Survival Accessories - Part 1

There are obvious items that should be a part of every Survival kit - items that help with the very basics- fire starters, a compass, a loud whistle, etc.

But what of other items that can be very useful in making your situation a little easier to bear?

I'm thinking of two specific items that should be an integral part of every Survival / Preparedness kit.

Genuine MIL-SPEC MIL-C-5040 Type III Paracord and quality Duct Tape.
Now, everyone (it seems) is selling Paracord on The Internet. The problem is that not all Paracord is the same, and therefore, it should not be assumed that it has the same strength characteristics.

Real Paracord has a "breaking strength" of 550 pounds - this is why the most commonly used Paracord is often referred to as "550 Paracord".

Here is the first of the two simple ways to determine Real US MilSpec Paracord.

Open one end by unraveling an inch or so of the cord and pulling back the outer sheath (the colored nylon covering) of the paracord to reveal the inner strands.

Genuine MilSpec Paracord has no less and no more than seven yarns, each made up of 3 separate strands.  One of the yarns will be of a contrasting color to the other white yarns.  There will be no other filler or inner core other than these seven three-ply yarns. Inferior "Commercial" grade cord has 7 or less yarns made up of two strands and no contrasting yarns.

That is one simple way to discern if you have Genuine MilSpec.

Another way is to ask your Paracord supplier if what they are selling you is Genuine MilSpec 550 Paracord, then ask for the "Certificate of Compliance". If they are selling you the real Paracord, they will know exactly what you are asking for, and should have no problem complying with your request.

Each Certificate of Compliance will have on the certificate the manufacturer's name, the type of Paracord they are certifying, a statement that certifies that the Paracord was manufactured according to specifications, the date of manufacture of that particular lot, etc..

Commercial Paracord may be a useful item for non-critical uses and projects, but if you need your paracord to perform in an important or critical way, then you  need Genuine MilSpec Paracord. Do not settle for less when your safety depends on it.

I once inquired a well-known internet supplier as to the availability of a Certificate of Compliance for their advertised cord. I was told that such a document was "not available".

Any "Paracord" supplier who refuses to provide the certificate is not selling true MilSpec Paracord. They are too easily obtainable from the supplier's manufacturer.

Best Glide A.S.E. Inc. will always be happy to provide you with a current Certificate. All you have to do is ask.
Duct Tape

There are many brands of Duct Tape available.  Any Commercial Grade Duct Tape will be an important and highly-recommended part of your Survival kit. I can certify that we use only Commercial Grade Duct Tape in our assembled kits that feature it, and as a separate component you can purchase from us in pre-measured rolls.

One word of advice:

Don't go cheap on Duct Tape, because there is too much cheap tape out there. I would not advice depending on any tape which features either the depiction of a duck, a specific pattern (flowers, flames, etc. - what could be referred to as "novelty") or the likeness of Justin Beiber.

Seriously - there is a "Duct Tape" out there at your local mega-mart-type store that features the image and name of that particular teeny-bopper heart throb. I have photographic proof, although I must confess that when I saw it, I was convinced that the 2012 Mayan prophecies were now confirmed in my mind, and the collapse of civilization was imminent.

There is also the tape known as "100 MPH Tape". Although I have no personal experience with it, my learned sources tell me it is an exceptional tape and well worth the money.

These are just two items that should be a part of your even your basic Survival kit and Prep supplies.
Next blog entry - Survival Accessories - Part 2

"Fortuna favet præparaverat  -  Fortune Favors the Prepared!"