The human compulsion to organize equipment is instinctive. In a wilderness, where what you brought is what you’ll use to shape an environment into something less hostile, a survival kit must be practical, packed with items that are essential in most circumstances. Those tools must be ensconced in a unit that is handy and too convenient to ever leave behind.
The RAT Pack survival kit from ESEE (Escuela de Supervivencia, Escape and Evasion) is designed to meet the most basic survival needs in any situation. The outfit begins with a heavy zippered-shut case of rugged ripstop Cordura. In the front is a quick-release buckled flap over a large pocket; the outer pocket carries four heavy elastic bandolier loops, and four separate elastic pockets below them. The closed kit can be carried on your trousers belt, MOLLE vest, or fastened to a backpack using the snap-down loops stitched to its backside.
Unzip the kit and it opens like a book, revealing one large, 8-inch-long x 7-inch-wide pouch between the kit’s inner and outside walls. Inside are mesh-covered pockets, two on the right, and one full-length pocket on the left. You may select either an RC-6 flat-ground or RC-5 saber-ground survival knife, both with a heavy baked-on black powder coat over a high-carbon 6.5-inch blade of 1095 spring steel (RC 57). Slab Micarta scales and contoured handle ensure a firm grip when the knife is slippery. An overall length of 11.75 inches gives the RC-6 leverage for prying open rotting logs to find insects, while a blade width of 1.56 inches and spine thickness of .188 inch provide brute strength for hard use. Instead of a conventional retaining strap to keep the knife’s blade caged in its simple Zytel sheath, the knife is retained by 12 inches of elastic shock-cord wrapped around its handle and secured to a clever locking buckle at the kit’s outer hinge point.