Although Gerber’s Vehicle Safety Kit is sadly no longer available, I still wanted to review it as most of the kit is still available, and therefore creating a similar collection for your 4x4 is a worthwhile investment.
The Vehicle Safety Kit comprises of their Multi-Plier 600, an axe, a D Cell Maglite, a compact folding spade and their Exchange-A-Blade hand saw. This little lot is packed neatly away within its own case, and the whole package measures only 12"x11"x3" which is perfect for hiding under, or behind a seat using its own velcro strips.
Looking at each item individually, the spade is known as their ‘E-Tool’ and has a glass filled nylon handle, aluminium shaft and a powder coated, Boron carbon steel spade. Weighing in at just 1151g and measuring 61cm open and 24cm folded, I’ve used it for spreading road salt and clearing snow when I got the Discovery stuck last year, and considering its size it worked really well. The spade also has a serrated blade edge for chopping and sawing roots, but I’ve never tried that.
The Exchange-A-Blade Hand Saw, if I’m honest was a bit of a disappointment. It was used to saw some thick branches off a neighbours tree that was encroaching my side of the garden, and although it did the job it felt quite flimsy, not the usual Gerber quality. I’ve since replaced it with something more substantial, and I’m told that Gerber themselves have too. A future plan is to get hold of their Freescape Camp Saw that I’ve used in the past, now that’s a saw!
I love the Back Paxe axe, but you won’t be chopping to many large trees down with it as the shaft is quite short, but chopping branches and splitting wood it excels at. Handling wise it feels solid and perfectly balanced, even with its hollow handle. It also has a removable nylon sheath which is a great idea and stays secure in the case using velcro. On the back of the head you’ll find a flat extension that’s perfect for hammering down pegs etc.
The Maglite is, well, a Maglite and therefore excellent, nuff said.
Finally we have the Multi-Plier 600 which, with a flick of your wrist extends the pliers into position, which is great, especially if it's dark and you're holding a torch with your other hand. All its tools work as they should and are handy for roadside repairs. You get a straight edge blade, Philips and flat head screw drivers, bottle and can openers, pliers, wire cutter, scales, lanyard ring and a file.
When it was available, the Vehicle Safety Kit was quite expensive at around £300, but on more than one occasion it’s contents made the difference between a long walk home and a comfortable drive, so for those reasons alone it’s been a worthwhile investment and always hidden away in Deux Smurf for emergencies.