If you were to ask me what I need to store in my pack before heading out into the wild, I’d probably get a few things right. I know I’d need a knife and something to start a fire with. And I know I’d need a tarp or a tent, but from that point on, I’d have to really think about things. I’d have to go over exactly what I’d do after I showed up to my camping spot in my mind and as I went through my actions, I’d likely recall the supplies I’d need. This probably isn’t the most efficient method for packing gear, especially after it’s been done a few times previously. You’d think I’d remember more. Knowing myself, this is a perfect way to forget a great many thing.
I guess creating and using a bushcraft gear list would be a better idea. I mean, all I’d have to do then is refer to the list and I’d know what to bring. I do love my lists.
I’m reading through the first chapter in Dave Canterbury’s book entitled Bushcraft 101 and I wanted to report back that I’m enjoying it very much. I’d like to discuss one of the very first topics Dave mentions in the book and that topic has to do with what he refers to as The Five Cs of Survivability. I was so happy to see something like this included in the book because I tend to gravitate towards grouping of things. I think I remember back in college, one of my Psychology professors taught my class about how the human mind groups things and that’s how it remembers more efficiently. Ever since I learned about that, I haven’t been able to shake the idea. Telephone numbers, zip codes, the five Cs of survivability…you know, the normal, every day stuff.
First off, I’d like to say that it’s a great idea to group a concept as important as this into a fun and memorable thing. That’s going to help a lot of people out, especially if they’re in a rush or on the run. We don’t always have access to a list and sometimes it’s just better to have broad ideas to recall in an instant.
Secondly, I’d like to go over exactly what these five Cs are. I’ll list them below and offer a short example of what might be included in each category.
The five Cs of survivability are cutting tools, cover elements, combustion devices, containers and cordages. As you can see, the items that one might place inside each group would cover almost any circumstance in the wild. This is why I like this grouping thing so much. You can add what you’d like and leave behind what you don’t, as long as you include the basics. Let’s go over what someone might include in each section.
Cutting Tools: Full tang survival knife (6″ high-carbon), Hand axe (hatchet), Multi-tool, Pocket knife.
Cover Elements: Tent, Tarp, Trash bag, Emergency space blanket, Wool blanket, Sleeping bag.
Combustion Devices: Waterproof matches, Lighter, Ferrocerium rod, Mini inferno, Fatwood.
Containers: Water container, Canteen, Cup.
Cordages: Rope, Paracord, Bank line (Mariners net line).
As you can see, I gave some whimsical examples above. I’ll be sure to cover each section of this grouping in subsequent posts in great detail. I’d love to talk about the best pieces of gear to be used for different circumstances. For now though, I hope you get the general idea of what may be necessary while venturing out into the woods.
Well, that covers it for The Five Cs of Survivability. If you have something to add, please do down below in the comment section or in the Outdoor Gear Forum. Thanks!