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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 11:39 AM
Trail Talk
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Adventure travel
Posts: 332

Many times I've been schooled by those wiser than I on the need for mandatory survival gear and three incidents quickly come to mind. First time was a winter excursion into a backcountry hut and for various reasons we left late in a heavy snow storm, turned up the wrong valley in the dark and ended up spending the night in a qunicy shelter. I had no shovel or sleeping pad, and only a thin sleeping bag :-( Most interesting was seeing our tracks in the morning; we'd scribed a nearly perfect circle on side-hill terrain without even noticing it!

2nd "adventure" I broke my wrist while scrambling in a remote area 3-days from our vehicle. My partners were serving and ex-military and produced from their packs full first aid kits including a splint which was credited by the doctor later as saving my wrist from deformation while healing.

3rd time (yeah, will I ever learn?), we'd just launched into a week-long wilderness canoe trip during spring flooding and within an hour came across an unexpected hazard which swamped two of our three boats. Standing on the bank soaking wet with most of our gear gone, it was easy to recognize that our group was EXTREMELY fortunate to have escaped uninjured, and be within walking distance to assistance - something which wouldn't have been the case had this happened later on. This reinforced that survival gear is only useful if on your person and not floating down the river in an upside-down canoe...

So now, sometimes to my friends annoyance, I bring all the essentials and spread them out among the group. For canoeing, I have a "ditch kit" that I wear along with the pfd anytime I'm on the water. Hope for the best, plan for the worst...

Last edited by Trail Talk; 09-02-2015 at 11:54 AM. Reason: addl info
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