Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: VSSL Outdoor Utility cache

First seen on Breach Bang & Clear

I had missed the release of this particular product when it ran through its Kickstarter campaign, mostly for financial reasons, but my dear friend and Kickstarter aficionado Gareth Hodges had one and wanted to pass it on, so I snapped it up at a generous discount (thanks man!), so I have had one in my hot little hands, and pack for a while now.

This is the "utility" model of the VSSL which is to say, one of five models they offer, and this one is filled with s variety of useful and needful survival items.
The main body of the canister is a machined aluminium tube, with end caps that screw in to give a gasketed airtight seal. Each VSSL unit is 23cm (9") long by 5cm (2") diameter made from seamless extruded mil-spec anodized aluminium, and this model weighs 510g (18 oz). 

The unit is very sturdy, the two end caps are knurled, and the body has engraved details on it, as well as some knurling as well, giving a solid grip to open either end.

The real utility of the unit however is in its contents. As well as the two end caps, one of which has a dual mode (static high/low and SOS) LED ‘flood’ beam lantern light, illuminates a large area ( which runs on 3x N type or Energizer E90 batteries), and the tail cap holds a 4 hour burning pure Canadian beeswax candle and has an oil filled compass on its surface.

The seven little aluminium pill-boxes each with a small collection of survival needfulls, some in pairs, others singly. 

The contents are thus:

  • Razor blade
  • 6 Aquatabs® water purification tablets
  • Wire saw (high tensile, 60lb working strength with handle straps)
  • Aluminium beadless emergency whistle
  • Waterproof matches
  • Tinder Quik® fire starters
  • Fishing Gear
  • Signalling Mirror
  • Marine grade rope (250lb breaking strength)
  • Reflective trail markers
  • P38 military GI Type can opener
  • First aid supplies 
  • VSSL priorities of survival and instructions

    There's a good spread of items, and here they are itemized:The pill-boxes aren't hermetically sealed, but they don't really need to be, as they all live in the VSSL tube. The contents aren't meant to be for long term sustainment, rather to help out in the event of a short term emergency, or even to fill a gap in your EDC when out adventuring. It's solid construction and precision machining makes it a very well put together survival cache. 

    The weight is a bit of a concern considering the overall size and scope of the contents, however, they are well packaged, so would be safe and ready to use when you need it, whether it's been sitting in your pack, in the back of your car or buried in your safe-drop spot. 

    VSSL also produce several other versions of the flask: a Fist-Aid canister (full of boo-boo repair items), a Shelter canister (with a tarp, line and the like), an empty canister (build your own), a Flask (300mL of capacity and two collapsing shot cups) and their Zombie Spike version (for brain stabby goodness). 

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