Emergency Kit vs Emergency System - What's the difference?

Emergency Kit vs Emergency System - What's the difference?

When we founded Echo-Sigma, we wanted to do something different.  We wanted to create the worlds best emergency kits and make them affordable, complete and accessible for those of us who just don't have the time to really do it right. 

As we went through our prototyping process for our first kits, before we even had a name, it dawned on us that the deeper we got into the design, the more considerations sprung up and had to be addressed.  By the time we were done we realized that we had created more than just an emergency kit.  All of the interconnected components represented a SYSTEM designed to take care of you in your time of need.  Incidentally, this process also lead us to our name.

So what exactly elevates an ordinary "kit" into a "system"?


In the military there's a saying "Two is one, one is none".  In a perfect world, everything works perfectly the first time and every time after that.  Unfortunately we live in the real world and even best laid plans find kinks and issues along the way.

Some examples found in Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems:

  • Three ways to make a fire (Matches, Lighter, Magnesium Fire Starter)
  • Three ways to attach something to anything else (Paracord, Duct Tape, Cable Ties)
  • Three ways to keep yourself dry (Poncho, Tent, Garbage Bags[it isn't pretty but it works in a pinch)
  • Two ways to hydrate (Prepackaged water, Water Purification Tablets)
  • Two ways to cover up and stay warm (Emergency Blanket, Emergency Sleeping Bag)


          Brand X Emergency Kit                                         Echo-Sigma Emergency System

Organization/First Order Retrievability:

What's the point of having all of this great gear if you can't find it when you need it?  If a wall of dust is bearing down you on, do you have time to dig out your goggles and mask from your kit to cover up?  Arrangement and pack order of your kit can be just as important as what goes into it.  Keep all of your small items organized in a dedicated pouch that you can work out of in an emergency.  Keep all of the time critical items on top.  Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame has popularized the term "First Order Retrievability" which means being able to retrieve a tool without having to move anything out of the way to get to it.  We've incorporated this concept into our systems for time critical items that you may need super fast in case of emergency.

Some examples found in Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems:

  • All small items organized in the Echo-Sigma Compact Survival Kit.  Anything smaller than a deck of cards in the kit can be found here.
  • Again, in the Compact Survival Kit, small, easily dropped items are tethered to prevent items from falling out of your kit as you work out of it.
  • Items packed on top and available to grab after opening just one zipper:  Goggles, Face Masks, Gloves, First Aid Kit, Batteries, Signal Mirror, Flashlight (frequently on pack exterior)


     Brand X Emergency Kit                                                                              Echo-Sigma Emergency System


Ensuring that every item in your kit works together towards a single goal can greatly increase  your odds of success.  Similarly, being able to reconfigure and manage your load on the fly gives you options that enable you to tackle whatever comes your way.

Some examples found in Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems:

  • Battery compatibility.  Every electronic device sold with our kits run either on an internal battery or AA batteries.  Having to carry around more than one type of battery means you can stock up on one type and run your flashlights and radios and other gadgets from the same large stockpile.  No more guessing if you should keep X number of C's and Y number of AA's.  Just carry a bunch of AA's and worry about something more important.
  • MOLLE Compatible Packs and Pouches.  All of our packs and pouches are MOLLE compatible.  This means that if you need to make room in your pack, you can pull out your Compact Survival Kit and simply attach it to the outside if you need to!  Same goes for our Trauma Kits and utility pouches.  You can configure your system how you like in order to fit your situation.


             Brand X Emergency Kit                                                                        Echo-Sigma Emergency System

3rd Jul 2015 Jack Nouri

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