About this project
Special Thanks to Raul Flores-Hervert for video production!
“Zero Day Survival Kit”
First off, let's address the name: Zero Day Survival Kit. Zero Day refers to the time immediately following the user’s realization that there is a survival situation. Some refer to it as “Day One”, I prefer “Zero Day” to highlight that an emergency can happen at any time… And well honestly, I think it just sounds slightly more awesome. For obvious reasons, survival kit needed to be a part of the name. While the ZDSK is designed in minimalist fashion, allocating space for only what is deemed a necessity, adding “minimalist” into the name seemed afoul of good senses and an affront to the user. Ultimately, the user will decide whether it is “minimalist” or not. There were quite a few other names considered. It has been lovingly referred to by many who’ve used the prototype as the “BearClaw” due to the hole pattern resemblance. Since old habits die hard, I may call it by “BearClaw”, please know I am still discussing the Zero Day Survival Kit (ZDSK). Also I'm proud to say that the Zero Day Survival Kit is "Patent Pending" and completely made, assembled, packaged and shipped in the USA!!
Now that we’re all on the same page about the name, let's find out what the ZDSK is and why you need one.
About The ZDSK:
The Zero Day Survival Kit is a minimalist approach to the essentials needed for immediate survival. At the core of the small lightweight survival kit is a Fire Piston for creating fire using limited resources. Built around the fire piston is storage space for basic first aid supplies, fishing, hunting and trapping supplies, as well as supplies for potable water. On the one end of the survival kit is a small compartment used to store "Char Cloth" (link to Wikipedia) and petroleum jelly which has numerous survival applications. On the other end is a small compartment with a spool housing for fishing line. This housing will also readily accept Class 66 size bobbins (Link to Amazon). ZDSK is a modular survival kit allowing the user to add or remove items as needed. The modular adaptable design can be expanded upon with “add-on” accessories such as a compass and a survival flashlight. These add on accessories are currently in the research and development phase but through your support we can bring these to market in quality fashion and in a timely manner.
Measuring under 6 inches overall length and a little over an inch in diameter, it can be conveniently carried in a cargo pocket or in a pouch on your belt.
At only 8 ounces (“dry” weight) it’s easy to forget you’re even carrying the ZDSK.
ZDSK is precision machined proudly in America using a high grade alloy Aluminum for excellent strength to weight ratio. The light weight of the Zero Day Survival Kit makes it easy and comfortable to carry in a cargo pocket, while the strength of ZDSK means it will stand up to heavy use and be ready when you need it.
ZD Survival Kit was designed using the “Soldier Proof” modality. Military members are near notorious for being able to inadvertently break the “unbreakable.” Through built in redundancies and “fail-safes” in the survival kit, as well as limited use interchangeable parts, the ZDSK can be used to “fix itself” by the user. Example 1, a spare “fire piston chamber plug” was built directly into the storage space for the fishing line spool. Should you lose one, the kit contains an extra so as to not be rendered inoperable. Example 2, the end caps are interchangeable. In the event, one end cap is lost or somehow rendered non-usable, the other end cap can be used in its place. Example 3, Should something become jammed in the vial storage holes, the fire piston rod can be used to easily dislodge whatever is stuck. The list of fail safes goes on, but you get the idea.
While being notably strong relative to its weight, Aluminum is not known for exceptional wear resistance. To combat this, the survival kit is Mil Spec Hard Anodized, meaning through a special process of electrolysis a small layer of harder, more wear resistant oxide is deposited on the surface of the aluminum. This greatly increases the durability of the Zero Day Survival Kit leading to a survival kit as tough as you are while retaining its light weight. Another benefit to hard anodizing is the ability to add color, and the vendor chosen for hard anodizing has lots of experience to say the least. The ZDSK product will be available in different color options to suit your needs, such as Olive Drab, Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey (Color option can be picked through the backer survey) If you have a different color you would like please let me know and I can see if it is available from the anodizing shop. Consideration was given to an orange for visibility in hunting conditions, and a "Breast Cancer Awareness" Pink (My mother is a Breast Cancer Survivor so I would love to hear if others are interested in this =)
How it works:
At the center of the Zero Day Survival Kit is a Fire Piston, essentially a long hole and a rod with a cupped cavity. Pack something that can be lit on fire into the cup line up the fire piston and slam the rod down the hole. The kinetic energy of the air being compressed transfers to thermal energy (read: Heat). Pull the rod back out and you now have a small glowing ember of heat that you can start a fire with. While this may seem like an overly complex method of fire starting, the fire piston is a very old piece of technology, rumored to have its first observable use dating back to the 1700s! It can create a fire using only whats around you, a leaf, pocket lint, even a balled up piece of hair. To increase the ease of success, the ZDSK fire piston is machined under tight tolerances so less air "slips out" creating greater compression. To further fine-tune the fire piston, the rod was developed with multiple O-Rings, one that acts to increase surface contact creating a tighter seal and the other as a fail safe redundancy. By using CharCloth in the cup cavity and petroleum jelly on the O-Rings it becomes even easier to create a fire out of next to nothing.
