>>I believe the most important purpose of the PSK is as an aid to focus your mind on survival situations. It achieves its optimal utility at the moment you assemble it and thereafter serves a primarily symbolic function.<<

My first reaction is that a rabbit's foot could probably do as well in that role, and be a heckuva lot easier to carry.

It is certainly true that the sort of person that pays attention to survival kits rarely needs them, and the sort of person to whom it would never occur needs one most often... but I'm not sure that it follows that the function is therefore "primarily symbolic".

Not that a symbol is necessarily a bad idea. Maybe people who carry PSKs should wear a mutually-recognizable symbol, like a building wearing a civil-defense sign? <img src="images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />