GearSurvival

Use your survival gear for more than emergencies

I was hunting with a friend last fall and gave him some bad intel about an area that was new to him but I knew well (or so I thought).

“Walk in that direction for a while and you will come to an old fire road. We will meet there,” I told him as we separated.

The road was much closer than I expected, and he walked past it assuming he needed to go farther. He would have soon figured it out and returned, but I decided to use an “emergency” signal whistle to get his attention.

After a few shrill whistles, he came into view. “What’s up?” he asked.

This wasn’t close to an emergency situation. At worst, it meant we would have spent a little longer than expected tracking each other down, but it was a reminder you don’t have to wait for a life-and-death situation to use your survival gear.

When I was a young hunter, I took the Boy Scout motto “be prepared” to extremes. Although I was usually under the watchful eye of my dad, I carried a bunch of survival gear that went unused for years and eventually got left behind.

Since then, I’ve pared things down to the basics, and while I can’t recall an outright emergency, I’ve found other uses for the stuff. I don’t carry everything on every hunting trip because it depends on where I will be, the type of hunting, the weather, etc. But I’ve found these items are handy for more than survival situations.

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