It’s a good idea to get out there once in a while and see how everything is working, refresh your skills, and identify any holes in your preps. I had a down day today, so I decided to head into the woods today to practice with my preps.
The scenario I was working with was being forced into a cross-country hike while on my way home from work in the winter. The light snow and 20° weather made for some realism. I tried to dress pretty much like I do for work – no cheating with thermal undies or the like. I limited my supplies to what I had in the truck, plus what would be in my work bag. I wanted this to be a realistic test of a get-home attempt in an escape and evade situation – stick to the woods, stay out of sight, low impact.
While I’m better positioned than most folks on the road in terms of supplies and skills, there are certainly some holes that need plugging:
- More options for fire starting.
- Better quality, roomier backpack.
- More water.
That said, I’m very pleased with my EmberLit stove. I can’t believe how well that thing worked, and how quickly I was able to boil some water using nothing but twigs gathered from a 10′ radius around my camp. Not all of them were completely dry either, but that didn’t stop the stove – it just ate what I fed it and kept me warm. I can see it being a real life saver in a get-home situation. And the observability is pretty low – my daughter said she couldn’t see or smell the smoke until she was right on top of my camp. That’s partly due to site selection, but the stove itself is pretty efficient once it starts drawing. Very pleased with the purchase. Tip o’ the hat to Brother Harold for alerting me to the stove.
So now that I’ve found some deficiencies in my preps, I need to get out there and fix them. Too bad it’s the day after Christmas – I don’t want to go anywhere near a store today.