If you’re in the market for a mini bug-out backpack with the gear already included, there are plenty out there to choose from. Fully stocked 72-hour kits have become a popular item in recent years, but I’ve always shied away from them out of gear quality concerns. But when I found out that a brand I trust is building a survival kit backpack–and I was allowed a sneak peek-I had to check it out. Here are my findings on the upcoming SOL Urban Survivor Kit from Adventure Medical Kits.
The SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) line of gear from Adventure Medical Kits has been around for several years. I’m always been eager to check out their new products, and I had high expectations for this kit. It is marketed as an “urban survival” 72-hour kit in their new Smart Prepper series, but of course most survival gear can work in a wide range of situations–not just an urban disaster setting.
Straight from the box, I liked the look of the backpack. It had a top handle and comfortable shoulder straps for two modes of carrying. It also had high visibility with day-glow orange side panels and double zipper pulls for the main compartment and the outer pocket. The outer pocket held a small headlamp, a pocket medical guide, a natural disaster handbook, AMK’s Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit 3, eight wet wipes, a Heatsheets space blanket, a lightweight clear plastic poncho, and a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste. Of these items, my only wishes were for a larger and thicker poncho, and a headlamp that ran on AA or AAA batteries. The thin poncho won’t hold up against shelter building tasks, and finding a small disk battery replacement for the light could be a real challenge in a crisis. Some kits don’t even have these items though, so I was still glad to see them.
Getting to the main compartment, I found even more survival gear, yet enough spare room to add a set of clothes. In the backpack, I found one N95 mask, one pair of fabric gloves with textured grip, 10 pouches of water (4.227 oz. each, with a 5 year shelf life), four New Millennium energy bars (400 calories each, with a five year shelf life), a small roll of duct tape, a SOL Slim Rescue Howler whistle, an SOL spark fire starter, and four pieces of cotton tinder.
Of this gear section, I wish there were two more water pouches and several more food bars, given that 42 ounces of water and 1600 calories don’t provide much sustenance in a 72-hour window. But all totaled, it’s a solid grouping of gear choices. Some items are also AMK gear, which I’m familiar with. The whistle is very loud, and the fire starter works well enough (though you should add a back-up, like a butane lighter).
The bottom line:
This is a good kit, and I expected no less from AMK. This could be a life saver when used as a vehicle survival kit, or as a gift for your friends and family who refuse to take preparedness seriously. This kit will be available to the public in late spring.
—It weighs 5 pounds, 9 ounces as packaged
—The stitching and construction are good quality
—Its contents address shelter, water, fire, food, signaling, first aid and hygiene issues
Find out more about the SOL line Adventure Medical Kits at www.surviveoutdoorslonger.com.