Survival Gear Review: The SOG Banner USA Made Knife

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1_featured_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_blade_profile

1_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_folded_in_hand_grip_billboardSOG knives in general need no introduction, but there are three new players in the SOG folder lineup that do deserve some special attention. All three are solid black. All three lean heavily towards the tactical side. All three use springs to deploy the blade. And all three are made in America. There is a lone fixed blade in the American made SOG line and it is an outstanding knife named the Pillar and featured here.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache.com

Of the three American made SOG folders, the Banner is the only assisted opening knife, while the Tac Ops and the Strat Ops are both auto opening at the push of a button. The SOG Banner requires a nudge to fire the blade to attention, but after  quarter-inch of movement, the blade fires out of the grip with force and determination all the way to it’s positive lock in the fully open position.

Full Assistance

2_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_pivot_S35VNMany assisted opening folding knives have a spring mechanism in the grips that launches the blade from the handle but once the initial impulse is over, it is pure momentum that carries the blade the rest of the way. In fact some assists are more like a baseball bat whacking the ball. The punch is short and half-hearted leaving the blade to its own for more than half its journey. With the Banner, the mainspring is around the blade pivot point so there is a near-uniform amount of deployment force on the blade to the very end of its rotation.

Read Also: Let’s Talk Knives: 12 Things You Should Know

To wander in the weeds a little more, SOG calls this feature it’s SAT or SOG Assisted Technology. SOG describes it as a, “balance of opposing high-tension coil springs.” What this means in real life is that the blade only has two natural positions; fully seated in the grip and fully deployed. There is no in-between. Even when fully deployed, the blade remains under tension. The SOG SAT is a solid deployment mechanism that has proven itself more than enough times in other SOG blades including the famous SOG Flash.

Comparing the SOG Banner to the Zero Tolerance 0770CF I reviewed here, the ZT spring applies force to the blade for only one-half of its intended journey while my Benchmade assists are spring loaded to about three-fourths of their rotation. What this all translates to in terms of knife-feel at deployment is the SOG Banner doesn’t just have a satisfying click as the blade rolls to a stop. Instead the SOG Banner’s blade slams home more like the bolt on an AR15 or the slide on a Glock. There is absolutely no ambiguity about where the blade is on the deployment spectrum.

The SOG Banner has a pair of beautifully machined flat-black anodized aluminum scales with non-skeletonized stainless steel inserts. In another break from traditional conformity, the SOG Banner’s inserts appear to be screwed to the scales from inside the knife, and then the scales are screwed together with three torx bolts on the rear, and with the oversized pivot covers on the frontend of the grip. It’s almost as if the SOG Banner was built from the inside out. Perhaps it has to do with the dual-spring action of the knife, but the design is a welcome change from convention. And don’t worry, SOG hasn’t forgotten that the user may want to adjust the play in the blade so a T8 Torx driver will make any desired adjustments in the pivot. But like all auto and semi auto knives, do not disassemble them without eye protection and full knowledge that you will have to send in a bag of whatever parts you can find back to the company for service since there are often special knife-specific tools used in the assembly and reassembly of the knives as well as intimate knowledge of how they all go together and in what order.

Running the Numbers

4_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_overall_onrockAll that aluminium and steel gives the SOG Banner a weight that SOG lists as between 4.5 and 4.6 ounces, but my scale says is actually 4.370 ounces. Not that anyone could tell the difference. Regardless of the weight, the SOG Banner has an open-spine design meaning you can look right through the grip. This design avoids the pocket lint scoop shape that collects all manner of debris into the blade shell. And should detritus find its way into the handle, the open action gives plenty of cleaning access. Additionally, the external strength of the handle does not require a standoff in the middle of the spine. A standoff is the fancy name for those little internal pillars that give support and structure to the grips. Instead the spine standoff in the SOG Banner is far back in the open spine.

The overall length of the SOG Banner is seven and three-quarters inches from blade tip to outside curve of the pocket clip. The usable blade length is about three inches, and the overall closed length is four-and-three-quarters inches, again to the far end of the pocket clip.

5_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folded_MOLLEThe average thickness of the handle is about three-eighths of an inch making this as svelte as the ZT in carbon fiber. Adding to the low-profile pocket carry stature of the SOG Banner is a deep-carry pocket clip. In fact, the catch loop at the far end of the pocket clip is a full eighth-inch beyond the nearest handle scale meaning not just the bulk of the knife rides below the pocket line, but the entire SOG Banner can disappear into the pocket while still securely hooked onto the fabric seam. Pocket clip depth varies, but many knives including Benchmade can leave up to half an inch of knife above the pocket clip. While having the knife ride high can speed deployment, it also makes it more noticeable, and even a little top heavy allowing for unintentional extraction from the pocket whether by active drift or inverted momentum (also known as falling down).

Full Clip

6_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_pocket_clipAlso unlike most other blade makers, SOG has chosen a more complex reversible pocket clip design for the Banner that actually bolts on the clip to the inside of the knife rather than to the outside of a scale the same way a flagpole is bolted onto the side of a building. While certainly making the engineering of the knife more complex, the payback is substantial. So not only does the pocket clip lower the knife deeper, but it also takes itself out of the thickness equation leaving absolutely nothing between the knife handle and the inside of the pocket. Further, the SOG’s SOG logo is a prominent metal stencil machined into the clip providing just the right amount of texture on the clip to aid in retention as time and deployments smooth out the clip. But, of course, that same SOG logo announces to the world that you have a SOG in your pocket.

The anodized aluminum handle scales are smooth but not slippery. I own a handful of aluminum scaled knives and like to joke that the manufacturers should have applied a coat of teflon to really make the handle slick. I can see the need for a slick housing when the knife will spend almost all of its waking hours deep in the smooth lines of a gentleman’s slacks, but the SOG Banner is no gentleman and certainly won’t be happy in a pair of office trousers. I’d guess blue denim and Carhartt cotton canvas are about as soft a pocket life as this particular SOG Banner will ever have in my world.

A lanyard hole is on the spine-side of the grips base, but it emerges half under the pocket clip. As far as I can tell, the SOG Banner will run well with either the pocket clip or a lanyard, but not necessarily both.

Maximum Lockup

The locking mechanism is single round button on the left side of the frame just above the pivot. The single button on the left is a for a right-handed thumb activation. So while the assist feature is activated from either right or left thumb-stud on the blade spine, the unlocking is natural in the right hand and a touch awkward in the left hand using the index finger to compress the button.

3_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_lock_button_lockOn the knife’s spine directly above the locking button is a secondary locking slider that will keep the blade from deploying. It will not keep the blade from retracting like many other lock locks do. This lock lock moves out of the lock position when the blade is being closed. But if the lock lock is activated while the blade is closed, the entire system is on hold until the lock slider is pushed forward. And like a gun safety, there is a red indicator painted on the slider giving a visual sign which way the lever is positioned. Red means unlocked.

Check Out: Tree Bark as an Emergency Food

One minor irritation I have with the lock slider is that it is a thin metal nub with three aggressive jimps for traction. However, due to the thinness of the metal, it is much easier and safer to manipulate with a fingernail rather than rubbing precious thumb skin over it. Add the fact that the switch rises a thirty-second of an inch above the spine proper, you will notice the lever under your thumb during normal blade use.

Bladewerk

7_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_thumbstudThe blade on the SOG Banner is a lightly drop pointed and lightly reverse curved razor sharp slicer. A minor unsharpened swedge or false edge rides the top of the blade two-thirds of the way back to the handle. The blade had no thumb ramp to speak of, but does have some aggressive jimping just beyond the handle. The aggressiveness in not in size, but in sharpness and amount. The jimps are almost like mini saw teeth rather than ridges or notches.

The blade is a hair over one-sixteenth of an inch thick which is a fairly common size. But with the flat-black CeraKote finish, you could say that black is slimming because the blade looks thin. The flat grind gives plenty of wide open featureless space on the blade adding to the blackness, and it’s not until you reach the final business side of the edge that any shiny metal is exposed with nothing but a millimeter of secondary bevel reflecting light.

The mild reverse curve of the blade provides more cutting edge and workpiece focusing compared to a straight or convex belly. Which is exactly why reverse curves are used. They also come in handy when fighting by maintaining more contact with meat and bone during the slice. Yes, ouch.

The tip of the blade is a paper-thin surgical instrument that would have no trouble puncturing any softer material or getting the attention of anyone needing some encouragement to focus. However, the tip would not last long if used as a prybar or screwdriver, two common blade tip uses that really should be at the very top of your Knife Do-Nots.

8_SOG_Banner_Knife_assist_folder_rope_cuttingAll this blade goodness is made with a supersteel named CPM S35VN. In addition to all the bigger, better, and badder qualities of the supersteel, it is an American made product of exceptional performance. According to Crucible Industries, the steel’s maker, S35VN was designed to improve one of my favorite steels, the S30V by substituting niobium carbides for some of the vanadium carbides creating a tougher steel yet one that is easier to machine and polish. If all this chemical rebalancing and letter/number steel names makes your head spin, then just remember that like ammo performance, optics technology, cell phones, and flashlight LEDs, knives might look like their ancestors, but that’s pretty much where the similarities begin and end.

The blade is not designed for woodworking although the handle is exceedingly comfortable in almost all positions. Except for the locking slider on the spine, the smooth handle slabs and melted corners make the SOG Banner a joy to hold. The flat grind is a good choice for food prep, wood shaving, and general use. Plus it is one of the easier edges to sharpen especially in the field with minimal tools. Like nothing but a rock.

The single index finger groove in the handle profile has a stout forward lean providing added slip protection for when this knife is wet or your hands are cold. Aluminium is an excellent conductor of hot and cold so if using this outdoors in freezing weather with bare hands, you will notice its. Additionally the density of the grips with its steel and aluminum shells will hold the cold longer than more gentlemanly pocket knives. But in my freezer tests, the assist mechanism worked the same even when the knife was below zero.

The SOG Banner retails for $254 and street prices will of course be less. But it and its auto siblings are running with the other American big boys now so expect to pay for American made quality and American made performance.