Built around the fire piston is several storage chambers, 3 of which can safely house 6 total Storage Vials. While the possibilities are only limited by your creativity, the common applications for these vials are to store:
(Note: These extras are not included)
- Powdered Water Purification Tablets (potable water)
- Isopropyl Alcohol (Medical Sterilization, Aid in fire starting)
- Iodine (Medical Sterilization)
- Seasonings (Added flavor for field acquired foods such as game)
- Liquid Bandage (Field expedient basic first aid of small wounds)
- Antibiotic ointment such as NeoSporin
The "Main" storage cavity is large enough to conveniently store small items such as but not limited to: (Note: These extras are not included)
- Fishing Hooks
- Fishing line "sinkers"
- Fishing Lures
- Suture Needles (Field expedient first aid of small wounds)
- Suture Line
- "X-acto" knife blade size 11, or other small precision "hobby" blade
- Snare Locks (For field building a trapping snare for small game)
- Tool bit
The possibilities are endless and only limited by your sense of creativity, but if you include the products listed, within the Zero Day Survival Kit is fire starting, water, trapping, fishing, and first aid... All in your pocket.
Zero Day Survival Kit is proudly made and manufactured ENTIRELY in the USA.
Machining and manufacturing and finishing is done local (North East Pennsylvania) by long standing American businesses. Keeping manufacturing local affords me the opportunity to keep a close eye on the manufacturing process, ensuring the highest quality and workmanship of each and every part along the way.
History and transition of the “BearClaw” to the ZDSK:
Conceptually speaking, this survival kit was conceived over a decade ago while I was overseas on combat deployment. In the US Army, I learned many, many life changing lessons. One lesson was notably learned the hard way. After a grueling ruck march (imagine hiking with an overweight backpack for entirely too far of a distance) the first thing I wanted to do when we got to our destination was to drop my pack and get off my sore feet. No sooner did I, my team and I received small arms fire (people shooting towards us). In a panic, i ran for safe cover and broke what is considered by many a cardinal rule… never leave your pack. Minus your weapon, it’s everything you have. Thankfully, things were resolved that I didn’t actually need my pack, but it got me to realize the merits of having a survival kit on me at all times. Over time my personal survival kit was whittled down and the concept for a minimalist survival kit was born. After some encouragement from teammates, I drafted up the design, but didn't act on it right away, I lacked the maturity and confidence to believe in my design. This first concept was originally coined the "Bearclaw" due to the hole pattern of the survival kit. About 3 years ago, through the constant encouragement and support of friends and family, I finally began my journey to bring the scribblings of a madman to production. As the development of the Bearclaw survival kit progressed, I began to feel that while the Bearclaw name seemed a fun representation of the design, it did little to represent the seriousness of the survival kit itself. After careful deliberation, The name Zero Day Survival Kit became my clear-cut choice. Its been said that passion is what keeps a person up at night thinking about something, that your mind never strays too far from what it wants. My passion for the Zero Day Survival Kit has seen innumerable sleepless nights, and more than a handful of revisions, not to mention quite a few “Eureka!!” moments.
Why the Zero Day Survival Kit needs your help:
As some of you know all too well, bringing a dream to life is financially draining. This has quite literally been a second job for me, at times mentally superseding my actual first job. Rough sketches, revisions, prototypes, blueprints, patent process, all cost real money. I have invested whatever I could afford in order to see this survival kit become a tangible item, a physical manifestation of my dream. Simply put, without your help, I dont have the financial means to bring the Zero Day Survival Kit to production run. As it turns out, vendors don't accept passion as a form of payment.
