You discover that help is more than 24 hours away. Looking at the 10 item survival kit you have, you feel you need a little more to last an additional 24 hours. Better shelter, water storage, and purification on the move are some good ideas.
- Shelter (11 oz) – Gatewood Cape – As a shelter, the Gatewood Cape provides significantly enhanced protection when compared to your typical poncho/tarp. Its design easily sheds rain or snow and wind simply flows around it. Any sudden change in wind direction in the middle of the night won’t leave you scrambling to re-orient your shelter or force you deeper into your bivy. Unlike a tarp, the Gatewood Cape is a shaped tarp and eliminates all exposed sides, leaving you safe and secure.
- Water storage (.9 oz) – 1 liter Platypus – Light, flexible, works with multiple caps.
- Water purification (.6 oz) – Potable Chlorine Dioxide tablets – Each tablet treats 1L of water in four hours. Use the BOT to boil 1L of water, let it cool and put it in the Platypus. Refill the BOT, drop one of these tablets in it and let the water treat in the sealed BOT for four hours (while drinking the liter in the Platypus). Do this process in the morning, and when you stop in the middle of the day to eat, you can move the liter of water in the BOT to the Platypus for drinking. Refill the BOT, add a tablet, and have clean water in the evening.
- Tent stakes (1.75 oz) – Orange Shepherd Hook Titanium Stakes – These stakes are a little longer and a little thicker gauge titanium than the normal shepherd hook stakes. They have an orange head to make them harder to lose because they are easier to see.
- Light (.75 oz) – Caylume light stick – Low weight, battery free way of lighting an area. Link connects to orange color. Orange makes it easier to find you.
These five items extend survivability an additional 24 hours. The tent (Gatewood Cape) is also rain gear. Wrap in the thermal blanket first, then put the Gatewood Cape on. In the evening set up the Cape as a “tent.” Wrap in the thermal blanket as a “sleeping bag.” You will last another 24 hours in greater comfort than the previous day. At this point you have two pounds of gear on you. Most of it fits in pockets. If you are responding to a disaster at home, or stuck out in the woods, you have done something to significantly increase your chance of survival.
Update 2014 : I dropped the Light sticks in lieu of a flashlight. The water purification tabs are now in the first 24 hours of the kit to go with the GearPod. The Platypus is no longer part of this load out. The tent stakes are in the third 24 hours/16 oz of this kit. That gives me 5 ounces to work with. I may bring the BOT back into this kit at this point.
The next article will wrap up the first three days of a survival situation. It is located here.