The 10 C’s of Survival

The 10 C’s of survival Gear is a concept created by Dave Canterbury (the guy from Dual Survival).  It is a list of essential tools needed in a survival situation that are difficult to reproduce in the wild.  The 10 C’s should be incorporated into any bug out bag and should be carried by anyone who spends time in the backcountry.

Even the most experienced hiker, hunter or outdoors man can find themselves in a dire situation.  A simple slip on a wet rock, wondering off the trail or poor weather can quickly turn a simple stroll in the woods into a fight for survival.  Having the 10 C’s on you in these situations can be the difference between life or death.

The 10 C’s of Survival are broken down into the first 5 C’s and the second 5 C’s.  The first 5 are seen as essential while the second 5 C’s are incredibly useful.


 1. Cutting Tool: In other words you need a knife.   You want something sturdy and ideally full tang.  This will come in handy for cutting rope, creating fire wood and building shelters as well as much more.  If on a budget I recommend the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife.  For a higher end knife I would recommend an Esee Knife.

2. Combustion:  This refers to a method of creating fire.  Ideally you would have at least two sources.  So this can be a lighter, book of matches or simple flint and steel.

3. Cover: If you are forced to spend the night you want to have a cover to help create a shelter that will keep you dry and protect you from the elements.  A cover can be a tarp, space blanket, poncho, even a trash bag.

4. Container: A container is used to store water.  Hydration is often your top priority in a survival situation and you need to be able to store and carry it.  It is particularly helpful  if your container is stainless steel or aluminum so you can use it to boil water in order to purify it.

5. Cordage: Sure you can use vines, roots or strips of park, but this is time consuming and not nearly as effective as quality cordage.  Carrying some 550 cord or simple twine will make your life a lot easier.


6. Candle:  This refers to a source of light.  Don’t just rely on the light of your cell phone.  Bring a quality flashlight or even a headlamp so your hands are free.

7. Cotton:  Any type of cotton cloth will do – a rag, a bandanna or even a cut up bed sheet.  A cotton cloth has many uses from several first aid uses to filtering water to carrying items.

8. Compass: Sure there are several tricks to help you find north, but these are no where near as accurate and reliable as having a compass with you.  A compass will keep you from walking around in circles and will help lead you back to society.

9. Cargo Tape: If you cant duct it, fuck it! Duct tape (cargo Tape) has a million and one uses.  From first aid to shelter building to creating cordage.  Duct tape is incredibly versatile.

10. Canvas Needle: This means bring a sewing kit.  Many people forget that their clothes are part of their shelter system.  A tear in your clothes in cold weather can lead to a bad day getting much worse. Sewing kits can also be used to maintain your bag and gears as well as several first aid uses.


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