What your pledge will be used for:
With the support of the KickStarter backer community, we can pledge the funds necessary to secure a production run and spread cost over more survival kits. This will lead us all to a high quality product for less cost. Remaining funds after completion of all kickstarter campaign fulfillment will be used for continued customer support as well as continuation of research and development of the ZDSK. Because of the modular design of the Zero Day Survival Kit, it can be expanded upon. For example, I already have rough sketches of several “add-on” accessories to be used in conjunction with the survival kit such as flashlight attachment and compass attachment. Your funds will also go towards evolving the ZDSK website so that spare parts and consumables (I.e. O-rings and Spare Storage Vials etc.) can be ordered fast, easily, and reliably.
This survival kit is quite literally the past 3 years of my life poured into a single project, and I can say with full confidence that I am proud of what it has become. It has grown so much since the first scribblings on a napkin, evolved with every revision, and with your help, I am confident we can bring it to market. I share with you my passion, and hope that you see in it everything that I do. There is no support too small and literally every little bit helps. I want to see this kit flourish and the only way I can do that is through the help and support of you, the backer community.
Reward 1: ZDSK Fan!
Along with being lovingly listed on the ZDSK website as a backer, you will also receive updates along the way. The best part is that YOU get to chime in with YOUR thoughts on how to make the Zero Day Survival Kit/ Campaign better.. Think there should be a tie-dye colored survival kit? Post your thoughts, share with the ZDSK family. Think a glow in the dark coating would be cool? Post it to the backer family, see if other backers like the idea. You have a voice in the development of the ZDSK and the campaign, let it be heard... and for only $3!
Reward tier 2: ZDSK Swag!
Along with getting all of the updates, being listed as a backer on the ZDSK website, and getting to voice your thoughts on how to make the ZDSK better, you will also receive a Kickstarter exclusive ZDSK "Proud Backer" 4x6" sticker! Stick it on your bumper, hang it over your fireplace, stick it to the shirt of somebody you know that didn't back the ZDSK and yell "WE SHOWED YOU!" Just remember that you earned that sticker by believing in the Zero Day Survival Kit.
Reward tier 3: Early Bird Backer!
Let me start by saying you rock. You were one of the first 25 backers to lend the Zero Day Survival Kit your trust and faith, and you will not be disappointed. You'll get the updates every step of the way, the opportunity to share your thoughts on how you think the ZDSK may be improved. You'll get the kickstarter exclusive sticker that will never again be available outside of this campaign. You will forever be commemorated on the ZDSK website as one of the first to show your belief in the Zero Day Survival Kit... you can go to the ZDSK website and bask in the computer generated glow of your amazingness. And last but certainly not least, you will receive one Zero Day Survival Kit in aluminum in your choice of Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey, Olive Drab, or Tan (You can make your color selection in the backer survey) Anticipated retail price of the Aluminum Zero Day Survival Kit will start at $160.
Reward tier 4: Early-ish Backer!
So you waited a little bit, no big deal... well actually, it's still a great deal! You'll get everything the earliest backers get, for just a little extra coin. Included in your rewards is the updates along the way so you can celebrate as one of the ZDSK family. You will get the kickstarter exclusive proud backer sticker to remember the fun experience we will share together. You'll be listed on the ZDSK website to show others how much awesome you have in your heart. You'll even get to be a part of the discussion on possible improvements to the ZDSK, or just use the chance to type your opinion on how the kickstarter campaign is going! And the coup de grâce (which ironically enough I learned means "blow of mercy" in french) to your rewards will be your very own Zero Day Survival Kit in aluminum in your choice of Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey, Olive Drab, or Tan (You can make your color selection in the backer survey) Anticipated retail price of the Aluminum Zero Day Survival Kit will start at $160.
Reward tier 5: Just in time Backer!
