Tobacco Tin Survival Kits

#1
Good Day All,

Do British troops really carry those Gucci tobacco tin survival kits put together by companies like BCB. If so, does anybody out there have a story, to share, about using one to save life and limb?

Thanks
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
No, never owned one, never needed one, mind you, I spent most of my time as a shiny in a heated room. They are fantasically waltish though....lovely pointless toy.
 
#4
Survival kits on their own are not going to help you much without survival training.
In the survival pyramid, kit comes at the bottom below mental attitude and knowledge.
All the gucci kit in the world will not help you if you dont have the will and the skill!

On reflection, that actually sounds embarrassingly waltish :oops: :wink:
 
G

Goku

Guest
#5
I was on a survival course a few months back where the DS ripped into store bought survival tins, BCB were given particular attention.
The basic gist of it was that they are utter poo. They’re poorly packed, most of the items are useless, the rest are poor quality.

If you want a decent survival kit then you should make your own.

Wild_Weasel said:
Perhaps, I enjoy collecting bits of curious military kit
If you don’t need it then why bother??
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
They are more relevant to aircrew flying in remote areas.

Most survival situations lasting a few days can be dealt with by the kit in your pockets and your webbing. Who wouldn't have string, penknife/multitool, compass etc with them anyway? you can't do any field job without these let alone survive long enought to kill 2000 Japanese on Iwa Jima with a tin opener as you escape across the pacific al la Rambo.
 
#7
Just watch Ray Mears' 'Bushcraft' he seems to do very well with; a very sharp, small knife; a very sharp, big knife; an axe and lots of sticks.
 
#8
^ Yeah, I bet there aren't too many sticks in them survival tins.

If you are into fishing get hold of the issued survival kit fishing set - more flies than you'll ever find a use for. The magnifying glass is pretty funky too.
 
#9
I made one up when I was about 13 after getting Lofty Wisemans book as a christmas prezzie. I had to do another one when I was 21 and on a survival skills course. I think they're a good thing to have. Like it says in the book you can always carry it in your combat jacket pocket, you never know when you might need it. The ready made ones are shite but you can use some of the bits in them like the wire saw and the tin itself to get you started.

Maybe its a bit waltish but so what, I'd want to encourage my kids to be interested in the outdoors and things like that rather than be glued to the Xbox or whatever. Its also a good idea to practise using the stuff in it in case you might actually use it
 
#10
Best to make up your own out of decent quality items. Hard to imagine any circumstances when you might need it, though. I only really carried mine in the jungle (in the days before GPS!) and flights over barren areas. World has changed since the survival needs of WW2 and the 50s campaigns - these days you can be in any jungle or wilderness and only have to walk 10 minutes in any direction to bump into a group of locals wearing Coca-Cola teeshirts.....
 
#11
I think you're probably right but its important that people still practice these skills. I grew up in the Highlands but now live in London. I asked my seminar group at uni if any of them had ever killed and eaten their own dinner and they all looked at me like I was mental or something.
 
#12
Was flogged said survival tin by DS in training. Told that they were not to be opened till needed as they had been vacum sealed.
Said tin had a crude label that had been typed by typewriter and sellotaped to box. It read "7 Day Survival Kit".

Many months later after doing a river crossing, when out of training was emptying contents of my webbing and found said tin.

Curiosity got the better of me so I opened the tin in the confines of the drying room to find 7 cola cubes and a photocopied set of instructions that read as I remember "7 day survival kit, suck one cola cube ensure it lasts for 24 hours then continue for next 7 days, Good Luck"

Only cost a fiver!! although reading between the lines sounds about as useful as BCB tin.
 
#13
did a course with I corps in fort lewis in 86, ranger ds had a survival kit the size of our bergen was pretty miffed when me and my ack pulled ours out of smock pocket, and had everything he had
 
#15
I guess they can be a bit waltish if you want them to be, but if you make one up yourself and put it in your webbing, it doesn't really matter does it? If you have a use for what you're carrying then it seems sensible to carry it. I have one, and i have used some of the items several times, granted not in a survival situation but is that important? For example, following a close encounter with a barbed wire fence i used some safety pins on my trousers to cut down the draft to my b*ll*cks.
Incidently, one of the sappers at my unit (walt-extrordinaire) had a couple of safety pins on his helmet elastic, on asking him why i was told 'you wouldn't believe how useful they are', 'for what', 'booby traps and stuff'...riiight!
 
#16
I used to be with an EW unit and as they were deemed 'prone to capture' everyone had them - in fact it was Regimental SOP.

Of course PRI sold them but most of the guys made their own. It was CO's TD for everyone to partake in survival training and conduct after capture techniques annually and we had a load of instructors too.

I found my old box a while back, it's amazing the stuff you can jam into a small tin. Button compasses, wire saws, edible candles, durex (for carrying water before someone wahs me) and that kind of stuff. I don't think it's waltish for professional soldiers to prepare for the worst eventuality, you might go through your whole career and never use it - but just once your co driver might map read a left turn instead of right and you're up sh!t creek. For the space it takes I think 'why not'?

I don't care too much for these things the NAAFI amongst others adorn their shelves with though.
 
#17
I used to carry one, but I just left it out of my gear on one exercise and just never thought to put it back in. Reading this though, I think you're right Whistler. Why not? It takes up bugger all space, weighs nothing, and you'd be sure glad you had it if you ever needed it. Likewise, I don't think it's waltish to prepare for the worst. I think it's rather wise.
 
#18
4(T) said:
Best to make up your own out of decent quality items. Hard to imagine any circumstances when you might need it, though. I only really carried mine in the jungle (in the days before GPS!) and flights over barren areas. World has changed since the survival needs of WW2 and the 50s campaigns - these days you can be in any jungle or wilderness and only have to walk 10 minutes in any direction to bump into a group of locals wearing Coca-Cola teeshirts.....
unlike those scroats who got lost in tailand i think a couple of years a go, in some lost world crack in the ground for about 3 weeks
 
#19
Personally, I do a lot of international business travel throughout the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, and occasionally Europe. For the past year or so I’ve started carrying a kit containing a; Adventure Medical Kits-Pocket Survival Pak (supplemented with an LED flashlight and Katadyne water purification tablets, UltraLight .5 First Aid Kit, compact mylar sleeping bag, Swiss Army Knife, and a 1 liter collapsible Platypus water bag all crammed into a small fanny pack. While it travels in my luggage it is reassuring knowing I have enough supplies handy to get by with for a few days in the event of some natural or man made disaster. Customs Inspectors find it very novel on the occasions they come across it and the airlines have no issues with the Pocket Survival Pak since it contains no matches, but, instead a very reliable sparker and tinder.
 
#20
Have to confess I know the bloke who started the BCB survival tin thing. He was G Sqn back in the dark ages and used to make his own kits. Had a bright idea, sent them home to Mrs Hooligan asking if she knew anybody who would (a) want them or (b) a company that would flog them. Product was a raging success. Hooligan moved to said Cardiff based company on retirement , ran the sales side of things and has since gone on to things ever more lucrative and various. As to the contents..... well, the produxct is usable, if not quite what you - the experts - would always choose first. For those who do buy the tins, at least they've got something that is useful and, as experience kicks in, they can test and adjust the contents. Oh, BD, if you're reading this, pm me.
 

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