The Dave Canterbury and DECKED Collab Makes the Best Survival Kit
Anyone who spends any length of time outdoors knows that a decent survival kit and knowledge on what to do with it are non-negotiables. Mother Nature can be a real bear, and unless you put a little effort into survival skills and equipment ahead of time, there’s no way she’s going to automatically protect you like her cub. At DECKED, we’ve sweetened the proverbial honey pot by teaming up with Dave Canterbury, survival skills expert and founder of The Pathfinder School to offer up the best survival kit, the DECKED x Pathfinder Survival Kit, that tucks smartly into our Crossbox and will help you out of even the most sticky of situations.
Canterbury Knows His Stuff
You may remember Dave Canterbury from “Dual Survival,” where he starred opposite Cody Lundin for two seasons. Or maybe you’ve read one of his six New York Times best-selling books or have binge-watched a few of his 900+ YouTube videos. Canterbury, a skilled survivalist with over 25 years of experience and United States veteran, is also the founder and co-owner of The Pathfinder School in southeast Ohio which USA Today named as one of their Top 12 Survival Schools in the United States.
The Pathfinder School has over 1,500 students worldwide, including the United States Military, Michigan DNR Law Enforcement, and West Virginia EMS. The school practices a method of survival that Canterbury coined as the 5 C’s of Survivability and hones in on five items that have been used cross-culturally since ancient times.
When it comes to survival, the proper equipment can literally make the difference between life and death, and Canterbury is no stranger to what makes up the best survival kit. That’s why he also founded Self Reliance Outfitters, the official outfitter that assists The Pathfinder School in making the best possible products available for bushcraft and outdoor self-reliance.
The products that Self Reliance Outfitters carries are all vetted by Canterbury and his team and are readily available on his website. But instead of purchasing items willy-nilly, Canterbury and DECKED have eliminated the need for stabs in the dark as Canterbury curated his best wilderness survival kit supplies, and at DECKED we packed them up into our Crossbox that fits smartly into our DECKED Tool Box or DECKED Drawer System.
What’s a Crossbox, Anyway?
You might be wondering what a Crossbox even is? Think of it as a handheld, portable toolbox. It looks like a tackle box and keeps everything from your favorite lures, to your bolts and bits, to even the best emergency survival kit supplies secure and dry. It has a 40-pound weight limit, holds 672 cubic inches of awesomeness, and measures 17.5’ x 10.75” x 7.75”.
- Watertight, with an integrated ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber seal
- Easy-locking latches
- High-impact resin and heavy-duty construction make for lasting durability
- Lockable to keep contents secure
- Ergonomic carry handle
- Ruler and Common Bolt/Bit Guide
- Fits crosswise in all full-size DECKED Drawer System drawers and midsize wide drawers; fits lengthwise in narrow midsize drawers and the DECKED Tool Box
- 100% Made in the USA
- Ships free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. (Sorry, does NOT ship to Canada)
Best Survival First Aid Kit
The best survival kit will always include a first aid kit. Whether you are a hardcore survivalist or a weekend adventurist, the best survival medical kit you can carry with you is an absolute must. The first aid portion of the DECKED X Pathfinder Survival Kit is packed into a MOLLE bag, and for the uninitiated, MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment.
We’re about to get pretty tactical here, but the MOLLE system, (pronounced similar to the name “Molly”) is used by the U.S. Military and a number of NATO armed forces. It utilizes a Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) webbing equipment in rows of heavy-duty nylon.
In other words, what makes the MOLLE system unique are the bands on the outside of the gear that are sewn down in increments on load-bearing equipment like backpacks and vests, essentially making a place where smaller bags, pouches, and other gear can be attached to. Removal is fast and convenient, and attaching commonly-used items to the outside of the bag saves time—and maybe even your life.
The Contents of The Pathfinder IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) Emergency Medical Kit:
- Heavy-duty Cordura MOLLE bag
- Pressure bandage
- Crepe bandage
- Combat application tourniquet
- Bandage scissors
- First aid dressing
- Burn dressing
- Triangular bandage
- Medical tape
- Structural, aluminum, and malleable (SAM) splint
- Emergency blanket
- Marking pen
- 2x Disposable gloves
- Alcohol prep pads (10 pieces)
Individual First Aid Kits are intended to contain essential life-saving materials to get bleeding under control and to treat major wounds. The Pathfinder Kit does just that, and with the MOLLE system, it can be clipped to your backpack for quick access in the event of an emergency.
Make sure you know how to use it though, and Self Reliance Outfitters offers two resources for sale on their website on the subject: “Wilderness First Aid,” a waterproof folding guide to common sense self-care produced by The Pathfinder School; and Canterbury’s, “Bushcraft First Aid,” that he co-wrote with Jason A. Hunt, PhD.
What Else Is Included?
The rest of the kit’s contents are pretty straightforward, and we’ll outline them here in addition to why they are important. Canterbury’s extensive experience is a boon when it comes to selecting the best items, so it’s a gift that he’s curated these kits from the highest-quality products he could source to address the widest variety of true survival situations:
HD6 Ferro Rod with Striker
- Why It’s Important: Even in the worst conditions, temperatures, altitudes, moisture levels, or whatever—Tungsten steel and a striker will spark and set fire. With a good tinder source, you can have the foremost important part of wilderness survival: a fire.
