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from T-Mac on 03.24.11
The stuff I make or assemble myself: Bottle-cap candles, various kinds of tinder-fuel combinations, and all the oddball stuff that doubles as survival gear (guitar strings for snare-wire, for example). They're my favorite because survival kits can save your life in two ways: One, in the woods; and two, at home when you just need some stress relief. Tinkering with my kit is right up there with cleaning a gun or making fishing lures.
I asked my kids and they both said "Daddy"
I agree with most everyone on here.
I always have a Leatherman, a Zippo, and a Swiss army knife
Compass. I want to get home as soon as possible. Before dinner if possible.
Favorite AND useful ONE piece of gear? That would have to be a good, sharp sheath knife. One that could be beaten through larger branches with a chunk of wood, for example, and still perform other duties.
This knife could make fire-making gear, an emergency shelter, be used as a spear, could cut vines or bark/inner bark for cordage, provide firewood, make a deadfall and/or snare (w/cordage), etc.
Can't beat a good all around knife. I've always liked the leatherman multitools for blade, saw, pliers, and tools. Still haven't found a fixed blade sheath knife that I like. A big (Army issue) poncho, some 550 chord, water, snacks, first aid, small flashlight, and spare ammo are what I carry when in the woods.
Can be used to make shelter, firebow for fire, snares for food,unwoven to a few threads for fishing line, tie down bandaging, and if needed, can be used to hang a water bottle over a fire(which should be metal, so water can be boiled in it).I'm sure i missed other uses, but you can never have enough of it. A knife is real handy too.
My leatherman and a firestarter. But knowledge is the best.
my hunting knife
NOTE: if you carry a lighter as a survival item, be SURE it's not a "plastic" one that has a see-through reservoir. My experience is that fail too many times after just limited use, after as few as six flicks of the spark wheel.
A well made sharp knife, folder or fixed blade, are my choices. Each has it's place and a Swiss Army or Schrade Tool are two of my favore folders.
A full tang, single edge knife, with a blade from 4 to 5 inches, Scandinavian style, with a long, straight back, and single bevel, with a birch bark or leather handle would be my choice for dedicated 'survival' knife.
An Air Force airman's survival knife or K-Bar with a non-serrated blade would also serve well.
A small, 600 grit diamond sharping plate or small, rounded diamond 'steel' kept with a knife sheath are also great to have on hand.
A few feet of bradded picture wire ducktaped onto the back of a leather sheath come in hand for small animal snares, likewise, if your sheath has a top flap, like a SAK or multitool does, a few hooks taped inside the flap could be useful.
My Zippo and Benchmade are comforts but nothing will replace what survialmanjgb said, "knowledge is the most important."
A Gerber Multi-Tool i bought about 5 years ago USA made it even has 2 small sockets sets, also some strike anywhere matches about 100 in an old medicine bottle. And a Old Timer hunting knife it's old but nice.
knowledge is the most important, without that you die
I always have a pocket knife and a Bic lighter with me even though I don't work in an outdoor environment all the time. I would have to say that some sort of knife would be THE most important survival tool.
I always carry a small bottle of nitro tablets for my heart and inside of that a few shortened kitchen matches. The bottle is carried in the same pocket with my knife. The cotton along with the matches in the watertight bottle added to wood shavings made with the knife are my "fire" start kit. The nitro in the bottle is my "kick" start kit.
I never go anywhere without a firestarter of some sort. Usually it's a Swedish Firetsteel or UST Blastmatch. Tossing a space blanket or emergency bivy from AMK in my pack is a no-brainer as well. As you can probably tell, I don't like to be cold.
Definitely my Leatherman tool followed closely by a PowerLighter (from Brunton) and a SteriPen water purifier.
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