Survival kit in a tube

Posted by: teacher

Survival kit in a tube - 12/18/19 10:20 PM

I have my opinions on this; what are yours?

Gadgeteer review
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 12:31 AM

A waste of money. Survival is more about knowledge, skills, and attitude than about a bunch of gadgets crammed into a container. Those gadgets would be more accessible just thrown in a loose sack than stacked into that tube. Inevitably, what you need will be buried deep at the bottom.
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 01:32 AM

I've known about that kit for a while. I was not sure if it was an innovative idea or a gimmick.

As for all kits beeing trash and all that you need is your brain? No! A person needs both equipment and their brain. You can have all of the knowledge and skills to survive the most remote places on earth but if you don't have the tools to make a fire or get clean water, you are SOL.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 03:21 AM

[quote=J

As for all kits beeing trash and all that you need is your brain? No! A person needs both equipment and their brain. You can have all of the knowledge and skills to survive the most remote places on earth but if you don't have the tools to make a fire or get clean water, you are SOL.

Jeanette Isabelle [/quote]

Who said all you need is your brain? Obviously, gear, properly selected and utilized, turns a potential disaster into just a day or two outdoors. But the noggin is by far the most important factor.

Let's say you don't have "the tools to make a fire or get clean water". Are you truly SOL? Are there no other alternatives.

I have always been able to produce fire when needed, but if I couldn't, there are alternatives.

I have been in situations where the only liquid was potentially impure. Given the circumstances, i drank long and heartily from a stagnant cattle pond, knowing that I was beginning to show signs of severe dehydration. I needed the liquid immediately, so that I could return to civilization and cure whatever bugs I might get from the water, which would take a few days to work on my system. As it turned out, I suffered no ill effects whatever.

I usually carry adequate water, which is the best course, and I routinely have three ways to start a fire, and at least a couple of ways to purify water.

I recall one victim,with a large bulky backpack,slowly going hypothermic in a freezing mist when we reached him.

"Say, how about building a fire?," we inquired. "You can't - It's too wet," was his reply.

We started a fire with no great difficulty since there were dry twigs and leaves within the abundant conifers, along with pitch. Lots of gear and no knowledge. But he was equipped, as we learned later on the walk out, when he became annoyed at a light shining in the distance, producing a rifle and attempting to shoot it out. Total lack of judgement...
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 01:36 PM

Every time we are on the subject of gear, you are always bashing it. "Don't waste your money on this junk."

I'm quite aware that a person can have the best gear but if he has no understanding of how to use it, he will end up dead. I'm a firm believer that a person needs both. If someone has one but not the other, he or she will be the next tragedy we'll be discussing. "What did they do wrong? What could they have done differently to improve their odds of survival?"

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: pforeman

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 02:53 PM

While this is 'interesting' I think it may be too narrow in it's usefulness - such as needing an element in the middle of the stack means having to unpack all or most of it to get to it. I also wonder if the tube/container could be re-purposed some how when the contents are needed so it is not just a container.

I would like it a lot better as a storage/deployment item where it included a small bag/pack or some way to carry the stuff once the tube is opened for use. It's great for having all the components in one grab & go kit but it isn't a good design for ongoing use. Something like this could be used to drop a kit to someone stranded to use until help arrives but would need an instruction section to go with it.

As for training - that is truly the key... having the right equipment to go with it is best. However, having a bunch of tools and no idea of how to use them makes the tools more or less moot.

Paul -
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 03:59 PM

You are right- my standard line basically is "Don't waste your money on this junk."

That is because that is my honest opinion based on six decades of experience in the outdoors doing archaeological field work, rock climbing, backpacking, and SAR volunteering. I have participated in more than 470 search and rescue operations, lasting from less than ten minutes to more than two weeks.

Venturing into the outdoors, you need dependable, workable gear with which you are familiar. If the situation gets out of hand, there is no time to read the instruction book and fumble with the gadgets. You need familiar items, whose capabilities are known to you.

Different situations require different items. Doing SAR in Southern Arizona, we responded to situations with very hot temps in the summer, sub zero temps in the winter in the mountains, swift water during floods, and all kinds of weird circumstances (cave rescue, stranded horses, etc). What is very good in one setting is irrelevant in another. As one of my comrades observed, "In the summer, your rescue pack essentially becomes a giant water bottle." Months later, you are contending with deep snow and hypothermia.

