To go along with the "Top 5 Outdoor Skills" thread (see http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=57447.0 ), I decided to post a listing of survival/essentials that one may want to keep with them to "be prepared". Whenever I go hiking, hunting, or otherwise into the back country, I carry a small bag (I call it my man purse) with me. It is a small and lightweight bag that contains (or should contain) the essentials that I would need to get by in a pinch. This is in addition to whatever I would normally have with me in the particular situation (e.g., cell phone, hunting tool / weapon, camping gear, fishing gear, etc.). My current (always in the bag) bag contents are as follows: - compass (actually a couple) - GPS unit (extra set of batteries) - knife - disposable lighter - strike anywhere matches (in waterproof container) - magnesium fire starter - small (mini Mag or LED) flashlight - a folded up garbage bag - Some TP (although I've used other available stuff in a pinch) - a few granola bars - a water bottle (not necessarily in the bag) Other stuff that I usually put in the bag when I'm going somewhere in a more "back country" setting: - disposable poncho - emergency blanket - a stick or two of fat pine Other stuff that I really should have as I think about it: - a map (with appropriate features) of the area that I'm in - signal mirror (an old CD works for this) - some string or small cord - An emergency whistle (you can blow a whistle longer than you can shout) - water purification capability (tablets or filter) - fishing line, several sinkers, and several hooks - a small first-aid kit Note that all of this stuff is very light and can be easily kept in my carry along bag (man purse) when venturing away from camp. What other items do you keep with you for an emergency situation?