I was introduced to this concept long before I enlisted in the military. Growing up, my dad was both a private pilot and a hot air balloon pilot. One thing he always had on him whether he was flying a Cessna cross country or a hot air balloon, was a small crash kit. The purpose of the crash kit was to assist him in effecting his survival in the event he went down for whatever reason. This kit is NOT by any means a complete survival kit or bail out bag loadout; just a really simple crude kit to get you through a night or two. Kyle Defoor posted a similar kit to this on his social media. Although very similar they are different. I originally had my kit contained in an off brand ‘waterproof’ roll top bag, but after seeing his post changed up my carry system. My kit is now contained in a pouch made by SealLine.
Some people laugh when they think about this concept. They typically say how could you survive a plane crash to begin with when you’re traveling around 600mph at an altitude of 30,000′? They’re right, you probably won’t survive a commercial airline accident of that magnitude. What this will help with is those controlled emergency landings in rural settings. This kit would also be extremely helpful for those that mountain bike, paraglide, or enjoy adventures in remote austere environments. The kit is compact enough to fit in a cargo pocket on person, in a pouch under your bike seat when mountain biking, or just kept in your pack for emergencies. One of the added bonuses of this kit is that you can keep this in your carry on bag when traveling too. All the items contained in this kit are TSA ‘approved’ for travel via airports.
So what does this so called ‘crash kit’ contain?
- SealLine See Pouch (Orange) – All the contents fit into this waterproof SealLine pouch – size large. This pouch can also double as a small water collection container.
- SOL Heatsheets Blanket – This blanket is a multipurpose item. The primary use is as a blanket to wrap yourself with if you’re at risk of going hypothermic. The blanket can also be setup as an impromptu shelter. Due to the bright orange color this can also be used as a rescue marker for aerial search and rescue teams.
- BankLine Cordage – You could substitute paracord for this – my personal preference is bankline. I have a 15′ length of #36 bank line. The cord breaks down into 3 strands giving me 45′ of cordage if I need it. This could be used for gear repair, field expedient shoe laces, fishing, or setting up the SOL Heatsheets blanket as a shelter.
- Bic Lighter – I like to wrap my lighters with 2″ wide duct tape. This gives me a good fire extender if need be, tape to repair the SOL Heatsheets blanket, or as field expedient band aids.
- Ferro Rod – again the striker is wrapped with 1″ duct tape for the reasons we mentioned above.
- Mini Inferno – Mini Inferno will guarantee you a fire in any weather condition as long as you have a way to light it. I carry two methods to ignite the Mini Inferno – two is one; one is none.
- Survival Straw – You’re going to need water at some point. If you don’t have time to wait for purification tabs to work you can start drinking from a water source immediately with this. One survival straw is capable of giving you 20 gallons of clean, safe drinking water. That’s more than 3 weeks of emergency water.
- Water purification tablets – They take up no room at all in your kit, so why not?
- Suunto Amphibian Compass – Knowing your direction of travel is vital if you’re going to attempt self rescue. The mirror of the compass can also be used as an additional signaling device for aerial search and rescue teams.
I don’t want to pack this small crash kit with items I don’t need; only some basic tools to help me get through a bad situation. Having a kit similar to this will be a huge game changer when it comes to your mindset. Hopefully you will never have to use this kit, but knowing that you have a kit like this will give you increased confidence and a positive mental attitude when and if you find yourself in a bad spot.