A dinky, generalized 'survival' pack is rather useless when the going gets tough. It may be better than nothing at all, but purchasing these very generalized kits is not the best way to use your resources.

Don't waste your money on junk.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 04:18 PM

I prefer kits in which the gear can be used and worked with before it is needed in a critical situation. This kit seems to have everything well organized and packed, but would I need to buy two one to play with and the other to pack away for that emergency? Id prefer to build my own kit with quality items I choose and have already played with.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 07:03 PM

"What did they do wrong? What could they have done differently to improve their odds of survival?"

Good questions. I and my colleagues have critiqued a number of incidents, some which ended successfully and others in fatalities and trends emerge:
1) generally bad situations develop gradually, typically as the result of bad decisions -

"Should we cancel the trip; heavy snow is forecast" I am really tired, should we stop for the night?" "Hold my beer and watch me climb this cliff". Usually it takes about three bad decisions to really get a person in trouble. Typically it is a lone individual, not a group.

The decisions made generally reflect the lack of experience. Along with this inexperience is the usual absence of useful equipment -things like a map, first aid kit,etc.

On occasion we did need to assist those who were well equipped and competent, but this was rare. Quite often alcohol was a factor.

Experience and proper gear develop together. If you are in a new and novel situation, you are at risk to some degree.

I am a good xample. On my very first hike in the Santa Catalina Mountains above Tucson, I found myself caught on a rock sput, with my feet dangling above a forty foot drop that could easily have been fatal. This was the result of wearing grossly improper boots, a lack of understanding the potential hazards, and an uninformed group leader who encouraged us to try our hands at rock climbing (who needs a rope or any of that stuff?)

Tht was the closest call I have ever had. Years later I helped recover the body of a young lady who had flown to Tucson to visit friends, went with them to a popular party spot in the mountains, and suffered a fatal fall. Why her and not me? I wonder to this day....
Posted by: teacher

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 08:22 PM

As an exercise; what kit would you build instead for $100?
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
You are right- my standard line basically is "Don't waste your money on this junk."

That is because that is my honest opinion based on six decades of experience...


Here,here! Well spoken!
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 09:46 PM

My basic carry items are a decent folder, a flashlight, a BIC lighter, a ferro rod, some matches, a pair of nitril gloves, a few band aids and a first aid packet. The items except the folder and the flashlight are less than 20 in total.
Anything on top of that will depend on the situation. The kit will consist of items I already have. So budget would not really be a concern.I aquired those items over time when I felt that I would need them ( or wanted a new toy wink ).
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/19/19 10:41 PM

excellent question and quite pertinent. But I have one problem; my complaint isn't the cost, per se, but rather the utility of items selected. All too often they are marginal gear which may fail when needed.

The cost workable gear is all over the place.Good items are often quite cheap, but sometimes are very costly. If they do their job, they are worth every penny.

Consider climbing ropes. Years ago (1958) i bought a perfectly good (for that era) for $20. Todays ropes, superior in every respect, can easily cost more than ten times as much. At some point you will find yourself suspended by that rope in a situation where rope failure would mean certain death. Yu will be glad you spent good money on that rope and the gear that accompanies it.

Same story with sleeping bags packs, shoes, and a whole lot of other items. Of course you look for good gear that is a bargain because the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Any rational customer looks for the best bang for her dollar.

Let me check out my gear and see what the cost amounts too. This will take a while....
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 02:33 AM

Here is the bottom line. What I would consider "survival gear" that will accompany meon every excursion comes to a current retail cost of $433.

Here is the stuff:

cup w/foldinghandle
purell sanitizer (also fire starter)
mson twine, braided -20'
VIA coffee packets 92)
tea bag
Esbit tabs, 3
small stove for tabs
Live Fire tabs
small roll duct tape
ferro rod and striker
Bic lighter in Exotac case
Exotac match case w/premium matches
Exotac candle tins
AAA lithium battery w/ case
LD01 flashlight
AA lithium battery w/case
whistle
mylar blanket
emergency bivvy (SOL)
RSK Mk 5 knife
cotton lint (fire starter)
signal mirror
metal cup enclosing Gatorade bottle
Mora knife
3" elastic bandage
nitrile gloves
topo map (absolute essential)
Houdini shell jacket
sack of misc.energy bars
Zebralight AA headlamp
in addition, a decent FAK (not included in the cost above). There is also my EDC which goes along as well.

