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…