Survival in the wild

CarolinaFireJournal - David Pease
David Pease The Reds Team
10/14/2011 -

As I start to write this article, I experienced what most folks around here have never experienced, the earth trembling from an earthquake out of Virginia. This was the second earthquake I have experienced, the other one was in 1967, when I was living in Richmond, Va. It is very rare to experience an earthquake on the east coast, but it just proves that anything is possible in the world we live in. I am also keenly watching Hurricane Irene as it moves up from the Bahamas and begins to head our way.

Last issue one of the things I evaluated and talked about was the water purifier from SteriPen. I used this UV light system while I was doing jungle survival training in Costa Rica. Well, there were several other items I was able to evaluate while I was there. Several years back I evaluated and wrote about a pack by Coaxsher. The pack was originally designed for wildland firefighting, but they now have an excellent search and rescue pack. 


These are several of the Hennessy hammocks we set up during our jungle survival training in Costa Rica.

I was able to add several attachments to the pack while I was training in the mountains of Costa Rica. Since my major priority was as medical officer, having some pouches that attached to the pack was great. They have a medical kit case that attaches externally. This case has a full length zipper which gives you good access to your supplies. It held most of my medical supplies, including gauze, kling, trauma dressings, Sam’s splint and miscellaneous other things.

I also had a pack module that basically has the same storage space as the medical kit. This attaches to the back of the pack and allowed me to carry additional supplies. I had their rain cover which I used to cover my pack at night in the jungles, another handy piece of equipment.

Coaxsher’s search and rescue pack is a great modular system that allows for many configurations and is a great asset for those involved in search and rescue. You can learn more about the Coaxsher products at Stay tuned for more cool things from Coaxsher in later issues.

David Pease on a search and recovery mission in Costa Rica wearing the Coaxsher pack.

The other convenient piece of equipment was my hammock. During a wilderness search and rescue class that I was teaching, I saw that one of the students had a really nice hammock. I was impressed with it, but did not pursue it until my trip to the jungles came up. The hammock is made by Hennessy Hammocks. It is like a tent and hammock all in one. It packs relatively small and is lightweight. It is breathable with a sewn in netting to protect you from insects and critters. It also has a built in canopy to shed off rain and give you shade if needed. This whole package can be slid into a snake skin, which makes it easy to put up and take down. Don’t worry the snake is no longer in the skin. The snake skin is a tube that slides along the rope end and when you role up the hammock, it will slide right into the tube. It literary takes only minutes to set up and take down.

The model I used was the Explorer Deluxe ASYM Classic. The Explorer packed really easy into my pack and took up minimal space. The hammock only weighs three pounds and three ounces. It will handle folks up to seven feet tall and 300 pounds. It packs to a five by eight by 12 inches and is made of Oxford nylon. The webbing straps are called “tree huggers” as they are designed not to damage the trees that the hammock is secured to. The hammock not only slept comfortable, but it may also induce snoring, which can wake up those around you. Trust me, I should know. But for an enticing sleep that is off the ground, I recommend the Hennessy hammock. It’s easy to pack and will serve as an excellent addition to your search and rescue gear. You can find out more about Hennessy Hammocks and all of the gear they have to offer at

Stay tuned next issue as we look at more gear and equipment that will make your life safer, easier, and sometimes more comfortable. Stay safe out there, and we’ll see you next issue.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail David Pease at [email protected] and visit the team website at
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