Ferro Rod – The Best Ones To Own For Wilderness Survival

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The Complete Ferro Rod Survival Guide

Ferro Rod Throwing Sparks

A spark is an insanely powerful thing to carry in your pocket.

For most of human history, starting a fire’s been an epic and ongoing survival challenge.

Fire was such a crucial resource in ancient times; travelers carried embers with them. It was far easier to start a new fire from a smoldering ember.

After all, using stones to knock out a spark to catch a bit of tinder is not easy. Nor is using sticks to pop an ember out of a plank of wood.

And besides, they never knew if there would be enough dry fuel or the right stones to make a spark at their next stop.

It was much safer to carry an ember along wherever they went.

So what do you think ancient people would have thought about a spark generating device? One that fits in a pocket and throws off sparks hot enough to melt steel?

A device that throws sparks with just the flick of a wrist, and even soaking wet?

I bet they would have killed others for such a powerful device!

That would have been life-changing tech, back then. And anyone with access to it would have felt like a survival wizard.

Today we have a variety of fire-starting tools:

But there is only one type of fire starter that works under almost any conditions. A device that can get a damp bundle of sticks burning like a grease soaked towel in seconds flat.

Ferro rods.

But what are they exactly? How do they generate fire? How does one use a Ferro rod? And what are the best Ferro rods to buy?

Those are precisely the questions this article aims to address. The ins, outs, ups, down and all the nitty-gritty details of Ferro rods:

  • What Is A Ferro Rod
  • Why Ferro Rods Are So Awesome
  • How To Use A Ferro Rod
  • Best Ferro Rods
  • How To Make A Ferro Rod
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

uberleben ferro rod fire starter

What Is A Ferro Rod

To understand what a Ferro rod is, you need to understand what it is made of. So, allow me to introduce you to Ferrocerium.

Ferrocerium is sort of like flint – but it’s not like flint at all.

Chemically, ferrocerium, the metal used in Ferro rods, is entirely dissimilar to natural flint rock. But they do, the same thing: generate sparks.

The main feature of ferrocerium vs. flint is it produces sparks that burn at around 5500-degrees F!

And can even result in molten globs of metal from the steel striker.

You can strike it using all sorts of dense materials, such as:

  • glass shards
  • knife spines
  • or even flint

Whereas flint is stingy with giving up sparks without steel.

Ferro Rod

Ferro Rod / Striker / String

A typical survival Ferro rod consists of three components:

  1. The Ferro rod itself
  2. A striker
  3. A small length of string to bind them together

The Ferro rod was invented by the German scientist Carl Auer, around 1903. Since then Ferro rods have been widely adopted and used throughout the world.

They’ve been used in every modern war, and they’ve become embedded in survival culture.

Why? Because they are ideal for the outdoors as a staple survival tool in any scenario.

Ferro rods are a specific tool, with a specific purpose. However, they’re not like survival multi-tools that can function to serve a variety of purposes.

They do one thing, and do it damn well; they conjure fire.

Black Ferro Rod

Why Ferro Rods Are So Awesome

Let’s cover all the reasons why you should own and carry a Ferro rod.

Extremely Hot Sparks

As mentioned, when you strike a Ferro rod, you create a spark that burns upwards of 5000-degrees F.

At those temps, anything in its way is libel to melt or ignite without difficulty. They can even produce these hot sparks when they are soaking wet.

Making them a lot easier to use than the conventional steel-and-flint striker.

Size and Weight

Their size and weight play a lot into their usefulness.

Some Ferro rods are not much bigger than the size of a zipper. They are lightweight and fit comfortably into a pocket or compartment.

You can even attach one to a keychain, so you’ve always got a method for starting fires.

The bottom line is they are a useful tool for fire starting and a perfect addition to your:

Easy To Use

We touched on this earlier, but Ferro rods are dead simple to use.

Even without much practice, you can quickly figure out how to use a Ferro rod without a whole lot of guidance.

It’s a surefire way to bear flames even in the darkest, coldest circumstances.

It’s easy to take fire for granted in a world full of gas-powered stovetops, Bic lighters and blow torches.

Other Ferro Rod Uses

Ferro rods are useful for more than just starting fires.

Ferro rods also make decent signaling tools in the dark. The sparks they produce are so hot and so bright they are like a firecracker or a small flare.

So if you find yourself lost in the dark, and people are looking for you, use your Ferro rod as a backup signaling device. They can help people locate you in the dark.

The Ferro rod may be simple technology. But the purpose it serves is essential to civilization.

I can’t think of a single instance when it wouldn’t be useful to have a Ferro rod on hand.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

How to Use a Ferro Rod

The first order of business (as with any fire) is to get your tinder in order. Make sure you’ve got a small pile of little, dry twigs, bark, grass, or cotton.

Now situate your tinder, so there’s plenty of air underneath and throughout. That way when the sparks touch the tinder, there’s enough oxygen to produce a flame.

Once your tinder bundle is ready, hold the Ferro rod in one hand and the striker in the other.

Next, place the end of the Ferro rod right underneath (or against) your tinder pile. Angle the striker at 45-degrees and drag it forcefully, and quickly along the Ferro rod’s length.

Great, bright sparks will erupt from the friction between the two pieces of metal.

Direct the hot sparks straight into your tinder pile. The more sparks land within the tinder the hotter it will get, and the faster a flame will manifest.

When you notice smoke coming out of your tinder pile, STOP, bend over and blow gently into your tinder bundle.

The air from your lungs should nurture the spark burning within the tinder into a growing flame. Be careful not to blow too hard because you can accidentally blow out your hard earned flame!

Once the fire has a life of its own, start piling larger sticks and logs on top until you have a roaring bonfire.

Best Ferro Rods

These days, no matter the survival gadget you’re researching, the choices are overwhelming. There are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of producers. All claiming to be the “best” option for you.

It can be almost impossible to cut through the noise.

Which ones are good? And which ones are trash? Which ones are too much and which are just right?

That’s why I’ve included a list of highest rated, most widely acclaimed list of Ferro rods. That way you don’t have to sift through the ocean of cheap, crappy Ferro rods that exist.

Survival Frog FireLaces

Let’s start off with the easiest, most convenient way to carry around a Ferro Rod (4 Ferro rods to be exact!).

Why not upgrade your current hiking boot laces with ones that have Ferro rods built into the tips? It’s a smart way to make a significant survival upgrade.

Our managing editor “Just In Case” Jack – made the switch by adding a set of FireLaces to his wife’s hiking boots. Then he uses them to get a fire going in his office!

You can check it out in the video below.

Bonus Offer: At the time we published this article, you could pick up a set of Survival Frog FireLaces for FREE (only $3.95 s/h). Click here to see if this amazing deal is still available!

Schrade SCHFS1 4in Ferro Rod Fire Striker for Outdoor Survival Camping

The Schrade SCHFS1 Ferro Rod comes in at only 4 inches long and only 1.1 ounces.

It’s the perfect example of practical simplicity.

It includes the Ferro rod and a striker connected by a simple black lanyard.

Schrade uses only the highest quality materials, so this Ferro rod will perform when it needs to.

Check Out Today’s Price

überleben Zünden Thick Bushcraft Fire Steel with Wood Handle

Consider the überleben Zünder the luxury edition Ferro rod.

It includes a wooden handle and a high-quality Ferro rod. This survival rod is advertised as having between 12,000-20,000 strikes.

That’s 12,000-20,000 times this small piece of survival equipment can save your life.

The striker on this Ferro rod even comes with a built-in can/bottle opener. It’s also embossed with a 50mm measuring stick.

Check Out Today’s Price

Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle

Simple, and versatile, the Light My Fire Ferro rod is several tools built into one. Sor of like a firestarter multitool.

The grips on this Ferro rod are made of high durability plastic, and the rod is good for around 12,000 strikes.

Plus the striker can doubles as an emergency whistle as well. So, if you are stuck in a tight spot, you can always use your fire starter to call out for help.

Check Out Today’s Price

Swiss Safe 5-in-1 Fire Starter Survival Pack

This Swiss Safe survival package includes a whole host of useful items; including two Ferro rods.

Each Ferro rod acting as a multi-tool with a whistle and a compass on top of being a fire starting tool.

One of the best parts about this item is its money back guarantee.

So if you’re not satisfied with your Fire Starter Survival Pack; return it for a full refund.

Check Out Today’s Price

Bayite Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Fire Starter Ferro Rod Kit

This option is a very basic, but its a proven highly durable, highly rated Ferro rod.

The rod itself is connected to the striker by a braided length of paracord.

This comes out to 9 ft worth of cordage.

Paracord you can unravel and use for hundreds of survival purposes. Making this a great option for your survival kits.

Check Out Today’s Price

HOODDEAL 10PCS  Pure Magnesium Ferrocerium Fire Starter

If you end up using your Ferro rod thousands of times, eventually you’ll wear it down to a nub of its former self. That’s when it’s time to invest in a new rod.

Luckily, you do not have to buy a new Ferro rod setup every time you wear through one.

You can buy these replacement rods and use them to refresh your trusty Ferro rod set up time and again.

Check Out Today’s Price

Making Your Own Ferro Rod Multi-Tool

For those creative souls out there, who want to take Ferro rods into their own hands, I have good news.

Homemade Ferro rods can often function better than those commercially available.

Because you can add whatever you want to it:

  • Add a compass to your Ferro rod setup? Sure.
  • Stick on a little ruler on it? You bet.
  • Add a bundle of fishing supplies? Why not!
  • Attach it to a knife or a walking staff? Cool.
  • Tie on a container full of cotton tinder? Smart.
  • Attach a flashlight, a signal mirror, a small folding knife or whatever else you might think of? Hell yes!

Making your own Ferro rod set up offers a chance to customize and personalize your survival gear.

First, buy yourself a plain, Ferro rod (like those in the HOODDEAL Ferrocerium Rod pack). Then make your own Ferro rod handle.

Then braid a length of paracord to use to attach the striker to the rod.

Finally, attach the striker and other tools you want, seal it off and pack it away with the rest of your survival gear.

Homemade Ferro rods also make great gifts for friends and family.

Few things say “I love you” like a tool that can help someone survive a shit storm!

The Final Word

A fire has not always been such an accessible resource to come by.

Ferro rods offer survivalists a confident way to start a fire. They generate sparks hot enough to melt steel.

They are good for tens of thousands of strikes. And they’re lightweight, packable, and some of them act as multi-tools.

So keep a Ferro rod in your bug out bag, with your camping gear and survival gear to boost your survival chances.

Granting you the ability to start a fire wherever, whenever, no matter if it is soaking wet and miserable out.

Plus it has near-mystical power. The ability to conjure flames with a rod is one that our ancestors would have been utterly blown away by.

Ferro rods are just freaking useful. And once you start using one, you won’t understand how you ever felt confident without one.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Ferro Rod – The Best Ones To Own For Wilderness Survival appeared first on Skilled Survival.

25 Best Cool Camping Gear For Your Next Adventure

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The Ultimate List Of Cool Camping Gear

Once you’ve got all your camping essentials taken care of, it’s time to start adding some cool camping gear.

Cool camping gear that will make your next camping experience bit more convenient, comfortable, and fun.

Sometimes cool camping gear is new gadgets that were not around a few years ago. While other times its camping gear that’s stood the test and remains worthy of your attention to this day.

This article is Skilled Survival’s cool camping gear list – all those cool items you should take on your next camping adventure.

Here’s a sneak peek at the gear we’re about to cover:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Solo Camping / Bonfire Stove

From compact backpacking stoves to a large portable fire pit, Solo Stove has it all.

Solo Stove’s been making high-quality stainless steel campfire tools for years.

They’ve earned a reputation for smart engineering behind their fuel-efficient designs. The high-temperature combustion means you use less wood, get more heat, and don’t have as much smoke.

Just think about the last campfire you had with smoke blowing in your face. Being forced to move your chair around every 5 minutes.

But with the Solo Stove Bonfire, that’s a thing of the past.

Plus, they’re specifically designed to place your large skillets over for cooking.

RTIC Coolers

RTIC prides itself on offering high-quality coolers at a fantastic price.

A RTIC cooler can pack out an entire elk – and 3” of insulation can keep ice on your beverages for a week!

They’re built using the same roto-molding process as whitewater kayaks. And they’re designed to resist bears break-ins!

RTIC coolers can even be pad-locked closed to keep everything ELSE out as well.

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Survival Frog Solar Power Bank

Survival Frogs PowerBank Solar Charger

Without power, a lot of our favorite survival tools will stop to function. Radios, GPS, flashlights – you NEED a backup plan to keep them charged and working.

A good solar charger can provide you with a steady stream of power. And a battery pack can allow you to store that power for when you need it most.

The only thing better would be to combine the two – and that’s what the Solar Power Bank does!

No more connecting the charger to a battery, just put it out in the sun until it’s charged and then use it when you need power!

Crazy Creek Chairs

Camping is all about relaxing in the great outdoors. And relaxing means being comfortable.

How can you be comfortable in your tent or your campsite if you don’t have a seat?

Instead, look no further than Crazy Creek Chairs.

I saw my first Crazy Creek Chair over 20 years ago. But the company keeps putting out new refinements and updates, and they’re better than ever.

The Crazy Creek Chair is excellent for hanging out at your campsite. Or on the beach, but it really shines as a canoe seat, where it makes long days paddling much more comfortable.

With enough padding and an adjustable back, you can fine tune a Crazy Creek Chair for any situation.

Survival Frog FireLaces

When it comes to survival tools, it’s always a good plan to have a few backup items in your everyday carry kit.

But if you can do so by replacing something you already carry AND serves dual purposes, all the better.

The Survival Frog FireLaces combine a paracord-style shoelace with “ferrocerium” tips. Just strike these tips against any sharp steel edge and produce a shower of white-hot sparks.

With no moving parts, fuel, batteries, and waterproof, this a no-brainer bootlace replacement!

Aqua-tainer / Water Brick

When it comes to bulk water storage, there’s a reason The Aqua-trainer ends up in so many campsites.

They’re inexpensive (under $20/ea), lightweight (about 1lb), and high-capacity (7gal).

Plus, they have a reversible tap that stows away for protection during transport. And a wide opening for quick filling and easy cleaning.

Another great option for campsite water storage is the Water Brick.

Water Bricks StackedAnd while the Water Brick weighs slightly more and the capacity per brick is not as large; they’re stackable!

So for storing water in your home for emergencies, several Water Bricks in your basement is the way to go.

Then for camping trips, grab a few from your basement using the built-in handle.

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Survival Frog Neck Knife

Survival Neck KnifeI couldn’t possibly list all the uses of a knife around the campground. It’s one of those tools you’ll use every single day for a variety of tasks.

But not all knives are created equal.

I prefer the durability of a full-tang fixed blade knife over a pocket knife. But these knives can be a pain to carry. That’s why you should consider wearing a neck knife.

The Survival Frog Neck Knife puts a compact, full-tang survival knife on a chain around your neck. This access allows you have a useful sharp blade at hand whenever you need it.

Survival Frog’s Neck Knife Sheath also contains a signal mirror, compass, blade sharpener, and fire striker.

It’s a whole pile of survival tools in a tiny package you can carry at all times.

Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire GPS Watch

Garmin has been around for decades, making mapping software and equipment. But their new Fenix 5 GPS watch is a top of the line survival watch.

The built-in barometric altimeter tracks your elevation and predicts changes in the weather.

The connected features tie into your other electronic devices (i.e., your smartphone). And the large full-color display makes it easy to track your progress at a glance.

All this tech is packed into a stainless steel and sapphire glass case that’s water resistant to 100m. So you know it’ll be functioning under the worst of conditions!

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AIDIER Reflective Nylon Guyline Cord

In the middle of the night, it’s hard to find your way around camp without waking everyone up. Especially on one of those midnight bathroom trips.

They can be a real disaster!

That’s why you should swap out your tent guylines with reflective ones from AIDIER.

They’ve got reflective strands in the sheath, making them pop out in the beam of even the weakest flashlight.

The 2.5mm diameter cord is strong enough for tents, clotheslines, and repairs around camp.

Pro-tip: a small loop of reflective cord on zipper pulls makes them easy to find as well.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

Relaxing in a hammock in camp is one of the great pleasures of the wilderness!

Sleeping in one can give you a great alternative to damp or rocky ground.

But that depends on getting a comfortable, lightweight hammock.

The ENO DoubleNest packs down to the size of a softball and weighs a little over a pound, but holds up to 400lbs!

The optional bug screen and rain fly make a full hammock camping setup simple and easy to set up in a hurry.

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 Survival Frog Tesla Lighter

tesla lighter-double coil

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of windproof lighters and found them all to be more “wind-resistant” than anything. The Tesla Lighter is a different breed – a flame-free, smoke-free, fuel-less lighter.

Try as hard as you want; you can’t blow out the twin plasma arcs. Instead, they produce easy fire starts to all types of natural kindling.

The compact Tesla Lighter is an excellent addition to your everyday carry tools. And a single charge (via USB) is enough to start hundreds of campfires!

Western Mountaineering Down Bootie

At the end of a long day on the trail, what’s the first thing you want to do? For me, it’s to get out of my damp boots and into something dry and warm.

This often means lightweight sandals. But sandals don’t offer any protection from the environment or the frigid cold.

Instead, reach for these insulated down booties from Western Mountaineering.

These will keep your feet warm and dry while you do chores around camp.

They have durable rubberized nylon soles that are slip-resistant. Plus, the thermal foam insole and the thick layer of 800-fill down insulation will keep your toes warm.

Your feet will thank you!

Survival Frog Pocket Jumper

Pocket Jumper

There are few feelings worse than having a dead battery in the remote wilderness. You’re now stranded miles from home.

In the past, you’d hope and pray for a generous stranger to give you a jump with jumper cables.

But those days are over; now you can rely on yourself with a Survival Frog Pocket Jumper!

In a package about the size of a small paperback book, you’ll find a battery pack and a set of compact alligator clips.

Don’t let the compact size fool you; it’s got enough juice to jump start even a large pickup truck.

Plus, The Pocket Jumper also has a useful flashlight, a signaling mode, and can power small USB devices!

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Gear Aid Tenacious Tape

When you depend on your gear day in and day out, it’s going to see some wear and tear.

Eventually, you’ll have to throw a few stitches in to mend a hole. But this leaves an ugly repair which likely won’t keep the elements out.

Tenacious Tape is a far better alternative to your Frankenstein stitches. It will seal rips and tears in all kinds of fabrics fast and without resorting to needle and thread.

The patches are water resistant, durable, and you can carry enough for several repairs in a tiny kit.

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JetBoil Flash Cooking System

When you’re moving fast and light, you don’t always have space (or weight) in your pack for a lot of cooking options.

The JetBoil Flash is a compact, self-contained cooking system. It includes a compact, electric starter and insulated heat exchanging cooking cup.

The JetBoil System runs on easy-to-find iso-butane fuel canisters and will boil a liter of water in under 2 minutes!

At just over a pound and the size of a water bottle, you can fit the entire JetBoil system into the smallest corner of your pack.

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Survival Frog Emergency Solar Air Lantern

A few years ago, I bought a Survival Frog Emergency Air Lantern for a camping trip to a mountain lake.

It was high summer, and fire conditions meant a complete ban on campfires. So we wanted some light in camp after sunset.

Well after dark, a lost kayaker paddled up to our site, with a couple of solar lanterns sitting in the empty fire ring. She had seen our “campfire” from across the lake and couldn’t find any other way back to her friends.

This little inflatable light not only lets allowed us prep and clean up after dinner in the dark. But served as a beacon for someone in real need of help!

It’s now a standard part of my camping essentials, and we always leave one lit on the beach in camp.

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Sportsman Industries Pocket Chainsaw

Last winter, I was heading home from a ski trip and came across a couple of small downed trees in the road.

They were too high to drive over even in my Jeep, and I couldn’t pull them out of the way.

Eventually, I cleared them with the axe in my survival gear. But it took a long time (even with a sharp survival axe) and left me wishing I had a compact saw in the kit.

I ran across this pocket chainsaw a few weeks later and put it to good use. It’s a better option than an axe for awkward angles and doesn’t need fuel or batteries to run.

It packs down into a small nylon bag and takes almost no space in my glovebox. It was an inexpensive addition that has saved me at least one cold night out since!

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Lodge Dutch Oven

Campground meals become much more appealing when you move beyond just freeze-dried foods.

One of the most versatile camp kitchen tools is a cast iron dutch oven and a tripod over the campfire.

Everything from soup and stew to freshly baked bread comes out delicious! Pick an 8 to 10qt dutch oven to cook for a crowd.

If you take care of the cast iron, you’ll be able to hand it down to your grandkids!

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Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad

The Klymit Sleeping Pad is one of the most popular camping pads on the market right now, and for a good reason. It provides nearly 2.5” of comfort at about 1lb – and packs down to only 3” x 8”.

The chamber design limits air movement. And it also reduces “dead” spots for side sleepers – where your shoulder or hip hits the ground.

The design also includes “side rails,” larger champers meant to keep you from sliding off the pad at night. And at only 10-15 breaths, the Static V2 also inflates fast, so you’re not wasting time (or breath) setting up camp!

For colder climates, the insulated ones have 3X the R-value. Making sure you stay toasty and comfortable even on frostiest of nights!

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Survival Frog Pocket Light

Solar Pocket Light

Multi-use items are the backbone of any good survival kit – and that goes double for electronics.

This compact pocket lantern can serve as a flashlight for close up work and a lantern for an entire campsite.

The Pocket Light charges from either solar or any USB power outlet – and can be used as a power bank to charge small devices.

For a lightweight package about the size of a hockey puck, that’s a lot of functionality in a small space!

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Dr. Bronners Soap

Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap

Soap? Seriously? Soaps not “cool camping gear”, right? This soap is!

I’ve heard more than one person refer to Dr. Bronner’s as “the soap with the crazy labels.”

While it’s true, there’s some interesting philosophy on the labels. Dr. Bronner’s soap is made with all natural ingredients and is safe to use around water sources.

It forms a great lather, cuts through kitchen grease as easily as it cleans hair. It also doesn’t irritate sensitive skin and rinses clean.