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Schrade SCH304 Heavy Duty Folding Knife Review

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Schrade SCH304 Heavy Duty Folding Knife Review

Schrade has had a rocky history with a lot of us, from its traditional American beginnings to the rebadged “New Schrade” owned by Taylor Brands LLC (of reformed mall ninja fame). I have always had a slightly kneejerk negative reaction to the whole thing, but after many years of seeing these inexpensive slabs of steel… Read More

This is just the start of the post Schrade SCH304 Heavy Duty Folding Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Schrade SCH304 Heavy Duty Folding Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Survival Gear Review: The SOG Pillar – A USA Made Knife

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Featured_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_in_hand_choil

Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_hand_choil_full_viewSOG Knives in general need no introduction, but a few SOG blades in particular do require a few minutes of your attention. And one such knife is The SOG Pillar.  The SOG Knives company takes its name from a Vietnam-era covert US Special Ops unit known as Military Assistance Command, Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group or MACV-SOG. But the real story here is that the SOG part of the MACV-SOG was a cover name to hide the real nature of the entity. Soon SOG began to be shorthand for “Special Operations Group” which was a little more descriptive and honest given the nature of SOG work.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Many know SOG knives to be of good value and often of excellent performance. The Washington-based company named SOG began in 1986, but can trace its inspirational roots to special operations during the Vietnam War. The SOG Speciality Knives company began as the dream of Spencer Frazer who, as a UCLA math/science graduate, worked in the aerospace defense industry. The first SOG knife was the SOG Bowie, a commemorative nod to a fighting blade Frazer could feel was magical when he held one.

The SOG Bowie was the extent of the entire SOG knife line for a while and retailed for $200. And that was over 30 years ago. Sometimes events in a corporation’s history are not so much circular but spiral in quality and design while maintaining a familiar form. And thus is the case of The Pillar.

SOG began its journey into our hands with fixed blade knives and USA-based manufacturing. As time went on their designs diversified, so did their manufacturing options. In 2016, SOG had its blades and multitools manufactured in forges and tool factories in Asia. But 2017 brings some of that knife forging and construction home. So in a twist of inevitability, SOG presents a USA-made fixed blade of exceptional steel and design.

A Pillar of Society

The Pillar is the single fixed blade in the USA-made release of knives. There are three folders, all automatics, that also carry the USA pedigree. But the Pillar represents a homecoming of sorts, to the point it first caught my fancy, and then my desire, and finally my loyalty.

Related: The Fallkniven Professional Hunting Knife

As many readers know, I have a fondness for super steels and cutting edge designs. And I am happy to say that the SOG Pillar is a knife worthy of the respect any top-shelf knife deserves, whether custom or off the assembly line.

The Pillar, and note that I choose to capitalize “The” out of respect, is a blade of the highest performance and sharpness. The Pillar is a 7.4 ounce, 10-inch masterpiece of stonewashed S35VN steel. The five and a half inch blade is all business, and the canvas Micarta scales form a near-perfect union between human hand and tool.

Downstream

Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_choil_close_jimpingOn the blade-side, the clip point is classic SOG with a traditional edge belly, but an embellished spine carrying forth three transitions from aggressive jimping at the grip end, to a graceful dip in the spine-flow, to a classic focus to the tip. While SOG does get creative with its spins including full rasps, the treat The Pillar shares with us is what I believe to be the sharpest 90 degree spine bevel in recent memory. Corner turning on the spine of The Pillar will strike fear in firerods the world over. In fact, you can just wave The Pillar close to a fire steel and sparks will fly. It’s that sharp.

The choil just forward of the index finger guard (where all choils are found) is pronounced enough for functional use, but not so deep to interfere with full blade-length cutting tasks, or large enough to impede with precision grip-close bladework. Some knives have a chasm between grip and blade causing trimming and paring work to suffer due to the leverage distance between hand and true edge. This is exactly why the sharp edge most kitchen knives begins immediately where the handle ends, and even sometimes flows back under under the grip to get a headstart on the slicing chores.

Upstream

The balance point of The Pillar is distinctly within the handle. The fore-aft flow of the knife centers just behind the index finger in a regular forehand grip. Many blades of this stature have skeletonize steel under the scales that moves the balance forward. Not The Pillar. The only absent steel out of sight under the grips are the two small holes where the fasteners bolt the Micarta scales to the blade. A balance behind the index finger makes for a very solid feel in-hand. The tradeoff of a balance-back design is found in a decreased chop force for a knife of this weight. Batoning with the The Pillar is a real treat however, especially with the plentiful flat shelf running from the midsection of the spine to the tip. But using The Pillar for such crude tasks could be viewed as an insult to the intelligence of this blade. However, that did not stop me from splitting some pine rounds with a diameter three-fourths the length of the blade.

The overall grip size of The Pillar falls somewhere between medium and small. Unlike Gerber’s blocky LMF or KaBar’s Becker series that leans on the circular, the greying canvas Micarta scales on The Pillar provide a firm handshake without making themselves the life of the party. This means they do not attract undue attention during use. Some blades have grips that consider themselves more important than the overall knife. Grips and scale must know their place in the knife dynamic. For grips and scales, serving the human hand is, as Ford says, job one.

Popular handle materials for fixed blade knives these days include good old wood and a pile of synthetics and composites including various plastics, G10, and Micarta. For the record, Micarta is a layered composite that could contain linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric which is then pressed and heated into a strong plastic that feels great in the hand. Micarta can trace its roots back to 1910 when its properties of electrical non-conductivity, temperature insensitivity, and disregard for moisture were new in such a strong material.

Rounding out the back end of The Pillar is a protruding tang with both pronounced jimping and a large diamond-shaped lanyard hole. The curved steel on the back end of The Pillar presents a viable surface upon which pressure can be applied, and even blows if absolutely necessary. But pounding on the knife might constitute abuse under the SOG Lifetime warranty, as it should.

Steel Valor

Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_Scales_removedSo what’s up with the fancy steel? S35VN is a powder steel from Crucible Industries (CPM) that abbreviates stainless (S), Vanadium (V) and Niobium (N). This precision mix of elements including carbon, chromium, and molybdenum makes of a blade of exceptional durability, sharpenability, and resistance to chipping and folding. The S35VN steel is tougher than even the famed S30V that I’ve sung the praises of in other reviews. Furthermore, The SOG Pillar’s Rockwell hardness of 59-61, and a glorious mix of metallurgical alchemy in the steel, The SOG Pillar is about as stain resistant and corrosion resistant as a fine knife steel can be given our current mixes of earthly elements.

Read Also: Swedish Steel Mora Knife

The SOG Pillar leans more towards the tactical/combat side over a survival/bushcraft blade. The Pillar has hints of that mean look we love about the SOG Seal Pup but with better steel, a more refined finish with less of the black special ops persona, and a vastly stronger handle design using scales above a solid steel frame over the Seal Pup’s glass-reinforced nylon handle. Fully enclosed handles are necessary to reduce the chance of electrocution if the blade encounters a hot wire, and also to reduce the thermal conductivity to a bare hand of hot or cold, but mostly cold.

A Sheath Done Right

Sheath_Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_sheath_tech_lock_pmagThe Pillar comes with an outstandingly well engineered friction blade cover complete with locking mount that will clamp securely to a belt up to 1.5 inches wide and a quarter inch thick. In the field, The Pillar is as fast to deploy as to stow, all one-handed. And about the only way to knock The Pillar free from its sheath would be to fall about six feet landing on your head. Needless to say, that would likely negate your need for a knife, possibly forever.

Removing The Pillar from the sheath is a real treat. The highest grommet hole on the spine-side of the sheath has jimping on it and is an excellent thumb ramp allowing, the extraction of The Pillar in one clean safe move.

The Pillar and I have made several trips now and it’s still dangerously sharp. I’ve come to appreciate the handle size even more, and enjoy The Pillar’s fluid ability to slice with precision. Despite its tactical leanings, The Pillar works wood very well and shaves fire sticks with ease. The Pillar is just as comfortable working in the kitchen slicing meat and veggies as it would be, and this is just a guess, separating life from a bad guy during government sanctioned wet work.

On a more domestic tone, The Pillar is presented well in its box at point of sale. When you open the cardboard, The Pillar is floating in space centered in the rectangle. In actuality, The Pillar is secured in transparent plastic. Compare this to being stuffed in a sheath and wrapped in a piece of paper, then stuffed again in a box. Presentation of the knife might end the moment the knife goes into service, but the pride of workmanship comes across even before you touch the knife.

When it Matters

Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_baton_woodAlthough the tactical edginess of The Pillar might scare some hunters and outdoorsmen away, I can say with confidence that the classic lines and proven clip point are more than capable of cutting up whatever needs cutting up whether bush or beast. Those folks with survival bends might find The Pillar alluring as a bug out knife or primary resident in the Go Bag. And I would certainly agree. In fact, The Pillar is like a stick of cutting dynamite that can sit quietly on belt or pack, and does basic work without complaint. At a moment’s notice, The Pillar can step up to be the most aggressive and angry knife in the room. Instead of pushing a lesser knife to work above its pay grade, The Pillar hedges your bets towards the Big Survival side, which is exactly where they should if you’re serious. Mall ninjas need not apply.

The SOG Pillar is not an ordinary knife. The Pillar can play well with the little jobs yet jump to the front line and charge into battle when things go bad. Spencer Fraser, the founder of SOG has said about his company, “We don’t settle for ordinary. “We never did, and we never will.” And The SOG Pillar proves that. Again.

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How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival

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How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival Knowing how to make a sharp edge or a knife in a survival situation is paramount when studying wilderness survival. I think I have just found the best website on the internet  that explains and shows you how to make a stone knife. The information on the …

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The post How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Cold Steel Finn Wolf

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Here is my You Tube review of the Cold Steel Finn Wolf. I am very impressed with this excellent folder, which may well become my EDC folder.

On Amazon: Cold Steel Finn Wolf

Overall Length: 7.75 inches
Blade Length:  3.5 inches
Blade Thickness: 3 millimeters
Weight: 3.4  oz.
Steel Type: Japanese AUS 8A
Features: Scandi grind; Ambidextrous clip can be moved to opposite side for choice of right-hand or left-hand carry; Tri-Ad locking mechanism. 

The Sol Origin Survival Kit

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The Sol Origin Survival Kit If the SOL Origin wasn’t so damn awesome, it would sound a lot like a cheesy infomercial product.  It can do everything – slice, dice, fit in the palm of your hand and save your life. I Love this kit, in fact, If I could afford it I would buy you all …

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The post The Sol Origin Survival Kit appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Eight tips to consider when buying a knife

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They say that a true survivalist has a knife that will help him survive through harsh times In fact the reality is different and most preppers and survivalists have more than one knife. Buying the right knife for all your survival or camping needs is not easy and I suggest you follow these tips when … Read more…

The post Eight tips to consider when buying a knife was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

The Karambit Knife: A Great Self-Defense Weapon

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Some have stated that the Karambit Knife has a dark appeal, well that may be so, but we here like to use the word “wicked”. The Karambit looks wicked with an incredible grace about it, and we like it that way.

