Some History –
Many years ago we did a lot with foam insulated sub-zero winter gear, a few years ago we re-booted the company and started off building a fire starter kit based on what I had refined over the years and now our FSK is a premium fire starting kit, one of the worlds finest and most dependable pieces of gear for starting fire. Next we started on our survival kit which was called the WI Real Survival Kit, with the word “real” to emphasize the quality of the components, not a pile of junk called a survival kit, but pieces you could count on. It was altered to a cylindrical shape to accommodate a stainless steel cup and Nalgene bottle and the bag made to allow mounting to handle bars or roll bars in addition to being in a pack compartment. It was renamed the “Offroad Real Survival Kit” we are now converting to the name CSK for Core Survival Kit, to match up with our developing training program. In the end all our gear was fitted with our own version of MOLLE mounting, at the suggestion of our partner Beau Graves. With those items out of the way so to speak, taking care of fire and core survival needs, we turned our attention to shelter beyond clothing, and that meant a tent or tarp.
PST development – I spent the better part of a year studying shelter, the current offerings as well as scouring old books looking at what people used to use. Most of the old tents were hardly more than modified tarps. As I looked at all the different tent set ups, I made notes of the pluses and minuses of each, there were a number of them that I liked equally well. In the end I went in the direction of versatility, having always had a desire for multi-functional gear, so I decided to make a tarp. A rectangular shape is generally considered best for a tarp, but for what I was after I found the square shape could give me most of the configuration styles that I liked, and by using diagonal setups I could use a much smaller and lighter tarp. These diagonal setups were my adaptations of some tent styles of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
PST – what is it?
PST stands for Personal Survival Tarp. We wanted to emphasize that this was intended to be sized for individual use in a survival situation to provide essential shelter. After a lot of testing and experimenting I settled on the size of 7 x 7 feet. I see now that perhaps it has never been explained to people the value and versatility of this size. We sell far more of the PSTL which is 10 x 10, probably because in normal thinking 7 x 7 is too small for most people, well I’ve never been called normal. For most people a tarp would be set up as an awning, a lean to, a cover, or ground cloth, and I grant that at 7 feet long it is minimally acceptable in these configurations. Although we’ve had a lot of success even at that. When you start setting up with the many variations of diagonal styles it can be found that the standard PST is adequate for two persons generally, not bad for that small of a tarp! The PSTL can accommodate 4 – 6 adults easily. Recently I tried to see how many configurations I could come up with for each, and I’m at 30 for the PSTL, and about 25 for the PST.
What are the features of the PST?
- Tough light weight ripstop nylon fabric
- Corner gussets for reinforcing
- Webbing tabs rather than grommets for lashing
- Center tabs from center diagonal to one corner
- Velcro on center tabs and on stake bag for pole mounting
- Five 20 foot hanks of 550 parachute cord
- Three varied length shock cords with cordloc adjustment
- Six 9″ poly tent stakes with shock cord loops
- Cordura tarp bag with MOLLE and 2 D Rings for attachments
I’ll have to do another blog or perhaps even better a podcast detailing more information than this. Our PST’s are certainly among the worlds best value in survival tarps. There are so many more things for me to say about the PST, but for now it’s a start at least. Check out our new video featuring the diagonal setup called the “Stingray” that uses a PST over a PSS made into a hammock, amazingly roomy for a 7 x 7 tarp over a hammock, and another new video making the PTSL into a “Super Shelter” suitable for 4-6 adults for winter camping without sleeping bags.
Still looking for a “Show Me” location in the Roosevelt area for August, or Sept.
Until next time this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival”