Mountain Search Pilot Clinic

In September 2008 I attended the Mountain Pilot Search Clinic in Helena, MT. A lot of good information was given for survival in case your airplane went down. The instructor, Skip, stated at the beginning that "Survival is an ethic, practiced everyday." The information given was extremely informative. Most (if not all) of the information given on this page is from handouts given at the clinic. I feel it's prudent to pass this kind of information along. Please goto Skips website at for more information. He's the real expert.

The Minimum Survival and Aviation Survival links are for a more printable version of the lists. And click the photos for enlarged images.

Minimum Survival Kit

Survival Gear Survival Gear Survival Gear Survival Gear Survival Gear


Heavy-Duty Orange Plastic Bag

30' minimum 550 cord


Metal match or spark producing striker

Waterproof Matches

Cotton balls with Vaseline (waterproof container)


Signaling and Lighting

Signal mirror, glass

Whistle, plastic

Small LED light

Extra batteries


Duct Tape

Pain Reliever

Safety Pins



Anti-bacterial ointment

Small bar soap

Anti-diarrhea tablets


Personal Medications


Purification tablets

Small folding water bag

Tools and Miscellaneous

Sturdy knife

Head Net


Snare Wire



Sewing needle


Aviation Survival Kit

Survival Gear


  •   (2)        Bag, Land Shark
  •   (1)        Tarp, 8' x 10', nylon
  •   (50')     Line, 550 (Paracord)


  •   (1)        Metal Match
  •   (1 bx)   Matches, Stormproof (REI)
  •   (1)        Zip Loc Bag, cotton balls
  •   (1)        Tube, Vaseline
  •   (1)        Case, Match
  •   (2)        Candle, Lantern

Signaling and Lighting

  •   (1)        Signal mirror, glass
  •   (1)        Whistle, plastic
  •   (1)        Flashlight, small, LET (4AA)
  •   (6)        Battery, AA, lithium
  •   (4)        Flare, signal, Skyblazer
  •   (1)        Strobe, ACR Firefly 3


  •   (1)        Water purifier, Pre-Mac, Model SWP
  •   (1)        Water bag, folding, 2-liter
  •   (1)        Cup, metal

Tools and Miscellaneous

  •   (1)        Knife, Swedish Mora
  •   (1)        Saw, folding, Gerber or Buck
  •   (1)        Multi-tool
  •   (1)        Compass, baseplate style
  •   (2)        Duct tape, small roll
  •   (1)        Soap, antibacterial, liquid, in Nalgene bottle
  •   (12)      Wet-Wipes, individual pack
  •   (3)        Sewing needle, assorted sizes, with heavy duty thread
  •   (1)        Zip Loc bags, assorted
  •   (1)        Survival Handbook (ERI publication)
  •   (1)        Case, Pelican, 1450
  •   (1)        Case, Pelican, 1050
  •   (2)        Case, Pelican, 1040