My brother has many skills, one of which is his knowledge about search and rescue missions. He's performed more than one, and many more practices to go along with that in preparation for any real emergency. And throughout all that training and time, there's a set of "pocket pals" he carried, whether the mission was to find a lost person, locate a crashed plan, or simply to provide homeland relief. He taught me about these five items, and their uses; one interesting thing I've found years later, though, is that each of these necessities has a deeper meaning, a sort of metaphorical significance even today. And if I remember to carry that as well as he remembered each of these objects, it just might help me find my way too.

1. A compass.

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Obviously this is a great one to use to find your way. Use it right, and you know the direction you're traveling. Veer off, and you can get back on the right path. A good set of morals and values will help you with that, too. They say, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," and that would lead to a very confusing path. But if you want to set one and stick with it, morals and standards are a good way to go. Then, if you notice yourself wander astray, you can use them to guide you back to the path you set.

2. A signal mirror.

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This one can be used to reflect light, and if needed send up a search signal. It takes the usual path of a light, and can reflect it much further; perspective does that sometimes. When we're too close to something in our own lives, we occasionally don't see it clearly enough. But if we get another perspective, sometimes that's a better way to go. It also helps us understand other people, and perhaps see why there're coming from whatever view they do.

3. A (loud) whistle.

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If you're too far away to shout, you'll have to give this one a blow, and then your team can hear you. The last thing you want when you're searching for someone else is for one of your own to get lost as well. This helps with communication, as basic of a tool as it may be. And in real life, that communication is important, too. If you need help, you have to speak up and use your voice to tell a friend or family. Instead of wandering alone and getting lost, stay in touch with others, because they're your team and they're there for you.

4. A pocket knife.

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Perhaps out of all these "pocket pals" this one can be used for the most. You can cut branches, rope, or bandages. You can use it to build your shelter and prepare your food. It's pretty versatile, and also serves as a protection if needed. That's something grit and determination can go a long way towards accomplishing in life, too. It can get you through tough situations, and help you stay strong.

5. A lighter.

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Any time you're in the woods for an extended period of time, you're going to need this one. (You could use matches, but it'll be more of a struggle.) Here we can use one object to get both light and warmth – two things we certainly need in every way throughout our real life, too. Other people can help surround us with positivity and clarity; the wrong people, though, can put our fire out. It's important to choose wisely, and remember that those we surround ourselves with can be either helpful or harmful.