Are you ready for the worst?
“It is always more sensible to keep yourself warm rather than trying to thaw yourself out later.”
—Mors Kochanski, Basic Safe Travel and Boreal Survival Handbook
An underlying sense of doom permeates society these days, from the terror-inducing zombies of pop culture to sensationalized reports of Earth-destroying supervolcanos. While we wouldn’t necessarily condone building a bunker and stockpiling 20 years worth of food, being prepared for unforeseen events has its merits. In southwest Montana, the apocalypse isn’t the only disaster you need to worry about. Extreme weather, a flat tire, or a chance encounter with the wrong beast can be deadly if you’re unprepared. Do you have what it takes to survive?
Don't Leave Home Without It
A comprehensive survival kit may fill a duffel bag, but all you need to stay alive are a few key items. Here’s what to bring when you don’t have room for anything else.
Matches. In Montana, you can freeze to death any month of the year. Not only will a fire keep you warm and dry, but it does wonders for morale.
Phone. Calling for help is the quickest way out of an emergency situation, but also the least reliable, as coverage can be spotty. Get to a high point to improve reception.
Knife. No single device has served humanity better. Tool, weapon, and confidence-builder all in one, a simple knife can make all the difference in a survival scenario.
Shelter. Space blanket, bivvy sack, small tarp—anything that will keep the weather out and provide some insulation from the energy-sapping elements.
Wits. Bone up on basic survival skills (like how to start a fire) and keep your cool. Your ancestors survived in the woods for millions of years; if you stay calm and use your brain, you will too.
5 Tips to Stay Alive
Don’t Panic. Easier said than done, sure, but still worth saying.
Have a Plan. Paranoid psychosis or common sense?
Pack a bag. Beforehand, with just the essentials.
Practice. Skills aren’t skills if you forget them.
Get educated. Take a course. Read a book. Talk to a pro. A helpful hint could save your life.