13.11.08

Survival is more than just a kit in a tin!

While it is widely accepted a survival kit is a major plus in an emergency situation remember also your normal kit or your emergency kit and clothing are your first line of defence.

While we train to survive with nothing it is unwise to actually go out on adventures without a well thought out kit - even for a summer day hike in the hills I'd advise taking all the usual items as well as a candle, emergency sleeping bag and space blanket as a minimum.

Below are some examples of emergency kits you might want to ponder - build your own kits and ideas from these - remember not to carry kit for kits sake and that a heavy emergency kit will be left behind and does you no go in base camp or the boot of your car!

Personal survival kit list – carried on the body

Bandana – trouser pocket
Compass – jacket
Torch + Lighter - trousers
2 x orange rubbish bags - jacket
Ferro rod – tinder pouch - trousers
Swiss army knife – belt in pouch
Para-cord - jacket
energy bar - jacket
Sharp belt knife - Belt
Space blanket - Jacket
Whistle – jacket with compass
Ziploc bags - jacket
GPS - trousers


Complete survival kit list – back up kit for day sack

Candle
Metal mug – mess tins
Dried food/rations 24hrs
Duct tape
Spare Ferro rod + Tinder
First aid kit
Fishing kit
Rubbish bags 2 x orange
Money
Paracord
Notebook = pencils
Saw
Snare wire
Space blanket
Water filter/purification
Ziplocs

Shelter sheet
Warm clothing
Hat
Water

D of E Kit List with notes - this is more the average hikers kit list but again working form a good foundation is good

Clothing
This is mandatory for everybody


Waterproof jacket with hood
This needs to be waterproof not showerproof.
Waterproof trousers
As above.
Thermal top
This must NOT be cotton. Acceptable examples include ski tops, thin fleece, Helly Hansen tops or other specialist makes eg F&T.
Fleece
Must by nylon or polypropylene NOT cotton. Primark do one for £6!
Trousers
These must be quick drying. Nylon is ideal eg Ron Hills.
Hat & Gloves
Ideally fleece.
Socks and Underwear
Carry spare socks as well.
Adequate footwear
Boots for Silver and Gold, Bronze can be done in sturdy trainers.
Personal Equipment
This is mandatory for everybody
Rucksack & liner
These can be borrowed, 60 Litres is a good size. Liner should be thick plastic (not a bin liner), Rubble Bags from B & Q are ideal. Rucksack covers are not waterproof.
Sleeping bag & mat
A 3 season sleeping bag should be fine. These have to be in a sealed plastic bag (not a bin liner). Rubble bag and Duct tape!
Water bottle
At least 1 litre, a Platypus or similar is ideal.
Watch

Wash Kit
Soap (or Dry Wash), toothbrush, toothpaste, loo roll in a plastic bag, small towel. NOTHING ELSE. No make up or deodorant!!
Torch, Whistle & Compass
Headtorches are best, B & Q sell one for £3. Good compasses are made by SILVA. Whistles are usually orange!
Mug & Spoon
Plastic! SpudUlike make a plastic spoon and fork thingy that is great.
Plastic bags for feet
Big freezer bags! Dry socks - wet boots solution for camp.
Emergency Equipment
This is mandatory for everybody
One COMPLETE change of clothing
This is only to be worn in the tent or in a real emergency. It must be ruthlessly packed to ensure it remains bone dry. Another rubble bag and duck tape!
Survival bag & Emergency rations
Big Orange plastic bag £3, some spare food.
Pen and paper
For message writing and making notes about your journey.
Personal first aid kit
Personal medication (paracetemol etc) and minor plasters for blisters.
Money
For spending on food on the journey and phone calls.
Emergency contact details
These will be on the consent letter and should be programmed into phones and written on routecards.
Group Kit
To be shared amongst the team
Stove & Fuel
These are issued.
Tent (can be borrowed)
One with a porch will help keep the inner area dry.
Matches & Washing up kit
A film case of Washing Up Liquid and a green scrubby thing. Matches need to stay dry!
Food
This should be organised as a team. Eat lots!
Group first aid kit
This will be issued and contains stuff like bandages and dressings.
Maps
These will be issued.
Trowel
For when there is no toilet!
Mobile Phone
For Emergencies only, NOT texting your mates.
Duct Tape
A big roll that can be used for loads of things.





