There are certain things we all have with us, usually they vary somewhat depending on what we are doing. One thing for certain is there are limitations, we can never have everything we could need. All gear weighs a certain amount, it takes up a given amount of space, and there is a monetary cost. These are our primary limitations, money, space, and weight.
So how do we maximize the value of our gear?
One word. Multipurpose. When I was growing up I would think of my Boy Scout knife, or a Swiss Army Knife. When my boys were growing up it was MacGuyver who was the king of multi-function. Then there was the coming of Leatherman, and now all the others making similar tools. Remember however, there can be too much of a good thing. Another consideration in multi-tools is this, the various tools on one of these rigs are not as good as the separate individual tool is, so it’s a compromise. Anything you really need to make full use of would be best as the real thing. If you frequently need a certain screwdriver or wrench, it would be best just to have it, rather than make do with a multi-tool.
This is all much more than tools, it’s all our gear, food, and supplies of every kind.
For ages it has been considered wise to carry only items that have many different uses, at least 2 or 3 anyway. That’s how you get more “bang for your buck.”
Look at the graph for our CSK (Core Survival Kit), it shows how many ways each kit component can be used in relation to the Six Elements of Survival. In our training we divide up Survival into Six areas that we call “Elements,” these are essentials without which, if lacking any of them, our very lives are in danger. These are, in no particular order; Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, Medical, and Social/Rescue. You can see from the graph that many items have functions in two or more Elements, this is ideal.
When you are gearing up, besides the initial function of an item, consider how else it may be used. You may find a better gear choice this way, something that can help you in many areas.
For Shelter, our PST’s (Personal Survival Tarp) are made in a way that they are very adaptable and can be set up in many ways, 18 to 25 ways. They include 100 feet of parachute cord, 6 tent stakes, and shock cord. Many uses for each of those items as well. Our PSS (Personal Survival Shelter) is one piece of gear that does three main things, it’s a Tarp, a Poncho, and a Hammock and it comes with 40 feet of parachute cord as well. You can even add the liner, to make a jacket or sleeping bag out of it.
Food/Water, our new Firebox Folding Stove Combo Kit gives a stove that can burn most any dry fuel, and our FSK (Fire Starter Kit). With this kit you can cook, boil water, start a fire in the stove or almost any where else, so it can contribute to Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, Medical, and Social; a very valuable asset.
Even a pot like the Billy Pot we are testing has a number of uses. It can be used for cooking, it can be a container for storage, it can also be a shovel to dig with. So it’s Elements are; Food, Water, Medical, Social/Rescue.
So whether you choose our gear or something else the important thing is to consider all the possible functions of every item in your kit. Over time your gear will be streamlined as you find things that fit better with your needs.
Have fun gearing up, I hope you are able to use some of these thoughts to make more effective kits, and utilize better gear.
Until next time, this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival”