The Best Survival Tools, Part 3
part 3 of 3
What are the best survival tools 4 U?
Part 1 … of ” The Best Survival Tools ” describes them as follows;
- The Tools Required To Build A Shelter.
- The Tools Required To Build A Fire, and
- The Tools Required To Provide Safe Drinking Water.
These tools and their described purpose and application can be reviewed at the following link; https://outdoortech4u.com/the-best-survival-tools.
Part 2 … of ” The Best Survival Tools ” describes these 3 additional ” Tools and Skills Systems ” as follows;
- The Cutting Tools.
- The Tools of Navigation, and
- The Tools Of First Aid.
These tools, along with their purpose and application can be reviewed at this link: https://outdoortech4u.com/the-best-survival-tools-2
The Best Survival Tools, part 3
In parts 1 and part 2, I have described, ” 6 Tools and Skills Systems “, that I consider ESSENTIAL to Survival Training for the Wilderness. In the final part of this series, Part 3, I will describe these three systems of essential wilderness equipment.
They are; The Final 3 In This Series.
1) Clothing, 2) Illumination, and 3) Signalling. Welcome to Part 3.
Unless you live above the Arctic Circle in winter conditions, and spend most of your day to day activities hunting and trapping, today’s outdoor clothing is very much a layered system of fabrics.
Remaining warm and comfortable, while participating in outdoor activities involves a system of layering your clothing. Layering protects you from the elements and serves to regulate your body temperature.
There are three parts to this layering system. The base layer, the middle layer, and the outer layer.
The Base Layer
The base layer is in direct contact with the skin and serves to “wick” or transport moisture away from your skin and to the surface of this base layer where it can evaporate.
The thickness of this base layer is determined by temperature and level of activity. Seamless and flat-seamed clothing is less likely to rub against your other layers and the equipment you carry on your body. This layer should also fit snugly and not be constrictive.
Base layers are made from natural and synthetic materials. Natural materials include cotton and wool. Cotton is a poor base material because it retains moisture and will leave you cold.
Wool, on the other hand, can absorb up to 35% of its weight in moisture. It is warmer than synthetics and naturally odor-resistant, but it takes longer to dry and is more expensive.
Synthetic base materials, absorb very little water and are quick to dry. They stretch well and are easy to care for, but they will retain body odors when worn for extended periods of time. Many synthetic materials now have antimicrobial treatments that help to cut down on odors.
The Middle Layer
The middle layer is the insulating layer and it traps your body heat to keep you warm.This layer should be very air permeable so that the warm, moist air can easily pass through it.
This layer includes the many types of fleeces that insulate your body without being bulky. This layer should be fairly snug, yet roomy enough to not restrict movement with the base layer.
Middle layers are also made of natural and synthetic materials. Polyester fleece is a good middle layer because it traps warm air and absorbs very little moisture. Polyester is heavier and bulkier than down, but it dries out quicker and will retain most of its insulating characteristics when wet.
Another classic middle layer material is down. Down provides excellent warmth for its weight, however it loses most of its insulation value when wet and it is also slow to dry. When kept dry, it has very little competition.
The Outer Layer
The outer layer or “shell” is what protects you from the elements . This is the layer that protects you from the wind and the wet stuff . This layer should be breathable and it has to let moisture escape from the inner layers . It should be loose enough so that you can move freely , but not so loose that it permits your body heat to escape .
Outer layers are designed to protect you from the wind , the rain or the cold . These are classified as “hardshells” and “softshells” . “Hardshells” are made up of 2 or 3 layer construction and are better at shedding water . “Softshells” are single layered , lighter and sometimes sufficient for less extreme conditions .
Insulating layers are designed for extreme cold when you are not moving around quickly and often . They are very useful in extreme cold and less active movements .
As you can see , your clothing system is very much determined by the environment your in and your level of activity . Keeping your body comfortable and warm is a science that takes time and experience to develop .
If you are beginning a new activity , do some research about the “climate” you will be dealing with . If you are already involved and feel “comfortable” , you are probably well dressed .
Old sayings like , ” if your feet are cold , put on a hat “ , show that a very high percentage of heat escapes from your head . Socks and boots – gloves and mittens , complete this very important part of your wilderness survival kit .
Illumination is an area of outdoor technology that has grown in leaps and bounds . Gone are the days of candles and heavy flashlights that weighed pounds and kilograms .
Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) are the new technology . LED flashlights and headlamps shine brightly and with high intensity . The best setups have a single , super-bright LED – or – a cluster of lights .
These lights have long burn times and give-off intense , bright light . LED’s can last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours . They are shock resistant , compact and lightweight , with a temperature range from -40 to +80°C .
Batteries will now last from dozens to hundreds of hours . For example , some 3-light clusters will provide 10 meters of illumination and 4 AA batteries will last 180 hours .
There are many options available within your price range , and once you are introduced to these LED’s , you will never go back to old-school technology .
When you are not using your flashlights and headlamps for extended periods , the batteries should be removed , to prevent the lights from being accidentally turned on .
These 2 links above , provide excellent examples of LED Headlamps and Flashlights , reasonably priced and excellent value for the money . They will provide you hundreds of hours of intense , bright light !
Signalling refers to attracting attention when you are lost or in need of rescue . Sound and Visuals , will be your primary means of attracting attention . Whistles and Guns can produce sounds that will be heard for many miles .
THREE (3) Blasts from your whistle or THREE (3) Shots fired from your gun are a universally recognized Signal of Distress . This link will lead you to an excellent whistle .
Visual Signals can be produced with : 1) a large Orange-Colored ” garbage bag “ , 2) a purpose-specific Signal mirror , 3) the Mirror on your Compass or 4) the SMOKE FROM YOUR FIRE !
Have ” green boughs from spruce or fir close to your fire ” , if you are in distress , so that you can Signal aircraft or ” ground-based ” rescuers if the opportunity presents itself . Simply throw these “green” boughs on your fire . The clouds of smoke that they produce will be seen for miles !
In this 3-part series , I have described the following 9 skills and systems necessary to wilderness survival .
- Cutting Tools
- First aid
- Illumination , and
Your ability to survive the wilderness in relative comfort and safety will be closely tied to your knowledge and application of these and many other skills .
Do not be intimidated by this huge skill-set . You cannot learn them all at once and you may not always need – ALL of them ! Educate yourself at your own pace , read as much as you can about them and practice these skills until they become second nature .
Learn to relax your mind ! – this will relax your body , and you will be able to benefit immensely from your experiences in the wilderness .
After all is said and done – you would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive and awe-inspiring classroom !