Before you buy an expensive “camp soap,” look for either liquid or bar soap from Dr. Bronners for your campsite.

Frontiersman Bear Spray

Ever hear the joke:

“Backpackers wear bells and carry pepper spray to ward off bears. Black bear scat is full of seeds, but grizzly bear scat is full of bells and smells like pepper.”

All joking aside, pepper spray has proven to be a reliable bear deterrent.

But not just any cheap, off-the-shelf brand will do.

You need the highest strength formula you can find and a spray canister with a long distance range. That way you can ward off an approaching animal from further away.

Of course, if it works for grizzlies, Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray will work on human threats as well!

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Survival Frog Quick Heat Handwarmer

Electric Hand Warmer

What’s one item that’s often buried deep down in the bottom of most survival caches? A set of disposable hand and foot warmers.

At about $1 each, they’re easy to pick up, but they’re not all that reliable.

If you’re lucky, their airtight wrappers are still sealed, and they haven’t gone bad. But you’ve got no way to know without trying them.

The team at Survival Frog got tired of the uncertainty and developed a reusable hand warmer. One that provides heat and can be quickly recharged anywhere you have power.

Better yet, with three heat settings and quick warm-up time, it’s easy to pick the level you need. No disposable hand warmer can do that!

Coleman Classic Propane Stove

The Coleman “suitcase” stove has been around for decades and has proved it’s worth. Chances are your parents cooked dinner over one before you were even born.

They’re nearly indestructible due to their simple construction.

Their standard green propane cans are easy to find. And adapters allow the use of bulk BBQ propane canisters for long-term use.

The new models put out more heat than ever before (up to 22,000 BTUs!). And the fine tune control allows you to cook without burning your food.

If you’ve got the space in your vehicle or at a cabin, you can’t beat a Coleman Classic propane stove.

Cool Camping Gear Wrap Up

This is a quick rundown of some of our favorite camping tools – but we’d love to hear from you! What other new cool camping gear and gadgets are on your list?

Leave us a comment and we may just add it to this list!

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

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How To Find The Best Portable Solar Generator For Emergencies

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The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Portable Solar Generator For Survival and Preparedness

Today I want to talk to discuss solar generators because there’s an awful lot of confusion surrounding them.

Everyone wants to know if they’re a reliable source of backup power generation.

For example, I get lots of questions about them, such as:

  • How do they work?
  • Won’t they stop working every time there’s a cloudy day?
  • Will it keep me safe if I lose power for a couple of days?
  • What about a longer-term power outage?
  • Can I buy a smaller unit today and expand it later?
  • Which is the best solar generator?

I get it; these are the very same questions I had as well.

But I’ve been digging into this new technology and sorting fact from fiction. Finding for answers to all your questions, and more.

So let’s dive into this amazing technology with the following solar generator topics:

  • What A Solar Generator & How It Works
  • Solar Generators vs. Fuel Generators
  • Limitations Of Portable Solar Generators
  • Who Should Get A Solar Generator
  • Best Portable Solar Generators
  • DIY Solar Generators
  • Why You Must Have And Electrical Plan B

Solar Panel and Portable Solar Generator Setup On A Deck

What Is A Solar Generator & How It Works

Before we can discuss solar generators in any meaningful way, we must learn a few of the basics first.

It’s crucial you understand on a fundamental level what a solar generator is and how it works.

A solar generator works differently than fuel based generators. Yes, they both convert a raw energy source into a useable energy source.

However, instead of using fuel as the raw energy, solar generators harness the power of the sun.

So, let’s talk about the components that make up a solar generator and how they work.

A solar generator consists of 2 main components; it’s a solar panel and a portable power generator.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are the technology that converts sunlight into electricity.

They do this by using the sunlight to knock electrons free from atoms. This knocking free of electrons generates a flow of electricity.

Or more simply put, the sun’s energy excites molecules which creates a flow of electricity. If you get that, that’s all the technical understanding you need.

The bottom line is solar panels turn sunlight into DC power.

Portable Power Generator

A portable solar power generator is also made up of two main components – an inverter and a battery.

The inverter turns the DC power from the panel into more usable AC power.

Solar generators also include a storage battery. That way, if any of the power captured by the panels is not being used, you don’t lose that power.

Instead, it becomes potential energy stored in the battery for later use.

The battery also ensures there’s power available any time you use your solar generator in an emergency.

Solar generators also include various power outlets. These are often just like power outlets in your home.

They allow you to plug electrical cords, power tools or appliances into the generator.

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Fuel Generator Vs Solar Generator

Solar Generators vs. Fuel Generators

Now we have a basic understanding of what a portable solar generator is and how it works. So let’s move to the more interesting and important topic of WHY.

Why should you invest in a solar generator? Why not stick to old technology you’ve always relied on – namely fossil fuels – for your backup power needs?

To answer that question, we must look at the pros and cons of solar generators vs. fuel generators.

Then we can take that information to make an informed decision.

Fuel Is Expensive

We all know too well that fuel is not free.

It costs serious money to fill up our vehicles several times per month.

The reason fuel costs as much as it does is due to a long chain of processes.

It takes money to get oil out of the ground and to transport that oil to oil refineries.

It costs money for those refineries to convert oil into gas and diesel and distribute it to your local gas station.

And of course, gas stations have operating costs as well.

Those costs – plus profit taking at each step – plus taxes – are what make up the price you pay at the pump.

And as we all know, those prices go up and down depending on hundreds of variables.

But when you fill up your vehicle, it’s definitely not free.

And if you’re serious about preparing for a future disaster, these costs will add up. If you want to run your fuel generator more than just a few days you’ll need to stock up.

That’s when the cost of choosing a fuel generator starts to seriously add up.

And if you think, “I’ll store a small amount today and stockpile more later” – think again. Bad idea.

That’s what everyone else does.

But fuel is one of the first materials to run out after a major disaster.

You’ll quickly find it’s all gone and if you do find some, it will be crazy expensive due to the laws of supply and demand.

But all these stockpiling expenses melt away with solar.

With solar, your fuel is FREE.

Yes, the portable solar generator itself is not free, but the energy necessary to convert the power is.

So you don’t have the same headaches of stockpiling a massive amount of it ahead of time. Or the ongoing fear of running out in the midst of widespread panic.

You get an emergency power system today, with zero ongoing fuel costs.

This is one of the most attractive features of owning a solar generator.

Fuel Can Be Dangerous and Difficult To Store

Ok, back to that stockpiling fuel headache.

Not only will stockpiling fuel put a significant dent in your pocketbook. It’s also challenging to store it safely and for the long haul.

Liquid fuels are highly flammable materials. Gasoline fumes are highly explosive. And diesel is dangerous as well.

So they are not something you want to store in bulk anywhere near your home.

Sure, storing a small gas can or two in your garage for your lawnmower is fine. But not several large barrels of the stuff. For that, you’ll want to keep it far away from where you eat, sleep, and live.

Instead, you’ll need to store these large amounts of fuel in a backyard shed or a fuel tank on a rack.

Doing this adds even more hassles and more costs.

Plus, backyard sheds are not known to be air-conditioned spaces. So now you’re exposing combustible fuels to extreme hot and cold temperatures – not good.

And it might even be illegal for you to store a lot of fuel. Local laws rarely allow bulk storage of fuels in residential neighborhoods.

And even if you could, you still have the issue of fuels having a limited shelf life.

So now you’ll have to treat the fuel every so often with a fuel stabilizer. Or you could put a fuel rotation plan in place to use old fuel and replace it with new fuel.

The bottom line is storing a lot of fuel for a long-term backup plan is one big ol’ headache!

But with a solar generator, you avoid this entire issue.

You can safely store a solar generator almost anywhere. In your basement, garage, bedroom, bathroom, wherever….

It’s there for when you need it, safely tucked away wherever it makes sense.

The sun is “storing” your fuel for you. You just have to capture that fuel as it passes by – day in and day out.

Fuel Stockpiles Eventually Run Out

Another fatal flaw with fuel based generators is the fact that fossil fuels are not a renewable resource.

Once you use up all your fuel, you’ll have to get more. And if you can’t get more, your backup power generator becomes a big expensive paperweight.

  • Your plan B just came to an end.
  • You’re dead in the water.
  • You’re up a creek without a paddle.

But the sun’s rays (from our perspective) is an infinite power source. Sure, the sun will stop shinning someday – it does technically have a finite amount of fuel.

But we’re talking billions of years from now (5 billion to be exact). So for all intents and purposes, it will never run out.

With a solar generator, even if you run short of power today, you’re never completely dead in the water. There’s always more energy to capture and convert tomorrow.

Gives a whole new meaning to lyrics “The sun will come up tomorrow…”.

Of course, cloudy days will “rain on your parade.” But in time those will pass as well.

Fuel Generators Are Noisy

We all know fuel generators are noisy buggers.

There’s a reason why campgrounds restrict generator usage times. Noisy generators can wake an entire campsite.

However, with a solar generator, you can throw those restrictions out the window.

You can quietly generate power whenever the sun is shining without making a peep.

And this no noise setup is not only handy for campgrounds. It’s strategic in the event of a prolong widespread disaster.

In a long-term power outage, the last thing you want is to notify your neighbors you have a generator.

You don’t want those who don’t have power (but would love some) to start snooping around. If someone knows you’ve got a generator you can bet someone’s going to want it.

This goes double for a situation where power is out indefinitely.

But with a solar generator, you avoid this entire racket altogether.

Fuel Generators Create Fumes

Finally, with traditional fuel generators, you have to deal with the fumes.

The way fuel generators work is with lots of mini explosions. These small explosions create a lot of energy. But they also produce a nasty byproduct – poisonous fumes.

These fumes are harmful to breathe.

That’s why you should never let your car warm up in an enclosed garage. These poisonous fumes can kill in dense amounts.

Usually, these fumes release into the atmosphere where they are rendered less harmful. The poisonous fumes become diluted in the atmosphere.

However, solar creates zero fumes. It’s a zero emission technology.

Making solar generator’s a “green” technology as well.

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Solar Generator Powering A Computer In Camp

The Limitations of Portable Solar Generators

Ok, so if I stopped writing here, you’d walk about with only half the story. You’d be missing what you need to make an informed decision.

But here at Skilled Survival, we don’t do that.

We provide you with all the information you need to figure out what’s best for you and your family.

That’s why we want you to understand the limitations of solar generators in their current form.

Their Output Is Somewhat Limited

Portable solar generators are not complete home grid power replacements.

If that were the case, we’d all be buying and living off solar generators, right?

Sure, some large, expensive solar array systems on a roof can offset all your energy needs. But that takes several thousands of dollars and permits and contractors.

Instead, we’re talking about a portable backup power generator at a much lower price point.

These units do capture a fair amount of energy. But not enough to replace the amount of energy a typical household uses on a daily basis.

Most American homes have ALL the following devices:

  • a refrigerator
  • a heating and cooling system
  • several TVs
  • lights everywhere
  • a deep freezer
  • multiple computers
  • smartphones
  • C-Pap (or other medical related devices)
  • etc. etc. etc.

To date, portable solar generators are not capable of capturing that level of power.

And to be honest, they cannot produce as much power as a comparably priced fuel generator.

So you’re spending more money up front to produce less sustainable power. Bummer, I know.

So you have to weigh this against all the pros of solar generators.

Now, remember, the upfront costs may be more, but you have to think about the long-term costs as well. Plus, all the other positives of a solar generator.

But no matter if you choose a fuel generator or a solar generator for backup power, you’ll have to prioritize.

For example, you need to figure out which appliances and devices are essential and which ones are not.

Remember, you’re purchasing an emergency backup power system. That means you’ll have power for a few emergency necessities.

And NO, bing watching Game Of Thrones is not a necessity.

They Cost More Upfront

We touched on this already, but solar generators are an investment. The best ones do cost a few more dollars upfront.

But don’t forget traditional generators have ongoing fuel costs you must consider.

So the more you use your solar generator, the more affordable it becomes. This is especially true when compared to a traditional fuel-based generator.

Plus, there are so many intangible costs to consider as well such as:

  • the cost of running out of fuel
  • excessive noise
  • fuel storage safety concerns
  • harmful fumes

So you have to think long-term and big picture. That’s how you decide whether the upfront investment is worth it for YOU.

Recharging Is Not Instantaneous

It takes time for a solar panel to recharge a battery.

Solar panels are not an on and off device. The power they capture fluctuates based on the power of the sun.

Solar panels are affected by the angle of the sun to their surface. If you set your panel in a fixed position and let the sun move across the sky, you’ll get a curve of power production.

It will start out small, ramping up to peak, hold peak power conversion for a while, and then back down to zero.

The hope is you can produce enough power over this time to run your appliances and charge your battery. Then use the stored battery power from sun down to sun up (overnight).

Again, you’ll have to look at the appliances you need and how often to use them. This is all about smart power supply management!

Of course, the more panels you have, the more power you can produce in a given time frame. But if you charge your battery too quickly, you’ll need more batteries to store any excess energy.

But expansion is not always as simple as buying more panels or batteries.

Many Units Cannot Be Easily Expanded

Components in the ready-made solar generators are not typically designed for easy expansion.

When you buy a ready-made portable solar generator, you can’t easily upgrade the inverter. You can’t add a bigger battery (at least not internally). Nor can you increase the photovoltaic surface area or install a better inverter.

Some models do allow you to add more solar panels to increase the speed of recharging. But eventually, you’ll hit the upper limit of the inverter in a ready-made generator.

So for the most part, you get what you get with a ready-made solar generator.

If this is a big concern of yours, you should check out some DIY solar generator options (covered later).

Repair Can Be Difficult

Solar panels and power generators are not devices that are simple to repair. They take unique components and serious expertise to fix.

In the case of solar panels, it’s typically more cost effective to buy new ones as opposed to trying to repair them.

Fortunately, newer solar panels are extremely durable and are difficult to break. Most of the ones built nowadays can even handle extreme hail storms.

So the odds are low that you’d need to repair a portable solar generator repair. But if you do, it’s not going to be as easy as changing a tire or replacing wiper blades.

Solar Generator For Tailgating

Who Should Get A Solar Generator

So now that we’ve covered all the aspects of solar generators, it’s time to figure out if they make sense for YOU.

Of course, that depends upon your situation and your survival plans.

And since I cannot answer that question for you, I’ll provide some general thoughts instead. To give you some general guidelines on when a solar generators purchase is good and when it’s not.

If you consider a solar generator as an emergency back up and not a full replacement, then they are a good purchase.

They are not a direct replacement for your homes power consumption. If that’s what you were hoping for, you’re mistaken.

Heck, even a sizeable nonportable fuel based home generators struggle with such a task. And those cost tens of thousands of dollars.

A reasonably priced portable backup generator system (solar or fuel) requires prioritization.

Do you want one to run a small refrigerator in a crisis? Great a solar generator may be able to do that, but that will be about all it can do.

Do you want to run a CPAP machine and charge a few smartphones? Great, but then running a freezer as well won’t be possible.

Do you want a way to have some lights at night and be able to use your microwave several times a day? Perfect.

So you’ll need to think about your energy needs in a holistic way. You’ll have to prioritize.

For example – one of the best solar generators can provide up to 1,500 continuous watts of power. That about enough energy to charge the following devices:

  • cell phone
  • tablet
  • survival radio
  • a few lights
  • a small appliance or a critical medical device

Obviously, this depends on the energy needs of all these devices when added together.

Or maybe, just maybe, with proper power management, you could power your freezer INDEFINITELY.

If you can do this, you’ll never have to worry about your food reserves going bad.

But the point is a single solar generator cannot do it all.

If you want to get it all, you’ll have to buy more solar generators. But that comes at a significant cost increase.

So the bottom line is you must fully understand what a solar generator can and cannot due.

That’s how you make it a wise survival investment.

Best Portable Solar Generators

Ok, so after all that, if you’re like me, you’re still interested in the power of solar generators.

The pros more than outweigh the cons, and now it’s a matter of finding the best solar generator for you.

But this technology is relatively new and it’s expanding rapidly.

So it’s no small feat to figure out which ones are worth your hard-earned dollars.

Many new solar generator brands and models are cropping up every month.

However, we’ve done a ton of research for you. Looking for the very best solar generators available on the market today.

The ones you should seriously consider for your back up energy and survival needs.

The Patriot Power Generator

If you want one of the best solar generators on the market today, look no further than The Patriot Power Generator 1500.

It’s a favorite solar generator for many survivalists and preppers.

Perfect for your home emergency backup needs. As well as for camping, tailgating, or using power tools in remote locations.

The Patriot Power Generator is designed to be easy to store, transport, set up and use.

It also includes the panels you need as well as the power generator – all as one complete package.

This is not the typical case, as you’ll see below. Most often you have to figure out and buy the panels and the generator separately. Hoping they work well together when you get them home.

The Patriot Power Generator 1500 features:

Up to 2000 life cycles. This means you can charge your Patriot Power Generator from empty to full 2,000 times before performance starts to diminish.

You can charge your Patriot Power Generator in multiple ways. Through the solar panels or a conventional electrical outlet.

You can also charge it using a wind turbine or other sources of energy.

It charges fast with just a 3.5 hour charge time. This allows you to get The Patriot Power Generator from 0 to 100% in 3.5 hours.

It will hold a full charge for up to 1 year with little to no power loss.

It can produce up to 1,500 continuous watts of power. They claim this is enough power to run:

  • a cell phone
  • tablet
  • laptop
  • radio
  • lights
  • small appliances or “critical medical devices.”

The Patriot Power Generator also comes with

  • 2 x 120 volt AC outlets
  • 4 x USB outlets
  • 1 x 12 volt DC outlet
  • 1 x 12 volt Anderson Power Pole outlet (used to power emergency radio and CB units)

See how important having a generator of this power and quality is? Your life could depend on it!

And because of its small size, portability making it perfect for camping, hunting, and fishing trips. Take it along on your next RV vacation, or even weekend tailgating.

So you’ll want to use it all year around using the free power of the sun!

Click Here To Check Today’s Price and Learn More About The Patriot Power Generator

Goal Zero Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station

The Goal Zero Yeti is an excellent power generator. But most of these models don’t come with a solar panel (sold separately).

They have several models and sizes to choose from:

So while the Yeti 3000 has more power capacity but also costs more money. But the Yeti 400 is more affordable and more suited for smaller devices and tasks.

All the units include two AC outlets (300W continuous, 1200W surge), three 2.4A USB ports, and two 12V ports.

The weight of each unit varies based on the model but ranges from 17 lbs for the 400 series up to 75 pounds for the 3000 series.

Here’s the Yeti 1400 Solar Kit – which does include a solar panel.

Inergy Kodiak 1100 Watt (1.1kWh) Power Bank Solar Generator

The Inergy Kodiak Solar Generator is another popular option in the survival and preparedness world.

That’s because its one of the only units to include an external battery bank connection. This allows you to add more batteries to the Inergy Kodiak to store even more backup power for an emergency.

Some of the basic features of the Inergy Kodiak are:

  • Its an ultra-lightweight option at about 20 lbs.
  • Expandable with deep cycle lead acid batteries
  • Solar charging – minimum charge time 2.5 hours
  • 1100 Watt-hour lithium-ion battery and is rated for up to 2000 cycles

It’s another great solar generator option worth taking a closer look at.

Note: solar panels are sold separately with this unit.

Click Here To Check Today’s Price

AIMTOM Portable Solar Generator

The AIMTOM Portable Solar Generator is the most affordable option on this list, but it also has the most power limitations.

This unit is perfect to charge a few devices around a campsite, but it won’t work as well for backup emergency power. 

Its rated for 155Wh with two 110V/ 100W AC outlets so it’s more of a badass portable solar charger than a solar generator.

However, it can provide power for small home appliances (max 100W), laptops, CPAP, etc.

The AIMTOM has three 5V USB output for phones, iPad, GPS, mp3, camera, RC helicopter, etc.

And three 12V DC output ports (max 180W, with a cigarette socket) for car devices and more.

Plus, there are also three ways you can recharge it.

You can use a supported solar panel (not included), a car charger or an AC wall charger.

The AIMTOM only weighs 3.48 lbs and includes an easy-carry handle. Designed to be a travel-friendly power station. Take and use it pretty much anywhere.

Check Out Today’s Price

Note: this solar generator doesn’t come with a solar panel (sold separately).

DIY Solar Generator Build

Now, if you want a solar generator, but you don’t like the price, you could always go the DIY route.

This is not a project for the faint of heart. It should only be attempted by those who are proficient in the world of DIY.

Or put another way, this is NOT a DIY project you should cut your teeth on.

The good news is there are blueprints available on how to build a DIY solar generator system. These blueprints are a step by step solution to build one for a fraction of the cost.

Sure, the blueprints cost a few dollars, but just think of all the money, time, and headaches you’ll save.

You should check out the Smart Solar Box DIY Solar Generator plans.

Why Everyone Should Have An Electrical Backup Plan

Some people believe all technology is dangerous.

Thinking all technological advancements are moving us all further away from a culture of self-reliance. And instead, moving more towards a culture of helpless fools.

It’s an idea captured perfectly in one of my favorite quotes:

“What we call survival today is what our great-great-grandparents called everyday life.”

And mostly they are right. Here are just a few of the technologies that make us less self-reliant:

  • The Power Grid
  • The Food Distribution Network
  • Corporate Farming
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Interstate Delivery
  • Grocery Stores
  • Refrigeration
  • The Water Distribution Network
  • etc.

These “advancements” have made us more dependent on these advancements for our survival.

Take one of them away, and all hell breaks loose. Because when these “societal advancements” fail, few people have a real plan B.

They have no way to survive without help and handouts.

Sure, in ordinary life, technology is beneficial. When things are functioning smoothly, it’s awe-inspiring. But that’s the problem; that’s precisely what makes it so dangerous.

Modern day technological systems are convenient as hell. But they come at the cost of our self-reliance

We become conditioned to helplessness. In times of severe trouble, the real costs of these technologies will become known.

The pain, suffering, and loss will be horrific.

Imagine a widespread, prolonged blackout. How many people could survive a few months without power? Sadly, not many.

But not all technologies are bad.

There are a few technologies being developed that do the opposite. Ones that make us MORE self-reliant!

