My tramping survival equipment reviewed...
I thought I would give you an idea of the type of navigation and safety gear I carry with me. I have a small selection of tools to help keep me safely on track: my criteria (in order) is functionality, light weight and ruggedness.
Navigation: GPS, compass and map
|The Garmin eTrex 20|
Remember this was before Desert Storm, the moment when GPS had its baptism of fire....
|An early military GPS unit, the SLGR or 'Slugger"|
|The Silva Ranger compass|
|Topographic map in a Ziploc bag|
I have also been using the free maps available on the Topomap website. Just a point: if you are using Topomap add the longitude and latitude markers as these are not shown when you print them out. Got myself in a spot of bother not doing that one time....
For a master class in using map and compass to navigate check out Ashley Burkes website. This is an Australian site but the information is also relevant to New Zealand conditions.
Communications: Smart Phone
|Samsung Galaxy S3|
(Jon you dirty Luddite...wash your mouth out!)
Survival Equipment:The Emergency Kit
|My emergency survival kit|
- Fire Starting materials: 4 waterproof matches and a small mini "Bic" lighter + cut up inner tube as a fire starter.
- A cutting tool: A small folding Gerber knife.
- Signalling: In my opinion you can use the tin lid itself for signalling.
- A small whistle
- A button Compass
- Duct Tape: I wrap a couple of metre's worth around my walking pole.
|Example of duct tape wrapped on trek pole|
- Needle & Thread
- Note Paper & Pencil
- Safety Pins
- Fishing Hooks
- Water Purification: 4 x Aquatab tablets
- Medical Supplies:4 Band Aids, 4 Panadol and 2 Antihistamine tablets
- Random Items: Salt Pack, Sugar Pack, Paper Clip, Barley sugars
- A tin to hold it all, mine is an old Altoids tin from the US, it needs to be light weight.
Survival Equipment: Personal Locator Beacon
|My PLB in its waterproof Sil-Nylon bag|
|ACR ResQlink PLB|
|The beacon and the neoprene flotation pouch you get|
Blue = Clothing
Orange= Safety/survival gear
Green= Cooking/food preparation
Yellow= Food/snack items
Register your Locator Beacon with Beacons.org.nz registration is free and takes all of 3 seconds. If it is not registered it will still be notified, but it can take an additional 12 hours for the messages to get through to New Zealand Rescue Services as the satellites are U.S. owned.
Survival Equipment:Fire starting kit
|Bark on a native New Zealand Fuchsia tree|
Survival Equipment: Ancillary Gear
This is what the old timers call being "be-nighted".
|The SOL breathable Bivy Bag|
|SOL Bivy looks something like this in use.....|
|Lightweight tent cordage|
This expedient shelter in concert with my wet weather/warm clothing would be enough to stave off hypothermia in all but the worst weather conditions.
|Pack liner used as a makeshift shelter|
First Aid kit
|A typical commercial trampers first aid kit|
Once when walking a Port Hills track I fell and injured my elbow and my leg: all I had to assist me were half a dozen plasters and it was not enough. Since then I carry comprehensive supplies any-time I am walking or tramping.
|My First Aid kit removed from its protective bag|
Bear in mind the worst thing I usually have to cope with are splinters, blisters or a small cut/abrasion. I'm not performing life saving surgery, I lack both the supplies and skills to do so.
So there you go, a quick glance at my safety/survival equipment.