I received the SUMA Elite Kit (aka SUMA Pro) Large several months ago from Precision Rifle Supply. I finally had a chance to put most of the kit through its paces on a camping trip to Lake Pemaquid campground in Maine. My daughters helped me build a fishing rod, which I took a picture of (or so I thought) and now I can’t find the dam thing!
Let me say immediately that I would not pay $174 dollars for this survival kit. When I initially got my hands on it, it cost $154. The only things they have added to the elite kits is a spool of fishing line and lanyards for the flint-fire starter and emergency whistle. My opinion, this does not give reason to up the cost of the survival kit $20.
Some of the stuff is great and definitely works, while some of it is a waste of space and a tease. This kit is definitely more suited for someone who is experienced in starting fires in “not ideal” conditions, making a shelter, fishing, navigating, etc.
- Out of the four fire starting systems available in this kit, the Fast Fire is the only one that I would recommend. It has a burn time of several minutes. I know it was at least 5 minutes.
- The Fire Tinder Tabs only burned for about a minute. If you don’t have a sufficient fire starting tinder (bark shavings, dry kindling, newspaper, etc.) you wont have good luck with this.
- The emergency matches only burned for 5 seconds and literally went out immediately. Not worth it in my opinion.
- The flint rod and hacksaw blade did work once I scraped past the outer layer. Again, If you are not experience in starting a field expedient emergency fire then you may want to think of an alternative method. I would recommend road flares, torch lighter, etc.
The survival kit the I received did not have a spool of line for both the fishing kit and sewing kit. The fishing kit that I received had sewing thread in it. Unless you have a vivid “McGyver-ish” imagination and can make your own fishing pole with the wire and paracord then good luck in figuring out another method. My recommendation would be to have your own fishing pole and bate for the fish in your area. I would not recommend using the sewing thread for anything other than sewing material, making shelters or doing a field expedient wound repair.
- The little compass that came in it was an ok addition but was very difficult to read the measuring units on the side, because the were clear and unmarked.
- The little leatherman tool was good to have and use for small tasks.
- Having a magnifying lens was a good thing to have and really worked, in the event that you break, loose or forget you eyeglasses.
- The water tight bags can be used for keeping water in and stuff dry. Just don’t overfill the bag with water, because the ziplocks are only so strong.
- The emergency whistle is loud, ear piercing and annoying. I love it and would definitely recommend one of those.
- Water tabs: Good
- Surgical blade: only for blister, splinters fine material cutting.
- Duct tape was a poor use of space.
- Space blanket/emergency signaling device: good for retaining body heat and signaling in open areas.
When it comes right down to an emergency kit, I would build my own “survival kits” and have my own waterproof container. I was not impressed with this survival kit and would not buy one of these myself. If you decide to make a survival kit, I would recommend making more than one. The term Survival is a very flexible term and can be interpreted lightly or extreme, all depending who you are and what your knowledge and/or experience is for any given situation. A survival kit can be as basic as band aids and water, to everything under the sun.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR CHOICE.
If you have any questions regarding this kit, please leave them in the comments section below.
(Featured image courtesy of brokenarrowshop.com)