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Penrith Survival Equipment
The Square
Cumbria CA 3AZ United Kingdom
postage: 4 first-class stamps; best to use a credit card to avoid currency problems
Telephone 01931 714444
Facsimile 01931 714450

Survival Kit R1016 - British Pounds 17.50 (appx $US 26.25) "This kit contains over 30 essential items esch carefully chosen and having several uses. Included are items for navigation (with plastic button compass), first aid, water purifying/carrying, fishing, firestarting, cooking, cutting, signaling, writing equipment, etc. Full instructions on use of contents and first aid, plus emergency message form and pencil are included. Pocket sized. 200g."

[This kit appears to be modeled on the survival list published by John Wiseman in the SAS Survival Handbook (above). For an additional 10 Pounds (appx $US15.00), you can upgrade to Combat Survival Kit R1013, which is identical except for the inclusion of a button compass made of brass instead of plastic. On the other hand for $15.00 you can get a pretty accurate Silva compass.]

[The editor received his Survival Kit on 3-18-96. It is a tin securely wrapped in waterproof tape. The contents are listed as follows: Tin (cooking pot, drinking cup) with detachable handle, lid with heliograph, miniature plastic button compass, hacksaw blade with knife, stainless steel wire saw, wind and waterproof matches with striker, flint and steel firelighter, candle, cotton wool, potassium permanganate, water carrier, snare, fish hooks (3) [very tiny! you may want to supplement!], 10m fishing line, puritabs (6), single edged razor blades (2), adhesive dressings, safety pins, needles (2), thread, lipsalve, salt and dextrose tablets, survival aids-memoire, emergency message form, pencil, masking tape, waterproof label. Detailed instructions on the various uses of the contents together with survival and first aid information are included on waterproof paper Contents may occasionally vary due to availability. The tin appears to be very solidly packed; there is no rattle when I shake it. This is the best commercially available kit I have seen to date.]

Walkers Go Pack R1015 - British Pounds 7.95 (appx $US 12.00) "A neat pocket-sized pack containing all the essential survival aids for a hill walker or climber. Packed in a welded pouch with a see-through front and Velcro flap. 15.5 x 12.5cm. 210g. Contents include: survival bag, permanent match, perry whistle, miniature compass, adhesive dressings, Puritabs, pencil, emergency message form, mint cake, waterproof Survival Aide Memoire"

[The editor received his Walker's Go Pack 3-18-96. It is somewhat larger than the Survival Kit (above). It is sealed with Velcro in a bright yellow plastic sleeve with a clear front. The contents include: 7' x 3' 120-guage plastic survival bag [very thin...would tear easily], windproof matches (5) and striker, instructions and first aid information and emergency message form on waterproof paper, perry whistle, mini compass, water sterilization tablets (6), adhesive dressings (3), mint cake (30g) [expires July 31 1996], pencil stub. Clearly, this is designed to keep you alive 1 or 2 nights--just long enough for the user to get out of the woods (using compass or whistle). Is this a worthwhile purchase? Not for Americans. When you consider the cost (about $12.00 plus air freight -- probably another $5.00) you can assemble a better kit on your own. Here's a quick and dirty shopping list: emergency blanket ($3), mini compass ($4), and emergency whistle ($1.50) from Major Surplus & Survival 800/441-8855, Bic Lighter ($1) at your drugstore, Potable Aqua ($4) and Survival Candy ($1.10) from Survival Supply Co. 916/621-3836. Add your own pencil stub, paper, bandages, and a large clear plastic garbage bag and drop them all in a ziplock bag. Total cost is about $15.00 and you have a better emergency blanket, more candy, more water tablets ... you get the picture.]

[It would cost too much to return this item, so here is what I did: removed the plastic bag and replaced with $3 space blanket, removed the mint cake, added lighter, added miniature flint & steel, and add a small knife (Swiss Army or a folder such as the AFCK-800S or a mini blade such as Busse Combat Recruit). Together with the Survival Kit, I now have a good combo that unobtrusively fits in two pockets.]

Beta Light L3280 - British Pounds 54.95 (appx $US 83.00) "A self-illuminated unit, the Betalight Torch is compact, robust, and has an in-service life of over 10 years. Illuminates well without affecting night vision. This torch works without batteries, light being provided by a glass capsule internally phosphor-coated and filled with tritium gas which activates the phosphor to emit light."

[The editor received his beta light 3-18-96. It is ruggedly constructed and emits a dim green light. There is no on/off switch; there is merely a flap that can be opened or closed. How bright is it? I would compare it to the newer watches that glow green such as the Timex Indiglo. It is bright enough to read a map, find a keyhole, or possibly lure fish. Don't expect to cook dinner or follow a trail with it! My beta light has the following markings: Sanders-Roe Dev LTD Hayes Middx UK Nato No X4/6260-00-965-3582 BetaLight T19c1]