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I began this blog yesterday, opening up two of my survival carriers. A foldable stool, and my backpack. My thought when I began putting this survival “kit” together about 40 years ago,  was based on thoughts of getting lost in the woods, or going over a cliff and having to rescue myself, or being stranded on a lonely road. No GPS, no cell phones, many lonely roads. The thought being, if I’m stuck in the woods for a night I can remain warm and dry. If I need to leave the scene, I can carry my back pack with any essentials, and attempt to get out of my predicament. However, over the years, what I’ve used mostly, is blankets that I’ve given to stranded motorists with kids, an elderly woman shivering in a park, a man laying on the road waiting for an ambulance, rescuers asking for a blanket to prevent shock. I’ve gotten overwhelmingly sleepy while driving several times, and pulled over, took a nap and used a blanket. I’ve used the toilet four times. Mary Jane said, “I’d just go out in the woods?” I won’t go into detail of why I was in a place without woods and needed that toilet, once for a passenger in my car. I’ve repeatedly used jackets, towels, dry socks, gloves, scarves, for myself and others. It is very handy to have an extra jacket in your car at all times.

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The last packet I opened, a sturdy carry bag contained, a stout cloth band that you could tie around something to portage it up hill, or drag wood pieces to a fire, or drag something with you that you may need.  Another jacket? Holy cow! A heavy scarf, two easy carry water bottles, a package with a space blanket, more bungee cords…

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A closer look, two foldable hand saws, something to read to pass time, including an article on survival, a fishing hook pressed into a cork, a small film can with two very mini sinkers and fishing line, plastic lines to hold fish, a sturdy carry bag (blue) that can actually hold water like a foldable bucket. A quarter for a phone booth. Now I can laugh at that. A metal can to drink from or cook in for a cup of soup or tea, or just to heat water. Mary Jane asked me if I carry energy bars. At one time I carried lotions, chapstick and food items. They melted and made a mess. I also carried canned tuna and soups at one time, and in this bag you will see my can opener. But food aromas attract animals. I read the book by Euell Gibbons, Stalking The Wild Asparagus, years ago and I know what I can eat in the woods to survive. You can even survive on pine needle tea. I also tried carrying those items inside my car and a few hours in a hot sunny parking lot, melts lotions and lipstick, candy bars etc. into an unusable mess. DSC05421 (Copy)

So in this sack, I had more socks, a scissors, a push button screemer to scare off anything, animal or human. Can opener, clothes pins, a single clip, another sweatshirt, a tool kit of screwdrivers, and my two easy carry water bottles.

I’ve learned a lot about this little exercise. Number one, how I’ve over done some things and lack others. My small hand pole with reel, I no longer have. No extra pants, or clothing for warm weather. No road flares, no meds, can’t figure out what happened to my snake bite kit and first aid kit? I found one single package of band aids. Where is my ace bandage? No soap? I do have a comb in the car. And, I had no identification or medical information about myself in my pack, like the ones Jim and I carry in the refrigerator of the motor home. Yup, my survival kit is going to get a revamp. Food is a good idea now that  there are so many dried backpacking foods available.

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I expect this exercise may have bored you silly. People usually laugh at my survival kit. It is something built into my psyche from my childhood. My dad always preached survival to my sister and brothers when we were kids. We lived in a log cabin in the woods where it was a necessity to think about such things. Someday, I’ll tell you about the time my husband and I  left Murphys for Reno on a beautiful warm fall day, dressed lightly in leisure suits,  hit a bear, wrecked one half of our car, leaving us without one head light, and a door that wouldn’t open on the driver’s side. We continued on to see Sammy Davis. Left after the show, got caught in the mountains on the way home that night, in a freak snowstorm, that morphed into rain, hail, mudslides, and put us shivering, in a ditch. If you run the heater, you can run out of gas.  My husband no longer laughed at my survival kit.




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  1. Randy

    Great blog—-has me assembling one of my own. For years I have carried a 20 pound bag of rice in my rig and a Swiss army knife.

    • 2gadabout

      It was a great exercise for me to improve my “kit”. And, I really believe in it. Never would have thought it of you, though. (Chuckle)

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