Multi functional tools are often the best tools. When a multi functional tool is lightweight, pocket size, and functions in coordination with tools you already own then it’s even better. The OST 2.0, or Operator Survival Tool, checks all the above marks. It’s a lightweight system that’s only a little larger than a tube of chapstick. The system is made up of three tools that all fit into a small, blaze orange container.
The OST Tools
The first tool is the star of the show and is the multi-use carbon scraping tool. This tool is designed specifically around the bolt of the AR 15. It allows to scrape and beat back stuck on grime and to keep your rifle from getting too crusty. This tool is also designed to double as a bit driver, a mini pry bar, and a bottle opener.
I want to address the OST blaze orange container. While it isn’t a tool, it does double as a handle for our next two tools. Both are rod based and the extra handle makes them easy and safe to use.
Next, we have a simple fire starting ferrous rod. It sparks and flutters like you’d expect and allows you to start a fire wherever and whenever. Like always you’ll need a little practice with this one. The scraper included with the kit will make sparks, but a pocket knife with a square spine is a lot easier to use.
Lastly, we have our knife sharpening rod. This small white rod attaches to the handle and gives you an in the pinch solution to a dull knife. There are size limitations with a sharpener like this, and it won’t be as fast as a Lansky diamond sharpener. That being said it will get you there, and through most sharp knife needed situations.
The OST kit packs conveniently into the orange container that is the size of two CR123 batteries. That’s where the OST really shines is in its small size. Sure it can fit in the pocket, and the bug out bag, but that’s not what its made for. Its made for fitting in those accessory stash area of AR 15 stocks and pistol grips. Those little areas that allow you to store those extra mission necessary supplies.
The OST can be pooped in one and forgotten about until its needed. This is a stow and go kit that’s there for you as long as you have your rifle. It disappears from sight and is light you’d never notice it.
Putting the Knowledge in Knowledge Base
Before we go I want to drop some knowledge on using a ferro rod. The one included with the OST is small but potent. To use it, of course, you’ll need to install it into the handle.
Gather a pile of tinder. I prefer dead leaves, dry moss, and dead palmetto leaves in a small pile. You can also use dryer lint, or cotton dipped in petroleum jelly. Now what you want to do is hold the ferro rod at a 45-degree angle to the tinder.
Using the scraper or your knife blade slowly shave a little or the ferro rod off the rod and into the tinder. The little metal shavings should be concentrated in the center of the tinder. Do this slowly as not to cause a spark.
Next place the scraper, or the spine of a pocket knife at the top of the ferro rod. From here you will pull the ferro rod rearward. The knife or scraper should stay in place. This will make the ferro rod send spark flying forward into the tinder. It will ignite the shavings, and hopefully, ignite your pile of tinder.
If you hold the ferro rod still and scrape with the knife you’ll quickly find yourself hitting your pile of tinder and sending it, and any potential sparks scattering. We want to avoid that. Once the tinder is ignited you can lightly blow on it to feed oxygen to the fire and start feeding it little sticks, moving into bigger and bigger fuels. If the fire starts to die feed it dead and dry limbs, brush, or moss to give it a little boost.
That’s what the OST 2.0 can do for you. It’s a handy little kit that’s at home in the rifle, the pocket, or the purse. Thanks for reading.