I have has an extra long extension top that I can pull up past my waist.

I carry two lighter weight flashlights, one a micro head lamp and the other a mini LED so I can see to change batteries in the headlamp. Had to change those one night just at the snow line while packing out a buck on a steep trail. With cold wet hands and dumb fuddled tired brain, I dropped one of the batteries. At that elevation, on the line between snow above and rain below, it was kind of a slushy rain on a muddy, steep, rocky, brushy trail. With the mini light I found the battery I dropped. Otherwise, the instant I dropped it, I knew that if I didnít find it, I would spend the night right there, under the nearest tree.

During that stop I ate one of the little marathoner envelopes of energy gel and it seemed to give me a huge boost. Have tried them under less stressed situations and have not noticed any difference, but I carry one or two of them and save them for emergencies or the latter stage of a pack out.

If any of us spend a night out in the wet and cold, if we are wet, God help us and I hope we survive.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105094 11/30/06
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Pete E Offline
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Okanagan,

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the wet issue..I live in the UK and its pretty damn wet here too...Only in the height of summer do I hunt in anything other than breathable waterproofs...Its a policy which I believe has helped me avoid hypotheria many times...I also now tend to religiously carry a small head torch plus a 1W LED hand torch...Again this policy has meant I could walk off the hill when i've been caught out after dark, when otherwise it might have meant a night in the cold and wet..

Somebody mentioned a zippo as being a good survival firelighter, but I am affraid i disagree...They are great when they are fueled up, but they dry out relatively quickly if they are not used as they are not sealed as can't be left at the bottom of a pack and forgotten about...I really wish somebody would do a sealed version even if it had to have a screw top to it...the nearest i have seen is the so called perma-matches......

One of the *best* survival aids I have come across is a small strobe light. With one of these I can hunker down and get out of the weather as much as possbile, but leave that flashing away in a prominent place near by for rescuers to see..a whistle is another must for me as again it can be operatered from the confines of water ever shelter I can find...

If you do decide to buy a strobe check the switch arrangement as some are not protected and it would be easy for them to be turned on in your pack in error...

Bravo

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105095 11/30/06
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Okanagan, have you tried to light your waterproof matches with the emory cloth you use. A lot of safety type matches require a chemical in the striker or they won't work. Strike anywhere matches, obviously, are a different story. As to staying dry, I won't go into the bush here on the coast without my HH Impertech rain gear...nothing else like it. The stuff is bullet proof.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105096 12/01/06
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Okanagan Offline
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Okanagan, have you tried to light your waterproof matches with the emory cloth you use. A lot of safety type matches require a chemical in the striker or they won't work. Strike anywhere matches, obviously, are a different story.


Paul, you just explained an oddity to me. One time I had a batch of waterproof matches that I decided were defective so threw them away because they would not strike on hardly anything. Some did strike on the side of the box they came in but on nothing else, (and even on the box they had a poor percentage of lighting.) I didn't know about the striker requirements of some safety matches. The waterproof ones I have now strike well on many surfaces, but from now on I will make sure what I buy.

One time I cut the striker side off of a box of matches and put that in the pill bottle, but it didn't hold up as well as sandpaper, and especially the tougher emery cloth.

Thanks for the info! That could be a disaster to have matches that wouldn't strike. Same lesson again, down to the smallest detail, we need to test gear to make sure it all works.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105097 12/01/06
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Okanagan Offline
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Ordered the Golite poncho. Been wanting a poncho for some summer uses anyway and this one sounds ideal for some of the hunts and hikes I do. I'd also like a shortie poncho, waist length, for kayaking in the rain, which I love to do. I'll probably have to make that.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105098 12/01/06
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Pete E Offline
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Beware of the so called waterproof matches that require the special striking surface.

On a couple of types I have tried over here, while the matches are waterproof, the striker surface is not! The ones i am thinking about come in small white bottles like pill containers with the stricker surface the exterior of the lid. I found that when it got damp, the surface tended to disintergrate/dissolve leaving you unable to use the matches.

If you use these it may be worth checking before you come to depend on them..

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105099 12/01/06
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johnw Offline
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'scuse my ignorance... what's a bleak???

Quote
Here is another pitch for the Golite poncho. A longer A-frame with bleak.






