Emergency gear to keep in Back Pack

No CAT tourniquet but as a former National Ski Patroller (EMT level certification plus cold weather emergency care) I know how to quickly improvise with what I do take.
My mostly empty backpack goes with me with the top lid holding a small survival kit for an unexpected overnight stay.
My SPOT satellite rescue beacon ALWAYS goes with me. It's the ultimate survival tool other than my brain.

Eric B.
1. Start a fire. 2. Start a fire. Matches and lighter and striker. Prescription bottle with cotton balls impregnated with Vaseline.
3. Space blanket.
4. Satellite phone.
5. Flashlight w/ strobe.

Maybe Sat Phone should be #1.
I had compiled this from a thread last year just for hoots and giggles so here is the compilation of a lot of suggestions previously posted.


  • LRH Survival List.pdf
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Make sure you have trained with all gear first and foremost!
The best fire starter I have used is the one Darrel Holland sells. I used it three times this year in weather and worked every time.
Lots of good items and ideas here. Two things to consider. A square of heavy duty aluminum foil, roughly 18” x 18”, make an excellent base to build a fire on in really wet conditions and it folds up very small and compact. The other are a few squares of cut up bicycle innertube. They burn like crazy, help get wet tinder going and don’t take up much space at all.
As a backpacker I carry as little as possible, mainly some meds and small bandages and blister care.

But as a backpacking hunter I add a CAT tourniquet and trauma Quick Clot bandage due to the possibility of a gunshot wound, hopefully not to me. The danger is carrying a total EMT kit which is unnecessary if you know how to improvise. Ex. A large diaper pin, using 1/2 of the front of a shirt and tail, can act as a sling. So leave the cravat at home.
I bring a TCCC certified tourniquet like a CAT or SOFTT. Never know what could happen (impale yourself, some idiot shoots you, or you leave your spear in the tree stand) and you might have about 30 seconds to save your own life before you pass out and you don't want to waste it wishing you had one. I also bring an Israeli bandage and some extra gauze.

There was thread on here a while ago about fire starting equipment. I typically just have a Bic lighter or two and my MSR backpacking stove which can be used to start a fire if inverted.

I also print out a paper map for my wife with GPS coordinates and areas I am looking at circled and the dates I intend to be there. That way if I am overdue she knows where SAR can come and find me.
Definitely agree on the tourniquet, additionally, I keep medical tape, some gauze, trauma shears, and some different bandages in a zip lock bag. If by crap luck you take around to the gut or chest and have a sucking chest wound, you can clean it with gauze and use the tape and zip lock back to seal off long enough to hope to save yours or someone’s life. Figured after being I military and ems long enough, I’ll pack the extra 1/2 to 1 lb of medical supplies in case it was needed than to be helpless.