Once you receive the knife, you will want to stare at it, handle it, hold it up so the light reflects a certain way, and you will find yourself considering all the possibilities as you gaze at it. It is almost like a fine work of art on canvas. You want to move the knife as you would your body as you stare at a painting. Because every time you move a new angle appears on the canvas, one you never knew was there. However, unlike a painting hung for your pleasure, a Karambit knife is meant for action, it cries out to be used.

The forebears of the modern Karambit first surfaced in Indonesia during the 11th century as a farming tool and utility blade. The thriving trade industry at the time allowed the knife or tool as many at the time considered it, to migrate throughout Southeast Asia. You simply cannot keep a good thing hidden, and while designs may vary and there are several copycats, the Original Karambit maintains its arcing blade, which provided functionality well beyond that of a straight blade.

Based on a tiger’s claw the blade is designed for tearing, ripping and slicing, yes wicked is the word.

The knife’s safety ring keeps the knife in your hand whether you are cutting rope, canvas, carving wood, or defending yourself. The design allows you to hold the knife in various positions to rip, tear, or slice. If you ever have to defend yourself against an assailant with a straight bladed knife you will likely get cut by your own knife, you will literally have skin in the game. Your hand will slide up the handle to the blade in most cases due to sweat, dust, water, or even from blood on your hands. With a safety ring, however, you maintain control and reduce or eliminate wounds inflicted by your own self-defense measures.

The knife’s safety ring is positioned at the end of the handle. This allows the user to insert a finger through the ring before closing their hand on the knife’s handle. Some Karambit knives have an additional safety ring located on the shaft of the handle below the blade itself, which allows for palming of the blade. The design makes it hard for someone to disarm you, and to use your own weapon against you. The design is all about retention and allows use at awkward angles, particularly when you are fighting for your life.

Attack and counter attack. Some of the knives have multiple cutting surfaces or edges with various configurations, each of which provides distinct advantages and benefits for both utility and tactical use. 

The Karambit may very well become part of your everyday carry. This is not to say that you should toss out your straight-bladed knife. Consider a Karambit an additional tool in your arsenal.

There is a learning curve, and like any knife, they can be dangerous if handled improperly. You need to take the time to “get the feel” for the knife. Learn its capabilities, and discover just what a versatile tool it can be. Remember it started out as a tool mainly used in an agricultural setting, but of course, the self-defense applications became readily apparent to the users.

You can practice with a training Karambit if you want to use it as a self-defense weapon only. A mockup version, if you will, allows you to make mistakes without losing a finger or considerable amounts of blood because you do need to practice moves to increase your own capabilities. Remember the knife itself is harmless. It is the well-trained person using it, which is dangerous. Always respect your tools, train with them, and build your confidence up, which can only come from intensive practice and then hope you never have to use one to defend yourself.

There are no specific laws regarding a Karambit. The laws that pertain to any knife folding or straight bladed would also apply to this knife. Each state dictates what is allowed to be carried on your person in public, and which knives are not, so know the laws in your state.

The post The Karambit Knife: A Great Self-Defense Weapon appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

The Lost Ways – A Truly Amazing Prepper Book

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Learn how to build a self-feeding campfire. How to use herbs to heal a wound. How to forage for food, navigate by nature, and make your own knives. How to cook a survival staple that will keep for years. How to build a shelter and cook over open flame. Preserve food and water. Make homemade soap and toothpaste. If the world as we know it came to an end tomorrow, would your family be able to survive? The Lost Ways is a book that could help you thrive.

I’d like to tell you about the book The Lost Ways. I bought the book several months ago, and really haven’t been able to put it down. There are so many prepper topics covered in the book, that I think everyone would be able to learn something from reading i; beginning prepper, and seasoned survivalist. Take a look at the table of contents, and you’ll see what I mean.

