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Donald’s Useful Survival Kit (DUSK)

 a/k/a Wilderness Support Package

Photos of the kit are at Yahoo Woodsmasters under the name ferrocerium:


Other photos can be seen at:  photos.groups.yahoo.com/g...%26.view=t  

Try to visualize the below as a table with 4 columns, sorry it does not come out better here. The numbers with the period after them are the ones that relate to the numbers in the photograph of all the items from the minikit. Thanks for looking.

5-7-02 I came back to add that if anyone would prefer a neater version for review, or their own use, I would be happy to email them a copy in WordPerfect 7/8/9/10 format and/or as a PDF file. Both versions are under 60K. 5-7-02 Further, I added a fresnel magnifier as a 36th item. I revised the information sheet and posted a picture of it. I also changed some of the safety pins, item "12." they now have some bead work. I left the 35 item kit picture posted and added the 36 item kit picture. I then repacked, and all the items fit. The information sheet fit too, but made it a very tight fit. Until I thin it down or repack I decided to slip it on the bottom of the box, under the rubber bands, to avoid compressing the other kit items. It is still protected by the mylar overbag. Further, for added protection, I wrapped the plastic Potassium Permanganate bottle (the green makeshift one) in the plastic water/storage bag, before reinserting it in the pouch. The BK7 pouch is packed and ready to go!




1        Metal Container or Altoids Box 

Holds survival gear 
Mirror for signaling, self observation for injury evaluation/treatment and/or grooming
Small cooker; tinder preparation       
Cup, hold water for treatment
Metal source       


  1. Mylar bag       

    Can hold container to add water resistance if taped and/or folded
    The mirror uses given above 
    Shield eyes from sun to prevent snow blindness       
    Hold water for treatment, water storage       
    Yellow Photon Micro-Light II       
    Yellow has focused beam for reasonable use as flashlight and has long useful life - about 100 hours. Essentially packed on top in the event access is needed in the dark.   

  1. Thin pencil       

Leave a note 
Wood tinder       
Graphite lubricant       

1 sheet 4" x 6"  Water resistant paper       

Leave notes for potential rescuers or for a trail mate,
Mine are from a Black Hawk pad, see also "Rite in the Rain" paper
Memory aid for navigation, e.g. to keep a list of your compass headings from various waypoints. 
1        Info sheets       

Knots, Sheet with ground to air signals.
Other survival info.   

1        Coarse Jig Saw Blade       

Cutting dead or green wood (7 tpi).
Use w/ multipurpose fatwood handle, with insert wire or bolt.

1        Rem-Grit Blade       

Cutting almost anything. Reports indicate mediocre for cutting green wood as it clogs.
Use w/ multipurpose fatwood handle, with insert wire or bolt. 
Scraper for ferrocerium rod       

3        Razor Knife Blades       

X-acto brand. Use w/ multipurpose fatwood handle, with insert wire or bolt.
Delicate cutting.
Wood chisel can be used to made more grooves for blades.      

1        Heavy Duty Awl Needle       

Sewing, gear repairs, as small reamer, can use with inner strands of parachute cord or improvised materials such as sinew     

1        Std. Duty Awl Needle       

Similar uses as heavy duty awl  
2        Regular Sewing Needles       

Sewing, gear repairs, splinter removal. Use with kevlar thread or fishing line. If magnetized put on leaf and float in water or otherwise suspend as a compass.       

1        Large eye needle       

Use with inner strands of parachute cord, etc.       

1        Wire Saw       

Cutting wood, other uses depend on which one.       

5        Safety Pins       

Gear repairs, additional hooks, gigging.       

1        Small pocket knife       

Expensive, very sharp choice: Umfaan with integral lock by Chris Reeves. Probably the most reliable, effective, knife you are going to find in this size. Leather case could be used for patching, a mini-hot pad, or sling shot pocket. 

Alternates: Cold Steel Tuff-Lite tanto point, a lock back; SAK Classic or Esquire, the smaller Spydercos..       

Sparks (Pyrophoric devices)/Fire

1        Ferrocerium rod, artificial flint, or metal match       

Fire starting with tinder. 2.5" x 3/16" .27 ounces or 7.6 grams 
Signaling at night if a fire is not practical, e.g. from a life raft, or so the boat can find you if you fell overboard, etc.       

