ESEE Advanced Survival Kit
In my initial overview of the ESEE Advanced survival kit we covered how most pre-made survival kits are crap, but the ESEE Advanced kit is the exception. The kit is easily the highest quality one I’ve ever seen. The products included aren’t bargain bin junk posing as survival. This stuff is actual survival gear. I had a hard time trying to find a way to write this review to convey this thought.
This kit is not a bug out bag, it’s a survival kit. This means the kit doesn’t give you food and water. The kit gives you a method to obtain both. The kit is designed to be tossed in a brush plane, a truck, or on an ATV and kept for a real bad day. The small kit is lightweight at only 4 or 5 pounds fully loaded. It is jammed packed with useful gear. Not just useful, but high-quality gear.
MALICE clips allow the ESEE kit to be attached to any MOLLE. I’ve done that with my Blue Force Gear Jedburgh Pack. The kit can be worn as a backpack via straps or as a messenger bag. The straps also make it easy to strap the bag onto something. For a boater, it may be valuable to strap this kit to something that floats, possibly the same for someone flying a brush plane.
The genius of the pack is in how it is packed. You are fitting a ton of gear in a very small package. I put a complete list here. There are a number of notable pieces of gear that should be mentioned.
Notable pieces of gear
ESEE 4 – I’ve previously done a full review on the Esee 4. I suggest reading that here. The too long don’t read of it is simple. It’s a good knife. A really good, really well made fixed blade knife. The big difference with this kit is the slimmer orange handle and a polymer sheath.
Petzl Tikka – The Tikka is a simple headlamp that works well. A flashlight is great, but a headlamp is oh so much better. Headlamps make it easy to move with both hands-free while casting a light. The Tikka has two brightness settings, and the LED is a battery sipper. The Tikka is nice and bright. Headlamps are excellent for emergency survival, they allow you to work with both hands and still have a light.
Mess Tin- Is the mess tin the best piece of gear in the kit? You could argue it is the most important. The mess kit allows you to boil water, which means you can purify water. Without drinking water, you are dead pretty fast. The mess tin does a whole lot more. It certainly makes eating easier. However, boiling water is the most important task it can accomplish.
Swiss Army Knife – This is a real Victorinox Swiss Army knife, not a made in China piece of junk. This basic model is packed with useful, and well-made tools. From a screwdriver to a can opener you are ready to go.
It’s the Little things
The Little things are what makes life a just a little better. Even in a survival situation, the little things can make life so much better. The little things rely on creativity. A thinking man will always do more with less. Being creative I’ve come up with a few things you can do with this kit.
You can take the two trash bags, fill them with leaves, and form a basic isomat. This will keep you off the cold, or wet ground. The trash bags can, of course, be turned into a poor man’s poncho. The LED Brite Strikes are perfect for marking a camp at night, and extremely bright and easy to use. Almost all the gear is a bright, easy to see color. The kind of colors that will draw the attention of people searching for you.
The Survival cards and write in the rain notebook offer a ton of valuable information that is worth paying attention to. The kit is just well made. You can tell actual experts assembled it all, and packed it.
This kit has made me realize I really don’t know as much as I thought I did. Trying to start a fire with a flint and scraper is a real challenge, something that needs to be practiced. Randall, who makes the kit, also offers a variety of survival classes. This kit has made me realize I could use some serious survival training. The kit is handy with or without training, but I feel survival training will show the true potential of this kit.
I listed what was inside the kit last time, this time, I want to list what you can accomplish with the kit. Although, there are bound to be dozens of others tasks I missed. I want to make sure I cover the four core survival needs.
We mentioned the mess tin earlier, and how it can purify water. You also get purification drops in case you can’t make a fire. How do you store water, though? The kit comes with four 1 quart resealable bags that make transporting water easy and effective. The tarp the kit comes with can be rigged to gather water when it rains. The trash bags can be used to make a solar still. You have quite a few options for collecting water.
I would toss a few Cliff bars in the kit for sure. It does come with the necessary goods to capture some food, though. You get a nice and complete fishing kit. The kit is sealed in a tin and comes with bait, lines, and hooks. You also get a large amount of metal wire which is perfect for making snares for catching small animals.
The kit comes with a flint and striker to make camp fires. I mentioned before you need practice, but you also need some tinder. The kit comes with a set of cotton like tinder for easy fire starting. The kit also has some waterproof matches, and two packets of burn gel. You also get a magnifying glass, which is capable of starting fires with some dry tinder.
You get a nice, big, orange tarp. This orange tarp is ready to protect you from the elements. The rope and paracord that comes with the kit also make it much easier to build a shelter. The two survival blankets will certainly shelter you from the elements. Finally, the small wire saw can cut wood for stakes and the ESEE 4 can sharpen them with ease.
Is this kit for you? Are you an adventurer? Are you willing to admit bad things can and do happen, even to the very best adventurers? If so, then yeah, this kits for you.