November 17, 2010
Don’t Lose Your Crap
By David E. Petzal
A while back I attended a class given by Peter Kummerfeldt, the former chief instructor of the survival courses given at the Air Force Academy. It was one of the most fascinating hours I’ve ever spent, and one of the things Mr. Kummerfeldt talked about was not losing stuff, because at the least it can inconvenience you, and at the worst it can kill you.
Which leads us to my orange vest which I’ve had for many years and which I don’t trust because some of the pockets are designed to lose stuff. I keep it because it has funk, and it takes years and years to get real funk on an orange vest.
So, what I do is safety-pin all the vertical zippers in place. The inside pocket where I keep my Silva compass has a single snap to close it, so I tied a cord to the compass and safety-pinned the cord to the vest. The big side pockets are horizontal, and zippered, so I sort of trust them. I carry two small Surefire flashlights, because when they crap out, they crap out fast, and I keep them in different pockets.
*I don’t use any kind of a knife or tool that is camouflaged, because when you put it on the ground and forget it you’ll never see it again.
*When I stop in one spot I conduct what the military calls a sweep of the area before I leave, just to see if I’ve left any souvenirs for the forest creatures.
*If you can’t find something, don’t put the search off until later, because the odds are you’ll never find it later. Find it now.