I was rummaging around upstairs in the store when I found a peg with bunch of these Bear Grylls Gerber Survival Kits hanging on it and I decided to take a closer look. When I look at the package, I see a lot of effort put forth by the marketing forces to sell this kit purely on Bear Grylls popularity. You see his muddy face, he’s carrying a log, and his sleeve is rolled up. It screams in a phony-baloney sort of way that “he’s ready to survive”, so I have to wipe the initial smirk off my face when I pick it up. It always bugs me that consumers will buy products based on the most money spent on packaging, blinking lights, and color instead of truly shopping for an item that will get the job done. For me it becomes a question of intelligence. Are people so dumb that they buy because there is a recognizable figure on the front? Well, yeah, they are. I find that reality somewhat depressing. Just because someone famous is on the front, won’t make you famous, or capable, or anything. Nothing of any importance rubs off beyond the actual function of the equipment. All the rest is “hooey”.
Hooey aside, I still need to find out more about this product and my past exposure to Bear Grylls branded Gerber knives has been quite positive. Some of those bigger knives were truly worth the money in my opinion. So, I ignore the the flashy, rustic “feel” of the impossible-to-open packaging and lay the parts of the kit out to look at them.
I see the “zipper-pull flashlight” called the Micro Torch and I figure a “grain of salt” needs to be applied. Then I proceeded to burn out my retinas. Painfully bright little light with a high-beam, low-beam, and a flasher. I moved on to the knife, and it’s a very light-in-weight knife with a serrated edge. Could you fight a bear with it? Well, maybe if losing the fight miserably is acceptable to you. But, it’ll cut rope, branches and dig out slivers rather well. Definitely a handy little blade to have tucked in your pack. There there was the Fire Starter complete with lanyard (fancy word for string) . The lanyard holds the two halves together when they are not snapped together so you don’t forget one in a panic when a bear is chasing you. The metal scraper has several sharp edges to drag along the ferrocerium ignitor stick (the thing that sparks). You need to line up some dry tinder, scrape off some shavings of this fire starter into a small pile on the tinder or a flat rock and then spark the pile of shavings. The shavings that come off the ferrocerium igniter stick (sounds SO official) tend to spark quite hard and stay hot all the way down to the carpeting of the room you are in. Do this outside – I speak from experience. You’ll light your carpet on fire. I moved the whole operation outside after that observation (and little black burn in the rug). The container system for the ferrocerium igniter stick is nicely made. Oh, and the ferrocerium igniter stick doesn’t light up until you get through the black outside and into shiny metal. It’ll take a few tries before it goes. With the thickness of the ferrocerium igniter stick, you’ll be able to light many a survival, or even regular, fire. In fact, I HIGHLY recommend that you go out and skip starting the fire with conventional matches and using this kit instead when you are not under the gun. Part of being prepared is knowing how to do it well when the situation presents itself. Just a thought. Also, if you are giving this cool kit to your nephew, encourage him to go out and try to be a budding pyromaniac with this system. The subsidiary bits of knowledge one learns in this process will be useful for many years to come and practise does an expert make.
If you’d like to order a Bear Grylls Survival Kit, ORDER HERE