Kit Endorsed by Doug?

Posted by: Anonymous

Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 09/13/03 11:56 AM

Someone posted this on the lightweight backpacking forum as a reply to a post about gearlists:
"I would imagine his emergency kit is similar to that advocated by Doug Ritter of Next spring there will be a nice $25 kit coming out endorsed by survival guru Doug that will be a must buy....for me anyway."
Is this true? I haven't heard any mention of it before.
Nice that Dougs being called a survival guru <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 09/15/03 01:43 PM

How about a kit endorsed by Burt (Gummer)! Might be a tad over $25 tho......
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Yes! - 09/15/03 11:23 PM

I must apologize for the delay responding, I have been out of pocket for the past few days.

Yes, such a kit exists and I am sorry you have not heard it first here. <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> I was planning to include some information in a Outdoor Retailer Summer Market review, which should have been published at least a week ago, but events have conspired to prevent me from finishing that in a timely manner. So, here's a preview:

From my perspective, the big news was Adventure Medical Kit's introduction of the “Pocket Survival Pak designed by Doug Ritter” in their Essentials series. Yes, that’s right, I’ve gone and done it. After over a decade of evaluating such personal pocket survival kits and years of frustration because there wasn’t an affordable pocket survival kit with quality contents that I could recommend, it seemed like the only solution was to take the next logical step; a huge step, really, and a bit frightening, to be honest.

The genesis of the AMK Pocket Survival Pak was a chance meeting at the 2001 Rotor & Wing Search and Rescue Conference where I met Frank Meyer, one of the co-founders of AMK, at their booth, the first and only time they exhibited at the conference. He professed that he had made considerable use of the ETS site in developing their original Essentials series survival kits. At some point I commented that while they were nice kits with good quality components, they were still too big and bulky to be considered a personal survival kit from my perspective. Well, one thing led to another and it wasn’t long before we were in earnest discussions about what such a kit would involve.

Designing and even producing a quality personal survival kit with no budget constraints is relatively easy. Doing so while keeping the retail price affordable is the trick. I had no interest in developing an expensive kit, others have done so quite ably, my only interest was in a kit most people could afford that would be worth betting one’s life on. If I was going to put my name on a survival kit, it had damn well better be able to save a life. That attitude also precluded a cheap kit; quality doesn’t come cheap. Affordable was the goal. So, this isn't the ultimate pocket survival kit, but I do think it represents the ultimate value in a kit of this size, a lot of bang for the buck, a lot of lifesaving capability for the buck.

I’d never been inclined to try this myself because I knew I was not cut out for manufacturing or selling it and I could never reach the critical mass to get the costs down (and let’s not even discuss the lack of capital). Assembly is always a choke point for something like this, let alone the issue of distribution and sales to gain that necessary volume. AMK had the reputation for quality, I have known their products as top rate for years, they have been assembling kits from components for years and they had the resources needed to bring such a kit to market. It seemed like a good fit. Eighteen months later, here we are. It has been quite an education for me in how costs of components and labor are translated into retail prices. It’s easy to see why nobody has been able to do this before, there’s not much budget to work with to maintain an affordable retail price.

Ultimately, the goal was a pocket size kit that was good enough to save lives, compact and light enough that it wouldn’t be a burden for anyone to carry under almost any circumstances and affordable enough that everyone in a group could carry their own. Personal means exactly that, and as I have often said, “if it isn’t with you, it can’t save you (tm).”

As with many new product introductions at trade shows, the kits shown were prototypes, final development is still ongoing with a January 2004 expected introduction date. However, the contents and configuration is not likely to vary too much from what was shown and these are the planned components. Again, this is not writ in stone, so don't take it as such.:

1 x Spark-Lite mil-spec waterproof firestarter, orange, one-handed use
(In the September 2003 issue of Backpacker, John Kemple’s review of fire starters rated the Spark-Lite as “Best Buy,” mirroring the high ratings I’ve always given it.)

4 x Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik mil-spec waterproof wax impregnated cotton tinder in zipper lock plastic bag

1 x USCG approved (SOLAS ) Whistle. ACR was shown, also being considered is the Acme Tornado or a new Fox-40 currently under development, orange or yellow with lanyard hole

1 x acrylic Signal Mirror with mil-spec style retro-reflective screen aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions (text and illustration) on back with lanyard hole, protective cover or sleeve to prevent scratches on the mirror’s face while stored in the kit.

