One of the advantages of having a belt kit is that you always have the essentials on you to keep you alive in the event you get separated from all your other gear, whether that’s due to some type of accident or in an evasion scenario. When I was enlisted in the Marine Corps, I used a 100-round SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) ammo pouch as my pouch to keep my maps and other essential gear if I got separated from my pack. Most SOF units that operate in austere environments carry some type of SERE kit.
In “Some Thoughts On Scouts And Spies,” the author emphasizes that a scout should carry the minimum items for his survival on his person, where they will not be separated from him. According to the author, with the following items, the scout can survive anything:
- Penny knife
- Flint, steel, and char cloth
- Small compass
Let’s take a look at a 21st-century modern equivalent of a scouting-type belt pouch. With the contents of my belt pouch, I’m confident that I can survive any situation. One thing you will notice about my list is that I don’t have anything that would provide shelter from the elements. Your first layer against the elements are the clothes you are wearing. As a wilderness scout, military infantryman, or whatever your purpose for being out in the field, you should be smart enough to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
I use a custom Cordura pouch made by The Hidden Woodsman. The contents of my kit are as follows: