Additional Survival items

Additional items suggested from Tuesday, December 14, 2004 Oregonian Margie Boule article.

For those who've never taken an OMSI survival course go to

Five-point "pattern for survival
." If you can count to five, you will survive.

If you're lost or stranded in the wild think I have to prevent an accident or injury. It's usually safest to stay put.

SECOND, signal
for rescue. If you're in a vehicle, your spare tire is a great signal device. Remove it, let the air out . . . and burn up the tire. People notice black smoke, Frank explains, especially in winter. If you don't have a tire to burn, use a signal mirror or a whistle to signal. A whistle travels three times as far as a man's voice.

, you need to know how to build a fire. "That's how you dry your socks, boil water, cook, stay warm, signal."

In bad weather or overnight, you will need shelter. "It has to protect you from the four environmental killers: wet, wind, cold and, in the desert, heat."

FINALLY, you need food and water
. "They say a man can go six weeks without food," Frank says. "Don't believe it. I've experienced 15 days . . . after the fifth or sixth day, you begin to lose effectiveness. You don't want to move; you just dream about food."

Both Frank Heyl and Joseph Jones cite the Mazamas' list of 10 items needed for survival. But Frank added five items to the list, and Joseph Jones adds three more.

1. A space blanket
. "It's a plastic sheet, orange on one side and silver on the other." It can be a poncho, shelter, ground cloth, windbreak, it can collect rainwater or reflect heat from a fire.

2. Fifty feet of nylon
parachute suspension cord. "Use it for shelter construction, boot laces, to sew clothing, as fish line."

3. Heavy duty aluminum foil
. On snow, ice or wet ground, build a fire on the foil.

4. A large plastic leaf bag
. "That can make a raincoat."

5. Signal equipment
. Frank prefers a whistle and a signal mirror.

Joseph Jones adds three high-tech items to the list.

"I'd include a cell phone," he says. "It's amazing how many areas have cell phone coverage."

Joseph also recommends a Global Positioning System unit, to determine exactly where you are.

"The other thing that is legal in the lower 48 states, effective this year," Joseph says, "is an emergency locator transmitter. They have an individual version backpackers or kayakers can purchase and carry with them. It's also available for rent" from mountain shops, he says.

If you've ever taken an OMSI survival class and later used the techniques you learned to save your life or someone else's, contact OMSI and let someone know.