This gear has been acquired over time and often at a cost lower than the current list price. The items are in actual use and are supplemented usually with real sleeping bags, a tent or more substantial bivy, a canister stove, etc. i am probably carrying
a good $1000 worth of gear in my pack (REI Traverse 35, a bargain at 57 bucks a year ago).

The total cost surprises me, but me and my companions are worth it....I suspect you could cut the cost by $100 or so, if you really shopped and cut some corners
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: teacher
As an exercise; what kit would you build instead for $100?


Not sure about price but here we go:

  • Ritter PSP
  • Heatsheets 2 person
  • Backup knife
  • Mini Bic with the button secured by a cable tie
  • Backup flashlight
  • a small number of chlorine dioxide tablets
  • 1 liter water bag with some string to carry it


This all fits in a pouch a little larger than two packs of cards. I put this together before Doug came out with the PSP+ (which has a water bag, chlorine dioxide tablets, and backup knife).

I do not pretend it is complete or carries things needed for every situation. I have a PSP that was dedicated to using and testing, and Ive proven that I can operate the cable-tie-secured-Mini-Bic with either hand. Its probably time to lubricate the knife and change the battery in the flashlight.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 04:58 PM

Where can one obtain either the PSP or PSP+? I could not locate either at my favorite retailer (REI)
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 05:01 PM

Amazon's got 'em.
Posted by: NAro

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Originally Posted By: teacher
As an exercise; what kit would you build instead for $100?


Not sure about price but here we go:

  • Ritter PSP
  • Heatsheets 2 person
  • Backup knife
  • Mini Bic with the button secured by a cable tie
  • Backup flashlight
  • a small number of chlorine dioxide tablets
  • 1 liter water bag with some string to carry it


This all fits in a pouch a little larger than two packs of cards. I put this together before Doug came out with the PSP+ (which has a water bag, chlorine dioxide tablets, and backup knife).



Exactly what I have for my PSP, with a few lifeboat matches and striker, and a "straw" of PJ+Cotton balls. I have much more cool stuff in whatever pack I carry, but I've learned the hard way that the PSP is in my POCKET: I had a horse run away with all my survival stuff one time, and another time the fanny back I was carrying hung up when I tried to recover from a dumped raft (whitewater) and almost drowned me before I could jettison it. So PSP IN MY Pocket.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/20/19 08:10 PM

Originally Posted By: teacher
As an exercise; what kit would you build instead for $100?


Usually find a Bacho Laplander and Mora Clipper knife combo somewhere on sale.

Thrunite TH20 or Acebeam H40 AA headlamp (both on Amazon ~$30)

Enough left over for a PSP?
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/21/19 02:10 AM

I am pretty fascinated with the concept of "survival kits." I have at least four of the Ritter PSPs, and two or three of the newer SOL Scout kits. Lastly I have two of the UST FeatherLite 1.0 Survival Kits. That last one isn't very good but I'll confess I bought them because the zippered pouch is very nice! grin So I reused a couple items from the kit and mostly rolled my own using the pouch.

There must be a market for small kits since there are tons on the market. To me though the main use is as a starter/base to build a kit around. Particularly the Ritter PSP! It would be hard to find all the components individually for the cost of the PSP! That said I tend towards the same point of view as Hikermor. I've spent a lot of time in the woods, I'm pretty proficient and firecraft and can improvise shelter in a fair amount of ways. But when the chips are down and I'm in a genuinely tough spot I don't want a wire saw, a compressed towel and a $1 Chinese flashlight! I've never been in a truly dangerous survival situation although a couple times things could have went south on me catastrophically if not for a bit of luck. So my kits are a lot more robust than the old Altoids Tin kits you see "reviewed" on YouTube. smirk

For $100 I could put together a kit that I'd feel pretty good about running with for my AO (western Montana and northern Idaho). The toughest part of hitting budget would be a pack to put it in but honestly I'd buy a $5 pillow case at Walmart before I'd let budget force me to leave the kit at home!

