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I have recently had an interest in learning about the equipment needed for surviving in a Bug Out situation. In learning the proper tools and equipment to have, I have also started backpacking and tent camping some. More recently, I started having an interest in bushcraft. What I have found is, there are a lot of similar tools required in each of these, especially having a decent knife. I would love to hear what any of you think about the mix of these different activities. I am still learning and having fun as I do so. I got several items for Christmas that will be used in a combination of these activities. Here are the items I got.

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The biggest factors for what to carry is where are you going and how are you getting there?

Obviously a sub-compact car limits the amount you can carry over a pickup truck, but so does walking or using a canoe.

An evacuation to a shelter (a la Katrina) is a totally different affair then camping out.

This doesn't answer your question and can't until you define the BOB that you sort of need.

As to knives few of the survival forums will even agree on the blade length let alone the knife in question--Everything from a $15 4" Mora to a 12" Custom Bowie knife are considered the "ideal".  I'm of the "If it can't be done with a 4" to 5" knife then you shouldn't be doing it" crowd.

There are a number of free E-books on Amazon Kindle dealing with Survival, Bug out, etc.--check out DailyFreeBooks.com

Jeremy

I think your on the right track. Personally I think a quality survival knife would be a good choice. The saw back can come in really handy and you want your survival knife to be able to take a beating. You may need to do things with a survival knife that you would not dream of doing with your EDC or a favorite hunting knife. So yes more than one knife is a good idea but a heavy duty survival knife can be a life saver. It will make a decent steel if you need it with your flint and char cloth.....just one use among many. I am just now learning map and compass.....I know....everyone should know how to do this but really? How many of us really know how to do it. If you need to bug out to the great outdoors map and compass is invaluable. OK I'll shut up! Great post Jeremy!!

Jeremy,

You got some nice stuff for Christmas.  The thing is, Shlomo is right.  Advice is what people want, but it all comes down to what works for you.  You can sign up for survival/bushcraft classes in your area (probably), and they are a good jump start on what you need, if you get guys who have "done it all", and can show you what/why does and doesn't work well in most situations.  Check out the forums for tips, tricks, and hacks that suit you.

Take your survival book(s) camping and test the recommendations for yourself.  While you are cooking on that new stove, maybe try a "Swedish stove" or "Apache Fire Pit" (among several names for an in-ground fire). 

I've got some years on me, so I would be looking for a partner.  Even if you are relatively young, sharing the load, so to speak, makes everything easier, and at least you would have someone to clean and dress your inevitable wounds, help build a smoker, make a permanent shelter, and help you get home from a practice weekend where you've twisted or broken some body part.

The smartest guy in the woods isn't necessarily the best equipped, but the guy who has practiced and tested the stuff in the books.

John,

Firstly there is no such thing as a survival knife--nor tactical for that matter (all marketing hype)--and secondly the sawbacks on the Randall etc, were designed to cut through aluminium aeroplane skin not wood.

The Saami of Lapland survive quite well with their 2½" puukkos and 6" leukus while an Amazonian Indio does quite well with a 22" machete. 

I've heard it many times that the knife you have with you is what you survive with.  I do not go into the woods to survive but to hunt and fish and camp and canoe and bird watch etc. and take the appropriate blade.  I've learnt how to make do with what I have with me but I don't rely on one blade but several as well as a folding saw and a hatchet or cruiser axe.

Shlomo

Thanks for the survival lesson.

Thank you all for your input..I believe will all have our own opinions and input on every subject we discuss. There are many different perspectives on the matters being discussed here. I do think that experience is one of the most valuable resources for any of us to have. As I learn about the different aspects of survival, bugging out, camping and backpacking, I plan to put the knowledge I learn, from videos, books and blogs, to use. My intent is to practice all that I can in the woods. I do have a variety of tools in my pack. I always carry more than one knife, a folding saw and a hatchet (until I have the money to buy a better ax). Fire starting ha been one of the items of focus recently. I would like to be able to start a fire with as many different methods and resources as I can master. I feel that my weakest area of expertise, currently, is know what plants are edible. Over the next few months, I hope to learn more about what is available and edible in my area. Please keep you thoughts and input coming. Thanks again.

outdoors map and compass.  This would be a great lesson for me, I had to do it with the boy scouts in the Philippines.  We learned it in a USAF jungle survival course for kids.  I am no longer a kids and have likely forgotten 99% of it.  

Jeremy,

I just read in a recent interview with Mors Kochaski (author of Bushcraft) that if it all boils down to one thing, every woodsman should learn the plants of his area.  I know what I'm doing come spring.  Actually, now is probably one of the best times to start reading & watching those Youtube videos, & taking courses if they're offered (but trees can be so difficult to identify without leaves).

But it's also an incredibly good time to start working those fire skills!  Especially cold weather fire skills.  And that's probably something I should be doing this weekend, especially with this nice new blanket of snow we're getting tonight.

How's that TOPS BOB working out for you, by the way?  You picked one up in the last couple months, correct?  I still have not purchased one of those (I've suddenly taken a veer towards Scandinavian knives -- & my wife bought me a Helle Eggen for Christmas -- it's so nice!)...

Great looking knife Dead .

What little I know about bushcraft has come from watching videos by the Bushtucker Man .

Though as I live in the UK and not Australia I am not sure how much use this knowledge will be !!

That Helle is indeed one very nice knife Congrats.  Fire starting is on my winter to do list.  I have learned the fine art of starting the fire in the wood stove in 5 mins instead of 50 LOL.  I have also learned how to dry out the logs when heavy rains have been present.

I have started to pay attention to the articles on the edibles in the area, I want to be able to recognize them this spring so looking for a good book on it that can be carried with me on walks

Jan, and others,

Here's a pretty good paperback book:  "Edible Wild Plants" A North American Field Guide ISBN: 0-8069-7488-5

http://www.amazon.com/Edible-Wild-Plants-American-Natural/dp/140276... 

Online resource:  http://www.eattheweeds.com/

Something to consider:  Go find you a botanist at a decent university near where you live.  Some of these guys are complete nerds about wild edible plants, and will do nature hikes (possibly free) with a group either you or he/she schedules. And there are "meet-up" groups (meetup.com) [key word: foraging] where you can find like minded weed eaters.

wow, some great ideas Howard!

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