Friday, February 10, 2012

Survival kit Review: Pocket Survival Pak

We are going to start off doing some survival kit reviews with the Adventure Medical kits Pocket Survival Pak. Doug Ritter founder of Equipped to Survive organization actually designed this kit. Doug's has inspired a few other survival items and can be found on his website. Coming in just at 4oz. this is definitely a pocket kit. Doug intended this so that you can carry it at all times. For the most part there are quality components in this kit. I'll go through contents and give my opinions and recommendations.

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
  1. Great kit for $30. I wouldn't say its a stand alone survival kit, but with some mods will be sufficient. 
  2. Get a new mirror, maybe ESEE knives signaling mirror. 
  3. Add matches or small BIC lighter, need more than a spark lite(and 4 tinder tabs), fresnal lens(perfect weather)
  4. Buy Hardcase Survival Multi-tool (its small enough to fit into pouch), carry a multi-tool or knife when you carry this kit
  5. Add water purification tablets. Doug suggest this on the instructions
  6. Maybe place kit in an otterbox instead of pouch
  7. Remove duct tape and wrap around Vinyl pouch to add room to the inside of the pouch
  8. 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.

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