(Stoskopf Advanced Survival System)

Eric Stoskopf is a good friend and long time associate of ours. Eric is well known for his creativity and his ability to innovate. The SASS is just one example of his skill. You can see Eric work in Volume 10 of the Woodsmaster where he helps to make a forge from trash found in the wilderness. Check his site out at 

To The Woodsdrunner Site of Eric Stoskopf.

Not only will you see this article but you will have the chance to read about his adventures and musings. 

This is Eric’s entry into the Hoods Woods/Becker survival kit contest. 

What is SASS?

SASS (Stoskopf Advanced Survival System) is a two part survival "kit" that I designed specifically for the Becker line of knives. "Advanced" does not refer to the components being particularly "high tech". It refers to the individual survivor having the necessary skills and ingenuity to use the SASS components to their fullest potential. A survival kit is only as good as the person using it.

Most survival kits on the market that were designed to be carried with a knife, focus on fishing, trapping, sewing, and other related tasks, which are often not a concern in the first stages of an emergency. These kits are usually stored in a small pocket on the outside of the sheath and in some cases, inside a hollow handle of the knife itself.

With SASS, focus is placed on the often FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT priority in a survival situation. SHELTER.


Removing the scales

SASS components

The unique scales on Becker knives are manufactured in a way that allows a small survival kit to be stored inside. Because this "extra" space can be utilized to store the essential but sometimes non-crucial items such as fishing line, fish hooks, snare wire, and firemaking materials, the pouch on the sheath can be made available for storing priority shelter materials and supplies, making them easily accessible when minutes, even seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

Shelter/Blanket pack

The shelter and blanket pack of SASS include the following items:

  • 1 (one) 42 Gallon / 2FT. 9IN X 4FT / 3MIL Contractor Clean-Up Bag
  • 1 (one) 84" x 52" Emergency / Survival Blanket
  • 16 FT 550 cord
  • 1 (one) 6" x 3" nylon stuff sack

Shelter example # 1

One of the most expedient ways to construct a shelter using the Shelter Pack.

Shelter example # 2

The Contractor’s Bag can be cut open to make a 5 1/2 FT x 4 FT tarp. The Emergency / Survival Blanket can be used to retain body heat and aid in repelling the elements.

Handle kit #1

The first kit contains the following items:

  • 1 (one) metal match
  • 1 (one) striker/saw with sandpaper match striking patch
  • 0000 steel wool
  • 100% cotton soaked in petroleum jelly
  • 1 (one) X-Acto blade
  • Heavy duty tinfoil folded in half
  • 1 (one) rubber gasket

Handle kit #2

The second kit contains the following items:

  • 1 (one) compass
  • 10 (ten) water purification tablets wrapped in plastic
  • 7 (seven) ft snare wire
  • 2 (two) EZ-Awl needles
  • 4 (four) small safety pins
  • 10 (ten) ft / 6 lb monofilament fishing line w/ rubber band
  • 6 (six) fishing hooks ( 3 #10 and 3 #14 )
  • 3 (three) split shot
  • 1 (one) fishing fly
  • 4 (four) strike anywhere match heads dipped in wax
  • 1 (one) piece 0000 steel wool (Four aught)
  • Heavy duty tinfoil folded in half
  • 1 (one) rubber gasket

The Advanced Firestarting Kit components

  • Heavy duty tinfoil ( fashion into windscreen )
  • Small rock ( use as a weight to hold down windscreen )
  • Match head
  • striker/saw with sandpaper match striking patch
  • 1" square piece of rubber ( cut from gasket )

Instructions for the Advanced Fire Kit

  • Scrape off protective wax covering from matchhead.
  • Strike matchhead and toss into windscreen.
  • Quickly, hold rubber square directly over matchhead until it catches fire.
  • Place burning rubber into prepared fire materials.

The SASS Capsule

The scales on any Becker Knife & Tool blade can be fastened together to form a protective container for the SASS kit. The SASS Capsule can be worn around the neck or placed into a pocket making it less likely to be lost.

Wearing the SASS Capsule around the neck

A popular method of carrying a small kit is to store the components in a metal candy tin of some sort. If the tin happens to get dropped, the lid will fly open and many if not all of the contents will be lost. The SASS capsule is nearly indestructible and will hold up to repeated abuse.

The following method is the way I use SASS in an emergency:

First, I remove the Shelter Pack from the accessory pocket and construct an appropriate shelter. After the shelter is in place and my fire making supplies are gathered, I remove the scales from the knife handle. I remove the fire starting supplies from the scales and place them into the nylon Shelter Pack bag. This bag is then kept in my pants pocket. The two scales are then fastened together to form the SASS Capsule and placed in either the accessory pocket on the sheath, around my neck, or in my pants pocket. Because the knife is now without scales, a small piece of cord will be wrapped around it to improve the grip.

When breaking camp, the shelter materials and firemaking supplies will be carried in my pants pocket and the Sass Capsule in the knife’s accessory pocket.

Copyright © 2001 by Eric Stoskopf.
To The Woodsdrunner Site of Eric Stoskopf.

January 7, 2010Karen Hood