Archive for the ‘Survival Equipment’ Category

As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow-covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit like the one pictured in the kit below is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Small Survival Kit EDC

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw
  • Survival Bracelet

 

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

Altoid Survival Tin

Contents:

  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

A small EDC/Survival kit like the one in my video and discussed above may function as a get home bag as well as an everyday emergency kit.  If you are within a day or less travel by foot of your home a kit like this one should aid you in your return home.  My kit goes with me on my short day hikes and serves its purpose very well.  Thank you for watching my video and reading my article.

PouchKnife

As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit including the knife like the one pictured above is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

  • Altoid TinAltoids Tin
  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

I believe that everyone should have at a minimum a kit containing some or all of the equipment discussed in this article.  Do not delay an emergency is not going to wait until you are prepared to handle it.  Purchase a small ready made kit like the one below or put together your own.

Click the image below

Small Survival Kit EDC

Magnum Elk Hunter 1 Magnum Elk Hunter 3

It can be difficult to prepare for emergencies on a low or virtually non-existent budget.  With little money to spend I research and ultimately purchase the best equipment available for the amount of money I have to spend.  I have conducted a great deal of research looking for low-cost survival knifes of which I have not found many, that is until I finally found a relatively unknown high quality yet affordable knife.

The knife is manufactured by Boker a company that began around 1829 in Germany.  The Magnum Elk Hunter knife is one of the knives within the Magnum line by Boker.  For a review of the Magnum Elk Hunter please view my YouTube video by clicking on the video below.  Click on this Magnum Elk Hunter link for more information or to find out where you can purchase the knife.

In my previous posts on 72 Hour Kits and Survival Bags I discussed the gear needed to assist you during a time of need.  You may have a need for some of the items everyday while other items may only be used durning a natural disaster, roadside emergency or civil disturbance.  If you do not yet have some sort of kit/bag for preparedness for such an event I suggest you do so soon if not now.

IMG_3490This post is intended for you to be able to fairly quickly build your own custom BOB (Bail Out Bag), EDC Kit or 72 hour kit in one place at one time.  Instead of spending hours of research on products online you can pick and choose from quality items already reviewed by myself or others in the BYOB Market Place.  My goal is to help as many individuals and families become prepared for events that may occur at any time.

The BYOB Market Place is stocked with the major items needed for your BOB with additional items periodically being added to the stock.  The following items are things which you can then add to your new BOB inexpensively on your own to make it complete.

Please check out the BYOB Market Place and start preparing today, even just a few items will get you more prepared.  If you have any questions, need help or have suggestions for gear to be added to the BYOB Market Place please feel free to comment.

One of the crucial tools needed in an EDC, BOB, GHB or 72 Hour Kit is a good flashlight.  I recently purchased a FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight.  I purchased the flashlight through amazon for $4.20 and received free shipping as part of my total purchase.

So far I am amazed at the quality and operability of this little light.  It is bright and has what they call an adjustable focus zoom which allows you to adjust from a flood to more narrow beam.  The flashlight only requires one AA battery and operates via a tail/thumb push button.  With one full push of the button the light turns on to full brightness.  A second slight push dims the brightness and a third light push produces a strobe effect.  The order may vary depending on which cycle you are currently on when you fully depress the button to to power off.  Another nice feature is that this flashlight includes an installed belt clip.

From the Manufacturer

Features: Super mini size, bright, blinding effect. Skid-proof design & waterproof design. Output bright can come to 300 lumens (MAX). Adjustable focus range for different usage, stretching to adjust its focus. Clip for convenience carry. Working voltage is wide and can utilize the batteries in the largest extent. Suitable for hunting, cycling, climbing, camping and outdoor activity etc. Specifications: Colour: Black Lumens: 300LM Reflector: Convex Lens Material: Aluminum alloy Model of LED: CREE Q5 LED Switch: Tail-cap press ON/OFF Battery: 1 * AA / 1 * 14500 3.6v Battery (not included)

  • 7W 300LM Mini CREE LED Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp
  • Super mini size, bright, blinding effect
  • Skid-proof design & waterproof design.
  • Output bright can come to 300 lumens (MAX). This mini flashlight can use AA size Alkaline, NiMH, and lithium 14500 batteries.

I am impressed with the quality and features of this flashlight especially for the low available purchase price.  If you are like me with your budget for gear being extremely low or virtually non existent I recommend this flashlight for your preparedness needs.