The Lost Ways – Table of Contents

Disclaimer …………………………………………………….. 4
The Most Important Thing ……………………………… 18
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff …………………………………………………………………. 23
Making Beer – Basic Recipe ………………………………. 25
Equipment ………………………………………………………………. 25
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………… 26
Creating the Malt: Malted Barley ………………………………. 26
Making the Yeast …………………………………………………….. 27
A Word on Hops ………………………………………………………. 28
Making the Beer ………………………………………………………. 28
A Bit of the Stronger Stuff: Distilling Your Own ‘Moonshine’ …………………………………………………… 30
Making a Still …………………………………………………………… 31
An Alembic Still ……………………………………………………….. 31
A Homemade Still ……………………………………………………. 33
A Schematic of a Homemade Still ………………………………. 35
Ginger beer: Making soda the old fashioned way .. 37
The Deadliest Drink? ……………………………………….. 38
Drunken Sailors ………………………………………………. 39
Beer Gets Boring …………………………………………….. 40
Spicing It Up …………………………………………………… 41
An Easier Brew ………………………………………………… 42
An Unusual Organism ………………………………………. 43
Doing It Yourself ……………………………………………… 45
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican …………………………………………… 47
Nutritional Qualities ………………………………………… 49
Directions ………………………………………………………. 51
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………… 51
1. Rendering the Fat …………………………………………………. 51
2. Dried Meat Preparation ………………………………………… 58
How Much Do I Need? ……………………………………… 65
Spycraft : Military Correspondence during the 1700s to 1900s ………………………………………………………. 67
Rectal Acorn, Silver Ball, and Quill Letters …………………… 68
Invisible Ink……………………………………………………………… 70
Mask Letters ……………………………………………………………. 74
Wild West Guns For SHTF And A Guide To Rolling Your Own Ammo…………………………………………. 77
Modern Firearms …………………………………………….. 78
Handguns ……………………………………………………………….. 78
Rifles ………………………………………………………………………. 80
Ammunition ……………………………………………………………. 80
Reloading Components …………………………………….. 82
The Cartridge Case …………………………………………………… 83
Processing Brass Cartridge Cases ……………………………….. 85
Primer Pocket………………………………………………………….. 86
Bullets and Projectiles ………………………………………………. 86
The Cast Lead Bullet …………………………………………………. 87
Casting Bullets………………………………………………… 88
The Bullet Mold ……………………………………………………….. 88
The Lead Melting Pot ……………………………………………….. 89
The Ladle ………………………………………………………………… 90
The Melting Process …………………………………………………. 90
The Casting Process …………………………………………………. 91
Swagging Bullets ……………………………………………………….. 93
Machining Bullets…………………………………………………….. 94
The Final Word on Lead Bullets …………………………………. 95
Powder …………………………………………………………. 95
Black Powder ………………………………………………………….. 95
Smokeless Powder …………………………………………………… 96
Primers …………………………………………………………. 96
Primer Size ……………………………………………………………… 96
Reloading Equipment ………………………………………. 98
The Lee Loader ………………………………………………………… 98
The Single Stage Press ………………………………………………. 99
The Progressive Press …………………………………………….. 100
Reloading Dies ………………………………………………………. 101
Reloading Bench ……………………………………………………. 102
The Tumbler ………………………………………………………….. 102
The Powder Scale …………………………………………………… 103
Manuals ……………………………………………………………….. 103
Storage of Ammunition and Components ………….. 104
How Much Ammunition is Enough? …………………………. 105
Recycling ………………………………………………………………. 105
Work Practices ………………………………………………………. 106
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills and Stamping Mills ………………………………. 109
How the Overshot Wheel Works ………………………. 111
Making That Force Usable ……………………………………….. 115
Gears ……………………………………………………………………. 116
Belts ……………………………………………………………………… 119
For Reciprocating Saws …………………………………………… 121
Don’t Forget Lubrication …………………………………………. 122
Building Your Own Water Wheel ……………………………… 123
How our Ancestors made herbal poultice to heal their wounds ……………………………………………… 126
What is a Poultice? ………………………………………… 127
A Few Poultice Recipes……………………………………. 130
Cataplasma Aromaticum …………………………………………. 130
Soothing Poultice …………………………………………………… 131
For Stomach Aches …………………………………………………. 131
A Mustard Poultice …………………………………………………. 132
A Native American Recipe to Treat an Abscess …………… 132
A Word of Warning from The Past ……………………………. 133
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? Or How to Wildcraft Your Table ……………………………………. 134
Arrowhead (Sagittaria Latifolia) ……………………………….. 135
Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis) …………………………….. 136
Bulrush (Scirpus acutus, Scirpus validus) …………………… 138
Cattails (Typha Latifolia, Typha angustifolia) ……………… 139
Chickweed, Common ……………………………………………… 141
Chicory (Cirhorium Intybus) …………………………………….. 143
Cleavers ………………………………………………………………… 144
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officionale) …………………………… 145
Henbit (Lamium Amplexicaule) ………………………………… 146
Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria) ………………………. 147
Lambs Quarters (Chenopodium album, Chenopodium berlanieri)……………………………………………………………… 148
Mint (Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata) …………………… 150
Mulberry (Morus alba, Morus rubra) ………………………… 151
Mustard, Black (Brassica Nigra) ……………………………….. 152
Peppergrass (Lapidium Virginicum) ………………………….. 154
Pigweed (Amaranthus Retroflexus, Amaranthus Hybridus) ……………………………………………………………………………. 155
Plantain (Plantago major, Plantago minor) ………………… 156
Pennycress, Field (Thlaspi Arvense) ………………………….. 158
Prickly Lettuce ……………………………………………………….. 159
Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea) …………………………………. 160
Quickweed ( Galinsoga Parviflora) ……………………………. 161
Reed Grass ( Phragmites communis) ………………………… 162
Shepherds Purse (Capsella Bursa-pastoris) ………………… 163
Sour Dock (Rumex crispus) ……………………………………… 165
Storksbill (Erodium Cicutarium) ……………………………….. 166
Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) ………………………….. 167
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS system ………………………………………………………. 169
Shadow Tip Method ………………………………………. 170
Watch Method ……………………………………………… 171
Using the Stars ……………………………………………… 171
Letting the Sun Guide You ………………………………. 174
Letting the Moon Guide You at Night ………………… 175
Moss and Other Vegetation …………………………….. 175
Making a Compass …………………………………………. 176
How Our Forefathers Made Knives …………………. 178
Forging a Knife Blank ……………………………………… 179
Forging the Blade …………………………………………… 180
Forging the Tang ……………………………………………. 181
Grinding the Blade …………………………………………. 182
Hardening the Blade ………………………………………. 184
Making the Handle…………………………………………. 186
To Make Your Own Knife…………………………………. 187
How Our Forefathers Made Snow Shoes for Survival ………………………………………………………………… 190
Anatomy of a Snowshoe …………………………………. 191
Making Survival Snowshoes …………………………….. 193
Using Your Snowshoes ……………………………………. 196
How North California Native Americans Build Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouse ……………………. 197
Building the Semi-subterrain Roundhouse ………….. 201
Supporting Poles ……………………………………………………. 203
Roof Construction ………………………………………………….. 204
Roundhouse Entrance …………………………………………….. 206
Fire Pit ………………………………………………………………….. 206
Summary ………………………………………………………………. 208
Our Ancestor’s Guide to Root Cellars ………………. 210
History ………………………………………………………… 211
The Right Space for the Job ……………………………… 212
Climate …………………………………………………………………. 212
What to Keep Where ……………………………………………… 215
Creating the Ideal Conditions …………………………… 216
Lighting…………………………………………………………………. 216
Humidity ………………………………………………………………. 217
Dirt Floors …………………………………………………………….. 218
Wet Cloth or Paper ………………………………………………… 218
Standing Water ……………………………………………………… 218
Bury Your Treasure ………………………………………………… 218
A Condensation Nightmare ……………………………………… 219
Ventilation ……………………………………………………………. 219
Storage Ideas ……………………………………………….. 220
In-Garden Storage ………………………………………………….. 221
Insulation ……………………………………………………………… 222
Things That Do and Do Not Belong in Your Root Cellar ………………………………………………………………….. 223
Proper Storage ……………………………………………… 224
Cull the Crops ………………………………………………………… 224
Preparing Vegetables for Root Cellar Storage ……………. 225
Curing Winter Vegetables for Storage ………………………. 226
Pests …………………………………………………………………….. 226
Organization ………………………………………………………….. 227
Good Old Fashion Cooking on an Open Flame ….. 230
Cast Iron Cooking ………………………………………….. 231
Care and Use …………………………………………………………. 232
Seasoning Your Cookery …………………………………………. 232
Never Use Dish Soap ………………………………………………. 233
Iron Rusts ……………………………………………………………… 234
No Fire ………………………………………………………………….. 234
Companion Tools……………………………………………………. 234
Roasting Meats ……………………………………………… 235
On a Spit ……………………………………………………………….. 235
On a String …………………………………………………………….. 236
Dutch Oven Cooking ………………………………………. 238
The Right Temperature …………………………………………… 239
Companion Tools……………………………………………………. 240
Recipes Past and Future ………………………………….. 241
Colcannon …………………………………………………………….. 242
Meat Pies………………………………………………………………. 242
Mock-mock Turtle Soup ………………………………………….. 243
Wassail …………………………………………………………………. 243
Apple Pie ………………………………………………………………. 245
Biscuits and Gravy ………………………………………………….. 245
Easter Cake ……………………………………………………………. 246
Porridge ………………………………………………………………… 247
Stew ……………………………………………………………………… 248
Bread ……………………………………………………………………. 248
Learning from Our Ancestors: How to Preserve Water ……………………………………………………….. 250
How Can I Make Sure That the Water Is Clean? …………. 256
Where Should I Hide or Store My Stock of Water? ……… 260
Learning From Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy … 263
Soap Making …………………………………………………. 264
Basic Recipe for Soap ……………………………………………… 264
Making Lye Water from Wood Ash …………………………… 265
Collecting the Fat …………………………………………………… 266
Cooking Up the Soap: The Cold Process Method ………… 268
Making Your Own Signature Soaps …………………… 269
Medicinal Soaps …………………………………………………….. 270
Homemade Toothpaste ………………………………….. 270
Basic Baking Soda Recipe ………………………………………… 271
Clay Toothpaste …………………………………………………….. 271
To Taste ………………………………………………………………… 272
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients ………………………………………………… 273
History ………………………………………………………… 274
Why Modern Ingredients ………………………………… 275
Understanding The Process …………………………….. 275
Irreplaceable Ingredients ………………………………… 276
Machinery and Equipment for Making Soap at Home ………………………………………………………………….. 278
Possible Soap Additives ………………………………………….. 279
Essential Oils …………………………………………………………. 279
So, How do You Make Soap? …………………………… 280
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………. 280
Equipment …………………………………………………………….. 281
Methodology…………………………………………………………. 282
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies ………………………………………………. 288
Why a Wood-Burning Stove …………………………….. 289
Temporarily Installing Your Wood-Burning Stove … 290
Temporarily Installing the Chimney ………………….. 292
Heating with Wood ………………………………………… 294
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread ……. 296
How to Make Sourdough Starter (The Rising Agent People Used Before 1900) ……………………………….. 298
How to Make Tasty Bread Like in 1869 ………………. 301
Making Bark Bread (Famine Bread) …………………… 302
Trapping In Winter For Beaver And Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did …………………………………….. 306
Why Our Forefathers Trapped ………………………….. 307
The Best Places to Trap for Beaver and Muskrat … 308
Their Local Habitats ……………………………………….. 309
The Types of Traps You’ll Use for Beaver and Muskrat ………………………………………………………………….. 310
Foot Hold Trap Types ……………………………………………… 311
Finding the Land Trails ……………………………………. 313
How to Set the Foot Hold Trap …………………………. 314
Finding the Underwater Trails ………………………….. 315
How to Set a Body Grip Trap ……………………………. 315
Tanning ……………………………………………………….. 316
Selling at the Trading Post ……………………………………….. 318
And There You Have It…………………………………………….. 318
How To Build a Smokehouse and smoke Fish ……. 320
Cold Smoking ………………………………………………… 322
Before We Start: Woods for Flavoring Your Fish ………… 322
Cold Smoking the Fish …………………………………………….. 323
First Things First: Curing the Fish ……………………………… 323
Making a Cold Smoker ……………………………………………. 324
Creating the smoker……………………………………………….. 326
Hot Smokin’! ………………………………………………… 330
Recipes Using Smoked Fish ……………………………………… 332
Practical Survival Lessons from the Donner Party 335
The Story of the Donner Party …………………………. 338
The Fatal Decision ………………………………………………….. 338
Escape and Rescue Attempts …………………………………… 343
Survival Lessons from the Donner Party …………….. 345
Follow the Known Route …………………………………………. 345
Money Won’t Save You; It’s What You Know …………….. 346
Supplies + Time = Life……………………………………………… 346
Weather Is the Deciding Factor ……………………………….. 347
Know When to Turn Back ……………………………………….. 348
Stress Leads to Anger and Volatility………………………….. 348
Age and Gender Play a Huge Role in Survival …………….. 349
Small Wounds = Death ……………………………………………. 350
How The Sheriffs From The Frontiers Defended Their Villages and Towns ……………………………………… 351
Crime in the West………………………………………….. 354
Equipment …………………………………………………… 356
Guns …………………………………………………………………….. 356
Communications …………………………………………… 359
Organization ………………………………………………… 361
The Sheriff …………………………………………………… 362
Deputy Sheriffs ……………………………………………… 363
Posses …………………………………………………………. 364
Bringing It Up to Date …………………………………….. 364
Showing the Flag ……………………………………………. 368
Raising a Posse ……………………………………………… 371
References …………………………………………………. 375

 

The Lost Ways has a 60 day 100% money back guarantee on the book. Also several other interesting books. Click on the The Lost Ways book image below to watch the video. Decide for yourself if it is something you want.

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The First 5 Items That Should Be In EVERYONE’S Everyday Carry

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The First 5 Items That Should Be In EVERYONE'S Everyday Carry

You likely already know that what you carry with you on a daily basis is influenced by whether you live in the city, in a small town or on a farm, as well as by the job you have and the mode of transportation you use.

Nevertheless, there are a few everyday carry (EDC) items that should be in everyone’s pockets, purses, briefcases and so on. Here are five:

1. The band-aid

I took part in an experts’ round-up a while back, which is in essence a mega-article where they take survival “gurus” and ask them what the most important survival item is. Everyone said knives and multi-tools, but I said band-aid.

Why? You never know when you might get a cut or a bruise. It is much more likely than landing in the middle of social unrest and having to make your way home through angry mobs and tear gas. Even then, you could still get injured and need to patch yourself up.

I carry a band-aid in each wallet, in my gym bag and, of course, a few in my car. They’re cheap, lightweight and small.

2. The phone*

Duh, everyone carries a phone, right? Maybe, but is your phone prepared? I’m talking about loading it up with survival eBooks, GPS apps, offline maps and so on.

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If you live on a farm or spend a lot of time outdoors or on construction sites, do you have a rugged phone, or at least a shock-absorbent case?

Whether or not you’re a HAM radio enthusiast or have a couple of walkie-talkies in the trunk of your car, your phone is likely to be the thing you use to call for help in an emergency or to make sure your family is safe.

3. Cash

You don’t have to believe ATM machines will stop functioning in a disaster situation. You should always have some cash on you, because it can get you out of a pickle fast. It’s accepted everywhere.

4. A pocket knife

The First 5 Items That Should Be In EVERYONE'S Everyday CarryThere’s nothing like a knife to make you feel safer. Well, maybe a gun, but not every location allows it to be legally carried. A pocket knife is the next best thing. It can help you escape an attacker, and you can use it to cut and open things.

Whether you sleep with a gun under your pillow or you think guns are evil, a pocket knife can be your everyday best friend.

5. A fire-starting device

It doesn’t matter if it’s a lighter or a magnesium fire-starter, the ability to ignite fire should never be ignored. You can use fire in a variety of survival situations: to signal someone, to cook a meal, and, of course, to keep you warm.

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So there you have it: The minimum number of EDC items (according to my humble opinion). Now, I know I left out things like your house keys, but I don’t really consider those to be survival items. I also know you can add dozens of other things to your EDC, and I encourage you to do so.

You can build on them by adding things such as:

  • a larger wallet to fit more items.
  • a mini first-aid kit.
  • a credit card shaped Fresnel lens
  • a multi-tool
  • a compass
  • a concealed carry revolver
  • … and so on

What would you list as your five “minimum” everyday carry items? Share your advice in the section below:

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Rethinking Survival Tools: 6 Areas Most People Get Wrong

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Rethinking Survival Tools: 6 Areas Most People Get Wrong

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It seems that everyone has their ideas about survival kits and must-have tools. I’ve probably read through at least 100 different lists in the last few years, and in reality, what I find are the same ideas being reiterated over and over again. The new ideas I find in those lists are all too often impractical — either too heavy or too bulky to carry.