"Chances Will Be Taken"

If you could reason with a Democrat there wouldn't be any Democrats...
Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105100 12/01/06
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Pete E Offline
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Its like a beak, but made in China! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105101 12/03/06
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Tentman Offline
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Hello Guys

One of my favourite subjects. My survival kit is now just a few oz, and is about the size of two cigarette packets. I live in one of the wettest temperate climates in the world, easily 10 to 20 feet of rain a year (yes thats right - up to 8 metres). Gas lighters of any type can be a problem in a survival kit as over time they develop "issues", and just when you need them, they don't go - don't ask how I know this !! I use plain old matches in a film canister, and back that up with a few of the wind/waterproof supermatches.

The two most important items in my kit for getting a fire going are a bit of plain old motorcycle tyre tube, cut into the size of large rubber bands, or in one piece (mine is the outside wrap of my survival kit, and there are usually a few spare bits in my bum bag too) and knowlege/practise (oh bugger thats three things). Even in the wettest bush (forest) here you can always find some burnable stuff on the dry side of old trees, although it often takes a while, and requires experience in knowing where to look.

There is a potential problem in relying too much on "stuff" that may or may not be in your survival kit as every unexpected night out is different. Knowlege and confidence are much underated "tools" in dealing with problems in the mountains.

For example recognising early that you will not be back with your buddies for the night is real important, then you have time to seek shelter etc (getting out of the wind, and getting a fire going are 10 times more difficult after darkness falls), and you are much less likely to make further mistakes. Most people who die in our mountains don't just make one mistake, they usually start with a small one then compound it - mostly by getting hypothermia, which generally stuffs your decisionmaking capabilities anyway.


Cheers - Foster

Last edited by Tentman; 12/03/06.

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Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105102 12/03/06
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kutenay Offline
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This has been an interesting thread and I will contribute my "mite" based on my experiences and the philosophy I have derived from them. Where I live it is extremely wet and also very cold with heavy snowfall, severe winds and temps. to -40*; the relatively small population, minimal emerg. services and weather all combine to make rescue in winter quite problematical.

So, since this is the situation, I have always felt that having a certain level of gear, skills, mental preparedness and foresight is really the best way to approach this problem and it has worked for me. I think that depending on one's ability to make a fire is not wise as some emergency bivys result from an injury such as a fractured leg and you will NOT move around to gather fuel or find tinder with such an injury, so, you need to succour yourself with gear you have with you.

If, someone carries a basic weatherproof bivy-bedroll plus hydration capability plus enough dry clothing to change out of any wet items they are wearing AND stays where they are, with simple signalling devices, they have an excellent chance of survival-rescue. However, failure to recognize the potential for injury that will preclude traditional "survival" skills being employed, such as those shown in a myriad of books on the topic, can and usually will end in the slow death of the person involved, happens here all year 'round.

My younger brother is an Emergency Med. Tec. aka "paramedic" and has flown in and helped pack out the corpses of quite a few "outdoorsmen" who would not carry adequate survival gear, broke an ankle ski-mountaineering and couldn't make a fire, so, they froze to death, slowly....not fun.

I do not take chances with minimal gear and my emerg. camp weighs about 25 lbs. all up, pack included. I can survive, easily, for a week with this and after seeing the corpses of personal friends, some VERY experienced BC wilderness enthusiasts, including professional guides and park rangers, I will not leave my transport without this gear, or, depend on a minimalist pocket pack. YMMV.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105103 12/03/06
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WoodsWalker Offline
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I don't know if my spelling is correct but the "bleak" is something to help close off one side of a tarp. It was made in the USA.

Re: Surviving a cold wet night #1105104 12/03/06
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Okanagan Offline
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Quote


...recognising early that you will not be back with your buddies for the night is real important, then you have time to seek shelter etc (getting out of the wind, and getting a fire going are 10 times more difficult after darkness falls), and you are much less likely to make further mistakes. Most people who die in our mountains don't just make one mistake, they usually start with a small one then compound it - mostly by getting hypothermia, which generally stuffs your decisionmaking capabilities anyway.

Cheers - Foster


Wise words, for all of the reasons you list. They are hard words to heed for ourselves, when we are the one starting to get in trouble and want to keep trying to find our way out rather than take the safe, embarrassing route and use the last hour before dark to prepare for a long wet night. An old timer I used to hang out with in B.C. once told me abruptly one day,"The time to decide to spend an emergency night in the bush is an hour and a half before dark, not five minutes after."

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