Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Emergency Kit

I've recently upgraded and modified the emergency gear kit I always carry when I hike or backpack.  It may seem like overkill until you turn an ankle on what should have been an easy day hike, the temperature is dropping, and you are facing a night alone in the woods.  My kit weighs several pounds and fits into this small orange bag:
Here is the contents of that little bag:
From the left hand side and more or less going in a clockwise direction, the items in this bag are: three heavy duty trash bags and a one gallon zip-top bag, an orange bandanna, my Leatherman Juice multi-tool, an SOL emergency bivy sack, a fire starter kit (matches, spark tool, and container with cotton pad and Vaseline "sandwiches"), a waterproof headlamp, an emergency space blanket, an emergency poncho, my Columbia River Knife and Tool RSK (Ritter Survival Knife) Mk6, the orange emergency kit bag, 50 feet of parachute cord, a small mirror, two rolls of duct tape, my compass, a whistle, and a small bottle of water purification tablets.  Depending on conditions, I could add or subtract items, such as insect repellent, hand-warmers, and sunscreen.  If I were backpacking, I might eliminate a few items, like the SOL bivy, poncho, and parachute cord on the thinking that I would have a rain jacket, a sleeping bag and tent, and separate parachute cord with my "bear bag."  But I might also carry them because they are so light and could be used to help someone else in an emergency.  Or if my sleeping bag got soaked in a river, I could still use the bivy sack to spend an uncomfortable but survivable night.

Do you think I am missing anything critical?  One thing I should add is a PowerBar as an emergency food source.  We can survive a long time without food, but a little something to eat can calm you down in a stressful and scary situation.

I'll be fine-tuning my kit now and again as I learn more and think about survival situations.  By the way, I always carry a separate first aid kit any time that I hike.


  1. Sounds like you have it all covered to me. : )

  2. I hope to never find out! :^) Not wanting to be in a lost and survival situation. But, just in case....