|WSI Mini-Survival Kit by Survival Sheath Systems|
|Contents List||Photo of Kit||Specs & Ratings|
|Explanation of Survival Equipment and Supplies Ratings|
In most cases the reason for the rating given a particular item will be obvious based on our normal evaluation criteria which can be found by clicking on the Group Heading link and reading the relevant text regarding that item. In cases where a low rating is not obvious, for example, if an otherwise good product is damaged due to poor packing, the reason will be given in the listing. Further explanation and the overall rating of both quality and value for the Survival Kit will be found in the written evaluation which follows the kit contents listing.
Excellent (superior quality and/or performance)
|Qty.||Survival Equipment & Supplies||Rating|
|EMERGENCY DEVICES GROUP|
|CRKT "Badger" Lockback Folding Knife, 2 1/2 in. (64 mm) drop point blade, 50/50 serrated (Taiwan)|
|WSI Hot Spark Flint w/ Magnesium and hacksaw blade scraper|
|Petroleum Jelly Infused Cotton Tinder, in zip-lock|
|Book of Paper Matches (see text)|
|Small Game Snare|
|WSI Fishing Reel w/ 60 ft. (18.23 m) Braided Fishing Line (18 lb. (6.7 kg) test)|
|Fishing Kit in plastic zipper-lock bags
|WATER & FOOD GROUP|
|Chicken Bouillon packets|
|MISCELLANEOUS & MULTI-PURPOSE GROUP|
|550 Parachute Cord, OD, mil-spec, slip braided, bound with rubber bands (0.76 M)|
|Braided Nylon Line, bound with rubber bands (7.62 m)|
|Surveyor's Tape, pink|
|Survival Fishing Gear Improvisation Instructions|
|Weight:||4.3 oz. (122 g)|
|Size:||3 x 3 x 2 inches (76 x 76 x 51 mm)|
|Price (06/2002):||$50 ($5 S&H)|
|Manufacturer:||World Survival Institute|
|Exclusive Distributor:||Survival Sheath Systems|
Robert Humelbaugh asked Chris Janowsky to make him a smaller, less expensive version of his Gold Label Wilderness Survival Kit. The result is this WSI Mini-Kit available exclusively from Survival Sheath Systems.
NOTE: We have not examined this kit. This review is based on our review of the kit upon which it is based, the WSI Gold Label Wilderness Survival Kit. Specifications from the distributor.
This stuff can be distributed among pockets or would fit in a single cargo pocket. Robert can also provide you with one of his well made custom nylon pouches in green or black for $10.
More so than most other small kits we have examined, there is a focus on here on food procurement. We normally don't see this until you get to much larger kits.
I suspect the reason can be found in the normal environment in which Chris lives and works, Alaska. In most areas of Alaska water is plentiful year-round and colder weather demands more energy that can be replenished from the generally abundant wild animal and fish of the area. The priorities might be different in other environments.
The extensive fishing kit has a wide selection of hooks and lures, far beyond the few hooks and line we normally find. Chris' nicely done handmade wood reel, which is designed to be attached to an improvised pole, and plentiful line makes for much easier fishing, at the expense of some added bulk.
This Mini-Kit has much less para-cord than the Gold Label Kit, but combined with the nylon line, there's still plenty for a survivor to work with.
Chris also makes the small game snares. They are 7-strand, nylon coated, stainless steel wire, with an anti-twist swivel for attaching, 27 lb. (10 kg) test. There's also a short length of surveyor's tape to mark their location (or yours for that matter if you've gone to ground to stay warm).
We're told that Chris makes up or assembles all these items during the long Alaska winters, something to counteract cabin fever.
The flint and magnesium fire starter is a clone of our well-regarded Sparky. We were initially taken aback by the paper matches in the kit until it was explained that they serve primarily as something to wind the monofilament line around. As long as that was needed, and bulk is obviously a lesser priority in this kit, why not use a matchbook, which makes great sense. The flint remains the primary means of starting a fire.
The CRKT Badger lockback folder is a decent quality knife, a big step up from the blades we normally find in small kits, though there's that bulk again. We'd prefer a plain edge instead of the combo serrated and plain, but that's picking nits.
The foodstuffs included are minimal, the seasonings another indication of the tilt towards food procurement. Not that having the seasonings is bad, mind you.
This kit doesn't include any signaling devices, medical or water purification gear or supplies, compass, etc.
Overall, we rate this kit as "Adequate," not due to what's in it being poor, but because of what's lacking. Without even such basics as a signal mirror, improvised or otherwise, or any means of water purification or storage, as just a few examples, the kit simply doesn't provide the survivor with the basics they need.
The concentration on food procurement may not be appropriate for all environments. That volume and expense might be better spent on other, more basic and critical items.
While this kit isn't inexpensive, you are getting quality gear. But, you'll still need to add more to have what we would consider a kit that has the basics you need.
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Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
First Published: June 12, 2002
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org