Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit
By: Pete Wadeson
You would have to have been on a five year long exploration of the most inaccessible regions of the world if you haven’t already heard of Bear Grylls, ex-SAS, mountaineer, explorer, head of the Boy Scout movement and star of TV’s ‘Ultimate Survivor’... although come to think of it, if you had been on an Antarctic ice floe, in the Amazon jungle or half-way up Everest, you’d probably have bumped into him anyway.
Bear has made his name in the real worlds of military operations, expeditions and exploring, and has now become world famous for explaining and demonstrating his survival skills through the medium of television. So really it was only a matter of time before his ideas on survival equipment were made into real kit and put into production – which is exactly what Gerber has done. Gerber’s advertising logo “Fend for yourself” would seem in perfect tune with the Bear Grylls persona, and their ‘branded survival products certainly look the part.
Central to the range are the knives and multi-tools which we are featuring in our Field Cutlery Section, but equally important are all the pieces of ancillary equipment that can give you more of a chance if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a survival situation.
Remember that ‘survival’ and ‘danger’ can be as exotic as being stranded in a remote jungle or as mundane as being injured while out on your own in bad weather and in an isolated location in the UK. Whichever it may be, you will always be better off if you are equipped with the basic tools for survival, which have been gathered into two packages from Gerber; the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit and the Bear Grylls Basic Survival Kit.
The Ultimate Kit
This selection of fifteen items has been carefully assembled to offer a well designed kit, all stored in a waterproof inner nylon pouch within a ripstop nylon zipper bag. It is designed to aid survival in any emergency situation that you might find yourself in outdoors. The collection includes; a Gerber miniature multi-tool, survival blanket, waterproof bag, miniature light, length of cord, fire starter, waxed thread, waterproof matches, fishing kit, hand saw, cotton ball/fire tinder, sewing kit, signalling mirror, whistle and a snare wire. Land to air rescue and SOS instructions are printed on the back of the carry pouch and a Priorities of Survival pocket guide is included.
The Gerber® Clutch Mini Multi-Tool included in the package has a good complement of implements including needle nose pliers, wire cutters, fine edge blade, nail file, three screw drivers, tweezers and split-ring. A Fire Starter (consisting of a ferrocerium rod and metal striker with a lanyard to keep the two components secure and together) is also included in the package. When you consider that bought separately the Multi-Tool would cost about £15 and the Fire Starter would be over £5, then the overall price of £47.50 for the Ultimate Survival Kit (inclusive of the two tools mentioned) is reasonable. The whole package is just 6.5”x 4.5”x 1” so is easily carried in rucksack, shooting bag or even a large pocket in a jacket.
Although we can never be prepared for everything, we can give ourselves a fighting chance, and this kit pretty much covers most emergency eventualities.
The Basic Survival Kit
For those that don’t venture into potentially dangerous outdoor situations too often, yet would still like the security of a compact kit with some essential survival tools, then this Basic Survival Kit will probably suffice. The eight piece kit consists of a Gerber Mini-Paraframe knife, emergency whistle, fire starter, water¬proof matches, snare wire, emergency cord and cotton ball/fire tinder. Priorities of Survival and land to air rescue instructions are also included. This all packs down into a high visibility orange water resistant ripstop nylon bag with zipper, which is pocket sized at just 4.5x 5”x 1” and weighs 4.2 oz. Retail price is around £25, which is a bargain when you realise it includes a Gerber Mini Para-Frame folding knife which retails for around £10.
For their respective prices these kits both offer value for those that prefer to buy a pre-sorted ‘kit’ rather than assemble their own. If I was going to ‘nit-pick’ about both these kits I would replace the Clutch multi-tool in the Ultimate Kit with something more substantial, although it would suit the Basic Kit well. I also think that the inclusion of a button compass, a small magnifying glass, some paper and a pencil would be handy, but these items or any other ‘personal essentials’ could easily be added by the owner later. In fact, with any assembled survival kit, check the contents and tailor them to your needs – there may be things you need more of, there may be things that you doubt you need at all, and there may well be some items that are not in there but you feel you can’t do without.
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate and Basic Survival kits are available from local stockists throughout the UK. For more information visit the Gerber UK website at www.gerbergear.com
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates