Thursday, October 1, 2015
VSSL Shelter and Supplies Initial Impressions
I recently received the VSSL Shelter and Supplies kits to test out on a week long trip. In the video below I review what all is included in this kit prior to disembarking on my trip into the Appalachian Woodlands. In addition to these two kits I threw in my micro 10 C's kit, belt knife, Pathfinder 32 oz water bottle and some aluminum foil just because it can make life a little more comfortable if the kit were to fail me in some manner (I don't like to go somewhere for a week without a backup plan, as minimal as that may be).
So initial thoughts: 1) I like all the metal containers for making cared material, storing bait, making medicine, cooking, etc; 2) I wish the outer shell could be put to use as a container in some manner (i.e. a false bottom so you could use it to boil); 3) since the main container can be used to boil I wish there were another mean bigger than the smaller container to boil/cook in; 4) the flashlight is more of a close up light only suited for seeing where you step and not where you are going; 5) Love the inclusion of the beeswax candle; 6) plenty of fishing/trapping supplies that I doubt finding a meal will be much of a problem this time of year; 7) While I never use matches it would be good for someone who hasn't used a ferro rod before; 8) I like the inclusion of magnification into the fire kit as well lot of good fire making material. 9) plenty of first aid supplies for minor injuries but no tourniquet (I think adding a a simple rubber band IV start kit type of tourniquet would be a good item to add); 10) I'm interested in seeing how the aqua tabs work out to purify water, I think I will have to cut the tablet into quarters if my calculations are correct; 11) The wire saw is much heavier duty than the ones I have used in the past so maybe it will work out better than those did; 12) The rope might be interesting, would have liked paracord or bankline for more long-term tasks and trapping; 13) Signaling mirror can be nice if you are looking to get out a jam by signaling SAR; 14) The compass has moderate accuracy compared to my phone (I will have a video of this up in the near future); 15) The survival priorities are a good place to start if you don't have any previous experience with self reliance; 16) The whistle is OK to make a little noise but compared to a whitewater guide whistle or a SAR whistle it will pail in comparison; and 17) The trail markers are good if you are leaving your car, blazing a new trail or want to be found- not something I have included in any kit (other than my SAR kit) but may be useful for someone with a little less training.
Want To Try A VSSL For Yourself?
I'm trying to look at this product like it was the only kit I would have as a beginner on my preparedness journey and tested it for a week with that in mind. I'm normally not one for a canned kit but will try to give this one a fair shake as we go through the testing and try not to revert to simpler kit I know are bomb proof. This weeks should be fun trying to go back to the beginner survivalist in me. Hopefully this product proves useful beyond its price tag and helps me smooth it for the week instead of suffering through the week.
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