RUK 16 Kit
RUK = Rural Urban Kit
Availability: Honorably Discharged
The primary tool in the kit is the well designed Latitude North 43. A highly user friendly small fixed blade. The design affords the options of cutting, scraping, splitting, and puncturing. It can be used for a small spear tip or even light batoning or as a scraper for a Ferro rod.
A genuine suede leather pouch (like a mountain man’s possible bag) holds all the tools in a compact and accessible way. The RUK can be worn around the neck, clipped on a belt or attached to a pack. This kit is definitely user friendly and suitable for trained youngsters and adults alike. Its uses are applicable for hunters, backpackers,Preppers, SAR, or even weekend explorers.
It pays to be prepared on the positive side.
RUK-16 KIT Includes:
The Leather Suede Pouch with a Latitude North 43 knife
1 Steel Snap Link
1 Sail Needle
1 P38 Can Opener
1 Fresnel Lens
1 Ferro Rod
1 Emergency Whistle (126 DECIBEL)
1 Signal Mirror
1 ID Card
2 Fish Hooks
25' of Fishing Line
3' of 550 Paracord
|Knife Type||Fixed Blade, Neck|
|Blade Shape||Hunters Point|
|Blade Steel||1095 RC 56-58|
|Blade Finish||Black Traction Coating|
- Great Little Kit!
If you're not kit-obsessed like me, you will probably get all you need from the first couple paragraphs below, but if you like detailed reviews, I've got the lowdown on this sweet little kit for you below. I bought this kit on Amazon from one of TOPS resellers.
I am kind of a kit-nut: I am OCD about putting together a 'perfect' kit, and so I end up with a bunch of kits with varying degrees of preparedness built in. The Rural Urban Kit is a great EDC approach for a truly light kit. After looking through the different components, I don't feel a need to replace anything, they're all quality gear. The only thing I would say is missing from the kit would be a small light of some kind. It does have the firestarter rod, but having even one of those tiny button LED lights would be good for a kit like this.
This kit is easily small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, back pocket, and maybe even your front jeans pocket, but with the paracord that is run through the slot in the top, this is easy to slip over your head or just hang from your pack or a likely hook.The components are all flat, and don't bulk up much when in the bag, so it doesn't really get any thicker than 1/2" to 3/4" or so. Great size! At first I was iffy on the price for this, but after opening it up and handling/using the components, I can say that it's a good value. I would recommend this kit to anyone looking for a starter EDC.
Here's a breakdown of each component:
Suede Leather Bag - I was pleasantly surprised by this bag; from the photo, I thought the bag might be cordura or canvas, but the leather is good. Seems like a good quality, soft leather. The kit fits snugly inside, there's probably a little extra room for a couple of your own additions. Haven't tested yet about water resistance or anything: I may spray it down with some kind of leather protector. It would be interesting to hear from the manufacturer what, if any, treatment they have done for the leather. The stitches seem solid, top of the bag folds over and closes with a snap and the snap is small but strong. I can't really tell about the strength of the leather, I can see it maybe fraying or tearing from repeated openings of the snap.That doesn't seem likely to me with this leather, but if it does that to me I will update my review. One cool feature of the bag is that in the bottom, it has a semi-removable heavy plastic liner so the blade doesn't punch through. You CAN pull it out, but it likes catching on the stitches, so unless you need it for something, I recommend leaving it in there. Bottom line: I love the little bag; the leather has a comforting softness to it, and just looking at it, the bag appears like something a mountain man would make and use.
Latitude North 43 Knife - The photo makes this knife look dinky and kind of cheap, but it is the best thing about the kit! Made from 1095 steel with a Rockwell hardness of 56-58, it has a solid heft and will sharpen nicely. Mine came very sharp, and while it's really not suitable for batoning or throwing, for simple cutting and carving activities it fits nicely in the hand and the black traction coating feels durable and good. The handle has lanyard holes suitable for using the knife to create a small spearhead (the included paracord would probably be enough to lash it nicely to a stick). In a pinch, this could be used to split and pry something apart, although the manufacturer warns that the blade part isn't ideal for that use. The metal is 1/8" thick and seems tough, great blade for a kit like this!
Pocket Survival Saw - Just got the kit, so I haven't had a chance to field test the saw yet, but it seems like a weak hacksaw / strong wood saw. On their website, they say it works fine for "bone, frozen meat, wood, PVC, copper, aluminum, and hard rubber", and looking at it, I wouldn't trust it to cut steel. But for its purpose, it seems like an excellent tool in a little kit like this. The handle is a kydex-like plastic that seems sturdy enough. The blade is not replaceable, but you can get these for less than $5 a piece and it seems useful enough and small enough that I probably will buy a few more to put into other kits. Cool little saw.
Steel Snap Link - So this is like a carabiner, just not a big D style one. The metal is heavy and looks strong enough to bear a pretty good load. I took it out of the kit and put it on the paracord as a secure way of hooking it. Solid component, very useful in a variety of situations.
Signal Mirror - This is solid steel, brightly chromed, the size of a dog-tag. While not quite as good as an actual mirror, in bright sunlight this will do the job. It has the spotter hole in the center, and a lanyard hole on one end in case you want to hang it from a cord. Since it's made of solid metal, I am sure there are quite a few other uses for it.
Emergency Whistle - I've been looking forward to this! I've seen this whistle around in different kits and things, and it seems like a good one. I plan to go out this weekend and give it a try. TOPS says it can generate 126 decibels, I'll see if anyone will come running.
Button Compass Lanyard - So this is a little better than just a plain button compass: it has a nylon cord lanyard and comes hanging on the outside of the bag. There is also a dial for the 360-degrees of the compass, so that is convenient when you need to take a bearing. Not a particularly strong magnet, but it always points north, and how much more can you really ask from one of these little guys? Great size and form for this EDC kit.
Ferro Rod - So this is just a bare, smallish rod that can be struck either by the knife or by the can opener (the signal mirrors edges are all rounded). Works like you would expect such a rod to work. One thing I will try is wrapping a rubber band around one end for use as a handle, and just to have a band in the kit.
Fresnel Lens - This stacks nicely with the ID card and comes with a thin plastic cover. I recommend keeping the cover to save on wear and tear directly to the lens. Seems to be 2x to 3x or thereabouts, so it should work all right on a bright day with some good tinder as an alternate firestarter. Made of simple plastic and very thin, so this is not anything you want to put to heavy use; if you just use it for zooming in on stuff or lighting fires, it seems like it will do those things just fine.
Sail Needle - This is a heavy needle, flattened on three sides for a good grip, and a wonderful addition to this kit. So many possible uses, from repairing gear to serving as an awl, whatever. One of these should be in every survival/EDC kit.
Miscellaneous Stuff - So the not-particularly mentionable components include the following: 1) a P-38 can opener, solid and dependable as it is compact, 2) two small fishhooks and 25-feet of fishing line, looks like 10lb test (these are wrapped in a small plastic bag along with the sail needle), 3) 3-feet of 550 paracord, olive color (this comes threaded through the top of the leather bag, so it's easy to wear it around the neck or loop it over something; I just tied the ends together with a square knot), 4) ID / TOPS business card - This would have been better blank on the opposite side, but I can't blame TOPS for putting their info on it. I will be tossing this and putting a folded 3x5 card in, possibly, but even so, it could serve as tinder if you don't need the ID part. (Posted on 11/13/2015)