The 10 C's of Survival

For good reason, the 10 C’s of survival is a well known alliteration for survivalists and preparedness minded people. Cover these areas and you are sure to be putting yourself into a good position whatever life throws at you. Without further ado let’s jump in!

1. Cutting tool

The most challenging thing to reproduce in an outdoor survival situation is a cutting tool. Buying a 1st class knife like those made by Ka-Bar and other similar manufacturers is just a good bet.

The amount of things you can do with one is significant and without a cutting tool you will be spending a lot of time and energy trying to do those things without one.

2. Combustion

In the wrong weather you can be dead in no time if you are not adequately warm. You need something that will get a fire started no matter if it is wet or dry outside.

The traditional fire starter with magnessium and a striker is a safe bet as they can strike good sparks even when wet. A couple we like are the Swedish Firesteel and the slightly larger BlastMatch.

3. Cordage

Para-cord, rope straps, and other similar items can be made with the right tree bark and a cutting device but saving time and is often much stronger than those made with bark. Spools of paracord or other rope are a smart thing to store and can help you with a variety of things like lashings.

Look to store at least 100 feet per person as a good general rule. The more the better and at a cost of around $7 per 100 feet of cord it is money well spent.

4. Container

You could always make one with a cutting tool but it sure it nice to have a high quality container to carry water as well as cook with. Essentially you need something that you can carry, boil, and purify water in. Stainless steel is great for this task.

Some survivalists suggest carrying two containers like a canteen and a cup while others say to get one that can perform both uses.

5. Cargo

You need to be able to move from place to place and have the ability to take the items with you. Likely your container isn’t going to be large enough to carry it all so you are going to want a backpack of some kind.

Some of our favorite packs are the US military ILBE Marpat Main and Assault Packs you see to the left. There is a big pack that can swallow a ton of things and then the Assualt pack that is smaller that can be used for the time you need a smaller bag.
6. Compass

Some sort of item that you can determine accurate coordinates is essential. This can be a traditional compass as seen to the left or a GPS device. If you go with the GPS just make sure you have A LOT of batteries or have a solar charging system to recharge your system.

Either way the important thing is to be able to make sure you are going in the right direction. Just a degree or two off can make a big difference when travelling longer distances.

7. Cover

Shelter from the elements is critical. Again, you can make your own if you are anywhere besides a barren desert but of course life would be MUCH more convenient if you had a nice tent to put up and take down as you moved.

We recommend focusing on light weight tents that pack down small. Using a 50 lb ginormous tent large families use for car camping is a recipe for disaster if mobility is needed at all. You want to conserve as much energy as possible in a survival situation so you can make your food go further.

8. Candle or light

Some may say that a light source is more of a luxury than a necessity when it comes to survival and they are right but hey for a few bucks and a tiny amount of space you can turn the night time into a more effective period of the day.

Our favorite light source is a head lamp as they allow you to have both hands and work unencumbered. Make sure that the batteries that power these are the same as those that might power your GPS. Having share-able batteries makes getting a solar powered system like those that Goal 0 carry an easy and wise choice.

9. Combination tool

Far from a necessity when you have a good knife but surely a nice option to have, a good multi-tool will make things easier for you when you are out and about.

These tools typically have a plier, saw, knife blade, scissors, corkscrew, can opener, tweezers, file and more. Sure you can get by without this but you are sure going to be happy you have one when the time comes.

10. Cloth or bandanna

Cloths or bandanas are a highly versatile things. You can use them as a filter to get floaties out of the water you are about to treat or boil. They can be used as pot holders , keeping bugs away from your face, a cooling device (get wet and place on your head), as a towel when bathing or cleaning and on and on.

A cloth or bandana is an item that doesn’t harldy weigh but a few ounces and can be comfortably worn on your body when not in use. You will be glad you had one on your person when the time comes.

So there you have it, the 10 C’s of survival. A popular guide to what you need to pack for your survival. Of course like any product, if you don’t know how to use it they are not going to be nearly as helpful so get out there and play with your new toys so when the time comes you can spring into action and know what to do.

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