You can organize the essentials based on the Five Cs of Survivability. Within these five base elements are all the tools and knowledge you need to be prepared for emergencies as well as to become independent of the trappings of the urban jungle.
By Dave Canterbury
These items are the hardest to reproduce from natural material, take the largest amount of skill to reproduce, and control the conditions that most directly affect your body’s core temperature. (They can also be used to process raw items to help control your body’s core temperature.) These items, along with your ability to dress for the current conditions and knowledge of the natural world, make it easy to pack a light kit and enjoy your time “afoot.”
The five Cs are:
- Cutting tools to manufacture needed items and process food
- Cover elements to create a microclimate of protection from the elements
- Combustion devices for creating the fires needed not only to preserve and cook food, but also to make medicines and provide needed warmth
- Containers to carry water over distances or to protect collected food sources
- Cordages for bindings and lashing
These items, along with knowledge of the landscape and a few items to secure your food, will be the core of what you pack and carry. You can then add a few things for first aid, navigation, and repair to make your life “smooth” while on the trail and in camp. Does that mean you need a plethora of items that will be miserable to carry or will be so cumbersome as to make you regret the trip within a few hundred yards? No; rather you must choose the right elements for your kit, and you must ensure that these items are of the best quality. In addition, you must make sure they will perform several needed tasks well.
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