Its been awhile since I posted the blog on the 10 C’s of survivability. So its time to look at it again. Now that I have, over the past 2 years, taken a closer look, added the necessities to my survival packing, tried and even succeeded at times to use and get familiar with them. I found that although it covers the minimal requirements (and that is stressed by Dave Canterbury, whose brain child it is.) I discovered I need more to survive.
The main reason, I am a novice. I am no Bush crafter expert or survivor guru. So being the sharing kind of guy I am, I thought I would share what I have learnt over the past 2 years of getting outdoors with the 10 C’s at my disposal. Mind you its not a lot. But I have learnt some things you might not have considered.
First off, I and I am pretty sure a lot of people fell into the “this is all I need to survive” trap. No, not true. This is a list of TOOLS needed to help you survive. Obviously you need to know what they are for and how to use the tools. However there are other things we as a novice survivalist need to know and understand.
Yes these “other thing’s” go hand in hand with the 10C’s list.
The ones that come to mind right away are:
Theses are just the first ones that I found I had to add to my “tools list”.
Here is the 10 C’s list.
1. Cutting tool (Knife, saw, axe etc.)
2. Combustion tool (Fire starter)
3. Cover (Shelter from the elements)
4. Container (Water vessel)
5. Cordage (550 cord or bank line)
6.Candle light ( flash light, headlight etc.)
7. Cotton bandana
9. Cargo Tape (Preferably Gorilla duct tape)
10. Canvas needle (A sewing kit would do in a pinch)
As I said before this list is for tools you need to survive an unplanned happenstance, where we find ourselves in a survival situation. They are a MUST. However there are other “needs ” we should consider when going outdoors for any extended time.
Lets look at the quick list I just remembered.
Assuming we have all the tools from the list at our disposal, ready and packed in convenient places with easy access. We need to consider our safety. This is a priority when planning for a survival situation or even a day trip outdoors.
Simply doing some research online about where you are going or the area you could find yourself in a survival situation. It does depend on where you are currently living now (Home area or local area), or the area you are planning a trip to. There will be a lot of information about your local area available. Local police departments, City offices or even using a house buying guide from a local online realtor. They have some interesting information regarding your local area. The realtor sites often give information on the area a house is for sale. Police departments will have information on crime areas and fire departments about dangerous fire areas and emergency options for you. They offer advice on safety and have many pamphlets and papers on how to be prepared for a disaster. Check them out.
Things to look for in any area is the obvious. Crime rates, types of crime etc. This will offer a better idea of your neighborhood and a rough idea of what to expect in a disaster situation. Make sure to locate disaster staging areas for your city. Know where they are. Have a map handy with the safe havens marked on them. Make sure to have a good spread. You never know where you will be when a disaster happens. Make sure ALL members’ of you family have on and are familiar with it. Learn basic map reading with everyone.
When looking at a outdoor trip these basic ideas for your local rea can be used there to. If camping contact the local ranger stations or office for your state or federal location. ( In MN is the DNR, Department of natural recourses) their website will, if you spend time on it, offer up some good advice and information for the area you will be in. Obviously this will concentrate on wildlife dangers, but people issues are also considered. Things to look for is reviews on the area from other visitors, were there break ins to vehicles, police actions or complaints of noise etc.
Safety also includes wardrobe and personal protection. I wont get into that (Personal protection), simply because how you choose to protect yourself is a personal choice. Needless to say, make sure you are familiar with your choice, how to use safely, carry, maintain and understand the local and federal laws of your choice.
Wardrobe is often overlooked. Be sure to have all the needs for all weather types. Disasters don’t have a season. And it may be larger enough to disrupt your life over months, Taking you into different seasons. Pack wisely. Most clothing is bulky and takes up space. But it is a needed item. Depending on the State or area you live in will determine the requirements. If you have a home base with disaster preparation in it .Make sure to have the correct clothes ready as the seasons change. You don’t want to be digging through your stash to find a heavy snow jacket because you still have your summer kit out. One thing I have found I do is over pack my clothes. Get everything out, put it in a seasonal pile and then go through each pile. Remove duplicates, look at other seasonal piles to see if you have multi-taskers in them. as we had discussed before you may need to move from your home base to a predetermined location or disaster shelter. Deciding what to take is determined by your transport. If by foot less will be available to you, if by vehicle more. However don’t overload either. Choose wisely.
In a major disaster, most times the main concerns are water. Whether for drinking or cleanliness, you need it. It is some thing or body cannot survive without. Having access to clean drinkable water is a top priority. There will be water around however how safe it is to drink is another story. My advice is have a portable purification system at your disposal. There are many kinds out there from, drops, pills and filters. I would have at least two different kinds on hand. Compact and lightweight is perfect, however if transport allows look at bigger better systems. Water is heavy. Carrying it is difficult. Make sure to have at least something you can use to carry water to last a couple days if used sparingly. This can be applied to a camping and day excursion into the outdoors. Just on a smaller scale.
Be sure you are familiar with how it works, maintain it and storage. Check your systems regularly. Its a major life saver.
This goes hand in hand with safety. Nobody should leave home without some sort of basic first aid kit available. Whether you choose to buy a prepared kit or make one for yourself, it needs to be able to help take care of you and members of your group reasonably well. You don’t have to be a EMT or trauma physician to use a first aid kit. The name says it all. It is a temporary fix to get you through a bad situation until more knowledgeable and professional help can be found. It is to provide basic medical care right there and now.
What constitutes a perfect first aid kit depends on your personal needs. All Kits need to have the basics. There are hundreds of lists out there for you to peruse. However they will all need modifications for your specific needs. An example is if a person in your group has special medical needs. Such as a Diabetic. Here is a basic starting list to work from. Its one I found on the REI website.
Assorted adhesive bandages
Blister treatments (such as moleskin)
Medication and ointments/lotions
Blunt tip scissors
Razor blade or knife
Splints and elastic wraps
That’s it for now. There is other “things” to considerer when planning for a disaster. But this is a start.
My advice is to PLAN. Make a list of needs to add to the 10 C’s list that you will need and whittle down to a manageable load. Obviously you will need multiple first aid kits, and water purification systems for your group. each member should have one each for personal carry in their BOB, daypacks, camping packs/ bags that they will have with them at all times.
Remember. ‘Knowledge is a survival skill”
The Novice survivalist