(This has been the biggest challenge. The advantages of a retro-reflective aimer are significant and obvious and I would not compromise, but in the end AMK has had to develop their own signal mirror, with my input, because it’s the only way it would be affordable.)

20mm Button Compass, liquid damped, with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring

6 ft. of .020 inch Stainless Steel Utility Wire
(aircraft grade safety lock wire)

10 ft. of Braided Nylon Cord, 150 lb.+ test
(Twisted line is cheaper, but unravels when cut and isn’t as strong)

26 inches of 2-inch wide Duct Tape
(This is the same small roll included in the AMK GearAid “Go! Repair” kit)

50 ft. of #69 Black Nylon Thread / Fishing Line, 10.5 lb. test
(A compromise, one has to draw the line somewhere, and it does work. I’ve caught some nice fish out of the local lake using this line and the rest of the fishing gear in the kit.)

“Fishing Kit” with 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Snap Swivels and 2 x Removable Split Shot in a clear plastic vial with cap. Stored in a small plastic bag to prevent rattles.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle, also in the plastic tube

4 x Safety Pins, also in the plastic vial

(Again, I'd like to emphasize that we have taken extra precautions to ensure the stuff inside the plastic vial doesn't rattle)

3 sq. ft. Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
(much better than standard lightweight foil, sturdy enough that with care can be used to form a container to boil water, and, yes, I've done it a few times)

Miniature #2 Pencil

2 x Waterproof Notepaper, 2.125 x 3.667 inches

#24 Scalpel Blade, in sealed foil packaging

Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions, authored by me, on waterproof paper

Contents list, annotated with suggestions or instructions for use, authored by me

Fresnel Lens Magnifier - 2 x 3 inches, in protective sleeve
(for reading relatively small print of Survival Instructions, particularly if eye glasses or contacts are lost, and as a back-up fire starter)

Pocket-Size Clear Vinyl Pouch w/ resealable waterproof zip closure, 4 x 5 inches, lanyard hole for added security or alternative carry.
(This is the same pouch AMK has used for years for their Pocket Medic and Blister Medic kits, among others, well proven in the field.)

Included in the packaging with the kit will be a pamphlet that includes a list of recommended personal gear to complement or supplement the kit contents plus related safety and survival information authored by me

Total weight of the prototype with all this high quality gear is still just 3.7 ounces and it is only 21/32 inch thick at its thickest, thinner than my wallet. The pouch is sturdy and will stand up to a good deal of abuse, but the entire kit is somewhat flexible (bearing in mind the rigid mirror that serves to anchor the kit), adding to the comfort quotient and ease of carriage in almost any pocket. The top can be folded over to reduce the width to a mere 3.5 inches.

The clear pouch is a compromise between the toughness of metal or plastic hard container and the deficits they bring in comfort, bulk and cost. While it isn’t as durable as a metal or hard plastic container, the clear pouch allows the quality of the contents to be seen, there’s nothing hidden, and to also check on their condition to ensure they are all still there and in good condition. Since it can be opened and resealed (with one hand, by the way), a purchaser can practice with the firestarter and the signal mirror and there is enough room to add personal medications or some matches or a small lighter, water purification tablets, etc., to name a few possibilities.

We decided not to include matches since it raises shipping issues and they are easy enough for anyone to add if desired. There are no life-limited items in this kit, nothing to expire. The only item at all subject to potential deterioration is the duct tape, and it is pretty robust as tapes go. No problems have been reported in the years it has been included in the GearAid kits.

For a goofy photo of me and the PSP at the introduction and of the latest version of the prototype kits, check this out. Again, this is just a prototype and there have already been some detail changes made and there will no doubt be more before it goes into production and the packaged kit especially may not look like this, be laid out in the pouch liek this, when all is said and done:

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Equipped To Survive Foundation. AMK is aiming to have the kits in retail outlets in January of 2004. Please don't hold me, or them, to that, stuff happens. Reception to the kit at the show seemed positive, but AMK still needs to get orders so we won't know for sure for a couple months. That's the second step. The third step required for success is for consumers to buy them. Only time will tell if the consumer appreciates the incredible value the kit represents with the quality of the components, which I do firmly believe it does, and if they have the good sense to buy one for themselves and their loved ones.

