A few days ago I was walking through the city on my lunch break, intending to go to the sewing store to purchase some basic sewing supplies to have in my bag… you know, for a clothing emergency or something like that. On the way I was walking past All Goods. Over the last few days I have been contemplating the materials I will place in my new “Get Home Bag”. I decided that as I was outside the store, I would go in and see what backpacks All Goods had for sale. Walking down to the back of the store, where they store all their hunting and survival items, I began examining their wares when I spotted an item called a Combat Survival Kit. It was around $20 and was a small black case with the words “Bush Tracks” on the front. On examination the back of the package listed the contents of the kit as:
- Firestarter Firesteel
- Combat Wire Saw
- Sewing Kit
- Fishing Kit
- Emergency Whistle
- Signalling Mirror
- Safety Pins
- Snare Wire
- Cotton Wool
- Accident Report Form
- Survival Instruction
Quite an exhaustive list!
As I needed to buy items for a sewing kit and the case looked kinda cool, I decided to purchase this item. Once home I decided to look up the creator of this product, a company called ACOM… they have it listed a little differently on their website.
On opening the product I could see that it contained a few useful items.
- The snare wire is around 1.8 meters in length. I don’t have any experience with making snares so I do not know if this is a sufficient amount. I have read some books on using snares, so I would expect that it may be enough to make a few small traps for rabbits or other small animals.
- The fishing kit contains around 1.2 metres of fishing line (I find it hard to believe this would be enough), 4 small weights and 4 small hooks. I don’t know if it is really worth including this in the kit.
- The survival whistle is a bright orange plastic so it may be hard to lose and light weight (with sections cut to reduce the weight further) It produces a very loud call and I believe it is an important item to be included.
- A small packet of matches has been included with the very helpful word “Matches” written on the cover. They are green headed matches, so they may be the type which can be used in moist conditions. I tested one and it lit as a normal match.
- The candle is a small tea light, nothing special about it. This was something which I was considering adding to my own Get home bag, so I am glad to have it included. The candle has no aroma.
- A small bag contains 3 cotton balls. I don’t really know why they are included… I suspect it may be to be used in conjunction with the firestarter.
- The Firestarter is a small plastic handled rod. I played around with this yet as I don’t know how to use it, it was kind of pointless. One of my intended 13 skills this year is to learn how to make a fire. I will be sure to test this at that time.
- A small, 5 centermeter pocket knife. It contains a nail file, scissors and a knife. It doesn’t appear to be the highest quality and would probably break after a few uses.
- The Sewing kit (the reason I bought this item) contains 2 safety pins (four others are included in the kit and are freely floating around the box), two small buttons, one needle and several meters of different coloured threads. It appears to be suitable to any small sewing emergency (such as when my fly broke on my pants last year when I was at work. Lucky I had a safety pin in my bag that day).
- The compass is a small plastic compass, the kind you would expect to find in a Christmas Cracker. I have tested it against my own compass and it is showing the correct position for north… which is nice.
- The pencil is a small (10 centimeters in length) led pencil. Useful for notes or filling out the Accident Report Form. This form is a weird inclusion in the kit. I actually threw it away after I checked out the kit as I felt it was pointless. The Survival Instructions are a folder A4 size page with brief info on food, firemaking, water and other information. It seems tailored for the Northern Hemisphere, yet there is a brief nod to us in the south. One interesting and useful inclusion is the Morse Code. I did know the Morse Code when I was a child, yet I have forgotten nearly everything. This could be an important thing to have. In whole, the instructions are OK. They may remind you of something which you needed to know in a Survival situation. At the very least, you can use it to help you light a fire.
- The “Combat Wire Saw” is the last item (apart from the mirror… which is just a reflective surface on the inside of the lid) and it could be one of the most useful. It is a 50 centimeter wire saw which can be used for cutting small trees. I tested it and found it cut very easily and quickly. This could be useful in making a shelter in a survival situation.
I am pretty happy with this purchase. While many of the contents are not up to a standard which I would accept, I can swap out items for better quality ones. With the small size and weight I think that it could easily be added to my Get Home Bag (once it is upgraded) and it would provide me with a little more piece of mind.
Finally, on a side note, I wanted to let you all know about the Survival Summit which is current on now. It is a completely free, totally online bunch of Seminars on Survival and Prepping by some of the big names in the area. They state that there will be a total of 24 hours of lectures, so it should be pretty exhaustive. It started today so if you are interested I would check it ASAP. The videos are only available on Youtube for 24 hours.