BEING EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE IS AN AGE-OLD ENDEAVOR.
Having the right gear on your person could mean the difference between life and death. Sometimes, it’s easy to pack right – a camping trip, for example. Most people equip themselves perfectly for a short stint in the wilderness, then come back to civilization, and return to their daily grind.
The same people that had plenty of gear the day before now seamlessly transition into urban life, commuting 50 or more miles through urban sprawl with nary a water bottle on their person. So, what sort of survival weapon should you have on hand just about anywhere? Read on!
Sure, having a fully equipped bug out bag is the perfect solution – everything you need to tough out 72+ hours right there at your side. Sometimes, this isn’t practical, however. Still, there are a few things you should always have at the ready, things that can easily be kept on your person or close at hand.
A way to make fire:
Fire is the thing that changed civilization for a man – for good. Fire is an essential survival tool. It will keep you warm. It will ward off animals. It will cook your food. It will boil the water you need to survive. Having a method to make a fire on your person is easy. Keeping a lighter on you always is okay but realize that a lighter is not 100% foolproof. Even your $50 Zippo needs flints, wick, and fluid. Small disposable lighters are fragile and prone to breakage. Also, a lighter might not be allowed on an airplane.
The easiest thing to keep on your person that will make fire as needed is a magnesium fire starter. Most of these are solid magnesium blocks with a piece of flint inset on one side. You shave the magnesium with just about anything at hand – a blade, a rock, whatever, then strike the flint and ignite the magnesium shavings (under some kindling). This setup will burn fast and hot, even in damp conditions. And most of these fire starters look like harmless key chains to boot.
A way to cut:
Like fire, above, a way to cut also revolutionized what man could do. A way to cut, i.e. a knife, can cut your food. It can kill your food. It can cut material for your shelter, and it can keep enemies at bay. A knife is an essential working implement and you should never leave home without one.
A good working knife should be slanted towards the tool end of the spectrum rather than towards the wow factor end. For daily carry in an urban environment, a stout folder is best, preferably one with at least some serration to cut the rope and other such material with.
A way to tie things:
There are times when explorers throughout history would have killed for a good piece of rope. There are several ways to keep such a tool on your person in a nondescript fashion. First, paracord (or 550 cord, as it is sometimes known), is the rope you need to keep handy. Paracord has a million uses, and its stout, cheap, available, and strong. Its outer casing can be cut off to reveal the inner fibers, which can be used for sewing and other useful tasks. So how do you keep a good length of it handy? Easy – a paracord bracelet. These are commercially available for mere dollars, and when woven right, can stow an amazing 12 feet or more of paracord right there on your wrist, and easily unraveled. Or, you can simply use paracord for shoelaces, as it comes in a multitude of colors.
Keeping the essentials handy doesn’t need to be hard or doesn’t require a huge pack. You can go just about everywhere properly equipped.
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