Survival Bivy Sack

I just finished up a two week wilderness first responder course with SOLO in Conway, NH - it was one terrific course - and the following is what they recommend that one carry in a "bivy bag".

  • 2 large garbage bags (shelter or emergency rain gear) OR a 10' X 10' sheet of plastic
  • 100' of parachute cord
  • Emergency space blanket
  • Metal cup - so you can heat your Jello
  • Jello with sugar (NOT NUTRASWEET)
  • lighter or waterproof matches
  • 2 plumbers candles
  • knife
  • whistle
  • compass
  • flashlight (small enough to fit in your mouth)
  • stocking cap
  • spare socks (double as mittens)
It all fits in a fairly compact stuff sack and, SOLO says, only weighs 20 ounces. Then they say, "ALWAYS CARRY RAIN GEAR, both tops and bottoms, even on short day hikes." Now remember, we are talking NH here, not UT! I also always carry with me a "insula - seat." Makes a great chair and it doubles as an emergency pad - ever lie down on the snow or wet cool soil with an injury for 30 minutes?

All this won't fit in a fanny pack, but lose the chair and rain gear and it will.

Don Morley

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Revised: July 1998