The gear many of us forget

Many of us love gear, and can’t get enough of it. We lug heavy backpacks with tons of gear to help us nail the shot. The perfect moment that will put awe in the mouth of those who see the image. Extra battries, memory cards, tele converter, filters, flash, and reflector, not to mention smartphones and tablets like the iPad with a bunch of apps to help us pinpoint when and where the light will fall and the sun will rise or set. But what often lacks in the description of the landscape photographers backpack, is a survival kit. What good will all the expensive gear come to, when it all goes bad, and that can happen in familiar terrain. Imagine that you’re out shooting, and get surpriced by the weather. The familiar terrain suddenly get turned into something new with poor visability as the fogs rolls in, and before you know it, one is lost.
Maybe one didn’t bring a map and a compass, or a gps to get back to the car. What to do now?
Withou any thought about safety and being prepared, you’re knee deep in sh**.
Let me suggest you prepare a bit and make your self a survival pouch to strap onto your backpack. I personally use a Lowepro Street and Field Pouch 60 AW (disconntinued), so these days I would go for the Street & Field Utility Bag 100 AW, as it would do the same job. Since the street and field series easily lets you move the pouch from bag to bag, you don’t need to sacrifice any room inside the bag to accomidate the survival pouch. 
So what to put in the pouch?
I can first tell you what’s in mine:
1 signal west in bright neon colours
1 Folding knife
1 Compass
1 tube of fizzy energy tablets to dissolve in water for quick energy
1 small first aid kit
1 Gerber Bear Grylls ultimate survival kit
1 bar of high calorie survial chocolate
1 map of the area
3 tampon
5 Condoms
This is just how I configured mine. You don’t need to copy it directly because you may not be able to get all the gear I got. But that doesn’t matter, it’s what you put in that counts.
Let’s start to assemble the pouch on a general setting.
Signal West
This is a great small piece of kit that will help you get spotted by any rescuers since the signal colour will stand out agains the natural colours of the surroundings. These are easy to obtain, as they are sold at gas stations to drivers in case the car stops and the driver needs to move around the car in mid-traffic. 
Any small knife of good quality make do here, but a folding knife is to prefere as it’s blade is then secure and out of harms way.
Compass and map
Even in these hitech times, a good old map and compass is good to have as a backup, since a gsp-unit can run out of power or coverage in difficult terrain. Also a map show you a rough outline of what type of terrain you’re up against.
Energy tablets and energy chocolate
These will help you gain either a quick energy-boost if needed or provide you with a ration to preserve you from starvation in the short run. None of these are ment to subsitute food, but as an emergency resource. 
First Aid kit
A small hiking first aid kit is a great resource if it goes wrong. These are inexpencive and easy available at sports or outdoor gear store.
Surviaval kit
This should contain some essensial pieces of kit that will help you if you’re lost, and here what to put in:
– A whisle to signal
– Emergency blanket (which also can be turned into a makeshift tent if combined with the tripod)
– A small piece of nylon chord
– Fishing line and hooks
– Wire saw
– Sewing kit
– Heliographic mirror
– Firestarter
– Condom
– Tampon
– Waterproof matches
And now you laugh of the last two objects on the list. Maybe you’re a guy, and what will a tampon do for you as this is a toilet article for a woman, and the chance that you’ll end up with a one-night-stand with a woodland nymph or satyr is not gonna happen, so why a condom? Well, first of the tampon, it’s in there as tinder and not for any sanitary reason. If you pull the tampon apart it will make a great tinder for your fire. The condom is not there for any sexual reasons, but if you put the condom within your sock, this will turn into a easy available makeshift water container.
This kit is not intended to be used for camping need, but as a help in an emergency. If you’re hiking in difficult terrain, first make sure you have the required gear, and let the Survival Kit be a back-up just in case.
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit –
Flash Animation
(I’m not under any endorsment from Gerber, so I’ve just included this for information purpose.)

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