Several months ago, I stumbled on the GearPods Survival System at a time when I was pretty disappointed with most of the pre-made survival kits on the market. All of the kits I looked at seemed to lack some critical survival gear... and most were stuffed so full that there was no room for me to customize the kits for what I needed. Honestly, I was starting to wonder if there was anyone out there that really thought through what a comprehensive, pre-made, yet customizable survival kit should be.... But the more I looked at the GearPODs system... the more my hope was restored...
_______ GearPods Adventure / Survival Gear is a highly customizable and modular system of pre-assembled single and multi-kits with survival, navigation and signaling, cooking, fire and shelter building as well as first aid gear. Each single kit is contained in a super-rugged, polymer, waterproof POD cylinder. And any POD with a cap or connector can also be used as an emergency cup or water carrier.
Now the beauty of the GearPODs system is that you can build your own survival kit by selecting from 9 pre-assembled, single kits OR you can select a pre-assembled multi-kit like the GearPODs Wilderness System. Not only does GearPODs offer pre-made kits... the system is designed for you to build and expand your own survival system to suit your needs. So the possibilities are endless. So if you want... you can totally customize or even build your own virtually indestructible kit by selecting empty PODs and filling them with your own stuff... OR you can add your own POD creations to a pre-assembled GearPODs kit. So the ability of the GearPODs system to be customized and be changed and upgraded over time is the true genius behind this line.
__________ About the PODs The PODs themselves come in 4 sizes and can be attached to each other in any arrangement you choose through the use of these rugged, double threaded connectors and caps.
The PODs are not only functional... but they’ve got style. You can personalize the look of you GearPODs kit by selecting from 7 different colors of caps and connectors including, black, blue, tan, orange, yellow, red and green.
__________ GearPODs Wilderness Survival System In the photo, I have the GearPODs Wilderness Survival System which includes the GearPODs Health and First Aid Kit, the GearPODs Shelter kit and the GearPODs Survival PRO kit. The Wilderness Survival System is a well thought-out kit that includes all of the basic gear needed for survival, which is why I selected it.
__________ So let’s take a look at what this kit includes - starting with the Health and First Aid kit.
___________ The Health and First Aid POD The GearPODs health kit is a compact, yet comprehensive first aid kit for treating common outdoor ailments and injuries and is kept safe in a Medium POD. The Kit comes in a cool orange stuff sack that has a drawstring and closure system.
The GearPODs Health Kit Includes: Ibuprofen Aspirin Burn Cream with Aloe Vera Cleansing Wipes Insect Protection Cream Sunscreen Insect Sting Relief Towelette Poison Ivy and Sumac Cleanser Lip Ointment Hydrocortisone Iodine Wipes Antibiotic Ointment 2 - 2 inch x 2 inch Moleskins Cotton Swabs Medical Tape Tweezers Alcohol Prep Pads Butterfly Closures Knuckle Band Aids Small and Large Band Aids Gauze Pads
And one of the most helpful features of this, and every other kit in the GearPODs line is a kit inventory... or contents sheet. This contents sheet is VERY useful for people like me - who want to make sure their survival kit is always fully stocked and ready for use. It really is a nice touch and something that most of the other kits are lacking. Another aspect of the GearPODs Health kit, is that even with all of this gear it still has quite a bit more room left in the POD for you to add additional items if you like.
_____________ The Shelter POD Next let's look at the GearPODs Shelter Kit that provides a basic emergency shelter system to help you stay warm and dry in an emergency.
The Shelter Kit includes a lightweight, orange, silicon-coated, ripstop, nylon tarp system, with some nylon cord, 6 line tensioners and a thermal emergency blanket to keep you warm or for use as a large rescue reflector. The ripstop nylon tarp may also be useful as a solar still cover in a pinch. The Adventure Tarp System is all packed neatly in an orange stuff sack, with very good directions and illustrations on how to set the whole rig up.
I took the GearPODs shelter kit up on the mountain to try it out... First I found 2 trees that were about 8 feet apart that had a nice patch of level ground between them. Then I rough-measured and cut a length of nylon cord long enough to wrap around each small tree and have enough left over to install the tensioners. Next, I installed the nylon cord with tensioners and strung my line about 3 feet above the ground between the two trees and tightened the cord using the tensioners.
