UST Outdoor Skill Card Set
UST is a company specializing in survival and outdoor gear. They’ve been around for a while but have recently really been making a name for themselves with providing great gear for the budget-conscious user. Make no mistake, this isn’t junk masquerading as survival gear. In my experience, they are offering pretty decent stuff at affordable prices.
One product they’ve come out with recently is their Learn & Live card sets. Currently, there are ten sets available, covering everything from bug out bags to cloud identification. The Outdoor Skill Card Set includes six of these small decks of cards:
The cards arrive packed into a very handy water-resistant plastic container. It has a small carabiner as well as a lanyard attached to it. This container would make for a dandy little fire kit.
The cards themselves are plastic coated making them at least somewhat water-resistant. Each deck is held together by a rivet that allows the cards to be swung out for reading and reference. Each card is double-sided and they are the same size as bridge style playing cards (2.5″x3.5″).
The number of cards in each deck varies a bit:
Knots – 6
Way Finding – 10
First Aid – 10
Fire Building – 9
Shelter Building – 9
Survival Fishing – 10
Now, I’ll tell you up front that these cards are no replacement for face-to-face training or even reading actual survival manuals and reference materials. What they are great for, though, is introductions to concepts as well as reminders when in the field. These decks of cards would make great gifts for family and friends who have expressed interest in learning more about basic survival and preparedness.
The Knot cards have good diagrams illustrating how to tie 11 different knots and each also explains the uses for the specific knots shown. This is great information to have as knowing how to tie a knot is only part of the equation.
Way Finding is all about navigation. It explains the basic use of a map and compass, talks a bit about declination, plotting a course, and more. This is an excellent introduction to these concepts.
First Aid covers the very basics for shock, bleeding, bites, rashes, and other common injuries. This is not in any way a substitute for proper training, of course. Again, great for reminders and such, though.
Fire Building covers tinder, kindling, fuel, ways to light fire, and how to properly extinguish a fire so you don’t end up burning down the entire countryside.
Shelter Building talks about a few different shelters such as the debris hut, snow cave, and lean-to. Basic instructions are given and shown in diagrams.
Survival Fishing covers, well, fishing. Different types of bait, gear, as well as traps and other means of catching fish are shown and discussed.
While the cards don’t provide as much information as I’d like to see in such a product, I do think the Outdoor Skill Card Set is worth picking up, particularly as a gift as we’re heading into the holiday season. The information provided is fairly basic but we all start our education somewhere.