The current MSRP is 27.50 which should mean at least some discount sources will be selling it for around $25 +/-. My primary goal right now is to get this kit into production, which is absorbing a lot of my time these days. An unbelievable amount, actually.

I will keep the forum informed as things progress.

Thanks for the interest,
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 01:50 AM

Looks good so far, I know it isn't finished but I have to ask why no of our beloved 550 Paracord?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 05:30 AM

Bulk and cost.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 06:49 AM

Doug, can i ask how much we are looking at price wise and will they be available internationally?


Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 12:44 PM


As noted, the MSRP is $27.50 with an expected discounted street price of about $25 +/-. I have no idea what that will translate into for international markets. The wholesale cost is the same no matter what. I don't know that AMK sells much offshore except to Canada. I will ask.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 12:55 PM


This looks great. I did some quick math and the MSRP sounds like a good deal.

My only request is that the compasses they use work properly. My experience with the type pictured is that they tend to stick or bind on the center post.

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 01:24 PM


I've made every attempt to ensure that all the products work properly and are appropriate for inclusion. Nothing in the kit is rated less than "adequate" by me and of course much is top rated. The compass is the best that they could find for the price and has been tested extensively by me. It seems to be serviceable for the purposes provided, general direction finding and maintaining a straight course in the woods, and in tests did not develop a bubble after repeatedly being subjected to higher altitudes and back down (one advantage of being a pilot. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />). The only potentially better compasses we looked at would have more than doubled the price of the kit! We will continue to keep an eye out for better components that can meet the tight budget, but that's the sort of practical compromise one must make to keep the kit affordable.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 02:17 PM

Cheers Doug-you always come up trumps!

Best of luck with sales!

Posted by: garrett

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 02:26 PM

Thats a hell of a deal for 27.50. I built my first PSK for well over 40$. I wish this had come out sooner.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 02:59 PM

Good enough for me.

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 09/16/03 03:28 PM


Well, the good news it that next time someone asks about your kit and the not uncommon, "where can I buy one?" or "will you make one for me?" questions, you can point them towards an affordable kit that you have confidence in.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Foreign Queries About PSP - 09/16/03 03:43 PM

Anyone interested in international purchase of the Pocket Survival Pak should contact Adventure Medical Kits at:
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Foreign Queries About PSP - 09/16/03 04:56 PM

Any chance they will sell any "prototypes" in the near future?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Foreign Queries About PSP - 09/16/03 04:57 PM

Posted by: boatman

Re: compasses - 09/16/03 05:14 PM

You mentioned trying other compasses.What types and/or brands did you test.I am looking for a good small compass.Currently I am using a Marble's brand with white face(exelent quality by the way).Could you possibly do a review of small to button sized compasses.When you have time in your busy schedule of course.For me cost is not a factor but quality is.I thank you in advance!!!
Posted by: gear_freak

Re: Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 09/16/03 07:35 PM

I've been using AMK stuff for years backpacking and biking, and can attest to the quality of the clear zip pak they use. I have a Pocket Medic Kit that has ridden in a backpack, pocket, suitcase, or bike seat bag for years without a tear or puncture. The zip seal is really heavy-duty. I just change out the perishables and away we go. I believe I even sat on it once and didn't pop the seal.

I think this kit will be a great value.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 09/16/03 09:08 PM

Thanks for your vote of confidence and your feedback about the pouch.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: compasses - 09/17/03 04:36 AM

All the affordable ones have deficiencies of one sort or another, IMO. The Marbles are too big for a pocket kit, but have been good quality in the past. No idea about the new liquid damped versions. I'll put it on the list, but don't hold your breath. <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: boatman

Re: compasses - 09/17/03 12:54 PM

I agree and that is the reason for my question.I keep having troubled with air bubbles and such.I have seen one that came in a Spanish made survival knife.It is over 20 years old and still no problems.My brother owns this and I can attest that it is carried almost daily.I wish I could find one just like it(compass and knife both).The knife is called a Brewer survival knife.An Amazon explorer named Marto Brewer designed it.This is all I know on it.Maybe I should have started a new thread but any info would be appreciated.TIA
Posted by: hthomp