The kit’s instructions with helpful diagrams made installing the center cord and tensioners easy. Then I cut my existing cord into 4 lengths and tied each length to the loop on each corner of the tarp using a bowline knot (which the instructions show you how to tie). Next I made 4 tent stakes with branches using my survival knife and pushed them firmly into the ground.
Now, I have to admit... in my testing I lost 3 of the 6 tensioners from this kit... so I had to resort to an old Boy Scout knot - the taut line. Taut line knots are easy to adjust and keep tension on the 4 corners of the tarp. Although a taut line knot is easy enough to tie... just don’t lose your line tensioners and you’ll be fine.
When I was finished with the Adventure Tarp System, it came down in about 2 or 3 minutes and packed up nicely, in the stuff sack and POD and is all ready to go next time.
_________ GearPods Survival Pro POD Now we'll move on to the GearPODs Survival Pro kit... which is actually two kits in one... A comprehensive survival kit AND a very compact and useful solid fuel stove with wind shield and a compact anodized aluminum cooking mug / pot. All of this packs perfectly into an Extra Large POD.
___ Chock Full! On the bottom of this Survival POD we have a stuff sack that contains the instructions for the Cook Stove, THE Cook Stove itself... with 3 flip out stabilizing feet...as well as...
- 2 large Esbit solid fuel tablets - 4 pieces of Tinder Quick which is Weather-Proof Tinder - A 50 foot spool heavy-duty thread for sewing, emergency cordage and fishing - 8 foot of stainless steel wire for repairs and snares - 25 feet of high quality braided nylon cord - About the loudest and best quality emergency whistle we’ve seen - And a rather good liquid-filled button compass. I’m usually not a big fan of button compasses but this is about the best one we’ve seen because it accomplished its only task - of pointing North - every time.
___ In the top section of the Survival POD, you'll find the Cook Mug with lid and a heat dissipating band around the top so you can hold the mug when it's hot. Inside the Cook Mug we have another stuff sack that contains a boatload of quality and useful survival gear as well as a wind shield for the cook stove.
___ In the stuff sack there is a one-handed fire starter... which is similar to a butane lighter without the fuel. __ I used this fire starter with Tinder Quick. The key to using Tinder Quick with any fire starter is that you need to pull one end apart like a cotton ball. The larger the surface area the better.
Then flick the striker wheel with your finger to get sparks... It seems like every time I use a fire starter like this, it takes me a few tries to light the tinder. Nonetheless... this fire starter works fine with a little persistence and can be a life saver in an emergency.
__ Next we have 10 vacuum sealed NATO approved water and wind-proof matches with striker. You would use these matches to ignite the solid fuel cook stove tablets since they are not designed to ignite using sparks.
AND for extra safety, the kit includes a Fresnel Lens that can focus sunlight on tinder to start a fire. I really like the idea of redundant backups when it comes to emergency fire starting. And I LOVE the fact that this kit comes with 3 fire starting solutions. Also... a Fresnel lens is great for magnifying things for the over-40 crowd-like me.
Also included is a little Mini-LED flashlight with a battery that GearPODs says will last for over 24 hours of continuous use. It’s not the brightest torch we’ve seen, but it is certainly sufficient for a survival situation and we like its long battery life for sure.
Next, let's look at the break-resistant container with fish hooks, a swivel, sinkers, safety pins and a sewing needle. It’s so practical that these sharp and pointy items are packaged in this container so they don’t rip through the stuff sack, or poke things... like fingers when fishing around for gear in the stuff sack. For a blade, the POD comes with a folding razor blade knife with a pretty sturdy fold-out handle and blade guard that extends the usefulness and safety of this tool. I’d still want to have a survival knife along... but if I didn’t, there’s a lot that can be done with this blade. There is also a folding jig saw blade for cutting wood or metal, with a similar handle to the razor blade knife.
