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5/4/12

Contest Recap & Open Thread

It's been a great contest. Huge thanks goes out to all those who shared their kits. I've gone through my inbox several times, but if you sent in an entry prior to the April 30th 11:59pm deadline, and I HAVEN'T posted it, let me know.

I also wanted to extend another big thanks to those who sponsored the contest. Randy Church for the inspiration and neo-tribal altoid kit. SnakeDr666 and OscarDelta, Choate Machine & Tool, Jade Garn, Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy, and Paladin Press for offering up some really great prizes.

We saw a lot of interesting things over the past month. A lot of altoid tins, and a surprising number of Trojans. For lighting, we saw a lot of a particular model of flat LED light, loose LEDs and one kit with built in mood lighting. There were of course weapons, with knives a plenty, a handgun, slingshot and arrow heads. For food, we've seen plenty of micro fishing kits, and also gum sticks, beef sticks and candy (pink Starbursts forever!). Fire starting gear, flash drives and a door alarm, too. Suffice it to say, there's been an impressive breadth of kit to look at!

I wanted to open things up to your thoughts, reactions and learnings from the contest. Share 'em in the comments section, and stay tuned for the big announcement sometime on Monday.


16 comments :

  1. I just wanted to say thanks for hosting such a cool contest. I learned that I could cram a lot of stuff into a little space.

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  2. AnonymousMay 04, 2012

    First I want to thank you for having the contest. It was fun entering and seeing my entry posted on your site. After seeing the other entries I want to make some additions to my kit. I will money, a picture inside the lid, maybe a very small bag of dryer lint and something I didn't see in any of the kits. One of those radiation detection stickers "RADSticker". Everyone had great tins and I hope you have another tin contest in the future.

    Thanks
    John
    Entry #34

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    1. GodfatherJsMay 04, 2012

      The RAD stickers are a waste of money for the most part other than low dose frequent exposures. There is no kind of warning system to tell you that you have reached a high Rad rate and you need Time/Distance/Shielding. There are a few pens and button sytle detectors out there that are have a clicking alert system that I would go with personally- NukAlert is about the best value for the money I have found. As for a cheap commercial chemical detection strip I would go with the Haz-Mat Smart Strip (detects Chlorine, PH, Fluorine, Nerve, Oxidizers, Arsenic,HS,and Cyanide) I have worked with several items like this and that one seems to be the best value for the money ($25).

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    2. As much as I like my own entry in the contest :), I must highly-recommend the "take-to-school' kit created by the young lady. Useful items, and a heck of a good start on being prepared for emergencies. Definitely deserves special recognition.

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    3. AnonymousMay 06, 2012

      Thanks GodfatherJs, I will definitely pickup one of the NukAlerts. Being about 11 miles from a nuke plant makes it a necessity. I just read a story that they want to expand the evacuation distance to 50 miles instead of 10. This would include all of New York City, parts NJ and CT, 20 million people. I don't know where 20 million people can bug out to! I can't imagine the 400,000 people bugging out from the 10 mile zone. Anyway thanks for the tip and I will also check the Haz-Mat Strip.
      John

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  3. I've definitely learned a lot from going through the various entries, and from putting together my own. I've come to conclude that at this point I'm not in a need for a PSK (by the strictest definition of the term). I do however really like the idea of kitting useful gear in an Altoids, or similar small-sized tin. The one I made for my wife, #36, will probably see some changes based on this school of thought.

    We go on day-trips fairly regularly, and I always bring first-aid supplies, extra clothing, etc. To make the packing easy, and to streamline the pack, I'm working on a hiking utility kit for myself. It'll probably end up a little larger than an Altoids tin though.

