|Coghlan's "Survival Kit-In-A-Can"|
|Contents List||Photo of Kit||Specs & Ratings|
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|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|
|Polished Foil with Adhesive Backing - "Signal Mirror"|
|EMERGENCY DEVICES GROUP|
|Strike Anywhere Wood Matches - "waterproofed" by dipping head in wax|
|Paper Matches - 1 book|
|Fire-Stick Tinder - 5/8 inch long pieces|
|Waxed Fishing Line - approx. 5 lb. test - wound tightly on plastic core|
|Nylon Utility Cord|
|Adhesive Bandage Strips, 3/4 x 3|
|Alcohol Antiseptic Swabs|
|WATER & FOOD GROUP|
|Chicken Bullion Packet|
|Tea Bag (not in sealed package)|
|MISCELLANEOUS & MULTI-PURPOSE GROUP|
|Plastic Zip-Loc Sandwich Bag - 24 oz.|
|Duct Tape - 2 inch wide|
|Single Edge Razor Blade|
|Nails - 6 penny - galvanized|
|Twist Ties - 3 3/4 inches - paper covered (* one secures nylon cord)|
|Note Paper - 3 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches|
|Pencil - plastic|
|Instructions - not weatherproof - very small type|
|Sardine Tin, 4 1/4 x 3 x 7/8 inches (10.8 x 7.6 x 2.24 cm) - cannot be re-closed|
|Weight:||3 oz. (65.3 g)|
|Size:||4 1/4 x 3 x 7/8 inches (10.8 x 7.6 x 2.24 cm)|
Coghlan's "Survival Kit-In-A-Can" ($12) is not quite packed as tightly as sardines, but close, and it really is a sardine tin, 4 1/4 x 3 x 7/8 inches (10.8 x 7.6 x 2.24 cm) and 3 oz. (65.3 g). The advantage is that it is sealed--the disadvantage is that it is sealed. You won't be adding anything to this kit, and we would want to if we could. Not that there's much in the way of spare room, it really is very tightly packed. There's also no way to re-seal the kit after opening. Speaking of which, the "pop-top" pull tab broke off when we went to open it. A multi-tool served to pull the top open after the failure.
Still, without some means to open this kit, it would have been pretty much useless in a real emergency. So, that represents a real drawback. And, who hasn't had this happen to them a few times when opening a can of sardines in real life? The lesson is that don't even think about this kit if you foolishly don't plan to carry a means to open it.
This kit includes both basic survival equipment and some minimal food. Firestarting supplies include four strike anywhere "waterproof" wood matches, a book of paper matches, and a pair of tinders, 5/8 inch (175 mm) long pieces of Coghlin's sawdust based Fire Starter Sticks.
The 101 ft (31m) of tightly wound waxed spun fishing line (measured at approximately 5 lb. (2.3 kg) test) apparently also serves as the "sewing thread" listed in the contents. There are only a pair of fish hooks, which combined with the weak line means you better concentrate on catching small fry or big minnows.
The "signal mirror" is simply a 2 x 2 inch (5 x 5 cm) piece of shiny foil with adhesive backing which could be applied to a flat surface, such as the bottom of the can itself. A poor substitiute for a real signal mirror and it requires two hands to use. The little "toy" style whistle is more effective than your voice, but it's certainly not as effective as a conventional whistle or survival whistle.
There are a pair of 6 penny galvanized nails, two safety pins, a sewing needle, 3 ft (91 cm) of fairly heavy gauge brass wire, 9.8 ft. (3 m) of twisted nylon string that will unravel when cut, a trio of paper covered wire ties, which won't be much more than rusted wire if they get wet, and a carbon steel single edge razor blade. The 1 ft. (30cm) of duct tape is ingeniously affixed to paper backing instead of being rolled, allowing for easier packing and use. Not much, but at least useable.
Foodstuffs include a tea bag (not sealed), bullion packet, sugar packet, a peppermint candy, and a piece of bubble gum. More of a morale and brief energy booster than anything else. A Zip-Loc Sandwich Bag (24 fl.oz. (710ml) capacity) is provided, but no water purification supplies. Medical supplies are limited to a pair of adhesive bandages and a pair of alcohol prep pads, certainly not a good choice for "antiseptic swabs." The foldout page of survival instructions included are actually pretty fair, but the print is as tiny as we've ever seen and very difficult to read--a magnifier would have been nice to have.
This kit is a convenient pocket size and shape. Altogether, for $12 (we paid only $9 at a discount sporting goods store), you could do much worse. However, the quality of the items, for the most part, is marginal, though the selection isn't terrible. The pop-top failure was not exactly life threatening, though the typical purchaser of a kit such as this might well be stymied by it. As a kit to inexpensively and easily outfit a group of people with some minimal personal survival supplies for moderate conditions, it might not be a bad choice with some supplemental stuff in their pockets. However, we wouldn't suggest it for anyone serious about survival. We rate this kit as "Adequate," just barely.
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Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
Revision: 03 June 1, 2002
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