With everyone showing pictures of their pocket dump, present company included, the other day a question arose; “What’s in your kit?”. While it is modeled after the 10C’s by David Canterbury, I adjust it to fit my needs specifically based on outing and time of year.
- Tarps (Cover) – 10’x12′ Coyote Tan BCUSA Tarp (Left) and 5’x7′ Woodland Camo BCUSA MEST Tarp
- Cordage – 100′ #12 Bankline and 25′ Twisted 550 paracord with S-biner
- Cotton – Bandana (Black and Red) – red for signaling
- Cargo Tape – 1″x30′ Gorilla Tape To Go to be exact
- Canvas Needle
- Compass – Silva Pocket
- Container – Pathfinder series from Self Reliance Outfitters
- Cutting Tool – GA Bushcrafter by LT Wright Knives
- Combustion Device – Ferro Rod with matching GA Bushcrafter scales by LT Wright Knives
As you can see, my cover, cordage and cotton have redundancies. While this means it is more than ten items, it shows the flexibility of my kit based on what I am doing or where I am going. For example, if it is an area I am unfamiliar with, my red bandana is used in case I need to use it for signaling. If I were going on a day outing, my 5’x7′ MEST would be used instead of bringing my 10’x12′ Tarp due to weight differentials.
There are two other parts to putting together this specific kit. While the items are ones I am fond of, I must be able to provide more than one task for each of them and I must prioritize them in order of importance and explain why. While this really causes me to think, I have come up with a better reason for the components to make the list other than “because I want it”.
- Cover – Shelter, Carry Items (like a backpack), or as a blanket
- Cordage – Shelter building, Trapping/snaring, and lashing things at camp
- Cotton – Water pre-filter, use for char cloth, emergency bandage, cleaning
- Cargo Tape – Emergency field repairs, Adhesive Bandages/First Aid, Tinder bundle (fire extender)
- Canvas Needle – Repairs to equipment, Fabrication of items, Emergency first aid (suture)
- Compass – Direction, Time, Signaling (if equipped with a mirror)
- Candle – Light, Heat (especially in confined areas), Signaling, Wax zippers, Lip Balm base
- Container – Water, Purification of Water, Carrying items (gathering berries)
- Cutting Tool – Cutting, Cleaning, Fire Prep
- Combustion – Warmth, Signaling, Water Purification (all based on building a fire)
A follow-up question was, “Why a candle as opposed to a flashlight?”. I smirked and stated, “You cannot always light a fire with a flashlight”. While a flashlight can be seen at great distance, a candle can be used to start a bigger fire and provide warmth in some tarp configurations (yes, just a candle). If life is on the line and you are in a survival situation, I want to be able to start a signal fire and not depend on batteries. Keep in mind, this is my kit and I do typically carry a flashlight in my pocket.
The toughest part of my assignment was to determine the prioritization of the equipment. In order to do so, I repeatedly asked myself, “If I had to live without one item, what would it be?”. The adverse of the question would be “If I were to be in a situation, which item would be the most difficult to replicate?”. These two questions were asked until I got to the last item in the kit. In priority order:
- Container – Hardest for me to replicate in a survival situation
- Knife (cutting) – I can make an Hoko knife or ape knap a rock for a sharp edge
- Combustion – I can make friction fires however, humidity plays havoc on this option
- Cordage – I can create cordage from natural materials
- Cover – I have learned to build many natural shelters
- Compass – General direction can be gotten from sun, shadows or stars
- Cargo Tape – Many natural materials can be used as an adhesive and bandages
- Canvas Needle – Both bone and wood can be used as an alternate
- Cotton (bandana) – Many natural materials can be charred and used for signaling
- Candle – Resin, Fatwood and pine pitch can be used as a substitute
While the order of this list may change based on my knowledge expanding and the what outing I may choose, this is my base list. Many natural things can be substituted and yes, containers can be made from things such as birch bark but my list is based on what I personally can accomplish. You may have an entirely different prioritization based on your knowledge. Just remember to ask yourself the above questions when prioritizing.
As a side note, you will notice the prioritization lines up with the 10c’s from David Canterbury with the first five being the emergency 5c’s. Also, I am currently taking the Pathfinder Phase 1 Certification Course. While I may post some of my classwork, not all will be posted here.
I hope this helps clarify some things and certainly hope it was helpful. Do not hesitate to ask questions and let me know how I can help.
Use your instincts to survive