With that criteria in mind, I’m always going back and rethinking my kit, looking to see if there is something I can improve. While a lot of time that doesn’t accomplish much more than assure me that I’m doing alright, at times I find something else that will serve me better. Recently, I’ve made a few changes in my tools, seeking to have a set that will serve me better if I ever find myself bugging out and having to survive on what’s in that bag.

The tools in your survival kit will probably be used for two main purposes: building shelter and gathering firewood. Both of those tasks require a lot of wood cutting. So, one of the biggest needs for my tools is to be able to cut a lot of wood, quickly and easily. If the tools can’t do that, they are essentially worthless.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common categories of tools and see how well they will work in a true survival situation.

1. Knife

Everyone agrees that the knife is the most important tool you can carry for survival. I’m not going to argue that. In fact, I just added a second sheathe knife to my bug-out bag. My basic bug-out plan calls for me to have one on my belt. But what happens if that one gets lost? The answer most people go with is to have a folding knife as a backup. I have that, too, as a folding knife is part of my everyday carry (EDC). But I really wouldn’t want to depend on a folding knife in a survival situation, hence the second sheathe knife.

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I’ve had a number of different knives through the years, which has led me to appreciate what I feel makes a good survival knife. First of all, it has to be quality. More than anything, that means being made of quality steel, with a full tang. Good steel will stay sharper longer, increasing the knife’s utility and reducing maintenance.

As for knife design, I’ve settled on a length, from 3 1/2 inches to 5 1/2 inches. My main knife is the longer length and my backup is the shorter. For survival tasks, anything longer is too hard to work with and anything shorter leaves you struggling to get things done. Avoid a sharply pointed knife, like a severe clip point or dagger, as the point will break easily. But be sure to have a point, as they can be useful. A drop point is just about ideal. Tonto points leave you without the ability to use the knife as an awl.

2. Saw

If there is any one area where I think most of us have missed it in our survival tools, it’s with the saw. Most people carry a wire saw. Some have replaced that with the pull strap chainsaw. Have you ever really tried cutting a tree branch with a wire saw? Forget it. Besides, in a true survival situation, the wire saw is probably going to break. Forget any saw which is part of a knife blade or multi-tool, too. They are just too short.

I was tempted to add a bow saw to my bug-out bag for a while, although it’s really too big. But if you want to cut tree branches, that’s about the best manual saw for it. It’s definitely faster than anything else you can find, and cuts with minimal effort.

Rethinking Survival Tools: 6 Areas Most People Get Wrong

Image source: Garrett Wade

But I found something almost as good. That’s the pruning saw. No, I’m not talking about the type that are on the end of a pole, but rather a folding pruning saw. Looking much like an oversize pocket knife, these will have a saw blade from 8 to 12 inches long and are razor sharp. Lightweight, they’ll still cut through a tree branch in a few minutes of work, rather than an exhausting half hour.

One other option is to combine your need for a saw with a machete. Some manufacturers make machetes with a saw blade on the back side. I have one of these, and while it doesn’t cut as good as my bow saw, it’s almost as good as the folding pruning saw. What it lacks in tooth design and sharpness, it makes up for by being longer.

3. Machete

Since we’re on the subject of machetes, let’s talk about them. Maybe it’s the time I’ve spent in Mexico, but I’ve grown to really appreciate the general utility of a machete. Not only are they about the only tool you can use to clear underbrush and blaze a trail, they’re excellent for cutting down saplings and cutting off small tree branches. Properly sharpened and used, they are better for cutting small branches than a hatchet.

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The machete also makes an excellent short-range weapon, should you find yourself in a melee and need something better than a knife. Using one against a knife-wielding attacker definitely gives you the advantage of reach, all but ensuring that you’ll win that confrontation.

All this and the machete is actually a rather light tool. It’s much lighter than a quality hatchet will be and even lighter than most tomahawks. Considering the importance of keeping the weight of everything you carry down to a minimum, the few ounces a machete saves is worth it.

4. Hatchet/tomahawk/machete 

Somehow, the tomahawk has become a very popular option within the preparedness community. Granted, it’s a cool weapon, much cooler than a hatchet. Yes, the hatchet can be used as a melee weapon, and, yes, it can be thrown. But if it came down to that point, I wouldn’t want to be throwing my tomahawk and perhaps giving a weapon to an enemy.

Many think of a tomahawk as a hatchet with additional benefits. But a tomahawk can’t do everything a hatchet can. More than anything, it can’t be used as a hammer, something that any good hatchet does very well. And while you can cut wood with it, it doesn’t cut wood as well as a saw or a machete.

Rethinking Survival Tools: 6 Areas Most People Get Wrong

Image source: TheMacheteStore.com

Actually, although I still have a hatchet strapped to the side of my bug-out bag, it’s lost a lot of its prestige to the machete. The main reason I still carry it is that the one I have has a hammer head and a pry bar built into it. Both of those can be useful tools to carry. While a rock can do service as a hammer, there’s really nothing else I’m carrying that can do double duty as a pry bar, without breaking it.

5. Shovel

When I was in the Army, we carried a shovel (more properly called an “entrenching tool”) as part of our field gear. The main purpose of that was for digging foxholes. Considering the effectiveness of foxholes in warfare, that made sense. But do we really need one for survival?

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There are a few places where a shovel is useful in survival, such as digging a latrine, making a fire pit and digging a trench around your tent to divert water. While those tasks could be done with a knife or other tool, that would probably dull the tool — not something you want.

Thus, a shovel is part of my kit. What I’ve found is that the longer the shovel, the better. When it comes time to dig, a handle that’s a few inches longer gives you more leverage, making the job easier. Look for length, rather than the added whistles and bells that some companies try to include. You don’t need your shovel to double as a saw or a compass; they won’t do that well.

6. Multi-tool

Ever since the multi-tool hit the market, they’ve been included in survival kits and bug-out bags. Perhaps that hearkens back to the days of the Swiss Army Knife or the multi-purpose knives that we carried as Boy Scouts. I’m not sure.

But there’s a big difference between today’s multi-tool and those knives of the past. That difference is that the multi-tool is intended to be a compact tool kit, with screwdrivers and pliers as the main focus. Yeah, they usually have a saw blade and a knife blade as well, but not some of the more useful survival blades, like an awl.

The thing is, you’re not likely to need to strip down a piece of equipment and repair it when in the middle of the wilderness. You’re more likely to need to make clothing out of a hide that you tan yourself. So, why are you carrying that multi-tool along? What are you going to use it for?

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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3 Traits That Separate True Survival Knives From Worthless Ones

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3 Traits That Separate True Survival Knives From Worthless Ones

Image source: Koster Knives

Let’s go over a bit of “basic survival knife 101” and talk about what makes for a good piece of sturdy, handy, sharpened steel to make your time in the sticks just a little bit easier.

However, there is one thing I did want to mention before we begin: I’m personally not much of a believer in the modern “survival” knife concept.

Yes, it is true.

Let’s just say that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen or held a real survival knife — at least, as it’s described in many popular gear magazines — and that’s because I’m fairly certain that they don’t exist. In my own backwoods experience and years of study, there are many types of knives that make for excellent companions. To depend on only one just doesn’t make much sense.

What Makes a Good Knife?

At the end of the day, it would be foolhardy to expect a knife to do everything, from building shelter to cleaning a critter to performing those millions of other critical camp tasks.

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Different blades are simply required for different applications. But then, I am also well aware that the backwoods can be extremely unpredictable — so if you must depend on one good knife, after say, your pack has taken a 10-mile journey down the river without you — then the following attributes should get you by until you either make it back home or are reunited with that backpack:

1. The tang — Especially if this knife happens to be the only blade at your disposal, then you’re going to want to make sure that it’s extremely well-prepared for a royal beating. That’s why I tend to suggest a knife that possesses a full-tang design. This means that the knife’s metal extends all the way to the bottom of the handle, providing a single, unbroken piece of steel. In most cases, this type of tang formation provides the greatest amount of durability and strength, performing far better than the vast majority of other knife tang configurations.

With that said, I am absolutely NOT a fan of “handle-compartment” designs — especially since most are cheaply manufactured and are basically sold like a gimmick from the get-go. And by the way, I’m just going to come right out and say that a foot-long knife is only going to give you problems in the field, because you’re not always going to be hacking at tree limbs with it. Try whittling a stick into an eating utensil, and you’ll see what I mean. Just keep it between 3.5 inches and 5 inches, and call it a day.

3 Traits That Separate True Survival Knives From Worthless OnesThe only real exception to my tang preference might extend into the partial-tang configuration. However, I’d prefer that beastie to be hand-forged. If done right, the handle itself is crafted to reinforce the blade, actually providing an even stronger (and more comfortable) design. That’s why, if you’re willing to spend that kind of cash, then don’t rule out doing business with a talented blacksmith — especially one who knows what they’re doing.

2. The handle. While acquiring a knife with a well-made handle might seem like somewhat of a peripheral design preference, I honestly feel like a good grip is the second most important attribute that makes for a good backwoods knife. Why? Well, it’s actually fairly simple …

For 95 percent of your camp tasks, your hands will be working with this knife. If you don’t have a comfortable handle, then your hands will be paying for it very soon in blisters. Also, depending on the task, a badly designed handle could even lead to slippage (and then a bleeder to follow). This is why I tend to recommend micarta scales on a full-tang knife, especially since they’re extremely tough and super comfortable.

On the other hand, I also tend to be a sucker for custom bone or leather handles. Heck, why not? Handles like that aren’t just comfy … they’re gorgeous, as well.

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3. The profile – And now we come to the knife’s profile – or what I’d define as the overall shape of the blade itself. Different blade shapes are designed to do different things, which is why a wide-profile blade is great for skinning and cleaning game with its long cross section, while a Tanto-edged knife is great for, well, penetrating body armor (thus its backwoods application is truly lost on me).

Keep the knife simple! That way, you won’t have to guess at what your exotic “tracker knife” is going to do next. This is why I’d recommend the spearpoint profile, as it offers a little curvature for slicing soft material; whereas, the long straight edge makes for quick work of light chopping tasks. A symmetrical sharp blade is a predictable blade … and predictability makes it easier to get the job done in the safest way possible.

Preparedness: It’s About the Mission, Not the Gear

At the end of the day, it is easy to get glitter-eyed for flashy gear — especially with all the marketing and movies we see these days. And hey, it’s not even a bad thing to purchase a blade for the “cool factor.” However, I’d personally rather be in the bush with an ugly-yet-effective knife than a flashy-yet-useless one. From generally enjoying the backwoods, to those rare situations when you’re pitted against it in a survival situation, it’s best to pack in the gear to meet the mission at hand — rather than plan your mission to fit your gear.

