If you are looking for a small, lightweight, reasonably priced and very basic emergency kit, then Adventure Medical Kits has one for you with the SOL Survival Medic.
When I received the smaller SOL Survival Medic, which retails for $15, it was accompanied by the top of the line $40, SOL Origin survival kit which I reviewed in an earlier column. But in looking at the Medic, the Origins smaller cousin, I really like what I see.
Regrettably, there are no local stores that carry the Survival Medic at this time, but according to a spokesperson at Adventure Medical Kits, it should be in most outdoor stores that sell the SOL line no later than May.
On the other hand the Origin is available at REI in Northville and at Dick’s Sporting Goods. It is a great kit but for those who want to have a small, reasonably priced survival kit, the Medic is the way to go. It can be purchased directly from SOL at the company online store or wait until it is in local stores.
Unlike its bigger cousin that comes in an extremely rugged plastic case, the Medic is stored in a nearly indestructible DryFlex zip close waterproof bag. Do not confuse this bag with a heavy zip close plastic bag. The DryFlex bag is strong and short of stabbing it with a knife, I don’t think you could easily penetrate it.
What I like about the medic is that as its name implies, the kit includes a very basic set of first aid items and a handful of survival gear that is very close to what I normally carry now in my own kit.
What is included is:
- 1 SOL Emergency Blanket, 56×84
- 1 Fire Lite™ sparker,
- 4 Tinder-Quik tinder,
- 1 SLIM Rescue Howler™ whistle,
- 1 duct tape 2×26 inch
- 1 button compass
- 2 antiseptic wipes
- 2 ibuprofen 200mg
- 1 triple antibiotic ointment 0.5 g
- 1 adhesive fabric knuckle bandage
- 2 adhesive fabric bandages 1×3 inch
- 2 safety pins
- 1 Waterproof sheet of survival instructions
The SOL Emergency Blanket is extremely strong and can be used to wrap yourself in or even as a small shelter. It is much more rugged than the standard “space blanket” I now carry. The Fire Lite sparker is honestly not the best, but it will ignite the Tinder-Quick fire starters which will burn for approximately 4–minutes each. This is plenty of time to start a fire if you are prepared and gather the fuel you will need to start the fire before beginning.
The Slim Rescue Howler whistle is of a pea-less design and the benefit here is that in very cold temperatures a conventional whistle can freeze up and the Howler will not. And even though it is small, it is extremely loud, which my19–yearold son can attest to when I used it to wake him one morning.
Finally in the survival portion of the kit there is duct tape, which we all know has a million and one uses from repairing rips to holding on bandages. And there is a small, but accurate compass.
The first aid portion of the kit contains what you need for minor injuries; antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, an adhesive bandage for your knuckles and a two standard adhesive bandages. There is also a package of two ibuprofen tablets. Then there are the safety pins. They could be used for tasks ranging from removing a splinter, keeping your pants up or if you use the emergency blanket as a wrap, the pins would keep it closed around your shoulders.
With the addition of 10–feet of nylon cord, some water purification tablets and a small “keychain” flashlight, this kit will fit the needs of the majority of hikers and backpackers. There is no knife as there is with the Origin, but you should already have one with you at all times when backpacking or hiking. And as far as the flashlight, the small one in the Origin or a keychain light should never be all you carry.
The SOL Survival Medic is well worth the cost at $15 and it will be replacing my home grown kit from now on, with a few additons of my own.
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