Intro: 5 Cs of Survival
So you are planning on going on a hike, no? How about a canoe ride or a day simply exploring the woods. Any of these and many others can end with you lost and facing a night, or god knows how many surviving with only what you have with you. So what are the most basic things you can carry when planning a day trip, that is where the five Cs of survival come in.
Step 1: What Are the Five Cs
The five Cs are five of the most important items to have when going into the bush. The five Cs are:
Step 2: Cutting
The first of the five Cs is cutting. For a simple afternoon hike you would want to consider a folding knife with a blade of at least three inches long that locks back. Consider how well the handle fits your hand, how quickly and easily it can be opened (preferably one handed) also consider the quality of the steel and the ease of sharpening. Always look at reviews online before buying online or buy in a store where you can try the knife out. For more extended trips consider a fixed bade knife with a blade of at least four to five inches long and still think about how well it fits your hand and how easily it can be sharpened. A fixed blade knife will require a sheath, in my opinion leather sheaths are the best but there are some good synthetic sheaths out there too. Look for a sheath that is fairly rigid and has a strap that snaps over the handle of the knife that locks the knife into the sheath. A good sheath will have a wide belt loop, and have a strap that is not made of velcro. Velcro gets pine needles and fine grass and plant fibers in it and will no longer work. On more thing is too look for is a knife that has a full tang, this means that the steel of the blade goes all the way back to the end of the handle. A full tang knife is very difficult to break and if the handles fail you can wrap it in rope and make it quite serviceable.
Step 3: Combustion
A combustion device is very important in survival, without it you have no fire. Fire is very important, it allows you to boil water, get warm and not to mention it is a huge morale booster. The best thing to carry is ferrocerium rod, better known as a ferro rod or fire steel, these are basically a rod made of ferrocerium that produces a spark around 3000 degrees. They take a bit of practice to use and require some pretty good tinder but they last along time and are a very good means of producing fire. I recommend you carry a ferro rod and some dryer lint packed in ziplock bag and practice until you are good at building a fire with it. My favorite brand of ferro rods are the light my fire brand these are excellent and not that expensive.
Step 4: Cordage
Cordage is very useful to have in any situation, if you badly injure a leg you can make a splint, what if you cut an artery and need a tourniquet in a hurry, you will need to suspend any food in the air away from predators and the list goes on and on. So what is the best survival cordage? Paracord is probably most peoples answer paracord is a rope made up of 8 inner strands inside a nylon sheath, you can use the tiny inner strands or use the whole rope. True mil spec 550 Parachute cord can handle 550 pounds hence the name 550 cord, paracord can be woven into bracelets gun slings and just about anything. I recommend you try to find real mil-spec paracord and carry at least a hundred feet.
Step 5: Container
A simple container is often overlook as a vital piece of survival equipment but if you think about they are very important. You will need to store and sterilize water, How are you going to do that without a container? You might stumble upon some berries, What are you going to put them in without a container? I recommend a 100% Stainless steel water bottle. Look for one that holds about one liter and has as wide of an opening as you can get. A good wide base and straight sides is helpful to have too. With this bottle you can now boil water, store water and hold things like berries and other wild edibles.
Step 6: Cover
Cover is the last thing on the list of five Cs, cover includes your clothes but can also refer to a tarp or an emergency blanket. Basically in cold climates you want to keep in the warmth and keep out the cold and in warm environments you want to block the sun and stay as cool as possible. In cold climates dress in three layers and remove them as necessary so you don't get to warm. The base layer is things like long johns and and undershirt, the second layer is the insulating layer in this layer you want to use as much wool as possible and avoid cotton and the final layer is your water proof and windproof layer so wear warm boots, a pair of pants that can break the wind and block water, wear a warm windbreaker jacket and a warm stocking cap. If there is a windchill or it is simply cold enough to freeze exposed skin make sure you keep your face covered as much as possible. In warm climates you will want to wear light clothes both meaning not too heavy of a fabric and not darkly colored. If you are bringing a pack anyway I highly recommend you carry a survival blanket, they are super lightweight and take up hardly any space.
Step 7: Pack Em Up and Always Be Prepared
Carry your items in a pack that works for you or carry them on your belt, and always try to remember them when you are going for a day in the woods. Thanks for reading!!