- Bear Grylls
This question was posed by Fitz during a recent class and it really intrigued me. I decided I would write a bit about this. In class I felt really limited by the five items, but I feel like it would be too easy if it was just what would you bring. So I will say what I would bring, if I was going to a location in the world on any of the continents excluding Antarctica or on the polar icecaps (these two locations are too extreme to take into effect). I also think that touchscreen electronics or "smart" devices should not be allowed. With these rules I can start designing a package that will help me survive and possibly thrive in any location I am placed in.
First object I would bring is my swiss army knife, with both tactical and sentimental value this Swisschamp with wood scales is a beauty to behold and is the most practical swiss army knife I have ever come across. If I had to take one item, it would be my swiss army knife.
Among the other items may not be as important, but are still definitely necessary to boost my chances of survival. The next item would be a Jungle Master knife (although it has more similarity to a mini-machete) this would also be useful for hacking and sawing. Its shape makes it a knife, but its size allows it to be used as a hatchet.
The third most important item to have would be some form of fire starter. I would bring simple "All Weather" matches, and then a fire steel (a high tech version of flint and steel that gives off hotter sparks) for when I have run out of matches. I would also bring my hiking backpack so that I could carry items with me, this would just increase the items I could bring. Another important item would be a metal container of some sort so that I could boil water to purify it.
In the backpack, if I were allowed to fill it, I would bring a sleeping bag (rated -10 or -30) and made of "DriDown", as it is the lightest and warmest insulation, also it ideally would be waterproofed. I would also bring a tactical flashlight (over 900 lumens, I believe is what makes it a "tactical" flashlight, so just a very bright rechargeable flashlight) as well as a water proofed "Complete Guide to the Outdoors" as it contains a mass of information.
Finally I would be sure to pack an array of synthetic clothes as well as my paracord belt and possibly some rope in the backpack. Synthetic typically dries out much more quickly than cotton and typically they come in varieties for warmer and colder climates, also synthetic clothes are more commonly treated with insect repellent which would certainly be helpful.
If I were allowed to bring an item that wouldn't fit on my person, I would bring my mountain bike. It would be useful for crossing terrain and could be stripped down for cordage (if I do not have enough). A bike would be most useful if I were attempting to escape a city and enter a more rural environment where I would feel much more at home and comfortable.
With two knifes, a backpack, a fire starter, a sleeping bag, a bike, some rope, a flashlight, a book and some clothes I feel that I could take on survival in any wilderness setting, to take on an urban jungle (or more likely escape) I would simply add my cell phone and my Ipad to my gear as well as a hand-crank generator so that I could recharge the items. For me, survival doesn't seem to be as hard as it might be, so long as I am placed in a familiar environment (not inside of a city). I think that comfort and familiarity would play a role in a person's odds of survival. I feel very at home in rural areas, but if I were dumped in an impoverished urban area, I would feel very much out of place and would attempt to flee to familiarity in order to survive.
Thinking of this list has really made me consider how accustomed I have become to my surroundings and how comfortable I am with them. In my environment I feel confident and secure, however if I were dropped into an environment that wasn't familiar, I would lose my shell of familiarity and would feel very vulnerable and exposed. What would you need to survive?