(This is a partial list; your own personal needs may vary)


Before heading off into the woods you should have a pack with some essentials in it. You can make it a shoulder bag, a large purse, a fanny pack, a lightweight ruck sack (backpack) or even a school backpack.

In it you should carry:

•A knife for cutting and a backup knife with a screw driver blade, a can opener blade, a bottle opener blade and a leather punch

•A small hand axe

•A roll of toilet paper (stop bleeding, start fires, usual use)

•One, two, or more means of starting a fire: matches, flint & steel set, a hot spark starter (found at Boy Scout stores), several cigarette lighter(s), a magnifying glass, or a Boy Scout fire by friction set

•Fire starting material in a Ziploc bag: dryer lint (preferably from cotton clothing, sheets, etc), candle stubs, pencil sharpener shavings, toilet paper, and aspirin bottle cotton

•About 50 feet of Parachute cord

•Several wire coat hangers and a pair of pliers with wire cutter

•A half dozen 10-penny nails

•A sewing kit with a few curved upholstery needles for stitching up clothing, a poncho, tarp, or a deep cut

•First Aid kit or at least a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some extra handkerchiefs (A bottle of vodka can be used to sterilize a wound or as fuel for an alcohol stove)

•An 8 x 10 plastic tarp

•Snacks such as M & M’s, peanuts, jelly beans, granola bars, jar of peanut butter and crackers

•Water in canteen and halazone (sp) tablets or small bottle of Clorox to sterilize water


•Spare clothing

•Insect repellant and sun block

•Mirror or a DVD/CD disk (used for signaling)

•Emergency blanket (one side reflector material)

•Pencil(s), paper tablet

•A large #10 coffee can (use as a cook pot)

Put everything in Ziploc bags; if you drop your bag in the river nothing will get wet but the pack itself.


NOTE: This is what I carry into the woods hunting or when I go fishing. It even goes in the car with me. You never know when an emergency will pop up. I know it’s a lot of stuff to have to carry around BUT as my dad told me one time, “I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” Build your own emergency pack and keep it with you wherever you go.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer