I feel like running away and never looking back…the only thing holding me back is the fact that I have no money…
Often times I get asked why I carry such a large pack into the woods, especially when we are doing long hikes. Many people have said, “That’ll wear you out. You’ll get tired of carrying that all day.” Well my dear friends…when you’re ass goes down I’ll be the one saving it! I carry that pack for myself, but for you as well! I might be over prepared but I’d rather that than nothing to survive. I have training on how to survive off the ground around you, how to protect yourself, and keep alive for help, but it comes down to the basics. I will share some survival tips with you then we will get into what I carry with me.
Many people get this out of order but it is every important to remember, the order of your priorities, in order to survive. If done in this order, you have a greater chance to survive, remember that! If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t think you will be rescued soon, here are your next steps to take.
1. Find/Make shelter
2. Find Water
3. Find Food
In the event that you find yourself lost and unsure when rescue will get to you the first step is to stay put, don’t keep walking and wondering, getting yourself more lost. Stay where you are, sort of. You need to travel around your area some to find the best location to put up camp, but don’t wonder far, it makes you harder to find. You need a location with protection and water near by if possible. Depending on where you are trapped you may find a cave is a good shelter, or you may need to get yourself off the ground and in the trees. Start with a basic shelter, a roof and one side wall, that’s all you need at first, you can worry about adding more walls later when you have finished the other steps. Remember to use leaves or grass as the bedding, it will help keep you warmer and more comfortable. Also remember that part of shelter is building a fire or finding some sort of heat source. Make sure to build then make fire though, building a shelter helps bring your moral up and make you feel happy and accomplished.
Next you need to find water. We have a rule you learn in survival training, remember this rule. “A person can survive 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 hours in extreme weather without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.” So I hope your shelter is in an oxygen environment…but shelter is more important than you think. Followed by water. You need to find a water source. You can use leaves and containers to collect water if it’s raining, otherwise you need to try to locate a spring or at the bear minimum running water! Try to avoid any sitting water unless you have chemicals to help filter and clean it out. So find your water and move to your next priority.
Food. Food is less important than you think, unless you are a diabetic, but even then you can survive. Fish help you, there are plants around you to eat. If you are unsure of your plants, don’t touch, you could end up worse. Bugs. Sounds gross, trust me, but in survival you can eat those nasty critters crawling around. Just cook them over your open fire. Yum! But you have to do what you have to to survive.
Finally, signal. You need to create visible makers so people can find you! And STAY PUT! Moving around makes you harder to find! If you have a fire that is great! Make smoke with leaves, that will help! but be careful not to put your fire out. If you can’t make a fire, mirrors, shiny objects, bright clothing…put it where it is visible! That will help you too. Your shelter should be undercover, but find an open area to put your markings so it can be seen easier. You can easily lay next to a tree and be missed, so make your marks visible.
Now, for the list of items I carry in my pack. Warning…this may seem like a lot but I carry it all with me and it’s only 7 lbs! You just have to be careful of the material you get, some is lighter than others.
- water bladder
- empty water bottle
- water filter system (small bag type)
- water purifying tablets
- “Survival Kit” includes: chain saw (the small flexible pocket one), waterproof matches, kindling (for fire), mirror (special designed for signaling), whistle, fish hooks, string, wire, multi-tool (including hammer, knife, and pliers), survival tips book, fire starter block, emergency blanket, sewing kit
- GPS device
- SPOT Device
- First Aid Kit includes: gauze (4×4, 2×2, 5×9), emergency blanket, gauze rolls, gloves, triangle bandage, Vaseline gauze for chest and neck injury, band aids, tape, coband, durmabon (not available to everyone), steri strips, aspirin, and other odd items
- my weapons and extra bullets
- sharp knife (to prepare animals for food)
- 75 feet of webbing and 3 locking carabiners
- 150 feet of braided paracord
- paper and pen
I have other odds and ends, but that’s pretty much it. I’m pretty much set, I can survive for a few days in the woods. I have two packs, that above is my larger pack, used for the longer trips. The smaller pack has a more abbreviated edition but some of the same stuff.
