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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:10 pm 
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OK,

We all know a lot of these $10-$20 kits suck, for the most part, but what about the professional kits? I figured I'd start a thread where people can post pic's/list of pre-built kits ADN home made kits, and can give their inputs, what the kits are missing, how they can be improved, etc.

I'll start with the basic Air Force Survival Kit ($168); Got this from my bro who recently came back from Afghanistan. This is part of a tiered system, but this is the basic kit non-aircrew get, if it is deemed necessary by their mission parameters (keep in mind this is issued with the standard FAK Module and standard LBE/issue, like canteen, weapon, knife, etc.):

It came wrapped in a vacuum sealed metallic bag (not shown) and was inner cased in a plastic bag (shown) with holes to breathe/release water

Image

Here's the Contents:

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1) Two IR patches (for covert marking)
2) Leatherman Squirt
3) ACU Pattern Cravat
4) Two Wet-Fire
5) Match Case with the following:
-10 NATO Matches
- Flint Striker
- Match Striker
- Button Compass
- Mirror (Built Into lid)
- Ferro Rod (Bottom of case)
6) Black pealess whistle (with 220 Cord for wearing around neck)
7) UST Signall Mirror with peel-away black cover and 220 Cord
9) Red Finger Light
10) IR Finger Light
11) 10 Pack Micro Pur tablets
12) Handcuff Key

Here's a pic of the Match case:

Image

Image

Now, keep in mind, this is for military members potentially behind enemy lines, so they're not exactly looking to be "seen", except by the right guys.

The Good: Most of the items in here are quality: Leatherman, UST Signal Mirror, the finger lights are well made, quality matches. Most of what you need, nothing you don't. Compact size; easily fits into BDU pocket. Barrier Bag keeps everything dry until needed.

The Bad: Could include subdued mylar blanket, incase you're down in friendly territory, or the enemy's not actively searching for you. Maybe a small fishing kit? A small pack of hard candy? Coffee or Caffeine Gum??? Cordage/Snare wire??? The cost, but given the fact it's assembled and inspected by federal employees, barrier bagged, shipping, etc., I can see it raising pretty quick.

Will be posting some of my home made kits for critique (I have three primary ones of different sizes, geared toward civilian survival scenarios, and a vehicle one.)

So, what's your take on this one? Just right for military needs, or is it missing something?

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Last edited by angelofwar on Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:11 am 
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!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:17 am 
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$168 for that? Where can I get a contract to provide them to the AF?

Mylar blankets? IME these are worthless (as blankets anyway).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:34 pm 
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Cool thread. Thanks for staring it.

Here's a link to a mini review of a Tacoma Mountain Rescue Unit "Storm Kit" and some changes I made to it.

https://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=113269


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:22 pm 
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Just wanted to show this "saw" I got from Bushcraft USA. I had it with me in my day pack when I went to the SSA office once (please do not take your bug out gear into any federal building!) only to be stopped and questioned by the security guard about the contents of my pack. I didn't think at all about it before hand and fortunate that the guard was willing to hold onto my stuff till I left rather than kicking me out, trespassing me from federal properties or having me arrested. He insisted that it was a "garrote" and I told him, "Honest, sir, it's just a hand saw." To which he replied, "Yeah, right." Honestly, though. You could probably take someone's head off with this thing!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:16 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
$168 for that? Where can I get a contract to provide them to the AF?

Mylar blankets? IME these are worthless (as blankets anyway).


While they are "loud", I've filed tested them several times...and other than the "moisture holding" properties of them, they do excel at keeping heat in!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:22 am 
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dunamis wrote:
Just wanted to show this "saw" I got from Bushcraft USA. I had it with me in my day pack when I went to the SSA office once (please do not take your bug out gear into any federal building!) only to be stopped and questioned by the security guard about the contents of my pack. I didn't think at all about it before hand and fortunate that the guard was willing to hold onto my stuff till I left rather than kicking me out, trespassing me from federal properties or having me arrested. He insisted that it was a "garrote" and I told him, "Honest, sir, it's just a hand saw." To which he replied, "Yeah, right." Honestly, though. You could probably take someone's head off with this thing!


