Vigilant Trails Survival Kit Model Trekker-513
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- Easily Carried, Comprehensive and Field Tested
- Includes the Six Essentials for Survival, Fire, First Aid, Food, Shelter, Signaling and Water
- Designed Upon the Survival Creed of Three is Two Two is One and One is None
- Includes Rain Pancho and Survival Blanket for Wet Weather Survival. For Use in Both Hostile and Non-Hostile Environments
- Over 80 Individual Components Housed In A Crush Resistant Metal Container
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Over Eighty Pieces Packed Into A Crush Resistant Metal Container. Fire, Water, Shelter, First Aid, Signaling and Food Represented.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Package Dimensions : 5 x 3 x 2 inches
- Date First Available : October 15, 2013
- Manufacturer : Vigilant Trails®
- ASIN : B00DTTYPBY
Best Sellers Rank:
#641,835 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
- #348 in Camping First Aid Kits
- Customer Reviews:
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Number one, unlike the two kits I mentioned above, this one comes in a fair-sized metal case that seems to be made of steel (seems like it's 10 or 12 oz), which can be used to boil water at need, or cook. It also has two decent velcro straps and a clip-on button compass. The whole thing came sealed in plastic and it has a satisfying weight to it. This would not be a bad kit to just toss in your glove box, trunk, or backpack as a 'when you need it' solution.
There's a good little fishing kit (I'm interested in their larger fishing kits, they look solid) with a nice array of squishy lures. Mine came with three bright yellow corn-kernel rubber lumps and the pictured assortment of worms. Three triple-hooks, three small hooks, three small floats, two good leader-lines, and I really like their use of a thread bobbin as a spool for the fishing line. It also has six small and three medium lead weights.
I like that the kit comes with a p-38 can opener (you can never have too many of those), a scalpel blade (comes sealed in a foil package to keep it safe and sanitary), and a nice, big needle (3-inches) that's got enough heft to reliably do sewing repairs on heavy nylon fabrics in bags and tents. The kit also has a good quality signal mirror and fresnel lens.
I really like the full sized page printed front and back with useful survival information, and of course, it can be used as tinder in a pinch. I also like these two little rings they include with the sewing kit: they're like mini-keychain rings, about 1/4" in diameter, and seem like a nice touch.
The other components not mentioned below are all good enough for a kit like this, and don't really need any special mention. The only one I feel needs explanation is the larger firesteel rod: Just looking at the photos, I assumed it was a big rod of firesteel, but it's actually a magnesium rod that has a 1/8" firesteel rod embedded into one side, so you can shave off slivers of magnesium for more punch when starting your fire. The smaller rod is all firesteel.
The biggest shortfall for this kit is the knife. Now don't get me wrong: it will cut stuff, so it can do its job. It IS a step up from the cheap blades you see in a lot of other kits. When I open the blade, it locks, but there's a good bit of wiggle. With a more solid blade, that wouldn't be a huge problem (although I am disappointed), but this blade feels like I could snap it in my fingers. Now this might not be the norm, I might have just gotten one that's slightly loose, but the knife as a whole just feels of lesser quality. I would not want to use this in a survival situation, so this was the first thing I swapped out (I traded in a Camillus AUS-8 blade with a thin profile).
Now, I realize that you have to make a lot of tradeoffs to build a kit like this; but 5-feet of paracord and 5-feet of snare wire seem short to me on both counts. I'd rather skip the paracord entirely and just weave a paracord net-like holder for the case and quadruple that length. And while you can set a couple of small snares with 5-feet of wire, I'd feel more comfortable carrying 10-feet or more, and it wouldn't take up much space. The cord and wire included both seem to be high quality, and my little coil of cord is a nice bright orange. For inside the case, I'd rather see 20-feet of kevlar thread, super useful stuff.
There are some things I just wish the kit had, but seem to have been left out. I'd rather have a few waterproof matches than a second firesteel. Despite having two steel strips for the firesteel rods, this kit doesn't have any kind of saw. The larger steel strip would be great as a three-inch length of hacksaw. I don't need a wire saw, but I think with the stuff I've taken out, it should fit, and would definitely be useful. The kit could also use a couple of boullion cubes, and maybe an electrolyte packet to mix with water for more effective hydration. I'm also missing duct tape; either a compact roll or a folded length of it, whichever will pack better. Plastic ties are good (and I'll do my best not to take out the four 6-inchers included), but duct tape belongs in every kit large enough to carry it (this was the second thing I put in mine).
Another waste of space is the plastic sheet. It's thin plastic, not even as durable as mylar, and it seems to be about a two foot square. It is a pretty bulky item in the kit, wrapping below and above everything else in the tin case. Now I know, that any survivalist could quote me a dozen good uses for a piece of plastic, but the kit already has a mylar emergency blanket that will be much better at doing any of those tasks. The sole exception would be if you're going to an area that is arid, and water might be difficult to find, the plastic can be used as a solar still to collect water. But even then, this piece of plastic doesn't seem large enough to serve well in that way. I also think the 'two is one' rule breaks down with a component like this; it is just unneeded bulk in the case.
I gave this kit four stars because despite my cons above, I really like the kit. With a little tweaking, this can become a must-carry. It also seems a little pricey for what you get, I think it would make more sense at around $30.
Photos: I tried to capture the detail of the larger ferro-rod and the knife, but I suck as a photographer. Hopefully they'll give you a closer picture of the items that can help you make an informed purchase decision.