outdoor and survival equipment  

Frequently Asked Questions

We try to anticipate questions you might have about the Vigilant Trails "Bug-out-box" Survival Kit and provide some of the answers here. If you need additional information please use the "contact us" forms located on our website. 


Why the metal container?

The metal container can be used for boiling water (in the lid), signaling, digging, making char cloth, making a dead fall trap for small rodents and amphibians, cooking and keeps the contents protected. Many of these things become difficult if not impossible with a soft bodied kit.


What kind of water purification tablets do you use?

Vigilant Trails uses NaDCC based water purification tablets. NaDCC based tablets present advantages over NaOCI, one of which is in high or variable pH settings. It is well known that chlorine loses its effectiveness to disinfect water at higher levels of pH, due to the dissociation of HOCI (Hurst, 2001). While 78% of chlorine exists in the active HOCI at neutral pH7, at pH 8 the level drops to 26%! The capacity of NaDCC to continue to release significant amounts of HOCI allows it to operate over a wider pH range (Dychdala, 2001).


What's the shelf life of the water purification tablets? 

Depends on manufacturer, 3 or 5 years.


Does the water purification tablets work in cloudy or dirty water?

Yes, If there is a lot of sediment it's recommended filtering the water first. You can do this with a cloth or the coffee filters that come with the Vigilant Trails Survival Kit.


Are the compasses accurate? 

Yes, all compasses are first tested against a military version prior to packing. Any that deviate are destroyed. You can be assured our compasses passed a quality control process and will help you accurately locate the four cardinal directions.


Why two compasses?

The goal is to get you rescued in a survival situation. Whether by self or outside extraction you'll still require accurate directions. In the event one compass is lost, broken or you are traveling with a companion, a second compass will come in extremely handy.


What's the purpose of the pencil? 

While writing is the obvious, another role is when using the fishing kit, namely the metal bobbin. Simply shave down one end of the pencil to accomodate the metal bobbin and you now have a much easier and more efficient way to cast and reel. 


What are the split rings used for?

The primary function is in the construction of snares. Use the enclosed 24 gauge wire for the body and the split ring as the sliding loop.


Petroleum Jelly and Airline Tubing seems odd, what role(s) do they play?

Vigilant Trails is the only company that offers these two essential items in their survival kits. The petroleum jelly can be used for first aid purposes such as: chafing, sunburn relief, toe nail fungus treatment, male specific non-std related rashes, skin moisturizer, chapped lips, and a coating for minor cuts and burns. It can also function as a coating on corrosion-prone metallic items and as a way to lubricate stubborn zippers. It can also be applied to tinder to help it start easier and burn longer. Tinder resources include the tinder tabs (used by the military) and cotton balls. 

The airline tubing is primary used in the construction of a solar still. Without one, the risk of introducing contaminants into the clean water is very high. It also helps keep the condensation from escaping while drinking water generated from the solar still.


What kind of Tinder Tabs does Vigilant Trails use?

The same kind most of the military forces around the world now use, including the United States. Tinder Tabs replaced the magnesium fire blocks that were standard issue. While magnesium fire blocks do work, the issue of the shavings scattered by wind prompted military forces to look for an alternative. 

Our Tinder Tabs burn (even wet) and for approximately 2 minutes. By using the included knife or surgical blade and cutting each Tinder Tab in half, you effectively double the amount, thus increasing your odds of survival. 


What do you mean by, "Three is two, two is one, and one is none"?

As any NAVY SEALS can attest, the basic meaning of this phrase is essentially having three different ways to perform the same task. Vigilant Trails is the only company that takes this very important survival principal and apply it to our survival kits.

In terms of Fire, we provide water and wind proof matches, a fresnel lens, flint fire starter, enough paracord to make a bow drill and a paper match book (of which you can use the enclosed knife or razor blade to split in half, effectively giving you 40 individual paper matches).We further provide numerous tinder resources such as the cotton balls and tinder tabs. Of which you can further enhance with the petroleum jelly.

In terms of Water, we provide water purification tablets, material to build a solar still and you can boil water using the Vigilant Trails Survival Kit container. To further enhance water collection and purifcation efforts: a gusseted stand-up resealable plastic water bag, coffee filters and the airline tubing is included. The Povidone-Iodine pads can also be used to purify drinking water as a last ditch purification effort. 

In terms of Signaling, we provide a whistle that is built into the tension strap, fire is always an ideal option, the survival blanket and container can be used to signal and we include a shatter proof emergency signal mirror with sighting hole. 

For Food procurement we included a unique fishing kit. This fishing kit includes artificial lures and gold treble hooks. Some species of fish such as Brook Trout and certain species of panfish like Bluegill and Crappie can be caught with nothing but a shiny bare gold hook. You can also utilize the contents of the fishing kit to catch small reptiles, rodents and birds. Twenty-four gauge snare wire is included, enough to construct 2-3 snares and the bottom of the container can be used while making a dead fall. Of course, you'll have fire, which means you can cook your food in the container itself to avoid getting ill (from being under-cooked) and contaminating with ashes and lastly, as a handy container for wild berries, pine needles, snails, worms, etc.

Shelter, you have the option to use the enclosed survival blanket in the construction of a debris shelter or lean-to, heavy-duty plastic zip-ties to hold up the cross beam on a lean-to (so you don't have to use your cordage), the knife to cut down small saplings and branches and lastly the plastic sheet for further protection from heat loss and water proofing.

First-Aid, in addition to the water purification tablets and cotton mentioned above, both serving dual duties, numerous items can be utilized for the treatment of minor cuts, burns, bug bites, chapped lips and skin, chafing prevention and relief, ward of hypothermia using the emergency space blanket and numerous ways to treat and prevent infection. 

These are just a few of the obvious ways in which the six essentialls of survival are met using the contents of the Vigilant Trails Survival Kit while keeping the NAVY SEALS mantra in mind.

We hear back daily from satisfied customers who find new and innovative ways in which to fully utilize the contents. We look forward hearing from you too and please share your pictures!