That's like the USMC wire saw

For those who don't know, those are nice since if it breaks you can just unscrew the end and screw it back and you just have a shorter saw :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:43 am 
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Stercutus wrote:

Mylar blankets? IME these are worthless (as blankets anyway).


But they're so darn useful for so many other things.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:09 am 
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I like the saw! One that you can "repair" if it breaks...very nice! These are probably better for cutting bone than wood, but you could use these a few times for detailed wood projects (weapon/arrow fabrication, etc.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:49 am 
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Here's one of my small self built kits (version 3.0). As I get/find newer gear, I adjust my kits as needed.

The case is a standard aluminum ASE case. They build/sell standard kits for small Aircraft.

Anyways, onto the pics (shown next to a snuff can for size reference):

Image

The contents packed in the kit:

Image

Contents laid out:

Image

List, top to bottom, left to right:

    -Gerber Clutch ($15)
    -Grabber Signal Mirror ($12)
    -Survival Straw ($7)
    -Water P-Tabs ($2)
    -Tinder Quick ($.50)
    -Suunto Wrist Compass ($20)
    -Razor Blade ($.25)
    -Pack of gum ($.25)
    -PETZL E-Lite ($25)
    -NATO Matches ($5)
    -Gerber Recon (w/ Lithium AA) ($20)
    -Mini-Bic (High vis) ($.50)
    -Duct-Tape/Elect. tape (compressed roll) ($.50)
    -High Vis pea-less whistle ($4)
    -Wet Fire ($.50)
    -UST Mini Blast Match (High vis) ($8)
    -Case Mini-Trapper pocket Knife ($35)
    -Emergency Ponch0 (in Box) ($3)
    -Space Blanket (In-Box)($6)
    -Best Glide ASE Case ($25)
    -Total Cost = $191.50

So, you see, a decent kit, with decent gear, is not necessarily cheap...LOL!

Another Pic, up close:

Image

So, I know I'm missing decent cordage from this one, but I normally carry some in all my packs...shoudl I swap out the gerber recon and maybe something else to try to dqueeze some cordage in there? What else is this kit missing? I have cordage in my other two pre-built kit, just the size of this one makes it hard to get some in there...or swap something for some dental floss???

Thanks for looking, and any feed-back appreciated!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:47 am 
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Just wrap your 550 around your kit/box.

One guy had his BOAT wrapped so much it looked like a ball.

Some wrap duct tape around theirs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:11 pm 
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angelofwar - I really like that ASE case kit. You should add some Whirl Pak bags to it so you have water collection/storage to go with you water pure tabs. I keep a 3 pack in my GHB


Whirl bags:
http://www.amazon.com/Pack-Liter-Surviv ... rl+Closure

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:52 pm 
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This is the Survival Kit I use. It's not cheap but the stuff in it actually works and I like the bag.

http://www.axpkits.com/store/p12/HIKING ... L_KIT.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:04 pm 
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I made this a sticky for now to see how it goes. PSKs are really a different classification than a BOB. They're common enough that more attention could be afforded to the topic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:10 pm 
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bltjr1951 wrote:
Just wrap your 550 around your kit/box.

One guy had his BOAT wrapped so much it looked like a ball.

Some wrap duct tape around theirs.


I was thinking I could swap one of the lights for some cordage...but, how would I wrap the cordage and not have it be a niuscance???

@ 74 or more,

Those are pretty neat. I have the beverage bags from MRE's I could put in there...from what I've seen, they're pretty tough...not sure if they as utilitarian as the swirl bags or not...or as compact. Will have to grab a set just to test them out and see how well they "fit the bill". Yes, the ASE case is rock solid...and being metal, can fit several uses. The rubber "cam locks" allow for some compression and give you some flexibility in getting that last sq inch squeezed in there. These are definelty keepers for me. Got my first one, and decided to order two more for fire and EDC kits. Solid thru and thru!

@survivor100, can you give us a subjective review? Looks semi-decent...does the LED light use lithium batteries? For a pre-built kit, is the bic the smartest idea? (they tend to leak)? Is the mylar blanket sufficient? I do love the "roll-bag" set-up though. Wish you could just purchase the bag/case. Can you give us an in depth/field review?

@woodswalker,

Thanks! I always thought there was too much "BOB this" and "INCH that", and too little focus on dedicated "fix it and forget it" PSK's. Hope to see more reviews on pre-built ones and personally assembled kits!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:52 am 
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This is a PSK for survival, right?

Its not an EDC, use this stuff every day kit, open it 20 times a day to look at it.

When you open this, you're in a bad way/jam/pickle and need help/aid, like a FAK.

Some have said that you can't tape or wrap it cause you might be one handed and hurt bad.

It's your PSK, do what you want to it to suit your needs/skills.

Just like real life, YMMV.

ZS had a PSK contest using an ALICE M16 ammo pouch as container.
Stuffed it full of survival gear/items.
Some even had water bottles and 550 clipped onto sides of pouch.
Might try to find it for grins.
Yep there is a boatload of BOATs on this site.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:15 am 
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Found the contest I think.
https://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=57454&hilit=Mag+Pouch+PSK

Walmart and home depot have these plastic waterproof containers that you don't have to tape up. Walmart is cheaper for the exact same items.

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They're for lures but if you cut/customize the dividers you can put bigger/wider suff in them. Multiple sizes available.
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Large watertight box. Other sizes available.

If they're just for "in case of emergency break glass" type of situations I could see vacuum sealing them in mylar bags. But wouldn't do that with any batteries in them. You have to rotate those batteries out to avoid the eventual leakage.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:52 pm 
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bltjr1951 wrote:
This is a PSK for survival, right?

Its not an EDC, use this stuff every day kit, open it 20 times a day to look at it.

When you open this, you're in a bad way/jam/pickle and need help/aid, like a FAK.

Some have said that you can't tape or wrap it cause you might be one handed and hurt bad.

It's your PSK, do what you want to it to suit your needs/skills.

Just like real life, YMMV.

ZS had a PSK contest using an ALICE M16 ammo pouch as container.
Stuffed it full of survival gear/items.
Some even had water bottles and 550 clipped onto sides of pouch.
Might try to find it for grins.
Yep there is a boatload of BOATs on this site.


Correct, these are not anything but survival kits. However, I'm reluctant to cover them, only because I'm constantly adjusting them based off skills and better gear. Try taking two/three wraps of duct tape off when you have freezing fingers...dexterity is one of the first things to go, and the last thing I want to do in a survival situation is remove tape/undo knots to get to life saving goods. The boats are good, but I think more for "JIC" stuff...you can fit a lot of useful stuff, but they're too small for a "survival kit", which is why my first was a peli-1010, and not a BOAT.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:10 am 
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MacWa77ace wrote:
If they're just for "in case of emergency break glass" type of situations I could see vacuum sealing them in mylar bags. But wouldn't do that with any batteries in them. You have to rotate those batteries out to avoid the eventual leakage.


That's why I use lithium batteries in my kit. Lithiums have the following advantages:

    1) Weigh Less, 2) Don't Leak, 3) Higher Voltage, 4) Last 15-25 years, still keeping most of the amperage, 5) Operate better in weather extremes

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Here's my second PSK, a medium kit, for general outings/trips. The case is a medium MTM Survivor Dry Box, in blaze orange.

