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If you were seperated from your pack...
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Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/31/2008 15:05:56 MDT Print View

Just take stock of your priorities.
What do you need for a short time to be protected from exposure?
Water and shelter. I will consider fire as part of shelter if it is needed at all.
So, thats some micropur tabs and a firesteel. A knife would be invaluable to make shelter and fire but who here is going to seriously carry a suitable fixed blade that can do the job?
I probably wont. A small folder isnt up to the task and worst you run the real danger of it folding on your finger or the joint falling apart and now your lost with a painful cut finger that has to be protected from infection.
Better to learn some debris shelter building skills and be real good at fire building with natural materials.
A compass, small LED and whistle could be added too for navigation and signaling. If you make it complicated you will work against yourself.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 10/31/2008 15:38:57 MDT Print View

You could of course end up with a second UL pack hanging around your neck. The logic seems questionable.
Don't get separated!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re:Running from a bear on 10/31/2008 20:50:41 MDT Print View

Rule Number One: Don't ever run from a bear. The bear can run much faster than you can, even when you're running for your life.

Throw a rock at him instead. They don't like rocks bouncing off their bodies. I know this from first hand experience.

Roger has it spot on: Your pack is your life. Don't ever leave it.

Edited by redleader on 10/31/2008 20:52:53 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re:Running from a bear on 11/01/2008 18:31:13 MDT Print View

That's why you don't want to hike alone in bear territory. If you have a partner, you don't have to outrun the bear, just the partner....

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
My Stuff... on 11/14/2008 12:42:50 MST Print View

This is what I ended up going with...

Wenger Swiss Army Knife - 0.8 oz
Photon Freedom Micro LED - 0.2 oz
West Marine Safety Whistle - 0.2 oz
Light My Fire Firesteel Scout - 1.0 oz

Survival Gear

I ordered a Brunton Key Ring Compass too, but it was huge. It was basically a full size compass without the base. I ended up just putting a small compass on my watchband. I haven't decided if I'm going to put this on a breakaway necklace or just leave it on a loop of paracord in my pocket.

Edited by RomanLA on 11/14/2008 12:43:30 MST.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: My Stuff... on 11/14/2008 19:04:57 MST Print View

Hi Roman. You dont need the firesteel striker when you are carrying that knife.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: My Stuff... on 11/14/2008 20:57:50 MST Print View

Roman, that is exactly what I carry on lanyard as well.
One thing I found is that a small cordlock above all the items keeps them from getting horribly tangled if they're not around my neck.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
separated from pack on 12/10/2009 17:50:04 MST Print View

I've given a fair amount of thought to this subject and have changed up both what/where I carry things.

In one pocket I carry a small PSK- AMK heatsheet, quart water container, 10 micropur tabs, sparklite w/ 5 tinders, AMK signal mirror, a piece of heavier gauge aluminum foil, small roll wire- all in a 4.5x7" Aloksak- total weight 5.5 oz

In the other pocket I carry a K&M match safe w/ REI storm matches and two fire straws- it has a small liquid filled Suunto compass for the top- 1.5 oz

small first aid kit- gauze, tegaderm bandage, steri strips, Celox, neosporin- in a 5x4 Aloksak- 0.9 oz- also in this is my repair kit - duct tape, superglue, safety pins, needle, spectra fish line, safety razor- 0.7 oz, 1.6 oz total

I recently went to a Esbit/wood stove so I now carry a small fixed blade knife- I've elected to carry it around my neck- the sheath has 15' 200# spectra cord wrapped around it, also on the neck lanyard are a Photon light and whistle- 4.7 oz

so 5.5 oz in one pocket, 3.1 in the other and 4.7 around my neck

many of these items were carried in my pack already- first aid kit, repair kit, water tabs, light, whistle

knife and matchsafe were already in my pockets

probably an additional 4-5 oz that I wasn't carrying previously, but I feel very comfortable that I could start a fire, build a debris shelter, purify and carry water, signal, navigate to some degree, and tend to small wounds if I was separated from my pack


Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Minimum survival kit on 12/11/2009 17:47:55 MST Print View

I'd say the minimum is something you can start a fire with, a knife, compass and whistle in addition to the cord that holds it all.

Relying on NEVER being separated from ones pack is a bad idea in my opinion. No one ever expects the unexpected to happen. And, most of the time, with proper planning, it doesn't. But, if it does you'll be glad you had a few things with you...

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Seperated from pack on 12/11/2009 21:08:45 MST Print View

As a just in case policy I usually carry a pocket knife clipped in my waistband, a lighter in my pocket and a small light around my kneck. My thinking is that should be enough to get me home if a bear takes off with my pack etc. In most cases I would start hiking out immediately and the light enables me to move safely in the dark. If its to cold I'll build a fire with the lighter. In a really remote area like Alaska or Montana I might consider a bigger survival kit.
Of course my first goal is to never be seperated from my pack to begin with.
Since some bears get rather bold about stealing food I usually keep my pack with me. When I make camp I keep the bear spray handy. Not so much for my safety but hopefully so I can chase off Yogi before he gets something valuable. Someone mentioned not leaving valuables like wallets in a pack. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that but I'll remember it next time.

Edited by Cameron on 12/11/2009 21:16:26 MST.

