SMAK Pak is survival equipment that attaches to your parachute. Both the mini and mid size come with a hook knife, flat whistle, fire starter and signal mirror. The mid size is large enough to store a Delorme inReach or Spot Gen3.
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 S.M.A.K. PAK Survival Kits by Silver Parachute Sales come into play. S.M.A.K. stands for the "Save My A** Kit" and can be a valuable resource after a bailout. The low-profile S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. PAK.
All S.M.A.K. 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 S.M.A.K. PAK (click photos to enlarge).
The smaller S.M.A.K. PAK can even be mounted on a riser inside the parachute container as shown below. If the parachute is deployed, the S.M.A.K. 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.
S.M.A.K. PAK SURVIVAL KIT
If you are being dragged along the ground by your parachute in high winds, and cannot get out of
your harness or collapse the chute, cutting off a riser with the hook knife is your last chance to
keep from being seriously injured or killed. The lanyard is very important in case you drop the
hook knife while bouncing over boulders and cactus.
We encourage you to open up your SMAK PAK and familiarize yourself with the contents.
However, if you pull out the hook knife lanyard, there is a specific way you must stow it to avoid
it being severed when removing the knife from its pocket. Here’s how to do it:
NOTE: This method works with all styles of SMAK PAKs.
First, DO NOT wrap the lanyard around the knife handle
and shove it back in the pocket. If you have to remove
the knife in an emergency, you will almost certainly cut
the lanyard in half.
Step 1. Lay one fold of the lanyard across the opening of
the small channel on the front of the SMAK PAK.
Step 2. Use a small screwdriver to push the fold all the way down into the channel. Continue
this process of laying one fold at a time across the opening and pushing it in with the screwdriver
until only a few inches remain.
Step 3. Insert the hook knife into the outer pocket and snap the yellow nylon tab in place.
Stow the remaining length of lanyard as you did in steps 1 & 2 above.