Do you agree? What is your best advice on survival knives? Share your opinion in the section below:  

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Terror On U.S. Soil: 4 Things You Better Know

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Terror On U.S. Soil: 4 Things You Better Know

Image source: ABC News screen grab

NEW YORK — Bombings in New York City and New Jersey, along with a stabbing in Minnesota, might be the start of a new radical Islamic offensive on US soil.

The reign of terror began in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on Saturday morning with a bomb explosion in a garbage can at a charity race. Investigators said there were other bombs in the trash can that did not go off as planned. Thankfully, nobody was injured.

Club goers on West 23rd Street in Manhattan were not so fortunate, as 29 of them were injured when a bomb exploded around 8:30 p.m. that night. Police later found a second device that did not explode

An hour later, a knife-wielding man attacked nine people at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. All of those attacked were injured, and the attack only ended when an off-duty cop shot and killed the attacker.

On Sunday night, bombs were found in a garbage can by homeless men outside an Elizabeth, New Jersey, trash can. They did not harm anyone, although one detonated when a robot was trying to dismantle it.

Discover The Secrets Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

Here are four things you should know about these incidents.

1. Authorities regard them as terrorism. “We are currently investigating this as a potential act of terrorism,” Richard Thornton, the top FBI agent in Minnesota, told the media. President Obama confirmed that the FBI was investigating the St. Cloud attack as terrorism. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said of that region’s incident: “We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.”

2. Both attackers were radical Muslims. The suspect in the New York and New Jersey attacks, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was captured Monday following a shootout with police. He was born in Afghanistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. The New York Times reported that Ramani was carrying a backpack full of pipe bombs when he was caught. The knife attacker was named by Minnesota media as Dahir A. Adan, whose family is Somali. He has lived in the US for about 15 years and reportedly asked victims if they were Muslim – supposedly to ensure he did not kill anyone of that religion. He also reportedly was wearing a security guard uniform. ISIS media called him a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

3. It is unclear if the Minnesota attack was related to the other ones. “At this point, we see no connection between that incident and what happened in New York and New Jersey,” President Obama told the press. ISIS has a strategy of encouraging “lone wolf” attacks in which sympathizers carry out random acts of violence.

4. The 71st General Assembly of the United Nations will be held this week in NYC. President Obama will be among those in attendance. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered 1,000 state police officers and National Guardsmen into the city to bolster the NYPD.

“Now for all New Yorkers, a central message we want to give today is be vigilant,” de Blasio said. “Be vigilant because the police need your help, and if you see anything that might be pertinent to this case, we need you to call it in.”

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Preppers Personal Security Tips

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A lot of people watch shows like Doomsday Preppers or T.V. series such as The Walking Dead and reach the inevitable conclusion that preppers are crazy and that emergencies and disasters are things that never happen in real life, not to them at least.

The fact of the matter is, preparedness goes well beyond Doomsday scenarios. In fact, “little things” such as getting ready for burglaries, having a well-equipped car and taking care of personal security are common sense, and they have nothing to do with asteroids, zombies or World War III.

In what follows I want to tackle the issue of personal security. If your spouse isn’t interested in preparedness, this is one of the issues you could mention without making yourself look crazy. Good people are victims of bad people each and every day… and this happens in first, second and third world countries alike.

Personal Security Tips for Preppers:

Step #1: Taking Care of the Little Things

I’m not going to bore you with stats about assaults, rape and street fights. You can find those online if you’re looking for a good scare, or if you need them to convince your spouse to listen to you. We all know that people are attacked every day and they don’t have to go to Afghanistan for it.

Everyone should have at least one self-defense item on them at all times. Now, I don’t know the laws where you live, so I’m just going to give you a list of things to choose from. I trust you will do your due diligence on what you can and cannot get:

  • a handgun
  • a folding knife
  • a stun gun
  • pepper/wasp spray
  • a tactical pen
  • a slingshot
  • a credit card knife

In Australia and Europe you’ll even have a hard time with pepper spray… but don’t let this discourage you from finding alternatives.

Step #2: Taking it To the Next Level. Your Car

Once you have at least one item with you at all times, it’s time you consider your transportation vehicle. Even if you don’t use it that often, what will you do if you’re going someplace out of town and you’re suddenly ambushed by a group of people. It happened to me onceand luckily they were kids who started hitting the car with their fists, so driving off fast was enough.

Keeping the law in mind, let’s see what some of the things you could fit in your car’s trunk are:

  • a rifle or a shotgun
  • a snow shovel (hint: this is practically mandatory for emergency situations, no one can accuse you that it’s a weapon)
  • a large knife
  • an axe
  • a machete
  • baseball bats
  • walking sticks

One of the things I bought for my car was a snow shovel. It can’t be considered a self-defense weapon because its purpose is to use it to get your vehicle out of snow and mud… but it can make a good back-up self-defense weapon in case I get attacked.

Step #3: Get a Dog

I’ve had dogs for the past 15 years and loved each and every one of them. All very loyal, though they didn’t get many chances to show it by defending me. There are plenty of breeds to choose from: German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers and even smaller ones such as beagles.

Step #4: Take Self-Defense Lessons

I should have put this at the top of the list but I realize a lot of people are lazy, and self-defense lessons take time, effort, patience and focus. Now, I’m no martial arts instructor but one thing I know is that if you don’t practice, you’re not going to get any results just by watching YouTube videos.

If you don’t have the time, consider ditching the gym for a month to try them. You’re going to get one heck of a cardio workout every time. Finding a self-defense class in your area is something that requires research, such as:

  • talking to people who’ve already taken one
  • watching YouTube videos with demos of each martial art to see what they look like and researching which ones are best for you
  • not assuming that a more expensive class has a better instructor
  • keeping in mind any medical issues you may have such as a bad back or bad knees
  • and, last but not least, finding an instructor who’s passionate about what he does

Step #5: Convincing Your Family to Do It

If your family isn’t receptive to prepping or their own personal security and well-being, if you feel they might be reluctant to the above suggestions, you should probably think and plan beforehand what to say.

Let me help you out by giving you some suggestions on how you can approach them:

  • Dig up old news of people being attacked in your town or city. This is very powerful proof that they can’t argue about.
  • Read the stats I was talking about in the beginning of the article and let them know that, even if the odds are small, it’s still important to be prepared.
  • Think what they are going to say and have comebacks. Some of their objections might be: “Oh, this will never happen to me!” or “Don’t worry, we live in a safe neighborhood!” or “I’m not going alone in unknown places at night so I don’t need this”.
  • Lead and they might follow. If they see you taking action, they might be inspired and follow your lead.

Stay safe,

Dan F. Sullivan

www.SurvivalSullivan.com

The post Preppers Personal Security Tips appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Batoning Wood

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See larger image Additional Images: KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife, Straight The Ka Bar’ was designed to serve our troops during WW II and is still doing its job, with honors, more than 70 Years later. New From: $67.12 USD In Stock Batoning wood is a common bushcraft/survival technique in which a strong knife can be used to split wood. I am showing it here because it is a good technique and useful and is necessary to know to get to my next post – which is basic spoon carving. Its pretty simple you only need a

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Review: Bud K Neck Knife

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http://amzn.to/1XGUz7b

This is a review of a Bud K Neck Knife that I’ve owned for a few years. I mostly wear it when walking my dog along the trails in the woods beside my neighborhood, as well as when I go jogging.  But it could be used for numerous other purposes, too. In addition to the knife, the sheath has a built-in whistle, which could be very useful in certian circumstances.

This knife is surprisingly inexpensive (less than $10)  for its quality. Here are the details: total length of the tanto-style knife itself is 6.75 inches. The cutting edge is 3 inches. In its sheath, it checks in at 7.5 inches. It is designed to be quite light weight, with the knife, sheath, and cord combined weighing less than 3 ounces. The full-tang knife is a black anodized 440 stainless steel. It came out-of-the-box relatively sharp. Overall, both the knife and the sheath & whistle seem well-made.

The knife snaps in place upside-down in the ABS sheath, which hangs by a cord from your neck. You can adjust the cord so that the knife hangs at the desired level on your chest. You could also easily replace the cord with different cordage or even a ball-chain if you wished. The sheath has a built-in whistle, which is quite loud.

The snap-in system works quite well. I’ve had this knife for almost four years, and have never had it fall out of its sheath, even when I’m being quite active. It still seems to hold as firmly and securely as when I first got it.

http://amzn.to/1XGUz7b

This shouldn’t be your primary fixed-blade knife, of course, but it works great for my purposes. Use it for when you don’t won’t to wear a belt knife (such as I do when walking my dog or jogging), or to have as a back-up. It is light enough to throw into a backpack, book bag, pocket book, or brief case without adding a lot of weight.  It would also fit nicely into the glove compartment or door pocket of a vehicle. For these purposes, I give this neck knife a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

It is currently available on Amazon for less than $10, which I consider a good buy for this neck knife.

Five Awesome Multitools That Can Get You Through Anything

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multitool shovelMultitools are just plain awesome aren’t they? They let you save a ton of space by wrapping multiple functions into a single item. And since most little problems don’t need super specialized solutions, a few multitools can fix pretty much any problem around the house.

That’s not to say that single use tools aren’t as useful. If anything they’re far more efficient. If you have the money and space to accumulate a wide range of tools, then you should absolutely do so. But multitools fill a very important niche in our lives, especially for those of us who are preppers. We need more space in our homes to store our preps, and with the ever looming possibility that we may need to bug out some day, we need tools that can give us the most utility with the least amount of weight and space.

However, not all multitools are created equal. Most in fact, are either made out of shoddy materials, or are encumbered with tools that would interfere with each other during normal use. If you’re looking for awesome multitools that get things done, consider the following:

Axe Shovel Combo

fobachi axe shovel

Nothing can beat a standalone axe, but if you’re backpacking or bugging out, its size and weight isn’t ideal. Neither is a standalone shovel for that matter. You’ll want a portable lightweight shovel that can do some hatchet work in a pinch, and the Fobachi folding shovel delivers. It also has a saw and weighs less than one and half pounds.

However, if you want a shovel that has more substantial axe capabilities, you should go with something that is longer and heavier like the Pagreberya folding shovel, which weighs about 2.6 pounds. It also includes a knife, magnesium rod, compass, and hex wrench cutouts.

Carabiner Multitool

true utility

The True Utility carabiner packs 20 different functions in a compact tool that only costs about 4 bucks as of this writing. It has four different wrench sizes, four different screwdrivers on a rotating disc, a bicycle spoke wrench, a file, bottle opener, pry bar, and a ruler, among others. It comes with a leather carrying pouch, or you can use the carabiner function to clip it onto a belt loop. Alternatively, you could use the clip to attach more tiny tools to the device.

