When it comes to pre-assembled survival kits, the contents don’t seem to vary much from one kit to the next. Many kits use the same components from the same vendors or at least similar components. It is often the container itself that differentiates one kit from another. However, the GearPods Survival Pro is one kit that differentiates itself by its container and contents.
The bread and butter of GearPods is their innovative container design. The GearPods containers are translucent plastic tubes in various lengths that are capped at both ends. The caps can be end caps or couplers (open or closed style) that allow multiple tubes to be connected together. This tube form factor allows the GearPods to be carried like a water bottle and they can even function as a water bottle in a survival situation.
The Survival Pro kit is one of GearPods pre-assembled kits. It comes with the container and several items packed inside that cover a variety of survival needs:
- Fire starting
- Water purification
- Food gathering
- Food preparation
- Equipment repair
The list of items that the GearPods Survival Pro contains is extensive. There are many standard items that are survival kit mainstays and a handful of very innovative items that you won’t find anywhere else.
- GearPods CookMug: Compact 4.0” anodized aluminum cooking mug/pot with snap-in lid
- GearPods Stove: Solid fuel stove with windshield
- Esbit® solid fuel tablets (2)
- Rescue Flash™ signal mirror – 2″x3″ signal mirror with retro-reflective targeting, protective film, plastic sleeve and instructions
- Fox40 Micro Safety™ – loud emergency whistle for signaling distress and communicating location
- Spark-Lite™ – dependable, one-handed fire starter
- Tinder-Quik™ (4) – weatherproof waterproof tinder that burns 1-2 minutes
- NATO “Storm” Matches (10) – vacuum sealed, NATO-approved waterproof and windproof matches with striker
- 20mm Liquid-filled button compass – simple navigation tool
- Mini-LED flashlight – small keychain-type flashlight with rugged case and battery with 24+ hours of continuous use
- Folding saw – light- to medium-use saw blade constructed of 18TPI steel for cutting wood and metal, and housed in a rugged handle
- Folding knife – light- to medium- use knife with stainless steel razor blade and rugged handle
- Katadyn Micropur-1 Water Tablets (6) – 1 tablet per 1 liter (33.8 fl oz) of water; effective against viruses, bacteria, guardia and cryptosporidium
- Sterile, self-standing water bag (36 fl oz) – for pre-treatment water capture and storage
- Heavy duty needle – for repairing clothes and gear
- Heavy duty thread (50ft reel, 10 lbs BS) – for repairs and emergency line for fishing
- Safety pins (2) – 2″ – for repairs, first aid or even improvised hooks for food procurement
- Wire (8ft) – 0.02″ stainless steel wire, non-magnetic – use for repairs and snares
- Braided nylon cord (25ft, 70lbs BS) – many uses including securing gear and building shelters
- Fishing kit – 4 hooks, 2 split-shots and 1 snap swivel
- Duct tape (2″x30″ 9mm) – many uses from first aid to repair
- Weatherproof stationery – 2”x3” (4) – keeping logs, leaving messages, drawing maps
- Pencil (with protective cap) – use with weatherproof stationery
- Fresnel Lens (2″x3″) – redundant fire starting method
- Waterproof and tearproof instructions – with illustrations (PDF)
- Stuff Sac – with drawcord and fastener (2)
Observations from Use
I won’t talk about every item in depth. Much of what is contained in this kit are items that are already proven performers. GearPods has done a great job of sourcing quality components for this kit but the parts that really shine are the parts that they designed themselves.
The Survival Pro kit comes with a small cooking set that GearPods designed to fit their containers. The design of the cook set is ingenious. It consists of a small stove, a cup that nests into the stove top, and a windscreen. The stove is designed to work with fuel tablets like those from Esbit and has three legs that can be spread out to stabilize the whole unit. The cup has a heat resistant fabric ring at the top which makes it a bit easier to handle when it is hot and a concave bottom which helps catch and hold the heat from the stove.
The cook set can boil water fairly quickly, which isn’t really surprising since it is a relatively small cup. The set up and take down is very easy. The windscreen can be rolled tightly and inserted into the cup for storage but you should take some care when storing it because it will scratch and scuff the anodization on the cup. The fabric on the cup won’t make it possible to handle a cup full of boiling water but it does make it possible to handle the cup sooner than you would be able to without some protection from the heat.
The Survival Pro comes with an instruction sheet that contains valuable information like general survival tips and information about items in the kit. It is printed on a material that feels like Tyvek. That may seem like a small thing but it shows just how clever the folks at GearPods are. Tyvek is extremely difficult to tear and basically water-proof. Those are desirable attributes for something that may have to be used in adverse conditions.
Many of the items in the kit allow for one handed use in the event of an injury. The Spark-Lite fire starter can be used with just one hand without much trouble. Additionally, the kit includes a rescue Flash signal mirror that has a retro-reflective aiming reticle which allows it to be used one handed (some mirrors require a second hand to aim).
The kit doesn’t include any shelter specific items but it does include items that can be used in shelter construction (cordage). An A-frame style shelter can be built without any tools or cordage if the right materials are present. You may want to consider supplementing the kit with a GearPods Shelter unit or at least carrying something like an emergency blanket/bivy, poncho, tarp, or similar item.
The kit itself is very efficiently packed. You will want to take note of how things are packed when you are using the various components or you may have some difficulty packing the contents. I played around with different configurations and there is some leeway with how you pack the kit but a little bit of care goes a long way. GearPods thoughtfully provided two small stuff sacks that hold every component of the kit except the cook set. These bags let you keep the kit components together and organized even if you are using the cookset.
The kit contains some redundancy (the good kind). There are multiple ways of starting a fire, multiple ways of food gathering, multiple ways to purify water, and multiple repair items. Redundancy can be a very good thing in a survival kit. Take the fire starters for instance, you will likely find that the Tinder-Quik are a very easy and reliable fire-starting method. However, in situations when you have direct sunlight, you will want to use the Fresnel lens in order to conserve the Tinder-Quik tabs and matches. The redundant items allow you to conserve resources by choosing the tool for the job.
The kit itself is very easy to carry. It fits in most water bottle pouches or rides fairly unobtrusively in your pack. You can even add another small container module and it will still fit in most water bottle pouches. GearPods sent me an additional small module so I could see how the connectors work and I found that it was great for storing natural tinder that I foraged (something you may want to do immediately once you realize you are in a survival situation).
The GearPods is a well-stocked kit with a good mix of innovative original components and proven standard components. Its water bottle-ish form factor is unique and functional. The cook set’s design is ingenious in how it fits the container format while still retaining a lot of functionality. Between the container and the contents, this is easily one of the most innovative survival kits on the market. Check out the Survival Pro on GearPods.com.
Disclosure: This kit was provided to me free of charge by GearPods as a “thank you” for mentioning their products on JTT.