Friday, April 29, 2022

Is Prepping in the Cards?

I apologize for the lack of content lately. Life has been kicking me from several directions at once, and my free time to write has been one of the casualties. Most of my online activities were the first things cut in order to make time for more important things like sleep and family. I care about my online friends and our readers, but I'd be a poor example if I didn't take care of myself and my family first.

I've been playing around with a set of "survival" cards for a few days. These are thin steel cards with various useful tools punched or cut into them. Amazon has several different sets, so I bought a few to test out. 

Here are my thoughts and observations on these cards in general:
  • They're all made of thin 304 stainless (aka 18-8 stainless), which is a medium-grade steel. This means that the steel will bend and hold its new shape rather than try to spring back. Commonly used to make dinnerware and corrosion-resistant tools, 304 stainless will rust and pit eventually.
  • These are either precision stamped or laser cut, so don't expect sharp edges on any of the knives. The hooks and arrowheads will be sharp enough to do the job, but the knife edges will be flat. 
  • The knives are small and the metal is thin. Best suited for skinning game or cutting up wild fruits, they'll get the job done but it will take longer than a good camp knife. 
  • In fact, everything is small. Viewed on a normal monitor, most of the pictures below are close to half size. These cards are sized to fit in a pocket or wallet, so they're only about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long.
  • All of the sets have the same problem; how do you store the tools once you've taken them off of the card? Two sets come with a felt "wallet" with a single snap closure, but I don't see how they'd hold the tiny tools through any rough terrain. Finding fish hooks loose in the bottom of a pack is not a good time, and it usually happens in the dark. 304 stainless is only slightly magnetic, and I did find one version that shipped with a flat magnetic card to hold the pieces.

This is a single card with 30 different tools for $14. It's not the cheapest set per piece, but it has a good selection of tools. The saw and knife are more substantial than most of the others, making them easier to work with. This kit came in a gift box with a thin flexible magnetic sheet; toss the carboard box and use the magnet to hold the pieces after you've removed them from the frame.

Buspoll 22 in 1 Card

This is a set of three identical cards, perfect for testing with one and storing the other two in a bag or pack. This cost $14 for the set of three cards, so about $4.67 per card. It has basic tools for fishing and trapping, but no knife. What they call a harpoon, we call a "gig"; gigging frogs and snakes for food is similar to fishing, and the tools will work for fish as well.

4 Piece Survival Tool

This has four different cards with a good mix of pieces. The set costs $9.19, and it comes with a cheap felt carrying case. The fork is a nice addition, and the variety of saws is going to require some testing to see how well they work.

The Big Collection

This set has six different cards, 124 different tools, and a coil of fishing line with a plastic "reel" to store it on. 

With a total of 60 fish hooks, 3 knives, 8 saws, 16 sewing needles, and a bunch of other toys, this set will keep you supplied for longer than the other sets. The cost was $14, the same as some of the smaller sets.

I may try some of the fish hooks this summer to see how well they hold up; my normal hooks are made of better steel, and I'm afraid these might bend too easily. More testing is always a good thing.

I'd place all of these tools in the "Gilligan's Island" category of preps: there are better alternatives to all of the tools on these cards, but what these offer is better than trying to make your own out of rocks and twigs. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to