So…how are you prepared for the long caching journeys??
Expectations. Everyone has them, some expect more than others. Right now I expect the weather people to get it right, just once, and yet again they failed.
I was stuck in hell job today, oh goodie. I am losing a huge battle, the battle if lazy. And I’m talking the “beyond fucking lazy fuckers”! You know what I’m talking about, the recliner, get me this, lazy. I’ve been of for a while, came in to find a fucking mess! The trucks are dirty and falling apart! Dried blood all over, scratches all over the pain, floors are a mess, looks like it hasn’t been washed in a fucking month! I was pissed. I spent 4 hours cleaning it all!! Inside and out! On just ONE truck!
I fight this battle all the time. An ambulance is a business. In order for businesses to make money you must have good customer service, right? Does grandma care that you got an 16G IV in her tiny arm? Or does she care that your truck was clean and you were nice? The patient AND the ambulance pay your salary…take care of both!
My medic today expects a LOT more than I do! He expects you to know exactly where you are going, what to do, how to park, how to freaking breath!! He expects you to be perfect. I’m the furthest thing from perfect there is! But I will continue to try to be better like he wants. But for now…some sleep…
I’m alive! Super busy! But alive! This class is keeping me BUSY! Very very busy, just trying to keep up! But I’m taking a break to give everyone a little bit of an update. So here it is…
First, I got that new job. I start soon and I can’t wait! Paperwork done, just have to schedule my “third person shifts” to go though orientation, then I’ll be on my own. I worked the other job I like today, we were busy all morning! Here’s a tip…having a busy day? Just fly a few out, you won’t have a single call, no one on the department will, for 6 hours after! I guess that’s a good thing for the patients…we were bored though. I got it will quiet after a few helicopter rides. I had a city trip too and we get to stop for food, which I love about those trips. While we were eating a father and his daughter were at a table near us. They asked where we were located out of and I chatted with them for a bit. We went to pay and found out the guy bought our food! I wish I could have thanked him! It’s incredible what some people will do! And it shows you that you need to treat EVERY patient good because you never know who you’ll come across! My first boss made sure I knew what customer service meant and if you couldn’t do it properly, they were more than happy to show you out the door. My co-workers don’t understand that these people we transport are our paycheck! They don’t know how bad dirty rigs look to our company. They just don’t know.
This week I meet with an adviser to sign up for classes for a Bachelor degree. I have more than enough credits for a Bachelor, but so many are required to be from a 4 year school so I have to pick a major AND a minor, maybe two minors, because I won’t have enough credit hours with just the one. I don’t know what I’m going to pick yet. I was thinking about a minor in photography, but I’m not sure what to do my major in. I don’t know yet…guess I need to keep thinking about that. I need my Bachelor in something I can fall back on in case of injury in the field. Time to think…
I also have my first meeting with a counselor…this should be interesting. She seemed real nice and comfortable on the phone so we shall see. I’m a bit nervous, but I know I need it. Still have no money or shifts to pay for it, but I guess I have to find a way. I’m already on the Ramen noodle every meal diet…not sure I can go much lower than that…I guess I’ll find a way. It’s been all Ramen noodles and soup for several weeks now but I refuse to ask for money or even tell anyone there is a problem. I’m on my own in this. I haven’t told my man either. I think he suspects, because he has taken me out to dinner a few times. I’m so used to having no food that when we go out to eat I’ll order some side dish and that’s all I’ll eat, my stomach literally can’t handle anything. He probably knows but I’m not telling him, besides he doesn’t have the money to help me, his kids nickle and dime him to death. He really needs to cut them off and stop paying for shit! Hell, they are all over 20, they need to suck it up and stop visiting hospitals just because “they want something wrong with them” as many have put it. They just love attention and pain meds..they both have drug addictions and he’s pretty much fueling that fire! I told him to quit paying but whatever, his choice. Those are some spoiled ass kids and I think he’s finally seeing that. Anyway, thanks to them, the fucking government, and a loss of his part time job he couldn’t help me if he wanted to. All Ramen noodles and off brand soup for me…yum.
