Spark-Lite Fire starter - excellent, waterproof an one hand use. Spark lites are very hard to use on natural tinder. 4 tinder tabs is not enough
Fox-40 Rescue Howler- loud for its size
Rescue Flash Signal Mirror - Mirror was cheap and split into two pieces on me.
20mm Survival Compass - normal compass that you get with most small kits, it does have a notch to tie a lanyard as I like
Duct Tape - 26 inches worth. Duct tape can be used for a variety of things, shelter building
Stainless Steel Utility Wire - very strong wire
Braided Nylon Cord - won't unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more, good cordage
Black Nylon Thread - Says to be used for repairs and fishing line, would not use this a fishing line. Basically just heavy duty thread
Heavy Duty Sewing Needle - good quality
4 Safety Pins - repairs, good quality but I feel 4 is overkill
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil - cook, you could attempt to boil water with it, better than nothing I guess
Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper - good quality
Scalpel Blade - stainless steel and excellent idea and quality, although need a primary blade
Fresnel Lens Magnifier - great quality, start fire using sun
Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch - Yes its a good quality pouch, but everything could be crushed easily.
Supplemental Survival Instructions - Excellent well thought out survival instructions.
Hits, Misses, and Recommendations
- Great kit for $30. I wouldn't say its a stand alone survival kit, but with some mods will be sufficient.
- Get a new mirror, maybe ESEE knives signaling mirror.
- Add matches or small BIC lighter, need more than a spark lite(and 4 tinder tabs), fresnal lens(perfect weather)
- Buy Hardcase Survival Multi-tool (its small enough to fit into pouch), carry a multi-tool or knife when you carry this kit
- Add water purification tablets. Doug suggest this on the instructions
- Maybe place kit in an otterbox instead of pouch
- Remove duct tape and wrap around Vinyl pouch to add room to the inside of the pouch
- Add a photon light
Doug also developed the PSP+ to address some of the issues I've stated. But at $80 I feel upgrading this kit yourself would be a cheaper alternative. Overall this is a good kit and will get you through most situations. Although, I don't believe this is a great wilderness survival kit on its own. If your building your own kit, this is a decent buy to use as a starting point.