Embrace the Philosophy of Survival Redundancy
We have all heard the saying
“Two is one and one is none.”
There is a militant pompacity about the statement or maybe its just he way that it comes off. Still, its completely true.
Rather than spout this old adage I have added the word REDUNDANCY to my survival philosophy. This assures that I have more of what I need in the critical areas that I need it. While the word holds many meanings the one used by engineers explains my philosophy perfectly
the inclusion of extra components which are not strictly necessary to functioning, in case of failure in other components
Now there are issues that can present themselves if you are not careful in regard to redundancy. The biggest disaster that can befall you is total paranoia. This will invariably lead you to carrying 2 of everything and that will kill you. There are limits to what the human body can do and handle.
To be more effective you are going to want to focus you redundancy in a few areas. These areas are the ones that will assure your survival at a bare minimum.
Applying Survival Redundancy
Can a man ever have enough blades? Well, as we mentioned there is only so much weight that we can carry. If you are smart about your blades you can carry a couple full tang survival knives in case one fails. You could also carry some serrated cutting tools or an simple camping axe.
When it comes to shelter you should have methods to make shelter from natural materials as well as packing shelter options. This list should include a tarp, a poncho and an emergency bivvy. Don’t forget about packing cordage and duct tape to assure you maximize what is possible in shelter making.
Fire starting is by far the biggest area for redundancy in your whole pack. If you are smart you will carry a plethora of methods for starting fire, sustaining fire and maybe even carrying fire.
While you might trust your bushcraft fire starting skills you’d be sill not to carry a lighter, ferro rod, magnifying glass and maybe another method of fire starting like waterproof matches. All of this will way less than a half a pound. There is really no excuse.
Another worthwhile items to carry is a few types of tinder. The best free tinder to pack is dryer lint. That stuff works great! You can also carry cotton balls dipped in alcohol or petroleum jelly. On top of that you could invest in several types of fire gels and Instafire type products.
You can do anything with cordage. It can serve you in so many ways. Have you ever tried to make cordage with bark? Its not a fun trip unless you have time to kill. I feel that redundancy in cordage is a very important part of the philosophy.
- Tool Making
These are just some of the most powerful uses for cordage but there are many more. For the purpose of survival redundancy you will want to keep lots of cordage of different sizes.
Carrying water is often a losing game. I like to have a bottle of water on my pack that is ready to drink but beyond that the redundancy is built into the system by having multiple ways to filter and sanitize water.
While you can filter water with natural materials I am a fan of carrying one quality hand pump filter. This makes water something you don’t have to think about. Beyond that you should carry a few methods of sanitizing that water. Tablets are a great, light way to sanitize water in a hurry. You can also carry iodine which is another great option.
Be sure you have a metal container or cup to boil water in as well. This is very important. Redundancy here is not a bad idea either. A titanium cup and a steel water bottle can be a great combo for this.
Cloth face covers, Shemaghs or handkerchiefs can be used to a quick biofilter as well. This is another layer of water filtering in survival redundancy.
You might also like to have redundancy in light sources as well. Sure, we can use our night eyes pretty well but having a solid light source makes everything easier. If you are caught in a nighttime situation you will be very happy about the headlamp or the flashlight that you have on your person. I like the chem lights as well and carry those for the same reason. A decent lantern can be a great addition, too!
Efficiency in Redundancy
Now this might sound kinda silly but there are way to pull that off. I have to caution you that redundancy requires some thought. You need to be smart about how and where you store these items. If you just start throwing things together in a big pack you are going to be dumping the thing out on the trail like your mothers big old pocket book.
I use color coded pouches for packing items specific to a certain category. For some items like fire, you can pack everything in one pouch. For bigger items this may not work.
Another way to take advantage of efficiency is to find a small, yet effective survival kit that can be packed into your own back. Now, I will warn you that a lot of these mini kits are made up of drop shipped, China made products that might fail you when you need them most.
The most effective kit for this purpose, among others, is the MHA Bushkrafter. This kit is a powerhouse that will assure you have access to all the items we talked about above and more. It comes with 2 types of cordage, steel bottle, Mtech survival knife, ferro rod, small lights and other great additions like a first aid kit and a hand saw.
The MHA can attached to your belt or to the molle of your pack. It helped create this theory of redundancy and now it is a necessary part of my survival pack.