In the past we have had discussions on bug out bags (B.O.B.) as well as survival gear. Many people don’t understand the need to carry survival gear, but the fact is a great many people do. A good example is people who live in the northern part of the US can deal with some very severe winter conditions, and most people will throw some extra items into a car or truck during the winter just to be on a safe side.
The same can be said for people who live in the western states which have deserts. The people who know better carry survival kits with them. Add in campers, hikers, tactical collectors, hunters, and just plain people who wish to avoid being unprepared in a natural disaster. Those are the ones who carry basic survival gear.
In the past I have shown many of the items I carry in my kit, and in fact many of the review items, are items I carry. Basic survival needs are pretty simple; Water, Shelter, heat, and food. You need a means of gathering, and/or purifying water, you need the means of putting up a minimal shelter (to keep you safe from the elements including the sun), you need a means of starting a fire for heat, and or cooking, and if possible some food depending on how long you are stranded.
You can build your own survival kit to do just that pretty easy, but for those who would just rather purchase a kit, I have just the one you should look at. Recently I added a kit to my B.O.B., and it’s a standalone survival kit that’s stocked with items you need for basic survival in a fully waterproof modular system called GearPods®.
GearPods makes modular, lightweight adventure and survival gear to prepare you for the unexpected. Their gear combines an innovative container system - GearPods Connect - with a range of pre-built GearPods Kits which results in a configurable system of pre-built kits and as well as DIY components.
The GearPods Connect system is a flexible and modular container system that is perfect for building kits, or adding kits together in a stack. They all share a common diameter which is the same as most sports bottle holders, GearPods are also easy to pack: in a bike water bottle cage, lumbar pack, hydration pack, backpack or even a pocket. Their pre-built GearPods Kits cover the essentials of adventure and survival: first aid, survival, shelter, and cooking.
These kits provide the best of both worlds: highly compact yet capable adventure and survival gear.
Because of the pod sizes they will fit in tactical gear designed for the common water bottle, so you can buy a pod kit to round out your gear, or a complete system they will help keep you alive.
As you can see the pods can screw together, which means you can make a really long pod, or you can stack pods together, and that’s really what I like about the system. You can stack them all together making them easy to find, and totally waterproof. My B.O.B. had the items that are contained in the GearPod system, but not in a logical means of finding or carrying. With the GearPod you can select what you need and just take that one module, or remove that one pod keeping the others stacks, easy to find and safe.
The GearPod system I have is the Wilderness version, which is a unique, fully-integrated adventure system consisting of three GearPods kits.
GearPods® Health contains a comprehensive collection of first aid supplies for treating common injuries, accidents and illnesses in the backcountry and contains the following items:
• Ibuprofen - 200mg (2)
• Aspirin - 325mg (2)
• Burn Cream with Aloe Vera
• Cleansing Wipes (2)
• Insect Protection Cream
• Sunscreen Lotion - SPF 30+
• Insect Sting Relief Towelette
• Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac Cleanser
• Lip Ointment
• Hydrocortisone - 1%
• Iodine Wipes (2)
• Antibiotic Ointment
• Moleskin - 2"x2" (2)
• Cotton Swabs (5)
• Medical Tape (0.5”x2.5yds)
• Alcohol Prep Pads (2)
• Butterfly Closures (3)
• Knuckle Band Aid (2)
• Small Bandages (5)
• Large Bandages (5)
• Gauze Pads (2)
• Stuff sac with drawcard and fastener
• Contents Sheet
So it’s a well rounded first aid kit, with room for you to even add a few other items including prescription meds etc.
The next pod in the wilderness edition system is the GearPods Survival Pro. This self-contained system combines the GearPods CookMug and the emergency-use GearPods® Stove that burns solid fuel tablets. Only two fuel tablets are provided, so it would be a good idea of obtaining a few more for your kit. This pod is a really nice setup that contains common survival items you need, as well as a drinking cup, and a stove. (note: the kit does not include food, so that’s up to you to add, otherwise the stove and cup are for purifying water by boiling it).
