Suture Kit – The Forgotten Lifesaving Survival Asset

Click here to view the original post.

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.”

Check Out Today’s Price


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

Check Out Today’s Price


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.

Check Out Today’s Price


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.

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.

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

Click here to view the original post.

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:

Compact

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).

Cleaning

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.

Sharpening

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

Click here to view the original post.

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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Silent

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.

Modular

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!

Cons:

  • 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

Click here to view the original post.

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 …

Continue reading »

The post Ways Camping Can Help You Survive appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Do You Know How to build a stealth shelter?

Click here to view the original post.

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)

Click here to view the original post.

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!

Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel, and here to subscribe to our email update – thanks!

Seen at SEMA

Click here to view the original post.

 

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.

SEMA---Covercraft-DashMat
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.
Covercraft
800-426-8377
www.covercraft.com

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.

Decked
208-806-0251
www.decked.com



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
888-925-4621

www.yakima.com/loadwarrior

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
530-872-4988
wavianusa.com



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
800-887-5030

www.dieselperformance.com

Sema1-6
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.

Amsoil
800-956-5695
www.amsoil.com
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
855-492-6444

www.weigh-safe.com

Sema7-13
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.

Bolt
877-251-8798
www.boltlock.com



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.

Craftsman
800-549-4505
www.craftsman.com



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
800-442-0056
www.transferflow.com


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
800-246-8132
www.torklift.com




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.

ArmorAll
800-222-7784
www.armorall.com



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
888-866-8993

www.dod-tech.ca



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
800-543-9276

www.warn.com


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
800-538-3627
www.odysseybattery.com


 

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
800-435-5944
www.hellwigproducts.com



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.

WD-40
888-324-7596
www.wd40.com/ez



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.

Stayhold
353-1-808-4657
www.stayhold.com



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.

Lund
800-241-7219
www.lundinternational.com



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.

Du-Ha
866-306-3852
www.du-ha.com



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
800-345-5789
www.griotsgarage.com



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
888-481-1795
www.cargoapron.com


 

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
888-808-2872
www.truckcoversusa.com



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
615-828-2600
www.quickfist.com


 

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
877-535-8833
www.tufftruckbag.com



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
800-992-5093
www.invisibleglass.com



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
800-983-2787
www.atctruckcovers.com



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
800-345-8476
www.westinautomotive.com

Plug That Leak

Click here to view the original post.

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

Click here to view the original post.

 

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