(The following was compiled from the original sources)
Alaskan Survival Kit Regulations
Alaska state law (AS 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment) was modified a while back to reduce the equipment required to be carried. The current regulations require that no airman may make a flight inside the state with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:
1. The minimum equipment to be carried during summer months is as follows: (for all single engine and for multiengine aircraft licensed to carry 15 passengers or less)
(A) rations for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for one week;
(B) one axe or hatchet;
(C) one first aid kit;
(D) an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers;
(E) one knife;
(F) fire starter;
(G) one mosquito headnet for each occupant;
(H) two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses, or Very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers;
2. In addition to the above, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:
(A) one pair of snowshoes
(B) one sleeping bag
(C) one wool blanket for each occupant over four
As you can see, the Alaskan regulations are minimal and do not address much in the way of specifics or quality. The old regulations were similarly minimal, but required double the food, a gill net and a firearm and specified matches instead of a generic "firestarter." The old requirements were as follows:
1. The minimum equipment to be carried during summer months is as follows: (for all single engine and for multiengine aircraft licensed to carry 15 passengers or less)
a. food for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for two weeks
b. one axe or hatchet
c. one first aid kit
d. one pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle and ammunition for same
e. one small gill net and an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, sinkers, etc.
f. one knife
g. two small boxes of matches
h. one mosquito headnet for each occupant
i. two small signalling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses or very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers
2. In addition to the above, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:
a. one pair of snowshoes
b. one sleeping bag
c. one wool blanket for each occupant over four
Canadian Survival Kit Regulations
Canada used to have pretty stringent regulations regarding required survival gear. Then they revised the regulations, leaving the contents virtually undefined and ambiguous, presenting unscrupulous operators with loopholes large enough to fly a 747 through. The current version of the regulation follows, with the former version, a fairly good guide for what may be considered acceptable with modification by some government field personnel, following the current regulations.


Survival Equipment - Flights over Land
(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an aircraft over land unless there is carried on board survival equipment, sufficient for the survival on the ground of each person on board, given the geographical area, the season of the year and anticipated seasonal climatic variations, that provides the means for
(a) starting a fire;
(b) providing shelter;
(c) providing or purifying water; and
(d) visually signalling distress.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of
(a) a balloon, a glider, a hang glider, a gyroplane or an ultra-light aeroplane;
(b) an aircraft that is operated within 25 nautical miles of the aerodrome of departure and that has the capability of radio communication with surface-based radio station for the duration of the flight;
(c) a multi-engined aircraft this is operated south of 66 30' north latitude
(i) in IFR flight within controlled airspace, or
(ii) along designated air routes;
(d) an aircraft that is operated by an air operator, where the aircraft is equipped with equipment specified in the air operator's company operations manual, but not with the equipment required by subsection (1); or
(e) an aircraft that is operated in a geographical area where and at a time of year when the survival of the persons on board is not jeopardized.
If you plan to carry firearms in an aircraft, including as part of your survival equipment, you should be aware that hand guns and fully automatic weapons are not legal to be carried or worn in Canada. As for any long guns, when entering Canada you must register each firearm with Canadian Customs or face severe penalties if caught.
On a related issue, the "flare gun" found in many life rafts and survival kits is not a "firearm," so do not refer to it as such when asked by Canadian Customs if you have any firearms on board. If the subject comes up, and only if it comes up, you should always refer to it as a "Pyrotechnic Signaling Device" as in "There is a 'pyrotechnic signaling device' in the life raft survival kit in accordance with Canadian, U.S. and international regulations." (This tip courtesy of National Business Aviation Association)


Old Canadian Regulations (no longer in force)
Emergency Equipment for Flights in Sparsely Settled Areas (most of the area north of 52 degrees North latitude is designated as "Sparsely Settled")
Food having a caloric value of at least 10,000 calories per person carried, not subject to deterioration by heat or cold and stored in a sealed waterproof container bearing a tag or label on which the operator of the aircraft or his representative has certified the amount and satisfactory condition of the food in the container following an inspection made not more than 6 months prior to the flight.
Cooking utensils.
Matches in a waterproof container.
A stove and a supply of fuel or a self-contained means of providing heat for cooking when operating north of the tree line.
A portable compass.
An axe of at least 2 1/2 pounds or 1 kilogram weight with a handle of not less than 28 inches or 70 centimeters in length. (typically referred to as a "Hudson Bay" axe)
A flexible saw blade or equivalent cutting tool.
Snare wire of at least 30 feet or 9 meters and instructions for its use.
Fishing equipment including still fishing bait and a gill net of not more than a 2 inch or 3 centimeter mesh.
Mosquito nets or netting and insect repellant sufficient to meet the needs of all persons carried when operating in an area where insects are likely to be hazardous.
Tents or engine and wing covers of a suitable design, coloured or having panels coloured in international orange or other high visibility colour, sufficient to accommodate all persons when operating north of the tree line.
Winter sleeping bags sufficient in quantity to accommodate all persons carried when operating in an area where the mean daily temperature is likely to be 7 degrees C (approx. 45 degrees F) or less.
Two pairs of snow shoes when operating in areas where the ground snow cover is likely to be 12 inches or 30 centimeters of more.
A signalling mirror.
At least 3 pyrotechnical distress signals.
A sharp jack-knife or hunting knife of good quality.
A suitable survival instruction manual.
Conspicuity panel.
The following are suggested as useful additional equipment:
Spare Axe Handle
Honing stone or file
Ice chisel
Snow knife or snow saw
Snow shovel
Flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries
Pack sack
Firearms are carried at the operator's discretion. However, if it is proposed to carry firearms in an aircraft as additional emergency equipment the operator should be aware that hand held pistols, revolvers, etc., known as small arms, and fully automatic weapons are not authorized to be carried or worn in Canada. (When entering Canada you must register each firearm with Canadian Customs.)
U.S. pilots contemplating flying to or in Alaska or Canada would do well to avail themselves of AOPA's "Flight Planning Guide" for Alaska and Canada and the assistance of the specialists in AOPA's Flight Operations Department (800-872-2672 or 301-695-2140).

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