There is survival gear to be had all over the Internet, but what gear should you buy? Where can you find it? How do you know the gear you’ve put down hard-earned money is going to be worth it? These are very valid questions almost everyone has asked themselves at one time or another. You can depend on peer reviews, recommendations from others, or just downright luck, but in the end, you’ll take a chance buying something that might not suit your needs or live up to your expectations.
It was thinking like this that prompted the start of BattlBox, a subscription-based service that hand-picks quality gear and sends it to your house each month. Like the jelly of the month club, only sweeter, and like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
Started only a few months ago, Battlbox has grown exponentially since, not just because of the cool gear each month but because of the quality customer service and exciting monthly themes. Your subscription starts with Mission 1, the Welcome Kit. Included on the top of each package is an informational card that explains the “mission,” introduces the theme and lists the contents.
There are four levels and three box sizes to the subscription service —Basic, Advanced, Pro, Pro Plus —each level building from the one beneath it.
The Basic: Priced at $24.99, it includes around six to eight items, ranging from survival tools and manuals to emergency supplies and gear. The Basic box for Mission 2 (the theme was a hiking
accident) contained fire starters, drinking water, a shemagh, sharpening stone, fuel cubes, and a carabiner keychain.
Advanced: Taking a step up from the Basic box, the Advanced box in Mission 2 includes everything above but also contains a R.A.T.S. tourniquet, a snake bite kit and a compact camp stove. The box is slightly larger to accommodate the additional gear but the value of the equipment begins to rise as well. For $49.99 a month, the Advanced box is valued at $69.
Pro: At the Pro level, you still get everything from the Basic and the Advanced, but for Mission 2, they’ve included a MOLLE transport pack to easily carry the mission’s gear. For Mission 3 (water survival theme), the Pro level included an emergency water-activated emergency strobe light and a paracord grenade fishing kit. The Pro level will set you back $99.99, but the overall value of the gear is nearly $120. Starting at the Pro level, the shipping is free.
Pro Plus: The Pro Plus level is simple. In addition to everything else, they add a beautiful knife to the package. It’s only $149.99, but the knife usually pushes the box’s value to well over $230. In Mission 2, for example, it was a small CRKT Eros, which is priced at $70 if you were to purchase it all by itself, while in Mission 3, the featured knife was a $119.95 Spyderco Salt I knife.
Did we ruin the element of surprise by giving away the early missions? No, because when you sign up, those missions have passed and you may start on Mission 4 or Mission 6. You will always get the Welcome Mission to get you started, but each mission thereafter will be new, unique, creative, and exciting. Battlbox offers gear, sure, but the real value is them culling the herd. They’ve found good sources for quality gear and are delivering it to your house each month, assuring you that you will, over a few short months, be well-stocked for emergencies, disasters, or whatever my befall you.
Plus, it’s fun.
Basic : $29.99
Advanced : $69.00
Pro : $99.99
Pro Plus : $149.99
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.