Ok, these B.O.A.T.’s and similar survival kits have peaked my posting.php?mode=quote&f=14&p=859992curiosity
. I’m having trouble figuring out what they’re for and why they seem to be so popular here. Other than the challenge of getting a lot of cool neat stuff in a little can what value do they have?
I can see where a kit like this could be useful if you were dropped out of a plane with nothing in a remote area, but what are the odds of that? I would think that in most cases people aren’t that far from civilization. And if they were, wouldn’t they have their vehicle, BOB, manpurse, purse, etc? All of which have room to carry the typical BOAT items in larger quantity.
I don’t see myself having to catch a fish, cut down a branch, build a fire, boil a tin full of drinking water, cook my fish and eat it with my sugar packet unless I was literally in a plane crash or something.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being prepared for damn near anything. But it seems that I’m always closer to more and better equipment than could be put in a tin.
I guess my question is, when and where do you actually use these?
Wow, I started this thread and haven't checked on it in a while...I've got some new thoughts on this topic, now, and some of them pertain to your questions.
Here are my thoughts on these:
First of all, these kits as commonly used, are an ideal thing to have in the wilderness. Some people live full time in the wilderness, others work there (forestry jobs etc.), other regularly drive through it, and many of us enjoy hiking, camping, etc. If you get lost, the stuff in this kit can save your life.
The name, BOAT (Bug-Out Altoids Tin) is somewhat misleading, and is really just a funny name. These are not really for "bugging out" per se, as that implies leaving your home or work, and escaping a hazardous area for somewhere safer. The normal manifestation of these kits is as wilderness survival kits. They're the kind of thing an aviator would keep in his survival vest in case of a crash. Therefore they're the kind of thing you should have with you if you're in the woods; keep it in your pocket in case you lose the rest of your gear. You'll probably never use it, but if you do, it could save your life.
But, I've been thinking lately, that there may be other types or applications of the BOAT concept. For example, think of the things that could really pull your bacon out of the fire in your everyday life. These are the things people ask to borrow/have, or the things you kick yourself for forgetting: a phone, a lighter, a knife, money, ID, bus pass, etc. Now, my phone is in a pouch on my belt and wouldn't fit in a BOAT anyway, but it wouldn't be too hard to stick a lighter, a utility knife blade, some cash, a spare ID of some kind, and maybe a charged-up transit card in there. Actually the cash can take the place of the transit card if you have the right denominations, see below.
Re: cash, obviously you don't want to pack a ton of coins, but it could be useful to have exact change, too. So, I'd recommend the following:
1x $100 (if you can afford to spare one)
4x pennies (or a second nickel)
You may choose to eliminate the dime, nickel(s), and pennies, to save weight, and/or replace them with or add a 4th quarter. The tradeoff here is the ability to make exact change, vs. the extra weight of a few more coins. Your call. The cash is really the important part, now that payphones are almost nonexistent. Seriously...when was the last time you saw one? I can't recall. Payphones were the reason I always packed change before...now it's a moot point. Just keep your phone charged and on you. Re: the cash, though, these bills should allow you to make any amount of exact change, so for example you can pay a taxi driver what you want them to have, instead of trusting them to make correct change for you (I've had a bad experience with this before). The $100 is ideal if you can afford it, and could come in handy if, oh I dunno, you want to take an unexpected hottie out to dinner on a whim. But the $20s are enough for most situations: one or two will get you a cab ride most places you need to get. The smaller bills are, again, just so you can make your own change so you don't get ripped off, or annoy a business with a large bill first thing in the morning.
A lighter or matches allows you to be a good Samaritan to smokers, as well as to light a fire if you're freezing to death, or help out at a campfire or BBQ. Seriously: it's like mankinds most basic tool. Don't be without it.
The utility knife blade you can use for anything you'd use a normal knife for; obviously a full knife is better but this kit is for if you lose that.
Think of what else you use constantly, and see if there's a tiny equivalent you could pack in your BOAT. This would be an urban version of the wilderness BOAT; you'd still want one of the latter if you were going hiking for example.