Mini Inferno Fire Discs
- Why It’s Important: Since you’ve got your flint and steel, what you really need now is tinder. Mini inferno discs are impregnated with ignition fuel, so tear the disc to expose the fibers and hit it with a spark from your striker. Voilà! You’ve got fire.
What’s also great about the discs is that moisture actually increases the 5-7 minute rated burn time of each disc, and the lid of the tin doubles as a signaling device. Six discs are included in the tin.
Pathfinder Reinforced Nylon Tarp (7’8” x 7’8”)
- Why It’s Important: The Pathfinder tarp is made from the same ripstop material of a high-quality tent’s rainfly. It has insert grommets for anchor points and is a durable, rainproof covering you can assemble any place you have trees or a vehicle to string to. It can easily create the four basic styles of emergency shelter.
550-pound Tensile Strength Paracord (100 feet)
- Why It’s Important: It’s been said that paracord is the duct tape of survival. As if its key use in putting up a shelter weren’t enough, it can also help fashion a splint, can be used to leave a trail for folks to find you if you need to abandon your location, and can generally MacGuyver you out of almost any pickle you find yourself brining in.
7” Blade Bahco Laplander Folding Saw
- Why It’s Important: This tempered, Swedish steel-bladed saw can cut through almost anything. Cutting firewood, making shelter, dressing out an animal, and more; this foldable saw is a critical item in the best survival kit.
It has a hardpoint, an XT 7TPI toothing pattern, and a Santoprene handle for an easy, yet solid grip. There’s a push-button safety lock because the last thing you need is to create a secondary emergency when you haven’t even resolved the first one.
Mora Bushcraft Black ¾ Tang Knife
High-carbon steel blade
Rubberized handle for good grip
Four-inch-long blade, ¾” wide and .126” thick
Sheath comes with Bushcraft-Style belt loop that swivels for comfort when sitting
Blade has a black coating to help prevent rust and unwanted reflections
- Ready to use with the Ferro rod included in the kit
32-ounce Stainless Steel Water Bottle and Nesting Cup
- Why It’s Important: High-quality stainless steel can take direct heat from an open flame when used for boiling water. The wide mouth of this vessel makes it easier to collect water from even the shallowest of sources, and the stainless steel cup lid features straining holes. Measurement graduations are etched inside of the cup to help you ensure you’re properly defeating dehydration.
- Features and Measurements:
32 oz. 304 grade .5mm thick stainless steel water bottle with flat cap weighs 8.5 oz. and is 8” tall and has a 3 ¾” diameter.
25 oz. 304 grade .5mm thick stainless steel cup with heavy gauge “batwing” handles weighs 8.2 oz. and is 4.5” tall and has a 3 ¾” diameter.
When the going gets tough, the proper gear and the knowledge on how to use it will keep you alive. With the right gear, you’ll be the person on the evening news, all beat up and saying, “Thank God for this Ferro rod and survival class I took because Mother Nature is a real bear.” But you won’t be the report of the deceased individual they found on the side of the trail, because you took the time to properly prepare before flirting with adventure in the wilderness.
What Should I Store It All In?
We may not be the foremost experts on the best survival kit, but we certainly have friends who are. We think you deserve something more than the “best survival kit on Amazon” and our friends (and soon to be yours) at The Pathfinder school can do that for you.
What we do best here at DECKED is make storage solutions and accessories for truck beds, (and even vans in some cases for those of you #vanlife adventurists). Our DECKED Drawer System and DECKED Tool Box both easily store the Crossbox with room to spare, and whether it’s for work or for play, you can load your tools and gear up once, and securely lock them away for when you need them.
Our Tool Box is 100% waterproof, is super secure, is impact-resistant, and will never dent, ding, or rust. We’ve engineered this crossover, truck bed toolbox out of high-density polyethylene, high-impact polymer resin, and it’s reinforced with galvanized steel and aluminum.
Impossible to break into with a pry bar, we’ve created our unit with an upstanding lip that minimizes theft pry bar points and also acts as a rain gutter around the unit.
A driver’s side lock, coupled with a robust steel armored locking mechanism ensures that forced entry is not an option, and the toolbox lid must be open for the unit to be removed from the bed of the truck.
In short: this ain’t your granddad’s toolbox, but it’s one that he wished he’d had. Made from materials from this century and a design that looks like it’s from this decade, the DECKED Tool Box is a great way to #UNSUCKYOURTRUCK.
The DECKED Drawer System is another great option for keeping your tools and gear organized, dry, and secure in the back of your truck. This was our first product where we vowed to “put an end to the junk show” which is the general state of the back of most of our pickup truck beds.
With two rolling drawers the length of your truck bed, you have waist-height, modular organization right at your fingertips.
Both the Drawer System and Tool Box come with organizational accessories that would make Marie Condo cry, and once you get all of your tools and gear neatly organized and tucked away, you might too once you realize how much of your life you get back once you stop having to dig through all of your crap.