SRU-16/P Survival Kit


This little military kit is a minimalist, tertiary survival kit. If you are a military aviator, you have a large, comprehensive survival kit in your ejection seat (primary) and survival gear in a multi-pocket vest (secondary) and this little kit in your parachute. From what I understand, this survival kit is located in an area on the parachute accessible after the chute has been deployed.

Suffering some type of mechanical malfunction in aircraft is obviously "bad luck." (Or bad something...)

Being shot down by the enemy is even worse luck.

Being shot down or suffering some type of malfunction that leads to you (hopefully) parachuting to safety and then losing your primary survival kit in the bottom of your ejection seat and the secondary survival kit in your survival vest and only having this diminutive tertiary survival kit is abysmal luck.

I think this little survival kit, as a back-up or a back-up to the back-up, is a great idea. (Not all air crew have ejection seats. Some will have their vest and the survival gear in it and that's all.)

I believe in redundancy when it comes to vital gear and the gear supplied in the SRU-16/P is vital.

Let's dissect this SRU-16/P which has a manufacturing stamp of April 1966.

The outer layer is, per my research, Nomex. The stitching on this kit was easily identifiable as original and that is important to remember because this kit differs from other SRU-16/P Survival Kits that have been reviewed online. So, I know that no one removed anything from this kit. For example, some of these kits have snare wire in them. Or the compass is different and has a lanyard hole, etc.

The next layer is made out of a material that appears to be slightly tougher than the Mylar used in Space Blankets but it might be the same Mylar, I'm not sure.

The kit is in this plain - Jane taped cardboard box. (Always additional tinder that should not be discarded. In cases of Escape & Evasion, policing your trash is also a must.)

The kit's contents listed below...


The Kit contents:

1. Two (2) Genuine, name brand Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.

2. One (1) Non-Lubricated Condom.

3. Water-resistant instructions.

4. Three (3) Fish Hooks with Leaders, two (2) sewing needles, two (2) safety pins.

5. One (1) miniature bottle of Iodine water purification tablets.

6. Two (2) packs of five (5) matches.

7. Four (4) tinder cubes.

Un-numbered items: Directly above the Number Six is a small pocketknife and to the left of the pocketknife is a very high quality button compass. Unlike other compasses that can be found in the SRU-16/P Survival Kits, this compass did not have a lanyard hole as some do. The kit also did not contain snare wire. Be aware that these kits might have different types of pocketknives as well.

As Above, So Below - FIRE!

I can hear old Bugs now, singing The Great Depression Era ditty - "A stitch in time will save nine, especially with the needle fine."


Two relatively high quality items for such a small kit!



This little survival kit might be the Great-Grandfather of all of the current homemade "pocket survival kits." Understand that the timeline on these types of little "pocket" or "personal" survival kits is not very long at all. Right now I have to make special notation for Ron Hood when it comes to this particular survival kit, the SRU-16/P. He mentioned it, by name, and also showed one of them in his video: "Woodsmaster Volume 3, Making and Using Your Outdoor Survival Kit." Now, Volume 4 in that series was "Primitive Navigation and Wilderness Travel Techniques" and in that video he showed us all the Hale-Bopp Comet which would date the filming of that as 1997. So, let's just say that a good amount of time before 1998, Ron Hood was basing his own "Mini-Kit" survival kit on the idea of the SRU-16/P Military Parachute Pack Survival Kit. He said so in his own video. An innovator and a great loss to the world of survivalism.

Before that, in The Premier Issue of Tactical Knives Magazine, was the Bob Cooper Australian Survival Kit. "OUTBACK SAS SURVIVAL KIT!" That was dated Winter 1995.

Before that? 1986. Leroy Thompson's Paladin Press Book "Survival/Fighting Knives" Chapter 5, where he mentions a pocket sized survival kit in a tobacco tin desisgned by SAS Survival Expert John Wiseman.

Is that all? No. Could you find more information? Sure! I'm just giving you the basics. I'm letting you know "who layed the tracks down."

It's pretty easy for me to come to the conclusion that Ron Hood's Woodsmaster Video on making your own survival kit and using it was very influential in the survivalism community. People benefitted from Ron Hood's ideas on the SRU-16/P Survival Kit and some people don't even know where all of it started as they happily pack their little Altoids Tin full of what they feel to be their own necessities.


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