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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

ReadyMan Survival Card

There are very few pocket 'cards tools' that I think are worth carrying or using, most of them are basically just odd shaped pieces of metal featuring tools so small or blunt that they are completely useless. 

There is one that I have been carrying for well over a year now though and have found very useful, it is different from most tools though, most of it's features are not just shrunk down versions of full size tools, which is great because there is eventually a point at which a tool becomes too small to be very useful. It doesn't feature screw drivers or other features which lets face it you should have access to on a pocket knife. What it does feature is a lot of small consumable items useful for outdoor survival, fish hooks, collars for snares, arrow heads, needles and a frog gig. 

It's produced by READYMAN, a company founded by American special forces veterans and outdoorsmen. They produce a lot of other products including tourniquet's and other wallet tools which honestly don't hold the same appeal or usefulness to me as many of them feature lock pick tools and escape and evasion kit which I'll never have a use for, if you do want to learn a bit about kit for escape and evasion have a look at Martins old post about what he used to carry sewn into his combat jacket. One product Readyman produce is even a folding stove and you'll find out my opinion on man portable wood stoves in  review on day, SPOILER; I THINK THEY ARE POINTLESS!

Their wilderness survival card is great though and the reason I like it so much is that I have used it regularly, not because I've been in lots of survival situation recently but because my career outdoors presents me with plenty of opportunities to use some of it's features. 

This is the card with it's full compliment of tools, there are two arrow heads, a saw, a three barbed frog gig or fishing spear point, three single hooks, four double hooks, two sewing needles, an awl, tweezers and four snare collars.
                                   All the tools detached from the card. there are weak points in the card which allow you to work each piece back and forth to snap it off as if it was an old airfix model kit. 

You will need some additional tools or a bit of improvisation to make use of all these tools as the saw feature on the card is fairly useless, it might cut string but certainly wont cut the wood you need for your arrow heads or spear shaft. It isn't large enough to grip and is too flexible. 


The inner strands of some paracord will provide all the lashings you need to secure your arrow heads and even as improvised fishing lines. 

Arrow heads ready for use
The frog gig, fitted to a shaft ready for use.
The snare collars have been quite useful to me as I use snares quite a lot for work and a couple of times I've found that I've been a few locking collars short and been able to use the ones here instead. For a post about the legal use of snares in England and Wales follow this LINK. One key difference between my regular use of snares and improvising them in a survival situation though is that my snares are all made of wire, in a survival situation they will be improvised from shoe laces, paracord, natural fibres or whatever else you can find, the 1/2 mm thick steel of the wilderness survival card will bite into a slice through these fibres rendering your snare useless. A snare collar is useful when you are using wire snares as wire is impossible to knot so these collars allow you to lock the snare securely onto a peg or anchor securing the snare to the ground without the need for knots. In a survival situation your snare material will probably allow you knot it so these collars are largely useless. However they can be improvised as little spinners and combined with your hooks for catching fish. 

The inner fibres from paracord are more than strong enough for average fishing tasks. 

Although I am keen on the hooks and there is no doubt that they will work, they are flat rather then round steel which means they will be weaker, also the flat eyes of the hooks and needles are quite sharp and may cut through your thread or line if you aren't careful. 

The arrow heads, snare collars and the needles do exactly what they say on the tin although some of the other features are less useful. I've mentioned the saw already but perhaps it could be fitted with a little handle to make it more useful. The awl is far too flexible to be really useful and the 'tweezers' don't really work at all. What the awl and tweezers can do though is be improvised as larger needles as they both have holes in that would make a good eye. 

Perhaps it's more because other survival card tools are so useless that this wilderness survival card appeals to me so much but it has proven useful a few times already, the needles and snare collars have certainly come in useful and overall I'm impressed by it. 

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