Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit Review

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit overview

Firstly I want to declare something that it kills me to admit as I am not a massive fan of Bear Grylls ‘Survival Expert’, but this kit is actually pretty good as a starter survival kit. What kills me even more is that some of his other stuff is actually not too bad, but more on that another day.

So lets look firstly at what is contained within the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit. There is a waterproof pouch with the following contained inside –

  • Foil survival blanket
  • Snare wire
  • Fishing kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Whistles
  • Emergency cord
  • Waxed cord
  • Commando hand saw
  • Signalling mirror
  • Ferrocerium rod and striker
  • Waterproof matches
  • Cotton wool ball
  • Survival guide
  • SOS instructions
  • Light
  • Stainless steel Gerber Multi-tool

Lets look at each item in turn and see what is actually worth having and how it stands up.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit

Foil Blanket

These are generally great pieces of kit for so many reasons and the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit doesn’t disappoint. It is unusual that such a small kit includes this as they are normally missed out and can be used for so many things other than keeping warm such as signalling, collecting rainwater etc. Verdict – Great piece of kit and worthwhile.

Snare wire

This is a let down as its just too thin and short to be used effectively. That being said you could make a single decent snare but this kind of puts all f you eggs into one basket. Ideally I would have liked to have seen thicker wire and around 5 times as much. Verdict – Useful, just not enough of it

Fishing kit

When addressing the priorities of survival food is way down the list and I would rather use my time setting traps than sitting still on a river bank trying to catch fish. I have never been a fan of fishing kits in survival packs (other than sea survival) as they just don’t serve their purpose. The plus side is that you can use fishing kits to catch small animals and birds and the fishing line can come in handy for tying things if required. Verdict – Pretty pointless and slightly ‘gimicky’

Sewing kit

Sewing kits are one of those divisive things that a lot of people are polarised in their opinions of. I think they are a good thing as a needle and thread are useful for more than just fixing holes in your socks. They can be used for sewing your own body should you have a deep cut which is pretty damned important in my mind. This sewing kit is pretty small though and you would quickly use it all up. Verdict – Worth having although not likely to last very long.


There are 2 whistles with the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit, one that is poor quality, one that isn’t. The zip for the pouch has a great little whistle that is loud and is built well. The whistle contained within the pouch is loud but looks like it is made by a 5 year old. This doesn’t bother me too much as I just want something in a survival situation that will make a noise, I couldn’t care less if it looks rubbish. After all a crocodile looks pretty bad but they are pretty bad ass when it comes to catching Wildebeest Verdict – Both perfectly functional albeit of different quality.

Emergency cord

In a survival situation you can never have enough cord… Unfortunately there is nowhere enough within this kit to be of much use. Ideally you would have a good 10m of paracord. That being said, what is there would be handy for a few survival tasks and its presence is welcome, there just isn’t enough of it. Verdict – Useful, but not enough of it.

Waxed cord

Put very simply, not long or strong enough. I would get rid of this and add more paracord instead as this would be a lot more useful and functional. Verdict – pretty pointless.

Commando Hand Saw

Commando hand saw

I have a love to hate relationship with these saws as they tend to be amazing or terrible with no in between. They can however be utilised as a snare/trap so in that sense they have added utility and are not just a saw. These saws tend to snap fairly easily if they are used too vigorously and this is no exception. It will be no good for cutting down a 100 ft oak tree; a small tree with branches up to an inch of so thick is the limit. Verdict – Good piece of kit if you can be patient.

Signalling Mirror

I am a huge fan of signalling mirrors, other than a Personal Locator Beacon they are probably the single best location aid available. This mirror is not as shiny or as thick as I would have liked but it will still do the job but at a slightly reduced distance. The good thing is that it isn’t made of glass so wont shatter if you stand on it or drop it which is a huge bonus, however you can bend it easily. It has the small hole in the middle for aligning it up with your intended target which makes for easy locating of you by rescuers. Verdict – Great piece of kit that wont shatter if dropped.