GearPods® Survival Pro is designed for:
• Emergency signaling
• Starting a fire
• Purifying water
• Fishing and snaring
• Repairing clothes and equipment
• Boiling water and cooking
And it includes the following items:
• GearPods CookMug: Compact 4.0” anodized aluminum cooking mug/pot with snap-in lid
• GearPods Stove: Solid fuel stove with windshield
• Esbit® solid fuel tablets (2)
• Rescue Flash™ signal mirror - 2"x3" signal mirror with retro-reflective targeting, protective film, plastic sleeve and instructions
• Fox40 Micro Safety™ - loud emergency whistle for signaling distress and communicating location
• Spark-Lite™ - dependable, one-handed fire starter
• Tinder-Quik™ (4) - weatherproof waterproof tinder that burns 1-2 minutes
• NATO "Storm" Matches (10) - vacuum sealed, NATO-approved waterproof and windproof matches with striker
• 20mm Liquid-filled button compass - simple navigation tool
• Mini-LED flashlight - small keychain-type flashlight with rugged case and battery with 24+ hours of continuous use
• Folding saw - light- to medium- use knife with stainless steel razor blade and rugged handle
• Folding knife - light- to medium-use saw blade constructed of 18TPI steel for cutting wood and metal, and housed in a rugged handle
• Katadyn Micropur-1 Water Tablets (6) - 1 tablet per 1 liter (33.8 fl oz) of water; effective against viruses, bacteria, guardia and cryptosporidium
• Sterile, self-standing water bag (36 fl oz) - for pre-treatment water capture and storage
• Heavy duty needle - for repairing clothes and gear
• Heavy duty thread (50ft reel, 10 lbs BS) - for repairs and emergency line for fishing
• Safety pins (2) - 2" - for repairs, first aid or even improvised hooks for food procurement
• Wire (8ft) - 0.02" stainless steel wire, non-magnetic - use for repairs and snares
• Braided nylon cord (25ft, 70lbs BS) - many uses including securing gear and building shelters
• Fishing kit - 4 hooks, 2 split-shots and 1 snap swivel
• Duct tape (2"x30" 9mm) - many uses from first aid to repair
• Weatherproof stationery - 2”x3” (4) - keeping logs, leaving messages, drawing maps
• Pencil (with protective cap) - use with weatherproof stationery
• Fresnel Lens (2"x3") - redundant fire starting method
• Waterproof and tearproof instructions - with illustrations (PDF)
• Stuff Sac - with drawcord and fastener (2)
All of the survival tools are stored in two ripstop nylon stuff sacs that packs neatly alongside the GearPods Stove/GearPods CookMug combination in a durable, lightweight and waterproof XL GearPods container that you can easily throw into a backpack or even a jacket pocket.
And the last POD in this wilderness system is the GearPods® Shelter and it Features:
• GearPods Adventure Tarp: Ultralight one-person silicon-coated ripstop nylon tarp (4.5' x 6.5').
• Thermal blanket
• 1.4 mm Nylon Cord - 70lbs breaking strength (25ft)
• Six (6) line tensioners (1-2mm)
The GearPods Adventure Tarp, is an ultralight one-person ripstop nylon tarp that weighs 1.47 ounces per square yard, and is double coated with silicon for maximum water protection and features 9 small fabric tie loops including a reinforced center loop. Use these loops with the 25 feet of nylon cord and the set of Line-Lok® Line Tensioners provided to construct any number of different shelter configurations to keep you out of the elements.
There you have it.. The GearPod Multi-Kit Wilderness System contains all the basics you need to survive. Throw it under your car seat and leave it there until it’s needed, or throw is in your B.O.B. Gear like I did to increase your capabilities.
You can also just purchase the individual pods and mix and match as needed, or buy the empty pods and build your own system. Keep in mind that the pods themselves also act as canteens for water or food.
Overall I think these are great kits and contain all the basic needs to survive and well worth it. If you think it’s pretty cool, but you rarely leave the house and you have all you need there to survive, keep in mind that natural disasters happen (such as Katrina), and disasters of that scope can happen anyplace and at anytime. Do you have the items in your home to cook or boil water if needed?
What about your family driving a long distance in poor weather, are there extra items in the car “just in case” or do you just rely on the cell phone?
Whether you buy a GearPod system, individual pods, or build your own pods, you should insure that you have the items needed and in a container that will last, and be waterproof. It’s better to have the items and never use them, then to need them and not have them.
I don’t normally travel with my B.O.B. but I do travel with my GearPod. And never ever think of your cell phone as all the gear you need. I carry a satellite tracking unit, and I’ll I need to do is press the help button and rescue is on the way in a matter of hours. My plan is to use my GearPod system until help arrives.
What’s your plan?
A very well rounded kit, and with it's water proof design will keep the contents safe and ready for years to come. The pouch that holds the Gearpods is not included, but it's also a great idea, and it has a pouch to hold on item thats missing from the kit, and thats a good multitool with a good blade.
I wish the kit had a few more heating tabs included, but you can add any type you wish to this stove. You can even purchase the alcohol burning stove that works with this system (highly recommend), or add pods later, and thats what I like about the modular system.
I view this as a highly recommended item.
note: some people get it and open it. personally I was not open it as this system is packed perfectly, and getting everything back in the pods can take a while. it's just best to leave it alone and open it only if needed. hopefully you never need it, and you can pass it down to your kids, but it you do need it.. your going to have a better chance at surviving, or be far more comfortable doing it.
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