Q. In a survival situation, when you are all alone in the Northern Tundra with only a T-shirt and pants, what one thing would you want?
— Curious Koen, via email
A. I’d want a helicopter, so I could fly somewhere warm! Just kidding, Koen. This is a really tough question. The most important thing when you’re in a survival situation is finding shelter and staying warm. So for my one item, I’d pick a nice waterproof bivi sack like Wiggy’s Single Person Bivi Shelter ($290, wiggys.com).
Basically, a bivi (or bivy) is a lightweight, super-streamlined tent that goes over your sleeping bag to protect you from the weather. If my only piece of gear is the bivi (and I have no sleeping bag), I’m definitely not going to be cozy sleeping, but the protection from the weather is the key. I would probably try to use whatever sort of organic material I could find (moss, leaves, etc.) to help insulate me inside the bivi.