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  4. I have been at this for quite a few years and I have learned a lot from the contest, such as you are never to young to start! I really loved that entry, because most children are to afraid of failing to try and enter a contest that is over crowded with adults, so Bravo to the 6th grader. Next, I think I gleaned info from each and every entry in this contest, and have already implemented some of the ideas into the next 3 kits I am building. As fa as Rad stickers, I would probably go with one in a kit if the kit was for a specific incident. I own rad stickers, attended and passed the USMC NBC school and they are not a total waste because I am sure a lot of people prep like I do and let finance's dictate some of the things found in my kits. Most of all, thanks for having the contest, loved it.

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    1. GodfatherJsMay 05, 2012

      Take a look at that NukAlert that I said was better... for $5 more than a sticker plus shipping you can have an item on your key chain about the size of a micro tool or small 1 led flashlight that provides an noise as an alert as opposed to just a visual one. I've take patient to x-ray forgetting I had it with me and it will start to go off. Also took it to an advanced RAD class and it was on par with the $2500 meter we were using... the stickers had about a one minute reaction time and it was difficult to read in PPE in the mid-day sun.

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    2. appreciate it, I will definitely take a look at it and five dollars is only a fancy coffee of some kind...Thanks. I can see where an audible alarm would be better in some situations for sure, and would probably use the sticker as a backup, or where I indeed needed to remain silent...

      again, appreciate the info Godfather every little bit helps,,

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  5. I think the best PSK is one that is part of a larger kit. I don't think there is ever a need to cram your entire survival load out into an altoids tin. But a altoids or similar container would serve great as a fire kit, a mini fishing kit, FAK, or maybe even a specialized backup kit. Saw some great entries all around! Hope everyone had fun--I did!

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    1. That is so true, but my take away for the Altoids size kit is that you have something with you in case TSHTF before you can ever make it home, or to your vehicle where you keep your BOB or whatever supplies you have. I would rather have a tiny slice of something to boost my chances than a couple empty pockets. I always have mine with me and so do my two children, if they had to get the heck out of school and make it home to safety or hide till I can get them, I want them to have something... If I could afford it I would have one of those little belt buckle 22 pistols in mine and theirs (of course they couldn't have it at school with a gun). Just my thoughts but see where you're coming from..

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    2. GodfatherJsMay 06, 2012

      Those Bond Arms guns are nice, but $366 for a two shot 22 is crazy. I guess if you have several of the other barrels it could be worth it, but each one is around $150. Cobra makes a good 22lr gun that is just about as small for 1/2 the price but you can’t switch out the barrel.

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  6. Hi there,

    I found this contest very interesting ! So many ideas have been brought up and the two kits I presented will soon be upgraded.
    Anyways, all these "pocket insurance policies" kick a** !

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  7. For "somewhat larger" kits, there are lots of options. My FAK's are in heavy-duty waterproof plastic containers with a silicone gasket and 4 lock-down tabs, from the 'storage' aisle in the grocery store.

    If you want something that can be also be used as a cooking utensil, look into various craft stores and "import" stores for unpainted 'gift-tins'. DO check and ask about potential lead content before you purchase.

    My absolute favorite containers are stainless steel "Flan Molds", easily available online, or from just about any local Hispanic supermarket. These are about 8" in diameter, 1.5-2" tall, and have 3 or 4 spring-loaded hold-downs that make them very, very water-resistant, if not totally waterproof.

    I have NOT tried it yet, but a bead of high-temp silicone caulk MIGHT work to totally waterproof, but still not ruin the top as a pot-lid.

    They definitely work as small impromptu cooking pots and clean up pretty well for re-packing. Hopefully you have a multitool with pliers along. or you will get burned.

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  8. Brother Alex the Wolf, I am beside myself waiting on the outcome of this contest...
    I am truly amazed at the ingenuity of the participants here and the amount of useful things that can be stuffed in, taped on and fused with a simple Altoids tin.....
    I wonder what we could do with a lunch box?
    Always a pleasure......Randy

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  9. All I can say is that I learned a lot from all the participants, many excellent ideas for a wide variety of scenarios. Thanks to Mr. Wolf for having such a great initiative and Good Luck to you all guys/gals!

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