Gear Review: AXP Wilderness Hiking Survival Kit

AXP'S WIlderness Hiking Survival Kit at the top of Mount Whitney, September 2014

In 2014, the primary concern of most people is either doing something "extreme"; or having pictures of a far-off or unique spot to make their friends and family jealous on Social Media. What the primary concern of most people in 2014 should be is safety. I come from a long background of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Federal Park Service training, State Park Service training, and guiding mountaineering trips that has inculcated in me a healthy respect of nature; as well as the importance of being prepared. While I have nothing against getting the shot, or being as extreme as possible, I always am prepared for whatever risks are obvious or implied. At first, being prepared for me meant gathering a number of items from a number of sources for my own survival kit. But, as the years have gone by, and the outdoor industry has taken off, I also have used a number of pre-prepared survival kits made by a variety of sources.

While the kit rolls up to a tiny size, it expands to provide the user with well organized compartments.

Since August, I have been testing AXP's Wilderness Hiking Survival Kit, which they provided me. After five weeks, I have to admit that I am impressed by all aspects of the kit, and would recommend it to any prospective purchaser. I tested the kit out on a number of separate adventures, ranging from a short day hike (7 miles); to a medium length day hike (11 miles); a one day mountaineering expedition (22 miles; to the summit of Mount Whitney); among other things. The kit was with me in 103 degree temperatures; and 30 degree temperatures. Aside from actually injuring myself and putting the kit to use, I felt like the kit definitely received a full shakedown from me during the testing process.

While I couldn't find anything not to like about the kit, I will highlight some of the things I liked best. First, I liked the compact AXP roll that it came in; as well as the lightweight nature of the kit. On a longer expedition, such as my eleven mile hike; or Mt. Whitney trek, weight becomes an issue; and I was happy to report that at 22 ounces, the kit was the perfect weight. Second, the items present in the kit are what you need to survive. I can say this because on occasion, I have had to survive in the wild with my skills; and my kits. The items in the AXP kit are what you would need. From an emergency blanket, a crucial item for any outdoorsperson, to an emergency water purification filter, to zip ties and paracord for lashing items together, the kit has the main tools you would need to stay warm; and make a shelter in the wilderness. The kit also covers the small things, from providing a lighter and backup matches to start a fire; and as someone who has needed to use backup matches, let me state that they are a "must have" item in any survival kit. In addition to these key things, the kit also fully outfits an individual for a multitude of potential first aid issues; and provides a number of other essential items as well.

In short, I was very impressed by the contents of the kit, and could tell that it was designed by people who have been in wilderness situations before; and know what it takes you to survive. The product does live up to its motto - "AXP: Anti-Extinction", because if you keep this kit with you; and keep your wits about you, I guarantee that you will likely survive whatever outdoors issue you have encountered. I'm so sure of this that I'm going to continue using my kit in the future, and should I have any additional insights about it, I'll be sure to post them here.