Monday, June 22, 2009

Tin, man

Over on BladeForums, Jeff Randall of RAT Cutlery is trying to raise the bar on the forum's regular contests. Yes, the word "extreme" has come up a time or two. (Natch.)

It looks like contestants must live in the woods for three days with:

"No extra tools except for what's in [an] Altoids short, nothing extra in your pockets, around your neck, in your ears, through your nose, etc."

"A blade (one only), anything you can fit into an Altoids tin (standard size for the all the smart asses), standard clothing for the season and environment, notepad and pencil, camera and extra batteries. If you need to take a tripod for self-portraits, no problem. Cell phone and/or [personal locator beacon] for emergencies."

As of this writing, points will be awarded for:
1) Kit innovation.
2) Actual use of the blade and the kit's tools in the wilds.
3) The most survival tasks accomplished while in the wilds...
4) Photo documentation and note-taking of the whole trip.
It sure sounds like big fun, doesn't it? Whatever you do, don't tell any personal-injury lawyers about this -- and don't look for KintlaLake among the entrants this time around, but rest assured that I'll be watching with great interest.

Now, about that Altoids tin -- I must be one of those "smart asses" Jeff mentioned, because this is my hip-pocket personal survival kit:

Contents of "The LOVE Tin" are listed on a label affixed to the outside of the lid. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) I do that, as well as seal the tin, in case it gets tossed to another member of the family, just so they know what they have.

This big little PSK works for me -- disqualification notwithstanding, of course.

* * *
Update, June 23rd, 8:32am: This morning, RAT Cutlery canceled its three-day
BladeForums survival contest, for reasons of participant safety and company liability.

"The more I think about this whole contest, the more I'm seeing it was a bad idea," RAT's Jeff Randall said in a
post this morning. "This contest is canceled."

I'm disappointed, naturally. I also believe that pulling the plug is a brilliant business decision.