These Colors Don't Run - Remember 9.11.2001 Equipped To Survive
 Where do you want
 to go on ETS?

Letters, Brickbats & Comments

We welcome your feedback on the Equipped To Survive [(tm)] Web site, either good or bad. Truth be known, we prefer good, <g> but we are just as interested in constructive criticism. If you would like to see additions or changes, please let us know. Our aim is to provide you with the information you want, presented in the most useful and accessible manner.

Please Email your feedback or suggestions.

We like to post the best letters here, so let us know if you would prefer your letter not be posted or if you would like your name withheld (no Email addresses will be included). We reserve the right to edit published letters for clarity, grammar, spelling and length.

What They're Saying

I want to thank you for maintaining an absolutely outstanding web site at "Equipped To Survive." In the process of assembling my survival kit while preparing for my mountain checkout flight here in Boulder, CO, I found your web site. I've learned a great deal and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring your site while assembling my kit. I've pointed a number of people toward your site.

During my egress/ejection/survival training in preparation to fly NASA F-18s, I've had several opportunities to examine the survival kits included in the ejection seat pans that NASA Dryden safety crews have assembled (they are standard Air Force kits, I'm sure). I see a lot of commonality between the Air Force kits and materials you suggest for inclusion in personal kits.

After spending the time learning to assemble my kit, you should know that through your site you've helped me become a far better-prepared pilot - I now carry my kit with me on every flight, mountain or local. I see so many pilots here departing without any sort of kit whatsoever, and I now better appreciate the foolhardiness of their (and my previous) short-sightedness.

Thank you very much!

Dan Durda
Boulder, Colorado
I just wanted to compliment you for the outstanding work you have done here. Yours is the most comprehensive site on this subject matter that I have found to date. I find all the information to be objective and without brand bias, kudos to you sir.

I have been an EMT in Newark, NJ for twelve years and am greatly impressed by the attention to detail you pay to your survival medical kits. While they carry all the equipment needed they do not venture beyond the capabilities of the motivated layman.

Quite a few of us at work are outdoor enthusiasts and as we get new folks to come out camping with us, we make your site "required reading," in fact to while away the winter doldrums we all teamed up and made Mini Survival Kits (Altoid Cans) using both the site and the forum for reference.

Once again thank you for all the information you provide to the community. Please keep up the good work.

Best Regards,

Gene O'Neill
Newark, NJ
I am a 42 year old Den Mother, Scout Mother, and former member of the Civil Air Patrol who just stumbled onto your website and felt compelled to send a note telling you that this is one of the best sites I have yet found on the 'net.

The article discussing survival methods for kids was great. It was reassuring and gave good information without scaring the bejabbers out of any kid who might be reading it. The language is simple enough for any kid to understand.

The equipment recommendations were very informative, especially since my Boy Scout son has been begging for a good knife to take into the woods with him. He is attracted by every cheap knife ad he can find and if I'm going to buy one for him I want it to be as safe as possible while having the capability of being of assistance to him in an emergency situation.

Thank you for posting such an interesting site. I have already added it to my list of favorite places and will certainly tell all my scouting associates about it. This is a great resource for anyone who spends any time in the outdoors.

Keep up the good work.

Carla F. Ward
Last night I found your Equipped to Survive web site and within a few minutes of reading I was impressed. The web site is easy to navigate with logical divisions of material. The in-text links to web sites of manufacturers of the various products mentioned were especially appreciated.

I have long been interested in survival skills and practices, an interest that was sparked by reading My Side of the Mountain several years ago; I was about 11...I have read numerous articles on survival skills, equipment, theory, and experiences. From that background, I think your articles are well composed and objectively evaluate the subject of the essay, whether it is a knife, emergency procedures for pilots in distress, or other sources for more information. They convey your opinion without sounding like dogma on the issue. I especially appreciated the pro and con evaluation of the tools, some of which I was unfamiliar with. It helped my decide what to choose for my needs.

I just wanted to send a short note to give credit where credit is due. I don't think that happens enough in our busy world. Have a good day.

Daniel Greenwood
Your site is GREAT!!, and a lifesaver. I am currently a commercial pilot in Alaska, a full time police officer, and came here as an Army Aviator about 20 years ago. I've had the opportunity to spend an unplanned night in the embrace of mother nature, due to weather, at 24 below zero; and survived due to excellent equipment provided by the Army. Keep the information coming.
Ted Smith
First off, my thanks for and congratulations on a fine website. At a time when easy software allows anyone to put up a site, whether they know what they're talking about and have anything worthwhile to say or not, it's refreshing to find a site with so much "meaty" content. I've spent hours visiting and learning a lot. (It's also refreshing to find a site on "survival" that doesn't suggest you stock up on mortar rounds and 45 gallon drums of cabbage flakes:-)
Thanks again,
Philip Torrens
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I have spent a lot of time looking around the WWW and searching for sites with info on survival. You have by far the BEST site. Your information is down to earth and realistic. I am very impressed. I have visited the site many times and still enjoy reading and re-reading some of the information. I appreciate all the reviews of survival items that you have included. In doing my own research on several items, you are right on with your recommendations.


