The world is a dangerous place, and you could be stranded out in the thick of things without the slightest warning. This Altoids Tin Survival kit weighs about what an iPod does, and contains many basic survival items. When safe inside your home or behind your office desk  it’s easy to forget how fragile our lives are.
In November, veteran snowmobiler Roger Rouse, 53, of Bend, died of hypothermia in Deschutes National Forest, about 10 miles west of Bend. Less than a month later, in December 2006, Californian James Kim, 35, died in the Rogue River Wilderness after leaving his wife and children to get help.
The Altoids tin kit is a small piece of that project, and it is by no means all you should carry for survival!!! This keyring kit is one way to keep some of the basic survival tools with you at all times. An incessant tinker, Grenfell was also an Air Force combat veteran and graduate of three Air Force wilderness survival schools. Once the kit was completed, two veteran outdoorsmen took the prototype on a backpacking trip for final testing. Not intended to be the primary collection of survival gear, the Altoids tin kit is designed to be compact, and easy and convenient to carry. Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist.
As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome.
Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters.
After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico.
His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District.
Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. If you lose your canoe for whatever reason and end up on an isolated shore, you will then have to rely on your bushcraft and survival skills along with any equipment you may have on your person.
Comparing other modes of self-propelled wilderness travel, the risks of losing your main camping equipment and other supplies are different. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security by thinking there are likely to be other people around to spot you or raise the alarm. If you are taking only a day trip from a wilderness cottage or cabin, you can still travel many miles in a morning. So, the equipment you keep on your person while making a wilderness canoeing trip bears some serious consideration. Below is a list of bushcraft and survival items I like to have on my person while canoeing in wilderness. For more information on technique for lighting fires with matches, please see my article How to Light a Campfire with One Match.
A good quality, well-made and well-tempered blade should not break under use in the wilderness.
The important point with a knife for wilderness canoeing is that it should not fall out of its sheath, even if you (and it) are upside down. As a final point it should be noted that most of the items in the buoyancy aid are only needed while on or near the water, or at night-time.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this bushcraft and survival equipment or its organisation.
One thing I miss isa small waterprrof pouch with some godd tinders, if you en up in the water and get to shore, you dont havce the time to look for tinders and in autumn hypothermia can come quick when being cold and wet. But aside from kit, water confidence in cold water and be able to swim saved my life last year, but as first aid it needs to be refreshed every year. Taking some emergency firelighting material is a good idea – barbeque fire-lighters are cheap and easy to light.
It’s good to hear that your confidence and ability in water saved your life last year.


It was just a simple daytrip in the local stream during a nice october day, like many other times.
Now I was gaining coontrol of my body again and called home and said what has happened and that I needed pickup at the decided point in 10 min. I was in many ways lucky that the weather was not worse, it could have been raining and made it much harder to get a fire going. I have trained this thing before, I have been in icecold water several times and know the importance of keeping calm and make good decisions. A very interesting read and something to think carefully about even if you are not going far from civilisation. Very informative, thank you, we are looking to get into this side of Out door adventure soon, when our son can swim. My article was intended to address personal survival equipment for dealing with the general scenario of having been separated from your boat and stranded (on the shore) in wild country typified by the photographs in the article.
You are right to think that a throw-line should be part of the outfitting of the boat and part of your wilderness canoeing equipment.
Indeed you can read a blog about some of the Frontier Bushcraft team training in white water safety and rescue, including the use of throw lines here. I think having some means of making water safe to drink (and storing it) makes sense if you are marooned in the wilderness. As for your phone – sure if you have mobile reception but even on the French River, which is the location of our foundational Canadian canoe expedition and not particularly remote (as far as Canada goes), there is no mobile reception.
As regards the phone, apart from signalling, mine will last at least a week before charging if I am careful. The only caveat I’d make with respect to water-based activities is that having paracord wrapped around a wrist or your neck does increase the likelihood of entanglement if you are in the water. Regards to the phone idea: I am sure Paul said some time back about people just using phones as a GPS and compass tool only to find out their battery failed.
One thing I have found was that a android phone magnetometer affected a Iphone magnetometer. 1) age 15, walked too far and it got dark in dense forest in the section of my route between trails. Since then I’ve spent a few nights out as trials, with the safety of my truck nearby. The Best Glide Fishing Series Survival Kits come in several versions: The Compact Survival Fishing Kit, the Basic Survival Fishing Kit and the Standard Survival Fishing Kit.
An amazing discovery in an abandoned house in Austin, Texas: A lost book of amazing survival knowledge, believed to have been long vanished to history, has been found in a dusty drawer in the house which belonged to a guy named Claude Davis.
The Altoids Tin Survival Kit and the supplies within could very well be the difference between life and death when you need it most.
He and his son had intended to only be out for a morning ride when a fierce snowstorm overwhelmed them.
But you need to have something in your pockets, in the event you are separated from your gear.
On the keyring: LED flashlight, fingernail clippers, whistle, Boy Scout Hot Spark firemaker and Classic Swiss Army knife. Jim Grenfell of Bend to help develop a survival kit that would fit into a standard Altoids mint tin.
I made an Altoid kit, too, and for the next several months, we added and subtracted gear, and tested, researched and refined the final kits.
He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships. If you are marooned after being separated from your canoe, however, there are likely to be no trails from where you are.
Buoyancy Aid (also known as a Personal Floatation Device, or PFD): A buoyancy aid is an important piece of personal survival equipment whilst canoeing under any circumstances.
Mosquito Head-Net: A mosquito head-net is an essential item on many canoe and camping trips. Insect Repellent: For the same reasons as above, a portable tin, tube or similar of your favoured insect repellent can make life more bearable. Folding Knife: While I carry a strong fixed-bladed knife on any serious wilderness expedition, I like to have a folding knife too. Sharpening Stone: A small, portable stone that can be used to sharpen both knives but that will still slip into a pocket is ideal.
He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too.