You... You're a bit of a procrastinator, aren't ya? No, im just joking... but really, I completely understand, sometimes you want something but you just have to make sure first. This reward was made just for you. It's a little bit more backer funding but you still get a great price on great rewards. Your rewards include the updates so you can get excited with the rest of your new ZDSK family. You also get the kickstarter exclusive proud backer sticker, which I can only imagine will be the "Im one of the good people" signs when the zombie apocalypse starts, so display it proudly! It's going to be a pretty cool sight to see your name on the ZDSK website too, that's going to happen! Plus you get to chat around with the ZDSK family on your thoughts about all things Zero Day Survival Kit... maybe even start a discussion on new fun alternatives for me to yell instead of expletives as I fumble with sticky shipping labels that get stuck to my beard... Because ill also be shipping you your very own Zero Day Survival Kit in aluminum in your choice of Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey, Olive Drab, or Tan (You can make your color selection in the backer survey) Anticipated retail price of the Aluminum Zero Day Survival Kit will start at $160.
Reward tier 6: Welcome to the party, Backer!
If you're just getting here, don't worry, we saved you a spot in the ZDSK party! Take your jacket off, get to know some of your new Zero Day Survival Kit family through the updates you'll get. Strike up a conversation with the other awesome backers, you get to be a part of the discussion in this reward. By this point though dont mind the dancing, we're just celebrating together. Play a game of who's got the biggest kickstarter exclusive ZDSK proud backer 4x6" sticker, because you'll have one as well! Don't be alarmed if people recognize your name, its going onto the ZDSK website to always be remembered as one of the backers that helped bring a dream to life! Along with all the happy heartfelt thanks, you also get your own Zero Day Survival Kit in aluminum in your choice of Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey, Olive Drab, or Tan (You can make your color selection in the backer survey) Anticipated retail price of the Aluminum Zero Day Survival Kit will start at $160.
Reward tier 7: level=TITANIUM
All joking aside, Titanium is difficult to machine and in turn it is more expensive. If you're reading this section, you are most likely fully aware of Titanium's benefits and you're serious about your survival gear. Titanium is lighter compared to Aluminum and considerably stronger. It is more wear resistant, corrosion resistant, heck its even not as susceptible to magnetic fields... But this also means it is harder to manufacture with. While Titanium is the preferred medium for the Zero Day Survival Kit, it has a price point that keeps it just out of reach of the average consumer. In this reward tier you will receive one Zero Day Survival Kit in TITANIUM... but only if there is enough backers to bring the cost to a reasonable level. The primary machining vendor I have chosen is fully capable of producing the Zero Day Survival Kit in the highest quality possible in Titanium, but the minimum order is 20 survival kits in Titanium. This Reward tier is dependent on 19 backers of the Titanium level ZDSK (I will personally be the 20th). This is a "no-nonsense" tier, you will still get the updates, be able to add to the ZDSK discussions about development of the campaign and survival kit, and receive the kickstarter exclusive ZDSK proud backer 4x6" sticker, as well as have your name listed in the exclusive "Titanium Backers" section unless otherwise requested by you. Again, this reward tier will only be brought to life with 19 backers. In the event the Titanium reward tier does not get 19 backers but the overall campaign is successful, I will contact you personally to discuss a satisfactory resolution. I want to see this reward tier succeed as this is my personal preference for my Zero Day Survival Kit, but I need your help to make that a reality
Reward tier 8: Stocker!
This reward tier is for Ten (10x) Zero Day Survival Kits in Aluminum in your choice of Matte Black, Gunmetal Grey, Olive Drab, (You can make your color selection in the backer survey) All Zero Day Survival Kits in this reward tier will be individually retail packaged and ready to sell. Anticipated retail price of the Aluminum Zero Day Survival Kit will start at $160. This is a Kickstarter exclusive price for those that want to get a bundle of ZDSKs at a heavily reduced price. As this reward tier is designed for dealers looking to sell to other end users this will NOT include the Kickstarter exclusive sticker, but instead will include a Consumables Replenishment Kit consisting of spare parts for regular maintenance (Such as appropriate sized O-Rings and Spare Storage Vials) You will also be listed on the ZDSK website under the "Find it only at" section with the intent of leading potential customers to your doorstep. Be the first to have the quality American Made Zero Day Survival Kit in your store!
Dont forget to tell your friends about the Zero Day Survival Kit Kickstarter campaign! There are stretch goals with unique rewards waiting to be unlocked!
Timeline overview of rewards fulfillment:
Kickstarter Campaign "Live" Phase: September to October 15th
During this phase I will be focusing on customer questions and working to gain more backers. Once the Minimum Goal is met I will be contacting the Machining Vendor so they have time to order up appropriate tooling and to secure a beginning production date. This will help facilitate a timely transition from the Kickstarter Campaign "Live" phase into the Manufacturing phase.
