Well on the schedule for today our blog subject is Gear. When I was putting together ideas of what to blog about on the subject, for some crazy reason it popped in my head like this, “Gear, what is it good for?” to the tune of Edwin Starr’s song of 1969 “War” so I went with it. I also thought of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the movie “Rush Hour” and the humorous version they did (links at bottom). See how my brain works, its nuts, but it does cause me to have an interesting life! FYI I was not into the anti-war thing either, just rather fight to win and get it done!!! Anyway what does all this chatter have to do with gear?
If you have followed me for very long you know that in most things I commonly ask something like, “what’s the purpose,” or “why do I need this?” This should be the starting point, how else would you even know what gear you need, until you understand what you need it for?
- Metal hardware such as knives, axes, saws, flashlight, guns, fire starters, stoves and cook ware
- Fabric goods such as poncho, jacket, gloves, hat, pants, even shoes or boots
- Other soft items such as tents, hammocks and tarps
- Natural items like flint, bow drill, arrow or spear, bark, fibers, structure poles and stone metate
Essentially gear is an extension or aid to the body. One of the great blessings of the human race is our ability to create and craft all kinds of things that enable us to do much more than we could do with just our hands and feet alone, additionally we enable ourselves with shelters and clothing to live and thrive in areas that would be impossible without.
Today if you were to ask people to name a piece of gear they would likely say a knife. Many folks call themselves “gear nuts” or “gear heads” as they have become addicted to acquiring all their paycheck will allow in various, knives, guns, flashlights, bracelets, etc. What we buy however, is only a portion of the gear we may actually need or use at times. If a fishing pole and tackle are considered gear, then certainly a spear, a fish hook made of bird bone, or a fish trap made of willows and twine are also gear.
Many years ago at a weeklong family camp on the north slope of the Uintah Mountains on the Utah/Wyoming border, I spent many hours pecking out a fine grained stone hammer head. I formed a groove around it and got a nice willow of the proper size, wrapped it around the hammer head and lashed it tightly. It served me very well, that being a piece of gear I made myself in the woods. On another occasion I made a small weaving loom and made mats for all the families in our group, perhaps that is more equipment than gear, but all the same it is a tool intended to make life easier.
In the companion website we are working on setting up that will be all training info, we use our normal template for learning survival. There are Six Elements of Survival; shelter, fire, water, medical, food, and social/rescue. Each of these has three parts; knowledge, skills, and gear. So we just talked briefly about gear and what it is. Take shelter for example, we study and obtain knowledge about shelter, what, why, how, etc. This gives us a foundation of ideas to work off of. Next is skills, which is the talent, and dexterity to do many things, make cordage, strip bark, tie knots, cut wood, etc. This enables us to use the knowledge we have to actually make or do something. Lastly the gear, as we have seen in this blog it is both what we bring with us, and what we can create, to help us be comfortable and safe or get rescued.
Just for fun here are the links for “War” and “Rush Hour”
Until next time this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival”