By now it should come as no surprise that my family and I love the outdoors! Though we spend a lot of time in the mountains of PA on our family's land and are very familiar with the woods, as a Mom, I can't help but worry just a little bit when my kids set off on an outdoor adventure. There have been times myself where I've gone off the beaten path and found that all of the sudden I'm not totally sure which way would take me back to civilization. The VSSL, pictured above and sent to me at no cost to facilitate this review, has become my families new "must have" anytime one of us sets off any outdoor adventure. Odds are, we'll never have to use all of these components in a survival situation, but when it comes to enjoying the outdoors, I'd rather be prepared. Now, thanks to all of the supplies found in a single VSSL unit, I can carry all I'll ever need in one hand.
VSSL Supplies Unit ARV $99.50-$109.99
The water resistant flashlight that holds your survival gear - Contains the outdoor gear you need for short-term excursions. Whether you plan to be out for a few days or a few hours, having critical supplies in a compact weather-resistant case is an essential part of preparation. Each VSSL unit is 9" long by 2" diameter made from seamless extruded military specification anodized aluminum. Weighs 18 ounces (1 pound, 2 ounces). Dual mode (static and SOS) LED ‘flood’ beam lantern light, illuminates a large area (batteries included) - VSSL Product Description
My first impression of this amazing piece of equipment was just how light it was. Not nearly as heavy as a typical flashlight of its size. LED flood beam can be unscrewed from the top as well as the compass from the bottom, meaning, the flashlight, compass, and even the supplies can all be used simultaneously if necessary. The flashlight also has a "SOS" mode and can be placed on top of a car, tent, etc. where the light will flash giving the SOS signal. This feature would be particularly useful in an emergency situation like a snowstorm where a driver finds themselves stranded. I found that when I used this strictly as a flashlight for walking in the dark, I did wish that the flashlight itself was a bit brighter, but I can also see how it would be more useful in a lantern style of lighting. Given everything that VSSL packs into this piece of gear, I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of brightness!
The battery installation portion, located just underneath the light, is easily unscrewed. I used a coin to unscrew the battery cover, and followed the picture showing where each battery should be placed. After putting the batteries in place, I simply put the cover back on top and screwed the light back onto the VSSL.
VSSL Supplies Model:
• Compass (oil filled)• 4 hour pure Canadian beeswax candle
• Razor blade
• 6 Aquatabs® water purification tablets. Purify up to 3 gallons (each tab purifies up to 2 liters, depending on water quality)
• Wire saw (high tensile, 60lb working strength with handle straps)
• Aluminum beadless emergency whistle
• Waterproof matches
• Tinder Quik® fire starters
• Fishing Gear
• Signalling Mirror
• Marine grade rope (250lb breaking strength)
• Reflective trail markers
• P38 military GI Type can opener
• First aid supplies
• VSSL priorities of survival and instructions
The supplies unit comes with a simple to read and understand folding paper that explains each item, what it's used for and how it can be used as tools to help you survive until help arrives.
My kids were super excited to check out all of the new gear, which presented a perfect opportunity for us to go through each kit, check out it's contents, and show all of the kids just how they would use it if they were ever in an emergency situation.
Supplies (Separate refills available)
- Medical tape
- band aids
- pain relief medication
- alcohol wipes to prevent infection
- safety pins
Hard to believe all of this equipment fit into one small canister! Safety pins can be used to cover larger wounds by tearing off a piece of clothing, wrapping the cut or abrasion, and securing it with a safety pin.
Wire & Saw
- Wire saw (high tensile, 60lb working strength with handle straps)
- Made of 8 independent, tightly woven stainless steel wires
- Standard issue used by the British Military (United Kingdom Special Forces)
- Can be used in areas hard to reach with a traditional saw
- Cuts through wood, bone and soft metals like aircraft aluminum
- Canvas strap handles make it easier to form the wire saw into a bow for the most effective cutting - VSSL Product Description
Rope & Razor Blade
- 25 feet of 250lb breaking strength rope
- 1 wooden rope spool
- 1 single sided razor blade - VSSL Product Description
Rope can be used to secure fabric for shelter, extra line for fishing, securing wounds and more. Razor blade can be used to shave sticks for kindling, help prepare food, remove splinters, cut clothing, and more!
- 3 barbed hooks
- 3 lead weights
- 3 swivel leaders
- 3 rubber worms
- 1 swivel spoon
- 50' of 20lb test fishing line
- 1 EVA line winder - bobber - VSSL Product Description
Trail Markers & Whistle
This was obviously my kids favorite supply tin, probably because they got to interact with it right away. This tin also seems to be one that would be easiest for any of my children to use and the greatest tool in the kit to help them should they ever lose their way in the woods. Reflective trail markers can be used to help hikers find their way back to camp in the dark and the whistle can be used to scare off larger predators as well as using it in a way to alert rescuers or call for help. We all had to try the whistle out...just to make sure we could use it properly!
Can Opener & Water Purification
- 1 P-38 military rations can opener (world's smallest functional can opener)
- 6 Aquatab water purification tablets
- 1 set of Aquatab instructions (also useful for starting a fire) - VSSL Product Description
Fire Starter & Mirror
The mirror can be used to start a fire by using the reflection of the sun. It can also be used to signal rescue personnel if you are stranded in hard to reach places. Tinder Quik starters ensure you get the fire going with the first match!
- Provided with a tin
- 10 weather proof matches
- 1 striker
- 5 Tinder Quik fire starters
- 1 acrylic signaling mirror - VSSL Product Description
6-Hour Beeswax Candle
We've replaced our 4 hour candle with a smaller, higher quality 6 hour candle. This made up enough room in our VSSL Supplies to accommodate more first-aid components in a larger tin. A good candle burns longer and cleaner.
- 6 hour pure Canadian beeswax candle
- Fits into the compass end-cap (medium version) of your VSSL flashlight (not included) - VSSL Product Description
Ultimate Survival Kit!
Oddly enough, the one time our family could have really used the VSSL was the one time we didn't take it. Well, the one time my daughter didn't take it. This past weekend we drove up to our favorite place in the Pennsylvania mountains for Memorial Day. My oldest, Mariyah set off to get in a quick walk before we settled in for the night. Taking no flash light with her, the sun went down a lot faster than she anticipated and she soon found herself struggling to figure out which way would take her back to the campsite. Thankfully, she wasn't far and it took her just a minute or two to gain her bearings and set off quickly for home. She wasn't gone long, but it was clear she was a little shaken up when she got back. As she talked about how quickly it had gotten dark, I realized how much taking the VSSL with her would have made all the difference. Not only would she have been able to utilize the light, but she would have had the whistle to alert us that she was lost. Our family has a new rule, no matter how quick the hike, or how safe the adventure - always take the VSSL!
The VSSL Supplies Unit isn't the only VSSL you can choose from! Click HERE to check out all of the VSSL models (there's even one for the zombie apocalypse)!
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One lucky reader will win a VSSL Supplies Unit! The giveaway will end June 17th, 2016 at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.