Jarred H
(calculatinginfinity) - F
edc on 12/13/2009 02:14:58 MST Print View

When I'm in the woods I carry basically the same things I have in my pockets everyday along with a few trail specific extras.
-Cellphone,kept in a small ziploc and never turned on unless there's an emergency.
-Opinel no8, useful for just about everything and isn't outrageously heavy(about 1.3oz). I carry this everyday and it has never failed me.
-Chap stick
-A mini bic with about 2 feet of duct tape wrapped around it. Under the first inch of tape I keep a small safety pin, sewing needle, floss, and a paper clip. This gets used just as often as my knife.
-Small pieces of 600 and 1500 grit paper for touching up my knife at the end of the day. Ranger banded to that is my ID, bank card, condom, whistle, and some extra cash. On the trail it's kept in a small Ziploc bag with the bic.
-The ever useful bandanna.
-Area map and compass.
-Maybe my headlamp or gloves if my hip belt pockets were filled with snacks.

WA Martinez
(Danzarr) - F
my emergency kit on 12/13/2009 16:30:17 MST Print View

2 chlorine tablets
two large trash bags
duct tape
10 zip ties
button compass and map
10 feet of paracord
and an emergency signaling mirror
all in a ziploc

trash bags and duct tap are great for making an emergency lean to, and if you duct tape a fold at the bottom, it works to collect morning dew for water.

Edited by Danzarr on 12/13/2009 16:31:28 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 12/13/2009 17:10:48 MST Print View

"Don't get separated!"

What could be simpler? + 10!

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 12/13/2009 17:36:49 MST Print View

It only took once for me. I was above Paiute Pass in the Sierra in late November. I left my pack to make a "short" side trip to check out a window looking over to the Owens. There was only about an inch of snow on the ground. It took about an hour to get up there- wind howling and snow whirling the whole way. Coming back it had turned to about 100' visibility and I got totally turned around. I knew that if I just headed downhill East I would hit cliffs. Downhill West it was 35 miles to the closed resort at Florence Lake. Finally, 4+ hours after leaving my pack I found it and the trail. The snow was about 1' deep by this point.

A knife, firestarter, tape, and string wouldn't have been much use if I was caught out overnight- I would need insulation and energy. My reaction to this event is to not leave my pack in a blizzard. I also never, ever go out in winter without a compass.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 12/13/2009 17:54:55 MST Print View

I try not to get separated. I have swum with my pack firmly in place. If I do set my pack down, I set it down on the trail because I don't want to lose that, either, and if I can find the trail, I ought to be able to find my pack.

The most possible way I can see for getting separated from my pack is either:

a) My pack is stolen. In that case, I'd want a phone, credit card, cash and a snack.

b) Bear destroys my pack. In that case I'd want a way to carry whatever things weren't destroyed. You can make a backpack out of a pair of pants. So I would want to have a strong needle and sturdy thread (dental floss) to make a a pack out of my pants.

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
If you were separated from your pack... on 12/13/2009 18:29:00 MST Print View

--- I would want to have a strong needle and sturdy thread (dental floss) to make a a pack out of my pants. ---

@Diane: LOL. This is the best line I've read in a long time! ;-)

I'm more like one of the posters above... I carry my mini BIC, tiny knife and LED light in my pants pocket. Jeez, I don't even wear a watch when I hike (goes in a little dry bag at the bottom of the pack, along with my cell phone, wallet, car keys, plane tickets etc). Maybe I should reconsider some of those items and have them in a pocket or something? I just don't like to carry them gingling in my pockets!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: If you were seperated from your pack... on 12/20/2009 12:17:04 MST Print View

I carry a small key ring with mini firesteel, Victorinox Classic knife, AAA LED flashlight, aluminum tube whistle, and spy capsule for tinder. I also carry a larger knife--- usually a 3.5" folder. A K&M match case with compass goes in another pocket.

It's just barely enough: fire, shelter building, signaling and navigation. Given a clean water source I could get by for several days.

What I carry for day hiking in addition to the items above is a better survival list:

Poncho shelter
Braided nylon line
Small roll 26ga wire
Mini fishing kit
Duct tape
Mini "hotel freebie" sewing kit
First aid kit with spare medications.
Spare one liter platypus with 4 MicroPur tablets taped on
Ti pot/mug
Spare batteries
AMK Thermolite Bivy or Emergency Bivy
Spare clothing layers (insulation)
Spare socks
Bug repellent
Mini Bic lighter
Spare reading glasses
Sighting compass and maps
Spare food (granola bar, candy)
Personal hygiene/latrine kit

That list will fit in a very small pack and it goes with me every time, regardless of the distance, weather, or terrain. Given a water source and wild edibles/small game, I could go for weeks with this kit.

The chances of getting separated from your pack are slim, but not impossible. Taking a little time to work through such scenarios just might save your bacon some day. It isn't difficult or expensive, just the small effort to carry a few items on your person rather than all in your pack.

Real scenarios for pack loss:

*Stream crossings

Living as I do in earthquake country and faced with the very real possibility of mass destruction, I carry basic survival items every day. A few tools, some food and water, and a little extra clothing can save your life. Think about it!

Benjamin Crowley
(benajah) - F

Locale: West, now
Re: Re: My Stuff... on 12/31/2009 14:00:05 MST Print View

Yes you do. The heat from the sparking will totally ruin the temper on a knife blade. Quickly too.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
scenarios on 12/31/2009 17:13:24 MST Print View

"Real scenarios for pack loss:

*Stream crossings

probably could add getting lost/injured away from camp- getting water, "short" hike/exploring, hanging bear bag- especially at or near dark

Matt Holmes
(mholmes) - F

Locale: North Texas- Fort Worth
pack loss on 12/31/2009 17:40:53 MST Print View

I really don't understand why you would get separated from your pack. Keep it on you at all times. Even when I sleep, I use it as a pillow.