The 5 C's of Survival
When preparing for any survival situation, choosing the proper equipment is crucial. And it may be hard to narrow down what you need and do not need. To know which pieces of equipment to take with you in any survival situation, most experts will recommend the 5 C’s of Survival: cutting, combustion, cover, containers, and cordage. Whether you’re creating a kit or finding supplies in the wilderness, using the 5 C’s as a guideline will help you to be well equipped for any emergency. By remembering these 5 categories, you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge to prepare for anything.
A cutting device is one of the most important C’s to have with you. It can be any kind of cutting device, from a well-sharpened, quality knife - to something that has a sharp-enough edge to cut…like a seashell, rock, or even a large grass reed. Obviously, knives aren’t found in the woods, so this tool is a must if at all possible to carry. Knives can be used for hunting, fish fileting, creating sparks on ferro-rods, first aid, cutting cordage, chopping wood, and so many other possibilities. You can always carry more than just one knife because not every situation calls for only one type of cutting edge. Keeping 2-3 knives in your bag would be most efficient in case different knives are needed for different reasons. The top 3 would be a woodcarving knife, a blade for self-defense, and a heavy utility blade for hunting.
Fire-making is one of the most basic tools for survival. Fires cook food, provide warmth, sterilize food and water, create smoke signals, provide light, keep predators away, etc. Fire is one of the four elements required for survival (the other three being shelter, water, and food), so carrying something with you that can help make fire is a must. There are many options out there for making fire, but a lighter or matches would be the easiest and most reliable to carry. However, in inclement weather those items might not be effective or even present. A quality ferrocerium rod would be a close second, and a must-have fire-making backup device. You can use a ferro-rod for sparking a tinder pile of wood, grass, or kindling into a well-needed fire. When preparing your tinder-pile, you’ll want to try to find a source that is as weatherproof as possible, or that at least has an accelerant so that your initial fire will last long enough to add larger and larger fuel over time. You should always make sure you have enough material to create as many tinder piles as you think you will need. TITAN Survival manufactures a variety of high-quality ferro-rods as well as emergency tinder sources that are perfect for your survival needs:
Cover is going to be your primary method of protecting yourself from the elements, including unexpectedly harsh weather conditions that you should plan for. Shelters, blankets, sleeping bags, and clothing are going to be what you use to protect yourself. Cover can help shield your clothes getting wet in the rain, maintain your body heat in the cold, protect your feet and body from injury while working, conceal yourself from animals, etc. Having insulated materials are also important when late night temperature drops put you at risk of hypothermia. To maximize warmth, you’ll want to bring articles of clothing that are thick and provide a lot of insulation against the cold. Blankets and shelter tarps can be used to help minimize warmth lost from convection (wind), and mylar blankets can be used to help maintain body heat in emergencies by blocking wind and reflecting body heat back towards you when you are cold. Also, having camouflage clothing can help to conceal yourself from both predators and prey. You want to bring items that will provide you with the most warmth, the most coverage possible, but still be compact enough and easy to carry in your bag. TITAN Survival offers light-weight emergency solutions for radiative warmth such as:
So, with all these tools, you’re going to need a container to put them in. And when we say “container”, we’re talking about storing not only tools, but also food, water, supplies, etc. A container can be a backpack, a bottle, or really anything you can use to hold your supplies. A single-walled, stainless-steel bottle or tumbler is a great example of a must-have container. This allows you to not only carry water with you on your adventures, but if you run out it also allows you to boil and sterilize water from a local source. Water found in the wilderness can contain many unhealthy pathogens or bacteria, so having a water container that can also sterilize dirty water is essential. Having a high-quality, durable, water-proof backpack with numerous compartments to hold all your supplies will make traveling and organization much easier, so don’t skimp when it comes to your backpack.
Cordage has more uses than most people would think. Cordage can be rope, twine, fishing line, climbing rope, and other types of cords. Cordage can be used to hang food away from animals, or suspend a recent kill for dressing. Given the training, you can use it for animal traps or snares, propel yourself on a grade, first aid, hang food over a fire, build a shelter, and so much more. The possibilities are endless, so having cordage can help to solve the most problems with the least amount of supplies. Multi-purpose utility cordage like military Parachute Cord, that contains numerous strands inside, can give you a lot of bang for your buck with just one product. TITAN Survival’s patented SurvivorCord is the king of these utility or “survival cordages”, with not only the standard strands found in other paracords, but also three extra survival strands that can help you to survive in an emergency: waxed fire tinder, fishing line, and brass multi-purpose snare wire. And our new SurvivorCord XT product takes this to the next level with a tensile strength of over 1,000 LBS, and includes Kevlar instead of brass wire – giving you extreme functionality, in a compact form.