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Leon's Blog

Ten gifts for Dad’s emergency/survival kit on Fathers Day

Ten gifts for Dad’s emergency/survival kit on Fathers Day

My most cherished Fathers Day gifts have been handmade. My daughter’s  “Best Dad Ever” painting hangs in the library. My coffee cup, with my kids photos inset, gets regular use. My collection of Father’s Day cards is filed safely.

But suppose you also want to get that hunter/fisherman, prepper or survivalist dad something he can add to his personal survival/emergency kit?

The best Father’s Day gifts are handmade.

By Leon Pantenburg

Here’s my top 10 list of survival kit choices, and links where you can find them, for  Father’s Day gifts. (I have tested all these items, and they work!)

1) A good, instructional survival book: The book seller shelves are full of how-to survival manuals, but these  are good choices:

“Surviving a Wilderness Emergency”  by Peter Kummerfeldt is my go-to manual for anything related to wilderness survival.

2) A survival knife: I’ve carried a Cold Steel SRK for nearly 20 years, and it has never let me down.  Another knife I carry on my keychain and use constantly is a Swiss Army Classic. An excellent choice is a Mora-style knife. Looking like a paring knife with a sheath, this style is incredibly useful as a camp knife or for cleaning fish or small game. My Leatherman Wave has gotten hard use for ten years and shows no sign of wearing out. One of the best preparedness/emergency/bushcraft knives I’ve come across is the Bark River Aurora.

3) Fire Making Tools: Get a ferrocerium rod, then let the kids make up the

Ferrocerium rods come in different sizes. Find a size that is handy, so it will be easy to take along!

cotton balls and petroleum jelly. This firemaking kit could save Dad’s bacon in the backcountry, and because his children helped make his firemaking kit, Dad will have another reason to take it along!

4) Wool socks: Cold feet are awful – and dangerous! If Dad still uses thick cotton socks, his feet will eventually get cold and clammy. Get him a couple pairs of thick wool-blend socks and his toes will thank you!

5) Tarp: A lightweight backpacking style tarp can be used in a multitude of shelter situations. A lightweight tarp weighs hardly anything, and should be included in Dad’s survival kit.

6) Maps: Get Dad updated topographical maps of his favorite outdoor areas. Even though he knows the terrain well and probably won’t get lost, Dad will enjoy seeing it on a topo. Dad can also mark this map before he goes on a hunting or fishing trip, and leave it with Mom. Then, if he doesn’t show up when he’s supposed to, Mom can give the map to the local Search and Rescue team.

7) Mapping software: I love making maps of special areas. Just this week, I printed off some maps for a scout troop that is hiking on the weekend. Get the software, and Dad can have an updated map every time he goes to a new place.

8) Compass: Get Dad a good compass and a book to show how to use it.  The best way to make sure he gets back from the woods on time is to make sure he never gets lost.

9) Fanny pack: A small fanny pack can be used to carry his survival gear, so Dad never has to worry about leaving it behind.

10) Small, laminated picture of Dad with his family: If you’re only going to get one gift for Dad on Father’s Day, make it this one. Dad should always carry the photo with his survival gear. Then, if an emergency happens and he is in a bad situation, Dad has a reminder of why he can never give up and the reason(s) it is so important to get back!

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Leon's Blog

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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