Five More Pieces Of Gear That Will Help You Survive

In the last post we talked about the first 5 C’s of Survival developed by Dave Canterbury, which is criteria for gear you should always have in your pack.  In this article I’m going to discuss the next 5 C’s.

Northern Maine

In brief here are the 10 C’s of Survival:

  1.  Cutting tool
  2. Combustion
  3. Cover
  4. Container
  5. Cordage
  6. Candle
  7. Cotton
  8.  Compass
  9. Cargo Tape
  10.  Canvas Needle

Each piece of gear should have multiple uses in the field unless that one thing it’s used for is extremely important.

Today we’re going to talk about the last five items on the list.

First of all this list is simply a mnemonic to help you remember the categories you should be using to put gear in your pack.  For example, when he lists “candle” he doesn’t actually mean bring a candle (although you could), but some kind of flashlight.  So let’s talk about the next five items on the list:


Carrying a flashlight will allow you to move around or work away from your campfire at night.  For example you’ll be able to gather firewood if you run low where this probably wouldn’t be possible without a flashlight of some kind.  One of my new favorites was given to me by a friend (thanks Drew!) and is a solar light that transforms into a lantern.  What I like about this light is that it’s powered from a renewable source so you don’t have to worry about the batteries running out after a few nights of use.  Make sure it’s in the sun during the day time and it charges the battery.

Another excellent option is a headlamp.  These allow you to use both hands at night and the light shines wherever you turn your head making it easy to gather wood, walk, and basically operate at night with minimum distraction.

It gets dark in the woods at night to the point where some evenings you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face, so choose your light wisely.


A cotton bandanna has many uses in the bush.  I use mine to filter heavy particulates out when I’m getting ready to boil water.  Simply place it over the top of your steel water bottle and submerge it and allow the water to filter through the tight cotton weave.

It can also be worn over the head as originally intended to help keep the sun and insects off during the summer months.  It can also be used to cover wounds,  as a pressure bandage, or even as a sling in case of a medical emergency.


One of the most important things in the wilderness is knowing where you are.  Many people rely on a GPS unit to show their location, which is great, but most have no idea how to use a map and compass.  What happens when the batteries run out on the GPS?  If you stay in the wilderness long enough they will run out, so you need to have a backup plan for navigating.

Understanding how a map and compass work and being able to navigate in the woods using them can be a skill that will save your life.  This skill takes some time and practice to master, but once you do you’ll never be dependent on a GPS unit again.  Go ahead and carry one if you want to, but have a compass and map of the area you’ll be working in so that you won’t get in trouble if something happens to the GPS.

Cargo Tape

Duct tape has a lot of uses in the field from repairing gear to helping close a wound.  I’ve used Gorilla Tape (my favorite) to temporarily mend packs, sheaths, shoes, and just about anything that needed a quick fix.

There’s different types of duct tape, but I like something with a lot of strength, which is why I use Gorilla Tape.

Canvas Needle

Used to dig out splinters, stitch up wounds (yeah, it’ll hurt) and repair gear. These are so small you won’t even notice the weight and it’s worth the utility of carrying them around.

That’s the last five pieces of gear.

Awesome, right?

Now how – exactly – do we use them?  In my next post I’ll demonstrate how to set up a camp using the gear you have with you.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Bob Augustine

2 thoughts on “Five More Pieces Of Gear That Will Help You Survive

Add yours

  1. regarding the cotton,
    I try to avoid white, red, blue, brown or black colored items in the field.

    a white handkerchief, held by its corner, can be mistaken for the backside of a whitetail deer. red, blue and black are turkey colors. we may wish to hide out in the woods, or we may wish to get rescued. We never want to get ourselves shot by some hungry, desperate idiot that didn’t properly identify his target.

    one C you didn’t mention:
    Cool Shades…

    Eye Protection.

    the shades protect against UV, and snow blindness. you also need to protect against thorns or branches that could smack you in the eye.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: