My mother-in-law got me a survival kit in a stocking for my birthday this year. Weirder sentences than that have been written, I’m sure. In reality, though, this was a rather cool gift.
What I got was a Tactical Christmas Stocking with Survival Gear pack. Amazon has something similar, although the exact gear is slightly different. This is the one from the vendor, National Parks Depot, but they also show a slightly different loadout. What makes it “tactical”? I’m guessing it’s the nylon material and zippers and MOLLE straps.
Here is a photo of what was in my ice blue stocking.
A. whistle with compass and thermometer
B. reusable flint match
C. emergency blanket (a classic!)
D. steel wire saw
E. 20-in-1 multitool
F. paracord bracelet
G. EMT knife (this one)
H. LED flashlight
I. 11-in-1 multitool
Yes, that’s two different multitools. They say on their web site that the exact contents is subject to availability so the military-style compass was not available for mine, alas.
It’s actually a pretty good emergency kit. I’m particularly interested in the 20-in-1 multitool. This is the True Utility Fixr pocket multi-tool. It’s compact enough to fit in my pocket or on my key ring, although I’m a bit wary of the nail file on one side. I want to keep that away from my precious iPhone at all costs. When sold separately it comes in a little leather pouch, but mine did not.
The other multi-tool is cool too, and I originally thought to keep it in my wallet. I wasn’t sure what all the “tools” were, especially the “direction ancillary indication”, which is a notched hole with lines radiating out from it. It turns out that if you place it in water on something that floats1 the notch will align with north. That’s cool as a compass in a pinch, but it means the multi-tool is magnetized and I don’t want to carry that next to my credit cards.
The reusable flint match is especially neat. It consists of a square of flint covered by plastic with a metal rod screwed into it. The rod has a wick soaked in lighter fluid. You light it by scraping it along a groove in the flint and it works pretty well.
I’ve decided to keep the kit in my car for any eventuality. This is New England after all and we’ve been known to get blizzards that bury us. But while the stocking is fun packaging, it’s not exactly practical as a go-bag. For that, I’ve moved everything into a medium-size Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac, which works much better.2
If you’re looking for a fun stocking stuffer for someone who spends time outdoors or spends time in their car (maybe a college student with long drives back and forth to school?), the Tactical Christmas Stocking with survival gear kit isn’t a bad idea.3
- A small rock, perhaps? Or more likely a bit of styrofoam. ↩
- The Eagle Creek bags are good for all sorts of things. I use them to keep cables and adapters organized in my computer bag, for instance. ↩
- Be sure to get the one with the kit included. They also sell the empty stockings as well, for almost the same cost. ↩