Good points from a great team of people!
Elkland Search and Rescue
Elkland Search and Rescue wishes Everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! Below is a re-post from last year, we have gotten some requests on how to prepare to be outdoors, and with the PA Deer Season starting Monday we thought it be an interesting read for you.
For you Black Friday shoppers: you might want to pick up some of the items mentioned ! May we suggest you print this article and give it to your hunter and outdoor loving friends? First off, I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! As we continue into this long weekend, especially for the PA residents, many are thinking of the the start of the 2 week hunting season that rolls around Monday morning.
OK, some of you might be starting to think this article really doesn't concern me as I'm not going hunting, please read it thru and see if you can learn something and maybe pass something on to help someone you know and love! Many will be heading to camp this weekend or gathering their belongings together so they can leave their homes before the crack of dawn for their hunting excursion.
Everyone is thinking about what they need to gather; hunting license, sighting in the gun - if you waited this long(lol), shells, sleeping bag and pillow, favorite pair of shoes to relax around the camp, those favorite snacks you like to carry, beef sticks, sandwiches, and whatever is needed at camp to make for a comfy stay.
I'm sure everyone will communicate their plans to a loved one, you know, like where they will be hunting, where their vehicle will be parked and what side of the road they will be hunting. What time they will be coming home, or what time to be expected back at camp. I'm sure you the hunter, will leave a note in your car or at the camp of your hunting intentions.
The hunt is the focus and taking what you need to be successful is everyone's goal, Lets not forget, Survival !
Sure you have been hunting the same area forever, know it like the back of your hand, and will never have the need for a survival kit! I'm just a young guy at 48 now and I know I never think I could fall and get hurt. twist or blow out a knee, sprain an ankle, fall and break a collar bone, nope it can't happen to me!(God I wish, my body tells me otherwise!)
But anyway, the attached photo is just that, just a bear bones survival kit that could be the difference between life or death. It was put together to be compact and lightweight, because we know as hunters we can't be weighted down with unneeded supplies. There are hundreds of additional things you can add to any survival kit, but this would be a good place to start to build a kit, and it's extremely cheap!
For example, I did not include a compass because you already have on of those, right? Or spare batteries for your GPS and the handheld radio you carry, just in case you need to talk to someone in an emergency.
And your cell phone, call 911 if you become lost and have service. Do not waste your batteries calling everyone and sending selfies, if you are in a remote location, your cell phone will be working harder for service and this is hard on the batteries, call 911 first so they can hone in on your location if it's available.
And I'm sure you and your hunting buddies have a communication plan, you know, like if I would become lost, and it's after dark, I will only fire one round at six o'clock, then again every half hour until your out of shells. I personally wouldn't waste 3 shells every time I would fire, but a better planned firing time would help everyone know it is you firing, and allow them to locate you.
This plan also gives time for the rescuers to get to your general location, then they could hone in on your location to assist you. Oh, I said rescuers, Yes if someone is missing, PLEASE do not waste time, wondering if you should call for help! If someone is not back at the given time, make that call, call 911, it will still take rescuers time to assemble, drive to the location and get a search underway.
Time counts PLEASE use it wisely!
Alright, back to the survival kit and what does it include; The bag that holds everything is a zip-lock sandwich bag, a good seal is important to keep those supplies dry if needed. Inside you will find a 60 gallon garbage bag. If not available you can put 2 smaller bags inside. This bag or bags are to be used as a poncho, they will hold heat in much better that a poncho and the bags are light weight. You would pull the bag over your head, after you would cut out a hole for your face to stick thru, but you want the bag covering your head, because as you know, we loose a lot of heat thru our head. The larger bag works great as it would slip past your butt, so when you sit down you have a barrier between your back side and the ground,using 2 small bags you will need to put 2 holes in the bags for your legs to stick thru, bringing the opening up and covering it with the bag covering your chest area.
Next in the bag you will see newspaper cut flat, this is an 8 page newspaper, do not use fliers, just newspaper, as it burns better when used to start a fire. You will see 2 lighters in the photo, they each have 6 feet of ribbon on them. They are used to build a fire, the second one is a back up. The ribbon is to be wrapped around the tree you are sitting against. Being you will be in the garbage bags, and it will be dark, the ribbon should be wrapped around the tree so it is easier for the searchers to find you! Make sure the ribbon is a bright color at least one and one half inches wide. The ribbon should be about 5 feet up the tree. There are 2 glow sticks in the kit, one to use to light the area as you put your survival kit to use and the other to be hung from a tree where you are sitting, again to make it easier for the searchers to locate you.
There are 4 hand warmers in the kit,1 should be activated and put under each arm pit before you start to cool down One should be activated and put in your groin area, and the other switched in your gloves to keep your hands warm. This warmth is key to helping you stay comfortable, and by staying comfortable, you have overcome half of the battle of staying outdoors in the dark, notice I didn't say lost!
Lastly, there is a whistle in the kit, use it to blow every 5-10 minutes. The whistle will carry a much greater distance and you will find out your voice will never last if you holler for any length of time.
Alright, it's getting to the end of this read, what am I asking of you?
Please take the time to prepare the survival kit mentioned above for a wife, husband, loved one or even a neighbor! This is the bear bones minimum anyone should be taking with them into the outdoors. Young or old it doesn't matter, things happen everyday, this little kit can save a life.
Also print out the article you just read and attach it to the kit and present it to the persons I just mentioned.
Why you ask? #1 - It shows you care about that person being out there in the Great PA Outdoors, #2 - Hopefully if they read the article, it might remind them of what to do and something else they need to pack for their trip. #3 - This could save their life, wouldn't you be Proud if you helped them! #4 - Remember you or they can add on to this kit and please do! There are all kinds of gadgets and other items to have along. #5 - And lastly, If nothing else from this, they have something to read in the outhouse!
Well it's time to go raid the frig, the Thanksgiving leftovers are calling! Be Safe Out There All, and Enjoy as You Build Memories to Last a Lifetime ........
And Please if Someone is Missing, Call 911 !
John Feldbauer, Chief
Elkland Search and Rescue