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Discussion Starter #1
Since the thread on the a rifle/handgun for an Alaskan (or any other wilderness area, including suburban wilderness close to your home) has generated such interest, I thought it would be very educational to look at the other aspects of the trip.

I awoke this am to minus 30 degrees. Last week it RAINED and put a nice glaze of ice on everything. I would gladly trade some ammo for a large box of matches, long undies, hatchet and shelter! I would probably trade the rifle for an arctic sleeping bag and thick sleeping pad 8*)

My question would be "what would be the bare minimum" if you had to traverse 200 miles of wilderness, three major rivers, one mountain range, and fifty miles of swampland. This pack must be small enough to fit behind the seat of the aircraft or truck and could be grabbed for an immediate departure. What you grab is what you get as your aircraft (boat? Truck?) is upside down in the water and sinking rapidly. You are in deep doo-doo!

I am presently packing for a trip to the swamps of Florida to hunt hogs with longbow. I will be taking a handgun also but will leave the rifle home because of space issues on commercial airliners.

In this walkabout, perhaps our greatest threat to life could come from our own axes/knives or hypothermia, or mosquito induced insanity...

I look foreward to your input. Weight/bulk is a major issue for our trip home.

Scotty
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Scotty,

Your situation question reminds me of what my wrestling coach told me when I asked the best way to get out of a disavantageous hold I was in......he said, "Simple, don't get in that hold in the first place." Actually, I cleaned his reponse up a little, but you get his point. Truth be told, I'd still be lying there today if the other guy hadn't gotten tired.

Dan
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Scotty, heading down to see Mr. Gates for some swamp fun?

Hmmm, either Mountain Gun or you new Taurus snubbie .45 ought to keep you from being opened up by the piggies. Good luck, shot one yesterday, they don't run far when the '06 scatters their lungs into the brush on the off-side.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
slangly...The kifaru site has always had a wealth of good info. When I get rich and famous I intend to have a whole lineup of their gear 8*)

DOK...I had the same thought last year while I was waiting for the Epoxy Putty to dry on a fresh hole in the boat. Things happen fast when you are trying to stay on step in fast and narrow streams.

Mike...I don't know if I will get to see James or not. I hope so. My partner has us scheduled for a whirwind trip through a few select swamps and a tournement there. I guess there is a day of squirrel hunting planned but they have plenty of .22's for me to use. I may just take both .45's because I can. Florida is one of the states with reciprocity to AK on the CCW permits.

Scotty
 

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It would have a high quality GoreTex rain suit in it no matter what else there was. A pair of thin poplypro long johns would be high on the list also. They are warm, low in bulk so they fit under your clothes easily, and are very quick to dry.
 

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In addition to the good advice above:

If you are worried about spending a night in the swamp, I would take a goretex sleeping bag shell that I use for winter hiking in the White mountains.

It is designed to be used as a bivy over a sleeping bag but could be used alone and packs up to about 4x10 inches.

If you are really worried about space, buy a silk sleeping bag liner, they can be packed into about a 3 inch ball and provide quite a bit or warmth.

Another thing I have always carried as an emegency firestarter is a road flare (put it in a ziploc bag) , you light them off of their plastic cap and they burn very hot for several minutes. I have started fires with wet wood in a down pour with these things.
 

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The posted Kifaru list is pretty darn good. An old reference that is very good and tested, but needs some common sense updating, is Bradford Angier's Living Off the Country .

With the Kifaru list already posted and a point toward Angier I will not bore you with a list of what I tote, but instead will toss out for consideration a few things that I think are under considered:

1) Space blankets alone are too flimsy, but sewn/glued (I can't sew) to very lightweight ripstop they are great for keeping you dry and warm with still very little bulk.

2) Seldom is there much about staying clean considered in emergency kit coversations; but a minor infection or GI bug can be life or death in this situation rather than simply discomfortable. A small bar of antibacterial soap and a small bottle of 90% alcohol or waterless hand sanitizer (also of some use as firestarters) are cheap, light assurance.

3) You can not find your way out if you do not know where you are and where you want to go---a compass and suitable map(s) are absolute key items. I suggest that rather you are flying or not, are a pilot or not that the best maps for this purpose are VFR aeronautical charts (sectionals or equivalent scale if available) for the area, since typical hiking type topographical maps cover far too little area and non topographical maps are actually dangerous when traveling on foot.

4) As Scotty mentioned axes can be a real risk in this circumstance. Take a folding saw or a section of bandsaw blade (A bandsaw blade rolls nearly as small as a wire saw, but cuts much better.) with lashing holes at the ends.

5) Gear and technical skills get the attention; but wilderness survival is, I think, more mental than physical. Many case studies show well equiped people who fail and poorly equiped who do well; and while more important than gear technical skills are not as important as confidence, composure, and the ability to improvise.

Fireplug
 

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This will be quick for the moment.

1. Learn basic survival skills
2. Learn to land navigate, have at least 1:250,000 (air)map and compass
3. Have something for a shelter, (I carry a GI poncho with 550 cord)
4. Know how to build fires and carry fire building materials
5. Have a knife
6. Know how to set snares/traps/drop lines
7. Have something for water carry/procurement

Gotta run, back later.

De Oppresso Liber
 

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With regard to your upcoming Florida trip, you should consider a sleeping bag that looks like the BIGGEST, BADDEST 'gator around, just in case you're forced to spend the night out in a swamp. Have fun
 
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