A 30 inch or 76 centimeter long roll of duct tape is included for repairs or emergency first aid. There is a self-standing, 36 ounce or 1 liter water collection and storage bag. And to go along with this bag are 6 Katadyn Micropur Water Tablets. Each tablet is designed to treat 1 liter of water against viruses, bacteria and other nasty stuff. 4 sheets of weatherproof stationary and a pencil with a cap are handy for keeping a journal, leaving a message, drawing plans or maps. And no survival / emergency or rescue kit would be complete without an emergency signaling mirror. Mine came with the mirror side a little blemished around the edges, but this didn’t reduce its performance at all.
Signaling with a mirror is one of the most effective ways to get help since on a clear day a flash from a mirror can be seen up to 20 miles or about 32 kilometers away. And last... but certainly not least... the GearPods system includes a really nice water and tear proof survival guide.
This survival guide tells AND shows you how to use many of the items in the GearPODs Survival Pro Kit and, like in the other GearPODs kits, it lists the contents so you can do a periodic inventory to ensure that your kit is ready to go. We also like that this kit includes some basic first aid instructions - something that most of the other pocket survival guides seem to lack...
________ So here I am using the GearPODs cook stove system to boil some water...
To light the Esbit solid fuel tablets... you need to use a match or two... your fire starter is not going to do it. Once you get the solid fuel going, place the windscreen with the vent holes facing down wind and place your Cook Mug on the stove base. It took about 5 minutes for my water to come to a hearty boil. Now to remove your cook mug from the stove, be careful NOT to touch the wind screen... it’s HOT!!! Trust me, I learned the hard way... But you can pick up the mug using the woven heat resistant gasket at the top.
Also, if solid fuel is not your gig... our you want a backup fuel source, GearPODs offers this denatured alcohol burner system.
___ Another cool thing about the Gear PODs system is that each pod is about the width of a water bottle so it can easily slip into water bottle pockets or into packs.
GearPODs also offers adjustable POD cases in digital camo and black that are designed to further protect your gear and make it easy to strap your PODs onto stuff like bug out bags and backpacks.
____________ Now Lets Look at Owner Comments... Surprisingly, there are NOT a ton of reviews or comments on the GearPODs system available... this may be due to GearPODs NOT being available on Amazon until recently. But all of the comments we have found have been very positive highlighting the innovative and well thought-out design, the completeness of each kit, the ruggedness and quality of the pods and gear, and the ability of this system to be customized to fit about any survival need.
______________ 4.5 out of 5 Stars
We rate the GearPODs System at a solid 4.5 out of 5 Stars for it’s well-thought-out design, quality components, excellent survival guide, the instruction and inventory sheets, the modular, rugged and innovative POD system and a whole lot more, And because of the versatility of this system, and the fact that it’s much more than your typical “take-it-or-leave-it” OR “one size fit’s all” kit... but is more of a complete, upgradable, and totally customizable survival system - it’s really in a class of it’s own. We took off half a star because the although the GearPods system is nearly perfect in every way, it is not small or pocketable. So it’s not a viable every day carry item unless you carry around something like a day pack with you, everywhere you go.
So, who is the GearPODs Survival System For?
The GearPODs Survival System is well suited for those who want a TRUSTWORTHY ready-to-go survival kit... for those who want to build their own kit from scratch... AND for anyone in between... Plus with single kits starting as low as $19 U.S. it’s easy to build your own survival kit over time... or you can jump right into a complete survival system like my Wilderness Survival Kit for around - $129 U.S. And it’s great that the GearPODs system is totally modular, so no matter what your budget, you can start building your Ultimate Survival Kit today.
The GearPODs Wilderness Survival Kit is great for Bug Out Bags, Emergency Kits, Get Home Bags, Disaster Preparedness, Camping, Canoeing, Hiking, Backpacking, Extreme Adventures, Hunting, Fishing, Snowmobile, Four Wheeler and Vehicle Emergency Kits. ___ If you want a smaller more basic and pocketable survival kit, check my reviews of the Bear Grylls Basic, Ultimate or Scout Essentials Kits, or the Adventure Medical - SOL Origin Survival Kit. And for a very nice, ready-made kit, that is NOT modular, see my review of the Henry Survival Kit.
___ Well, I hope you enjoyed this look at the GearPODs Wilderness Survival Kit.