|Not actually Erin.|
Picture by KJ Photography
& is used with permission.
1) Paracord. Basically the duct tape of camping, not only is it very strong rope (the 55 stands for being able to support 550 pounds), you can take out the inner strands and use them for things like dental floss, fishing lines, etc. Replace your shoelaces with paracord and you have a free, weightless prep.
2) WD-40. This is used as a solvent to remove rust and displace water. It is NOT a long-term lubricant, as it quickly dries out and leaves surfaces un-lubricated and vulnerable to rust. It also has a tendency to attract dirt. For lubrication and rust protection, use CLP (mentioned in my previous 10 for $10 article) instead.
Swiss Poncho. Actually, this is properly a rain cape and not a poncho; the difference is that a cape is a fitted garment while a poncho is essentially a rectangle folded in half with a hole cut in the middle for your head. I like this item for three reasons:
- Countries in wet Western Europe know how to make proper rain gear that keeps you dry.
- You can fasten the snaps around your legs if you want to ride a bicycle (or a horse).
- It's large enough to cover a military rucksack and still keep you dry.
4) Emergency Sleeping Bag. It's like a Mylar rescue blanket, only enclosed so that you don't lose heat to the cold, hard ground. Pair this with the poncho above and you'll make it through any cold and wet situation that doesn't involve snow.
5) Is there snow? Need to dry out wet clothes? Build a fire with a magnesium fire starter. Make sure it's true magnesium, though, and not a conglomeration of cheap pot metal.
6) Although if you're going to start a fire, it's far easier to light a match and start a survival candle burning. A stable source of flame is damn handy, and this will also give you light to see if it's getting dark.
7) Fresnel Lens. While you can start a fire with it, there are easier ways. Instead, just keep this credit card-sized magnifying lens in your pocket/wallet/purse and use it to, well, magnify things. Good for minor first-aid tasks like removing splinters and the like.
8) Starflash Signal Mirror. Reflective like glass but made of plastic, it's scratch-resistant, aimable, unbreakable (they claim) and it floats. Pair it with...
9) ... a UST Jetscream Whistle and you have an unbeatable combination for signaling with sound and light.
10) Put all your stuff into an inconspicuous sling bag or backpack and make your Get Home Bag look like it's filled with school work or gym stuff.