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If you were seperated from your pack...
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Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 15:10:28 MDT Print View

What would you want to have on you? I'm basically trying to decide what items to put on a survival necklace or something along those lines.

p.s. At this point, I'm just thinking of throwing my firesteel scout on a paracord necklace.

Edited by RomanLA on 10/30/2008 15:13:30 MDT.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:"If you were seperated from your pack..." on 10/30/2008 15:17:52 MDT Print View

My son and I each keep one of THESE in our pockets along with a Benchmade Mini-Griptillian knife (2.65 oz). To the kit (3.9 oz) I add 6 chlorine dioxide tablets, a coffee filter, and a Photon Freedom Micro LED Light. Weight well worth carrying in my opinion.

Edited by brianjbarnes on 10/30/2008 15:21:12 MDT.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 15:23:28 MDT Print View

A flashlight. Maybe a little knife. An energy bar.

Edited by johannb on 10/30/2008 15:28:42 MDT.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
"Survival" gear on 10/30/2008 15:43:32 MDT Print View

I always carry at least a whistle, phone, knife, matches, compass and maps on me in pockets in case I lose my pack.

As for what you carry, think of your needs and what you can do with the minimal amount of gear you would want. Also think of where you generally hike and on what types of hikes.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 16:11:24 MDT Print View

On the trail I usually have my phone/gps mapping in my shirt pockets, along with a small led torch, lighter, small bottle of alcohol fuel, sweets, passport if I'm abroad, cash, pencil/paper. In my hat, a couple of needles and some thread. Trousers pockets always have a knife in, along with TP and usually a bit of cordage or spare laces, a folded plastic bag in the back pocket.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 16:48:01 MDT Print View

Hmm... these days I don't think about being seperated from my pack because it pretty much never comes off. When the pack was bigger and heavier it would come off for river crossings, left in a base camp, etc but that doesn't happen now. Why make a base camp when I don't mind carrying the pack and I the pack is minimal enough that I have swum with it comfortably.

The things I carry on my body (mostly because I want access without taking off my pack): knife, lighter, compass, map, whistle, and a micro flashlight. If I thought there was a major change of being separated I would stuff an emergency blanket, some water purification tablets and a platypus in my pocket.

One issue with a survive necklace... make sure if it gets caught on something, that the necklace lets go before your neck does.


Edited by verber on 12/11/2009 18:19:35 MST.

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
My necklace on 10/30/2008 17:44:27 MDT Print View

I carry something similiar to the Ranger Rick's SOS necklace:

I keep Deet and a survival blanket in a pocket.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 19:35:21 MDT Print View

Great topic to bring up Roman. One might consider what is the most minimal, most compact or most reliable item in each of ten groups. Could a hiker easily carry these in a pocket? The items are alot more important when hiking solo than hiking in a group I suppose.

1. Medical- duct tape
2. Shelter- garbage bag (yellow or orange could double for signaling)
3. Fire- waterproof matches or firesteel
4. Hydration- straw, purification tablets, container
5. Communication- whistle
6. Navigation- map, button compass, coin cell light
7. Nutrition- nothing or lifesaver candy : )
8. Insulation- use shelter, fire
9. Sun Protection- use shelter, worn clothing, sunglasses in winter
10. Tools- scissors (all I have been carrying lately)

A container could be a ziplock (soft sided), a Q-tip container (hard sided), or the items could be loose in several pockets. What would everybody else choose?

Edited by jshann on 10/31/2008 21:59:19 MDT.

Jed Augustine
(jaugusti) - F

Locale: Appalachians/Rockies
Situations where you would be separated from your pack? on 10/30/2008 20:00:24 MDT Print View

Hey y'all-

I'm having a bit of difficulty imagining situations in which you would be separated from your pack, short of a very unfortunate scenario involving cliffs. I chock this up to lack of experience, What situations should I be wary of?

I hope all is well with everyone.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/30/2008 20:15:59 MDT Print View

The first answer is, if your pack is UL, why would you ever be separated from it? About the only time would be if you wandered away from camp and darkness fell or you got disoriented.

So, I admit it. I've done that. Went to a remote spring and got turned around in the high, thick brush between the spring and my camp. It happens and it's a very nasty feeling. On the other hand, I don't expect to ever be separated for more than a few hours.

I had on Crocks, running shorts, a watch and a "survival" neckless. I keep a compass on the watch band, and it's the only compass I use, so I know how to use it. The neckless is a breakaway lanyard with a squeeze light, a whistle, a small butane lighter, and a SAK. I use it like a pocket to hold everyday items. That way, it doesn't get left somewhere and I know everything works all the time.

How did I find camp? I was alone, so the whistle was uselsss. I knew I had to go uphill, but I also knew I could cut the trail to the spring. I missed the trail somehow in the thick brush and darkness, so I worked a star pattern using the compass to return to the spring and the LED for light. It took several tries until the reflectorized patches on my tarp showed me the way home.

My feeling is that if my "survival kit" had been larger than this, I would have left if at camp.

Edited by vickrhines on 10/30/2008 20:21:23 MDT.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Situation on 10/30/2008 20:20:22 MDT Print View

The most likely one that comes to mind is an unplanned swim crossing water. I've heard that a pack will float, so there's a chance you could find it in an eddy downstream.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Separated from pack on 10/30/2008 20:26:14 MDT Print View

Yeah, Roman, if your pack doesn't float, it's pretty dense. I've done a lot of river trips. Tumps are common. I don't secure gear in the boat, but instead, let it float away. It's easier to rescue/recover the boat if it's not loaded. The gear is always easy to find. As you say, eddies catch it and it rarely moves very far very fast. If you are going downstream, you can just pick things up as you go. If you are backpacking, you can just float downstream. The pack will usually be within 100 yards or so.