Thanks for all your effort,
Dan Honaker
It's been a long time since I've found an Internet page packed with so much practical information. I've been putting a survival kit together for my car for the past couple of months, piece by piece, and finally decided to look for some help on the Internet. Your page has got to be the jackpot winner. Thanks for all the time you invest to make this information available.
Fred Rowley
Hello, I'm a sixth grade teacher. My classes are reading the novel "Hatchet," by Gary Paulsen. I just wanted to comment on how great the page was for the kids. They really enjoyed it and learned from it. THANKS!
Cindy Stone
Hopewell Valley Regional School District
Pennington, N.J.
Thanks for putting together such a useful and informative resource for preparedness-minded individuals. I especially find your antecdotal evidence regarding survival products most helpful. Your website is highly organized, easy to navigate and loaded with timely infomation. I wouldn't dream of purchasing a preparedness product without first checking your site! Keep up to excellent work.
Frank Pankow
Phoenix, Ariz.
I am impressed! I have been looking for a web site with as much comprehensive and detailed information as yours. Doug's equipment section is very well thought out and leaves no doubt in my mind he and others who follow his lead will be "equipped to survive."

My work takes me 50 miles away from my family, 4-5 times a week. I was looking for a site with equipment lists but your site is much more than that. It lays out the good, the bad, and the ugly in discussions of kits and equipment. I found reviews and very helpful information on subjects and equipment I never thought of. Your site is truly the best on the web. Keep up the good work !

Ed Whiting
Bakersfield, CA.
I came across your site two weeks ago while researching info for a new pocket folder, and have enthusiastically returned a few times since. You have here a truly rare species: a well-written, clear, richly informed and informative site (a much too solitary creature on the Net), with instructive, critically reliable reviews (nearly extinct!) -- bravo!
Glen Mimura
I am really impressed with your review of the WAVE. You really did an outstanding job - I wish I could find reviews like this on cars :-)

As far as the rest of your WEB Site goes - Thanks.

I am just getting into backpacking with my sons and I found your page while looking for tips on putting together a survival kit. The information you provided was just what I was looking for. I printed the Kids Wilderness Primer and my sons read it (12&13). They enjoyed it and learned alot.

It is really nice of you to provide this WEB Page for the rest of us interested people.

Greg Miller
I'm sure you've heard this before, but you've produced a truly excellent web site.  I was fortunate enough to receive survival training in my military flying career, but I would never have known ANYTHING about survival but for that.

More civilian pilots need to see your web site, if nothing more than to learn that they could be put into a survival situation anytime they leave the ground, and that they should be prepared.

Thanks again!

Dave Setser
Boston, MA
This is an intelligent, informative resource for persons with a wide range of interests. I appreciate the critical consideration of products and techniques. KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK.
Andrew Walko
Thanks for putting so much work into your great website. It has the best and most complete guide for survival I have ever seen in one place. Keep up the excellent work!
Sam Charters
I just recently found your site, and I bookmarked it immediately. This web site is a great resource for anyone interested in survival skills of any kind. Thanks for providing such a great site.
Kelly Jackson
Your site is great. The information is good, sensible, no B.S. stuff. Keep up the good work.
Frank and Janet Quan
WOW! You guys put Consumer Reports to shame!

Just finished looking at your site, including the incredibly detailed review of the life rafts, other safety gear, etc. I hope you provided a copy of your report to the safety equipment manufacturers so they can make improvements per your recommendations. They should be paying you and your team of volunteers for the service you are providing. Your site and the information on it is important to those who take their safety seriously. You have my utmost respect and gratitude. Good work!

Dave Fowler
Atlanta, GA
Although I hope to never use your information on ditching for pilots, there were some very important points you made me aware of that may indeed help save my passengers and my life someday.
Drew Trieger
Single Engine rated Private Pilot
Just a note to tell you how informative I have found your site to be -- this is an outstanding piece of work! Lot's of solid information, well presented and well written.

I especially like the gear information and product reviews that obviously reflect thorough knowledge from substantial hands-on use and testing. Just as important is the straight-forward, tell-it-like-it-is approach used in describing the various products -- well done! In fact, I have purchased a number of the items you recommend including a new signal mirror, and several flash lights and knives. So far your commentaries are right on.

While I admit to being something of a gear weenie, the bottom line is that your site is an excellent source for this information. Byte for byte, offers more actual content than any other 10 Web sites combined.

Thanks for all the great work.

Gary Peterson
Excellent!!! None better. Keep it up. Thank's very much.
Dave Seguin
Awesome web site.

I have 5 years of law enforcement experience, 16 years as an EMT, I am currently in the military working as a 91B10 Combat Medic as well as volunteering with a Mountain Rescue Unit here in Tacoma WA. I too have spent many years building, tearing up and re-doing countless survival kits, for awhile I've been stagnant, until I found your website!!