I have some 550 through the lash points so it can be carried ala bandoleer style, and it's just enough to use for a survival bow, general lashings, or snare cordage using the inner strands:

Image

Contents as packed in the case (snuff/Surefire 6P shown for scale):

Image

Contents laid out:

Image

From left to right (as best I can):
-Orange drum liner (shelter/water collection)
-550 Cord (Shelter/weapon/Fire/food acquisition)
-12" x 36" aluminum foil (cooking/water/marking)
-PTec Byte Headlamp
-OD Mylar "Casualty Blanket" (Shelter)
-Surefire L1 Flashlight with 2 spare CR123's
-Poncho
-UST Signal Mirror
-Razor Blade
-Israeli Water P-Tabs
-2ea. tinder quick
-Gerber Multitool
-Compressed Washcloth (water filter/hygiene)
-4 ea. Lithium AAA
-Survival Saw (Shelter/animal processing)
-Gum
-2 pack instant coffee
-Survival Straw
-UST Strikefore Ferro Rod Kit (in the case is 1 ea. wetfire, and 3 pcs Char-Cloth)
-Suunto Compass
-Spyderco Native (Iraqi Freedom Limited Edition :0))
-Mini-Bic (Hi-Vis)
-Fishing Yo-Yo (Still need to add hooks/sinkers...have them, just a matter of getting them in the kit)
-Match Case (Hi-Vis) with UCO Matches and striker
-Pealess Whistle (Hi-Vis)
-Esbit Stove with two fuel tabs and two wet-fires

Here's some up-close pics of the contents:

Image

Image

Image

Image

So, here's what I know I need to add/plan on adding (there's still a little room left):
-Some basic FAK items
-Snare Wire
-Fishing Tackle (hooks sinkers)

Thoughts/opinions? I do keep these packed and only get into them when I need to add or swap gear. Typical use for this kit would be water sports, or just to leave in the vehicle, and use as/if needed.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:23 am 
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74 or more wrote:
angelofwar - I really like that ASE case kit. You should add some Whirl Pak bags to it so you have water collection/storage to go with you water pure tabs. I keep a 3 pack in my GHB


Whirl bags:
http://www.amazon.com/Pack-Liter-Surviv ... rl+Closure


That is a cool product. Thanks for posting that. Perfect for a PSK. It's like the fetus of the dry bag! Pretty cool idea.

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moab wrote:
74 or more wrote:
angelofwar - I really like that ASE case kit. You should add some Whirl Pak bags to it so you have water collection/storage to go with you water pure tabs. I keep a 3 pack in my GHB


Whirl bags:
http://www.amazon.com/Pack-Liter-Surviv ... rl+Closure


That is a cool product. Thanks for posting that. Perfect for a PSK. It's like the fetus of the dry bag! Pretty cool idea.


Yep!

I actually sized my PSK around those bags specifically, it makes it easier to use the purification tabs versus something like gerber breastmilk bags since they're measured to a liter.


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I thought I'd share the current evolution of my PSK and how it fits into my setup.

The current setup includes two tins, one for each back pocket or cargo pocket, to supplement my EDC and hiking gear. I like a lower profile / slick look so I wanted to avoid belt pouches. For shorter distance dayhikes or overnights in warm weather it works well.

Dimensions of the tins are similar to that of an "SAS" sized tin, but the depth is nearly identical to that of an altoids tin. This keeps them thin enough to fit in a back pocket (not just a cargo pocket) but light enough that they don't flop around and hurt if I did decide to put them in my cargo pockets.


Knife and Bic Mini as a size reference
Image


Primary Kit
The size of my PSK is dictated by the desire to include not just minimal but a usable means to purify water, light fires, signal and create a shelter, and to be small enough that I'd carry it. As such, I wanted to include whirl pack 1 liter bags instead of traditional ways to hold water like condoms or baby milk bags, and that kind of dictated the length of the tin. The white roll next to the purification tablets are two of these bags rolled tightly, with the paper on the outside to help protect them from abrasion. While I can't fit shelter inside this tin, I opted for a more robust pocket chainsaw which lies conveniently flat on the bottom. The small matchbox contains misc little items that I don't want to lose including some safety pins, flies/lures/hooks, lengths of sparklers etc. The bobby pin can be attached to the flashlight to create a hat clip. Most of the other items are pretty self explanatory.

Image


Supplementary kit
This kit is full of stuff that would be nice to have for an unexpected overnighter, including bug repellent and some minor medical stuff. I included additional fishing gear, and the two bags on the top left are 2x flies (woolley buggers) and below that, soft fish bait which take up little space. The hooks are circle hooks for unattended lines since they don't require a jerk to set them. I forgot to include simple bandages but have since added them.


