The Most Important Survival Tool

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23 February 2011
If you pick up just about any survival/outdoors type book you will generally find the following line or something similar

"If you could choose only 1 item for your kit it would have to be a knife"

Now this is something I have been thinking about for a few months now and I have been seriously wondering about this.
I live in Eastern Europe where although the population is sparse by British standards you are still never that far away from someone else. As such any survival situation is likely to be in the 24-48 hours category not the multiple days type.

Risks in the Outdoors 
Thinking about this what are the biggest risks to life in that time? I came up with the following
  • Hypothermia (winter at -20)
  • Accident or Injury
  • Dehydration
Accidents happen however much you have and well planned you are. The goal of planning is to reduce the chance and risk to be minimal and have a strategy for what if.
Dehydration is unlikely to be a big problem in a temperate area but it is still a noteworthy issue.

Cold 
Hypothermia is in my view the biggest threat here and what is the best way to combat it? Fire! I don't have the skill to do fire by friction and I'd rather have a method which can be done with numb fingers.
As such I have decided a method of starting a fire is probably my most important tool. The fire would also give me a type of cutting tool (by burning through objects) and when combined with hands, teeth and bashing things (an underated method of doing stuff) should enable me to get back in 1 piece.

A Repost from my Woodcraft in Poland blog in 2006
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