Hot answers tagged

38

Obviously, what you decide to pack depends on your trip and the environment, but these are the staples I always bring along: Navigation: You always need to be able to figure out where you are and which way you need to head to get out. In my opinion, a map without topography isn't a map (unless you're on very flat land). GPS with extra batteries Local ...


32

There are different types of being stranded; there's "lost the trail an hour in" stranded, "lost the trail twenty miles in" stranded, and "broke a leg" stranded, just to name a few. Considering your question Multi-day Hiking -- Therefore I assume you have standard hiking gear and are not asking for that. Also assuming that you're not going to be nearby ...


21

First of all the odds that you startle a bear in this way are quite low. There is a good chance that it would have heard or smelled you before you get that close. That said, if you encounter a bear in the wilderness, your reaction depends on how the bear is acting. In most cases, the bear will be defensive. In this case you should stay calm, talk calmly ...


21

For hunting bears you have to check with your local rangers for hunting season, permits and so on. Self-defense is self-defense if your mental state does not allow you to think and you feel killing is the only way out than it the only way out. BUT Bear Defense Spray is more effective and easier to obtain than .45 Also Noise will scare them off. So if ...


20

First off, weigh up whether it's worth crossing said river. I know this question is about if you "have" to cross it, but bear in mind that falling in is a real danger and if you do, hypothermia can onset very quickly and be deadly. It depends on the situation - if we're talking about a shallow, wade-able body of water that's not much more than a stream I'd ...


19

The VERY FIRST thing you need to do is to not panic. Sit down for a minute or two and let your mind catch up to the fact you are lost. Now, take out your map, compass, gps, or whatever and try to find your way back to where you DID know where you were. If you can't figure out where the trail should be and you need to bushwhack, find a bit of a clearing, ...


19

You can. Bear spray is a more humane option; however, you do ask about legal repercussions. You can shoot pretty much any animal in self defense in the USA. After you shoot the animal it is important what you do if you want to avoid fines. Once the fight is over and you know you are safe you need to call the forest service. If you don't know their number ...


18

Some, not all, do indeed come in two sides, and which one you use depends on the reason you use it. One of the sides strongly reflects heat. A hypothermic person therefore wants to have that reflective side on the inside so that it helps keeping any warmth inside. A person suffering from heat stroke wants the reflective side outside so that heat is kept away ...


18

The international distress signal is a triangle of fires.


17

So if you're completely out of your expected element, have no emergency blanket or shelter, then there are a few options to provide some additional protection from the cold. Get out of the wind. The wind makes things that much more miserable. If you can, get into an area protected from the wind. Find some insulation. Stuff leaves loosely between clothing ...


17

Most survival experts recommend parachute cord. From Wikipedia: Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by ...


16

Back away calmly. Be SURE not to separate a mother from her cubs. Other than that, the bear probably won't be too interested in you. (Except a polar bear, which may consider you food.) If you see bear cubs, look for the mother and stay away.


16

I'd give them whatever my device or map provided me, and let them convert to whatever their devices or maps use. Anyone used to receiving lat/lon coordinates regularly should be able to convert from various formats to whatever they use internally. You're the one in trouble with limited resources. You're out there with a broken leg, lost, in the cold or ...


15

It depends on precisely how big the kit is. A couple other answers have covered bigger packs, so I'll mention what could be in a much thinner pack. If it needs to be flat and relatively small: Bandages. Alcohol wipes. Gauze pads. A flat pad of athletic tape*. One or a couple small packs of Benadryl Antibiotic ointment (the small, flat packs of stuff ...


15

There are three criteria to be balanced in my thinking on the situation of when and if to activate a call for help to a rescue service: Do you have the skills and training to extract yourself safely from the current situation? Equally important is your assessment of what other means of communications are likely to be available in the timeframe your current ...