You can purchase one now through amazon just click the link below.


FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp

In my last post I had mentioned that putting together your own Altoids survival tin may be a benefit to you.  This is especially true if you are new to prepping and are overwhelmed with the many EDC, BOB’s, GHB’s and various other kits you may build or buy.  Which type of kit should I prepare?  What equipment do I really need in it?  How do I afford it?  If you have asked yourself these questions and feel overwhelmed I suggest you start small by putting together your own Altoids survival tin.  I enjoyed gathering the items for my tin together and having to arrange the items in such away that they all fit.  You can put your tin together for a very low cost and you may already have a lot of the items in your home or garage.

What you put in your tin depends in part on where you expect to need it.  For instance do you live in a more rural location or explore the forest and wilderness occasionally?  Or do you live in a city or more urban environment?  You may want to consider the following items as a minimum for either location.

Common Survival Tin Contents

  • Lighter, matches or both
  • Candle
  • Fire tinder (cotton, jute twine etc.)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small flashlight or micro light
  • Small knife, blade or razor blade
  • Cordage or twine
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread or dental floss
  • Safety pints (2 0r 3)
  • Bandaid
  • Duct tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Rubber band(s)
  • Coffee filter
  • Alcohol pad
  • Pain relievers
  • Allergy medication

Wilderness Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Signaling whistle
  • Signaling mirror
  • Snare wire
  • Button compass
  • Fishing line
  • Fish hook(s)
  • Split shot sinkers

Urban Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Cash
  • USB drive (thumb drive)
  • Can opener (p38 or similar)

It is your survival tin so you can build it the way you want it with what you want in it.  My tin does not have some of the items I have listed however it is always evolving and may at some point.  You can modify and or reorganize your tin as often as you like. And if you think of any other items put em in if you think they are a benefit.   I recommend that you have your survival tin with you or on you at all times.  These kits may also be called PSK’s (personal survival kit) and without yours you will be more at risk in a time of need.  Put one in your pocket or purse and get used to having it with you.  Please view my Altoids survival tin video below and feel free to comment here or on YouTube.

IMG_0434

Before I buy most products especially those related to prepping I perform extensive research and review of the product.  So when I decided to purchase a very well made and dependable multi-tool for my BOB (Bail Out Bag) my review process was again utilized.  About 7 years ago I had a Leatherman Wave multi-tool and had performed research at that time.  After only having it for a few months I lost it which really bummed me out.  I eventually grasped the fact it was gone forever and moved on.

When I initially put my BOB together I did not have much money and I built it over time.  In order to have the key tools and equipment my purchases consisted of inexpensive items from places like Walmart knowing the quality and dependability was at stake.  I ignored my usual review process and bought a Berkley brand fishing oriented multi-tool for about $12 as I figured something was better than nothing.  Shortly after buying it I realized that if my life depended on the tool it would not last long and I knew I needed something better however I had to wait until I could afford the upgrade.  When the time for upgrade approached I put some time into review of different multi-tools despite the fact I had already tentatively planned on purchasing another Wave.  After two to three hours of Youtube, amazon and other reviews my decision regarding the Wave was solidified.  One significant factor which aided the affirmation was the fact that the newest model of the Wave included a locking mechanism on all of the blades and tools.  This was something that only the main blades and tools of the previous model had.  Another factor was the new bit socket which replaced the fixed in place screw drivers on the older Wave model (see picture below).

IMG_0436

Last year my wife purchased a Leatherman Wave with pouch and an included Monarch 400 flashlight for my birthday.  She paid about $62 with shipping for the combo which was a good deal.  The combo as pictured below is very good for an EDC because the sheath carries the flashlight and has room behind the knife for the extra bit kit.  In my case I used the bit kit pocket for a magnesium bar and striker which fit snugly inside effectively providing the tool and ability for fire and a light source.  You could carry a lighter in place of the magnesium bar in the pocket if desired.

IMG_0437

It is my opinion that the Leatherman Wave is the best choice for quality, value and dependability when compared to all the similar multi-tools available.  Currently you can purchase a Wave through Amazon for about $52 with free shipping.  There is no shortage of reviews available on the web should you choose to conduct your own research of the various available multi-tools.  The  capabilities of the Wave are listed below for your convenience.  And oh yeah to my elation last year I found my old leatherman Wave which was left in a paint sprayer box 7 years prior.  So now my wife and I both have Leatherman Waves in our BOB’s.

