George Michaud’s Survival Kit by Brandon Jacobs

It’s no secret that spending any amount of time in the woods requires some gear, whether it’s for an intended task or just there in case of an emergency.

The Tetons area in SE Idaho is where Michaud currently traps.  Photo:  George Michaud

The Tetons area in SE Idaho is where Michaud currently traps. Photo: George Michaud

George’s time in the outdoors is no exception. Running a trapline in the Teton Mountains requires a certain amount of gear to spend any length of time there. Trapping season runs from October 22nd to March 31st, depending on what species one is going for. That season puts George out in the middle of winter where subzero temperatures are very common for long periods of time. So it goes without saying that he carries certain items on him to ensure that he makes it back home in case he finds himself without his dog team or canoe.

Trapping in the timber.  Example of one of several environments Michaud traps.  Photo:  George Michaud

Trapping in the timber. Example of one of several environments Michaud traps. Photo: George Michaud

Survival kits are a subject of much debate. There are as many survival kits as there are people. They are solely based on a person’s preference, needs and geographical location. George’s kit is no different, spending decades in the timber trapping, he knows what he needs. Since clothes are his shelter we’ll focus on what items he carries around his waist. Fire is key for his kit. As you’ll notice he has no less than four ways to start a fire. Listed below, in no particular order, are the contents of his kit.

George Michaud's kit "on the table."  Pistol, Large Custom Fixed Blade, Leather Pouch all on a leather belt so its with him always when trapping.

George Michaud’s kit “on the table.” Pistol, Large Custom Fixed Blade, Pouch & Contents all on a leather belt so its with him always when trapping.

  • Matches in water tight container
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Bic lighter
  • Trixoane fuel bars
  • First aid kit
  • Knife – large fix blade
  • Pistol w/ extra ammo
  • Snares
  • Wire and pliers
  • Compass
  • Knife sharpener (Billet and pressure flaker)
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Foil
  • Toilet paper
  • Fishing line and tackle
  • Sinew
  • Expandable towels
  • Zip ties
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Pain reliever

Many if not all these items can be multipurpose and their use only limited by the one’s imagination. One very important feature to note is the size of this kit, it’s small! George is able to carry all the items listed above around his waist comfortably while he goes about his day to day business. Having a survival kit would not do him any good if it runs off with his dog team. Another thing I notice right away about his kit was the amount of wear it had, not wore out but the field use the kit had seen. The kit and all its contents were not decided upon a few days prior. These are items that he saw fit through decades of trapping in the mountains.

Beaver Lodge.  Photo:  George Michaud

Beaver Lodge. Photo: George Michaud

A special thanks to George Michaud for taking time to show his kit and talk about the contents.  (The included link is a great article about Michaud by Christopher Nyerges on Alan Halcon’s website, Outdoor Self-Reliance.)

 

George Michaud (right) and Brandon Jacobs.

George Michaud (right) and Brandon Jacobs.

Brandon Jacobs grew up in central Kansas in a rural community. Helping on the family farm as a kid, he spent a lot of time in the outdoors. His father and grandfather got him started in trapping and hunting at a young age and he continues to do both today. Recently he took advantage of many lessons from George at Rabbitsitck 2013.

About Brandon Jacobs

Brandon Jacobs grew up in central Kansas in a rural community. Helping on the family farm as a kid, he spent a lot of time in the outdoors. His father and grandfather got him started in trapping and hunting at a young age and he continues to enjoy both today.

4 Responses to George Michaud’s Survival Kit by Brandon Jacobs

  1. Christian October 4, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Great article Brandon! Had a blast getting lessons and hanging out with you, George, and Chad at Rabbitstick this year! Chris

  2. nechstar@gmail.com'
    Chad October 4, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    +2 Great Article!

  3. sashmore@ou.edu'
    Steve October 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks for the article, Brandon! What a nice guy George was, too! Very friendly, down to earth and willing to share.

  4. stbya@yahoo.com'
    Steph, the northern guy October 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    I recognize all those gentlemen. T’was nice hanging out with the entire crew!

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