When hunting it is imperative that one carries the basic survival equipment. Whether the hunt takes place in the backyard property or on a hunt in familiar land basic survival equipment should be carried as if the hunter were in unfamiliar territory. The amount of equipment used for a bigger expedition of course would be greatly increased, but the main focus is on basic survival equipment. These are everyday items that should always be included.
1. Compass and Map- Many outdoorsman become disoriented. No matter what the reason for this disorientation inability is rarely the cause. A quick glance of the terrain and a compass can quickly solve this problem. If on unfamiliar territory a compass can be used with a map to triangulate your location from land features. This is a very important tool in survival.
2. Water bottle-The old saying goes “without food you can live for three weeks, without water you can only live three days”. Food grows in the woods, much of which can sustain us. Water that is usually found in the woods has the potential to hurt us more than help, and should only be drank if in dire circumstances.
3. Waterproof Matches and or a Butane Lighter (or two)- Fire has many uses as man has found through the centuries. It can keep you warm if lost, wounded or disoriented. Fire can signal to others a location with the use of the smoke. Fire can also be very comforting psychologically in adverse conditions. It is very important to be able to create a fire. Butane lighters are handy, can be dried if wet and have a flint built into them in worst-case scenarios, and they are light.
4. Flashlight with Extra Batteries- A hunter never knows when the shot is going to be made available. Sometimes this is near last light. Without the use of a good flashlight, the hunt could end in the loss of a downed animal, not only is this bad for the name of hunting it can easily be avoided with a flashlight. Some of which are specifically designed to show the blood trail. There are also the more likely uses such as getting out of the woods after last light or getting into stand before first light.
5. Ground cloth of plastic or Mylar- In the event of injury or disorientation, sometimes it becomes necessary to stay in the wild overnight. Fire can be a great advantage, add to this a place to sit that’s dry or a way to cover up from elements and survival can be greatly improved.
6. Bandage, Tape and Band-Aids- A person can never know when they are going to become injured, and in the hunting fields and woods there are plenty of ways to become injured. Bow hunters carry sharp arrows and most all hunters carry knives. Having a few small items to repair or temporarily treat an injury can greatly improve comfort as well as survival.
7. Whistle- mainly used for signaling in the event of injury or disorientation. The whistle can be heard for great distances and through thicker vegetation. The human voice can be loud but is easily broken up by forest cover and is no competition for the loudness of a good whistle. Whistles are also very handy in the event of predators, and they can be scared off by the shrill of a whistle. This can be very important if injured and in an area with Bears and Mountain Lions, that prey upon injured animals regularly.
Hopefully all of your hunting days will be safe and only result in a bountiful harvest. In the unfortunate event that things don’t go as we hope as hunters, be like the Boy Scouts and “Always Be Prepared”. Having a Basic Survival Kit put together in your hunting pack could make the difference between Survival and Disaster.