Every year hunters go into the woods in search of adventure and food to feed their families. However, life is cruel and sometimes you find yourself in a situation you always assumed could never happen to you. I’m talking about staring down a survival situation. Each year hunters get lost in unfamiliar woods or even more likely fall out of their tree stands. Whatever the cause, these people find themselves in a life or death situation. Statistically most lost people are found sometime between 12 hours and a few days. In order to increase your chances of survival I’ve come up with 5 items that could help your chance of survival in the event you become lost or injured while hunting.
This may seem like an odd choice to include in the list but one of the biggest dangers to hunters surprisingly isn’t other hunters, it’s physical exertion. In a study conducted by Michigan’s Beaumont Hospital, they found that 22 of the 25 middle aged hunters that participated in the study exceeded their maximum heart rate. According to the study dragging downed game was the primary cause of raising heart rates into the dangerous zone.
Often times there is no warm up prior to dragging out large game and this can increase the strain on the heart in a matter of minutes. This can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, the precursor to a heart attack. You should always carry a few aspirin while out hunting as taking Aspirin at the onset of chest pains will thin your blood buying you time to get to a doctor. A few grams can literally save your life.
An emergency blanket is very versatile and should be included in every hunter’s essential gear. It's a well-known fact that every year people die of hypothermia. It is a big risk factor even when not in a survival situation, as you can develop hypothermia even when it's nice outside. In a survival situation controlling your core body temperature becomes even more important and having an emergency blanket can really help offset hypothermia.
An emergency blanket can serve a multitude of purposes including shelter, a blanket for warmth, a ground pad, or a make shift poncho. It can also be torn into strips and braided to make rope. Because of its versatility I consider it a very useful item to have.
A Classic BIC Lighter
Bic lighters are said to be good for 10,000 strikes. That means potentially 10,000 fires assuming you make each spark count. Rolling with the theme of controlling your core body temperature I’ve decided to include a lighter in this list. Put simply fire is life. Having a fire can increase your odds of survival tenfold.
With a fire it become easier to control your core body temperature. You can also cook food on it, or boil water to make it safe for drinking. Not only can fire keep you warm it can also be a great moral booster. This is particularly important in survival as a good spirit can increase your will to live. Along with all of the other great benefits of fire, the last reason is that it can ward off bigger predators such as mountain lion or bears. For these simple reason consider adding a lighter to your hunting load out.
Ah the old trash bag. An item with so many uses I could write a whole post on it. Where to begin with this item? The simple trash bag has a multitude of uses including but not limited:
- Bag to carry stuff in
- A way to have potable water
- Makeshift poncho
- Makeshift shelter
- Fill it full of leaves or pine needles and make a great sleeping pad out of it
- Use it to collect rain water
- Keep from getting your shoes wet when you cross a creek by tying a garbage bag to each foot.
The garbage bag can also have a multitude of first aid uses as well including:
- making a tourniquet
- making a sling
- tying a splint.
The simple garbage bag is one of the most versatile items you can carry. This item is likely to get used even if you’re not in a survival situation as you can use it to collect any trash you may have from cleaning game.
External Battery Charger
Cell phones are pretty much everywhere these days, but battery life can still become an issue. There is nothing worse than being in an emergency and not being able to reach anyone. Thankfully in this day external battery packs have become not only very effective but also very affordable. Battery packs come in a variety of sizes and different feature sets. Depending on the needs of the person you can get battery packs with flash lights, large batteries, and even ones that charge via solar power.
By all means this is not an exhaustive list of useful items you could carry with you while hunting, but these items I have listed above will serve multiple uses and with any luck save you in an emergency situation. Do you have any emergency items you think should be on this list? Let us know down in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and remember, adventure...is waiting.