Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Survival Pack

A lightweight, waterproof survival kit you can customize for your needs

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

slideshow SOL survival kit 1 445x260

From building fire and shelter to getting your bearings and signaling for help, this 6-oz. kit has the tools and information you need to survive. Note: this is NOT a first-aid kit, but there is room to add a few small items, like tweezers or meds.

slideshow SOL survival kit 2 445x260

One side of the case holds a knife with LED light and whistle plus compass and fire starter all locked securely in place. The “pea-less” whistle works in freezing temps and can be heard up to one mile away. The compass is pretty basic.

slideshow SOL survival kit 3 445x260

The folding knife opens into a sharp and sturdy 1.75-inch blade. A 10-lumen LED on the blade’s inside edge (for right-handers) points at what you’re cutting. At 1.4 ounces, the knife/LED/whistle combo is a great weight saver.

slideshow SOL survival kit 7 445x260

The waterproof compartment holds 4 pieces of tinder for starting fires, steel wire, and nylon cord for repairing gear repair or building shelter, 4 hooks, line, leaders, and sinkers for fishing, and a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil for boiling water.

slideshow SOL survival kit 4 445x260

The magnesium fire starter–Fire Lite–is the lightest I’ve tried (one-third of an ounce), works when wet and can be used with one hand. I ignited the included waterproof tinder in three tries after shoving both the starter and tinder in snow.

slideshow SOL survival kit 6 445x260

Use the sighting hole to aim the rescue mirror when signaling for help. I decided to practice for the inevitable.

slideshow SOL survival kit 9 445x260

A waterproof sheet of handy survival tips from Buck Tilton is also included. I especially liked the tips on building fire and finding water. My favorite tips pertained to diet: “Don’t eat the caterpillars.” You know there’s a story there. Eh, Buck?

slideshow SOL survival kit 8 445x260

Bottom line: This well-designed kit can easily shed weight compared to your typical hiking knife, compass, backup light, gear repair kit, and signal mirror. And it might just save your life in the wild outdoors.

slideshow SOL survival kit 5 445x260

The Specs:
Price: $60
Weight: 6 oz.

SOL means Survive Outdoors Longer. With the SOL Origin survival kit, you get 5 of the 10 “Essentials” in a compact, lightweight, and waterproof hard case. It was enough to make me want to get lost. Text and photos by Dan Larson.

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.