29.8.08

Better red than dead!

Unlike bushcraft hobbiests who all seem to wear the same thing - typically in green so they all look like little Ray Mears wanna be's - the general outdoors person tends to wear brighter coloured clothing, on the mountains climbers (for some reason) tend to favour blue, walkers it appears like bright multicolour clothing and this is great as if they need help they are easily seen.

But what about survival hobbiest's? Do they still wear ex Army DPM ?? Should they? And lets not confuse the Survivor here from a survivalist - the survivor typically is a member of the public who has trained to be able to survive in the wilderness using knowledge and a small survival kit at a minimum - the survivalist is someone waiting some post holocaustic world where man kind has to battle nature and itself to survive!!

At SurvivALL we practice what we preach and that is your always better in RED than Dead ...........red, enhanced orange or yellow colours which clash with the pastel world around you.

Why?

Not so long ago a chap went into the woods to play with his shiny new axe somewhere up north - he had wisely told his wife his plans ect but was dressed as a typical shrafter in a fawn and green swani - sadly he had a accident with said tool and badly injured himself slicing through much of his lower calf muscle after missing what he was chopping.

Not having a First aid kit (big mistake - always carry a first aid when you carry a cutting tool) the guy tried to stop the bleeding with his jacket but slowly due to shock and blood lose passed out.

After the alert was raised a search was set up for the missing guy - the woods where he went were searched and nothing was found ?

Night slowly decended and the guy came too where he fell - in the distance he could see torches and wanting help used used his whistle to call to the torch bearers who happened to be a couple of the search team on their way home with the search having been put off for the night ..............

So you can imagine how lucky the guy was to be found ..............................

The report on the search clearly stated two things - 1, that the woods where he was had been searched and searchers had passed with approx 5-10 meters of him 2, the whistle (and the fact he was concious at that time probably saved his life as weak ect from the injury and blood lose his chances of surviving the night (and the fact the search would have moved on) he probably wouldnt have lived to see day and if he had, immobile, he might not have gotten to safety unaided.

As survivors we can learn plenty from this, but the two key lessons are firstly, always carry a whistle - a simple distress whistle has saved more lives than any other tool (fact) so having one on you is plan common sense. Secondly wear something bright - if you must go about dressed like a commando at least carry something you can use upon your body and have it easily to hand. If you injure yourself set up your signal before you pass out!! Better still always wear something brightly coloured - a jacket is best as this can be easily removed if wanted.

Myself I wear a red Cairngorm jacket - single layer ventile - I can wear it as a jacket in the cooler months or as a heavy shirt in the warmer ones!! I also wear a bright hat either a baseball cap or a red mountain hat - but equally I usually carry a hi viz orange buff in my pocket.

For anyone who leads groups into the wilderness I would also recommend you add at least one orange survival bag to your kit - these weigh next to nothing and can be life savers - that said you need to learn how to use them correctly of course!!

So next time you go play in the woods remember its better to be RED than Dead!

On the same theme -

http://stuartsbushcraft.blogspot.com/2008/08/to-be-seen-or-not-to-be-seenthat-is-in.html

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