Hunters tote three tiers of gear afield. Everyday-use itemsâ€”binoculars, spotting scope, flashlight, spare clothing, calls, cell phone, and food and drink for the dayâ€”are first tier items: stuff necessary for getting in and out of the field and keeping you comfortable while youâ€™re there.
Second-tier selections, while perhaps not daily-use, are items that hunters hope to use: digital camera, knife and sharpener, game bags, deer drag, pack boards, or a small block and tackle. These items are for documenting, processing, and removing the animals weâ€™ve successfully killed.
Third-tierâ€”but not third-stringâ€”items may ride along for years without a single use, and because of that it is very tempting to leave them at home. These are survival supplies, and frankly, if I never again needed to use a first aid kit, space blanket, spare batteries, emergency fire starting supplies, compass, spare food and drink, rain poncho, or my spare kidney, I would be ecstatic. That would mean that Iâ€™m doing fine. However, I sure as hell wonâ€™t tempt fate. Nor should you.
SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) recently introduced a palm-sized savior ideal for when â€”not ifâ€”the shit hits the fan. Called the Origin, it is six ounces of security in a compact, clever, and waterproof ABS-plastic package designed to house only the essential survival tools. Perched on top of the Origin is a swing-open signal mirror visible up to 20 miles away. Flip it over, and three removable pieces are tucked into the caseâ€™s body. The first two are the Fire Lite sparker, able to produce over 5,000 sparks, and the quarter-sized button compass. The third item tucked in is a folding knife integrated with a whistle and a simple LED flashlight, because cutting needs donâ€™t cease at dusk.
The rest of the goodies are housed inside the main compartment, where fire tinder, 150-pound test cord, stainless steel wire, foil material for reflecting heat, and an emergency sewing and fishing kit reside. Also included is a foldout with 62+ life-saving tools and techniques by a ruggedly bearded Buck Tilton (thank God they chose a real-deal dudeâ€”not Bear GryllsÂâ€”and for that we thank them) with great information to assist in a survival situation.
While the Origin canâ€™t replace our greatest survival toolâ€”our brainâ€”itâ€™s great to have on hand when something goes wrong. Itâ€™s also great fallback for your lost, forgotten, or broken tools in the field. A spare knife never hurt, especially if youâ€™re boning out a bull elk with no sharpener. Spare cord? Dead flashlight? Broken lighter? The list goes on. Bottom line: The Origin is a tiny piece of gear that will pay big dividends in a nasty situation.