28 replies [Last post]
Joined: 04/13/2011
Posts: 1
While having a survival kit

While having a survival kit with all the bells and whistles is very important, how many people who carry this equipment actually can effectively use it when called for.  Always remmber to practice with your survival gear.

Joined: 11/21/2011
Posts: 5
Great article

Thanks for the fantastic article.

Joined: 07/10/2012
Posts: 13
Great article. I mean really

Great article. I mean really great. Gave me some things to think about planning my first elk hunt in Colorado solo.

SFC B's picture
Joined: 09/20/2012
Posts: 93
me too!!

One of the first things I tell new soldiers to the unit out here (Carson) is that ANYTIME they go into the woods they need to have a survival kit with them.  There are too many varibles to just go on the "It'll be FINE!" mantra.  With the firemaking/starting portion- VERY important to practice.  I am a flint and steel man and also carry several cotton balls soaked in Vaseline (fit in zip loc snak bags).  A good fixed blade knife and means to sharpen it are also important.  My 2cents.....SFC B

Location: Missouri
Joined: 03/10/2010
Posts: 21
Good information

On thing not covered so far are “Personal Locator Beacons” (PLB's) that are used for ocean going boats/ships, downed pilots and mountain climbers, to name a few. One person talked about using a “Spot”, the only problem with them you have pay a monthly charge and runs on second generation satellite technology and not very reliable. If you read the reviews on them, they are not rated very good. PLB's start a $250 and the batteries last four years, unless you need to deploy the antenna and use it. They are samll enough you don't even know you are carring one. If used or the battery goes dead after four years, they can be sent back and fixed. Once you buy one you have to register them with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with all your family information/emergency numbers at no cost. Then NOAA has you update your unit every four years to keep your contacts current. Some PLB's have strobe lights built in and when deployed, they send your exact GPS location to NOAA via satellite. NOAA then contact contacts emergency personnel and provides them with your location and family contact information. I got mine when I went to Wyoming in 2008 and even use it here in Missouri, because in most areas away from the roads or in valleys there is no cell coverage. I wouldn't trust my life to anything else and a GPS to find my way home.

AlderCreekRanch's picture
Joined: 03/06/2015
Posts: 13
PLB vs Spot

The disadvantage of a PLB is that it cannot transmit messages but it is a valuable tool.  The third generation Spot's are out that enable one on the data receiving end to track your movements and send preprogram messages.

I've been fortunate in that I own a personal satellite phone which is expensive to purchase and requires a plan like a Spot.  However, folks might not be aware that in order for the satellites to locate you or allow a transmission, you need at least three satellites as does your GPS to triangulate your location.  If you are in a ravine, this often is not possible.  But all three alternatives can be a life saver.  While most of you will not be trying to guide a helicopter to a snake bit porter in the remote mountain jungle of Central America, the Rockies can be equally unforgiving.  Each year we lose hunters in blizzards and falls who end up being found during Spring thaw...not a good end to a hunt!

AlderCreekRanch's picture
Joined: 03/06/2015
Posts: 13
Other Electronics

Nearly every hunter owns a GPS these days but unfortunately most Di not know how to use it.  Take the time to use it walking around your neighborhood by walking to see if you can find your house.  Many of these units have a tracking feature that shows where you walked so minimally learn this feature and you will be able to follow the "breadcrumbs" back to your vehicle or camp.

The small NOAA based weather units are very useful in the mountains as without one, you could face an unfortunate surprise.  Weather can change so quickly in the Rockies that in a matter of hours that sunny day yields several feet of snow.

And finally, the small FM radios are a great way to keep track of buddies.  But since FM waves travel in a line of sight, you can't depend on them working if a mountain separates the two of you.  Get the highest range version you can find like 50 miles as in the Rockies you might as well divide the range of your unit by 10.

To avoid spooking game, I recommend checking in at specific times or when you hear a shoot (unless archery hunting).  Leave it off the rest of the time or buy an earplug/speaker set-up.  

Remember, you cannot use such electronic devices to hunt in many States so check the rules and give the animals a fair chase.


Location: USA
Joined: 03/17/2015
Posts: 5
Excellent info here, I am

Excellent info here, I am currently doing some research and found exactly what I was looking for.

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