Friday, 15 March 2013

eGear Survival Essentials - Outdoor Survival Kit From Whitby&Co

Earlier this year I was kindly sent an assortment of outdoor gadgets, gizmos and kit items, by Outdoor Accessory Distributor Whitby And Co. The first of which was the Nite-Ize CamJam Cord Tighteners, that I reviewed in January.

And so we move onto the second item, that came in my box of goodies, The eGear Survival Essentials Ready Kit 200.

Whitby&Co are based in Kendal, Cumbria. Which is known as the gateway to the Lake District and is just a short drive up the M6 Motorway for me. They are suppliers to a wide range of markets and industries, from outdoor and camping, hunting and fishing, gift, DIY and agricultural.
Any sensible outdoors person, who likes to enjoy pursuits such as Bushcraft, Climbing, Backpacking, Camping etc. is likely to have a first aid kit, somewhere on their person or in a rucksack. Its just common sense !

But how many of us are prepared for other such emergencies, that may not require first aid or medical attention.

You may have gone out for a days hike in the hills, only to realise that you have left your coat in the car and it is starting to rain.

You may have accidentally dropped your compass and smashed it on some rocks.

Or on a more serious note, you may have injured your ankle, when falling down a small ravine. You are unable to walk and you may now find yourself having to spend longer than you expected in challenging circumstances.

Do you have the necessary items with you to be able to last for long periods of time, in these conditions ?

This is where the Outdoor Survival Kit from eGear Survival Essentials, could be a great asset to your kit bag. Hopefully, you will never need to ever open the kit up, but if the circumstances ever arise, you know that your chances of survival or coping with challenging scenarios, will have increased.

The pouch itself and all its contents (That are supplied as part of the Ready Kit 200) weigh just 502g and measures approx 18cm x 5cm.

The durable pouch is brightly colored orange, so you're not likely to miss it and also has a reflective side, which could be used for signaling. The pouch also comes with a small carabiner to enable you to attach it to a loop on your rucksack.

But personally I would just leave the kit somewhere in the bottom of my rucksack. On the inside cover of the pouch is an area to write any personal details, such as contact details, emergency contacts (next of kin), medical conditions, medication and allergies etc. all useful information, should you ever be found by the rescue services.
The Ready Kit 200 includes a varied selection of items, which are listed below. But you could always add (or remove) any items you think may enhance the kit, more to your specific requirements :
  • 125ml of emergency drinking water
  • 2 emergency food ration bars
  • Ultra lightweight poncho
  • Foil survival blanket
  • Green light stick
  • Survival towel
  • Signalling mirror
  • Button compass
  • Whistle
  • Tea light candle
  • Magnesium block, ferro rod and striker
  • Pocket survival guide
All in all a nice selection of items, that would cater for most of your basic survival requirements.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Protection
  • Navigation
  • Rescue
Two of the items in the kit that caught my eye were the emergency drinking water and the pocket survival guide. All of the other items, you would expect to see in such a kit. But the sealed pack of emergency drinking water, is something I have never come across before and I thought it was a nice item to include.

The same goes for the pocket survival guide. This highlights some great survival points and lists them in a straight forward but highly informative way. The small 6 page (double sided) guide covers:

  • Food & Water - Treating, Consumer Guidelines etc.
  • Trails & Travel - Hazards, Best Practices etc.
  • S.T.O.P - Stop, Think, Orientate, Plan
  • HIS/HERS - Hazard, Injury, shelter, Heat, Energy, Rescue
  • Survival Chant - To keep spirits up
  • Shelter - Basic guidelines
  • Fire - Fire lighting basics
  • Signals - Different signal methods
  • First Aid - Hypothermia & Heat exhaustion basics
  • Winter - Winter survival basics
This type of kit, doesn't just have to be for emergency situations. It may just be the fact you have left your lighter at home and have no means to ignite your camping stove.

What you decide to keep in your emergency Survival Kit, is personal preference, but as a starting point this handy little kit from eGear is as good as anything I have come across.

I am very thankful to Whitby&Co for sending me this kit to try out and it will now be a regular addition to my rucksack, whenever I venture out into the woods or hills. You never know what could happen when venturing into the outdoors.But if you have this type of kit in your bag, it could save your life or someone elses life.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Trialing The Blogger App On A Morning Woodland Walk

On a gorgeous Sunday morning, myself and the kids decided to go for a walk through a small local woodland. And I thought it would be a great opportunity to post an article using just my iTouch and the Blogger app, to see how easy it is to use.

The woodland is just a stone's throw away from our house and so it wasn't long before the kids found the start of the footpath and a chance for the first photo.

This walk is renowned for being on the muddy side and the kids are always on the lookout for animal tracks. Being popular with dog walkers, it was no surprise that this was the first track to be identified.

The kids are slowly being "Programmed" to be on high alert for any fungi, when out on country walks. But due to the lack of species in these woods (and the time of year), we resorted to other things like catkins and gooseberry bushes.

We ventured on along the stream and into the meadow, where I have previously spotted fox scatt.

Back in the woods and close to a bridle way I spotted some different animal tracks, which initially I thought were deer prints. But the chance of deer in these woods are pretty slim. And on further inspection realised they were more likely to be from the sheep that graze in adjacent fields.

It was now time to head back home, collecting some firewood on the way back followed by the write up of this article using the Blogger app on my iTouch.

Before leaving the wood, my son was quick to spot a bear climbing a tree. But living in the UK didn't cause any concern for alarm.

And so, back home in my comfy armchair I sit writing this article using the onscreen keyboard of my iTouch, adding photos as I write. Not knowing if the photos will appear as I added them or in a bunch at the foot of the article.

I have no idea how this article will look when published to my blog and I have no intention of amending it, using the full Blogger software on my main computer.

The Blogger app would allow you to write articles on the go, taking photos from within the app and then saving as draft for editing at a later date.

But to enable you to see how the basic published article would look I have left it unedited.

Ok, so there we are... My first article using the Blogger app on my iTouch. If you have any experience using this app please leave a comment... Good or Bad.