Multitool Capabilities:

 

  • Needlenose pliers
  • Regular pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hard-wire cutters
  • 420HC knife
  • 420HC serrated knife
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Wood/metal file
  • Diamond-coated file
  • Large bit driver
  • Small bit driver
  • Medium screwdriver
  • 8-inch (19-cm) ruler
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Wire stripper

Key Tech Specs:

  • Length closed: 4 inches
  • Length open: 6.3 inches
  • 100 percent stainless steel blades and tools

 

IMG_3497

What do you know about survival knives?  Is the first thing that comes to mind the “Rambo”  like image of a wicked looking military style knife.  Whether you know nothing about survival knives or are fairly familiar with them this blog will  give you some insight on the subject.  Survival knives are perhaps the single most important piece of equipment required in a survival situation.  You may think of a knife as just something to cut, hunt, prepare food, or defend yourself with; however they are in fact a multi purpose tool used for much more.  Look at the above photo.  Which knife do you believe is the best survival knife?  Ok keep that thought to yourself we will revisit it a little later.

Some of the many uses of a survival knife include digging, chopping down small trees, making a shelter, processing fire wood and skinning an animal.  You may also need the knife to make tools by carving or shaping wood or to help start a fire.  With a good survival knife you can chop, also known as baton down a small tree two to four inches in diameter.  The knife will also allow you to split/process wood for a fire by making smaller pieces of wood that are drier towards the center.  By chopping down branches or small trees you can also build a shelter to keep you out of the elements.

Ok, which knife in the picture did you choose as the better survival knife?  While they both are survival knives and one is actually called a survival knife I would only want the one on the bottom with me in any survival situation.  What then makes a survival knife a survival knife?  There are many factors that contribute to a knife being considered a survival knife.  One of the most important concerns in my opinion is the tang of the knife.  The tang of a knife is the portion of the knife that the handle is attached to or is made up of.  Again it is my opinion as well as many others that a knife with a full tang is best.  A full tang means that the blade and the handle are forged from one solid piece of metal and the tang extends the entire length of the handle as shown in the picture below.  In comparison as pictured below the “Rambo” style knife has a hollow handle which is kind of nifty for storing items however makes for a much weaker knife.

IMG_3507

IMG_3502

The tang portion of this knife only continues approximately one inch into the separate handle which is fastened together.  This attachment point is the weakest link in the knife and the area most likely to fail during chopping or processing wood.  While it is a good-looking knife and is very inexpensive at about $10 it is not suited for any serious long-term use.  The full tang on the knife in the top photo is not going to break without serious purposeful abuse as it approximately 1/4 inch thick at the tang on this knife.  A knife like this one can be purchased for $60 to $85 or so depending on where you purchase it.  You don’t have to spend that much however as you can obtain other good full tang survival knives for $20 to $40 if you shop around.  Just because a knife cost more doesn’t mean it is far superior, I would not spend the $200 and $300 for some of the available knives as mine will perform just as well.

The type of steel that the knife is made out of is a factor that some individuals consider when purchasing a survival knife.  There are two basic types of steel that the knives are generally made with they are Stainless steel and carbon steel.  Stainless steel blades can last a long time without rusting however according to some people they do not hold an edge as long as carbon steel blades.  Carbon steel blades tend to hold an edge longer but rust faster although you would need to leave it out in the elements and not take care of it for it to rust fast.

Another consideration when shopping for a good survival knife is whether or not you prefer a straight-edged blade or a serrated blade.  The straight-edged blades tend to be better for chopping and are easier to sharpen.  Serrated blades tend to cut through rope and other materials easier but typically require a special sharpener.   You can see the difference between the two types of blades in the photos below.

KaBar Straight EdgeSerrated Ontario Rat-7 Knife

Notice that the serrated blade is only partially serrated which is typical of the majority of the serrated survival knives available.  You can actually still chop and process wood with the partially serrated knife if you use the forward straight blade portion of the knife. The drawback to this is that you wont have as much of the blade to strike with a stick so you will not be able to process as thick of wood as a straight edge.

The length of most survival blades is from six to twelve inches however anything over ten inches or so in my opinion is not necessary unless you need something more like a machete for cutting your way through vegetation.  The blade length does need to be long enough to allow you to chop through wood thoroughly.