Leatherman Tread Bracelet

leatherman tread

Almost everything Leatherman makes is useful and durable, and their tread bracelet is no exception. It consists of a series of interchangeable links that can be unscrewed and removed with a penny. Each link contains two tools, most of which consist of screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and box wrenches. It’s perfect for travelers who are tired of having their multitools confiscated by airport security.

Honeydoo Hammer

honeydoo hammer

They say that if all you have is a hammer, then all of your problems will look like nails. That’s not the case if you have the Honeydoo Multitool. It includes an adjustable wrench, pliers, screwdriver, knife, file, and 12 different screws and bolts. While a small hammer like this would be inappropriate for serious nail work, it’s perfect for solving lots of little problems around the house.

Innovation Factory Axe

innovation axe

It should go without saying that while the axe shovel combo would be useful, you probably can’t split wood with it very easily. It’s only an “axe” in the vaguest sense of the word. But when you ditch the shovel and build a multitool around an axe head instead, it is a thing of beauty.

The Innovation Factory All Purpose Axe comes in two different varieties; one that was designed for truckers, and another for fire and rescue workers. Both include an axe head, hammer, nail puller, and pry bar. It’s a very simple and resilient tool that isn’t overburdened with too many gizmos. It only has a few tools that do their jobs very well. And at a little over two pounds, you could take this axe just about anywhere.

Also See:

Five Cool Multitools You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Only 3 Knives You Need For Off-Grid Survival

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The Only 3 Knives You Need For Off-Grid Survival

I have had a passion for cutlery since I was about 8 years old, and have endeavored to learn as much as I possibly can about them ever since. In fact, my passion has resulted in me writing quite a lot about knives over the years.

Of course, writing about them is not the same as using them! Thus, as an avid wilderness survivalist, I have come to the conclusion that, contrary to popular belief, there is simply no such thing as a single, do-it-all, survival knife. I now view my survival knives as a system. I now carry:

  • A large, heavy duty, chopper meant to replace a hatchet.
  • A somewhat smaller field knife.
  • A significantly smaller fixed-blade utility knife to enable me to perform all of the jobs that I find necessary in the field.

(Stay tuned for specific suggestions.)

Large, Heavy Duty Chopper

For instance, to an experienced wilderness survivalist, saplings are the single most important building material available because they are used for building shelters, traps, snares and hunting tools such as an atlatl and darts or a self bow and arrows. The ability to cut down and shape saplings is of major importance, but it has also been my experience that the average survival knife is woefully inadequate for this task, and the indigenous peoples of Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines have apparently discovered this as well — since they have a number of different knife designs meant specifically for chopping woody plants. They have different designs such as the enep, the parang, the parang changdong, the barong, the bolo and the Golok that are made for cutting the woody plants that inhabit the jungles where they live, as opposed to the machete, which is a cutting tool designed to cut the soft plants of the South American jungles. Thus, for cutting woody plants, you need a knife with a very thick spine instead of a thin one — and you need a weight-forward blade design. Although any such design could range from 8 to 24 inches in length, for the purpose of wilderness survival, knives with blades in the 10- to 14-inch range tend to work best with the shorter blades, providing a little more control and the longer blades providing more power for deeper cuts.

Restore Your Old Blades To A Razor’s Edge In Just Seconds!

After looking at numerous American versions of various ethnic knife designs, I have chosen a version of the Thai enep made by Kershaw Knives called the “Camp 10″ that features a 10-inch blade made from 65Mn high carbon steel, which I find is capable of performing any job that a hatchet is, as well as some that it’s not. There are several other knives, such as the Entrek Destroyer, the Fox Knives Parang XL, the Bark River Knives Grasso Bolo III, the Ontario Knife Company Bolo, the SOG Jungle Bolo, and the Cold Steel Smatchet, that will also fill this niche quite well.

Smaller Field Knife

Image source: EverydayCommentary.com

Image source: EverydayCommentary.com

But there are some jobs for which my Camp 10 is simply too large and thus, I also find it useful to carry a large camp knife. For this purpose, I prefer a large, heavy duty knife with a thick spine and a blade with a length that ranges 6-9 inches — with 8 inches being my ideal length — either a clip point or a drop point design with a flat grind for superior sharpness or a saber grind with a high primary bevel line for a tough edge. My personal choice in a camp knife is a knife designed by A.G. Russell that that features an 8-inch recurved blade design made from AUS-8 stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 57 to 59. Therefore, I use this knife as my general purpose knife to handle most of my cutting tasks but, once again, there are several other knives that will serve this purpose well, such as the Fallkniven Odin, the Cold Steel Recon Scout, the Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife, the Bark River Knives Bravo II, the Randall’s Adventure Training ESEE-6 and the KA-BAR/Becker Combat Bowie.

Utility Knife

But once again, there are some jobs for which even that knife is simply too large. So I also find it useful to carry either a smaller fixed blade knife with a blade length of 3 1/2 inches to 4 inches, or a large folding knife with the same length blade, because I use this knife for any small cutting jobs that require that I maintain extra fine control over the blade as well as using it as a hunting knife for removing the hide from the game animals I catch in my traps and snares — and for gutting and removing the heads from the fish that I catch. It performs exceptionally well when cutting the notches in the sticks that I use to make traps and snares as well as when making a DIY spear or atlatls and darts. I also carry an A.G. Russell Laplander, which features a 3 7/8 fixed blade made from A-2 high carbon tool steel with a Rockwell hardness of 59 to 61 which will take and hold an exceptionally fine edge. But, some other knives that would also serve well in this capacity are the Fallkniven Pilot Survival Knife, the Entrek Javelina, SOG Field Pup, the Kershaw Diskin Hunter, the Randall’s Adventure Training ESSE-4 and the Tops Tennessee Tickler.

Final Thoughts

By carrying three different survival knives on a military surplus utility belt instead of just a single one along with my survival kit and canteens, I find that I am extremely well-prepared to handle nearly anything the wilderness can pit against me, because my three-part survival knife system gives me the ability to build shelters, make hunting tools, and obtain and process food. The concept of a single, do-it-all survival knife simply does not work for me because I find that survival knives are like golf clubs: You simply must have more than one!

Do you agree or disagree? What would be your three knives? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Tools You Will Want in an Outdoor Emergency

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Tools You Will Want in an Outdoor Emergency

outdoor toolsWhen preparing an emergency kit for the car or camper, or for a compartment in your backpack, keep in mind that usefulness must be combined with situational likelihood. If a vehicle malfunction leaves you stranded on a forest service road in the mountains, you may need certain items that aren’t all that necessary if your car breaks down on the interstate highway. Likewise, if you’re on a backpacking trek, you might need to fend for yourself for longer than if you encounter bad weather and flooding at a campground.

In addition to the obvious inclusion of energy bars, dried fruit, Mylar thermal blankets, rain jackets, and matches, consider packing some special tools that will come in handy. The following list contains essential items that you may want to keep in a separate duffel bag in your car or SUV, or in a special container stowed in a larger backpack.

1) LED Flashlight

These are lightweight, the battery lasts far longer than a light with an incandescent bulb, and most of the outdoor-suitable models are practically unbreakable. In fact, it’s a good idea to have at least two LED flashlights on hand, one of which is head-mounted for hands-free use.

2) Collapsible Shovel

The best models are the ones that have a simple, pull-out handle that is then fixed tightly with a twist mechanism. The shovel head should be made of high-strength steel. This tool can be valuable if your car gets stuck in thick mud or gravel, and it can also be used to dig a fire pit. Choose a model that fits into a stowaway compartment on the SUV or laid flat in the bottom of an outdoor preparedness duffle.

3) Lighters and Fire-starter

Several disposable lighters should be packed in a watertight compartment in the emergency kit or in a zip-loc style bag in a backpack. In addition, invest in a Magnesium Fire-starter. These come as two blocks that are struck together and come on a chain. Make sure to practice using it before you head out into the wilderness. (APN recommends these fire starters. Jalapeno Gal has one and it is her personal favorite.)

4) Multi-Purpose Knife and Fixed Blade Knife

A Swiss Army knife or similar model is one of the most invaluable tools you can have with you should you become stuck in the wilderness. It only takes a little practice to memorize where the various blades are located. Make sure the model chosen has a mini-sized saw blade, a small pair of snippers or shears, and a metal file. Keep a fixed-blade knife with at least a five-inch blade in the emergency kit in addition to the folding knife.

5) Stainless Steel Water Bottle

It’s important to have plenty of water, and most of the supply can be stored in plastic bottles. However, keep at least one steel water bottle in the emergency kit as well. It can serve as a container for boiling water if necessary. Stainless steel has naturally occurring anti-septic properties that will keep your pumped water cleaner than most other bottles.

6) Outdoor Wallet

Although fashionable to carry in public, a camo wallet is actually designed for easy location of cards, folded maps, and small tools. Some of the best dual- and tri-fold styles have separate cash pockets and checkbook inserts. When taking one with you on a trip, keep a list of map directions to nearby destinations inside. If your phone or GPS goes dead, you’ll be glad you did.

7) Map and Compass

You might not think of these as tools, but they can save your life. Don’t rely on GPS devices if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have a paper map that shows the area where you are traveling, and download a map onto your smartphone as well. Keep a compass in the emergency kit, separate from those you carry on your person. Remember to keep the emergency kit compass in its own container, and don’t store it next to anything else that is magnetic.

 

Outdoor enthusiast, turned blogger Rhett Davis brings his passion for all things outdoors into everything he writes. Rhett’s perfect Saturday is a morning on the lake, afternoon with the BBQ and an evening with family.

The post Tools You Will Want in an Outdoor Emergency appeared first on American Preppers Network.

4 Reasons You Should Carry a Pocket Knife

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4 Reasons You Should Carry a Pocket Knife

knife 2There are certain things we have on us every single day….a shirt, pants, socks, shoes, phone, wallet, etc. And while these are the items that initially cross our minds, don’t overlook the importance of carrying a pocket knife. From everyday utility to personal defense, pocket knives are extremely valuable.

4 Reasons to Carry a Knife

In the past, almost every grown man carried a small pocket knife around with him. But over the years this has become a sort of lost art. Today’s generation of men don’t seem as interested in carrying around knives. This is unfortunate, since there are a number of benefits to having a pocket knife on you at all times.

These benefits include:

Cutting

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where something needed to be cut? This may include a package, letter, rope, or anything in between. Well the primary use of a pocket knife is to cut. Having a pocket knife on you will ensure you’re prepared for whatever situation you may face.

