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I am lucky enough to very seldom ever having to worry about survival in the woods. Here in South GA the mountains are not bad and freezing temps only happen a few times a year. That said I found myself in a situation Friday night that could have gotten bad. I had a friend that had went up river fishing. About dark his motor locked up so he called me. The area he was in is remote and it was lucky his phone worked. Anyway I put in around eight into a dark, swift river that was out of the banks. It was 44 and dropping with a light rain. I got to him and got him on the bank with no problem but I thought about what if the boat had overturned. I had a life vest on but I had no way of starting a fire if I ended up wet. Figured it would be a good idea to put a few items in the boat or on me. What all would ya'll suggest? I figure a fire is very important and shelter would be next. I would never be in a real remote area so food and water is not a big problem. I always have someone on standby when I go in the river so a few hours or over night is all I am concerned about.

Thanks for any advise,

Scott
 

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Fire Starters

I just saw a video where a guy showed how to make some fire starters. He filled up the "holes" in an egg carton about halfway with dryer lint. Then he melted some candle wax and filled them up the rest of the way. Supposedly they will burn even in wet conditions. I have read about how good dryer lint is at starting fires before, but this is a little different take on it.

Personally, I would keep one of those storm proof lighters, or some waterproof matches in my pockets along with a ziplock bag of the dryer lint. This way, if the boat overturns or sinks, you still have your fire building materials with you, and they are not floating down the river, or under the boat. They also make a small strobe light that attaches to your life jacket that would be a big help to someone looking for you in the dark.

I'm sure there are many more things that the guys will recommend, but the first and foremost thing is to be extremely careful and alert while on the water.

ThJudg (Roger)
 

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Scott - My suggestions: Fire - Vaseline impregnated cotton balls in a sandwich bag, matches in a waterproof case, a Bic lighter and a firesteel. Tools - An axe or hatchet, a good heavy knife and a folding saw that will cut and split wood so that you can get at the dry center (the wet stuff won't burn). Shelter - A 10x12 tarp, a poncho and 50 feet of 550 cord to set up the shelter. Spare clothes and a sleeping bag are great if you have the room. I could go on and on but these items would be a big help. They need to go into a drybag that's lashed to the boat or some could (should) go into a backpack or waistpack that you wear over your life jacket. I also always carry a compass, an led flashlight, a gps and a handgun.
 

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a few

things you need, fire and dry clothing. Get a water tight bag and stuff warm clothing in it. When river trapping in the winter here I ALWAYS have em. I went thu the ice once and barely made it to the truck. A change of clothing saved my rear end. For fire..hard to beat this: really saturate some cotton balls in vaseline then stuff em in a 35mm film canister. They are virtually water proof , burn very hot and burn a quite a while. Buy a 5 dollar magnesium and steel fire starter at Wally world. You scrape a little magnesium onto the cotton balls, scrape a knife on the steel and whammo you have fire. VERY FAST! It does not take freezing temps to die of hypothermia..Read up on it. 30-50 degrees and wet = trouble. The best thing..make sure you tell someone where you are and when you should return.
 

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Make sure you have some polypro long underwear, nylon socks, a knife (one that's sharp enough to hack some wood, but not too nice), and some marine flares.

The polypro underwear and nylon socks will dry quickly and still provide good warmth. You should also have some other clothing items like rain gear, and some big heavy duty garbage bags.

The knife can be used to hack some wood together for your fire, or even clean a fish if necassary.

The marine flares are the key in this stash of goodies. They'll light even if wet and will provide a short term source of light and heat to get your fire started. They are relatively unaffected by wind and almost eliminate the need for a secondary source of fire starting tools. Additionally, they provide a source of location marking that can be seen day or night.

In addition to the above items, I'd still carry a flint and some magnesium just in case that flare won't light. Last of all, a whistle. A whistle can provide the needed sound and range to get the attention of would be rescuers or assistance party.

Steve
 

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Beside all the normal survival stuff..

FIRST AND FOREMOST, you let someone very responsible know exactly where you are going and when to expect you back. Calling the local Sheriff and just explaning your intentions probably wouldn't have been a bad idea either. However, I would never rely on the local law to remember to come to my rescue. They have priorities and probably would forget about you.

As far as gear,

1) Waterproof Matches of course
2) Jack Daniels and Coke
3) Cell phone with charged batteries
4) GPS
5) Appropiate warm clothes for you and your buddy
6) First Aid Kit
7) Jack Daniels and Coke
8) Gun with ample ammo
9) Rope and Knife
10) Jack Daniels and Coke

.:D
 

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Aceball,

I think you forgot something...yeah, you forgot the Jack and Coke.

I'm starting to see a pattern here...I guess you really like your Jack and Coke!

Steve
 

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On several occasions, fog has been a problem on the water for us. If anything beats a GPS in this situation, I haven't found it - esp. on big water. Of course, it's only useful if you remember to turn it on and record your progress. Not every place has cell access - esp. in those places where you're likely to get lost. But there is no reason not to have a cheap ($14 at various Office stores this week!) prepaid cell phone (keep it charged up!) in a waterproof bag in the boat 24/7. Of course, these are in addition to the excellent suggestions above for fire starters. Oh - I find Jim Beam to be superior to Jack in these situations! :D
 

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Scott.....

You'd be surprised to know that everything you might need in a boat for survival can be found at WalMart.

And I have made survival packets small enough to fit into a shirt pocket.

Looks like I need to brush off my old notes.... take some pics... and post a short course on survival.

Jack & Coke huh??
 
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