You have the most informative and comprehensive survival site I have ever seen!

Joseph McEvoy
I've been involved with survival for most of my adult life. I've taken about a half dozen wilderness survival courses. In all these years I never imagined a resource such as your's here. This site is incredible! I can't imagine the hours you must have invested in it, but thank you so very much for all your work.
John McIntyre
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your Kid's Survival information. After reading it I have gone to my local Popular store and outfitted our three children with whistles and when we go for hikes they now carry a small survival kit in a pouch on their belt. My wife and I read your survival information to our two youngest, 5 and 7, so they understand the information and what to do. I pray they will never need any of it, but feel blessed that if they do, they will survive thanks to your efforts. God bless!
William Dyson
As a pilot of 38 years, and having flown the world in a variety of environments, I would like to offer my compliments on your great website. I was particularly impressed with your extensive tests and analyses done on life rafts. Additionally, I have spent a goodly amount of time on the ocean's surface in small boats. Until now, it has been difficult to locate a single source that provides accurate and objective information on marine survival gear.
Fred Moore
I must say that you have one of the most practical, informative, interesting, and downright useful sites on the internet.
Eric Foss
I think you have created one of the best sites I have seen on survival. You have all the basics covered and there is a lot of useful information. Being in the U.S. Army I know how useful all the information you give is. A very fine site.
Lewis Cantril
Great site! Informative in the extreme.
Dave Tsui
It is almost needless to say that I think that your site is one of the best of the web as far as I know.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Your enthusiasm about survival is wonderful!!

Rik Hovinga Groningen, The Netherlands
I am a Venezuelan pilot who flyes a lot over the Amazon jungle and I think that your articles on survival techniques are superb. Congratulations!
Enrique Nevett
Caracas, Venezuela
Equipped To Survive is a cool Web site that recently went online thanks to Valley resident and survival expert Doug Ritter. Even if you don't consider yourself a survivalist, you might want to check out Ritter's site at

You'll find a dizzying amount of stuff on survival, from lists of items to pack in case of an earthquake or other disaster to articles on survival techniques, links to survival sites courses in survival and survival forums.

Even if you just go for an occasional walk in the desert, you'll benefit from tapping Ritter's expertise.

David Hoye
The Arizona Republic
Just wanted to say that your ETS site is the best thing I've found on the Web. I have incorporated some of your ideas into my own survival kit and even got my 11 and 12 year-old sons interested in making up their own kits.

Thanks for the good work.

Bob Thomas
This is one hot site! There's a ton of great stuff to explore so bring a lunch and a roadmap. Doug Ritter, the author of the site, must not sleep. He keeps the site clean, neat, comprehensive, up to date and very well organized. It's difficult to describe Doug's site since it covers so many aspects of survival. Doug's equipment reviews are incisive and based on his incredible experience with aircraft survival. Most of his information is gear based, not primitive skill oriented. If that's what salts your pork, do yourself a favor ... Just GO THERE!
Ron Hood
I have just spent the day purusing your web site. All I can say is: BRAVO!
Gary W. Clark
Just thought we would drop a note to say that we have reviewed the essentials of your site. "Outstanding", is the only word that comes even anywhere close to describing it. The information is consecutive, well planned and executed.
Sephen Jacura
One of the best sites on the Web - a must for any aviator
1LT Will Flor, Wisconsin Wing Civil Air Patrol
Just a note of appreciation for this preparedness page. This will be a great help in putting together my survival plan. Thanks again.
Mike Jones
Survival? If you have not yet visited Doug Ritter's site called Equipped To Survive, you should visit it soon. It has a lot of good information on survival equipment and techniques.
Johnny Sewell
I am impressed and overwhelmed with the amount of information you have put together here! Congratulations!
Carol Colleen
I finally got a good look and it is the best site I have ever seen. Perfection, no more, no less. Finally, something with social value.
Randy Dockins
You've done a wonderful job in compiling vast amounts of useful info and equipment sources and are to be congratulated for your diligent efforts.

I live on an island in Puget Sound right over an active fault and am told by our ferry service that when the big one comes, we can expect to be on our own for somewhere between 72 hours and the remaining servicable lifespan of the planet. I lead the only functioning emergency preparedness & disaster recovery neighborhood group on the island (three years old now) and am trying to help other groups get off the ground as well as get some coordination on an island-wide basis.

Your web site has proven itself to be an invaluable resource for my current efforts and I hope it will serve to inspire others here.

Rick Frye
I visit your site all the time; it's my favorite. Keep up the good work; you are providing a valuable service in an unappreciative environment. You guys rock! Thank you.
Phil Huck
I'm very excited! I didn't know a site this good was out there. Great Information. Keep up the good work!
Jason Barnes

« Prev. [Previous]
[Next] Next »

Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
Revision: 23 February 28, 2000
Webserver courtesy of Pulver Technologies
Email to:

© 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Douglas S. Ritter & Equipped To Survive Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Check our Copyright Information page for additional information.
Read the ETS
Privacy Policy