Sunday, 19 July 2015

Survival Mess Kit

This was my main survival kit that I used for a few years. I went with this partly because it could hold more than some of the small and medium kits I have, and also because it was actually realistic to boil water or melt snow in this.

Tatonka tins. Morph between oval and rectangular. Meant as a mess tin. They don’t make it any more, but just for fits and shiggles, the info I have for it is Stainless Steel Box "M", Art. No. 4006. 14½ x 10½ x 5½ cm, weight is 340 g and the volume is 350 ml. Handle that folds over the top, and then latches down. Latch and handle spot welded on. I’ve wondered if those spot welds might not be the weak point on it, but so far they have survived just fine. Nothing to complain about after using it for 15 years.

For anyone interested in something similar, there are two options I can think of. They are aluminum though, not steel, and do not possess a handle. But the size appears to be about the same.
I spray painted the outside with high heat manifold paint. Too shiny for this uber stealthy ninja.
I didn’t bother putting a mirror in this kit because the underside of the lid is shiny enough.
The lid has a rubber (might be something else, can’t really tell you for certain exactly what the compound is) gasket, that I would say with almost certainty needs to be procured from the company itself if it needed to be replaced. It’s reminiscent of the gasket on a mason jar or on one of those glass flip top jars. But that’s where the similarity ends. Its unique shape makes it almost certainly a proprietary thing. I’ve in all honesty never needed a replacement, but I guess if they’ve stopped making them, I’m probably screwed. The thing that is kind of annoying about those gaskets is that they are loose in the groove for it. When you put it in you can pretty much get it to fit perfectly, but it’ll never stay put for that long. I suspect the reason for it is so that if you do any cooking with it, you can take it out, so the heat doesn’t damage it. I’ve thought of some sort of silicone caulking, but I’m just afraid of totally mucking it up.
I’ve largely given up on matches. Mainly because they are a very finite source of fire-lighting. I have them in here, but one of those things that should really be replaced by some more water purification tablets or a lighter.
Pair of nitrile gloves. Besides their use for administering first aid, they can also be filled with water, a hole poked in a finger and used to irrigate wounds, they can also serve as a vapor barrier. Under a pair of gloves they help keep your hands just a little warmer. Or if you have no gloves, these are better than nothing.
Unknown length of fishing line on a bobbin.
2 Breast Milk Storage Bags. (water storage, tinder storage, collecting food stuffs, transpiration bag, etc.)   
Fresnel Lens Magnifier. (fire lighting in day light hours, aid in removing splinters, aid in reading instruction sheet)
Bic lighter with a zip tie under the plunger to prevent the butane leaking out and a piece of cord taped on to tie a lanyard to.
1 #11 Scalpel Blade. (rudimentary back up blade)
Rolled up trash bag. Good for gathering leaves for constructing a debris shelter, keeping stuff dry, sitting on, a rudimentary rain poncho, a roof on a shelter, gathering water, etc. Very versatile bit of kit.
MicroPur MP-1 Water Purification Tablets
Fox-40 Micro whistle. (Signalling)
Vaseline soaked cotton balls in straws, the ends sealed with wax.
Length of hacksaw blade. (striker for flint, cutting)
15 meters (50 ft.) nylon cord. (shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
5 Meters of 96 lb. Test Nylon Cord. (shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
Suunto Comet Compass/Thermometer. (No longer offered.)
WetFire, pre-crumbled.
3 meters (10 ft.) of #18 68 kg (150 lb) test braided nylon cord.(shelter building, repairs, traps, fishing, etc., etc.)
5µ Silicon Carbide on a mylar backing (micro-abrasive for sharpening)
Folded up baking pan. (cooking, boiling water, melting snow)
Two pieces of Rite in the Rain Paper. (for leaving notes for rescuers, as a memory aid)
1 sq meter of aluminum foil. (cooking, insulation, signalling, waterproofing)
(Autocross, Tech3, and Compact Ballpoint Pen Refill). About the smallest pen refill out there.
Piercing needle. Lancing a blister maybe. Not really a necessary item, but I had one, it takes up no room really and weighs next to nothing. What the heck, throw it in there. Could find some use for it if the situation was truly that desperate.
And everything put back in.

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