Uses similar to ferrocerium rod, only requires one hand to operate and scraper built in.   

4        Tinder-Quik Fire Tabs       

Use as tinder. Very easy to light. No special storage required. Essentially, a commercial version of cotton balls with petrolatum and bees wax, in a very neat form.  Excellent, water resistant, multiple fires from one tab

1        Fatwood       

Tinder. A one inch length by inch wide/thick burns for 3 minutes and you will still have some left. Water resistant. Make a fuzz stick and it can be set on fire with just a sparker, yes even the mini sparker. A 7 year old child can do it with a BlastMatch, daughter and BlastMatch not included in kit!    Just part of this piece would be needed for any one fire.

Container, e.g. for needles.

Mentioned in the Bladeforums thread, "Ferrocerium rods, metal match, artificial flint, or sparker - carry methods," as a container for a mini-sparker. Can you tell I wanted to be able to find this thread again, no matter what search word I used? :-)

Multi-purpose handle w/ nut and bolt or copper insert for razor knives and jig saw blades.       

3 +        Fire strips        Extremely compact tinder, water resistant 
4        Waterproof Matches & Striker Strip      

Couglan’s "greenies" Also available as windproof. Convenient and greenies are reported to have a very long shelf life. Abrasive strip is packed with striker strip, as a support and in the event a knife, hook, or knife needs a touch-up.       

1        "Magic" Candle        Wind resistant candle   
Water procurement

Thin plastic tube for seeps. Use for seeps, siphoning. In pouch, not in minikit box.     
Emergency cordage inserted inside and it could also be used itself for fastening   

Potassium Permanganate       

Water purification. In pouch, not in minikit box. Antiseptic, anti-fungal. Fire starting when mixed with sugar or glycerin. Antifreeze also reputedly works b/c of the glycol.    
In certain areas make a bath of it to sterilize found edible plants or fruits if not inclined to cook or peel them. One person using this method recalls using half-teaspoon to a gallon of water, but this sounds like a lot, since large quantities can be toxic. I have seen halazone or other tablets used for this purpose, to enable one to have a salad in the tropics.       
Small plastic bag       

Water storage. In pouch, not in minikit box. Storage generally, e.g. minikit items, collected tinder, or edible plants.       
Food related
1        Bottle of Tabasco Sauce       

Taste improvement; parasite reduction  (did not fit)

  1. Bouillon Cube       

Taste improvement    

Did not fit, could probably fit at least a portion in the pouch or a small piece with a third repacking. Tastier hot drink than silver tea, i.e. hot water.  
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil       

Cooking        In pouch, not in minikit box
Cup As a liner for water/soup holding or boiling        
Wind screen       
 Flash for signaling, fishing lure as an attractor and/or improvised jig head.       
 Container, covering.       
 Use a piece to record your foot print for potential searchers       
Food procurement
Several yards        22 gauge soft stainless trolling wire       

Snares. Can be broken to size by forming a handle and twirling (see the Vic Dunaway book for an explanation) or bashing area you want to break with a rock....if you have lost your multi-tool. Actually 20 gauge or 30 pound Monel wire is pictured.       
Excellent; brand is Malin, available on a 600 ft spool from Bass Pro Shops. I used some Monel wire before this.
Repairs, binding, bail for a found container, suspend something in the fire, use pieces for contacts in a maglight to start a fire with steel wool.       

Numerous yards Kevlar thread        

Fishing line. 10 to 30 pound breaking strength       

4        #8 Circle Hooks        

For Fishing and Birding, # 8 circle hooks for better unattended fish catching (circle hooks are used by long liners); and if only practicing, better for catch & release as they often catch in the corner of the mouth.  On acid free (to reduce rust) paper strip for convenience & loss avoidance

#10 gold baitkeeper

#10 gold

#12 gold

#10 & #12 Aberdeen gold
(long shank)

#14 Aberdeen Small gold hooks, can be used without any bait b/c of the flash when moved. To catch small or small mouthed fish for food, bait, or a combination of the two.

One Speed Stop, to control depth from sliding float. This is the very small red object with a hole at each end. You pass the fishing line through a hole, wrap around the center a couple of times, and out the other hole. Loosen the line tension to move up or down the line.

