Survival planning is nothing more than realizing something could happen that would put you in a survival situation and, with that in mind, taking steps to increase your chances of survival. Thus, survival planning means preparation. Preparation means having survival items and knowing how to use them People who live in snow regions prepare their vehicles for poor road conditions. They put snow tires on their vehicles, add extra weight in the back for traction, and they carry a shovel, salt, and a blanket. Another example of preparation is finding the emergency exits on an aircraft when you board it for a flight. Preparation could also mean knowing your intended route of travel and familiarizing yourself with the area. Finally, emergency planning is essential.
Detailed prior planning is essential in potential survival situations. Including survival considerations in mission planning will enhance your chances of survival if an emergency occurs. For example, if your job re-quires that you work in a small, enclosed area that limits what you can carry on your person, plan where you can put your rucksack or your load-bearing equipment. Put it where it will not prevent you from getting out of the area quickly, yet where it is readily accessible.
One important aspect of prior planning is preventive medicine. Ensuring that you have no dental problems and that your immunizations are current will help you avoid potential dental or health problems. A dental problem in a survival situation will reduce your ability to cope with other problems that you face. Failure to keep your shots current may mean your body is not immune to diseases that are prevalent in the area.
Preparing and carrying a survival kit is as important as the considerations mentioned above. All Army aircraft normally have survival kits on board for the type area(s) over which they will fly. There are kits for over-water survival, for hot climate survival, and an aviator survival vest (see Appendix A for a description of these survival kits and their contents). If you are not an aviator, you will probably not have access to the survival vests or survival kits. However, if you know what these kits contain, it will help you to plan and to prepare your own survival kit.
Even the smallest survival kit, if properly prepared, is invaluable when faced with a survival problem. Before making your survival kit, however, consider your unit’s mission, the operational environment, and the equipment and vehicles assigned to your unit.
The environment is the key to the types of items you will need in your survival kit. How much equipment you put in your kit depends on how you will carry the kit. A kit carried on your body will have to be smaller than one carried in a vehicle. Always layer your survival kit, keeping the most important items on your body. For example, your map and compass should always be on your body. Carry less important items on your load-bearing equipment. Place bulky items in the rucksack.
In preparing your survival kit, select items you can use for more than one purpose. If you have two items that will serve the same function, pick the one you can use for another function. Do not duplicate items, as this increases your kit’s size and weight.
Your survival kit need not be elaborate. You need only functional items that will meet your needs and a case to hold the items. For the case, you might want to use a Band-Aid box, a first aid case, an ammunition pouch, or another suitable case. This case should be–
- Water repellent or waterproof.
- Easy to carry or attach to your body.
- Suitable to accept varisized components.
In your survival kit, you should have–
- First aid items.
- Water purification tablets or drops.
- Fire starting equipment.
- Signaling items.
- Food procurement items.
- Shelter items.
Some examples of these items are–
- Lighter, metal match, waterproof matches.
- Snare wire.
- Signaling mirror.
- Wrist compass.
- Fish and snare line.
- Small hand lens.
- Oxytetracycline tablets (diarrhea or infection).
- Water purification tablets.
- Solar blanket.
- Surgical blades.
- Butterfly sutures.
- Condoms for water storage.
- Chap Stick.
- Needle and thread.
Include a weapon only if the situation so dictates. Read about and practice the survival techniques in this manual. Consider your unit’s mission and the environment in which your unit will operate. Then prepare your survival kit.