Re: compasses (Sorry we're getting off topic) - 09/17/03 04:00 PM

Is that the knife that was mfg by "Explorer" or "Edge Mark" (I believe) in the 80's? If I remember correctly, the blade had a small hole in it that could be used with a protruding stud on the scabbard to make some sort of wire cutters. Plus, I believe that the scabbard had "arms" that you could attach to it to fashion a slingshot. I may be *WAY* off base here, but the name rang familiar to me. A couple of other things that I seem to remember about it was that the contents of the handle were in a small plastic container that fit into the hollow of the handle, there was a protractor etched onto the blade, and I believe that some of the knives even had a removeable "knuckle guard" which attached over the handle. If I missed the description by a mile, I apologize. Just had a flashback to a piece of gear that I once had lusted over in my youth...heh heh.
Posted by: boatman

Re: compasses (Sorry we're getting off topic) - 09/17/03 04:42 PM

Bingo!!!! That is the one
Posted by: Anonymous

Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/17/03 08:23 PM

That is an Aitor ( Spain ) not a Brewer. Had and still has sling-shot. But the Brewer was made/marketed as the Explorer. The Brewer/Explorer was known for the hole that combined with scabard to become a wire cutter.
Posted by: Neanderthal

Re: compasses - 09/17/03 08:23 PM

Although too large for a kit (~ 1" diameter), TruNord sells a fine non liquid filled compass. Brass case and is compensated for eastern, central or western areas of the USA. $15.00 plus S&H.
Posted by: boatman

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/18/03 12:18 PM

Thank you Paul,But I need to know who made it and where can I get one...
Posted by: Craig

Re: Yes! -- Some feedback - 09/18/03 03:44 PM

Here is an idea you can chew on for awhile.

I thought, why not have a Signature or Limited Edition version of your new kit, where the Equipped to Survive logo is accompanied by, well, your signature?

You may well laugh at such at thing, but I for one would pay extra for the ETS logo and more for a repro of your signature.

I think it would be cool. Okay, so I'm a geek, but I still think it would be cool.

You may not be aware of this, but you (and Chris) have a fan club on the web. You two are gurus. When a topic is being debated, someone will ask what does Doug or Chris think, if either of you has not already weighed in on the matter.

Just my two cents.
Posted by: mick

Re: Yes! JUST A QUESTION MATE - 09/18/03 04:07 PM

the kit seems really reasonable and well thought out and well priced.
What about water purification/carrying. or are you going to leave that to the consumer to add?
Don't mean to be negative but, just wondered?
Still great to see you doing this
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/18/03 04:16 PM

To the best of my knowledge:

The hollow handle knife has a 6.5" blade w/ saw back and a knuckleguard (guard wrapping from pommel to hilt) with a hole in the center-tip. It came with a shealth with a protruding knob that when the blade was inserted on top of became a wire-cutter and the sheath also held a whetstone and signal mirror. The hollow came with ( and i just checked it this morning) very fast liquid-filled button compass ( no bubbles )and a survival kit contained in a tube-capsule.

Made by: Marto in Spain
Imported/Distributed by Gutmann
Called the Explorer ( aka Brewer )
Designed by a South American Explorer/Naturalist named Brewer.

Unfortunately unavailable

but just for you - currently available on ebay

and no I'm not the seller.
Posted by: boatman

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/18/03 04:25 PM

<img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />Tanx alot Paul.You dont know on how long I've been trying to find tha info.Do you happen to own one your self?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! -- Some feedback - 09/18/03 04:26 PM


I will pass along your suggestion to AMK for consideration. Thanks for your kind words.
Posted by: Anonymous

Also ... the Aitor Jungle Kings - 09/18/03 04:32 PM

Still Available

note: tourniquet and ctault fork on sheath are acutally a slingshot device. I think these things can shoot arrow-darts ??
Posted by: Hutch66

Re: Yes! - 09/18/03 04:38 PM

Awesome!! One question and one comment.

Question: How does the mirror compare to a starflash (or any other plastic mil-spec mirror, the starflash is just the one I am familiar with)

Comment: I'd like to second Craig's recomendation for an ETS edition. That would be great.


Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! JUST A QUESTION MATE - 09/18/03 04:38 PM


It was a decision the revolved around cost. I had hoped for a $20 kit (silly me!) and the $25 we ended up with (both street prices) was still a fight to meet. In addition to the the expense of the water treatment, and my current choice (Katadyn MP1) is not cheap, there would also be the need for a container to be included and I have some specific ideas on what I want for that component, it also isn't cheap to have done as I'd like. The HD aluminum foil provides a means to boil water and that, combined with the good odds in the survivor's favor in most cases, will have to do. As you note, that is the sort of thing that a purchaser can add and the package insert makes specific suggestions as to that. If this kit is a commercial success, the possibility exists for an "advanced" kit follow-on that covers water treatment and some other upgrades and additions, though obviously at a much higher price point.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/18/03 04:45 PM

Yes i do. When I graduated Navy AOCS school the first thing we bought were a fancy expensive car and an expensive exotic survival knife.

I have an Explorer with a built-in flaregun launcher on the sheath. Also, there was/is an attachement that you can bolt thru the wire-cutter hole in the blade to turn it in to a harpoon. But this harpoon is large and would work on shark or whales not average game fish. Kinda like hunting rabbit with a bazooka. The iodine tablets have their own little compartment on the bottom of the capsule ... the top cap is a magnifing lens. The needle & thread sutures were replaced by butterfly bandaids.

In looking i have only seen one other offered on ebay. Don't remeber outhers in any blade auctions. I think it safe to say it is a collectible.

I paid 80.00 marked down from 160.00 in 1986. Have carried it around the world with me and caught and ate a monkey with it.

And note, at the time, a survival knife book, stated this was the only hollow handle knife that actually worked. He hammered i into a tree and stood on it for several hours or use it to climb the tree as a foothold. Didn't impact the knife or bend it. It is sturdy and not light. And way cool !!
Posted by: boatman

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 09/18/03 04:51 PM

I know my brother has one.He and I were also in the Navy.I am still doing reserves and am looking for a realy good survival knife.Check out my bio.And tanx for the PM
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 09/18/03 04:55 PM

How does the mirror compare to a starflash (or any other plastic mil-spec mirror, the starflash is just the one I am familiar with)

I cannot say at this point, per se, because we have not yet seen full production conforming prototypes. Compared to the StarFlash, I think it will be as easy or easier to aim since I find a grid easier to use than the edge of the "star." YMMV It will have more surface area since it has no "rim" as the StarFlash has, so it will have a proportionally larger reflective area, always a plus. Overall reflective performance will be comparable, I think, to the StarFlash, perhaps better since the latest StarFlashes don't seem to be as effective as earlier production units. It will certainly be capable of generating an effective signal out 10-20 miles under ideal conditions. It may or may not float, that depends on a lot of factors having to do with the final material selection that have not yet been finalized. The StarFlash floats because it is hollow inside, the polycarbonate is heavier than water. Some acrylics are lighter. Best answer I can provide at this time.
Posted by: Hutch66

Thanks (nt) - 09/22/03 12:45 AM

Posted by: billvann

Re: Yes! - 10/14/03 04:58 PM

Perhaps purchasers could braid a para-cord lanyard.
Posted by: jshannon

Re: Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 12/17/03 08:57 PM

That was me that posted that on the lightweight backpacker forum...haha. It's been awhile since I visited. Regarding the mirror in the kit, I wonder how the ChromeFx Sheeting (metal bonded to lexan) would compare to the acrylic mirror in the kit. I just posted that today in another thread. Doug needs to check it out. It is a pliable material though, so that might make it less useful.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Kit Endorsed by Doug? - 12/18/03 08:46 PM

Thanks for your suggestion, Flexibility is not a good thing for signal mirror, rigid and flat is what is desirable. See my other pots in this thread.
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

UPDATE from Doug - 12/18/03 09:02 PM

Thought it would be worthwhile to update what's happening with the Personal Survival Pak.

I happen to be sitting in an office at AMK having just finished a meeting reviewing production details for the new kit. Some excellent developments over the past month or two.