Note always check your hooks to make sure they are sharp enough, they should dig into your fingernail, not slide off, but be careful.

I noticed that one of the gold aberdeen hooks was magnetized. If floated on water, the shaft of the hook points north. That one is stuck in a thin piece of foam sheeting then on the paper strip. (A similar effect was noticed on one of the needles, so that could also serve in an emergency.) The piece of foam can also be used to add some floatation.       

 6/0 Mustad Salt water hook  Large hook for gaff; or for mahi-mahi fishing. The hook tip is protected by a piece of closed cell orange foam, which as with many of the items has multiple uses, such as use as a float, attractor, in a rig to keep a hook off the bottom, with a hook to make a floating jig, or a combination of these uses.       

1   1 treble hook for use with small Blue Fox wiggle stick (see description under lures.       
several, about 13   Split shot (lead) #7 and smaller, + one small purple worm (sliding) weight        Use to hold down line, make a jig out of a hook, improve casting, etc. Writing? Remember lead is toxic, be careful.

Note, I did not see tungsten split shot so perhaps it does not work for that, but like shotgun shell pellets, tungsten is now used for dense, non toxic weights. The tungsten weights were pricey, so I skipped them for now.        

Stored on piece of kevlar thread; + florescent bead as a stopper/attractor
1        Lures        1 Yellow jig head. Can be used with found or improvised bait (threads for a simulated bucktail or maybe you can find the real thing; aluminum for flash, etc.       

1 Berkley Power grub scented small 2"black grub tail. I use it in conjunction with the yellow jig head. When my fishing has not been productive I have always gotten something on this lure, to avoid being totally skunked. There may have been one exception, when it did not catch something. It is wrapped in foil as the soft plastic can damage sensitive items.       

1  Blue Fox wiggle stick. I am including it because of its simplicity. I think you could make one that would work well enough by carving a stick or toothbrush handle. Use the heavy awl needle to form a hole or if using plastic, a piece of heated snare wire to melt a hole. Pass the line through to the hook. The original uses a treble hook, but a single hook should work.       

1   A Cicada. A vibrating, spoon type, lure. Casts well, but swishing it back and forth using a long pole should work. Do I have to mention, tie it to the fishing line?  
1        Swivels        Fishing, snares (See with safety pins in #12)       
4        Ibuprofen        200 mg. Each. Pain relief. Fever reducer. 

1        Vitamin        Replace lost vitamins & minerals from survival diet, esp. if long term. 

1        Anti-Diarrheal tablets        Reduce diarrhea, water loss from same, and cramps. 

alcohol prep pad        sterilization, bug bites or other irritations, tinder        Did not fit.

1        antiseptic packet        Use as an antiseptic. May be combined with tinder to increase burn time.       
Miscellaneous Multipurpose Group
A few yards        550# Mill Spec Parachute cord wrapped around kit        Bind items, with inner strands available for finer tasks. Shelter, snares or snare extensions, equipment repairs, e.g. shoelace, sewing, weapon construction, etc. On sheath for convenience, a small amount cd have fit in pouch, but some cord already there.

11"        100 MPH tape (high quality Duct or Gaffers tape)        Stored on nonstick paper backing from adhesive labels or stamps.

  Quick fletching of arrows (Sandwich arrow between two strips. Trim to shape. You are done!)       
  Gear repair       
  Trim to make a butterfly stitch, blister prevention.        
  To seal container. Not actually done at the moment b/c Mylar bag adds water resistance, and b/c opening kit for pictures.   
4        Heavy Rubber or Ranger bands        Holding container shut, holding other objects. Cut from bicycle inner tube or bands off vegetables.
If you have enough, combined with cord, you could use to make a low powered sling shot.       

1        Button Compass        Navigation.     

1 ea.        Salt & Pepper packets        Improve taste of food

Replenish salt lost in sweating.       

1        Bees Wax strip        To keep ends of thread together when sewing, to make threading needle easier.  Lubrication .  Roll around wick material for a candle       

1        Fresnel Magnifier        Emergency reading glasses. Magnifying small objects        It fits in minikit box nestled against the mirrored lid which should protect it since note paper is on top of it.
Fire starting on sunny days.  Slip case has to be left off magnifier as case does not fit.



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