One of those technologies is the solar generator and that’s why you should invest in one.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

The Final Word

The solar generators available today are impressive and worth the cost of admission. They are the future of self-reliance that welcomes this sort of technology.

But you cannot delay. Getting a solar generator (or a traditional generator if you prefer) in place is critical.

You have to have a backup power plan for everyday emergencies and blackouts. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to have a longer-term blackout power plan in place as well.

And solar generators deserve a place in that plan.

Remember: Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post How To Find The Best Portable Solar Generator For Emergencies appeared first on Skilled Survival.

How To Build The Ultimate Emergency Survival Medical Kit

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Whether you call it a Medical Kit, First Aid Kit or Emergency Survival Kit doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have one and it’s ready at a moments notice.

Survival Medical Kit List

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing when misadventure strikes. If you’re not prepared to handle a medical emergency, things can go from bad to worse fast.

Whether you’re camping, exploring a foreign country, navigating the high seas, or simply surviving a catastrophic emergency – having a functional medical kit is essential for survival.

Everyone needs to built or buy a survival medical kit.

Ask any medical worker what you can do today to save yourself or others in a serious medical emergency. They will tell you to 1) have a tactical first aid kit 2) learn how to use it.

They also know really good medical first aid kits, the kind that provides peace of mind, are hard to come by.

But fear not! You’ve come to the right place.

This Ultimate Survival Medical Kit Guide is here to solve that problem. Specifically, we’ll be covering the following topics in detail:

  • How To Build Your Own Emergency First Aid Kit
    • Choosing A Medical Bag
    • First Aid Kit List
    • Basic Medical Tools
    • Over-The-Counter Medications
    • Lotions and Creams
    • Advanced Wound and Trauma Supplies
    • Popular Prescription Medications
    • Misc Medical Supplies
  • Medical Kit Packing Strategies
  • Best First Aid Kit You Can Purchase
  • Developing Your Survival First Aid Skills

Tactical First Aid Kit - First Aid Kit List

How To Build Your Own Emergency Survival Kit

The following describes everything necessary to build an emergency survival kit.

Some of the first aid supplies listed will include advanced medical supplies, above what a medical novice knows how to use. But if you follow the first aid list to a T, you’ll be prepared you for nearly any acute medical problem.

Use this as a personal guide or supplement to aid your medical preparation. You’ll be grateful you did.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Emergency Survival Kit

Choosing The Right Medical Bag

Collecting the contents for a survival medical kit is actually the second step in building your own first aid kit.

You need a bag or pack to put all the supplies in. Whether you use a bag, a box, a basket, or an entire emergency vehicle, you must store your medical kit properly, and as orderly as possible.

Which requires a meticulous approach. Take your time, and think this through.

How will you build this to best suit your needs?

Will you be storing your medical kit in a home or a car? Is this something you’ll want to carry places? How durable does your med kit need to be? How thorough?

Size, shape, weight, and intention are all important factors to consider at this point.

If you are going to be rafting down the Grand Canyon, you need a waterproof bag that can easily transport between rafts.

If you are going on a backpacking trip through South East Asia you will need something small, light and packable.

Wilderness Responders use small duffle bags or entire backpacks for their medical kits.

Choosing your container may seem like a mundane decision, but in reality, the choice carries a lot of weight. To make your survival medical kit a perfect fit customize it so it best serves and protects you.

Here are some of the best medical bags for building your kit:

Unigear 600D Dry Bag Sack

A Unigear Dry Bag is ideal for building a medical kit for wet environments.

A regular medical bag just won’t cut it in environments such as rafting, boating, or any water adventure or sport.

Why? Because they are completely waterproof.

Perfect for stashing medical supplies in extreme wet or humid environments.

Compact Tactical MOLLE Rip-Away EMT Medical First Aid Pouch

This is a compact 1000D anti-abrasion polyester bag.

It’s a MOLLE compatible pouch for emergency or tactical situations. And it is a perfect addition to your bug out bag.

It has a tri-fold design with a rip away Velcro panel. It has a wide handle for removal or carrying.

The compact pouch also includes a pair of quality EMT shears.

MedPac 3800 Medical Bag

The MedPac 3800 is not just a bag that you convert to being a medical kit bag. Instead, it is a bag made to be a medical kit.

So it’s compartments are made for medical supplies and keeping it all organized.

It has 5 adjustable dividers to organize larger supplies and equipment in the spacious main compartment.

The MedPack 3800 has adjustable buckle-assembly keeps the full-access lid upright for visibility and access. A gusseted front pouch has multiple instrument pockets and elastic loops.

The MedPac 3800 is made of water-resistant Ballistic Nylon with thick foam padding for shape and structure.

Yes, it’s not cheap but this is a serious bag for a serious medical kit build.

22″ Military Duffel Travel Bag

If the MedPack 3800 gave you sticker shock. Consider this large 22″ tactical duffel bag instead.

No, it’s not specifically made for medical supplies, but at this more affordable price point, you can make it work.

Family Emergency Kit Storage Box

There are a number of medical boxes out there that are highly durable and great for staying organized.

The Family Emergency Kit Storage Box is made out of durable plastic.

It also includes an organizing divider tray to help keep small medical supplies from getting mixed up.

It’s an all around nice family emergency medical kit you can stash in a closet at the ready.

TravTac Stage II Small Sling Bag

A military medic backpack is one of the most functional containers for a survival medical kit. The number of pockets and high durability make them extremely functional options.

That’s why this the TravTac “go anywhere” design is perfect when a larger pack is too big, too bulky and too heavy.

This pack can fit a ton of medical tools and supplies but not so big to become cumbersome.

It also can be worn in 3 configurable ways (across back, across chest or hand carry).

This is a MOLLE compatible pouch and has 3 zippered compartments.

The TravTac Stage II the right size, the right shape, and right design to make an excellent portable medical kit.

First Aid Kit List

In order to build a comprehensive medical kit, it’s best to start with the basics.

From diarrhea to headaches – from inflammation to small cuts or minor infections, the basics supplies will have your back.

These basics will be the resources you use most often in your emergency survival kit. So they should be the most accessible as well. Make sure to pack extra.

Most of these supplies can be bought at drugstores, pharmacies or even online.  You’ll have no trouble assembling the contents in the following section.

Basic Medical Tools

Medical Tweezers
Tweezers are a commodity, right? All tweezers are created equal…

Not even close! Cheap $2 tweezers are not good enough for your medical kit. Upgrade to these tactical tweezers to remove hard to get at splinters and foreign objects with ease.


You should look for an infrared forehead thermometer, especially if you have small children.

Trust me, trying to hold a traditional thermometer under your kid’s tongue, armpit or rectum is a hassle of the past.

When time is of the essence (and what medical emergency isn’t) you’ll want to get a temperature reading fast. Get a thermometer like this one.


Buy these online to get a nice bulk discount and it’s worth going with the Anti-Bacterial Q-Tips for an added layer of medical cleanliness.

Large Trauma Shears

These high-quality EMT shears feature a fluoride coating that provides a non-stick surface for all of your emergency cutting needs.

It includes sharp edges and milled serrations for cutting through the toughest material over and over.

Surgical Grade Toenail Clippers

These surgical nail clippers can handle even the thickest toenails due to diabetes, psoriasis, or fungus.

They are sharp, ergonomically designed and made of stainless steel to prevent rusting or corrosion.

They also come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. The last pair of toenail clippers you’ll ever buy and good enough for medical emergencies.

Because there are just some medical tasks where nail clippers are the only tool for the job.

Scalpel with Blades

For basic medical emergencies a sharp scalpel and blade will do; like this one.

But if you’re looking for something more advanced, look into getting a suture kit.


The price range of stethoscopes is extreme. It’s hard to believe but the more advanced ones are several hundreds of dollars.

But unless your an EMT or a physician, a standard stethoscope like this one is all you need.

Over-The-Counter Medications (Recommended numbers included)

Next up is the list of over-the-counter medications your emergency medical kit should include:

Note: If your uncertain what each of these does, click the link to find out more specific information about each recommendation.


Lotions and Creams

These are the medical creams you should add to your first aid kit to help keep wounds clean and free from infection, to control minor rashes, reduce inflammation, stop fungus growth, etc.

Advanced Wound and Trauma Supplies

This is where a more advanced level of survival medical training comes in handy.

Treating wounds is not always a simple ordeal – especially trauma – and it is often a job that is best left to the professionals.

But in a survival situation, it may be your responsibility to treat these injuries to the best of your ability.

Realistically, outside of a hospital, no one is prepared for every medical emergency. Wounds can be ugly. Trauma can be horrifying! But here are some tools that will help prepare you for both:

Blister Treatments

Wound Treatments (Recommended numbers included)

Popular Prescription Medication

Individuals seeking to build an advanced medical kit should consider including some prescription medications.

These drugs require an advanced understanding of medicine to administer. But if you have access to these supplies and have reason to believe you will need them in the field, prepare yourself accordingly.

  • Epinephrine 1mg: Treats severe allergic reactions.
    • 1ml small syringe with needle
  • Ciprofloxacin 500mg: Treats infections, also given to individuals exposed to anthrax.
  • Azithromycin 500mg: Treats atypical mycobacterial infections and bacterial infections of the heart valve.
  • Bactrim d.s. 160/800mg: Treats bacterial infections
  • Amoxicillin 500mg: Treats infections or stomach ulcers.
  • Flagyl 500/400mg: Treats bacterial infections.
  • Fluconazole 100mg: Prevents and treats certain fungal infections.

Misc. Medical Supplies

  • Asthma Inhalers: Albuterol is a basic prescription drug that people carry who have difficulties breathing.
  • Vitamins: Pack your favorites, or pack them all. Multivitamins are handy for saving both space and weight.
  • Epinephrine: Mentioned before in the prescription section. Epinephrine is a medication for severe allergic reactions. It usually requires a certification to administer to another person (except in the case of a life-threatening emergency).
  • Small toy or puzzle: Children can be distractions, and in medical emergencies, they can often be a danger to themselves. Keeping a small toy or puzzle to calm a child down, or to offer comfort can be as good as any medication for agitation or distress. It can sometimes even work with adults.
  • Toiletries: Just a razor, deodorant, a toothbrush, and toothpaste can make a huge difference in survival. Having extra hygiene supplies never hurts.
  • Purell
  • Sunblock
  • Aquamira or other iodine tablets (for water purification)
  • Bug repellent
  • CPR pocket mask
  • Survival lighter and waterproof matches

Tactical Medical Bag

Medical Kit Packing & Storage Strategies

Keeping an organized medical kit is equally as important as any of the contents.

In a medical pinch, time is of the essence. Neither patient nor caretaker can afford to waste any time sifting through a sack full of unlabeled drugs and sterile swabs. Preparation is everything.

Divide your kit into a few general categories. There are a number of ways you might approach this, but one effective example is to separate the contents as follows:

  1. Trauma
  2. Prescription medication
  3. Over the counter medication
  4. Personal supplies

Trauma and prescription supplies are typically required in more urgent scenarios.

So make sure to keep them stored in an easily accessible part of your med kit.

Here are several ways to keep these categories separate and organized:

Separate The Compartments

It may be as easy as using the existing compartments of your container (like in a medic backpack or utility box) to separate your categories.

Stuff Sacks

These come in a variety of sizes and colors, which makes them ideal for color-coding and storage.

Most are made from water-resistant material and are extremely durable, very light and highly packable.

They are available at almost any outdoor retailer, surplus store or online.


This works well for those who are less concerned with the space and weight of their medical kits.

These also come in different sizes, shapes, and colors for storage and color-coding.

Additionally, Tupperware is relatively cheap and accessible anywhere with a grocery store.

Zip Lock Bags

These are excellent for a variety of functional purposes. They can be used for arranging and labeling drugs or different sizes of bandages.

Use a sharpie to label them clearly.

Zip-lock bags are also effective at containing spills so that leaky soap or iodine bottle doesn’t taint the rest of your emergency survival kit.

A good rule-of-thumb: if it can leak, keep it in a zip-lock bag.

Pill bottles

These bottles are great for storing medication.

They are also extremely useful for keeping Band-Aids and other small components organized.

They are cheap, reusable, and recyclable. 

Keeping Yout Kit Updated 

So, the contents have been acquired and organized. The container has been chosen and packed. And you are prepared to deal with a medical emergency to the best of your ability. But the work doesn’t stop there.

Much like a plant, or a pet, your medical kit needs regular attention and updates. Medicines expire, and it serves no one if everything in your survival med kit has gone bad by the time you need it.

Be sure to systematically check for expired medicine.

Occasionally, container seals fail, and leakage amongst your supplies is bad. It helps to unpack and repack your entire kit once every few months to take stock and replace whatever is necessary.

Some may find it useful to create your own first aid kit list and keep it with their medical kit at all times. This can help to keep track of what you do and do not have, how much you’ve got, and when certain medications are due to expire.

Devise a system for this step. It can be a major pain to maintain a medical kit and keep it updated if you are sloppy about the process. Be scrupulous and you’ll be prepared.

Below is a long but extremely detailed DIY Tactical Medical Kit Build video (worth watching if you’re serious about building your own medical kit). It may be more advanced than what you’re looking for but you’ll learn a ton about building a tactical medical bag:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Best First Aid Kits You Can Buy

High-quality medical kits can be hard to find at the right price, especially for the really good ones. However, we’ve done a ton of research to find them anyways.

You can purchase one and then customize it by adding extras and personals. This is a very efficient and hassle-free way to build a versatile survival medical kit.

Here are several high quality, professional medical kits ready for any survival scenario:

SURVIVAL Work/Home First Aid Kit

Every component in this survival kit is meticulously labeled. This helps you identify what each item is and what it should be used for.

This helps prevent rummaging through your first aid kit for non-existent items or out of date!

The first aid kit bag is water resistant, durable, strong zippers, and double stitched handles.

There are also belt loops and reflective piping to help find the kit in the dark.

Small First Aid Kit for Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Etc.

This small first aid kit is made out of 600D Polyester. Making it one of the strongest bags in its price class.

This kit includes large stainless steel scissors that can cut through clothing or seatbelts fast.

The kit comes with 100 essential basic life-saving items but still only weighs 1 pound. It’s small enough to fit into your car’s glove box.

It also includes MOLLE compatible straps on the back. This allows you to add to larger bags or your belt. 

The water-resistant bag and waterproof inner laminate bags protect all items from moisture.

Lightning X Extra Large Medic First Responder EMT Trauma Bag

If you’re looking for a complete EMT Trauma Bag without the hassle of building it yourself, this First Responder Bag by Lightning is about as good as it gets.

This bag has everything you can think of organized and ready to go.

However, if you’re new to medical emergencies and survival, then this bag has way more medical gear than you need (or even know how to use).

Adventure Medical Kits’ Trauma Pack With QuickcClot

The biggest perk of this small pack is the waterproof container, which comes with QuickClot, gauze, a trauma pad, triangle bandages, and more.

This adventure kit is specifically designed to respond quickly to control bleeding at the scene before seeking more advanced care. Making it ideal for major trauma for combat and everyday situations.

Durable, waterproof, and reusable packaging will stand up to abuse in the outdoors.

MFASCO – First Aid Kit – Complete Emergency Response Trauma Bag

Emergency response supplies are packed in this sturdy medical kit. Making it an ideal medical kit for natural disasters (Earthquakes, Tornados, Hurricanes, etc.)

This bright reflective bag has several large compartments. 2 front pockets and 2 zippered side pockets. 

It includes basic first aid supplies plus a basic blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, gauze pads, burn gel, eye wash, triangle band-aids, & multi-trauma blood stop dressing.

It contains enough first aid supplies to treat any basic emergency.

Developing Your Survival First Aid Skills

Medical experience is an extremely helpful accessory to this project, but it’s not a skillset that everyone has.

The most important part of building an advanced medical kit is an understanding of how to use what ‘s inside.

Sure, you could enroll in an EMT course at your local community college. Or you could sign up for Wilderness First Responder training. Both of those options are excellent if you have money and time.

You could also take a CPR class or two or even get your hands on something as simple as “Basic First Aid” or even “Medicine For The Outdoors”. Just make sure to read it cover to cover.

But I recommend you check out the medical information product called Survival MD.

Survival MD Training Guide

Survival MDIt’s the only complete medical survival guide for the laymen (like you and me). It shows you how to treat yourself and your loved ones in an emergency when doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals are shut down.

It’s a simple and straightforward, step-by-step program. And you don’t need any medical training… plus: there’s no need for a medical professional to look over your shoulder.

And here’s the best part: You won’t need to spend a bucket load of cash or waste weeks poring over hundreds of pages either. Because there are no weird medical terms to learn!

It’s so easy, a 12-year-old can understand it.

You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes to finally know how to use your medical supplies and protect your family from even the worst medical emergencies.


Unfortunately, it is no cheap endeavor to prepare for a medical emergency. Whether you buy a pre-made survival medical kit, build one of your own or buy one that you improve upon it will likely cost you a pretty penny.

But if things ever go bad and you need to use your survival medical kit, every cent will have been well spent.

A prepared future is a worthwhile investment.

Under the luckiest circumstances, your survival medical kit will gather dust where you store it. You hope that it remains unused (though well-updated).

Emergencies are never fun, especially when it involves severe trauma. And any day you have to break out your tactical medical kit is a bad day.

The best precaution is safety, and the best way to stay safe is to stay prepared. Good luck out there.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post How To Build The Ultimate Emergency Survival Medical Kit appeared first on Skilled Survival.

The Complete Guide To The Best Survival Water Filters

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How To Find The Best Survival Water Filter For You and Your Needs

Best Survival Water Filter

If you had to list the most critical resources in your survival plan, water will always be in your top 3.

Just think about all the ways you use water in your daily life:

  • Drinking
  • Bathing
  • Flushing Toilets
  • Brushing Teeth
  • Cleaning Dishes
  • Cooking

These are all tasks we perform EVERY day!

Now imagine for one minute, it’s gone. Taps dry…

You couldn’t flush your toilets. You couldn’t bath. But more importantly, you couldn’t quench your thirst. The dehydration countdown would begin. You’d be forced to find a different source of water.

And while the image of a crystal clear, pure mountain stream sounds appealing; reality is likely far different in a survival situation.

When you’re in survival mode, you may have to consume water wherever you can find it –

  • muddy puddles
  • algae-filled ponds
  • livestock tanks
  • river runoff
  • roof runoff (i.e. rainwater harvesting)

These sources can be teaming with all kinds of bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.

You need a way to remove these dangerous contaminants for drinking and cooking. You need a survival water filtration plan.

So today we’re going to cover the following survival water filter topics in detail:

  • 3 Types of Survival Water Filters
  • Filtration vs Purification
  • Critical Survival Water Filter Factors
  • Best Inline Survival Water Filters
  • Best Small Group Water Filters
  • Best Large-Scale Water Filters
  • Simple DIY Gravity Filter
  • Water Filtration Best Practices
  • Survival Water Action Plan

3 Types of Survival Water Filters

There are 3 main types of survival water filters. Each type works best for different situations and setups.

So let’s quickly go over them in general now. Then we’ll go over what we consider the best water filters for survival later.

In-Line Water Filter

Win A Free LifeStrawIn-line water filters are basically small, portable, hollow tubes with filter medium inside.

Think of them as a large straw where the easiest way to use one is to suck (just like a straw).

The sucking action pulls water through the interior filter medium and removes harmful contaminants. Simple but effective.

The ones we will be covering later (Sawyer Mini & LifeStraw) are both lightweight, portable, packable and are ideal for a single person on the move.

Hand Pump Water Filter

MSR MiniWorks Filter 1Hand pump water filters are a larger tube with filter medium inside. Since they are larger than inline filters, sucking is no longer effective. Instead, they are built with hand pumps.

The pumping action pulls water through the filter medium to clean the water of contaminants.

Hand pump water filters are larger than inline personal filters. Not too big to pack and carry but bigger and slightly heavier. They can also process more water faster than inline filters.

So they are ideal for small to medium-sized groups on the move.

Gravity Fed Water Filter

LifeStraw Mission Water Filter 1Gravity fed water filters are systems take up the most amount of space to set up. The filter itself can be small but you need a reservoir of water above the filter and a collection reservoir below it.

That’s because gravity filters are passive. You set them up and let them work via gravity while you go away and do other things.

You don’t have to suck or pump to filter the water, instead, gravity does this for you.

Again, the filter doesn’t have to be large, but the setup is. So this type of filtration system is not ideal for travel.

Heck, many of the popular gravity fed systems are not mobile at all and are better suited for a countertop.

Due to the passive filtering and the setup size, gravity fed water filtration systems are best for large groups who are staying put.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Filtration vs Purification

First, a little terminology lesson.

I’m going to be very deliberate with my use of two words. So pay attention because they mean very different things in the world of water treatment.

Term 1 – Filters

“FILTERS” are mechanical devices that remove particles from the water.

They’re rated by the size of the LARGEST particle that’s able to pass through the filter pores.

Most filters are rated in microns (1/1000000th of a meter). So a 0.2-micron filter can safely remove the majority (i.e. 99.999%) of bacteria, protozoa, and sediments.

Term 2 – Purifiers

“PURIFIERS” may or may not remove particles. Instead, they render dangerous contaminants inactive.

Purifiers add a layer of protection against viruses. It kills viruses which could slip through all but the smallest filters.

You can purify water through the use of UV light, chemicals, or mechanical filtration.

Also, some purifiers contain secondary treatment (usually activated carbon or chlorine). These secondary treatments remove dissolved chemicals, taste and odor.

In today’s article, we are primarily focusing on water filtration, you should check out our water purification article as well.

The bottom line is that the simplest, most cost effective two ways to purify water are to 1) boil it or 2) add water purification tablets to it.

Nasty Backyard Pool Water

Critical Survival Water Filter Factors

There are a lot of factors which go into the selection of right water filter system for you.

You have to think and plan for future use. Keeping in mind your needs may change over time and as you travel, so it’s often best to have a couple of options available.

Also, for such a critical resource as water, I always have backups for emergencies.

With this in mind, here are the most important aspects to consider in your search for the perfect survival water filter.

