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Have the basics

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  • Have the basics

    Hey guys, i found this and it has some good info. i don't agree with everything but it has useful information that is easy to over look.

    I found this thread on an another site and thought I would share it.

    In the wake of a new earthquake in China leaving behind 400,000 homeless, i wanted to approach our survival universe with a kit that has been in use by refugees and homeless alike throughout the world.

    Our kits can be pricey, complicated, heavy, and might not be approachable by most. The truth is, our kits and BOBs are great, but they can lack functionality. Most BOBs i have seen on youtube and forums are layered with a multitude of tools and objects that rarely find their way to the massive amount of individuals living in refugee camps or on the streets. Proving us day after day that survival is rooted in functionality, basic tools and simplicity.

    One of the items that i rarely see, and that we rarely talk about is the pot. Most even forget the canteen cup on their video, but cooking beans or rice for a family of 4 in a canteen cup is not viable. Boiling enough water for a family of 4 in a canteen cup is backwards.
    A pot is primordial to survival. Not flash lights, multi tools and fancy electronic equipment...

    With this in mind, i wanted us to step back from all that is available to us in terms of gear, and focus our attention on necessity. To me, a flash light is not a necessity, millions survive without them day in and day out. Millions survive without a multi tool, day in and day out...Millions.

    Refugees and survivors don't have fancy BOBs...yet they survive. The numbers we can reference to find survival probabilities incorporating the gear we are use to and have gathered over the years is really small. On the other hand, the numbers utilizing gear based on necessity is once again in the millions.

    1- The pot.

    The pot is without any question, the one item our specie uses to cook, transport and boil water. The pot has a long history, and has been a necessity for aeons. Being able to cook or boil water for more than one individual is primordial. Accessorize it with a wooden spoon, and you have our number one tool.

    2- The wool blanket

    There is not one refugee or one homeless that does not have a blanket of sorts. The blanket is what separates us from the element. It simply regulates our body temperature. Blankets go way back, and our ancestors regarded them as a necessity that became sacred...the blanket is our cocoon, it allows us to rest, to isolate ourselves physically and psychologically from survival itself. It gives us comfort and security.

    3- The tarp.

    Although a more "modern" tool, the tarp has made it to the top of the list. A tarp is one of the most iconic symbol of refugee camps and homeless around the world.
    No need to extrapolate on this is a necessity. Its uses are multiple, and its value as a survivor is priceless.
    Note that we could substitute the tarp for a heavy duty military style poncho. Again though, having more coverage implies more possibilities.

    4- Water.

    This realm is as we all know beyond a necessity. The jerican is as iconic as the tarp. A means to store and carry water is life. A jerican coupled with the pot, and you have survival. Ken mentioned the collapsable ones, which is a good option, but i am partial to a solid jerican for further transport possibilities and durability.

    5- The machete.

    We can talk long and hard about the knife, but when it comes to survival at its core, the machete has proven to be an amazing asset.
    The machete is in use all over the world, it provides an extra "edge" over the knife, because it extends the possibilities around camp. A machete can chop wood, and stir a fire, it provides further reach and is a tremendous defensive weapon.
    From Africa to the far East, from the jungles of south America to Asia, the machete has risen as the survival tool of choice.

    6- Fire.

    What can we say, about a realm so abstract and yet so grounded as fire ?
    Pot + water/food + fire = survival.
    Fire is one of those necessities that Man had to master. Fire itself, has influenced our evolution. That alone should remind us the importance of this realm.
    I don't really care how you make it, Bic lighters or friction, blow torch or cotton balls...the more ways you learn the better.
    Refugees and survivors alike tend to go for simplicity...the tools involved are small, so having three methods on hand is easy...but in the real world, the match is still the number one method of producing fire. A refugee can go through more than 500 matches per month. Something to think about...

    Anything beyond these 6 items, in the realm of necessities, are considered extras.

    7- Knowing what we know, First Aid should come first on this list of extended items. Our ancestors had a "medicine man", and most refugees crave access to this realm. A first aid kit has to be implemented to further our survival probabilities...millions die each year for lack of simple medicine and first aid knowledge.

    8- Soap.

    Soap is one of those items often missing from our gear. Soap can of course be extracted from nature, and this is why it has slipped into the "extra" list.
    Along with the first aid kit, soap can often mean the difference between life and death.

    9- Rope.

    Rope can also be extracted from nature (hence its place here), but this simple item has been with us for a long time. Rope is everywhere, and fulfills many functions.

    10- Fishing.

    Billions with a B, rely on fishing for survival. It surpasses hunting, gathering and agriculture. Fishing was adopted by Cro-Magnon with the evolution of the throwing spear. Since then, fishing has been the corner stone of our survival.

    There is no doubt that the ability to fish is a lot more interesting than the realm of wild edible or hunting. Pound for pound, fishing makes a lot more sense. This change in diet by our ancestors also impacted on our evolution.
    I would grab fishing gear before a rifle any day...except in those regions where bodies of water are missing.
    The earth is composed of 70% of water...
    It is no wonder that the word "fish" appears in the Bible more often than not, and that most of our cities and towns are located near bodies of water.

    Further more, fishing is relatively economical and does not require extended knowledge unlike other realms such as wild edible, hunting and agriculture.
    Although modern agriculture completely changed our lives, agriculture's design is based on feeding massive amounts of individuals, and the possibility to store and have access to food for months ahead. A long term survival situation must take agriculture into account, but for the purpose of this thread, agriculture can only be an extension of fishing.

    Wild edible is also an extension, and should compliment the realm of fishing, but not replace it. The main issue i always had with wild edibles, is the amount of knowledge needed to make this work...And even with all the knowledge possible, the energy yielded by this realm is very small, in comparison to our physiological needs. Further more, the risks associated with eating wild plants is extremely high...plants have developed many toxins and poisons to affirm their right to existence...this is why, as i have said before, our children do not like vegetables. We are hard wire to be extremely suspicious of plant life, and for good reasons. Children will put many things in their mouths, but not plants.

    Hunting, although the main source of food for many, should mainly remain a realm of opportunity.

  • #2
    Now, that was worth reading. I think everyone who plans to survive should do a practice run and see what is really needed. Dried rice and beans are some of the most efficient survival foods. If you have no way to cook them though they are not very tasty. Every one should know how to build a fire. Last winter I hiked down to my lower land. I had a brush pile down there and thought it would be good practice to build a fire. It was buried under two feet of snow. You would be amazed at how difficult it was, using only matches, to get that frozen pile of wood to burn. Every one of us should practice our survival skills once in a while.
    Those who would trade freedom for security will end up with neither.


    • #3
      Learning to live with-out basic tools is a mind expander and a huge confidence builder. Having lived without the fancy-stuff I am all that more proficient with the tools I carry, and if you think Nanook of the North would not kill for a multi-tool, for YOUR multi-tool, you aint spent enough time in the boonies.
      The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.