Thursday, 22 August 2013

Survival Tins

Survival tins

          Almost every camping store offers some sort of survival tin and what you get in them differs between stores and also on how much you pay, there is of course the option of making your own and the beauty of doing this is you can put exactly what you like in them.
          At it most basic, survival equipment consists of nothing more than a good knife.
RUI knife and Fallkniven S1 

or more appropriately a Machete, which are legal in the UK providing you have a reason to have one (I think running a Mobile Bushcraft Business counts)

and to make life easier an axe or folding saw. 
I had the cover specially made

these of course don`t fit into a survival tin but you shouldn`t really be without them anyway.

          For this weeks blog I have been out and bought 2 different survival tins one from an independent army surplus store in Sudbury (where I buy alot of my bushcraft equipment) and one from Mountain Warehouse to see whats similar and what differs and also what I would include in a tin I would make myself.

          To start with the cases of the tins are completely different in terms of style, shape and material, the Mil-tec case is made from impact resistant plastic which seals tightly to provide extra water resistancy, there are four plastic tabs to seal the unit and rounded corners to avoid snagging, it also says on the packaging that an iPhone will fit inside, not having an iPhone I can`t test this.
          The Mountain Warehouse survival tin is made from aluminium and has 2 locks at the side to hold the lid in place, these provide quite a lot of pressure and this combined with the rubber seal (which unfortunately keeps falling out in my example) provides a fair amount of resistance to water ingress, sharp corners and an overhang from the lid could potentially snag on clothing and other equipment but I can`t see this being too much of a problem.
          Naturally because of the different sizes each tin contains different things, i`ll go through each individually and voice my opinion on each piece, I`ll start with the Mil-tec

          The button compass which is always useful in helping to find north, Providing you don`t need to do any in depth navigation, I would include this in a survival tin but not as priority piece of kit as there are other methods of finding North that don`t require a compass. (sunset and sunrise, analogue watch etc) 

          Mini Fire striker, this particular fire striker would not be included in a survival kit when compared to the other striker in this blog as its use would be limited due to its small size (6cm) but it does not come with anything to strike with so a knife would be required to create sparks.

          Small candle, I would include this in a survival kit as an easier although not foolproof method of creating a fire and I would probably trim the edges to make it fit into a smaller area.

          small mirror, (shown upside down to prevent glare) this would definitely go into a survival tin that I created as this would be a way of communicating across distances, there are of course limitations, cloud cover and jungle/ rain forests would prevent the use of this.
          wire saw, I would probably think twice before adding this to a survival tin, it has a practical use and is safer than an axe but there is a limit as to what this can do and the way it can be used,

          Fishing hook and line, depending on where you are will depend on how useful these are as there are alternatives, if for example if you have paracord (essential on any expedition) you can pull one of the nylon threads out for line and certain thorns can and have been used by various tribes for hundreds of years as fishing hooks but being small and light they probably would go into a kit I made.

          needle and thread, again I would probably just take a needle as the nylon threads from paracord are stonger and more durable than the cotton supplied (and if your thinking you really don`t want your clothes to clash, why? you`ve got more important things to think about!)

           Snare wire, perhaps controversially, given what I teach, I don`t condone snaring, being brought up in an area active in all sorts of country pursuits I have seen what happens when snaring goes wrong, (skip ahead to* if your squeamish) from pet cats and dogs being caught, to suffocating rabbits and rabbits where skin and fur has been stripped and the rabbit still alive, *however if I was in a situation where I needed to I would set up a snare so I would put this in.

           whistle, this would go in however I would try to find a smaller one. the international signal for distress is 6 blasts every minute on a whistle and the response is 3 blasts or flashes from a torch every minute.

          cotton wool, this would go in but I would use it sparingly and as a last resort if I couldn`t find any birch bark or similar to use.

          match book, I would put these in but only half the amount as I would have a fire striker with me as well, I would also waterproof these by dipping the heads in candle wax before leaving.

          Razor blade, if I had a knife on me then probably not

          Not really sure who would benefit from an accident report form if your the only person...

          Basic survival guide, as an aide memoir this would probably go in.
          And so onto the Mountain Warehouse survival tin, many things are replicated as above so no explanation will be given.

button compass

small penknife, this could be used instead of a main knife for things like creating a spark with the fire striker and the scissors are useful for cutting bandages.

whistle/ emergency medical information capsule, this is the right size for a whistle but theres a problem with it...its metal not good in a cold environment.

 Fire striker, this would be the better choice between the two fire strikers as it comes with a steel to create sparks meaning you don`t have to rely on your knife and is the same size as the other striker.

mirror, this is glued to the inside of the lid I wouldn`t have much of a choice but to take this if I used the Mountain Warehouse tin  

wire saw

  safety pins for clothing or bandages, or body piercings if you really want although again why? these probably would find there way into my survival tin.

bandage roll, this would go into a tin but probably not as much as you see here.

snare wire

plasters / band aid, one or two may find there way in but not as many as you see here.

cotton wool

          salt, mmmm now to find some chips (fries) obviously not for chips but for drying out and closing wounds, hurts like f**k, personal experience speaking there! no need to use on leeches either as this may cause more harm than good. this probably wouldn`t go into my kit.

          survival tins can be made as personal as you need, I knew a person who`s kit consisted of a penkife and a fire striker wrapped in duct tape and he had an explanation as to how to use just these items. As I always say personal preference is key to the equipment you buy.

as a final picture I`ve had the tin customized with the company logo and name

Follow the link below to go to the Lone Wolf Mobile Bushcraft website.

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