Source Water Quality

The most important factor to choosing a water treatment system is; “What do you need to remove from my water?”

If you’re near the water source (i.e., glaciers, cold springs, snowmelt), you’ll need very little treatment.

In these locations, the water is mostly pure. It has had little chance to become contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

These situations are ideal for a basic water FILTER.

But, if you’re filtering near farms, cities, or swamps (where most of us live) contamination is more likely. Upstream human activity has probably contaminated the water to some degree.

So you’ll need more and better treatment than a basic filter.

Plus, you’ll also want to purify the water as well to remove viruses, chemical runoff, and any bad tastes and odors.

Group Size

Another critical factor is the size of the group you plan to provide with clean water.

If you only have to supply for your own needs, you may be able to get by with a lightweight inline filter or filter straw.

They’re cheaper, lighter, and take up less space in your pack.

If this expands to a small party (2-5 people), a personal filter no longer makes sense. Instead, you’d be better served by a small pump water filter.

They’re faster for filling several water bottles, and you can take turns pumping water.

If you plan to make camp in one place for a while, gravity-fed filters are a good option. They remove much of the effort of treating lots of water. They can provide gallons a day as long as someone keeps adding raw water.

The downside is they’re bulky and sometimes heavy. But you can’t beat the convenience of water at the turn of a tap in camp.

Weight and Size

A lot of our survival plans involve being mobile, even if only while we make our way to a bug-out location.

The smallest in-line filters weigh nearly nothing and can fit in the tiniest of pockets. But, as you move into larger systems, the weight and pack size can add up.

The larger pump-style and gravity filters are great options for a cabin or vehicle, but won’t work in a pack.

It all comes down to weighing the technology against your needs. You’ll need to understand the tradeoffs to develop your survival water filter plan.


Finally, we all know quality survival gear doesn’t come cheap.

When comparing water treatment systems, be sure to check the specifications carefully. Two seemingly similar filters can have wildly different prices.

There’s a significant difference between a 1-micron “filter” and a 0.2-micron “purifier.” They are different regarding function and cost, even if they come in similar packaging.

That said, sometimes a simple filter is all you need. In these cases, paying more for a high-tech purifier leaves you with less for other supplies.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Best Inline Survival Water Filters

For most, the first line of defense in water treatment systems is a personal filter to take care of their own needs.

Everyone should have a personal filter in their pack at all times, even if you’re traveling with a group. If your group needs to split up, you don’t want to strand anyone without access to water treatment.

With the ultra-lightweight options nowadays, there’s no excuse.

Everyone should add a little bit of water filtration insurance to your pocket or pack.

LifeStraw Water Filter

Drinking With A LifeStrawIn the past, we’ve detailed the LifeStraw personal straw filter.

These are impressive little filters that can treat up to 1000L of water. Using a LifeStraw is as simple as, well, drinking from a straw.

Their 0.2-micron filter material is effective against waterborne bacteria and parasites. Plus, they don’t need any extra chemicals or moving parts to function.

They’re only 2oz, and just under 9″ long, so they fit in any corner of your pack – or even a coat pocket. And, at this incredible price, they’re easy to stock up on for a group.

However, the LifeStraw isn’t the only personal filter on the market.

Sawyer Mini Filter

Sawyer Mini Inline Water Filter 1I’ve recently become a big fan of the Sawyer Mini Filter.

This tiny water filter can process up to 100,000 GALLONS of water through a 0.1-micron filter.

Unlike the LifeStraw, the Sawyer Mini has hose adapters on either side. This design allows you to a large variety of water retrieval options.

For example:

  • Splice it into your hydration pack
  • Convert it to a gravity filter
  • Use a small piece of hose to gather water out of a small crack

Plus, it has a threaded end which screws onto a small bladder (or any soda bottle) to let you filter and drink on the move.

It also only weighs 2oz and is only 4″ long.

Again, for this price, it’s an excellent survival water filter for daily use or emergencies.

Best Small Group Water Filters

When you go from a single person to a group, a personal water filter alone may not be practical. In this case, it’s often helpful to transition to a pump-style water filter or purifier.

They are typically about the size and weight of a 1L water bottle.

This weight increase makes it harder to carry, and it’s not practical for everyone in a group to have one.

But with a group, you can share and distribute the weight of other supplies. One person can carry the group water filter, while someone else packs more food. This distribution helps the group to even out pack weights accordingly.

There is a wide range of filter options on the market. From the simple sub-$100 filters to more advanced purifiers costing over $300.

It comes down to understanding your survival needs the likely conditions you’ll encounter.

MSR MiniWorks Purifier System

On the less expensive end is the MSR MiniWorks EX purifier system. This system combines a filter and a purifier for better virus protection.

Plus, the MSR MiniWorks (and most MSR products) commit to designing field-serviceable equipment.

In this case, you can disassemble the entire filter without tools. A toolless disassembly allows you to clean and replace the filter core anywhere.

In fact, regular cleaning of the surface of a ceramic filter core (via a scrub pad) helps keep the water flowing.

The filter/purifier cartridge is good for about 2000L, after which you’d have to replace it with a fresh one.

MSR MiniWorks Filter 1While the cost of entry is low, the filter replacement costs will add up over time. Filtration costs are even more of an issue if you depend on the MSR MiniWorks for everyday use.

Also, the two-step treatment workflow is a bit clunky. However, you can decide whether you feel virus treatment drops are necessary. Then conserve them for the times they seem justified.

The MSR MiniWorks EX purifier is ideal for small group water treatment. Perfect as a temporary portable filter (traveling to a cabin) that won’t see a ton of use and you’re on a tight budget.

MSR Guardian Purifier

For longer-term and worst case water situations, check out the MSR Guardian purifier. It’s another decent option, though it is a bit more expensive.

The Guardian is a mechanical filter purifier.

Mechanical filters don’t rely on any added chemicals. It uses a tiny filter pore size (10x smaller than the MiniWorks EX). And this filter removes microscopic viruses from the water.

In the past, mechanical purifiers were incredibly quick to clog with sediments.

But MSR has found a way to deal with this limitation. They now divert 10% of the water on each pump stroke to flushing the filter element.

This design allows The Guardian to remove the tiniest viruses without sacrificing flow rates.

In fact, it maintains flow rates more than double what you find in comparable filters. So when you’re filtering for a large group, that equates to a LOT of saved time and effort every day.

I’ve heard stories of people returning their Guardian because they pumped too easily! The users couldn’t believe the water was actually going through the filter.

Having used one on a couple of trips, it certainly made me double-check at first as well.

In addition to filtering smaller particles, The Guardian is rated for over 10,000L. That’s more than 5x the MiniWorks EX.

This massive volume helps to offset much of the cost difference.

If your group plans to be on the move and encountering suspect water sources, the MSR Guardian is an excellent survival water filter.

Best Large-Scale Water Filters

In the world of survival, having a permanent (or even semi-permanent) camp is indeed a luxury.

But, with a good plan and essential camping equipment, it’s a great way to conserve resources and energy.

On a long trip, even a single no-travel day can feel like a vacation from the everyday routine of breaking camp.

With larger groups, one of the first resources to secure is an abundant supply of clean water.

Sure, you could sit and pump gallons and gallons of water through a hand-held filter. But it’s far more efficient to set up a gravity filter.

A gravity filter allows you to go about other camp chores while your water takes care of itself.

LifeStraw Mission Purifier

One of the more portable gravity filters, the LifeStraw Mission purifier. This unit combines a 0.02-micron filter purifier (0.02 not 0.2) with either a 5L or 12L reservoir.

The reservoir is like a dry bag, with a roll-top seal and a hose port on the bottom.

The LifeStraw Mission also contains a handy pre-filter. That way you can use murky water but remove the larger sediments to prevent clogging of your primary filter.

From there, the water flows through a modified version of the LifeStraw filter. But, unlike the LifeStraw, this model includes a backwash valve for cleaning.

LifeStraw Mission Water Filter 1The LifeStraw Mission system gives you up to 3 gallons of fresh water per hour. That 3 gallons with no effort on your part except to fill the reservoir and hang it.

When not in use, the whole system packs down into a small stuff sack and weighs less than a pound. It’s a tremendously useful turn-key system.

The LifeStraw Mission is an inexpensive way to provide bulk amounts of filtered water for a group camp.

MSR AutoFlow

Another gravity filter option is the MSR AutoFlow. This unit provides much higher flow rates (1 gallon in about 3 minutes) through a 0.2-micron filter.

But that high flow rate comes at the cost of virus protection.

If you’re in a pristine environment in the wild, the MSR AutoFlow is a great option for filtration.

AlexaPure & Berkey

If your survival shelter is permanent, check out AlexaPure and Big Berkey. These units have become popular in homes as an everyday modern kitchen appliance.

These gravity filters consist of stacked stainless steel reservoirs and high-quality ceramic filters.

Yes, they are more expensive, bulky, and heavy. But, they can withstand years of daily use with only occasional filter changes.

They also provide convenience at the flip of a spigot.

Another feature people tend to like about the AlexaPure or Berkey systems is how sleek they look.

You wouldn’t want to hand a dry bag and inline filter up in your kitchen for everyday use, right?

But with a sleek stainless steel container, they can look great sitting on your countertops.

Simple DIY Gravity Filter

Of course, there are those out there who want to keep costs to a minimum and aren’t afraid of DIY.

If that sounds like you, building a gravity filter from a Sawyer Mini is simple.

There are several ways to set up a gravity filter but they almost all use:

  • an elevated reservoir (a bucket, bladder, or tank)
  • a length of tubing
  • an inline filter (like the Sawyer Mini)
  • a second reservoir for clean water

Seriously, that’s it!

Plumb a valve into the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket (large elevated reservoir). Then attach several feet of hose to your inline filter. Let the water drip into a second 5-gallon bucket (or bottle, or whatever).

Voila! You have a simple, inexpensive gravity filter.

The greater the elevation between the reservoir and the filter, the more pressure.

Pressure is what you need to force the water through the filter element. The good news is a few feet is usually enough, but more will help to increase the flow rate.

A simple gravity filter can filter at the same rates as the commercial version, at a fraction of the cost.

Finding and Purifying Water Survival Skill

Water Filtration Best Practices

No matter what type of water treatment system you choose, there are some best practices.

Techniques you should use to make it work as smoothly and efficiently as possible. These best practices should become simple habits when you’re filtering and treating water.

Water Source Selection Matters

First off, this is critical, don’t make your filters do any more work than they have to.

Try to find the cleanest, most transparent water available to you. Avoid muddy water and water with visible pollution if at all possible.

The manufacturers filter ratings are all based on a generic “bad” water specification. But that’s usually a whole lot cleaner than something like a stirred up muddy puddle.

The more material you put into your filters, the faster the pores will clog. Soon you’ll notice a drop in flow rates and an increase in the effort to move water through the filter material.

Eventually, they’ll clog so severely you won’t be able to use the filters at all.

Sometimes you don’t have any options though, and this is where pre-filtering your water can help.

I keep a small piece of filter sponge, a survival bandana, and some elastic hair ties with my water filter. That way, when I encounter silty water, I always have a prefilter with me.

To prefilter the small debris, I place the filter sponge over the filter inlet. Then I cover it with at least one layer of the bandana and wrap the whole thing with a hair tie.

This setup creates a DIY prefilter to remove the sand, muck, and leaves before it enters the filter inlet.

The prefilter reduces the work my filter element has to do and extends the filter’s useful life.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

One common mistake I see people make with water treatment systems is cross-contamination.

They allow raw water to drip onto the clean water end of the filter. This means the contaminants can pass on to your next batch of treated water.

This is why most commercial filters have clear labels or color codes to let you know which end is which. Many also include protective rubber caps for both ends to reduce leakage after use.

If you’re careful not to cross-contaminate, you reduce your risk of waterborne illnesses.

Take Time To Learn Maintenance

Take time to read and follow the maintenance instructions for your treatment system.

Some need to be flushed with clean water after each use. Others only require this if you plan to store the filter for extended periods.

Some filters need to be scrubbed instead of flushed to prevent clogging. Other systems do it automatically.

Many hollow-tube filters (LifeStraw, Sawyer, MSR Guardian) are susceptible to freezing. If you leave trace amounts of water in them during sub-zero temps, they will not work again until they thaw.

Others with ceramic filters can crack if frozen.

Most instructions are simple and quick reads. But following them to a T can extend the life of your water treatment system.

Don’t skip them just to save a couple of minutes.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Action Plan

Survival Water Action Plan

As you can tell, there are a lot of options out there for water treatment.

These are just a few of the brands we’ve tried, but they represent a good cross-section of the market. We hope they give you an example of how they work and their differences.

From here, you’ll have to think about your survival water plan.

Remember, clean water is one of the most crucial elements of your survival plan. From cooking to cleaning, and staying hydrated, everything stops without life-giving H20.

There are lots of ways to make sure your plan doesn’t leave you without clean water. And I highly recommend a good backup (or two) just in case.

Honestly, if you want the most options at the best price, pick up a couple Sawyer Mini’s. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.

You’ll have a personal water filter with a massive 100,000 filter lifespan. Plus, you can use it to create a simple group gravity water filter as well.

It’s the easiest, most cost-effective way to cover all your bases regardless of the type of emergency you’re dealing with.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post The Complete Guide To The Best Survival Water Filters appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Portable Camping Toilet – A Wilderness Luxury Worth Taking

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A Guide To Help You Find The Right Portable Camping Toilet For Your Next Camping Trip

Camping Toilet

No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, eventually you’re going to need to use the bathroom.

It is a simple fact of nature: people poop.

In our day to day life, that fact doesn’t tend to cause a whole lot of problems (although they aren’t unheard of). But in survival, traveling or camping it can present a unique challenge.

Most often people dig a hole in the ground, do their business, and call it a day. But that doesn’t have to be your only option.

Maybe you’re not so fond of squatting in the woods over a hand-dug-turd-grave. Trying to quickly take care of business before some random hiker spots you.

You don’t have to forsake the comfort of a toilet seat when there’s no access to a bathroom, porter john, or outhouse. You can bring that comfort with you. You can have the peace of mind of a toilet wherever you go.

You should invest in a portable camping toilet.

Today we’re going to cover all aspects of camping toilets, the good, the bad and yes, the ugly:

  • How Portable Camping Toilets Work
  • What To Look For In A Camping Toilet
  • Benefits Of Using A Camping Toilet
  • Best Camping Toilets
  • Camping Toilet Tent, Bags, and Toilet Paper
  • Pooping In A Pinch – Creative Camping Toilets

Camping toilets are becoming a camping essential among campers, RV-ers, and survivalists. They make pooping in the wild an easy, mess-free, carefree, worry-free experience.

Camping toilets have been around for a long time. But only in recent years have they come into their own as a useful survival sanitation and outdoor utility item.

Our advancing technology has made it possible to craft portable camping toilets. Nowadays they are light, compact, and extremely useful in the bush.

So no matter what neck of the woods you happen to be in, you can do it from the comfort of your own throne.

There’s one thing you need to keep in mind. We’re talking about camping gear you’re going to become intimately familiar with.

So don’t throw your money at the first camping toilet you find. NOT ALL TOILETS ARE CREATED EQUAL. And with so many options it can be a tough choice to make.

Especially if you’re buying one online and don’t get a chance to try out your camping toilet in person.

You can’t “try” a camping toilet until after you buy it, right?

Still, do your research and look for one that meets all your needs. This guide has everything you need enter the world of portable camping toilets.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

toilet bucketsHow Portable Camping Toilets Work

The idea of a portable, lightweight, compact camping toilet is groundbreaking to some. And, perhaps even life-changing for others.

But the tech behind these camping toilets is not earth-shattering – in fact, they’re insanely simple.

Most camping toilets consist of just –

  1. a seat
  2. something which props the seat up above the ground
  3. a catching system

and…that’s about it!

Almost every portable camping toilet on the market requires that you use waste bags. That way you can easily remove the deposits. Otherwise, you’d have to clean the inside of the toilet, which can be a nasty task.

Simply set the toilet up, sit yourself down, do what you gotta do, then remove the waste bag afterward. That is it. Easy, efficient, and comfortable all at once.

survival toilet

What To Look For In A Camping Toilet

As with any tool, there are some key characteristics every good survival toilet will have.


The portability of a camping toilet is one of its most essential features.

If it were easy to bring your own toilet straight from home, you would, right? But the fact is, traditional toilets are not portable.

And even among ones that claim to be “portable”, they’re still cumbersome.

That’s why it’s so important to find a compact and portable camping toilet.
Because f it’s too heavy, you won’t take it with you. 

For example –

  • Can you fold it down?
  • Is it small enough to pack away into a cabinet or closet?
  • How much space will it take up inside your vehicle?

These are questions you should be asking yourself as your shopping for the right camping toilet.


This goes along with portability (ok, it’s basically the same thing), but a heavy camping toilet is no good.

Even at a modern campsite, and more so in the backcountry or a survival situation – the lighter, the better!

Minimalistic Design

The more bells and whistles your camping toilet has, the higher odds of a malfunction. Also, the fancier the toilet is, the more cumbersome and less packable it is going to be.

When shopping for a portable camping toilet, zero in on minimalistic options.


No wobbly thrones allowed. The last place you want to worry about balance and support is on the toilet.

A camping toilet needs to be robust and handle your weight, without question.

Low Maintenance

This is one camping tool that NEEDS to be easy to clean. If it has nooks and crannies or requires instructions to wash, it’s not a going to be an enjoyable toilet to own.

The easier it is to clean, and keep clean, the happier and healthier you’ll be.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Benefits Of Using A Camping Toilet

The situations when a portable camping toilet comes in useful are too many to list.

There are millions of circumstances when these little porter-pots can save your butt. But here are just a few of the best reasons why using a camping toilet is so beneficial.

No More Digging Cat Holes

If you’ve been camping and woke in the night with a bowel emergency, you know what a desperate situation that is. Time is of the essence!

Good luck trying to find a shovel, hike to the bush, locate a spot, dig a hole, squat and relieve yourself. With a portable camping toilet, all those difficulties are avoided.

No holes, no shovels, no running off into the woods to find a spot. Just grab the toilet take a seat and take care of business.

Avoid Nasty Public Outhouses

Porter johns and outhouses can be disgusting places.

Occasionally you’ll find a decent one – but everyone’s been in one of those foul and repulsive ones.

The ones that wreak of human waste and teaming with flies and spiders. Perhaps it was so disgusting you just couldn’t do it and held it until home instead.

Well, with a camping toilet, you no longer have to rely on those places because you’ve got your very own private toilet.

Familiar and Comfortable

Everyone likes to be comfortable when they’re pooping. And toilet seats make a big difference in this department.

Especially when you have got a toilet seat that you have known and used for a long time. You’ll build a unique relationship with your camping toilet.

It’s like traveling with an old friend, one who knows exactly how to put you at ease.

Best Camping Toilets

Many companies make camping toilets. Some toilets are big; some are small, some are odd looking. But they’re all different in some way, shape or form.

Here’s a list of some of the highest rated and most popular portable camping toilets available today:

Emergency Brand Snap-On Toilet Seat

This is one of the most straightforward, most versatile options out there.

This simple snap-on toilet seat can be attached to almost any regular 5-gallon bucket or pail.

It transforms any receptacle into a toilet!

And it’s about as minimalistic as these things get. Just snap your Emergency Brand toilet seat onto a bucket, do your thing, and once done, tuck it back into storage.

Folding Commode Portable Toilet

This option is slightly more involved than a snap-on toilet seat.

This folding commode consists of a seat and a folding 4-legged frame that can support a body-weight of up to 450 lbs!

At only 3.5 lbs itself, it’s very lightweight and easy to pack into a small space. To use, place a receptacle under the seat and get to it.

Reliance Hunter’s Portable Camouflage Loo

This camping toilet was designed with hunters in mind (hence the camo).

When you’re sitting on this bad boy, you’ll blend into the foliage. But to stay hidden, you’ll need to keep quiet as well, which can be a challenge for some of you out there.

This is a very affordable option as well – especially if you’re not keen on spending much on something you’re just going to crap in any way.

And with a 5-gallon capacity, you never have to worry about not having enough volume to handle your waste. Even if your out hunting with a few buddies.

Black Pine Sports Turbo Toilet

This popup design makes it perfect for all outdoor adventures including camping, hiking, boating or even long road trips.

Just remove the entire system from the zippered storage bag and pop it open. It has a surprising maximum weight as well at 330 lbs.

It also has odor control and can handle up to 2 liters of waste.

Leopard Outdoor Directional Portable Camping Toilet

Here’s where luxury meets minimalism and utility in toilets.

This futuristic portable toilet features:

  • a comfortable seat
  • a 3-gallon storage capacity
  • and a three-way flushing system!

It’s genuinely a portable toilet of the future.

But, that technology comes at a price:

  1. First, it’s not as light as other models, weighing in at 11.3 lbs.
  2. It also costs a fair bit more than the minimalistic options on this list. But you’re paying for higher-quality and technology.
  3. It also doesn’t store as easily as the foldable options, but again, it’s a tradeoff.

For some, this might seem like an absurd option, but to others, it may be the first sensible one on this list. To each their own.

This review made me laugh (when the dude twiddles his thumbs):

DIY Camping Toilet

For those of you out there who want to make your own dookie bucket – here ya go:

Camping Toilet Tents, Bags, and T.P.

Portable Camping Toilet Tents

Camping toilets allow you to sit while doing your duty but they’re not themselves private.

You’ll still need to carry it outside your campground or use it inside your RV or tent for privacy. But none of those options are very appealing to me.

So instead, you should upgrade your camping toilet experience with a camping toilet tent like the Lightspeed Outdoors Xtra Wide Quick Set Up Privacy Tent.

It’s a lightweight, portable tent designed specifically for portable toilets.

Plus, you can use this privacy tent to change clothes standing up or even take a private camping shower (just remove the toilet first, ok!)

Camping Toilet Bags

Now as far as camping toilet bags go, any plastic bag will get the job done. But, if you want to buy some camping toilet specific waste bags, there are some decent options.

For example, Double Doodie Toilet Bags make for handy waste management.

