Monthly Archives: June 2012

Basic Survival Kit (Aviation)

The last two nights I have taught a mini-seminar for my aero club. One of the request was for a survival kit list. After not finding one on my own website ( I was sure it was transferred … so I thought…) here is a basic kit. Most of this should be placed in the vest and the vest should be worn by the pilot. Auxiliary items such as fleece jacket/shirt and the 70 oz of water should be in a pack in the back of the plane.

The reason the vest is worn is in case the crew has to egress the aircraft and either cannot get to the survival bag or is too injured to do so. (Imagine trying to crawl over the back seat of a 172 and digging around for a bag with busted up ribs, etc)

Below id the basic list of we went through in class– and with all list like this– modify to your needs, experience, and terrain and weather you are flying in. Additionally if you have passengers, you will want to increase these items as needed.

  • Signaling
    • Whistle
    • Mirror
    • Strobe
    • Smoke
  • Shelter
    • Space Blanket (red or orange)
    • 25’ Para Cord
  • Fire Kit
    • Striker
    • Tinder
    • Cotton Balls/ Dryer Lint
    • Rubber Inner-tube (1×3)
    • Candles
  • First Aid Kit
  • Navigation
    • Map
    • Compass
    • GPS
  • Water
    • Minimum 70 oz
    • Ceramic Filter
    • Puri Tabs
  • Head Gear (fleece hat and/or boonie hat- should be hunter orange)
  • Solid fuel tabs
  • Small metal cup
  • Power Bars/ Energy Bars
  • Air Force Survival Knife
  • Multi-tool
  • 50’ Para Cord
  • Light-weight fleece shirt
  • Lights
    • Head Lamp
    • Small Flash Light

 

Aviation survival is often focused on the aircraft mishap- and we often forget that a survival situation can begin simply when we fly into the back country on a Sunday afternoon and when leaving a beautiful grass strip we had to ourselves for the day…becomes a little more permanent when the battery dies or the starter fails.

Questions About China and Korea (part 1)

Just returned from a great trip to Shenzhen and Seoul. As always, I get several questions on my trip to Korea and China- and specifically on subjects like crime, food, censorship, fear of the government, and language.  Since all of these can have some pretty in-depth answers I will answer them in several blogs. In the mean time since I still need to get out a blog or two on gear we have been testing, I will focus here on China.

Let me provide some of my background on the below subject area before I dive into it. I spent 13 years of my life traveling to both the brightest and darkest places on our planet. I have been in just as many 5-star hotels as well as hell-holes where life seemed to be one big eclipse. In that time I provided both personal and property protection to some of the most important resources for my country. I have degrees and certifications in law enforcement and resource protection, trained with some of the world’s top experts in counter-terrorism, and have a working knowledge in second and third languages. Those days behind me, I enjoy travel for different reasons…now back to the blog…

China is a wonderful place to work and visit. Beyond getting warned about drinking with young girls who have my body parts removed as I sleep, I guess the biggest question I get upon returning, is if I was afraid of getting mugged – specifically in China. I have to say, not once was have I ever been fearful of getting hurt or robbed. I have been in situations in Shanghai where a counterpart and I were getting targeted, but I took positive control of the situation. Like anything large city though, Shenzhen can have its share of petty crimes. So does any other city. What I have found is most of the time, you are in control of the situation. As I travel large cities, I find purse snatching or pick-pocketing to be the most invasive. This can be controlled by how you place your items. By the way, the story about a businessman having his kidney stolen and waking up in an ice bath is complete urban legend.

I carry a backpack with me everywhere. Really good pick-pockets can get into your zippered bag without any difficulty. Because I do strap my pack to me and buckle both the waist and sternum straps to prevent snatching, the back part of the bag is at risk of being tampered with. One method I use is to place a small carabiner to secure the zippers. This makes it difficult to un-zip. Additionally, I make sure that when in a crowd I give myself plenty of space, and when I find someone camping out directly behind me I will either move or turn to face them momentarily.  If I have an opportunity to place my back to the wall I will do so. This gives me protection from any wrong doing that I can’t easily detect.

Another threat is when you are standing at a red light – waiting for the light to change. I will back away from the street so that everyone else is in front of me. This takes away the opportunity to tamper with my bag and gives me a few feet of comfort area.