1. The PSP will include a Fox 40 whistle made especially for us. The latest Fox 40 prototype is extraordinary. Triple frequency, very nearly as loud as the full-size Fox 40 Classic, but compact and louder than any other slim whistle out there. Superb ergonomics. Dual-carry lanyard hole, so lays flat. They are now starting on production tooling.

2. The latest prototype signal mirror is performing well beyond the minimum standard I set, and beyond my expectations. In ground to air tests recently it was visible at 23 miles under far less than ideal conditions. It is just a hair over 1/8 inch thick, double layer polycarbonate (that's generic Lexan) with a retro-reflective mesh aimer (like on the old fashioned glass mil-spec mirrors or as used by Rescue Reflectors in their high end mirrors) that provides a sharply defined aiming spot. Instructions are protected under the backing layer, so cannot be easily damaged. Includes instructions for signaling with two hands at high angles or for using other reflective materials as additional improvised mirrors.

The bad news, is that the availability date has been pushed back a month and they expect the first kits to be available at retail in early February.
Posted by: jet

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 12/19/03 01:56 AM

The bad news, is that the availability date has been pushed back a month and they expect the first kits to be available at retail in early February.
That's the bad news? I think that's great news! The press release said January, so we were already missing out on Christmas. Given that, the difference between January & February is nothing. I'm looking forward to getting a couple for me and a few more for family & friends.
Thanks for all you do Doug!
Posted by: Greg_Sackett

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 12/19/03 02:39 PM


Will the new Fox 40 whistle be available separately at some point? Or will they only be available in the kit? Just curious...

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 12/19/03 03:32 PM

It is anticipated that the whistle will be available separately.

Posted by: billvann

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 12/19/03 06:19 PM

Just yesterday I was browsing their site and ETS for any news and here it is! Thanks. Feb. is just in time for the consumer camping season. I didn't notice any trade shows listed on their site. Do you know if they are planing on displaying the kit at any shows open to consumers?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 12/19/03 10:34 PM

The AMK site is pretty bad. Far as I know, they only do trade shows, no consumer shows. They will be at both Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and SHOT Show.
Posted by: Anonymous

Micro-Compass ? - 12/23/03 02:48 PM

Did they find a good micro compass ???
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Micro-Compass ? - 12/23/03 03:10 PM

Yes. We have a 20 mm wet compass that responds quickly and the test units did not develop a bubble during our tests. There is a groove in the compass that can be used to attach an improvised wire ring or string tether.
Posted by: WOFT

Re: Micro-Compass ? - 12/23/03 08:56 PM


This point may have already been brought up. Any ideas for an "ETS" limited edition kit - you pay a bit extra (which of course gos directly to the ETS Foundation) and you get the ETS logo on the kit? just a thought...
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Micro-Compass ? - 12/23/03 09:05 PM

Not at this time. Will add it to the "possibilties" list, but suspect that the cost would be absurd for such a short run.
Posted by: Greg

Re: compasses - 12/28/03 09:11 AM

Bit of movie trivia: Clint Eastwood carried a Brewer in "Heartbreak Ridge".

made by Marto of Toledo, Spain, they were imported by
Gutmann Cutlery and originally sold for $150 retail
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: UPDATE from Doug - 01/19/04 08:40 AM

I'd like to suggest the new Fox 40 be made out of glow-in-the-dark plastic so it is easier to see at night.
Posted by: 03lab

ETA? - 01/30/04 04:47 PM


is early February still the official release schedule? I was going to order some stuff from a US retailer and might hold off until Doug's kit is available to save on shipping (to Germany).

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: ETA? - 01/30/04 05:00 PM

I will be surprised if it ships before mid-February <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> as there have apparently been some production issues with the whistle that are delaying things. I will have a better answer Monday after I meet with Adventure Medical Kits at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market this weekend. Much of this is out of my hands. Not thrilled, but stuff happens and I'm not willing to compromise on critical issues. <shrug>
Posted by: 03lab

Re: ETA? - 01/30/04 08:02 PM

Thanks for the update Doug.

I don't mind the delay at all, it just shows your concern for quality. I would even be willing to wait another few months or pay a bit extra, if that makes it a better product. Although I hope I will never have to use the kit, it is reassuring to know that I can rely on it when I have to.

