It's great to go outdoors and get away from it all. I do it every chance I get, both in Missouri and on vacation outside the state. No one ever expects trouble on an outdoor outing...and hopefully it won=t ever happen. But even on a day trip, a sudden storm or unexpected injury in your group can leave you a long way from help. A survival kit can mean the difference between trouble you can manage, and disaster. Here's what you'll need: A first aid kit...a pocketknife or quality hunting knife with a sharpening stone...a compass and map of the area you're traveling... varnish-coated strike-anywhere stick matches in a screw top plastic waterproof container...a candle that's at least 6" tall and 3/4 of an inch wide...fire start tablets...a collapsible soft plastic water bottle...20-feet of nylon cord...a small bottle of water purification tablets...an air-force-type signal mirror...a plastic police-type whistle...one millimeter thick clear plastic sheeting...a space blanket...a penlight flashlight with spare batteries...and finally, something for energy: like jerky, hard candy or granola bars. The entire pack only adds about two pounds to your pack or canoe, without lightening your wallet much. A survival kit is like car insurance. Hopefully you'll never need to use it, but in an emergency, you'll be glad it's there.