Other than that I’ve been just trying to survive. I can only afford to drive to work, so I never leave my house. It’s making life a living fucking hell with my mother! Then she keeps racking up shit I need to pay for too. Rent, dog car, supplies that she uses NOT me, crap she doesn’t need…the bitch is killing me more! I don’t have the money for this shit! Every time she makes me pay for something it cuts back in the food or gas money I don’t have already. I think I would be slightly better off and have real food if it weren’t for her shit. I guess it’s time for sleep for me, another long day, this time holding down fucking hell! I just want to cry, I hate going there, someone shoot me now!
Been a busy few days and it’s not about to get any better! We were declared a State of Emergency for the entire state…I’ll be with you when I can, my job means no rest for me. Be with you all next week.
Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight…
I have an app that allows me to track the money I make and the hours I work. For 2012 I worked an average of 88 hours PER week! And that was just my 3 primary paying jobs! Holy shit! That doesn’t include teaching hours and volunteer hours. The life of Fire/EMS just to pay your bills…
Life is just full of complications, isn’t it? Well mine has no short supply!! Things are going ok right now, at least for the moment, so it won’t be long until all hell breaks lose. That’s how it always works so I’m just waiting.
Hell job is going decent, Chief Bitch has been extra nice to me. I don’t trust her, but I have a feeling she got her little ass chewed. I had a meeting with the highest boss, he was a fucking dick this time had complete false information and was mislead. He wouldn’t let me fix his information but whatever, be a dick. I left that meeting pissed off and not happy at all, but I still showed up. I guess he listened to me some because she’s been really nice lately. She’s fucking up some more, so I guess she has to be nice to me so she can get away with her other fuck ups. Doesn’t matter to me, I have a new job and am working there the smallest amount I’m allowed to do, that’s it.
As for Valentine’s day…well I don’t get to spend it with my man. In fact, I saw him Monday and I won’t see him again till Sunday…I’m bummed. I was finally able to get to the store and find him a card though. The outside of the card says: “To the Man I Love. I remember perfectly the moment I first saw you – the way you were standing, what you were wearing, and the skip in my heart, when we finally spoke.
Everything around us disappeared and all I could see was you. I knew that second I had found the one.” The inside says: “Now, so many memories later, I realize how far we’ve come. But still, some things never change, like the way you take my breath away, whenever I see you walking toward me. With every step we take together, I love you even more. You are my best friend, heart and soul, and the love of my life.” I think it’s perfect. I hate that my family can’t accept him in my life the way he is, but I will never stop fighting for what I want. I hope it works out in the end.
Now it’s time for me to prepare. I’m doing a free photoshoot for a friend of mine, they don’t have a lot of money and just had a kid. I agreed to do the pictures for free and they agreed to share my name and tell as many as they can about me. I’m excited, I’ve never done newborn photos before so that is going to be interesting. I hope all works out! I have some cute props and now it’s time to set everything up and get ready. Hope everyone has a great week. I’ll be around soon.
I can’t hide the way I feel about you anymore
I can’t hold the hurt inside, keep the pain out of my eyes anymore
My tears no longer waiting…my resistance ain’t that strong
My mind keeps recreating a life with you alone
And I’m tired of pretending that I don’t love you anymore
Let me make one last appeal to show you how I feel about you…hmmm
Cause there’s no one else I swear, holds a candle, anywhere, next to you
My heart can’t take the beating of not having you to hold
A small voice keeps repeating deep inside my soul…
It says I can’t keep pretending that I don’t love you anymore
I’ve got to take the chance or let it pass by
If I expect to get on with my life
With my life…
And I can’t hide the way I feel about you anymore
And I can’t hold the hurt inside, keep the pain out of my eyes anymore
My tears no longer waiting
Oh, my resistance ain’t that strong
Oh, my mind keeps recreating a love with you alone
And I’m tired of pretending I don’t love you anymore…anymore…anymore
Around here there a many debates about which is better. We have one particular city department that swears they are way better because they treat way more patients. This is a department that has a hospital without 5 minutes of EVERY part of their venue, and I’m serious when I say that, they are NEVER more than 5 minutes from a hospital. They rarely start IV’s, they are arrogant, they have piss poor attitudes, they won’t give medications. Hell, I witnessed them bring in a full arrest patient, NO monitor, NO IV! How can you be better than someone when you pull shit like that? Not everyone is the same, I have seen a FEW decent people on this department, but that is rare and those people never last more than a few months.
