Interview With Creek Stuart
Creek Stewart author of Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit and owner and head instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor was kind enough to answer 5 questions for those of us here at The Backyard Pioneer.
Creek’s survival knowledge comes from experience. His life-long study of outdoor living and survival skills is backed by 1000′s of man-hours in the field. Creek is the author of 3 books – most recently Survival By Cellphone. His newest title hits bookshelves in April 2012 – Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. Creek started leading survival course trips at the age of 21. Creek is the owner and founder of Willow Haven Outdoor.
Here are my questions:
1-What are your thoughts on Camelbacks and do they have a place in building a BOB
I don’t personally use a CamelBak hydration pack. However, it’s not because I have anything against them. My Bug Out Bag water philosophy is to pack 3 liters of fresh drinking water in 3 separate containers – 1 of those being a collapsible container to reduce pack bulk when consumed. This option could certainly be a Camelbak for those who like and use that system.
2- What knots do you think are critical for a Bug-Out skill set?
Bug Out knots relate primarily to two categories: SHELTERING & RESCUE. The knots I teach for sheltering are (in this order): Clove Hitch, Square Lashing, Tripod Lashing, Evenk Hitch & Quick Release Taught Line Hitch. The first 3 knots are used primarily for creating shelter structures/frameworks should one need to do so. The last two are used for quick release ridge-lines or guy-lines for tarp or improvised canopy shelters. I teach one rescue knot – the Bowline.
3- After reading your feelings on cotton-denim, I was hoping you could recommend a quality pair of bug out/hiking pants? I’m guilty of being a jeans guy and could use a wardrobe upgrade.
Though I go through brand “phases”, one that I’m really liking right now is 5.11 Pants. Cotton (especially jean material) is a sponge and is very difficult to dry. In cold weather environments, cotton is dangerous. I prefer 100% Nylon or a Poly/Cotton Blend. These dry much quicker. However, these types of pants aren’t the best insulators, so a good base layer is important in cold weather environments.
4- Does a small ax have a place in a BOB? I’m an experienced car camper and love having a tomahawk or hatchet along but was wondering your thoughts on them from a benefit vs weight perspective.
Let me preface this response with the following statement: My Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe is one of my favorite (and most used) outdoor tools. I almost always take it camping. With that said, I do not carry an axe in my Bug Out Bag. This is a personal choice – I know many guys that do. For me, though, it’s just too heavy. I use my axe mainly for processing fire wood and shelter frameworks. For my Bug Out Bag where space and weight are critical, I opt for a lightweight folding Bahco Laplander Saw. I can buzz through 3 even 4″ thick logs with this saw in a few seconds. A small machete is another lighter weight alternative.
5- What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen included in a BOB?
A guy came to one of my Bug Out Bag courses once who packed a small remote control helicopter in his Bug Out Bag. It was rigged with a small wireless camera that recorded video which he could then download on his smart phone and watch. His concept was to use this rig as a surveillance tool in a hostile Bug Out scenario. While it was very cool and innovative, it certainly takes the cake for the weirdest gadget I’ve ever seen someone pack in their 72-hour kit.
Creek has also been contracted by an international publisher to write the book titled ” The Unofficial Hunger Games Survival and Strategy Guide” which will be released about the same time as the 2nd movie.
Check out Creek’s book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit on Amazon.
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