A rough draft of a $100 kit:

5-Star Gear Survival Woobie- $35
Cheap rain poncho - $1
AMK HeatSheets Blanket, 2 Person- $8
Cheap Space Blanket (but not the cheapest)- $2
BIC Lighter- $1.50
3 ESBIT- $3
3 Baddest Bee Fuse fire wicks- $3
Cold Steel Kudu knife- $8 [Note: If I could spare an extra $2 I'd go with a Mora]
20 Aquatabs- $1
1.5 L Nagene- $11
UST Signal Mirror- $8
75' Catahoula tarred bank line- $2.50
25 x UCO Stormproof Matches- $3.50
4'x6' Blue Tarp (Dollar General)- $1
1 x Tea Light Candle- $.50
Brunton Keyring Compass (nearly as large as baseplate version)- $6
Slim Rescue Howler Whistle- $5

Total: Exactly $100! To be fair this doesn't include a pack but I'd keep the Walmart plastic bag if necessary! These prices are realistic, and I have purchased all of the items for the stated price or less. Occasionally they were on sale and some items (like the whistles) must be purchased in a 2 pack to get that price. Obviously this doesn't include tax but most was purchased at Amazon with no taxes or at a B&M store here in MT where we don't have sales tax.

Will this fit in an Altoids tin? No! But could I spend an unplanned night out in the woods with it? Heck yeah! Depending on the weather I'd maybe even be cozy. The Survival Woobie is worth its weight in gold! You can use it as a blanket, zip it into a light sleeping bag or it into a tube that you can wear while you stand or walk. While it won't fit in a pocket it can be contained in a pretty small daypack, and it gives you enough capability to cover you immediate need for shelter, a means to actually store and sanitize water and to get a fire going pretty reliably.

Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/21/19 02:24 AM

Ooops, I see that I omitted a flashlight! blush If I only had $100 with no wiggle room I'd probably try to finesse things a bit to buy a flashlight. As much as I'd hate to do it I could probably ditch the Nalgene and buy a bottle of water for $1-$2 and reuse it. That would net enough savings to get a decent light, either an entry level Maglite or an Olight i3e EOS with battery. I'd rather reuse a Powerade Zero or water bottle than rely on a $1 flashlight! shocked

Obviously this is a mockup of what I'd do for $100, not an encyclopedic list of everything I'd want! For an extra $1 I'd love to have some dollar store duct tape as it's actually been very useful IRL. Maybe shave a buck somewhere to make that happen if possible.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/21/19 02:48 PM

Sofirn C01S is another inexpensive AAA to consider. Has two modes 3lm & 100lm. So can conserve battery life.

If already into 18650s... Convoy lights, like the S2+ are options.

$16-$18
http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=80
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/22/19 09:53 PM

I will also mention that a couple months ago I bought a sleeping bag for $15 from Woot.com. it's a light summer bag but fairly light. Not what you would want in the winter but it would provide a good margin of safety and comfort down to maybe 40 with your normal clothing on.
Posted by: GarethDuncan

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/28/19 04:23 PM

Id prefer to build my own kit with quality items I choose and have already played with.
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/28/19 06:58 PM

Their kits are highly customizable.

https://www.vsslgear.com/products

They even sell empty tins, making their kits more personalized; still, I have not been able to make up my mind. Is this a good concept or not?

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: pforeman

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/28/19 07:16 PM

I will stick with the idea they are great for 'grab & go' storage of some key items and would be great for transportation and/or handing out to someone in need.

However, when deployed they become cumbersome and it will be difficult to manage the individual items - thus I still think a bag is better so you won't have to unpack half a tube to get to the element you need just because it is in the middle... with the bag all your gear is individually accessible and for me that's better.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 12/28/19 10:04 PM

Building a kit around a container is nothing new.

Just think using a billy can, mess tin or lunch box is more practical.

Think used to be a challenge on one of the bushcraft forums, to fit a kit inside a SIGG lunch box and then go spend a night out with it.
Posted by: EMPnotImplyNuclear

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 01/16/20 03:47 AM

Mock up? smile

Gather 6 same size empty tins/plastics
roll a carry tube out of cardboard (exact diameter match)
and try it out
...
making one or two is low $$$
whistle
Posted by: teacher

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 02/21/20 10:36 PM

Conclusion: I'd stick to better known commercial kits - SOL for instance.
Or build your own out of high quality parts. The real key is keeping it small enough so that you'll always carry it.
Posted by: Onedzguy

Re: Survival kit in a tube - 02/28/20 05:12 AM

Is there a Light Saber attachment? grin