The best survival kit is situationally custom and the VSSL Supplies is not it. But these are the finest prepackaged multipurpose mobility kits available.
“Today, high efficiency LED lights power quality flashlights. The battery requirements are substantially less, and the handle can now be used for other useful purposes. VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools were created to utilize that now obsolete space, while at the same time maintaining the practical form factor of the traditional torchlight.”
Building a good wilderness survival kit product for the masses is no easy task. There are so many of them but most are crap with very few exceptions.
First you need to figure out which problems the kit is intended to remedy or avert. Then finding a winning formula of items as a manageable system. Finally, putting this system into a self-contained carry package.
The trick is to make it an effective jack of all trades so it can make the user a master of its general function. It’s the same principal as a well constructed multi-tool.
So that’s how I judge any given survival kit, its ability as a “multi-tool” in the arts of survival and utility.
It’s not just about packing the right tools and materials into a single package, however. For a mobile outdoor kit, it’s also important on how it’s carried and in what.
The VSSL Supplies Survival Kit($) excels in all these parameters better than any other consumer product of its kind. But it’s more than a kit, it’s also a powerful flashlight and highly functional storage device.
Weather sealed within the highly precision machined MIL-SPEC 6061 aluminum cylinder cache is 7 steel tin containers with 11 different types of survival utilities. All stacked vertically along with a candle and kit guide.
Both ends of the VSSL capsule screw open and each are additional tools; compass + flashlight. The capsule itself also serves a utility; waterproof container for liquids, foods or for other items that need to be dry.
The unit is 9″ long with a 2″ diameter and weighs 18 ounces. Hopefully I never have to use it but it’s home is at the very bottom of my FAST Pack EDC Backpack.
For the novice, a cleverly cut and folded, short but very useful instructional on each of the kits and tools is neatly packed. Unlike a traditional map, this folds out and in easily like an accordion – 1 less hassle of survival.
Also useful as last resort fire tinder if you use up all the actual tinder (below) included with the VSSL.
This is where most other prepackaged survival kits fail, the container. The VSSL capsule alone is one hell of a survival tool and built to very high standards – in fact they sell just the container for about half the price.
In regards to overall quality and construction, I’d say the VSSL is slightly below the gold standard of rugged cache cylinders, the Life Capsule Omega. But that’s also 10 times smaller and costs the same, so this is a bargain.
Even without each individual kit that the VSSL houses, its waterproof structure, near indestructible build and convenient travel size offers a plethora of survival uses.
Other well stocked survival kits often include a flashlight but it’s generic and basically a toy. The VSSL Supplies Survival Kit does not fu*k around with illumination.
Comprising of just one of the end caps of the capsule, the 3 LED bulb pumps out a ridiculous 200 lumens with upto 40 hours of use in 3 modes; beam, lantern and SOS. That;s more powerful than my favorit tactical EDC torch.
It takes easy to find E90 batteries (included) and has an anti-accidental activation feature.
As with the flashlight, the oil filled compass is integrated into the remaining end cap of the VSSL. It’s very accurate, eligible and well positioned.
While obviously not as functional as an orienteering or lensatic compass, this is one of the best traditional ones I’ve seen. It will suit any camper, hiker or the most professional of survivalists.
Shaped and sized to mimic the tin containers it resides with is a Beeswax candle. A candle is not always a candle. It’s thoughtful VSSL went for this and not the cheap stuff. Also, an end cap can be used as a candle holder.
Beeswax candles are natural, chemical free, aromatic, have a high melting point (won’t melt in the cache before you can even use it) and burn far longer. These in particular should be emit for about 6 hours.
Often the most important element of a wilderness survival kit is fire and the VSSL has an expectedly generous kit. Under the cap of this tin container is an attached striker for the 10 waterproof wooden matches. Then packed in is every survivalist’s favorite fire starter; Tinder Quik® tabs (x5).
Attached on the bottom is a mirror, mostly for signaling but also useful for vanity and medical purposes.
Another staple of survival essentials is water and to a slightly lesser extent, food. This is that kit.
Individually sealed are 6 Aquatab water purification tablets along with a paper instruction manual (dry paper, also useful for fire). With plenty of room to spare in this, is a P-38 military can opener – the smallest ever made.
Contained in the largest tin container of the VSSL Supplies Survival Kit is the the mini-medical-kit. It’s also the only screw down top whereas the others are friction locked because this one is packed to the max.
This one is tricky. It’s essentially impossible to have a highly functional first-aid kit as part of a larger survival kit in a package this small. But they did a good job with the limited space available. With that said, minor injuries could be patched up just fine.
VSSL does have a dedicated first-aid kit, however.
A “fishing kit” has always been a part of almost every outdoor survival kit ever made. Most of them include just a couple of hooks, line and maybe some weights.
VSSL went the distance and added a full (albeit micro) fishing tackle into one of the tin containers, save for the rod and reel. Included are; 3 barbed hooks, 3 rubber worms, 1 swivel spoon, 50′ fishing line, 3 swivel leaders and 1 EVA line winder.
Yes, this is rope in a can that’s in a bigger can. Not the kind of rope you may be thinking but marine grade rope with a 250lb breaking strength. About 25 feet of it.
This is actually potentially extremely useful in survival as the uses are endless. Tucked under the spool of this rope is a a single everyday razor blade.
Now this is rare in such a survival kit, trail markers. There are 30 of these in red and silver with the added benefit of being reflective.
Included with this tin container is another essential, a powerful beadless whistle.
If you’re going to actively carry the VSSL or any other survival kit, than a dedicated knife should also be a part of your packing list. That being said, even a big serrated knife can’t compare to a wire saw for certain cutting tasks.
Even a wire saw that fits in a tiny tin can. The one VSSL included are very effective, despite their impossibly small size and weight.
The VSSL Supplies Survival Kit has been universally praised from regular folk to professional survivalists to even being used as standard training tool for the Canadian Armed Forces survival school.
I’m inclined to agree. This Canadian made (not China like 99% of all prepackaged survival kits) is THE benchmark.
6061 Aircraft Aluminum // Waterproof Cache // Size: 9″ x 2″ // Weight: 18 Ounces // Impact Resistant // 200 Lumens LED // 1 Year Warranty