Cleanwaste also makes some good options. Be sure to look at the specs for your camping toilet before you go buying waste bags all willie-nillie.

Not all bags will fit all toilets. Some camping toilets need specially shaped, and designed bags to hold the waste.

Otherwise, you could be looking at a leaky situation, and that’s a nightmare when poop is involved.

Camping Toilet T.P.

No, there’s nothing wrong with bringing a roll of your favorite “at home” toilet paper.

But if you’re trying to be a minimalist camper and keep weight down, then a pack of Coleman Camper’s Toilet Paper might interest you.

They’re a compact roll that helps to minimize pack bulk and the packaging doubles as an easy-to-use dispenser.

Each case contains at least 65 squares of soft, premium biodegradable tissue2-ply tissue.

But whatever you do decide, don’t forget to pack it. No one wants to revert back to ancient times of using leaves and corn cobs!

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

empty toilet paper roll

Pooping In A Pinch – Creative Camping Toilets

Okay, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: you can poop in just about anything if you are desperate enough.

And, if your outside, you don’t need anything except maybe a bit of privacy.

But you DO NOT NEED a toilet seat with a waste management bag. It’s nice, it’s comfortable, it’s convenient, but it is not necessary.

However, if your ever desperate, with no time to get anywhere else, here’s a short list of last resort toilet options:

Trash Can

You probably won’t want to reuse one after you use it as a toilet. But in an emergency and there’s no toilet, and no time, grab that sucker and do your worst.


In the trenches of WWI, soldiers had few options and nowhere great to do their business. So, they took to crapping in the helmets of dead German soldiers.

They would squat, crap, and chuck the helmet over the banks of the trenches. They became makeshift poop grenades lobbed into no-mans-land. Problem solved.

PVC Poop Tubes

PVC “poop tubes” are a popular option for climbers and hikers. They are lightweight and easily fit in a backpack, or climbing bag while you continue to ascend. Open the tube up, position it carefully and do your business.

When finished, seal the tube back up and pack it out of the wilderness with you. No mess, no pollution, no bags necessary.

Final Word

Few things will change your remote camping experience more than a quality portable camping toilet.

It brings the comfort of a toilet into the wilderness. It eliminates the need to crap in the woods like a barbarian.

Stay civilized, stay regular, stay classy – buy yourself a camping toilet. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Portable Camping Toilet – A Wilderness Luxury Worth Taking appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Best MRE Meals For Emergency Preparedness and Survival

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An MRE meals guide for long-term survival and food storage.

MRE Meals

After water and shelter, food is one of the most fundamental long-term survival necessities.

Food is fuel that keeps your body running like an engine.

It sustains you and keeps you energized. It’s a survival necessity from the day you’re born until your final breath – no exceptions.

Sure, it’s true you can survive weeks without actually eating something. But going even a single day without eating has a discernible effect your energy levels.

And after two days, your cognitive abilities to think clearly will begin to suffer. And we all know, in a real emergency, a clear mind and ample energy are critical for successful survival.

That’s why it is so damned important to keep a stockpile of emergency survival food!

Heck, it may even end up being the best investment you ever make.

Now, ideally, you’ll want stockpile something lightweight, calorie dense, and nutritious. And, most important of all, it must be NON-perishable food.

Lots of non-perishables do not taste very good. In fact, lots of nonperishable survival food tastes like crap.

Foods with extreme shelf lives are usually full of preservatives. Let’s just say these foods don’t make for a great gourmet dining experience.

But, there are some survival rations that DO taste fairly good. Some might even say they taste exceptional (especially relative to other nonperishable foods).

One of the best, nutritious, longest lasting, tastiest survival foods, are MRE meals.

So we’re going to dive into MRE’s and how they can be used for emergency preparations:

  • What Is An MRE Meal
  • What Makes MRE Meals Great
  • Best MRE Meal Deals
  • How To Heat An MRE
  • Maintaining Your MRE Stash
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

mre's for food stockpileWhat Is An MRE Meal?

MRE stands for Meal Ready to Eat, as in, it’s ready to eat straight out of the packaging.

They come in sealed airtight packages to prevent them from drying out or going bad.

These survival rations were originally designed by the U.S. military. MRE’s were developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. They replaced the MCI rations (Meal, Combat, Individual rations). MCI rations were the ones used throughout WWI and WWII.

MRE’s were lighter weight, cheaper, easier to transport, and more nutritious than MCI’s.

MRE’s were for soldiers who got trapped without food deliveries, or mess halls. MRE’s kept those stranded warriors fed, and living to fight another day.

While MRE’s are still relatively new, the need for portable nonperishable military food goes back thousands of years.

“The generally awful reputation of military food dates to ancient times.” – Rebecca Rupp

Providing a supply of nutritious food for soldiers on the move has been an epic challenge throughout history.

The logistics of keeping an army fed on the move often made the difference between winning a war or losing it!

One of the ancient options was to scavenge the local areas, depleting farmers and small towns of their meager food supplies. This practice was frowned upon back then, and even more so today.

Hence, the modern day armies figured out a new means to feed an army on the move without stealing from civilians. MRE’s are the most recent solution to this ancient problem.

MRE Mass Popularity

However, with the insane utility of MRE’s, they quickly became popular among the civilian world as well, especially with:

  • Hunters
  • Backpackers
  • Campers
  • Hikers
  • Bikers
  • Fishermen
  • Etc.

Basically, anyone and everyone who spends long hours outdoors.

They’re still one of the most popular forms of survival food today.

Even humanitarian and government disaster response groups have adopted MRE’s. They hand them out to victims of natural disasters and national emergencies.

MRE’s are fantastic, and you should take advantage of the fact that they are so readily available today. So stock up because they may not always be as cheap, and as abundant.

Here’s an interesting video of 5 Things You Don’t Know About Military Rations:

What Makes MRE’s Great?

There are a lot of reasons why MRE meals are great.

First: they have a very long shelf life.

They can last for up to seven years on their own, and if kept in cool conditions they can last even longer. Theoretically, if you freeze them, they can last indefinitely.

This long shelf life makes MRE’s decent choice for emergency preparations.

You can store them with your survival gear, in your food cache, in your car, at your bug out location, anywhere! And you can be sure that they will be good when you come back in a year to eat them.

They’re cheap.

Most of the places online that sell MRE meals do so in packs. Usually, you can get between four and twenty per package. And the more you buy in bulk, the cheaper they are on an individual basis.

A single MRE costs around $6-7, but if you buy that same MRE in a pack of twelve, it will cost closer to $4 or $6.

That’s great incentive to buy a lot of these things. The more you have, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Transportation and portability are critical when it comes to MRE’s.

These things were designed to be carried by soldiers over long, hard distances. So, weight and packability are significant factors.

MRE’s are engineered to be light, while still packing a big nutritional punch.

And because of the way they’re packaged, they’re easily stored in a backpack, glovebox, or pocket.

No spilling, molding or mess.

They taste pretty damn good for military/survival rations.

These things do not taste like dried cardboard caked in mud, like a lot of non-perishable meals. Many companies offer different meals and flavors, so it’s not difficult to find one you like.

Some offer full MRE meals (with a variety of flavors), including:

  • entrees
  • side dishes
  • sandwiches
  • sandwich bread
  • desserts and snacks
  • sauces and spreads
  • and even drink mixers

MRE’s make survival a tasty experience. Just because you’re in a shit hits the fan scenario, does not mean you have to eat crappy food.

Best MRE Meals Deals

There are a lot of different MRE meal companies out there, and they all make a similar product. So I have put together the following best MRE Meals Deals going on out there.

Western Frontier 12 Meal Case

These genuine US warfighter rations offer about 1250 calories per meal.

These cases also include flavorful spices, matches, toilet paper, and other survival accessories.

The meals are randomly selected from two different menu options, but come with a variety of

  • Asian
  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Traditional
  • Vegetarian

There’s even an assortment of snacks, dessert, coffee, milkshakes, and beverage powders.

While the packs have an inspection date of 2019, there is no official expiration date. This means that they’ll likely last about 5-7 years on their own.

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Captain Dave’s 12 MRE Meals

This pack comes with 12 entrees (not complete meals, just the main dishes).

There are at least six different meal flavors included with this case. Some are chicken based meals; others are beef based.

This government-approved manufacturer guarantees quality products.

Check out Today’s Price

Western Frontier Ultimate MRE 6 Pack

This case of 6 MRE meals is enough to get anyone through some tough times.

There are approximately 24 different meal flavors that are randomly selected.

They range from chicken and noodles to beef chili, and potato hash browns with bacon.

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Rothco MREs Box A, Genuine U.S. Military Surplus

These MRE’s are genuine US War Fighter Rations with 12 different Meals per Case.

Making this ideal for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and emergency food supply.

Each MRE meal contains a flameless ration heater for a hot meal anywhere you go.

The meals also feature an accessory pack with coffee or beverage powder, matches, seasonings, gum, wet wipe, tissue.

Designed for maximum endurance and nutrition with average 1250 calories per meal.

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X MRE Meals 1300XT Single Meal with Heater

If you’re just looking to buy a single MRE this is your best option.

Each meal packs a calories punch per meal of over 1,300 calories.

The shelf life states it’s good for at least 5 years or more depending on storage temperature and conditions from date of pack.

Each MRE meal provides the nutrients & caloric value of a complete meal. XMRE can be eaten anytime at any place.

The food is pre-cooked and can be eaten hot or cold, with a flameless heater included – just add water.

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Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Assorted Flavor (4-Pack)

This MRE claims a long shelf life if stored per manufacturer’s directions. Each MRE has a 2012 or newer pack date.

Again this option (as are all the others) good for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and emergency food supply.

Designed for maximum endurance and nutrition with average 1250 calories per meal.

Check Out Today’s Price

At the time of publishing, you could get a FREE 72-Hour Survival Food Kit from Food4Patriots when you cover shipping. Supplies are limited so claim your 72-hour survival food kit right now.

Modern MRE Taste Test

Here’s a video of a modern MRE review. This video gives a solid overview of what you can expect from your MRE’s nowadays:

How To Heat An MRE

Of course, as the name implies, you can open the packaging and start chomping away at one of your MRE’s right away. But a lot of MRE meals suggest you heat the meal before chowing down.

There is nothing wrong with eating them cold and fresh out of the wrapper they just tend to taste better warm.

Some MRE cases will include a heating system; others leave it up to you. So, I thought it might be useful to list a few different methods for heating an MRE up.

Flameless Retention Heater

These nifty little ovens were explicitly designed for MRE’s. If your MRE includes a method for heating it up, it’s probably going to be a flameless retention heater.

It works without the need for matches tinder or fuel.

Just slip your MRE inside of the flameless retention heater pouch, add a teaspoon of water seal it up. Now step back and let the magic unfold.

The water starts a reaction inside the pack and generates heat to warm your meal in minutes.

Boiling Water

Most MRE’s are packaged in a material that is both water and heat resistant, so boiling them is no issue whatsoever. And it’s an easy, efficient method for quickly heating up your food.

Allow water to come to a boil in a pot, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the MRE inside of the boiling water and allow it to soak in there for 5-8 minutes.

Pull it out carefully so as not to burn yourself, and you’ve got a hot and ready meal!

This method is particularly useful in survival situations. That way you don’t require a fancy chemical heating package or a butane stove.

If you have got fire, water, and a pot, you can get that MRE warmed up, no problem.

The Saucepan

Get your hands on a saucepan and a heat source (a fire will do, a stovetop will do better).

Open up your MRE, pour the contents into the saucepan and allow it to heat to the desired temperature. DONE!

The Oven

If you have access to an oven (rare in an actual survival), you can use it to warm your MRE’s.

Just get an oven-safe pan, open your MRE into it, and cook it in the oven at 350-degrees. It takes about ten minutes (or until it reaches desired heat).

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Maintaining Your MRE Stash

Unfortunately, no survival meal is going to keep indefinitely. Even military designed long-lasting MRE’s come with an expiration date.

Knowing this, it’s vital that you keep a close eye on when your MRE’s go bad.

The last thing you want is to bust into your survival food rations only to get food poisoning via a bad MRE. The food you were counting on to stay fresh. Do not let it happen!

The problem is when you are dealing with foods that last for up to 7 years it can be hard to keep close tabs on it. It’s hard to know the precise date when it goes from edible to poison.

You can’t mark an exact date on your calendar.

So what do you do?

You should keep a running list of what you have, when you got it, and when it’s likely to go bad.

A simple spreadsheet will suffice, and you can keep it in your cache of survival foods.

Mine is on a clipboard that I reference every time I add something new to my survival food supply. Be it canned foods, dehydrated goods, bottled water or MRE’s.

Then, when some of your foods are approaching the expiration date, you can single those out. Eat them before they go bad, and then replace them.

In this way, you cycle through the older food supplies and have fresh survival food at all times via rotation.

Also, keep in mind, where you store your MRE’s makes a big difference in how well they keep.

If you stash them on a windowsill in direct sunlight and leave them there for three years, don’t expect them to last. They won’t be good when you eat them.

Cool, dark, dry areas are best for storing foods like MRE’s – think root cellar. You can help them to last even longer than their usual shelf life just by where you store them. Pantries, garages, basements, and closets all work well for this.

At the time of publishing, you could get a FREE 72-Hour Survival Food Kit from Food4Patriots when you cover shipping. Supplies are limited so claim your 72-hour survival food kit right now.

The Final Word

Adding MRE’s to your survival food stockpile is a major step towards self-reliance.

MRE’s ensure that, no matter what happens, you will have food that you can eat to survive. You can rest easy knowing you have an MRE safety net waiting to catch you in a long-term disaster.

They enable you to story savory, high-calorie meals for long periods of time. That way when the moment finally comes you’ll not be the family that goes hungry.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

Top Image

The post Best MRE Meals For Emergency Preparedness and Survival appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Best Neck Knife For Self Defense, Survival and Preparedness

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The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Neck Knife For You

Neck Knife

Before sheaths and folding blades, our ancestors had to come up with some clever ways to carry a blade.

How could they safely take a blade with them every single day in an age before the pocket knives?

One clever and timeless solution to this ancient problem was the neck knife.

By tying a cord around their blade’s handle and wearing them around their necks, they had a weapon close at hand.

It’s both a simple and brilliant.

Few survival tools can double as a functional tool and fashion accessory at once. The neck knife being one of them.

But the variety of neck knives today is staggering and seemingly unending. Unfortunately, not all neck knives are created equal. Some neck knives are great while others simply suck.

Searching for the right neck knife can be a tedious and frustrating process. How do you pick a great one from such a large number of options?

Well, that’s exactly why we wrote this guide. In this article we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • What Is The Neck Knife
  • Brief Neck Knife History
  • Top Reasons To Wear A Neck Knife
  • What Makes A Neck Knife Good
  • The Best Neck Knives
  • Best Neck Knife Uses

neck knife with chain

What Is A Neck Knife

Quite simply, any knife you wear around your neck is technically a neck knife.

Since you carry a neck knife on your person, they also fall into the category of EDC knives. Neck knives are incredibly versatile in form, shape, and application.

Some are big; some are small, some are fixed blade survival knives, some are everyday folders. Heck, some are made more for fashion while others are purely functional.

  • Curved Blades
  • Tanto Blades
  • Combat Knives
  • Multi-Tool Knives
  • Serrated Blades
  • Drop Point Blades
  • You Name It

There are also short neck knife blades, long blades, thick blades, thin blades, etc. But no matter, all neck knives have one thing in common, they’re hung from a cord or chain around your neck.

Neck Knife History

So who exactly invented the neck knife? Sadly, that’s something we will never know. It’s one of those small historical facts lost forever.

Regardless, things have come a long way since those first, primitive neck knife. But the technology and the idea behind it have not changed.

No matter how high-tech and fancy the blade gets, the basic idea of the neck knife remains the same.

Many people carry a neck knife to this day, some tens of thousands of years after the invention was conceived. Because anything that remains popular this long has got something going for it.

It’s an accessory that can save your life. And when it does, you’re going to thank the mystery caveman who invented it.

tonife fixd blade neck knife

Top Reasons To Wear A Neck Knife

This could be a very long list – because when it comes to neck knives, there’s a lot to love. But, for the sake of brevity, I’ll try and limit this conversation to just the most significant advantages.

Always With You

This is the best reason to carry a neck knife.

No pockets, backpacks, belts necessary because everyone’s got a neck. Just sling your neck knife around your head, and it will always be there, hanging right by your heart.

And likely the main reason our ancestors invented them in the first place.

Quick Easy Access

When it’s hanging around your neck, it is always within easy reach. You cannot lose it; you cannot leave it somewhere, you won’t accidentally drop it.

The neck knife is always within arms reach, ready to be slipped out of its sheath and used. Ready for survival, self-defense, or any purpose you run into.

Can Intimidate Threats

If a threat sees you’re carrying a blade around your neck they know immediately you’re armed.

Most people are less likely to confront someone who’s visibly outfitted with a dangerous weapon.

Can Attract Attention

Neck knives are badass – plain and simple. No matter if you’re a woman or a man if you are wearing a neck knife it sends a clear message:

  • I am armed.
  • I am dangerous.
  • Ready to survive no matter what.

Wear your neck knife out and about, if you want some added attention (good and bad).

Or keep it hidden if attention is not your thing.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

What Makes A Good Neck Knife – Good

There are a few key characteristics of a good, functional neck knife. No matter how it’s shaped, how large it is, or who makes it, if it has the following qualities it’ll serve you well.


Any neck knife that breaks as soon as you use it is not going to cut it for survival.

That’s why you choose one be made from high-quality materials, to resist wear tear and lots of abuse.

There are a lot of cheapo-neck knives out there that are more of a necklace than a functional, usable knife.

So be wary when you’re buying – read reviews, and test the blade yourself, send it back if it doesn’t meet expectations.

Also, if you want a neck knife for survival, then look for one that’s got a thicker blade so you can use it for abusive tasks such as batoning.


Because neck knives come in different shapes, sizes and styles, some end up being unwieldy.

A neck knife that’s a full tang oversized ka-bar hunting blade is going to be both bulky and heavy. You can count on that getting in your way more than it helps you out.

Fortunately, most neck knife designs have taken this into account. Most neck knives are lightweight and do not burden the wearer.

That’s the neck knife you want. One that’s so lightweight and compact you hardly notice it’s there, but it IS there ready and waiting.

Compact Tight Sheath

The sheath is as important as the knife itself. 

You want a neck knife sheath that keeps the knife safely tucked away, secure in the sheath. You want the knife to fit snug but not too snug.

If it’s too loose the knife could slip out of the sheath all on its own – not good. But if it’s too tight, then it may become difficult to pull it free.

You also want the sheath to leave a minimum imprint. That way you can wear it under your shirt and keep it hidden out of view.

The bottom line is a neck knife is only as good as the sheath it comes with.

Looks Good

Durability and functionality are first, but after that, you want one that looks cool, right?.

These things are basically necklaces. Yeah, that’s not their primary function, but it plays a role in your purchase decision.

Which means you need to like how looks when wearing it. Thankfully, there are a lot of really bad ass looking neck knives.

The Best Neck Knives

We’ve sifted through hundreds of neck knives out there and came up with this list. It’s a list of the best, most functional, effective, and popular neck knives on the market today.

The Survival Neck Knife From Survival Frog

Survival Neck Knife

This is our favorite neck knife and the one we’ve highlighted in the main image at the top of this post.

It’s our favorite because it’s the perfect size (not too big not too small), its full tang, it’s thicker than most neck knife blades and it’s got an excellent sheath.

A full tang blade is key for survival, unlike pocket knives.

Pocket knives have major weak points on their folding joints. These joints eventually break from hard use… making them useless in a crisis.

Just like a full-sized fixed blade, The Survival Neck Knife doesn’t have structural weak points. It’s made from one, solid piece of cold-forged steel. This full tang runs from tip to tail and will not break.

The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is also much thicker.

On average, The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is 3-4x thicker than a standard pocket knife.

Most pocket knife blades are extra thin to make them lighter.

Saving weight at the expense of strength isn’t going to do a lick of good in a crisis.

Fortunately, at 4mm thick, The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is thick enough for batoning wood, skinning large game, use as a pry bar… and more.

This neck knife’s sheath is made for survival.

The sheath on Survival Neck Knife comes complete with built-in survival tools:

  • Built-in compass and signaling mirror: Built into the case is a detachable compass, and on the reverse is a handy signal mirror.
  • Complete with sharpening stones: No need to buy an extra knife sharpener. On one side of the sheath is a built-in sharpening rod that will easily turn a dull blade into a razor sharp edge.
  • Will start a fire: The other rod on the sheath is a magnesium fire-starter. Scrape the rear of the blade against the rod and a shower of 5,400° sparks will start a roaring fire.

For survival, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better neck knife at this incredible price point.

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Columbia Survival Sherpa Neck Knife

This super-lightweight (1.75 ozs) minimalist neck knife come with a finely honed stainless steel blade.

The handle also functions as both a slotted screwdriver and mini-crowbar.

It comes with a breakable neck chain, and it snaps securely into its black nylon sheath.

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CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife

This deep bellied clip point bowie style blade is just 2.125” long but it looks sort of like the classic hunting knives made famous in the American West.

It comes with a custom glass-filled nylon sheath with a positive detent to lock the blade in place.

That way you’ll be confident it won’t slip out.

CRKT includes a paracord loop for wearing this knife around your neck.

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MTech USA MT-20-14 Series Fixed Blade Neck Knife

This is a full tang; fixed blade survival neck knife is made of 440 stainless steel, matte black, and double-edged.

It comes with a grippy nylon filled injection mold handle which makes it easy to keep ahold of during use.

The knife is 6.5 inches in length (the blade by itself is 2.75 inches) and comes with a nylon sheath and a breakable neck chain.

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MTech USA Mt-665Bk Neck Knife

This wicked looking blade is ideal for combat purposes.

In fact, it’s difficult to find uses for a karambit blade like this one, besides inflicting wounds.

This style of blade originated in Indonesia centuries ago. Today it is one of the most deadly (and frightening looking) blades legally available to carry.

This one is 7.5 inches long overall and comes with a sheath and a length of neck cord to secure it around your neck.