Great site by the way, thank you for letting us all benefit from your comprehensive knowledge! <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: NealO

Re: ETA? - 01/31/04 07:51 PM

I have actually had my hands on the kit (w/prototype whistle). All present agreed it was nice, and will be worth the wait & weight. Of course, it was a biased group <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: sotto

Re: ETA? - 02/04/04 06:15 PM


If I could just inquire about why the snap swivels in the fishing kit: convenience, necessity, or ?? If you can tie on a snap swivel, you can tie on a hook. If I understand cord strength ratings, a knot is a weak spot, or at least a potential spot for failure. Using a snap swivel means there is a knot, plus the snap swivel could fail. Why not forget the snap swivels and include two more hooks, or two flies, or something else more useful?

Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: ETA? - 02/04/04 09:56 PM

We debated this at length and you have covered most of the points, except the pros of the snap swivel. One knot or three, it results in the same reduction is strength, that is not cumulative, assuming all the knots are tied correctly as shown in the instructions. The palomar is an easy knot to tie. Those more experienced than me at this believe the swivel makes for much more effective attraction of the fish when using improvised lures, especially, as well as bait. In the end, that and marketing won out as preferring having at least one snap swivel.
Posted by: Stokie

Re: ETA? - 02/05/04 02:07 PM

As a newbie to the site I'm abit lost with some of the threads, my problem. I'm keen to know more of the PSP and to know whether it will be availble in Europe, shipping cost being what they are from the US.

One quote $27 for Arc-AAA + $115 UPS.
Posted by: Polak187

Re: ETA? - 02/05/04 02:37 PM

Many US companies don't want to deal with overseas customers thru regular postal service due to inability to track shipments and lengthy reimburstments/insurance cases. Usually it's not even the USPS but service in the other country. So sellers would go for Fedex or UPS which tracks and doesn;t deal with other gov't agencies. But that will also cost you as you mentioned in your case $100 something.

Find a place that can ship thru the United States postal service insured. If merchant is not willing to do it for you, do it thru Ebay. Sellers on ebay (especially one who want to build they feedback) will go out of their way to help ya. I shipped 15 lbs packages to Taiwan for $40 insured.

Posted by: joblot

Re: ETA? - 02/05/04 02:44 PM

You can buy Arc lights from the Uk, along with very reasonable priced knives/tools from

I'm sure the cost of shipping from the UK to France (within the EU) would be cheaper. I realise of couse that doesn't help with Dougs kit...
Anyway, hope that helps
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: ETA? - 02/05/04 03:51 PM

Adventure Medical Kits does not currently distribute to Europe, as far as I know. I am sure some of the retailers who will be selling the PSP will be willing to ship it overseas. The cost you were quoted is absurd. As an example, click here for shipping costs for a 1 lb. package via U.S. Mail to the UK. While a retailer will have to add enough to cover special handling and extra paperwork, and that may still be more total than makes it reasonable, the shipping cost certainly shouldn't exceed the cost of the PSP, provided you are willing to wait a few days or weeks to receive it. I cannot say what customs charges would be, of course.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: ETA? - 02/05/04 05:22 PM

This is what the company told me in december:

The kit will not be available until the end of January. We are not set up to sell direct but when it is available you can purchase it through Coastline Adventures. 800-413-2050 or

Sherrie Buck
Customer Service Representative
Adventure Medical Kits
PO Box 43309
Oakland, CA 94624
Fax: 510-261-7419

The release date has obviously changed since then....

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Yes! - 02/06/04 09:21 PM

Doug with the heavy duty sewing needle, have you ever considered using a curved one?
Its a lot more versatile than a straight needle. Especially when it comes to repairing heavy clothing or soft equipment.
The needle also doubles as an emergency fishing hook.
Keeps in line with the first priority of survival; Protection!
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 02/06/04 09:53 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. More versatile in some respects, but not in others, IMHO. Lot harder to use if you have to force it though very heavy material, especially with knit gloves on or weak hands due to cold or injury or finesse it through some fine material or use it to pick out a splinter, etc. They make some jobs easier, others more difficult. For the relatively simple things you would typically use one for to make expedient repairs, straight is likely easier for most people. In fact, I dare say most would look at a curved needle and be baffled. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I don't think they really make a viable fish hook and we include four of those in any case. They also cost quite a bit more. I think the straight needle is the best compromise, and everything in a kit this small is a compromise to one degree or another.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not a Brewer ... an Aitor - 02/09/04 01:34 AM

Hello Paul.

