Old 04-27-2004, 19:36   #1
The Reaper
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Survive!

You are dropped uninjured into a remote forest environment wearing BDUs and boots. Your pockets are empty and you have no additional gear. You are non-tactical, i.e., no enemy is hunting you. It is in a temperate climatic area, in the spring. Daytime highs are in the 70s, but at night it drops below 40. There is a natural water source of unknown potability nearby. No known shelter is available. If located, you may be rescued sooner than 60 days, but that may not happen. You are going to remain in the immediate area and not walk out for at least the next two months.

What are the minimum tools and equipment you need to survive for 60 days in this environment?

What are your essential tasks? What are the priorities?

Feel free to add to this list of questions as needed, and let's see the least extensive list you feel you could survive with.

TR
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Old 04-27-2004, 20:59   #2
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When you say "Dropped" does that mean via parachute, or placed ??

If placed, what type of "Craft (ie Aircraft, Boat, etc) delivered us (me) there ?? This is a very complex scenario that needs to be defined up-front. This will get real deep Very Fast !!

Get it on !!

Larter.
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Old 04-27-2004, 22:34   #3
The Reaper
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AM:

You could have been dropped off by a turnip truck, a chopper, a barge, or any other means which does not provide you with any extras (like a parachute, or an aircraft to salvage).

I want to see what you think you need to survive for an extended period.

I think I know what I would need, vs. what could be found or obtained locally with the tools I bring or could make.

Rather than make the scenario too complicated with the many angles we could get lost in debating, I am just looking for the bare essentials required to survive in a relatively benign environment.

Adding bad guys, Artic conditions, large predators, etc. would unnecessarily complicate the scenario.

We can complicate this further later with a size/weight restriction, environmental changes, etc., but for now let's just look at it from a vanilla perspective.

For example, to survive in the above environment, I will need at least one means to make a fire. Whether I choose steel and flint, a magnifying glass, using a bootlace and local materials to make a fire bow, or to carry a butane lighter is my decision. All have advantages and disadvantages we can discuss.

I may not like your choice, or your logic, but I will probably learn something in the process of the discussion.

A spate of articles about the Lewis and Clark expedition and a recent thread about E&E put me in this thought process. How much gear do you really need to survive, and how do you carry it?

Some will need less than others, by a decreased comfort level, or by personal skills and knowledge. There are people who could do this with just a machete and a flint striker, and live relatively well. Others may think they need a support vehicle, and would still suffer.

TR
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:41   #4
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I'm breaking my list into two segments:


1. Need, meaning it is absolutely essential. It may be that there is a way to create the needed item locally available, but I will still need them.

2. Want, meaning items that are not absolutely essential but will make the 2 months much more likely to be in reasonable condition.


NEED:

Cutting implement
Fire-starter
Cordage
Sewing implements


Want:

Medical items (to include antibiotics)
Salt
Some food items/supplements

Depending on the AO, all the "need" items can be manufactured by hand if necessary.

Priorities (dependent somewhat on time of drop-off and immediate AO characteristics):

Fire
Shelter
Water
Food
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:45   #5
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I like the way you are thinking.

We can get into specific tools later.

TR
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Reaper
AM:



Rather than make the scenario too complicated with the many angles we could get lost in debating, I am just looking for the bare essentials required to survive in a relatively benign environment.


TR
I don't want to stir things up too much, but there really is no such thing as a benign environment and while I agree that fire, shelter, water, and food are all critical the priority in which you go about obtaining (creating) them are environmentally dependent and you can make an argument for which one rises to the top. I guess the bottom line here is that your first priority after "drop off" for me would be to make an immediate assessment of where I am and what the "benign" environment presents. While I am relatively sure in this situation my first priority would be to find something that would shelter me from the most likely environmental challenges for the night, my next would be to gather enough wood and get a fire going to announce my presence in case folks were starting to look for my sorry butt even though I was dumb enought to get isolated in the first place. Now I am sure you can also argue that a fire would be your first priority, but if you have arrived as you have mentioned without matches or the good old Zippo we all used to carry I am not sure I would want to strip off my boot laces and start trying to create a fire with a bow and block only to have night time fall and still be sitting out in a rainstorm and dealing with hypothermia overnight. So to make a long story short a lot is scenario dependent and you really have to understand where you are, what is around you, what the impending challenges are and then proceed from there. Just a thought.

