By Montana Grant

Posted: September 11, 2022

If you were stranded in a survival situation, what One Tool would you want?

Many hunters could easily become at risk when trekking deep into the wilderness. Big Game does not live near the gas stations, stores, and communities. To find Big Critters, you need to Go Big into the country.

We all watch survivor shows and watch people try to be comfortable and make shelters, fire, and food. It is amazing how so many can’t make a fire. Common senses shelters are often overlooked. They also have no idea what they can or can’t eat.

Doing your homework is important especially when considering Survival and First Aid needs. When I trek deep into the forest, I make sure that my pack contains a few basic things.

Fire    Carry a reliable lighter or a magnesium fire starter. Be practiced with flint and steel or friction fires. Understand tinder, kindling, and fire starter accelerants. Ex. Chapstick and Duct Tape will always burn.

Food    Simple and small foods can be important. Consider a couple bouillon cubes, an energy bar, or meat Stix. Be familiar with local wild foods and health needs. Ex. Willow branches contain acetaminophen in their bark. This is wild aspirin. Simply chew the stick and bark. Add some bark to a wild rose hips tea.

Shelter/ sleep    An emergency sleeping bag rolls up to the size of an orange. These foil sacks are dry and keep your body heat in. They are not durable, so move easy. Try to find existing shelter near fallen trees, rocky walls, and caves, or where there is abundant wood for a fire.

First Aid     A few Tylenols, some band aids, and Duct Tape. The tape is a great emergency material to close deep wounds, reinforce splints, and start fires. You can wrap it around your drink bottle to take up no space.

Communication      Cell signals often do not exist in deep valleys or country. Learn how to lay out an emergency, smokey fire, SOS markings, or other emergency signals.

Save yourself     Generally, downstream will lead to civilization. Have an idea of where you are and have a plan, just in case. Use a crutch, float, or plan to get into the open where someone can see and find you.

If you had just one thing for survival, what would you take? Consider an axe! You may need protection, fire support, fire starting steel, shelter support, digging tool, sharp edge, cleaning or killing game… There are so many ways that an axe or hatchet could save your life. There are many axe styles and accessories. Some have compass and saw inserts. Other survival needs are inside hidden chambers. Some axes also look like small entrenching tools. Others have parachute cord or tape wrapped around the handle. They are lightweight and compact. 

Consider where and how you hunt to imagine potential needs.

Montana Grant


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