My name is Andy, I am very interested in survival knives. I collect them and read as much as I can. I hope to some day write a reference book on them. I read your info about the Brewer you carry. Is there anyway you could email me a picture of the built in flare launcher? I am interested in any other survival knife info you would like to share. Thank you

Posted by: Stokie

Re: ETA? - 02/10/04 12:27 PM

I contacted Outdoors Suppliers UK and they are looking into selling Adventure kit as soon as they get the go ahead for Adventure Medical Supplies. They have told me that the cost to the UK and EU wouldn't be much more than the US price. The gentlemen at Outdoor Suppliers have promised to let me know as soon as the kit becomes available.
Posted by: Luca

Re: European availability of kit? - 02/11/04 10:35 PM

You've done very well Stokie,

Please let us know at ETS when they become available through a European distributor.

Anyway a word of advice about importing US-goods into EU-member states: Try not to avoid it!!! Any shipment coming from a US-dealer will be submitted to import duties of 3-5% and the to VAT not just for the value of the goods but VAT will be charged on goods + import duties + shipping cost!!

In other words buy American: yes!! But do it through a EU-dealer.

I've learned the hard way and paid 30%plus charges on some goods <img src="images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

Eagerly awaiting Doug's kit

Posted by: joblot

Re: ETA? - 02/11/04 10:47 PM

I'm glad I helped. I have only purchased one item from outdoor supplies, and I found them (a husband and wife based firm I think) very helpful, true to their word, and by far the cheapest on the net, or elsewhere, outside the far!
Posted by: billvann

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 06:32 PM

Doug, is there a revised list of the final production contents?
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 06:46 PM

Adventure Medical Kits Pocket Survival Pak (tm) by Doug Ritter Contents List

Posted by: billvann

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 06:55 PM

Posted by: 03lab

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 09:37 PM

********** [deleted]
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 10:37 PM

It isn't polite to go digging around a web site's directories without being invited. <img src="images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
Glad you enjoyed the preview, come back sometime when it's open to the public.
Posted by: 03lab

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 11:03 PM

I'M SORRY, I didn't know it was not open to public yet and I wasn't digging around for anything (just the way I navigate). <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Sorry again!
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 03/03/04 11:10 PM

OK, apology accepted. Note that the PDFs you viewed are not the final version.
Posted by: TheOGRE

Re: Yes! - 03/12/04 09:53 AM

Just a question for our intrepid survival kit consultant <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />...

I've been to the Adventure Medical Kits website... do they have it up on the website yet??? If so, which one is it???

It looks like it could be the Essentials Leader RT, but it's missing some stuff.

Tell them to get crackin'...

If we aren't supposed to eat animals,
why are they made out of meat???
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Yes! - 03/12/04 11:35 AM

AMK's Web site does not currently have any information on the Pocket Survival Pak(tm). I wouldn't expect them to until they start shipping kits and I've come to accept the fact that will be when it will be. Everyone wants to ship ASAP, but AMK also appears committed to making sure it's as right as possible before doing so. That's fine by me. Once it starts shipping there will be lots of information available.There is already a good deal of information and photos on the forum.
Posted by: Anonymous

UPDATE - 3/23/04 - Kit Endorsed by Doug - 03/23/04 06:28 PM

AeroMEDIX is advertising the Pocket Survival Pak for $27.95, "expected for release in late March."

They have a good write-up and pictures also.

Pocket Survival Pak
Posted by: Anonymous

UPDATE - 3/31/04 - Kit Endorsed by Doug - 03/31/04 09:50 AM

Chinook Medical Gear, Inc. is advertising the Pocket Survival Pak for $26.95.

It says nothing about a "release date" so it may be available now.

Chinook Medical
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: UPDATE - 3/31/04 - Kit Endorsed by Doug - 04/02/04 08:05 AM

New info from the Chinook Medical Gear website:

... "first availability week of April 19th."
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: UPDATE - 3/23/04 - Kit Endorsed by Doug - 04/02/04 08:11 AM

Updated info from the AeroMEDIX website:

... "expected for release in mid-April."