The other day one of the nieghbor kids who's interested in anything to do with the outdoors told me that he was saving up for an SOL survival kit, and asked what my opinion of it was. What could I tell him, but my honest opinion? As outdoorsmen, (and women), we need to nurture and encouRage those kids who prefer hiking, camping, fishing and hunting over video games, drugs, alcohol and mischief. I've neve seen the SOLup close, never handled one, and I've never had a desire too. But I've seen them in catalogues and online. I admit that I like the pop up signal mirror, and that the container is waterproof and compact, but that's where it ends, for me. The whole idea of the tools on the bottom is just idiotic, IMHO. First it's a waste of valuable space where other items could be packed if they had just went with a simple tub shape. I see what looks like a lock to prevent loss of said tools, but what if it fails? Or rusts shut? Could you get the tools free under field condition without any other toos to do so? That rubber seal indicates they expect it to get wet sometime. The sparklite has a spring that can rust, and a flint that can corrode and freeze in place, making the only means of fire starting included utterly useless. Likewise, consider the knife/whistle/flashlight. The blade is too short for many durvival tasks, a real folder would be better, what if the flashlight is accidentally turned on in one's pocket? Or the circutry or battery corrodes? And if you lose it, you lose not one tool but three. The items would be better placed securely inside. Perhaps clipped to the inside of the lid, where i see more wasted space. Finally, that's a lot of money for what's pretty much an empty container. Sure you get a little piece of foil, some string, hooks and tinder tabs, a short piece of wire, etc. But where's the back up firemaking device like Storm matches or a mini Bic? Kits advertised as having room for one to add thier own items always make me shake my head. I suggested that he use the money to make a much better equipped Altoids kit, rather than having tospend far more to upgrade the SOL to a point where I'd feel comfortable with him being able to depend on it in a survival situation. So, am I wrong about the SOL? Is it a good little kit? Or is it as bad as I think it is? As usual, I welcome all replies.