Edited by vickrhines on 10/30/2008 20:44:37 MDT.

Douglas Ray

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Situations where you would be separated from your pack? on 10/30/2008 20:30:16 MDT Print View

I have read several such circumstances amongst climbers. It's not that hard to drop a pack on technical terrain. However, one usually has a companion in such cases, and the critical survival gear is usually what's hanging on your harness or tied to you in those cases.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
If you were separated on 10/31/2008 01:39:21 MDT Print View

What about a bear running off with your pack, still full of food, while you were collecting water, so you don't know which direction the bear went?

Or say you find the pack, but it's torn to shreds? Or what about running from a bear and throwing off your pack, then sliding down a steep slope?

Granted, quite unlkely, but still, emergency kits are all about preparing for the unlikely, correct?

lynda schroeder
(lyndasch15) - F
We've had a bear run off with a pack! on 10/31/2008 05:27:35 MDT Print View

Hi, I'm mostly a lurker, but I've learned many things from the forum section. Thanks for all the great topics.

We did actually did have a bear run off with a pack in the u-p of Michigan. On our very first backpacking trip. It was dusk and the packs were waiting to be put on the bear pole. (now only food bags go on the pole) I walked away from camp to visit a bush, and left the packs with my hubby and kids. While I was away they all went to their tents, and left the packs (and food) against a tree. When hubby left the tent he almost backed into the bear. In the bear's panic he took a nearly empty pack. The bear got no food, but because we had set up camp we had most of the gear for five people and only three packs (one kid was too small to carry much gear). This was before we went to light weight gear. It was a long heavy walk for three of us the next day.

I now carry nothing I can't afford to loose in my pack. I do carry a compass, whistle, knife, fire stick, LED light, money, ID, bandana, and snack on my person.


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
How about a MOOSE running off with a pack! on 10/31/2008 07:59:35 MDT Print View

Read a story once about a bull moose being attracted to tobacco stored in a side pocket of an external frame pack. A shoulder strap became tangled in its antlers when the owner scared it off.

The pack was found a couple hundred yards away, much the worse off for the experience.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Situations where you would be separated from your pack? on 10/31/2008 08:06:39 MDT Print View

On a more serious note, there's always the possibility of getting stupid when situations go south on us. It is simple enough to keep a small survival kit on our persons and that's a small price to pay for some insurance, even if we're confident in our discipline to keep a cool head under duress.

30-some years ago 2 or three climbers fell to their deaths in Yosemite while retreating from a failed climb. The investigative conclusions were 1) they bit off more than they could chew on the climb 2) ran out of water 3) dehydration led to impatience, degradation of technique, carelessness etc. They clipped in to a bolt-chain-bolt anchor in a manner that did not fail safe. The tang on one of the bolts failed.

A story with a better outcome ... Experienced backpacker on the Pow Wow Lakes Trail (BWCAW) lost the trail (easy to do on the poorly maintained BWCAW backpacking trails). Again, low on water. He camped overnight and guessed incorrectly that he could easily find the trail by walking in a certain direction. Figured it couldn't be too far and it'd be easier to for the trail without all that gear on his back. Didn't find the trail, couldn't find his camp again either. OOPS! Then the weather turned ... several inches of wet snow and continued to be cold. No food, no shelter, water only at the expense of energy used when eating snow. He was fortunate that his stupidity was temporary. He put his energy into finding shelter (a large hollow log) and sat tight. Was found a few days later somewhat worse for wear but ultimately OK.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/31/2008 08:16:59 MDT Print View

by Gerry Roach

1. Never get separated from your lunch.

2. Never get separated from your sleeping bag.

3. Never get separated from your primal urges.

4. Carefully consider where your primal urges are leading you.

5. Expect to go the wrong way at least some of the time.

6. Recognize that first aid above 26,000 feet consists of getting below 26,000 feet.

7. Never step on the rope.

8. Never bivouac.

9. Remember that Surfer Girl is not in the mountains.

10. Never pass up a chance to pee.

11. Don’t eat yellow snow.

12. Have fun and don’t forget why you started.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"If you were seperated from your pack..." on 10/31/2008 08:51:58 MDT Print View

For three season outings I wear running shorts with a built in liner/brief and a wicking light weight shirt, this equates to - no pockets. My gear is either in my pack or in the gear closet at home. My pack goes where I go, always. If seperated from my pack I'm in for the adventure of a lifetime or maybe the last adventure of a lifetime. I know many others hike in the same type of clothing so I'm likely not alone.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: "If you were seperated from your pack..." on 10/31/2008 09:33:19 MDT Print View

My clothing is about the same as Thom's, but my running shorts have pockets. I always carry my pocket knife in one of them. I don't generally like to have anything else in the pockets though. I do have a lanyard I made from about 25' of GG EZC guyline that I wear around my neck anytime I'm on the trail. I carry a mini firesteel, pinch light, compass, and whistle on it.

Outside of that I do my best to not get separated from my pack. The only times I take it off are to eat lunch, take a break, or set up camp. Hipbelt pockets do wonders for keeping snacks and cameras in easy reach :). Obviously its not always possible to keep my pack on me, but like Thom I'm prepared for an adventure should I get separated from it.