Getting scammed is probably a greater threat. I was fortunate that when coming into Hong Kong to have a driver pick me up. Shenzhen is a growing city and even though there is access to any place you want to go by bus, rail, or taxi, you need to be careful about the taxis. The authorized taxis in Shenzhen are red and grey/white. They will have a meter in them. Getting into any other cab can result in getting scammed and a 20RMB ride can cost a few hundred RMB. BTW- there is a small surcharge for fuel that won’t show up on the meter and you will need to get two receipts when you exit the cab.  As another side note, depending on your sense of adventure, the cab rides can be interesting. You may feel unsafe- but in reality you are ok. These guys are better drivers than most of us. Also- the horn is a device for communication and not aggravation. You will get honked at- don’t get offended.

Another way to get in trouble is if you are asked to go somewhere with someone. If they want you to see their shop, go to their apartment, go see a watch collection, etc….don’t follow them. I am amazed at people who allow them selves to get involved in a scam so quickly.

Finally, if you want to find trouble, you will. Again- amazed at people who insist on getting involved with drugs or prostitutes- and then wonder why they got robbed. Stay away from trouble (people/situations) and more than likely you will be safe. Both prostitution and drugs are illegal in China. Not only do you risk your own personal safety, but you also risk arrest. It’s simple…enjoy China and don’t be stupid.

I enjoyed my time in both Seoul and Shenzhen. The people are fantastic and curious about westerners. I walked in many streets, back-alleys, parks, and shopping areas and not once did I feel I was in danger. I will cover more about food, weather, getting around, and other subjects in my blog, podcast, and v-log. Both Korea and China are great places to visit and work and I enjoy each opportunity I get.

Hong Fa Temple and Stone Trees (video blog)

Okay— wordpress is not playing nice today— first my write-up of Geocaching in China disappears, and then just as I finished a Top-10 list for an overlanding trip- it slips into thin air as well….

 

Here is hoping you can see the video– if not please follow the link. This is my trip to Hong Fa Temple and the Stone Garden… publishing before it goes poof!

 

Mission Accomplished!

Mission Accomplished!

My last night in Korea. So wish I was on a red-eye to Tokyo. Ready to be in the arms of my bride and feel the hugs of my baby-daughter. Pretty sure Trigger and Ranger are ready for some much needed Daddy time as well. As a bonus, my Mom and Dad are there and I will get a chance to see my Dad for Fathers’ Day.

The class did a terrific job on their Geo-Mission. They really thought outside the box and leveraged technology, high speed transport, and of course lots of communication. When one of the team members was not feeling so well, they left him in charge of a command post, where they could check in with him, provide updates, and get better intel on each cache site. He would even send pictures of each hide site to them. In one case, this was the only way they found the hide. We also boarded a bus to get across town to a site. Pretty innovative.

I was proud of the way they used their problem solving skills. It was great to work with the teams in Korea and the people are wonderful. I also enjoyed working with their leaders who really want to see their people be successful.

After class I had one more mission to complete. I brought several travel bugs with me. All the cache site I had been to were micros. I needed a place to to put a couple that I had been carrying for awhile. I also wanted to see something historic. I was able to complete both when I dropped them off in the park built around the tombs of Seolleung and Jeongneung, from the 9th Monarch. He was a great king during the 1400s.

With both job and adventuring behind me, it is off to the airport in the morning and a long flight home. Ready to close the chapter on this adventure.

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Spicy of Life

Hanging in my favorite little coffee place tonight. Great class today, awesome dinner with new friends, a two-mile walk, and now….third cup of the joe. Its late but isn’t that what Ambien is for?

Dinner was really spicy. Korean pizza…. Kemche pizza to be exact. There was other great foods served, spicy of course.

Enjoying the company of my host. I find I am much more outgoing here than I am in the states. I am the social butterfly. Where is that introvert…not really sure.
Perhaps still in baggage claim in Hong Kong.

Two more days in country and I am afraid of that shy-guy returning. That guy who wasn’t so popular in school. That guy who doesn’t speak up in meetings at work. That guy who doesn’t jump up and dance with the TeleTubby in front of the License Bureau. Yes, I danced. Please pick your jaw up from the floor.

I am living with purpose right now. I have a mission. I have a great support team here. I have people who believe in me. I have no fear. I am bullet proof. I hate spicy octopus and asked for more!

My life here is much more spicy. I hit the streets after dinner. Threw the ear buds in, walked briskly, saw parts of Korea that were out of the way. Walking like I knew where I was going. Having no plan, turning on a dime, going down alleyways lit by faux-neon.

Twenty years ago I couldn’t wait to be on a plane and back home. I know tomorrow afternoon I will feel the same way. When the gig is over I am ready to be home to my bride and kiddo. This time is different than when I was an observer/advisor at Kunsan. Though I miss my family, I hope I am returning with a bit of spice in my step.

Yes life here is spicy. I love it!

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