The reason is when you fall in the water and will have to get back up in the canoe or swim ashore. Paddled a light solo canoe that is perfect for small streams like this but a little unstable. After that it was just to pack up, take out the fire and a wuick clean up and paddle the rest of the way back. A friend of mine has a canoe which we will hopefully be using for some day trips in the summer so I will be following your advise. I pretty much only paddle solo and have been given a couple of tips that I’ll pass on. I’ve also recently started making up paracord bracelets and have even wrapped one around my paddle, so providing I don’t lose the paddle of course! Because paracord is, by its very nature, so strong, it is less likely to snap in such circumstances. We found a great a short guide (link at the end of our commentary) packed with information to help you prepare your own kit to carry with you. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched.
Even in popular canoe camping areas, there are times of year when there is hardly anyone around. In the survival scenario that you were there for any great length of time, fishing would be a very likely source of sustenance.
They are reliable, no-compromise torches that perform very well – just the attributes you need if you are to depend on a piece of equipment.
Genuine 550-lb breaking strain cord is best, not just because of its strength but also the multiple strands inside the protective outer sheath.
Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog as well as for various publications including Bushcraft and Survival Skills Magazine. The brightness of these torches combined with the push-button switch at the back of the unit makes them a good signalling device too. In the end of the day and the dark was coming and I had about 10 min left until the pick up point.
I gained a lot of weight because of the warm clothes I was wearing and when it got wet it got a lot heavier.
As I manovered around some tree?s I got caught on one and I ended up in the streaming ice cold water. The reason ilike a simple PFD without too much is that it makes it easier to move around, getting up in a canoe from the water or climp up on a sand bank for example. Second, even when the canoe’s out of water and dragged up on the shore, it gets tied up too.
I ended up under water and once I got and struggled to stay afloat and finally got hold of the canoe and it helped med to stay afloat so I could swin into shore and begin the climp up on the sand banks.
Friends taking a late Autumn paddle on the Yukon River, in Canada, came on a river island with two people stranded: a sudden, violent gust of wind had tumbled their canoe right down the beach and into the distance. A basic survival kit can be tailored to suit the environment you’re exploring with a few additional items. They had been there a week and were just at the stage of wondering if they could weave some kind of a coracle .
Taking your cell phone with you is a good start but to go out with no other means of survival is really putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Some of these exceptional skills are hundreds of years of old and they were learned the hard way by the early pioneers. After that I was still shaking a lot so I started to collect materials for a fire and got quite quick a fire going to start warming my body up. If the phone is lost or damaged, the battery runs out or the signal disappears, you’ll need other ways to ensure your safety. These are the most important considerations when packing for your trip: shelter, warmth, communication, navigation and sustenance.



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