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Why everyone needs to build a PSK...

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by Mark123, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Jan 23, 2010
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    So I read you post, several times in fact. I get what you are saying. I'm setting here typing this out and I'm looking at my PSK I threw together and thinking, "what was I thinking?" I'm not worried about wilderness survival, I'm worried about urban survival. I live in a city so getting "home" would be my primary objective. I also travel on a motorcycle at times and always with 1 or more people. I've always got extra stuff on hand for emergencies, but I'll say it is my secondary concern as my buddy went down on our last run. So again, looking at my PSK, I need to see, I need to cut, I need to feel well or repair myself within my means. I need to know where I'm going and I need to keep things together until I get there. With that said, I think I'm going to make a drastic change. I'll let you know what that is.
  2. grayman

    grayman Loaded Pockets

    Jan 23, 2010
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    OK, after some careful thought and evaluation, I've made some somewhat significant changes to my PSK and EDC for that matter. First the PSK modification.

    I'm not gearing for wilderness survival, though everything I've included could be used in such a way. My focus was on everyday life and possible scenarios. My first change was to dump the metal tin as it is too limiting due entirely to its size. I replaced the tin with the MaxPed Cocoon I had. It had previously contained a small store bought FAK, some matches, a lighter, mini-prybar, etc... I removed all these items rebuilt my PSK. I unpacked the FAK and found it in a small waterproof resealable bag. I moved all my original PSK items plus some antibiotic ointment and some additional wipes, some cotton balls, button compass, and my matches to this bag, which I then compressed and sealed. I placed it in the cocoon, with a larger Swiss Army Spartan knife and a Streamlight PT 1L flashlight. Additionally I added a Windmill lighter, some paracord, 1/2 dozen long nylon zip ties, and the mini-prybar. I also included the Kevlar and Spectre thread, needle, and safety pins and put them in a small snap case in the cocoon. Everything is quality, I've used it all before, and it's readily available. The only thing I'm adding to this is a Nite-Ize SpotIt LED strobe. It can be used to mark my location in the event I'm hurt or stranded.

    My second change really has more to do with my EDC. I simply went from the Unikit to the MaxPed 4x6 notebook cover. It holds my leatherman, Fenix PD30, embassy pen, pencil, and my Moleskine. I eliminated the large compass and microfiber cloth since I've got the button compass and the wipes in the PSK. The smaller compact form factor of the MaxPed reduces the space taken up in my Saddleback think briefcase. Both the EDC and PSK fit neatly in the bottom of my bag and give me plenty of room for more.

    Oh, additionally, I attached a stainless dog tag with my name and office address and contact info in the event of an emergency. Its attached with a stainless cable lock with some loctite applied to ensure it doesn't accidentally unthread itself. These both came from RedOxx.com

  3. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

    Jul 21, 2009
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    As I see it, the exercise here is not in just owning a survival kit, but in actually thinking about it - anyone can go buy a Doug Ritter kit, but when they find themselves in the situation to use it, how many will actually know what it actually contains and how to use it?
    Building your own kit means you are completely involved from the start, so rather than some generic store bought selection you are piecing together the items you want and need, and hopefully have the knowledge behind you to use. Certainly I would recommend a lot of reading and planning before building something to make sure you don't miss anything obvious, but even with help, doing it yourself still leaves you with infinitely more knowledge on the items and uses than just buying something will.

    The one other thing I would say that is essential to this type of thing - practise. Make sure to buy spares of all the expendables and go out and actually use them. It is all well and good carrying a full survivalist firelighting kit or fishing kit, but if you have no idea how to use ether then what use are they? So take the time to go into the back garden, local woods or river and try to build yourself a fire with the equipment in your kit, or put the fishing gear to the test and try and catch yourself something (if then gutted and cooked over the fire you have just made, even better)
    I know personally I have basic knowledge of lighting a fire, but only really with matches and paper - so doing it from scratch with a firesteel is something I want to learn. Similarly with fishing - it is something I have never really done, so carrying a compliment of hooks, weights and so on means pretty much nothing when I don't have the slightest clue how to use them (again, something else I want to learn and need to find a teacher for)
  4. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

    Apr 3, 2006
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    Like many on here, Im sure, Im constantly changing/upgrading & re-jigging survival kits (and other items of EDC kit, of course!!), & nowadays, my Survival Kit/PSK, which I usually call my "SAS Tin" is more of a possibles kit that could see use in an urban, everyday environment as well as a wilderness emergency situation.

    Off the top of my head, my kit(s) usually include:-

    Knife (obviously!) Usually a SAK of some sort
    Light (ditto!) Could be a fauxton, Solitaire or Mini-Maglite
    Fire. Several means of firelighting such as matches, mini-bic & firesteel/sparklite, vaseline & cotton balls
    Shelter. Large bin liner and/or space blanket & paracord
    Meds. Painkillers, Anti-Histamines, Intestinal Sedatives
    Cash. Coins & notes.
    Pendrive. with scans of documents, photos, contacts & maps
    Compass. Silva or Recta button compass
    Spool of dental floss
    Sewing kit (needle, thread & safety pins)
    Water purifying tablets
    Fresnel Lens
    First Aid Items. Selection of plasters & dressings, alcowipes, burn dressing & small vial of eyewash, cpl of Strepsils.
    Signal Mirror
    Small snaplights
    Pencil & paper
    Stanley knife blades
    A cpl of hooks, splitshot & fishing line in tiny plastic container
    Small loop of brass wire
    18" square of Aluminium foil
  5. gcbailey

    gcbailey Loaded Pockets

    Dec 19, 2009
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    so true... I have to have spare contacts and my eyeglasses. I would literally be lost if something happened to the pair I was wearing. I used what's included in a Ritter kit for my basis of creation, thought long and hard about where I am daily and weekly and went from there.
  6. xbanker
    • Administrator

    xbanker Geriatric Admin
    Staff Member

    Apr 5, 2006
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    Anyone who's undergone formal survival training -- military or otherwise -- or has educated themselves knows that a key component of survival, whether in the great outdoors, an urban disaster or some other emergency, is mental attitude. Often unrecognized and under-appreciated.

    A good book on the topic: Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why by Laurence Gonzales. Reading it is time well-spent.