Ferrocerium rod and striker

A flint and steel or Ferrocerium rod and striker should be in EVERYONE’S survival kit, no exceptions. They are so easy to use and can start a fire with ease. I have used numerous different kinds in my time and there are 1 or 2 little annoyances I have had that this version has addressed. The striker has a serrated edge that can be used to gently shave off the Ferrocerium rod to give you smaller particles to aid with fire lighting and to cut tampons up (more on this in a bit).

The Striker also has a sharp edge that means you get a lot of sparks; I have used others that are completely blunt that take ages to get a fire started and cause you to wear the Ferrocerium rod down very quickly as a result. This doesn’t have that issue  and it is very dependable and actually looks pretty good with the BG logo. Verdict – Well made and works very well.

Waterproof Matches

Not much can be said about waterproof matches. The only thing I would have liked to have been included would have been a specific holder for the matches so that they don’t snap when you have the kit in your rucksack. Verdict – Needs a case to store the matches in.

Cotton wool ball

Cotton wool ball

This in one of my biggest frustrations with the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit; the ultimate survival kit should NOT have a single cotton wool ball! It is next to useless and would be used in the first attempt of trying to light a fire. Added to this it isn’t coated in vaseline which would help with fire lighting. Ideally I would have liked a tampon and/or a tiny tube of vaseline. The tampon isn’t for ladies that are caught out, it is a fantastic source compacted cotton wool that lasts ages and when used with the striker from the fire lighter can be cut up when required. This is a huge shortfall as far as I am concerned. Verdict – get rid of the single ball of cotton wool and replace with a tampon.

Ground to air Codes

Not much to be said about these other than they are a great addition and are ideal as they are something that you may not know or remember. Verdict – Good to have.

SOS Instructions

Again, these are similar to the Ground to air codes. Verdict – great to have.


For the cost of the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit it is not surprising that a proper flash-light is not included. To get around this there is a small button LED light instead. It is sufficiently bright for you to do most tasks and would certainly help a rescuer locate you in an emergency. The only point I would make about the light is ensure the small key chain links are fully closed as they have a tendency to open slightly which could mean you lose your light! Verdict – Not a proper flash-light but it is more than adequate.

Stainless steel Gerber Multi-tool

Stainless steel Gerber Multi-tool

This is what you are paying most of your money for. The Gerber multi-tool is a brilliant piece of kit and I am a huge advocate of Gerber products and have owned and used many over the last 2 decades. This multi-tool is no exception. It is made of stainless steel which stops it rusting and has a small blade, 3 flat and one cross head screwdriver, a small file and pliers.

Although not as comprehensive as some multi-tools it is worth bearing in mind the cost of the whole Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit. It is great value for money and it has the basics that you will need should you find yourself stranded. It also folds down into a compact little tool that can easily be carried in your pocket without you even noticing. Verdict – Awesome piece of kit that should be in all survival packs.

What is missing?

There are a few basic pieces of kit that I would love to see included that aren’t, these are water purification tablets, a compass, condoms (water carrying) and tampons (compacted cotton wool). These are basic pieces of kit that I always carry if I am away from civilisation as they will help to keep you alive and in good health. To not include these is a huge oversight and has me scratching my head as to why they arent’ part of the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Kit.

What would I get rid of?

The second whistle seems surplus to requirement s and I would ditch the cotton balls and waxed thread for the reasons already mentioned.

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit – Overall verdict

The Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Kit is not something that you would solely rely on if you were trekking through the Amazon Rainforest. For a survival pack that would see you through 24 hours if you were caught out by fading light or poor weather whilst out walking it is ideal. I would also consider this kit if you have any young budding survivalists who are looking to start their survival adventures as it would give kids (or adults) a good grounding in what would be required for basic land survival.

So, the bottom line, would I buy one? The answer is yes for a 24 hours survival pack or for a first survival pack for someone who is new to survivalism. For a serious survivalist who is 100 miles from civilisation in truly hostile environments, probably not.

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