How reliant are we on mobile devices? It sounds like the punchline to a joke, but smartphones are so much a part of our lives now that this survival kit design from Box Clever includes not just the usual bandages, multi-tool, and lighter, but also an external battery to charge your phone.
“We’re so reliant upon technology,” [Box Clever principal Seth] Murray says, “that if my phone runs out of battery, not having access to my phone would be a really big deal.”
There’s also a smartphone app that includes instructions for each of the kit’s items, in addition to the printed instructions packaged inside the kit. But there’s method to this apparent madness.
Getting the right things in your kit was important, but in researching the project, Box Clever also identified a different and more worrisome problem: people aren’t paying enough attention. A 2012 survey found nearly half of Americans didn’t own a first-aid kit, and many who do have one don’t keep it handy. So a few of Patch’s contents, like a lighter and a bottle opener, are things you need all the time. This is Box Clever’s crafty way of making the kit constantly useful, so you actually keep it around. The team doesn’t call it a “disaster pack” or a “first-aid kit,” for exactly that reason—it’s too hard to get people to prepare for the worst. Instead, Patch is designed to keep you prepared for everything. Part of the project’s spec was it had to be small enough to fit in the side pocket of a backpack, which is exactly where Murray hopes you’ll keep it. Patch is for the urban survivalist, the city dweller at the end of the world.
“We didn’t know where we were going to be when a crisis happens,” Murray says. “We could be walking down the street, we could be in the car, we could be on a bridge.” Your preparation only matters if you’ve got it when you need it, and Box Clever found most people wouldn’t have any access to the things they purport to have at the ready. “This is a product that we want people to want,” Murray says. “It’s a product that we think people will desire, and not just need. And that, in our minds, is what will make more people prepared.”
The kit is just a conceptual design for now; it isn’t actually available yet. But they’re considering making it available possibly via Kickstarter. It seems like a clever idea to me, and we certainly could all stand to be a little more prepared for disaster to strike.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an emergency charger for your phone without the rest of the first aid kit, Amazon has a 6000 mAH battery pack on sale for $15. If the promotion is still on, using the promo code “EQVL973P” will reduce that to $10.