There are a few medics I know that consider themselves “city” medics, however they have a bit more time to get to a hospital. These medics usually have anywhere from 10-30 minutes of transport time, depending on the hospital the patient chooses. These medics have told me before that rural medics are way better than city medics. Why? For many reasons. I’m currently in Critical Care Paramedic class. It’s kicking my ass some, but one student in there is really struggling, he’s a “city” medic. He has more than 10 minutes to get to a hospital. The drugs we are learning in this class…I already know them because I’m one of those rural medics and we have this stuff
Quick lesson here to help you understand better. There are 4 classifications that hospitals can have and you are about to learn about them, they are Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. Let’s start with the lowest level and work our way up.
Level 4 – Do you have an Urgent Care near you? Or a hospital near you that is so small they have 2 ER room beds and can not admit patients for a long stay? Chances are you don’t, not unless you live a good drive from the big city. I have one, at 2 different jobs I work at, they each have one in their area. This is basically like going to visit your doctor. You show up there with anything more than a paper cut and they are calling 911 for your butt! Yes, hospitals call 911 for ambulances, mine do all the time.
Level 3 – This is just a step above the Level 4 class. These hospitals can admit patients, are larger, and have the power to do more, they just do not have the staff. These hospitals usual accept sick patients for long stays but if you broke anything you are going to be sent else where. If you have a heart attack or stroke, they only have the ability to diagnose these problems, if you need it treated then you will be sent else where, either by helicopter or the bandaid box. How many of these do I have in my area? One job has 3 of them, the other has 1.
Level 2 -This level has a significant increase in care over the other two. They can treat just like the highest level, a Level 1, however the staff to treat is not required to be in house. Meaning, they are required to have the capabilities ready within 20 minutes. So, you have a heart attack, go to my local Level 3 center, they diagnose it as a heart attack. The weather, naturally, is shitty so they whirly bird won’t come pick you up, now you get the bandaid box with my partner and I. We can’t bypass the Level 2 center, because they can treat you. On our way we call them, say we have a heart attack and to activate the cath lab, they have 20 minutes to have that staff ready if they want to keep their Level 2 status. Level 2 centers tend to be in the outer layers of the city, also known as the suburbs.
Level 1 – This is the highest classification of hospital. They are usually, though not always, teaching hospitals. They have every capability in the hospital, waiting 24 hours a day. They can treat everything, and treat it well. It so happens that my “area” has some of the top adult and pediatric hospitals in the world.
Now, when I am working and you come in really sick to the hospitals here and have to be transferred out, we have to take you to the city. We call them “city trips” or “city runs”. You know how long it takes me to get from this Level 3 hospital to a Level 1 for you to get the help you need? If the weather is good, 1 hour and 30 minutes! Yes, you read that right. If the weather is good, you’re flying most the time, but not always, each patient is different.
So what do you do during that time? Well you can type all this up like I am, because this patient is sleeping. Some sleep. I had a 4 hour and 45 minutes transport time for special care…yes, I spent almost FIVE hours with this patient and she was amazing! You’ve read that story. We entertain ourselves, bring cards, have movies on our iPads for the kids when we get them. I bring my computer and DVDs sometimes. This weekend alone, in two days, I have traveled over 500 miles in an ambulance! But what else makes us better? Our treatments, we constantly have to watch the patient, change our care, think like a doctor. I can tell you from experience, it is way more challenging to be a rural medic! And way more fun!