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Spartan Enyo Fixed Blade Fighting Neck Knife Kydex Sheath

Designed for survival, this single-sided blade is versatile and lightweight.

Supplied with a neck lanyard and a self-locking Zytel sheath.

This knife is 5.25 inches in length (with a 2.5-inch blade) and comes with a lifetime warranty against defect or damage.

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Off-Grid Knives, Hawkeye Neck Knife

One of the smallest, lightest weight options, this compact blade is only 5.75 inches long (with a 2-inch blade).

Named for its hawk beak shaped blade. This deadly little knife is useful for self-defense, outdoor, and survival situations.

It has an ergonomically designed handle to fit in your hand, and at only 2.8 ounces you’ll hardly notice holding it.

The blade may be small, but it has both a serrated edge and a curved hawkbit straight edge.

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Tonife Fixed Blade Neck Knife Full Tang

This blade is professionally heat treated which involves heating, freezing, and reheating, making the blade extremely tough with excellent edge retention.

The Tonife Squirrel features a G10 (lightweight, tough, corruption and extreme temperature resistant material) handle over its full steel tang.

It also comes with a Kydex Sheath that comes with a tough as nails ball and chain for wearing around your neck.

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Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife

The Gerber Ghoststrike has a compact, skeletal 420HC steel frame, and blade.

It comes with a black ceramic coating for minimal reflection + corrosion resistance.

The handle is a diamond texture rubber which provides superior grip.

Includes a modular sheath system that can be worn horizontally or vertically making it a great neck knife (or even a boot or belt knife).

Check Out Today’s Price

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Best Neck Knife Uses

If you are thinking about buying a neck knife, this is a perfectly understandable question to ask. When would this knife actually become useful?

Well, there are a lot of answers to that question, and each one depends heavily on the circumstances. But we will go over a few of the important ones (and maybe a few of the more obscure uses).


Naturally, it can come in handy if someone tries to attack you. A typical response for anyone wearing a neck knife would be to whip that bad boy out and stab.

Self-defense is the main reason many people carry neck knives. They offer a fast, easy, small, stealthy, incognito weapon at hand.

This is a big reason why neck knives are excellent accessories for females traveling or walking solo late at night.


When you’re in the wild hunting animals (or even just hanging out) having a neck knife at the ready is handy.

Whether you’re field dressing a kill, preparing food, or carving tools, neck knives are at the ready.

Apocalyptic Weapon

When shit hits the fan, you’re going to want to be as armed as possible. Carrying a blade around your neck is one more place to keep a weapon at the ready.

You never know if or when we’ll all be caught off guard in an end-of-the-world scenario. So wearing a neck knife makes sure you’re never unarmed when that happens.


When out on the water, casting flies and catching fish, you’ll want something to gut or fillet your catch.

Yes, a good fillet knife is better, but when you’re camping or surviving, you might not have one of those with you. So in that case, good thing you have that trusty knife around your neck.

Being Crafty

Maybe you need to carve an arrow shaft or whittle a makeshift survival whistle out of wood.

Whatever crafty purpose you need a knife for, your trusty neck knife is going to be there to help you achieve it.

The Final Word

Most people get so hung up on keeping pocket knives in their pockets. Carrying a fixed blade knife on their belts, or dirks in their boots. But they overlook the advantages of carrying a knife around their neck.

It’s one of the handiest places you can keep a small badass survival knife.

And with modern knife technology, there are tons of options for any survivalist.

Once you start wearing a neck knife, you’ll never stop. The benefits are too great and significant.

Add one to your collection of survival gear, and it may quickly become your new everyday carry knife.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Best Neck Knife For Self Defense, Survival and Preparedness appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Suture Kit – The Forgotten Lifesaving Survival Asset

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How To Find A Survival Suture Kit That’s Right For You

Suture Kit

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it holds you together like a sack.

It keeps your internal organs and fluids from spilling out.

It protects your insides from external forces, and it regulates your body temperature.

But sometimes – often – in survival situations, your skin gets sliced wide open.

Maybe you cut yourself with a can-opener or a knife. Or maybe you hit your head on a rock. Or perhaps you caught a jagged branch in the chest, and now you’re laid wide open.

What can you do?

Without a way to seal a severe laceration shut, you’ll quickly find yourself in a heap of trouble. That’s where a doctor or medical professional comes in handy.

One of those 24-hour medical clinics where you can get immediate help. The ones with local anesthetics and nice nurses who’ll stitch you up with a smile.

But hospitals and health clinics are not resources we can always rely on. In the wild, a battlefield, or the apocalypse, you won’t find such medical conveniences.

You’re going to have to rely on yourself, your survival knowledge, and your survival gear.

That’s why you should own a medical grade survival suture kit.

One you can stash in your bug out bag, or with your survival equipment. It puts you on another level of preparedness.

You should, of course, already have a basic first aid survival kit. And check out this guide to building a tactical medical kit if you want to build your own.

But when you’ve got a nasty cut that needs stitches, you’re going to be glad you packed that extra suture kit.

But for those who don’t know what makes a good suture kit, we’ve compiled this article to help you find the right one. We’ve sorted through all the cheap and crappy ones, and found the best of the best, so you don’t have to.

And if you’re not familiar with the art of sewing human flesh, we provide a brief how-to for stitching up a cut. And even, a couple of ways to improvise sutures in a pinch.

We’ll be covering the following suture kit topics in this article:

  • What Is a Suture Kit?
  • Why Suturing Wounds is So Important
  • The Best Survival Suture Kits For Survival
  • How To Suture (brief introduction)
  • Improvising a Suture In A Pinch
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Surgical Instruments

What Is a Suture Kit?

If you’ve made it this far into the article and still don’t know what a suture kit is; I owe you an explanation.

In the medical world, a “laceration kit” is a set of tools and supplies used to close an open dermatological wound. That is to say, it’s a medical sewing kit, for sewing up human skin.

Paramedics carry them. First responders carry them. Wilderness first responders, firefighters, and military personnel carry them. Even concert venue first aid staff, carry suture kits.

They’re a staple for medical preparation and good for survival preparedness.

But the process of suturing a wound closed is a serious mini-surgery. And it takes both extensive research and practice to suture successfully.

Do NOT buy a suture kit unless you plan on learning how to use it, and are fully prepared to do so. Otherwise, its a useless piece of survival gear.

Attempting to close an open wound, when you have no earthly idea what you’re doing, can be a quick way to go from bad to worse.

Suture Practice Kit

Why Suturing Wounds is So Important

Stitching (or “suturing”) open wounds make it possible for a laceration to heal faster and properly.

Often, if an open wound that requires stitches is left untreated, it will open up again. Without stitches, accidental bumps, scrubs, or rubs will pop a weak scab back open.

This prolongs the healing process and makes the wound more susceptible to infection.

But by suturing the wound closed, you’re providing extra support to hold the skin together. That way so it can heal at maximum speed and efficiency.

This is particularly useful in the wild or in a survival situation where mobility is critical. A sutured cut will stay closed and continue to heal, despite the less-than-ideal conditions. While moving with an open gash or wound is both painful and dangerous.

It can impair your ability to survive, and deplete your limited but vital energy reserves.

The Best Survival Suture Kits For Survival

Suture kits are one of those survival items you don’t really need until you really freaking need one. It very well could sit unused in your backpack for months, even years, without being touched.

But one day, when your hand slips on a survival knife or you gash your leg on a sharp rock, it could make the difference between life and death.

That being said, you want one that you can depend on.

If you pull a suture kit out in your time of need, it shouldn’t be missing any pieces. Or the tools shouldn’t be too cheap to use effectively.

That’s why we’ve identified some of the internet’s highest rated, medical grade suture kits:

Meditraining 32 Piece Suture Kit

This kit has everything you need for suturing wounds.

It comes with a reusable suture pad made of hyper-realistic flesh (for practice). It also includes:

  • Needle holders
  • Forceps
  • A scalpel
  • 12 silk-braided sutures with needles

All these items are packed into a deluxe carrying kit and elastic loops help hold the instruments in place.

It packs easily into a bug out bag or medical kit and is efficiently organized. It also comes with a “best money ever spent, & 100% money back guarantee.”

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Matrix Mixed Sterile Suture Kit

This kit has all the basics to start suturing wounds:

  • Sterile pads
  • Surgical Sutures
  • Forceps
  • Surgical Tweezers
  • A stainless steel surgical needle
  • Four different types of non-absorbable suture threads

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Your Design Medical Suture Accessories

With nylon sutures, a scalpel, forceps, scissors, and a suture driver, you’re ready to start stitching.

This training kit also comes with a silicone flesh suture practice pad.

That way, you can hone your flesh sewing skills before taking them to the field.

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Suture Syringe Medic First Aid Kit

This kit is affordable, practical, highly useful, and extremely compact.

It comes with a variety of different sterile medical supplies including:

  • Sterile gloves
  • A catheter
  • Several syringes
  • Three different sized needles
  • Antiseptic wipes and alcohol swabs

This one and done suture/syringe kit is sold in sealed packages meant for single person use.

This is an extremely affordable addition to your bug out bag, get home bagsevery day carry kits or travel gear.

Pick up a few of them for your different survival bags. That way, no matter when or where you need them, you’ll have suture supplies on hand.

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As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Wound With Stitches

How to Suture (brief introduction)

There are loads of different suturing techniques for sewing shut skin.

It’s been a necessary medical skill for a very long time – roughly 30,000 years in fact! So it’s nothing new.

Cavemen did it, after all, so it can’t be that difficult, right? Not exactly.

Suturing is medical science, and it takes some practice to master the skill. Hence, the suture practice pads included in some of the suturing kits listed above.

Not just that, but there are a lot of needles types and suture threads for various lacerations. It even depends on what kind of cut you’re dealing with and how thick the skin in that area of the body is.

A worthwhile medical textbook will help you choose which threads and needles sizes to use for different situations.

But, no matter what type of needle or weight of suture thread you are using, the basic technique is the same. Here is a brief overview of how to go about sewing someone up:

1. Assess The Injury

First of all, is this something you can handle? Really?

If not, it might be best to wait for a medical professional.

  • Is the cut is too massive for you to stitch up on your own? Seek medical attention.
  • Is there’s too much blood exiting the wound and you can’t work with it? Seek medical attention.
  • Are there are foreign objects in the wound you can’t get out? Seek medical attention.
  • Is it a cut you feel confident you can deal with? Go for it.

Sometimes, though, you’re not going to have much choice in the matter. In a worst-case scenario, where professional medical help is not an option, you may have to try or die…

2. Prepare Everything First

Make yourself (or your patient) as comfortable as possible.

Sterilize all the materials with a sterilizing solution or hydrogen peroxide. Clean the wound with iodine and rinse it with saline solution.

Make sure your needle is affixed to your suture thread, and a knot is tied at the end of it.

Grasp the needle with the needle grabbers vertically (or hold it if you do not have needle grabbers).

Apply a local anesthetic if you have one, to mitigate the pain. If not, warn your patient this is about to hurt like hellYou might have them bit down on a stick to prevent them from breaking their teeth.

3. Start Stitching

Start at the end of the cut closest to the patient’s face, and work away.

Pierce the skin as close to the cut as possible. Try doing this without hemorrhaging or compromising the strength of the stitch.

Loop it down through the flesh, nearly as deep as the cut. You may have to stabilize the skin with a tissue stabilizer to puncture the needle through both sides.

When the tip of the needle is poking out, grasp it with forceps, and pull it through the other side gently. You should try and cause as little trauma to the skin as possible.

The needle should always penetrate the skin at a 90-degree angle to minimize entry wounds. And should also exit perpendicular to reduce exit wounds.

Both sides of the cut should end up looking like mirror images of each other.

4. Tie The Knot

Once you’ve run your suture through, fasten the loop in place with a knot. This is called an “interrupted suture” when you tie off each individual loop.

There are knot tying devices doctors use, but in survival, you won’t have access to such equipment. In that case, the square knot is traditionally used.

Realistically, the knot itself doesn’t matter much, as long as you can trust it won’t fall out or loosen up over time. Stitch every loop through, individually tying each closed as you go along.

Snugly tug on each one to make sure they are not too loose.

5. Disinfect Again, Bandage

Just for the sake of keeping it clean, iodine and saline rinse your recently sealed cut.

The most significant danger of suturing a wound shut is an infection, so do everything you can to prevent that.

Once everything is sterile, bandage the injury with gauze and medical tape. Replace the bandage and clean the wound once a day until it has healed and stops oozing.

6. Removing The Sutures

Once the wound is healed, you are going to have to take out the stitches you put in.

This is not a particularly complex, painful, or delicate procedure. But, you should be careful not to damage the freshly healed flesh.

Using sharp disinfected scissors and tweezers, cut the individually stitched loops. Pull them gently through and out of the skin.

Wipe the wound down with alcohol when done. And that is it! You’ve been stitched, healed, and fixed and now you’re good to go.

Here’s an excellent video showing you several more stitching methods you can practice.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Super Glue Bottle

Improvising a Suture In A Pinch

Even if you own suture kits and have practiced, you might not have what you need in a survival situation, which means you may be forced to improvise.

That’s okay, because, in fact, there are some very effective makeshift sutures out there….

The Super Glue Suture

Cyanoacrylate (aka “super glue”) was widely used by medics in Vietnam to suture wounds shut. And it was highly effective in the field.

Sadly, the FDA never approved it for legitimate use in the states. It was due to fears that the chemicals contained within them were not safe to put in the body. So, the technique fell by the wayside.

But superglue still works wonders when it comes to closing wounds.

It’s a necessary item for any first aid kit, medical kit, and definitely in any suture kit. Super glue is an easy medical-hack that can mimic full-on surgical stitches reasonably well.

I recommend keeping it in mind throughout any survival or wilderness emergency.

The Duct Tape Suture

Duct tape is far from ideal, but it works if you have an open wound and you need to shut it ASAP. And if all you have is a shiny roll of duct tape, use it.

It will work as a makeshift suture, but it’s not going to last very long.

Be careful not to cut off circulation with it, though. It’s best to rip the tape into narrow strips and place them across the wound like steps on a ladder.

Then fortify those makeshift stitches with long strips that run the length of the wound. These should be laid on top of the shorter individual strips.

The Final Word

Suture kits come in handy in the most dangerous and most dire survival situations.

However, they will not serve you unless you really need them, but when you really freaking need them, they will serve you well.

Without a proper suture kit and the knowledge of how to stitch a wound, you may find yourself up a creek without a paddle. Bleeding out and wishing you had bought and packed yourself that survival suture kit.

Don’t let that happen! Prepare yourself today, and thank yourself tomorrow.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Suture Kit – The Forgotten Lifesaving Survival Asset appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Best EDC Knife For Self Defense, Survival and Preparedness

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A Guide To Help You Find The Best EDC Knife For You

Best EDC Knife

When a specific tool’s been used for centuries and found across several continents, you know there’s something special going on.

Knives are the perfect example of such a special tool.

And it’s not like the basic knife design has evolved all that much over time either. No, the idea of a blade (stone and later metal) has been with us since the dawn of man.

Knives have maintained their basic applicability, retained their form, and sustained their usefulness since their creation.

Why? What is so great about knives? They’re just really good at cutting stuff, right?

Well, in a word, yes. Knives get their greatness from the versatility they offer in accomplishing simple functions like cutting, chopping, slicing, stabbing, whittling, carving, etc.

But these functions are essential for all sorts of everyday uses; such as:

  • Self-Defense
  • Cooking Prep
  • Skinning Game
  • General Utility (opening boxes)
  • Shelter Building
  • Entertainment (knife throwing)

And that’s why it’s so important to keep an Every Day Carry (EDC) blade with you at all times.

EDC Knife 1.1

Why Carry An EDC Knife

When you’ve got a pocket knife, neck knife, boot knife or belt knife, you’ve got one of the most ancient survival tools at your side.

But these days, EDC knives are more compact, lighter, and maintain their edges better than knives from the past.

Better than the fixed blade hunks of iron our ancestors had to lug around.

But when it comes to finding an EDC knife, things can get tricky fast.

There are many knife companies making EDC knives today. Trying to find the best one quickly becomes an overwhelming endeavor.

And buyers beware! Not all EDC knives are created equal. Some are designed and built to higher standards of quality than others.

Some EDC knives make incredible survival resources while others are barely a flimsy excuse for a letter opener.

You do not want to waste your money on a product that’s going to fail you when you need it most. That why today we’re going to cover the following EDC Knife topics:

  • Four Types Of EDC Knives
  • Most Important Qualities For Your EDC Knife
  • Best EDC Knife For Survival
  • Caring For Your EDC Knife
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Boot Knife

Types of EDC Knives

There are lots of EDC knives designed specifically for survival purposes while others are made for general application.

But no matter the specific design you prefer, they’re all extremely useful tools. It’s a necessary addition to any survivalist’s belt, pocket, get home bag or your packed bug out bag.

However, you decide to carry it, you must choose the type of EDC knife that will work best for you.

Folding EDC Knives

Nowadays, the most popular type of EDC knife is a folder. This kind of knife simply folds in half to reduce its overall length and size when tucked away.

I’m sure you can see the appeal here.

The only major downside to carrying a folding knife is they cannot take as much abuse as a full tang fixed blade survival knife.

If you try chopping or batoning with a folder, you’ll quickly destroy the knife at it’s weakest point – the folding joint. So for most everyday carry uses, a folder is hard to beat, but don’t mistake a folder for a true survival knife.

Fixed Blade EDC Knives 

Unlike a folder, where you retrieve the knife and flip it open, with a fixed blade knife, well, the blade is fixed. There’s no joints or hinges; no unfolding or flipping it open.

So a fixed blade full tang knife can handle a lot more abuse. Think of it as a mini survival knife.

Now there are different ways to carry a smaller fixed bladed EDC knife. So let’s cover each of those options next.

Neck Knife Carry

A neck knife is typically a shorter fixed blade knife that fits in a slim sheath with a cord and the cord goes around your neck.

The better ones have a thin profile when in its sheath. It also should be lightweight, so it doesn’t become annoying or uncomfortable to carry every day.

Unlike a folder, where you retrieve the knife from a pocket and flip it open, with a neck knife,  you grab the knife’s handle and pull it down to release it from its sheath.

Boot Knife Carry

A boot knife is a small fixed blade knife worn in a sheath that wraps around your ankle or calf. Hence, the term “boot knife.”

You don’t necessarily have to be wearing boots tho.

Long pants work to keep the knife concealed as well, even if your wearing shoes. However, you probably don’t want to carry a boot knife around town in a pair of shorts.

Belt Knife Carry

Next, we have the popular belt knife carry.

Again, this is typically a shorter fixed blade knife that rests in a sheath but in this case, it rides along on your belt.

The biggest downside to this type of EDC knife is that it’s more difficult to conceal.

Now, maybe you don’t want to conceal it? Or maybe you want everyone to know you have a knife at the ready. Or maybe you wear long loose shirts and can still conceal it.

For some, the belt knife is the most convenient and most comfortable way to carry a small fixed blade knife around town.

Also, there’s also a newer type of belt knife hitting the market.

One where the small fixed blade knife is concealed in the belt buckle. These have a quick release clip so you can just grab the buckle, pull and you’re knife is ready to go.

pocket knife on split tree branch 1

Most Important Qualities For Your EDC Knife

As with any tool, there are a few basic components and characteristics you’ll want to look for.

But, everyone’s exact needs and preferences are going to be different for every person. And personal preference plays a big part in picking out the best EDC knife that will work well for you.

You have many factors to think about, from:

  • the weight
  • the shape of the handle
  • the size of the blade
  • the carry location
  • the blade design
  • the handle material

One specific knife might feel great for you and awkward as heck to the next guy. That’s normal. With this in mind, here’s a list of essential features good reliable EDC knives have in common:


Folding knives are exceptional in this regard.

For millennia knives were made with fixed blades that required sheathes for safely. These had to be strapped to a belt or pack. But in the 1900’s, when folding knives hit the scene, it changed the game.

Suddenly, you could put your EDC knife in your pocket, discretely tucked away but at the ready.

Some of the best EDC knives are folders. Not all great EDC knives are folders, but many are. They’ve become popular for everyday carry for a reason.

But short fixed blade EDC knives are compact as well.

Ergonomic Handle

The handle is a critical part of the knife. It’s the part of the knife you’ll be most intimate with, so make sure it feels great in your hand.

It should sit comfortably, and it should be easy to grip. If it feels too small or too large, try another size or another knife.

Don’t compromise here.

A knife that fits perfectly in your hand will help build a bond between you and your survival tool. It should feel like it was made for you.

Locking mechanism (folders only)

On the handle, there should be a button or a sliding clip to lock your blade in place.

I’ve seen people maimed by stray blades accidentally opening in their pockets. It’s essential for your safety that you can lock the blade in place when its folded and extended.

Fixed blade knives don’t have or need locking mechanisms.

Low-Riding Pocket Clip (folders only)

I would argue that the clip of a knife, is every bit as important as the folding mechanism or the blade lock. The clip makes it insanely easy to fasten a knife to the outside of a pack, or into a pocket.

Clips are essential when it comes to EDC knives, but some of them can be a pain.

Some clips are large and bulky and mostly just get in the way. Finding a knife with a nice, low profile clip, is a huge step towards finding the perfect survival EDC knife.

Good Sheath (mainly fixed blade knives)

With neck, boot and belt knives carry options you need to spend as much time researching the sheath as you do the knife. The sheath in these carry locations will make all the difference.

You want a sheath that’s compact but not flimsy and it should have a small profile. It needs to have enough material and size to do its job but no more.

It also should feel snug when the blade is seated.

Lightweight and Durable

There are some incredibly cool looking folding blade knives.

For example, I’ve seen some are made out of hardwood and inlaid with turquoise. Or made out of mammoth bone, with their blades forged from Toledo steel.

While these tools look cool, they are also way more cumbersome than your EDC knife should be.

A knife made out of durable, lightweight materials will serve you far better. Plus, it’ll weigh on you less throughout your day-to-day activities.

There’s a reason they don’t make bejeweled screwdrivers and golden plated hammers. Tools are meant to be used and beat up and worn down; not bedazzled.