Image






To show how these tins fit in with the rest of my stuff, here is an idea of what I may bring on a typical warm weather day hike / overnighter. The items are arranged near what pocket they would go in.
Not shown is a daypack or backpack that would contain my primary gear, such as a Sawyer Mini, Water Bladder, Nalgene Bottle, Stove/Fuel, Hammock Setup, Bigger knife and Laplander saw which would go on my belt. Sorry for the poor quality lighting.


Right side of pants.
Small black pouch is an extra cell phone battery (I use a Galaxy Note 2). First aid stuff in right cargo pocket which in this case is focused on traumatic injury. In my bag would be additional first aid items for booboos and sprains.

Image

Left side of pants
Ziplock bag has bug headnet. Small spray bottle of bug repellent usually carried as well in my bag. Here I have minimal shelter, an E-Bivy, Heatsheets and disposable poncho, although I may opt for a MEST type shelter in the future. The paracord goes around the ankle under my pants leg -- it's out of sight unless needed which I like, and it offers the benefit of being longer than wrist style bracelets if I ever did need it.

Image

This setup does fill up the cargo pockets pretty good but everything against your leg is pretty soft so it's not uncomfortable medium term, though if I were to do something multi-day I'd probably opt for belt pouches for this stuff instead of a "slick" style.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:45 am 
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So I have been looking for a container to put my survival kits in and think I have found a couple which will work for my purposes. I purchased the small and large Trangia mess kit and the Best Glide aluminum container. Here are the dimensions of each:

Small Trangia: 6.5" x 3.5" x 2.6"
Best Glide: 7.3" x 4.6" x 2.3"
Large Trangia: 7.8" x 5.1" x 2.8"

Here is a photo showing their relative sizes. The two smaller ones are complete kits and wrapped with 550 cord. The large kit is a work in progress.

Image

While they will fit in a cargo pocket, you had better have a good belt on. I think I may look for a good GP pouch to use these in conjunction with. The contents of each one of these containers is primarily the same and very similar to the complete kit sold by Best Glide. I started with the SOL survival medic kit and added several things to it. Here is a photo of the contents:

Image

In the top row, you can see a ranger band, the 550 cord, rite in the rain paper and a piece of folded up aluminum foil. Next is the lid with a utility razor blade, a canvas needle and a sail needle taped inside. After the lid is a plastic sleeve that holds an assortment of fishing hooks, a couple of small lures and three leaders. I also have a bandana, around 20’ of tarred bank line, two small zip ties and a button compass.

In the middle row, I have a small pack of tinder, two wetfire tabs, a firesteel and a container of waterproof matches. Inside of the match container are also several pieces of lead split shot. The match container is also wrapped with fishing line. Below the matches is a tealight candle wrapped in a small piece of plastic wrap. Next, we have a small led light, a pencil, a flint striker, and a small roll of duct tape with a safety pin in the hole. Following that are three treble hooks wrapped in tape and two bouillon cubes wrapped in plastic. Following that is a small whistle, a full sized SOG multitool and a space blanket.

In the bottom row, you can see a signal mirror and a gallon Ziploc bag. The next two piles are the medical contents which include 2 bandaids, a knuckle bandage, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen and alcohol wipes. I also added a few water purification tabs which are seen in the last pile. Lastly, the inside of the container itself.

While the Best Glide tin is larger, I actually prefer the small Trangia tin. It has a neat detachable handle, which would make cooking and boiling in it much easier. Be warned though, the edges are a little rough. I sanded them down to avoid getting my fingers cut. Also of note, the large Trangia kit does not include a handle.

Here is a photo of all the items stored in the kit. It is a tight fit but the ranger band helps kept everything tightly sealed:

Image

This kit currently rides in one of the exterior pouches of my medium alice pack and leaves enough room that my fire kit can also fit.

Comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Thanks for looking.


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