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If you were to prepare a basic survival backpack to use for after the pole shift what would it minimally contain? List the contents in priority order, so that those who can't carry as much weight can cut from the bottom of the list. Indicate how to use the items. Most of us have been raised in the city and need much information on basic survival. The purpose for the pack may be anything from wandering primitive survival to hunting food, scrounging, or visiting a distant neighbor. I think many of us not only need the education on what is important to take, but we need to prepare this backpack well before the pole shift. It goes without saying - it is desirable to minimize the weight carried. In the old west days some of the hearty pioneers use to brag that they made it across the united states with little more than a frying pan and a blanket. Seems like with a bit of pre-planning, we could be a bit smarter today.

Offered by Mike.

This is a question I have been working on for a long time and continuously revise. I have not listed items in priority order as I am assuming a trip of more than 1 day and all items are considered essential. I deal with the weight problem by limiting the ability to carry an extremely heavy load. In addition, the pack contents are only a part of the overall strategy. Before getting to it's contents I'll say something about the backpack itself. The style I chose is a small mountaineering pack that includes a very good hip belt which eases the load on the shoulders tremendously letting the hips carry some of the weight. The color is important, and my choice is as close to brown/black as I can get - no bright colors. The pack should have straps on the outside for attaching bulky items which include:

  1. Kayaking "wet bag" into which goes one or more wool blankets, depending on the weather, how cold it is. A change of clothes preferably limited to underwear and socks - one could even go without underwear as it is sure to get wet, and carry extra pairs of socks. (In the jungles of Viet Nam where one was always wet, the only clothing provided along with re-supply food was socks). All outer clothing should be wool which will drain water and remain warm even when wet. Often overlooked in this regard is a quality man's winter wool suit, including jacket. In cold weather wear two or even three, one over the other. Note: I would not carry a sleeping bag as the probability is very high that it will get wet at some point or another. In an almost constant or very frequent rain environment you need something that will keep you just as warm when wet as when dry and can also be dried when hung under the tarp in front of a fire. Wool blankets can be dried this way, while a sleeping bag most likely could not. Never wear cotton as it retains water next to the body.
  2. Rolled 8'x12' lightweight tarp with camouflage color for shelter from the rain.
  3. "Home" ax. This type of ax is about 2/3 the length and weight of a full size ax. Forget a silly "hatchet" as it will work you to death and get little done and is virtually useless for "splitting" fire wood. One could add a small folding camp saw if desired. The ax is the heaviest single item except for water. However, it is one of the very most important. After a long day of walking with a pack there is very little strength left to build that most important camp fire. The ability to cut, and more importantly, split wood (it's dry inside) is paramount. 4. Well seasoned wok for cooking and boiling water. The Chinese wok is the single most versatile cooking device I have ever used and is relatively light weight. Carry a spoon and eat directly from the wok.

The inside of the pack is very much dependent upon the purpose and length of the trip. If traveling to a site that is frequented (such as another community or scrounging area) the key to such travel is to establish a "cache" for each day of the trip. The cache should contain good water and food for two days walk (one for going and one for returning), along with an entire replacement backpack all "stocked". These precautions will aid you in the event your backpack is stolen or taken by force. Consider a permanent water still for each cache so that before leaving the water supply can be replenished. Once a trip is made, additional trips must be made to each of the caches to replenish them.

The inside of the pack is for water and food including a small container of cooking oil, fire starter and dry tender, first aid, cording (heavy string and small rope), 1 pound of salt for trading; with enough room left to bring back whatever you're making the trip for (for instance a car generator which implies tools to remove the generator).

On your person carry a large knife and a small utility knife, like the Swiss Army Knife. Include your compass and any map.

The basic principals are:

  1. choose a pack that is small so it can't be made too heavy and is easier to travel with
  2. establish and maintain enough caches to replenish supplies, especially water and dry tender
  3. wear clothing and use sleeping gear that will retain warmth when wet
  4. everything that some one could see should be camouflaged to the extent possible
  5. reserve enough space inside the pack for the purpose of the trip

Offered by Ron.