If they’re made from precious materials, it compromises the utility of the instrument.

Legal Blade Length

The laws on “how long a knife blade can be” change from state to state and place to place. Some areas only allow knives of specific lengths to be carried on your person legally. While in other places, they might not allow people to carry knives at all.

Researching your states knife laws is an important step in buying an EDC knife.

If you don’t pay attention and buy a knife that’s illegally for open carry, it might get confiscated. Or worse, you might get a ticket for carrying it.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

The Best EDC Knife For You

Here’s a list of the best and most acclaimed EDC knives.

The following weapons have all the qualities listed above. These are very well-made blades you can rely on.

Folding EDC Knives

The Benchmade Griptilian 551

Benchmade knives are some of the best in the world. They are so renowned for their quality that the US military uses them as the standard issue army EDC knife.

I carry this exact blade in my pocket at all times, and it’s the best knife I’ve ever owned.

The thick stainless steel blade folds nicely into a highly durable. Plus, it has an extremely lightweight handle molded in the “griptilian” pattern.

The weight is perfect, and the balance of these knives is impeccable. You cannot go wrong with Benchmade, and this is one of their most popular blades.

The best part about Benchmade EDC knives is the lifetime warranty that they come with.

If your Benchmade blade ever fails, or malfunctions, you can send the knife no problem. Benchmade will work with you to replace the item.

The Kershaw Composite Blackwash Leek

This sleek little EDC knife comes with a 3” blade, and a D2 steel edge, and a very low-profile, reversible pocket clip.

The blade features SpeedSafe open-assist. This flicks the blade open very quickly, with just the touch of a button.

The locking mechanism is located at the bottom of the handle and fixes the blade in place when engaged.

Perhaps the best part about this Kershaw blade is its slim design.

Even when it’s folded into the handle, the knife is extremely slender, hiding easily in a pocket or on a belt.

The Spyderco Civilian

There are few EDC blades out there as wicked-looking as this knife. Its curved blade is serrated and developed for elite undercover law-enforcement agents.

Much like a handgun, this knife is designed for one thing: self-defense.

A mid-positioned back-lock prevents accidental closures/opening. Spyderco is a Colorado company that’s been making top-of-the-line knives for years.

Their products are some of the best in the blade business, and their price-points reflect that. They are expensive.

But you’re paying for extremely high quality and a lifetime guarantee.

Gerber Gator Folding Knife

Gerber is one of the oldest and most reliable knife-making companies in America. Making the Gerber Gator a highly reliable survival tool.

It’s basic, it’s simple, it’s versatile, it’s durable, and it’s authentic.

The handle is covered in a ballistic nylon grip molded to look like gator skin. And the thick, stainless steel blade is edged to perfection.

If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable EDC knife, there are few better options.

Columbia River Knife and Tool

CRKT makes some of the most affordable knives for the best quality. They are the perfect balance between affordability and excellence.

This knife is the perfect example of that.

The handle is made from high-durability textured glass filled nylon scales. The stainless steel blade features a seatbelt cutter on the Carson Flipper. It also includes a tungsten window-smasher on the butt.

The flipper can be pressed for an automatic single-hand opening of the tanto-shaped blade.

This knife is made for function, not for fashion but that does not mean it doesn’t look good.

There are several different handle color options available to choose from.

Neck EDC Knives

If you’re going to trust your life with a knife, it has to be strong enough for the job.

That’s why full tang fixed blades like the Survival Neck Knife are great for survival…

Survival Neck Knife

Survival Frog Neck KnifeFirst off, the Survival Neck Knife’s blade is much thicker than most.

On average, it’s blade is 3-4x thicker than a standard pocket knife. Why? Because most pocket knives are made thin on purpose to make them lighter.

Guess what. Saving weight at the expense of strength isn’t going to do a lick of good in a crisis.

Fortunately, at 4mm thick, the Survival Neck Knife’s blade is thick enough for batoning wood, skinning large game, and even using it as a mini pry bar.

Second, deploying the Survival Neck Knife is easy and frustration free.

It hangs comfortably around your neck, all you do is grab the handle and pull down.

So your blade is ready to go in less than a second.

That sure beats spending 5-10 seconds searching for a pocket knife or fumbling for a blade in a bag. The Survival Neck Knife is superior in a crisis or self-defense situation.

Lastly, the Survival Neck Knife can be easily concealed, making it invisible to the naked eye.

This is a HUGE advantage over carrying the standard fixed blade in a sheath on the hip.

 Just slip the survival lanyard over your neck and slide the Survival Neck Knife underneath your shirt and it’s hidden from sight.

Doesn’t that mean it’ll be hard to grab fast?

Nope, just pull up on the lanyard and the Survival Neck Knife will slide out from behind your shirt.

Ready to do whatever you need.

Not to mention that it’s extremely comfortable to wear. At just 3.2 oz. in total weight, you’ll barely notice you’re carrying this featherweight knife.

It’s the SkilledSurvival team’s most recommended neck knife and it makes for a damn good EDC knife too; especially for survival.

Boot Knives

Here’s the thing about boot knives, they’ve sort of gone out of style.

It used to be one of the most popular ways to carry an EDC knife. However, with the gain in popularity of folders, boot knives are just not as appealing.

Now, many companies call their knives “boot knives” but then they don’t provide a sheath with an ankle wrap to go along with it. To me, that’s not a “boot knife”.

The sheath and the wrap are an essential component. They must be designed and sold together for them to work properly.

So with that said, here is one solid boot knife for those who are determined to carry this way.

Gerber Ghoststrike Fixed Blade Knife Deluxe Kit with Ankle Wrap 

The Gerber Ghoststrike boot knife is compact with a skeletal design. It’s made from 420 HC steel and includes a black ceramic coating.

This coating reduces reflection for better evasion and helps prevent corrosion in harsh conditions.

The handle is textured and rubber for superior grip.

The overall knife length is 6.9 inches while the blade comes in at 3.3 inches.

The ankle wrap is made out of neoprene which offers both a comfortable and secure knife carry position.

Or you can get this knife without the ankle wrap (but still with the sheath) and carry it as a neck knife.

Belt Knife

Now when you think of belt knife, I’m sure you think of a knife in a sheath that can attach to your belt. Because that’s what a belt knife is, right?

Yes, but first I also want to share with you another take on the belt knife I think you’ll like.

Renegade Gear Belt Knife

This is a new take on the traditional “belt knife”.

The knife is completely contained in the belt buckle! Just draw the knife from the buckle anytime, anywhere fast.

It’s an ultra sharp steel knife that includes a serrated blade for sawing action.

Talk about hidden and comfortable to carry – this knife can’t be beat in those categories.

The key here is the belt. If the knife is great but the belt sucks, then who cares right? Nobody wants to wear an uncomfortable belt every day – even if it has a knife.

But the good news is, this belt is great too.

It has super tough webbing and fits all standard pant loops. Plus, it has a locking mechanism to keep it snug all day long without loosening up.

Lastly, you remove the knife without loosening or removing the belt.

Here’s a short introduction video, that show’s you better how this belt knife works.

Knife Sharpening

Caring For Your EDC Knives

Just like any knife, EDC knives need a little TLC from time to time. Maintenance and upkeep are necessary if you want them to continue to perform at their best.

But it’s nothing difficult or complicated. All it takes is the occasional sharpening and regular cleaning. Doing so will make a quality EDC knife last several lifetimes (or longer).


Most EDC knives are made of stainless steel. This makes cleaning them extremely easy.

First, scrape off any crud or grime from the blade (use a surface cleaner, like Windex, to get out stubborn stains).

With a damp rag, you can wipe down the blade and handle. And with a q-tip, you can clean out all the nooks and crannies a typical folding EDC knife has.

It’s also a good idea to oil your knife once in a while. To keep the hinge swinging like it is brand new.

Gun oil works best for this, applied to a q-tip and gently rubbed on the hinge-point (but you can also use WD-40).

Don’t go overboard though! A little oil goes a long way. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil afterward.


Many knife makers will sharpen your knife for you.

If your Kershaw, Spyderco or Benchmade blade is getting dull, send it back to the manufacturer. Let them use their specialized equipment to sharpen it correctly.

This also ensures that the blade is sharpened correctly and evenly.

Of course, this means parting ways with your EDC knife for several weeks.

You can also sharpen an EDC knife yourself, using a multitude of knife sharpeners.

Sharpen your blade every once in a while. Make sure you stay on top of it, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one!

The Final Word

Buying an EDC knife is an important step towards becoming a prepared survivalist.

It’s a tool that serves a vast multitude of purposes, and it fits comfortably inside of a pants pocket, under a shirt, in a boot or on a belt.

EDC knives are an essential tool for anyone who considers themselves a survivalist. But finding the right one can be difficult.

Do your research, shop around, and find the best EDC knife for you.

It makes all the difference in the world carrying an EDC knife. Find one that feels like the perfect fit for your body, your preferences, and your survival needs.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Best EDC Knife For Self Defense, Survival and Preparedness appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Portable Solar Panels – Enjoy Your Outdoor Adventures Worry Free

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Helping You Find The Best Portable Solar Panels For Your Next Great Adventure

There’s been a recent boom in portable solar panels. And their increasing popularity has taken the survival world by storm.

Why? Because they’re so incredibly useful in wilderness and emergency situations. Not to mention how convenient they are for camping and outdoor adventures.

These portable devices turn solar energy from the sun into usable electrical power. Energy to power any device that relies on electricity to function all while on the go.

Portable everyday carry gear such as:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Cameras
  • GPS units
  • Flashlights
  • Headlamps
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Etc.

The key here is the portability of these solar chargers.

People have been installing large solar panels systems for years now. The market for large solar generators has also been on the rise recently as well. And while these systems are no doubt powerful, they are not mobile.

That’s why the latest portable solar panels are so exciting. They allow you to harness the power of the sun with a device that fits in your backpack or pocket!

So today, we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • The Benefits Of Owning A Portable Solar Charger
  • Who Are Portable Solar Panels For?
  • Best Portable Solar Panels For Camping and Survival
  • Best Portable Solar Setups
  • Pros/Cons Of Portable Solar Chargers
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Portable Solar Panel Charging A Phone

The Benefits Of Owning A Portable Solar Charger

Portable Power

So the first reason you should own one of these devices is power on the go.

If you enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, or any outdoor adventure, you should invest in one.

That way, you can keep all your small electronic devices charged and at the ready, just in case. Whether it’s to call a loved one, stay on track with a GPS device or charge some batteries for your flashlight.

Not to mention the benefit of powering a cell phone in an actual emergency situation.

“Free” Power

Next is solar power is “free” power – after you’ve invested in a way to capture it and store it. Sure, portable solar panels cost more than a few packs of batteries, but it’s a just one-time investment.

An investment that will easily pay itself off over time.

After the initial investment, you get to charge your devices anywhere for free.

Backup Power

If you’re a regular visitor of Skilled Survival, you’ve thought about your power failure options. If you haven’t, now is the time!

When the power grid goes down, all your home devices have a finite power life remaining. Once the battery hits zero, it becomes an expensive paperweight until the power comes back on.

All those survival books on hunting and foraging you saved to your tablet? Gone.

The full-color step-by-step survival guides on your laptop? The ones detailing how to build everything from a single night shelter to a full log cabin? Lost without power.

And while GPS satellites will continue to send data, it doesn’t matter if your GPS devices are dead.

So they’re smart for small-scale backup energy systems.

But why should you invest in a portable solar charger and not an extensive roof solar array/battery bank system?

First off, large rooftop solar systems are great.

If you can afford to add them to your home as a backup power system or to get off the grid, you should. But, they’re not portable.

It’s a good idea to have a sizeable alternative energy system for survival. But it’s still helpful to have a smaller scale system for your everyday carry devices.

Who Are Portable Solar Panels For?

Campers and Backpackers

Portable solar charges are great for camping in remote sites or the comforts of a state park.

At either location, you’ve undoubtedly come across times when you’re getting low on power.

Being able to charge up the camera for a few more photos or to boost the GPS for you to follow your trail out is a great option. And as portable solar panels get smaller and more efficient, you’ll hardly notice it in your pack!

Solar chargers are quickly becoming essential gear for camping.

Hunters and Fishermen

Most hunters and fishermen carry at least a cell phone and a flashlight with us into the field these days.

More and more, they’re also carrying camera equipment, rangefinders, and a GPS. That adds up to a lot of different spare batteries and chargers.

A portable solar charger can take advantage of downtime in the middle of the day to charge all your devices.

Backcountry Travelers and Emergency Situations

Every winter, we hear stories of a family outing turned deadly. When someone blindly follows a seasonal road and find themselves stuck in freezing cold weather.

Many times, these people used up their vehicle battery to keep warm. However, eventually, their vehicles become powerless. And their cell phones start dwindling along with their chances of rescue.

Using a portable solar charger to gain a few minutes of cell phone power can be enough to send an emergency text. It can also help ping a cell tower, giving searchers a general search area to focus on.

Best Portable Panels Camping and Survival

For your first solar charger, we think you should consider a small, portable model. Here are a few of the best portable solar charges we’ve used and own.

Survival Frog EasyPower Solar Power Bank (Internal Battery)

Survival Frog Solar ChargerThe EasyPower Solar Bank (from Survival Frog) is dead simple and convenient. No moving parts and the only cords you need are the USB cables for the devices you want to charge.

It works with any device that has a USB port and provides up to 5,000mAh of power. That’s enough to charge a smartphone 1-2 times.

The built-in power level gauge is excellent for tracking your remaining charge. Or estimating how much more solar time you need to top off the battery. And, with the dual USB output jacks, you can charge two devices at the same time!

It’s also non-slip, with molded grips in the sides and rubber caps for the USB jacks. It includes a heavy-duty shock-proof design. This means the EasyPower can handle a beating and keep working.

portable solar panel

The body also includes a large handle at the top, making it easy to hang from your pack or in a sunny spot. They even include a small carabiner to do just that!

The EasyPower only takes up about as much space as a paperback book, 5.5”x3.0”x0.5” and 5.5oz.

It’s a GREAT option for anyone looking for a quick solution to keeping crucial devices powered up.

Lantern Solar Solar Power Bank (Internal Battery)

Lantern SolarThis week, I had a chance to test out the Solar Power Bank, from Lantern Solar.

The width and height measurements of the Solar Power Bank are almost the same as the EasyPower (5.4”x3.0”). But, it’s 0.25” thicker and weighs a roughly 2oz more.

It turns out those couple ounces must ALL be the extra battery.

The stand-out feature of the Solar Power Bank is the 10,000mAh internal battery. This is a massive amount of stored power – enough to charge the newest smartphones nearly four times!

Lantern Solar BankThat power is all accessed via a pair of 5.0V USB ports – one 1.0A and one 2.0A for faster charging on larger devices.

Wrapped around that large battery is a rubberized shell. It also has a small metal clip on the back to hang the unit in the sun or from a pack strap.

It’s not the most secure clip, but it’s enough to position the solar panel while in camp.

There’s also a subtle white panel on the back of the Solar Power Bank, which turns out to be nice diffused LED light. This is good for in camp chores and finding the zipper in the tent at night.

Pressing the power button once will turn on the internal battery status light. This shows you how much charge is left. Holding the button down for a couple of seconds will turn on the rear light. Hold it down again, and the light turns off.

Lantern Solar Charger

Simple controls and easy to do even with gloves.

My only gripe with the Solar Power Bank is the rubber dust cap over the USB ports. It’s not easy to get seated all the way and feels somewhat fragile. It’s also not a very secure cap, so I’m sure I’ll get dirt and grime inside the ports at times.

This is not the end of the world, but I wish the caps were better designed since the rest of the unit seems so well-built.

I’ll see how long it holds up to everyday use, but it’s a very minor issue. One I’ll gladly deal with in favor of the extra battery capacity.

The team over at Lantern was kind enough to provide 100 (20% off) coupon codes exclusively for our readers. Click here and proceed to checkout, then use code SOLARSALE20 to see if there are any coupon codes remaining. But you’ve got to hurry because they’re going to go fast.

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Kit (External Battery)

Goal Zero Battery Recharge KitThe Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Kit is a polished setup consisting of two major parts.

1 – The Guide 10 Power Pack
2 – The Nomad 7 Solar Panel

The Nomad 7 solar panel is a compact little unit at 9″x7″ X1.5″.

It weighs in at about 13 ounces.

That’s slightly heavier than some other comparable units. But that’s offset by extra features and a lot more durability than the competitors.

First off, the two solar panels are well protected in a robust nylon housing.

It folds up with magnet closures and has lots of attachment points to secure the unit.

This makes it easy to hang it outside your pack or clip it to a chair in camp.

On the back of the panel, there’s another nice touch – a zippered cable management pocket.

Opening it up, you find several options for connecting your devices.

There’s a standard USB outlet, providing up to 5V/1A straight to your phone, tablet, or anything else with a USB cord. Next, to that, there’s a 12V “Solar Port” which allows you to plug in a car adapter.

Finally, there’s a “Mini Solar Port,” which plugs into a wide array of Goal Zero products. There’s also a Mini Solar Port input – which allows you to chain together several panels for more power.

The accompanying Guide 10 power pack is more than just a simple battery pack.

It’s a compact battery charger with some nice features. It accepts four rechargeable AA batteries which pop right into the unit for charging.

Once they’re topped off, you can use them in anything that takes AA batteries. Then pop in four more rechargeable AA’s to keep the energy production going.

There’s also an adapter to fit AAA batteries, so if you find you use more of those that will come in handy.

My headlamps nearly all use AAA batteries, so I’ll get a lot of use from this.

The Guide 10 also includes a small white LED bulb. So you can use as an emergency flashlight or for quick light inside the tent at night.

It’s enough light to adjust your sleeping bag, find something you dropped, or open the tent flap to get out. And it’ll last over 100 hours on one charge.

If Goal Zero price is a concern, look for an integrated battery solar charger instead (which we just covered above). Integrated chargers are battery/panel in one-piece units. So there’s nothing left behind and no cords to snag or break.

They’re often more rugged than folding systems too. But they often have less efficient cells. And they require more sunlight to charge a comparable amount of energy.

As with most things, there are always tradeoffs but you tend to get what you pay for.

Check out our review video below of the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit.

Click Here To Enter To Win a Goal Zero Guide 10 Kit!

Make sure you click the link above and enter to win the Goal Zero Guide 10 Kit being reviewed in the video. This solar recharging kit was sent to us for free from Goal Zero for the purpose of this review and giveaway.

Thank you Goal Zero!

A Few More Portable Solar Charger Options

The 3 solar panels we just covered are the ones I’m most familiar with and have personally used. However, that doesn’t mean they are the only ones on the market.

Here are several more highly ranked solar panels you might be interested in.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Best Portable Solar Setups

I own three portable solar charger models (the ones reviewed above). Two have an internal power pack, and one is paired with an external battery pack.

I use them differently for different reasons.

Shorter Trips – Internal

The internal battery systems are best for short duration trips. Ones where I won’t need more than one night’s worth of light or a partial GPS charge.

Enough power to find my way back to the truck, transverse backcountry mountain trails or navigate an afternoon canoe trip.

These small solar chargers are lighter and take up less space in my pack than larger units making them excellent choices for “get home” bags, bug out bags or survival kits.

Longer Trips – External

For longer trips, I turn to the external battery model. These allow me to use one battery pack while I charge a second.

This setup is larger and bulkier. But along with the weight increase, you’ll also get more power generation.

Instead of trying to power your devices directly with this setup, you’ll use the portable solar panels to power an external battery bank.

Charging a battery pack in this way, allows you to set up the charger in the most convenient location. And this prevents you from being tethered to it at all times.

With the GoalZero Kit above, an external battery bank was provided. However, this is not always the case.

Purchasing An External Battery Bank

If you purchase a portable solar panel that doesn’t come with an external battery, then you should buy one.

Many companies make USB battery packs. But, I prefer the most capacity for my dollar. These are usually the generic and off-brand battery packs.

Look for ones with a capacity of at least 10,000mAh and a price around $25. It should have one 2.1A or higher outlet for fast charging and a few extra outlets are always useful.

For example, The Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger fits the bill.

The other bonus of charging battery packs (besides pure storage) is managing the variability of incoming solar power.

Yes, most battery packs will accept a wide variety of incoming voltages. But “smart” devices are more restrictive on the incoming voltages.

This steady power requirement is to protect the internal circuits. But this built-in device protection makes direct solar charging challenging.

For example, voltage variations trick my phone into disconnecting. This issue happens whenever a cloud passes overhead and sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

So it’s better to charge a battery pack first and then use the stored power to charge your devices. This setup allows you to buffer out those pesky variations.

Thus, providing steady and consistent power to your devices.

Pros/Cons Of Portable Solar Chargers

As with any device, there are pros and cons to owning one. So let’s cover the advantages first and then go over a few challenges.


  • No Fuel
  • No Trace Left Behind
  • Silent
  • Modular
  • Lightweight

Let’s dive into each of these in more detail.

No fuel Needed

Solar is a clean energy source. You don’t need liquid fuels or gases to run a generator. You don’t need to burn wood to generate heat to create energy like bio stoves.

Instead, portable solar chargers just collect the heat from the sun to excite cells. These excited cells convert heat into energy.

You get to capture the sun’s energy rays hitting the earth day in and day out. And while the sun’s energy is technically a fuel source, it’s abundant, available and free.

No Trace Left Behind

Like the “no need for fuel,” you also capture the energy without leaving any trace behind.

It’s both a clean and zero impact energy solution.


In survival, you never know when evasion is the goal. One critical aspect of evasion is silence.

Capturing energy without a fire or a loud generator will keep your location hidden.


Many of these solar devices can be daisy-chained together to create a more powerful system.

Hooking up 2 or 3 or 10 portable solar chargers in series will increase your power capabilities.

This means you’d be able to capture more solar power faster. Allowing to you to either power larger devices or fully charge your battery packs more quickly.

So buy one portable solar charger today and invest in more in the future. By doing this, you’ll grow your solar systems output over time.

Light Weight

Many of the original “portable” solar panels were quite bulky and heavy. By comparison, new portable solar panels are much lighter and more compact.

