The 10 C's
by Christopher Wood
The 10 C's are the base of any kit, and should always be carried when you go out into the woods. The 10 C’s of survival Gear is a concept created by Dave Canterbury. It is a list of essential tools needed in a survival situation that are difficult to reproduce in the wild.
1. CUTTING TOOL
This is the most important of all our items and it must be capable of several other tasks. I like a knife that has 4 ½ – 6” in blade length. I like my blades to be made from High Carbon Steel due to their ability to throw sparks from the spine and the ease of sharpening in the field. Another think my knives mus have is a nice sharp 90 degree spine edge and should be full tang. I like the PKS Scorpion.
2. COMBUSTION DEVICE
Your ability to create fire in bad weather conditions is a must. I carry many fire starters in my kit; a Bic Lighter, good ferro rod, flint and steel, and a magnification lens. Fire is needed to help regulate body temperature, cook food, disinfect water, and signal for rescue.
Your cover always begins with having the proper clothing for the conditions. The next thing you should have is a re-usable emergency space blanket.
This single piece of gear is very important. Stainless steel is the best material and must be single walled and of a one piece design. The container should also have a wide mouth to enable easy collection of water and make getting contents like food or char out as easy as possible. I suggest the The Pathfinder Gen 3 Widemouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle.
Cordage can be used to repair gear or create bindings for shelters. Cordage is on the top of this list because the amount of proper materials that would need to be collected and the time spent to create it can be easily avoided by carrying about 100’ of good ready made cordage material. I prefer the Tarred Mariners #36 Line , I get mine from Self Reliance Outfitters. I do carry 550 paracord for many uses.
6. COTTON BANDANNAS
These should be at least 3’ square if possible in order to create a sling or cravat. Bandanas need to consist of 100% cotton, so that they char well to create embering material for a fire. I tend to carry a Shemagh a lot of the time.
7. CARGO TAPE
I am not talking about your dad's Duct Tape, Gorilla Brand tape is the best. This can be used for everything from first aid to creating needed items. Cargo tape can be one of the most useful items you carry in an emergency so carry an entire roll if you can.
The compass must be capable of performing more functions than just walking a straight line on an azimuth or bearing. Your compass should have a mirror so that it can be used as a signal mirror and to look for ticks and lice and to inspect cuts in areas that cannot be seen without the aid of a mirror. I carry the Suunto MC 2 and it has never let me down.
9. CLOTH SAIL NEEDLE
A sail needle is a fairly large needle that is used for both Tent Canvas Repair and sewing/repairing sails. It has a wedge at the front and a very sharp point. This is not a needle that can be bought from a craft store so I get mine from Self Reliance Outfitters, I like the #14 size.
10. CANDLING DEVICE
This should be a Headlamp not a flashlight as you will want to ensure that both hands are free if needing to use a light to complete any task. It should have a high, low, and flash setting on it. I use the Princeton Tec EOS.