SMAK PAK Survival Kits
Attention SMAK PAK Owners: Supplemental instructions are available.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: On attaching anything to your parachute harness.
Incorrectly attaching Survival Kits (like my SMAK Paks) PLBs, SPOT, units, knives, kitchen sinks or any other item to your parachute harness can cause serious problems. Learn more details by clicking important notice below:
Your troubles aren't over once your parachute gets you safely back on earth. While it is possible that you will land in the parking lot of a local pub and can recount your heroic bailout to the stunned bar patrons over a cold one, you will more than likely end up in a field facing several possible problems.
If you land in winds even as light as 6-8 knots, you might be dragged along the ground by your parachute. Depending on the terrain, this can be deadly. Your first priority is to get your parachute under control.
After that, your next goal is to be rescued as soon as possible. You may not be within walking distance of civilization and if you're injured, you may not be able to walk even a short distance or at all!
Survival Equipment must be carried on you.
If it's stored in your aircraft it's called camping gear.
Here is where the SMAK PAK Survival Kits by Silver Parachute Sales come into play. SMAK stands for the "Save My A** Kit" and can be a valuable resource after a bailout. The low-profile SMAK PAK attaches comfortably to your parachute harness and contains four tools: a hook knife, signal mirror, flat whistle, and fire starter. Allen Silver's Air Force experience working with survival equipment and participating in search and rescue missions has shown these items to be the most useful for aerobatic and glider pilots who need to keep the amount of equipment they carry to a minimum.
The hook knife is readily accessible from a pocket on the front of the SMAK PAK and is tied in with a 4-foot lanyard in case it is dropped during use. If you are being dragged along the ground, you may not be able to get out of your parachute harness or collapse the canopy because of an injury. The extremely sharp hook knife can be used with one hand to cut a riser which will immediately collapse the parachute. When the harness webbing is under tension, the knife easily cuts through it like butter! It can also be used as a seatbelt cutter if you can't release your seatbelts (e.g. hanging upside down).
Once you are free of your parachute, the next objective is to be rescued ASAP. If you are in a remote area you may be relying on search and rescue aircraft to find you. The canopies we sell with the SOFTIE line of parachutes are orange and white and can be spread out on the ground to make yourself more visibile. This is great if the search aircraft is in the immediate vicinity and is looking for you. But if you want to attract the attention of an aircraft several miles away, then the signal mirror included in the SMAK PAK is a vital tool.
The whistle is important if you are injured and/or it is night time. There is no worse feeling than lying injured in a field of tall grass and calling out to rescuers who are upwind and cannot hear you. The SMAK PAK's flat whistle has a shrill tone that carries much farther than your voice.
Firestarters can be used to create a signal fire. Smoke & fire will attract a lot of attention day or night (just be careful not to make a bad situation worse by starting a wild fire!). And if you do need to spend the night before being rescued, you'll have a source of heat.
Many pilots have asked for a kit large enough to carry their Personal Locator Beacons, so I now offer a DELUXE and MID SIZE SMAK PAK featuring the basic items listed above, plus room for a PLB (or anything else you might want to include). For pilots who desire more equipment, the SUPER DELUXE SMAK PAK is available. This kit contains the hook knife, a space blanket, a strobe light for night rescues, and a "pocket survival pak" which includes a signal mirror, whistle, fire starters, compass, fishing kit, scalpel blade, duct tape, aluminum foil, wire, safety pins, pencil and notepad in a compact pouch within the SUPER DELUXE SMAK PAK.
All SMAK PAKs can attach to your parachute harness in a number of ways. You decide what is most comfortable for you. The following photos illustrate the suggested locations for attaching the SMAK PAK (click photos to enlarge).
The smaller SMAK PAK can even be mounted on a riser inside the parachute container as shown below. If the parachute is deployed, the SMAK PAK is readily accessible above your shoulder. This method may not be possible on some types of parachutes due to container construction or manufacturer restrictions. I personally believe it shoud be attached outside the container on your harness so you can access the hook knife. You may need it to cut your seatbelt especially if your aircraft is on its back making the release of your seatbelt very difficult.
MINI SMAK PAK (Approximate dimensions: 3 1/2" x 5" x 3/4")
$50.00 (plus shipping) The Mini SMAK Pak container comes in many colors to match your parachute harness and container.
MID SIZE SMAK PAK (Approximate dimensions: 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 2")
$75.00 (plus shipping) This size has the same items as the Mini SMAK Pak and will accomodate the newer and smaller SPOT Unit or InReach plus any other items you can squeeze in it. They come in red.
DELUXE SMAK PAK (Approximate dimensions: 4" x 7" x 2")
$75.00 (plus shipping) This size has the same items as the Mini SMAK Pak and will accomodate the larger SPOT Unit plus any other items you can squeeze in it.They come in red.
SUPER DELUXE SMAK PAK (Approximate dimensions: 4" x 7" x 2")
$115.00 (plus shipping) The super deluxe pak has all the items shown in the above photo. It has a double AA battery operated strobe light, space blanket and pocket survival kit. They come in red.
The Mid size and larger kits are manufactured in red. If you want a different color outer container that would require a special order and
would cost an additional $15.00
All SMAK PAKS come with a hook knife on the outside of the survival kit to cut you free from your parachute harness, if you're being dragged in high winds. It can also be used as a seatbelt cutter if you can't release your seatbelts (e.g. hanging upside down).
Remember: You owe it to yourself and to your family/friends to be found as quickly as possible after a bailout or off field landing! Don't make an already bad day worse by not have a means to be found on you.