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Well, looks like ol’ Bear Grylls is in the news for teaching a kid something that was actually useful. A 9 year old was separated from his group on a hike and said he used what he learned on Man vs. Wild to handle the 18 hours out in the wild while rescuers were searching for him.
From the article:
Grayson created a small shelter overnight under a fallen tree. The next day, he decided to follow a creek in hopes of finding help.
“I (thought I) might find the lake, that there might be somebody at the lake,” he said.
He made a couple of bad decisions like not staying put and tearing up his rain jacket to use for signaling, but, much more impressively, he didn’t freak out and was able to keep a level enough head that he could try to think through his situation. Sure, he could have done things a little differently, but his actions were better than half of the adult search and rescue stories that I read.
I saw these Kodiak Firestarters at a recent show and was very impressed with how well thought out they were. They incorporate a large magnesium rod, firesteel, paracord with striker, compass, and thermometer all into a stout wooden handle. The firesteel is one of the ones that is harder than the other ones I sell, so it is easier to use, but the sparks do not last quite as long. They still work great for any tinder I could find, especially when used in conjunction with the magnesium.