When the dog and I took that short walk down the fishing path along one of our smaller rivers on Easter, we came upon a little campsite/fire ring up on the bank overlooking the stream.
Since it’s not that far down the path, just far enough to be out of sight of the road, I guess it’s a place for the local kids come to hang out and drink beer and to et cetera. There are a couple of flattened off logs set up on rocks around the decently built little firepit. Over the back of one of those logs, mostly covered up in leaf mold, I saw something bright and shiny.
Seems that it must’ve fallen out of somebody’s hip pocket.
As you can see, the “treasure” was an Altoid tin type survival kit. It was decently sealed up with electrical tape, and as such hadn’t gotten wet inside at all. It was also quite heavy. …Like twice the weight of my much larger pocket emergency kit. [I am personally not that fond of the term “Survival Kit”. Face it, there’s not much to survive just a quarter of a mile downstream from the highway bridge. This is not exactly getting out in the wilderness… And it looks like I can get verbose enough on that topic that I will hold off and make it a post all on its own]
Having just started out on this blog, I figured it was a perfect entrée for a post. I broke out the camera and whipped off the tape. Once opened up, you can see why it was so heavy. There was a full-size Swiss Army knife in there. And a full-size Bic lighter.
Once everything was spread out, the heavy became even more obvious. There was a lot of weight in there and not much utility. I’m especially fond of the little “hook and worm” package… Notice that there’s no fishing line to go with them. I guess they were going to unravel their socks.
But I have had those same StormKing waterproof matches in my pack gear since the 70s. They’re some of the best there is, and whoever made the kit at least included a striker for them. They are redundant if you have a decent cigarette lighter, but that full-sized Bic is kind of overkill.
The bright red little aluminum whistle is pretty sweet though. And pretty loud. I’m not at all sure about the “credit card” tool. It’s awfully heavy just on it’s own and I don’t ever recall really needing to tighten many bolts or measure much when I’ve been lost in the woods before.
I went ahead and checked the little button compass against several of mine, including the iPhone, and it’s about 30° off! It’s headed for the trash. [Looks like there could be a future post on compasses, too]
The Swiss Army knife is actually pretty nice. It’s a legitimate Victorinox “rostfrei” knife called the Huntsman, but it has seen better days. One of the blades has been snapped off halfway down and has been reground. And it’s missing the little doodads like the toothpicks, the tweezers, And the spring for the scissors. Still, the saw that Victorinox adds to some of their knives is a pretty good one. Also, the steel Victorinox uses is really high-quality and the blades are super sharp.
Whoever had it had at least tried to do a little upkeep on it. You can smell fresh gun oil in the pivots, but all the blades are pretty stiff and grind like there’s beach sand in the joints. … It was also an SOB to get all the blades unfolded at once and positioned for photo. But, all in all, it’s a nice enough knife that I can toss into a pack as a backup. Far as I’m concerned though, it’s way too big to take up space in an Altoid tin kit.
Former owner who put this together at least went to a little trouble. Maybe a little ill-advised, but they’ve made the effort. They did get it waterproofed nicely with the electrical tape, so that was lucky for me as the finder. Certainly having some kind of a little emergency kit is always a good idea. To me, the Swiss Army knife and the full-size Bic are things that I would just ordinarily have in my pocket. I can’t see needing to stash ’em inside a kit. However, the box is really nice, simply because it’s not an regular old Altoid tin. Now I’m wondering what the Newman’s Own Ginger Mints tasted like. They could not be as shagnasty as Altoids are. I’m going to see what I have kicking around here and what I can pick up down at the dollar store or the Fell-Off-a-Truck-Stop, do a re-pack on it and see what kind of an actual “emergency” kit I can make.
So, that’s the treasure. It was kind of a fun to find something when heading out for the first time this year. I didn’t even have to take the metal detector along.
But even better, was just taking that walk down the riverbank for 30 minutes on a pretty day and getting to smell the Spring finally coming into the air. We took forever and a day to thaw out up here this year, but the much dreaded mud season has pretty much passed already.
Looks like I’ve got material the for a couple of more posts for down the road out of this one.
Hope you’ll keep coming back.
…Onward Through the Fog.