13

Okay just broke out my kit. Here's what we carry. This may seem like a long list, but it's small. It fits in a ziploc bag (almost). Also, please note that you should pack for your skill set and first aid training. If you don't know how to use a splint, it's wasted and will tempt you to do things you shouldn't. Same goes for sutures. Know how benedryl ...


13

Here are few shelters that I think have good design. Although some of them are missing hole for cold air to drop in, they are still good for shelter from a storm as quick solution.


13

There is one more important technique you can use that I was taught in New Zealand, where you have to cross rivers all the time. If you have a group of people (at least 3), you can greatly enhance safety by forming a chain in the following way: Position the strongest person upstream, the second-strongest person downstream and the weakest person in the ...


13

Assuming you told people where you were going and you don't have PLB with you, you should start building camp. Construct distress signal discussed here: How can I signal for help in the wilderness? Don't panic Get busy making your camp Look for sources of water Construct distress signals Make traps, set up fishing lines, gather plant food. Gradually map ...


13

The guidance given to first responders from the Public Safety Training Academy is as follows: Talk - Can you talk them out? Reach - Are they close enough for you to reach, with a branch if necessary? Throw - Do you have a rope or anything you can throw? This can include flotation devices - even if you don't have a rope this increases the likelihood of ...


12

Your body heat is reflected back at you from the shiny silver side. One of the reasons some blankets have two colors is so people would realize there was a correct side to get the most benefit. The other is that the "wrong side" color choice can be an aid in some signaling situations. Even when they are silver on both sides, there is often one side ...


12

All pines, spruces and firs have edible needles. All yews are poisonous, and can look like some of the above, so be careful you have identified the tree correctly!


12

Pine needles have virtually no caloric value. I would not recommend pine needles as an energy source, although they have plenty of vitamin C and make delicious tea. This is good in winter to avoid getting scurvy in a long-term survival situation. As already mentioned, Yew needles are toxic to the human body. There are several genera of yew. Generally they ...


11

Hartley (and Phil) pretty much have it covered, but I'd add a couple of things. A bothy bag - basically a quick emergency shelter for 4-6 people that packs down nice and small High energy/sugar foods - mars bars, peanuts, jelly, energy bars etc Also, it's a little over the top, but we take emergency cards that you fill out with vital information like the ...


11

There's no simple answer to this question - everybody has their own preferences. (That being said, I'm a big fan of my straight edge SOG SEAL Pup Elite and would highly recommend it). There are a few simple guidelines, though. I'd suggest something with a (1) thick full-tang blade, so you could chop down some small trees if needed. But (2) not too big, so ...


11

The most obvious thing is an emergency blanket. It will add a lot of extra insulation per gram. It'a good to have one in you bag on any trip. However, a mere blanket is definitely not enough for all seasons, elevations and weather conditions. When planning at home, you should ask yourself a question: "What will happen to me if I have to be on the route ...


11

There is a great Mountain Rescue in Poland, called GOPR ("Górskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe" - "Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue"). They cover all the mountain regions of Poland and in case of emergency you can reach them calling free rescue number: +48 601100300. There is even a smartphone app you can use to call help called "Ratunek" (https://play....


10

What is practical is up to you, but I can give you some information to help you make up your mind. Typical rental prices for a satellite phone are $15-$30 a week (According to this site). The cost per minute is in addition to this cost, and is around $0.50-$3 USD a minute. Weight is usually around 400 grams, or just under a pound. Battery life is pretty ...


10

Just additional two cents, but don't underestimate the visibility of a green laser pointer at night. In survival situations and with light fog, a green laser pointer shooting up in the sky will make your position extremely clear. For the exact same reason, don't use it with airplanes around. They hate that, and you will be found and prosecuted.


10

The trick is, high contrast, right angles, and unnatural colors. A ratio of 6:1 for the lines. Letter X or V are best. So, if you find two 6 foot long, one foot wide branches, place them in an X. Scale as you can to get it as large as possible. Source: Wilderness First Aid Field Guide.



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