Sportsman

5 Life-Saving Survival Hunting Gear Essentials

February 08, 2013; 5:39 PM
Petersenshunting.com

As a backpack hunter, I don't think of my survival equipment as strictly emergency materials that might someday come in handy. Instead, I treat my survival gear as part of my usual kit.

I'm constantly updating the items in my bag, replacing used materials and making minor adjustments according to where I'm headed.

For instance, if I'm hunting the North Slope of Alaska's Brooks Range where harmful water-borne parasites are not an issue, I'll trim out water purification tablets in exchange for extra tinder materials that will come in handy on a soggy and fuel-starved landscape. Certain things, however, stay in my kit no matter what. Here are five small essentials that I carry with me whenever I head into the woods or mountains:

1. Fire is essential for warmth, cooking, melting water from snow or ice, and psychological well-being. I keep my kit stocked with a redundant supply of fire-starting materials. In it I have: a disposable lighter for everyday use; a small waterproof cylinder containing twenty waterproof and windproof matches; a magnesium striker; and a tin full of petroleum-based fire paste. It might sound like a lot, but I can fit the whole assortment in a T-shirt pocket.

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