Funds Clearing Phase: October 15th- November 1st
The average time for Kickstarter funds to clear seems to be between 2 and 3 weeks. During this time I will be communicating vital order information to the Machining Vendor in order to facilitate a timely turnaround, and this will also be done for the US vendor for the Kickstarter exclusive stickers. Once the Kickstarter funds have cleared, the manufacturing order and the sticker production order will be confirmed. I will also confirm with the Anodizing vendor so they can prepare and be ready when their services are needed. This will mark the beginning of the Manufacturing phase.
Manufacturing Phase: November 1st- January 1st
This phase will be dictated by the amount of orders and backers received, but we have assurances from the Machining Vendor that a 60 day turnaround window can be expected. Again, the US vendor chosen has decades of machining experience and a strong reputation of delivering faster than their estimates so I feel confident in this estimate. Also during this phase, all orders of packaging materials etc will be ordered in anticipation of the Shipping Phase.
Subset: Once the Kickstarter exclusive stickers are 75% completed, I will send out the surveys for the "ZDSK Swag" reward. This will be a 5 day window for backers to confirm their shipping address and make any changes they need. Directly after the closing of the 5 day window for surveys, I will be printing out shipping labels and shipping the ZDSK Swag reward tier.
Anodizing Phase: January 1st- February 1st
While technically this is part of the Manufacturing phase (finishing) I felt it would be a marker worth updating backers. Directly following the completion of the machining order, all ZDSK parts will be sent on for Hard Coat Anodizing. I will be personally delivering all parts to the anodizing vendor to ensure safe transportation. At the minimum goal there is a 30 day turnaround window to completed product. Due to the large capabilities of the Anodizing vendor chosen, a larger order should take roughly the same time estimate. Roughly the 3rd week in January, all remaining backer surveys will go out and there will be a 1 week period before the surveys are closed. This will lead directly into the Shipping Phase.
Shipping Phase: February 1st- February 29th
By the first week of February all backer surveys will be complete and the surveys closed. This is the phase that will be determined by the number of backers and orders but I have help from friends and family should the need arise. During the first week all shipping labels should be printed, the second week will be consumed with packaging all rewards to be shipped. At this point I will have a steady flow of items being shipped out so anywhere between the second week and the last week of February you should receive tracking information.
Customer Support Phase: March 1st+
While customer support will be a primary focus throughout the entire process, this phase will be specifically dedicated to ensuring all backers are completely satisfied. This phase will mostly consist of ensuring all rewards have reached their correct destination, and resolving any possible issues of shipping, but it will be time completely dedicated to the needs of all backers, whatever that need may be.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks involved with projects. I have taken every step possible to avert foreseeable risks.
Manufacturing phase risks: Through several months of communication, I have established a primary source vendor for the precision machining as well as 2 "Secondary" vendors who are ready to pick up production in the event something goes wrong. All 3 Machining Vendors are in the USA and have long standing reputable businesses. Working with vendors who are very experienced will eliminate many of the common manufacturing risks. All of the manufacturing vendors are also local to me, this will eliminate quality issues as I will be able to closely monitor quality control indicators.
Manufacturing Finishing phase risks: The same risk aversion steps as the manufacturing process have been taken to eliminate foreseeable risks. Redundancies have been established to ensure quality in finishing process as well as satisfactory and timely delivery.
Logistics phase risks: There are no risks associated with this phase... only challenges that can and will be overcome. This is my first kickstarter project, but by no means my first experience with kickstarter. Until this point, I have only been a backer, I have metaphorically "watched from a distance" as other kickstarter members navigated the "shipping" phase. I have learned many lessons through this though and they will all be applied in order to offer a satisfying kickstarter experience for every backer.
Communication will be our biggest "risk reduceer". I will keep every backer in the loop along every phase, you will know what I know every step of the way. I will communicate with backers should there be any unexpected delays. Communication will ensure that all shipping addresses are correct. Communication will ensure that kickstarter backers know when they can expect their Zero Day Survival Kit to ship.
Should the shipping and logistics exceed my individual capabilities I have family and friends prepared to help spread the workload to a manageable level. This will ensure the timely shipping of all reward tiers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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