Many of the smaller models are the size of a deck of survival cards. And feature integrated batteries for power storage – and still weigh under 8oz!


  • Sun Required
  • Need Separate Battery Pack To Store Power
  • Variable Output Issues
  • “Perceived” Durability Issues

However, I believe the “cons” of a solar charger is either misunderstood or can easily be overcome.

Sun Required

The obvious argument against solar is that it only works when the sun is shining. That’s both true and false. To be sure, at night, your solar charger isn’t going to be providing you with any electricity.

That’s why you need to pair it with a battery pack in the first place, right? But what about cloudy or overcast days?

The latest photovoltaic cells used in solar panels are more efficient than ever. They can convert a larger percentage of the incoming sunlight to electricity.

So while they may drop in output on a cloudy day, they can still charge your devices over more extended periods.

Need Separate Battery Pack To Store Power

Solar cells don’t store power; they only convert solar to energy.

To store power, the device must either have an internal battery pack or you’ll need to invest in an external one.

Variable Output Issues

First off, the angle of sun influences how much power is produced.

Pointing solar cells directly towards the sun captures the most amount of power. But, this requires constant fidgeting.

It’s a pain to continuously manage the orientation of the charger as the sun moves across the sky. No, it’s not time-consuming and only needs to be done on the hour, but it does mean you can’t leave it for very long.

In desert climates, dust on the panels will reduce efficiency and keep you from charging even in full sun. Also, the window tint in most cars is enough to reduce the collected power.

“Perceived” Durability Issues

Another misconception with solar chargers is that the photovoltaic cells are extremely fragile. Again, both true and false.

Large solar panels (the ones used on roof systems) are sandwiched between layers of glass, laminate, or acrylic.

This allows them to take 120+mph winds, hail, and falling branches. The chances of breaking one of these after installation are significantly minimized.

On the other hand, portable solar charger designs have made some vast improvements. The latest ones are built for more rugged treatment than earlier versions.

They often feature plastic instead of glass. They also now have rubber or plastic bodies surrounding the cells.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Final Word

If you’ve read this whole article, I know you’re serious about adding a portable solar panel to your survival gear.

I’d encourage you to get one for each family member and to be sure to test how it works with your devices.

Chances are, you already have small electronics in your EDC and Bug Out Bag. And you may even depend on them in an emergency.

Solar power is an EASY upgrade to your survival gear and your survival plans.

It’s a smart survival insurance policy. One to guarantee access to communications, navigation, light, and information when you need it most.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Portable Solar Panels – Enjoy Your Outdoor Adventures Worry Free appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Ways Camping Can Help You Survive

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Ways Camping Can Help You Survive Camping season is only a few months away and for some, it never ended! Most people consider it a hobby that is done during the warmer months of summer. They can enjoy a swim in a lake or a nice hike without having to worry too much about the …

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Do You Know How to build a stealth shelter?

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One of the best ways to get away and be at one with nature is to build a stealth shelter in the forest. Not only are you putting yourself in the most isolated place possible, but you are also aiming to be invisible there. It’s super exciting, and pretty difficult to do this without a little bit a guidance. So here are a few simple tips to make your wilderness getaway one that only you will know about:


Be discreet

The first rule of successful stealth camping is to be as discreet as possible. To disappear in the forest with success, try the following:

  • Get away from the beaten track and as far out of sight from civilization as possible.
  • Keep the noise down.
  • Don’t bring loads of friends!
  • Use your flashlight as little as possible.
  • If you are having a fire, then keep it small and assess the amount of smoke and glow that it creates.
  • Don’t outstay your welcome in the same spot – move to a new spot each night.


Choose the right camping spot

Find a clearing in the forest where the floor is clear of vegetation and woodland debris, and if possible choose a place to sleep that is in a dip or behind some rocks. This will put you out of sight from passers-by, and it will also provide shelter if the wind picks up. With this in mind, check the stability of the trees you are sleeping under. You don’t want branches falling onto you in a gale.

Choosing a spot that is close to water is great for an easy access drinking supply, providing you use the right water purification method to make the water safe to drink. However, being too close to water can pose some problems. Bugs can be one issue, but also the potential for flash floods can be a problem too. So make sure you set camp uphill of the water and away from a gully where water levels can rise dangerously fast.

If you have been really discreet in choosing a great spot for stealth camping, then you should struggle to find it again if you walk away from it! So it’s a good idea to leave yourself some markers on the forest floor to get you back to base if necessary.


Bring the right gear

Most stealth campers like to keep things simple and go as light as possible with their gear. This makes it nice and easy to get moving quickly to an alternative camping spot. Bring a lightweight backpacking tent that is small and not bright red or orange. Or go without a tent altogether and put up a hammock and tarp for an even more versatile and mobile setup. This way, you won’t need a sleeping pad (if the temperature isn’t too low), just a good 3-season sleeping bag to snuggle up in.

Bringing a mosquito net will be essential in certain locations, so make sure you get some local advice on this before you go. And of course don’t forget a lightweight camping stove to cook up a feast on.


How to set up your stealth campsite

Once you have found the perfect spot to disappear in, your main priority is setting up your shelter. If bad weather is looming then it’s essential that you have a place to shelter yourself in and all your stuff. Take your time over staking your guy lines out properly and securely. If the ground is soft then you may need to use trees or rocks to help with this.

If you are in bear country, then ensuring you have your food stored in a bear-resistant food cache is essential. The bag should be over 100 yards from your tent, suspended 10-15 feet off the ground and at least 4 feet from each vertical support. Make sure you put all your cooking utensils and pots in this bag too. Once again, your tent is up then set up this bag as soon as possible.

If you are building a fire, then then you will want to gather some wood. Set your fire a few yards away and upwind of your tent to prevent sparks from flying or smoke polluting your sleeping space when you light it. If possible, it’s a good idea to wait until after dark to light it up so that the smoke will be less easily spotted.

Leave no trace

As with any activity in our wonderful outdoor playground, leaving no trace is an essential part of stealth camping:

  • Take a back packers shovel and make sure you dig a deep hole away from any water sources for your toilet stops.
  • If you have a fire then bury the ashes and cover over any burn marks in the soil.
  • Take all your rubbish with you.
  • Use biodegradable soap or washing up liquid.


With all that in mind, you should be well setup to disappear in nature. And if you do it well enough, then stealth camping in the forest will also provide some fantastic opportunities to watch the wildlife of the forest unfold around you as the sun sets and stars come out.



Joey Holmes is the editor of Cool of the Wild, an online resource for outdoor lovers. She has endless enthusiasm for any excuse to get out there and enjoy being active in the outdoor world, and loves sharing this passion to inspire others to find and follow their own dreams.

The post Do You Know How to build a stealth shelter? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

10 miscellaneous things to take along camping (that you didn’t know you needed, but won’t want to forget)

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The checklist for the camping trip gear is done, and everything is checked off. But wait a minute – have you thought of everything you might need?

by Leon Pantenburg

Go camping long enough, and you’ll figure out things that are nice to have along, in addition to the standard stuff.

Here are 10 miscellaneous camping-related items to include. You can thank me later.

Many shelters are improvised from whatever materials are available.

A tarp can save you from being miserable in a leaky tent.

Tarp: I take a tarp everywhere, be it backpacking, camping or a trip to the grocery store. On a camping trip, the tarp can be used to create a rain shelter, to cover a leaky tent, as a ground cloth or carpet etc.

In your car, you can use to kneel on while you change a tire, or a rain shelter while you’re changing that tire. Size is up to you, but I always carry a 5×7 and a 10×12. I’ve had to use both to change a tire in the rain!

Toilet paper and paper towels: Because you never know if the porta potty or campground toilet will be out of the one-layer waxed tp. Paper towels are for everything, and you’ll regret running out.

Tent stakes: Always take extras. Chances are you will lose or break one. If you don’t take spares, you’ll end up whittling a stake from a stick. Murphy says this will happen as you desperately try to set up the tent before the rainstorm and wind hits.

 Small rug: I put a small rug outside the entrance of the tent, and sometimes inside. The rug is a great place to stand, off of the dirt while you wash your dirty feet prior to putting on socks or hiking boots. Or to change pants. Or anything. Inside the tent, the rug insulates the floor and gives the dog a place to sleep.

Survive this: Check out these prices on MilSpec paracord

Paracord is lightweight and incredibly useful.

Paracord: Paracord is the cordage used on parachutes. Today is used for everything. There are a millions uses for the stuff, and you’ll need a lot to set up tarps shelters in the rain. Take a minimum of 150 feet.

Individual keyring lights: I’ll bet 99 percent of your lighting needs around camp can be met with one of those tiny LED keyring lights. Get the ones with the on-off switches , and make them into necklaces, using paracord, for everyone.

These will work great for trips to the bathroom in the dark, finding stuff in duffle bags, reading in the sleeping bag etc. These are so handy you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner.

Practical shelter building techniques are another lifesaver.

Practical shelter building techniques are another lifesaver.

Extra trash bags: Extra large bags, sure. But also take along smaller gallon and quart-sized Ziplocks. These can be used cover things in the rain, to put wet, nasty dirty clothes in and to waterproof items in your pack. The large, 55-gallon contractor grade trash bags can be used for shelters, pack covers, improvised ponchos – you name it.

Duct tape, zipties and bunji cords: I take duct tape with me everywhere, and use it for everything. Take along zipties to fix things, and bunji cords to fasten coverings around gear.

Personalized drinking cups: This can be anything from a red solo cup with you name on it to elaborate drinking mugs. People will be using the water container, and using a disposable cup every time is so wasteful and American.

Individual hand towels: If everyone sticks a hand towel on their belt around camp, it will make a world of difference in how clean everything stays! Wipe your hands frequently, as needed on the towel, and you won’t be wiping them on your shirt. This hand towel becomes particularly appreciated when cooking. When the towel eventually gets dirty, was and hang it out.

That’s my miscellaneous list, and it has evolved after many years of camping in all sorts of climates, weather conditions and seasons. The items are cheap, easily found and possibly invaluable later on!

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Seen at SEMA

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Miles of aisles at the world’s largest automotive aftermarket-equipment event showcased the latest products for your tow vehicle

It started in 1963 when a handful of automotive businesses formed what was then known as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association, or SEMA. Today, SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, representing a far broader spectrum of products than speed equipment alone. The association’s annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is the largest automotive-equipment event in the world, with more than 2,400 exhibitors, and 140,000 buyers and media representatives. The mega show covers 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space and features more than 1,500 one-of-a-kind project vehicles. The bad news is that it’s a trade-only show that’s closed to the public.

Beautifully tailored Covercraft DashMats protect vinyl surfaces in vehicles from damaging sun and eliminate annoying glare. The company specializes in
custom-vehicle and RV covers.

The good news for those not in the business is that, outside the convention halls, many of the amazing specialty vehicles are on display. As the show winds down on Friday afternoon, thousands gather in bleachers and along the parade route, as all manner of super cars and trucks rumble out to the SEMA Ignited event just across the street. Food stands and live bands add to the carnival atmosphere.

We spent four days walking the miles of aisles looking for new items that may already be available at your local auto-parts and RV stores. The unique products the industry invents are always amazing. Who would guess that you could use a battery-powered hand drill to pull 1,000 pounds up a ramp? And can you imagine a ball mount that tells you the hitch weight of your trailer at a glance? We can’t possibly show you everything — we’re not even sure if we saw it all — but here you can get a glimpse of some of the products that caught our eyes. All you need at the end of the show is a foot rub.

For full-size trucks or vans, the innovative Decked Storage System (1) incorporates two bed-length drawers that roll out to provide easy access to tools, equipment and additional gear. The deck of the storage system is built from recycled high-density polyethylene co-molded to a steel sub frame, providing a 2,000-pound load capacity; drawers are claimed to hold up to 200 pounds. The storage organizer is weatherproof and can be configured to accommodate tie-downs or rack systems.


Yakima’s LoadWarrior (2) is a good solution for all the camping stuff there’s never room for. The rooftop rack fits round, square or factory crossbars right out of the box and can carry up to 140 pounds of gear on the rooftop of your vehicle, according to the company. An optional LoadWarrior 18-inch extension kit expands cargo capacity by 40 percent. The rack is made of weather-resistant heavy-duty steel, and a custom wind fairing is included for noise reduction. Locking brackets are sold separately.

Yakima Products


Long the world standard for transporting gas, diesel or water, NATO-style containers are now available again in the United States. The Wavian Jerry Can (4) is the first EPA/CARB/DOT/OSHA-compliant military-spec steel fuel-can system in North America, according to the company. The cans
are available in 5-, 10- and 20-liter
sizes in red (for gas), yellow (for diesel) and blue (for water).

Wavian USA

The BD Diesel TapShifter (5) gives owners of the Ford 6.0-liter diesel access to all five gears with the tap of a button, allowing the user to gear down during hill descents and lock out overdrive for hill climbing and curvy roads. It also utilizes the factory variable-geometry turbocharger as an exhaust brake for added retarding force. The kit comes with a mini gear display, new Ford OE shift lever, wiring harness and all related installation items. It’s designed for 2003 to 2007 Ford F-250 and F-350 models with the 6.0-liter Power Stroke V-8 and is compatible with most tuners, according to BD.

BD Diesel Performance


A convenient single-use bottle of Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean (3) was introduced to round out the company’s line of premium diesel additives. The new 8-ounce size is ideal for applications treating 15 to 20 gallons of fuel. Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean is formulated with a concentrated alcohol-free chemistry that is said to provide optimized performance in diesel applications. It removes perform­ance-robbing deposits found in fuel injectors and the combustion chamber.

Though not a brand-new product at this year’s show, we appreciated the Weigh Safe Drop Hitch (6), which features a built-in scale that measures trailer hitch weight. Available with 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch adjustable drop bars, the ball mount comes with 2-inch and 25/16-inch stainless-steel balls.

Weigh Safe


The Bolt Receiver Lock (7) locks trailers, bikes and equipment with your car key and now comes in models for all trailer-hitch receivers. The unique Receiver Lock — and all other Bolt locks — can be coded to your vehicle ignition key, keeping your keychain uncluttered.


The Craftsman 20-Watt Rechargeable

LED Light (8) is designed to offer a versatile lighting option, with hands-free and cordless operation. The light is weatherproof for indoor and outdoor use, and comes equipped with a charger and a rechargeable 6,600-mAh lithium-ion battery.


The Transfer Flow Hauler (9) in-bed auxiliary fuel-tank system offers 100 gallons of extra diesel-fuel capacity at a reasonable price. Available for 2000 to 2015 full-size Dodge Ram, Ford and GM diesel pickups with 8-foot beds, the tank is constructed of aluminum diamond-plate and mill-finish aluminum, and is fully baffled to minimize sloshing and maximize tank strength. It operates with Transfer Flow’s TRAX 3 fuel-monitoring system that automatically transfers fuel from the auxiliary tank to the truck’s main tank at predetermined levels. A dash-mounted LCD screen shows fuel-level percentages in each tank.

Transfer Flow

Torklift’s HiddenPower Battery Mount (10) is designed to hold an auxiliary battery under the vehicle with a no-drill installation and works for all types of Group 24, 27 and 31 12-volt batteries. With quick-disconnect electrical connectors, the system attaches to the truck’s frame and connects to the vehicle’s charging system.Torklift International

The new Armor All Outlast Brake Dust Repellent (11) (previously called Armor All Wheel Protectant) forms an invisible barrier that is said to last up to four weeks. The product demonstration at the SEMA Show was impressive. Powdered dust and even sticky drops of honey slid off when the test rim was tipped sideways.


Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular for recording and storing everything that goes on in front of the vehicle as you drive. The amazing video quality of the new DOD RX400w Dash Cam (12) in all light conditions is produced by the combination of a 3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a Japanese-made six-element glass lens. DOD dash cams are built into an ultra-thin clip-on rearview-mirror replacement with an optional rearview camera.

DOD Tech Canada


Warn’s Drill Winch (13)
turns a mere handheld power drill into a portable, versatile pulling tool. With a capacity of 500 pounds (1,000 pounds double-lined), the device can even pull a small vehicle onto a trailer, according to the company.

Warn Industries


The new Odyssey Performance Series Battery uses the same thin-plate pure-lead technology as the Odyssey Extreme Series but with a slightly lower SEMA---Odyssey-Performance-Seriesreserve capacity and cranking amps — and a 20 percent lower price. All other features remain the same, including an expected service life of three to 10 years and a four-year full-replacement warranty.Odyssey Battery


New Hellwig LP-15 Helper Springs for the 2015 two- and four-wheel-drive Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon are rated up to 1,500 pounds. The kit SEMA---Hellwig-Spring-Helperincludes four multi-leaf springs that bolt onto the top of the factory leaf pack on either side of the axle U-bolts. The U-bolts can be adjusted to change the rate of the helper springs, allowing the user to match them to their specific loads or to level the vehicle for improved handling, braking, better ride and aesthetics.

Hellwig Products

WD-40 EZ-Reach
has an attached 8-inch flexible straw that bends and SEMA---WD-40-EZ-REACHkeeps its shape, allowing users to get around corners and crevices to deliver WD-40 Multi-Use Product exactly where it’s needed.


Stayhold Cargo Organizers

SEMA---STAYHOLDcome from Ireland and have small dividers that attach with hook-and-loop fasteners to any carpeted surface to keep groceries or other equipment and toys from sliding around in the back of a pickup or other vehicle.


Lund’s AVS Aeroskin II Hood Shield
is designed to flow with the SEMA---Lund-deflectorcontours of a vehicle to pro­vide the ultimate protection from bugs, dirt and stones. Aeroskin II applications include the 2015 to 2016 Ford F-150 and the 2014 to 2016 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra. The hood shield installs without drilling holes using 3M automotive-grade adhesive.


The Du-Ha Tote Box is a portable, lockable storage case that can be carried SEMA---Du-ha-Tote-Box-003in the back of a pickup or SUV, or an RV basement compartment. A locking track can be installed with two removable ¼-inch bolts. The Tote Box can be loaded with tools, jumper cables, and camping or fishing gear — it even doubles as a legal gun case in most states, according to the company. The case slides out for easy access and can roll around on its built-in wheels.


Griot’s Fine Glass Polish
can be used by hand or with a tool like Griot’s 6-inch SEMA---Griots-Glass-PolishRandom Orbital Polisher equipped with the company’s synthetic Glass Polishing Pads. We actually tried this before the show, and it left the glass amazingly clear and smooth. The polish removes spots you normally see on the vehicle’s windshield, sunroof and side windows that are hard to feel with your fingernails.

Griot’s Garage

The CarGo Apron is an innovative SEMA---CarGo-Apron-1cargo liner you can leave in your van, SUV or hatchback, or easily store until you need it. The woven-polyethylene liner has flaps that go up the side walls and rear seat backs inside the vehicle to keep the cargo area clean. CarGo Apron


SEMA---Truck-Covers-1The sleek new Truck Covers USA American Truck Rack can quickly be reconfigured to extend over the pickup’s cab to hold kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and other long equipment. A lower secondary cargo level over the bed can also be added when needed.

Truck Covers USA

Quick Fist Clamps
are one-piece rubber SEMA---Quick-Fist-Tie-Downs-003clamps available in sizes to fit around anything from a flashlight to a bulky electrical cord, a hose or even an LP-gas cylinder. Each clamp can be attached with one bolt or screw to make securing items easy.

End of the Road


Whether it’s taking a load of camping gear on an adventure or a pile of trash to the dump, TuffTruckBag keeps the dirt out of SEMA---Tuff-Truck-Bag-003your nice clean truck bed and the rain off your camping equipment. Heavy-duty rings and four bungee cords secure the bag to the bed. When not in use, the bag stores in —what else? — an included tote bag.

Tuff Truck Bags

Considering all of the things that we need to wipe clean in our lives — eyeglasses, smartphone screens and lenses, GPS aSEMA---Invisible-Lens-Wipes-001nd computer screens, camera lenses, binoculars, telescopes and mirrors — we were glad to see the new 20-pack of disposable Invisible Glass Lens Wipes. We now keep a box in every vehicle, as they soon become addictive.

Invisible Glass

The SXT Tonneau Cover from ATC is there when you SEMA---ATC-Tonneau-Cover-in-a-Bag-002need it and gone when you don’t. Each interlocking section is removable and can be stored in the supplied bag, so you can keep it in your truck or leave the sections you don’t need at home. The covers are made of aircraft-grade composites and aluminum with an automotive finish.

ATC Truck Covers

Westin Automotive’s Thrasher
step running boards are constructed SEMA---Westin’s-Thrasher-Boards-from one-piece stamped steel and have indented louvers that make for rugged styling. They come with a vehicle-specific mount kit and feature injection-molded bracket covers.

Westin Automotive

Plug That Leak

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Flat tires happen at the most inopportune times. Ideally, they should be repaired from the inside out, but in an emergency, that’s not always possible. The Stop & Go Deluxe Tire Plugger is designed for on-the-wheel repair to virtually any tubeless tire, according to the company, and it seals the puncture on the inside. A spring-loaded gun drives the plug into the hole, and the shaft of the plug expands under pressure to fill the puncture. At the same time, the mushroom head of the plug seats on the inner wall, preventing leaks. The kit contains everything needed to repair the tire. Components are easily stored in a hard-sided plastic case with a molded interior that measures 6x9x1 inches and weighs less than 2 pounds.

MSRP: $49.95
815-455-9080 | www.stopngo.com/deluxe-model-tire-plugger


Camp Casual

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Packing plates and bowls into your RV every time you head out on the road is a pain, and using paper plates sure doesn’t add much to your mealtime experiences. Camp Casual brings back the fun with a colorful, retro-inspired 12-piece dining set. The vintage-style dishes have RV-camping designs and are made of 100 percent BPA-free heavyweight melamine. The set contains four unique plates, four salad plates and four bowls. The company also recently introduced its five-piece kid-friendly mealtime set, which includes a three-part divided plate, a bowl, cup, fork and spoon.

The kids’ set is packed in a reusable box with a handle. The company claims the sets are top-shelf dishwasher-safe.

MSRP: $49.99/12-piece set; $19.99/kids’ set
818-864-2707 | www.campcasual.com