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Old 04-28-2004, 07:39   #7
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Your original premise is a little confusing. You say I have nothing but the clothes I'm wearing and then ask what I should have/need.

The clothes including boot laces can be util;ized for something and I wear glasses for fire starting, heh, heh, heh.

The list is pretty accurate: water, fire, shelter, food.

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Old 04-28-2004, 08:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Moroney
I don't want to stir things up too much, but there really is no such thing as a benign environment and while I agree that fire, shelter, water, and food are all critical the priority in which you go about obtaining (creating) them are environmentally dependent and you can make an argument for which one rises to the top. I guess the bottom line here is that your first priority after "drop off" for me would be to make an immediate assessment of where I am and what the "benign" environment presents. While I am relatively sure in this situation my first priority would be to find something that would shelter me from the most likely environmental challenges for the night, my next would be to gather enough wood and get a fire going to announce my presence in case folks were starting to look for my sorry butt even though I was dumb enought to get isolated in the first place. Now I am sure you can also argue that a fire would be your first priority, but if you have arrived as you have mentioned without matches or the good old Zippo we all used to carry I am not sure I would want to strip off my boot laces and start trying to create a fire with a bow and block only to have night time fall and still be sitting out in a rainstorm and dealing with hypothermia overnight. So to make a long story short a lot is scenario dependent and you really have to understand where you are, what is around you, what the impending challenges are and then proceed from there. Just a thought.

Jack Moroney
My intent here was to spur a little discussion about survival gear without having people prepare an extensive list to include weapons and implements of destruction to defend themselves against the Waffen SS, VC, Indians, lions, tigers, or bears.

Sir, I consider the area around Ft. Bragg and CMK to be pretty benign, and described it as an example. There are no real enemy threats, nor are there very many large predators that would seek out and attack a fully grown human. The environment here is such that there are relatively few days per year with climatic extremes that would kill a healthy adult individual with the ability to make expedient shelter and fire. I was dropped off by Badin Lake for the survival portion of the SFQC and managed quite well for five days with very few tools. I know what I took, think I know what I would need to extend the time, and would like to see what others thought, perhaps teaching a bit and learning something in the process. I chose 60 days because the average person could probably just build an expedient shelter and lay up for a month without hunting or gathering much.

My question was multi part starting with:

What are the Minimum tools and equipment you need to survive for 60 days in this environment? You tell me. If you need a Zippo and think that one would be adequate to support you for starting fires for 60 days in that environment, fine.

You seem to be indicating shelter would be your first priority after arriving, assessing, and taking stock of the situation, followed by fire.

QRQ:

Sorry to have confused you.

Are you indicating that you consdider the clothes you have on and your glasses are adequate to survive in the woods for 60 days without support? Hope it isn't overcast or night time already. What will you cut with?

Water, fire, shelter, food as priorities could be juggled due to exigencies, as JM indicated. Now what tools do you use to acquire and prepare them? In this scenario, an axe or a machete might be an adequate edged item. Without additional fuel sources, I would pass on the Zippo. The BIC or a Blastmatch might be a better choice for me.

I have already learned that I had forgotten salt, and the extraordinary value it had in the past years. Thanks GH.

I use black 550 cord for my bootlaces, that should be enough cordage for my initial requirements, and more could be found in the wild.

What/why would you need to sew, though I grant that some monofilament line, a couple of manufactured needles and hooks could be very handy, and would take up very little space?

Anyone who feels that this thread is not productive, or the scenario is too vague feel free to disregard it or in the admins' case, delete this thread.

Just trying to generate some thought and education here.

TR
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Old 04-28-2004, 09:00   #9
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TR: I took your original problem literally:

Quote:
You are dropped uninjured into a remote forest environment wearing BDUs and boots. Your pockets are empty and you have no additional gear.
That would preclude a "packing List". As for going naked, I presumed you would allow shorts, T-shirt and socks. Also web belt w/metal buckle. I really think we could work with this. It's not too dissimilar to survival school.

