Gear Watch: Survival Grenade From Rocky S2V

Well, it definitely wins the eye-catching product name award. Rocky S2V, a recent entrant into the outdoor gear world, specializes in integrating survival equipment into footwear and apparel.

The company is prominently touting its Survival Grenade ($18.99), an ultra-compact bundle of survival equipment wrapped up in 10 feet of military grade 550 cord that is woven to resemble its namesake explosive. Inside are various bits of gear, including a firestarter and tinder, small knife blade, tin foil, needle, fishing hooks, and wire.

Overall, however, this is more gimmicky than functional. As I've written about before (Survive or Die: The difference may be only a few ounces of essential gear), the most important items you can carry for survival are firestarting materials, one or two heavy-duty trash bags, and a whistle or other emergency signaling device. 

The Survival Grenade only offers one of these items and several of the other contents—wire for "trapping, snaring, binding" and fishing gear—are not going to be particularly helpful in a short-term survival situation (by far the most common) and only marginally useful at best in a longer-term situation.

Which is why I'm much more intrigued by another of the company's offerings: Boots that feature an integrated "survival compartment" under the footbed. The company's line of Substratum boots ($279) feature a small space under the footbed specifically designed to accommodate an Ultimate Survival Technologies (UST) firesparker, which is included with the boots. The compartment in the other boot gives you the room to include some tinder (they come with UST WetFire Tinder).

I like the concept because it means that you're essentially guaranteed to be carrying a crucial piece of survival equipment at all times. (The company also offers the Provision Jacket for $599, which integrates survival equipment as well, but unlike boots—which you usually have on in the backcountry—you're not always clothed in outerwear.)

Be safe out there!

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.