Friday, December 28, 2018

5iVE STAR GEAR Survival Tube....Urban Survival Gear

I received a 5iVE STAR GEAR Survival Tube as a Christmas gift from my family this year. 5iveStar Gear is a company that produces and markets a full line of outdoors gear, survival gear, personal safety equipment and packs and bags. I should mention that they have History Channel's ALONE participants Alan Kay and Dr. Nicole Apelian as product ambassadors, which is a very noteworthy recommendation if they are willing to put their name behind these products! As to the Survival is a steel tube, wrapped with 6' of Paracord that contains a ferrocerium rod, a scraper, a diamond-coated knife/ fishhook sharpening rod, and comes with a carabiner for suspending it from your belt or pack. In the video below, I display the packaging and remove the items for a stump top review:

It also comes with 2 tinder tabs. They are treated with some kind of substance, I do not know what, perhaps it is proprietary. It is greaseless and colorless. I tested them and they ignite easily with a spark, and burn very well. I only used a very tiny portion and it seemed to me to burn better and longer than generic petroleum jelly.

I could not fit an entire tinder tab inside the tube, but unraveled one of the tabs and placed a small portion inside, enough to start a fire if needed [assuming I have done my preps and gathered additional tinder, progressive kindling, and dry fuel].

This item is marked on the package "Urban Survival Gear" and I suspect they intended this as a bit of kit to EDC on your person or on a pack. It is very benign in appearance and portable. I should think that it would probably go unnoticed in a non-permissive environment, like a workplace business office setting.
Reviews are great but testing is what tells the true usefulness of a tool and so I went out to the local regional park and used the 5iVE STAR GEAR Survival Tube to start a fire and heat water for my morning coffee and oatmeal. I apologize for the quality of the was quite cold out and my camera lens began to fog [I rolled my kayak a couple of months ago and immersed the camera]:

The tool functioned satisfactorily. Things I learned.... 1.) The ferro rod should be screwed into the handle tube to allow control. It is too small to hold in your hand and properly manipulate by itself; 2.) The striker, though small, can be manipulated. However, it has a coat of black paint on it, and you should remove the paint from the scraping edge to properly scrape sparks, just as you do the ferro rod; 3.) The tinder provided burns very well! I would love to know what accelerant they used! Probably a proprietary compound. The diamond sharpener and paracord speak for themselves. I saw no need to use them. I prefer sharpening my blades on stones and I see this as a field/emergency sharpener. And frankly, that dovetails perfectly with the intended use of this as a discreet "Urban Survival Tool", an insurance policy against bad times so to speak.

Other than that, it was a beautiful sunny day. I used my STANLEY Adventure set to cook the meal. The wind was quite strong and a bit cold, but I did not let that stop me from enjoying the day. In point of fact, this is why one goes experience all that the natural world offers.

Now, just as a tip: Not all outdoor adventures require a long journey or an arduous hike! You can find interesting wildlife and have great outdoor experiences right in your own backyard. Just seek out local parks and open space properties to explore within walking distance of your home. Think "Backyardsing" instead of "Backwoodsing". I like parks with pedestal barbeques in which I can make a small fire and heat up a meal or water for a coffee or tea. I can practice fire starting at the same time. Just be sure to be FIRE SAFE, follow park rules and guidelines, and properly extinguish the coals when finished by drowning with water, stirring, and adding more water as necessary. In conclusion, is the 5ive Star Gear "Survival Tube" worth the appx. 20 dollar asking price? Yeah, I think so. It offers a number of functions in a very compact and discreet package that can be easily EDC'ed. Remember, a survival kit is whatever you have on your person when you need it, not the well-stocked kit you've thoughtfully and painstakingly assembled and left stowed in your backpack at home. If you were suddenly thrust into a situation at this very moment, what would YOU have on you that could get you through an event....anything? That is precisely where this 5ive Star Gear tool shines.
If you do intend to EDC this, my advise would be to augment this tool with a small aspirin bottle full of petroleum soaked cotton balls and a good slipjoint pocket knife or small lockback folder. An SAK with a wood saw is an ideal pick for this purpose. Happy Hiking! GOBLIN RANGER [Bushcraft Woods Devil]

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