If we are going to have a packing list let's try a GPS.
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Old 04-28-2004, 09:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Reaper
Anyone who feels that this thread is not productive, or the scenario is too vague feel free to disregard it or in the admins' case, delete this thread.

Just trying to generate some thought and education here.
It is quite educational for me and I hope the thread will continue. Thanks to everyone who participates.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by QRQ 30
TR: I took your original problem literally:

That would preclude a "packing List". As for going naked, I presumed you would allow shorts, T-shirt and socks. Also web belt w/metal buckle. I really think we could work with this. It's not too dissimilar to survival school.

If we are going to have a packing list let's try a GPS.
I want a minimum packing list of items you would need, in addition to what you are wearing, and would consider additions of what you would want. I listed the BDUs and boots so that one person would not be in shorts and a t-shirt, and another would have a full uniform, to include LBE and two or three survival kits. Level the playing field, so to speak.

To look at this another way, let's say that you could take your Yarborough Knife (thank you Mr. Harsey and Mr. Reeve), and anything you could fit in the pocket on the sheath.

What would you put in it? Would you be able to survive for 60 days with just those items (and those you could make or obtain with them)?

For those non survival trained personnel lurking on this thread, there are many good survival sites out there which can teach you about not just wilderness survival, but daily and urban survicval as well. One of my favorite survival websites is http://www.equippedtosurvive.com/ though they do tend to get heavily into air crash and sea survival.

They have a new kit I am looking at right now.

TR
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:08   #12
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OK. I'm going with my premise (nada) but will perhaps use what others choose to bring. My first action would bee three fold, 1), a short recon of the area, assessing what is available while 2) looking for a suitable shelter/camp site and 3) inventorying what I personally have available. We have six months so there is no need to hurry and weaken ourselves.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
It is quite educational for me and I hope the thread will continue. Thanks to everyone who participates.
I concur fully with RL.
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by QRQ 30
OK. I'm going with my premise (nada) but will perhaps use what others choose to bring. My first action would bee three fold, 1), a short recon of the area, assessing what is available while 2) looking for a suitable shelter/camp site and 3) inventorying what I personally have available. We have six months so there is no need to hurry and weaken ourselves.
Concur.

I like the acronym STOP.

Stop.

Think.

Observe.

Plan.

Unless Jimbo is getting into your OODA Loop (and OODA isn't too far from STOP).

We are not evading or hoofing it out in this scenario.

60 days, not six months, unless you are enjoying the vacation.

TR
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Old 04-28-2004, 11:03   #15
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TR,
The Zippo was just a comment but has a basis for use. After you run out of lighter fluid you still have the ability to create a spark with the wheel and striker. But there are many ways to create a flame that could exhaust this forum and it really depends on what else you can find. Sorry if I sounded like I was urinating on your camp fire, that was not my intention.

I think the initial assessment should drive the effort. As QRQ30 points out we have time and we do not want to expend a whole lot of energy without having established the means to obtain chow to replenish it.

I break survival down into physical needs of shelter, fire, water and food as mentioned before. For me I can satisfy all those requirements with a good knife, some 550 cord, fire starter of some sort (matches, lighter, improvised bow and drill, commercial metal match, etc). Water is only a problem in that you have to make sure it is not contaminated. This will requiring obtaining a container of some sort to boil it (and there is nothing like an old canteen cup for that) or obtaining it from plants (which will require a rudimentary knowledge of those in the area that you can use), building a solar still , or collecting rainfall and dew. Shelter is easy but requires a lot of work to use natural material and for that a simple poncho would fill the bill for most situations. Food is limited only by your patience, sqeamishness, and knowledge of the flora and fauna of the area.

For those not used to living in the woods there are other problems which may or may not be overcome depending on the person. These are basically dealing with fear, anxiety, pain, injury, illness, effects of cold and heat extremes, thrist, hunger, fatique, sleep deprivation, loneliness and isolation. Most of this can be handled by good training ahead of time.

Besides building your kit, your actions in a survival situation are also important. Personal hygiene, establishing a routine, maintainng a signalling system that functions in both daylight and darkness, maintaining (if possible) a log will also contribute to your survival and recovery.

Jack Moroney-ducking, weaving and waiting for incoming.
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