For serious preppers and survivalists, the occupation of being prepared is just as much a passionate hobby as coin collecting, hunting, fishing or hiking. Many of us enthusiasts often forget that most folks who buy or pack survival gear do it because it’s necessary. They don’t pour hours (or months and years) of research into what they use.
In fact, most folks who pack some kind of survival gear for a hunt or a day hike really don’t know much about surviving in the wild. So, the gear options and the available training are a bit overwhelming. That’s why it’s nice to keep things simple for the beginners or those who really don’t have an interest in the subject but need the gear.
SURVIVE AND THRIVE
Industrial Revolution has introduced a new basic survival kit for 2017 as part of the Canterbury Collection called the Bushcraft Survive and Thrive Kit. For basic survival situations such as getting lost or getting stranded overnight some place, the Survive and Thrive kit is a great solution for those not interested in doing the extra homework but still want their bases covered with quality gear. Additionally, it can serve as the foundation for a more comprehensive kit once the user decides to build it out.
When it comes down to the absolute necessities for a short-term survival situation, as far as a kit goes, there are three basic things needed: a knife, the ability to start a fire and a method to collect and purify water. Those three things will go a long way in helping an individual make it for a few days if necessary. The Survive and Thrive kit has those bases covered—and then some. The kit includes the following pieces of gear:
- 1 MoraKniv Kansbol knife
- 1 large, waterproof container of UCO Stormproof Matches
- 1 UCO Original Candle Lantern
- 1 32-ounce, wide-mouth Pathfinder steel water bottle
- 1 25-ounce nesting cup/pot with lid
- 1 stainless steel bottle hanger
- Dave Canterbury’s book, Bushcraft 101
- 1 box of SWEETFIRE strikeable fire starters
In some ways, the Bushcraft Survive and Thrive kit feels like a beginner’s camp kit—not for lack of quality (because it’s there), but in the simplicity of the included components. So, aside from using it only as survival kit, it’s a great way to introduce a novice to camping in the outdoors. Either way, there are a few components that really stand out in regard to saving your bacon if your outing takes a wrong turn.
First, and foremost, the Morakniv Kansbol is an excellent cutting tool that can be used for various tasks, including cutting cordage, processing game, preparing food and processing material for a fire. The Kansbol is a bit of an update to Morakniv’s 2000 model and, like its predecessors, it’s extremely sharp.
“…The Morakniv Kansbol is an excellent cutting tool that can be used for various tasks, including cutting cordage, processing game, preparing food and processing material for a fire.”
The blade is 2.5mm thick, is made of stainless steel and has a Scandigrind. There are a couple of profiles worked into the blade, making it extremely efficient as a skinning knife or working with other media, as well.
It’s not to be used for batoning large splits, but for an all-around cutting tool, it’s hard to beat the Kansbol for the work that can be done with it. Additionally, the spine has a 90-degree angle, so it can be used with fire steels to get the sparks flying. Second, the nesting cup/pot and steel Pathfinder water bottle make a great combination for collecting and storing water, along with also purifying water. In addition, the pot can be used around the camp to make a stew or simply cook your dinner—whatever it might be. The combo comes with a lid for the cup/pot and a hanger that can be used for the cup/pot and the water bottle, as well.
The kit does come with a container of UCO Stormproof matches, which are handy. However, the standout in the fire group are the SWEETFIRE strikeable fire starter s. These are a little like matches, in that they can be struck to ignite them, but they are much larger. Also, the material that burns is made from resin left over from processing sugar cane, and it will burn for around eight minutes. That makes it an ideal tool to help the user get a fire started in inclement conditions.
I timed three of the SWEETFIRE fire starters to see how long they would burn, and the average came out to 7 minutes, 42 seconds. After being struck, the phosphorous helped the tip burn bright; but I did notice that I had to protect it from the wind to make sure the rest of the fire starter got burning well. There was a breeze that blew out one in the beginning, but once the body of the fire starter had a good flame working, it was much more wind resistant.
The final major component that brings it all together is Dave Canterbury’s Bushcraft 101 book. It lays out a lot of good general information that will inform the unexperienced on tips and techniques to make the best of their time out in the wild. I especially appreciated the inclusion of the book in the kit, because it helps address a primary part of surviving the outdoors: building or improvising shelters.
“The kit does come with a container of UCO Stormproof matches, which are handy. However, the standout in the fire group are the SWEETFIRE strikeable fire starters.”
The Bushcraft Survive and Thrive kit does not have a wide variety of gear to address every need, but it drills in on the most crucial items to keep you going for at least a few days. The target audience is novices or folks who aren’t interested in building their own kit by hand. The gear that it does include, however, comprises some of the most respected products on the market and is a great starter kit for those just getting into the game.
If you find yourself looking for a quick and simple way to get a buschraft kit together or something to put in the pack the next time you go hiking or on a hunt, the Survive and Thrive kit will definitely serve you well.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.