Self-Defense

Hopefully you’ll never need to use your knife as a self-defense weapon, but it’s nice to have an additional form of protection on your body. You may not even have to use it. If a perpetrator comes towards you, the mere presence of a knife can be enough to deter them.

Tightening Small Screws

Unbeknownst to many, pocket knives are great for tightening small screws. Whether it’s a watch, pair of sunglasses, or some other small device, the blade of your knife is often the best solution. Having a knife on hand can save the day under certain circumstances.

Eating Food on the Go

When you’re eating food on the go, a knife can come in handy. Not only is a knife good for cutting and peeling fruit – such as apples – it’s also useful in situations where you order to-go food and the restaurant forgets to supply you with a table knife. Just give your pocket knife a good clean and you’re ready to go.

What to Look for in a Good Carry Knife

If you’ve never owned a pocket knife before – or don’t know exactly what you’re looking for – here are three things to keep in mind:

  • The first thing to look at is price. Pocket knives can range from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Pick your price range and then look for knives you can afford.
  • Every knife has a specific function. While there are single-bladed knives, there are also lots of different varieties. For example, this knife has a small hatchet, hammer, screwdriver, scraper, and saw. Depending on what you need, this model could offer more value than a standard knife.
  • Carefully consider length. Do you simply need a tiny blade to cut through packages and file your nails, or are you looking for a blade that you can take out in the woods to cut through brush? Length will dictate what you can and can’t do with the knife. (While most pocket knives are small enough to be legal, reference your state carry laws to ensure you understand the rules.)
  • Consider how the knife feels in your pocket. You’ll be carrying your knife with you everywhere, so make sure you like it. Does the knife have a clip? Do you want a clip? Does it feel heavy, or is it light enough to carry without any issues? These are all questions you need to think about.

When you combine these features you should be able to narrow your list down to a couple of options. And once you start carrying a pocket knife around, you’ll wonder how you ever did without one!

 

The post 4 Reasons You Should Carry a Pocket Knife appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to Sharpen Your Knife On A Car Window

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How to Sharpen Your Knife On A Car Window Justin Telford of NaturalBushcraft.co.uk shares with us a knife sharpening tip using a tool that might surprise you! If you find your self in a SHTF situation and you have a dull blade, you can get the blade as sharp as new by sharpening it on a …

Continue reading »

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Cutting Tools and How to Use Them for Survival

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Cutting Tools and How to Use Them for Survival

By Frank Bates

maxresdefaultShow me a bug-out bag that does not include a survival knife and I’ll show you a basically useless bug-out bag. A good survival knife is not a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity. The only way you’d be able to get along without one in an emergency that forces you to leave home is if you’re checking into a five-star hotel. This is an item that might save your life on more than one occasion.

But your survival knife will get lonely if it is your bag’s only cutting tool. You will probably have some problems if you don’t include others, and they can go a long way toward making your bug-out experience more tolerable and ultimately successful… especially if a crisis situation lingers longer than anticipated.

Let’s first examine the types of survival knives that are most appropriate for bugging out, as well as their features, then we’ll discuss reasons for including additional cutting tools with a variety of uses. You won’t require each one I’ll include in this article, but this will provide you with a few choices. Then you can decide which ones are right for you.

Some folks refer to a quality survival knife as the most important item in a bug-out bag that you can’t eat. I’d suggest spending a minimum of $40 and a maximum of $100 on this. Make sure it has a single-edge, fixed blade, six to eight inches long and made of quality steel. Choose one in which the heel of the knife is flat.

The handle should be comfortable in your hand. This is considerably more important than creative ridges, fancy designs and other ornamentation. Remember – a survival knife is for survival, not for show. The protruding guard between the blade and the grip, called the hilt, needs to be solid due to the fact that it is what prevents your hand from sliding down the blade when you’re applying cutting pressure. Keep your knife in a leather, web or composite sheath so you can wear it on a belt and have quick access.

What types of survival knives don’t you need? Overly large knives that are impressive looking but are difficult to maneuver, and knives with double-edged blades and no heels that you might need for splitting wood. Whatever kind of knife you own, don’t use it as a pry bar because once that blade breaks off, it will be useless.

Other Cutting Tools

Now let’s take a look at other cutting tools that could come in very handy when you’re in the wild. Include a medium-size lock blade folding knife with a blade of 2½ to four inches with a leather holster, web belt pouch or external belt clip in your bag. This knife is convenient for smaller jobs. You can probably acquire a good one for about $20.

Another item that should be included in your bug-out bag is a multi-tool. You can get one for $20, but you’re better off spending $40 to $80 for this tool because the quality of steel will be better. Find a model with all of its blades and tools locked, as this will prevent them from folding back on your knuckles while using it.

Some features to look for with this item are a folding set of needle-nose pliers with wire cutters, a can opener, screwdriver blades, a small saw or fish-scaling blade, a course-tooth file, a boring awl, ruler markings and a fold-out lithium LED flashlight. All models should include at least one pocket knife-sized blade, some of which are serrated or partially serrated and others that are straight. Multi-tools are highly convenient, but they can’t replace your main survival knife.

With both a quality survival knife and a multi-tool, a pocket knife or pen knife is not crucial, but it can’t hurt to include one. For about $10 to $15, you can buy a small or medium Swiss Army knife to handle finer tasks, including removing splinters.

And speaking of “minor surgery,” include a couple of sterile-packed disposal scalpels in your first-aid kit.

If you think there is any chance you might have to construct a wilderness shelter and/or cut firewood for more than a couple days, it might be a good idea to include an ax or hatchet in your bug-out bag. It could come in handy and will be worth the extra weight. This one-piece item with a steel blade should be at least 12 inches long, and you can probably acquire a suitable one for $25 to $30.

There are a couple alternatives for axes, but they have their drawbacks. A lightweight, compact camp ax with a synthetic material handle and titanium blade that won’t break or corrode is easy to handle, but requires considerably more effort to get the job done properly. A modern tactical ax looks like a tomahawk with a pickax on the rear of the cutting head. This item, which tends to be expensive, cannot be used as a hammer.

Regardless of your ax choice, make sure it comes with a complete head scabbard or reliable blade guard. Otherwise, it will move around in your bag and could cut other gear or the bag itself. An option if you prefer not to carry an ax is a folding camp saw. Some of them look like giant lock blade knifes (12-18 inches when closed). They run about $20.

Remember to keep your cutting tools sharp. This is imperative both for their usefulness and your safety. Dull blades require you to work harder and increase your injury risk. A pocket sharpening stone or sharpening steel device can be found at sporting goods or cutlery stores.

If you’re fortunate, your bug-out experience will be short. But it could last a long time, so it’s best to error on the side of caution and include a wide variety of cutting devices in your bag. You will be grateful that you did.

 

Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.

The post Cutting Tools and How to Use Them for Survival appeared first on American Preppers Network.

The Ancient Overlooked Survival Knife That’s Perfect For Everyday Carry

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Karambit

To me, one of the most intriguing intellectual exercises in preparedness is the question of every day carry (EDC) essentials. The question becomes, “If I suddenly found myself in a survival situation with nothing available beyond what is in my pockets, what should I have in them?”

We all know that we should have a couple of ways to start a fire (Bic lighter and a ferrocerium rod or Blast match are great choices), and that a hank of paracord in some form (mine is in a bracelet and braided into a key fob, made for me by my daughter) is useful. But in my estimation, a good knife is the backbone of a solid EDC kit. Here, the choices are limitless.

I have said before, and will undoubtedly say again, I am an aficionado of traditional forms. This holds true for me in the category of EDC knives, as in other areas. This having been said, I would like to offer up some thoughts on an often overlooked blade in the world of EDC, and that is the Karambit.

For the uninitiated, Karambits are the wickedly curved blades traditional to Indonesia. The curved design is based on the shape of a tiger’s claw, the tiger being revered in Indonesian culture. Thus, traditionally, the knife design had ceremonial significance as well as being an everyday tool and a last line of personal defense. In addition to this shape, a finger guard loop at the end of the handle is often a distinguishing feature of this type of knife.

Restore Your Old Blades To A Razor’s Edge In Just Seconds!

I have read different accounts of the Karambit’s evolution. One school of thought is that it is a progressively scaled-down version of larger fighting weapons, synonymous to the evolution of the dagger from the broad sword. The other school of thought is that it was designed as a tool rather than a weapon and that its martial uses were a natural outcropping of its form and functionality in conjunction with its wide availability at times when weapons became a necessity. As in many stories, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. In practical terms, suffice it to say that by whichever route, the Karambit has been the utilitarian knife of choice in Indonesia and surrounding areas, used by warriors for many hundreds of years. In effect, it has been EDC gear for a lot longer than the term has existed!

Image source: WikipediaThe Karambit today is probably best recognized for its adoption by many martial arts styles. It is well-suited as a weapon, but it is also very functional, too. I have found that the blade shape lends itself well to cutting rope and cord. The very fine point does a great job as an awl, and functions well for making holes in leather and other materials. I find it to be a very good whittling tool, for making stakes and skewers (anything of the “pointy stick” category), and for stripping smaller branches from larger ones or small tree trunks (useful in shelter building). The Karambit also excels at field dressing game.

The shape in general and the finger loop in particular make this a very safe knife to work with; your grip is always secure and it is easy to work the blade away from the body. Overall, it is an excellent all-around utility knife.

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As a personal defense weapon, it also has some very useful features.

The shape of the blade and the overall shape of the knife, in conjunction with the method of grip, make the weapon more difficult to see in the hand. In essence, you have a semi-concealed weapon even when it is drawn and ready for action. This can provide an advantage of surprise in a confrontation, and in some circumstances can permit you to anticipate an escalation of a situation without contributing to the escalation by actually presenting a weapon.

There are a wide range of Karambit on the market, from the economical to the very expensive. They come in folding and fixed blade models. My favorite general carry Karambit has become the M-Tech 8 inch with G10 scales. This blade falls on the very economical side of things and can be found for less than $20.

Everyday carry gear is a very personal matter, and is dictated to a high degree by lifestyle and profession. But if you are looking for a knife, consider a Karambit.

Do you have any experience with a Karambit? Share your advice in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Knife Depot & Schrade Knives

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Knife Depot & Schrade Knives
Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps

NOTE: If you purchase any knife from Knife-Depot use the code “prepper 10” at check out and receive an additional 10% discount.

Knife Depot & Schrade KnivesOn this episode we will talkwith Andrew from Schrade Knives, which are available from our new sponsor www.knife-depot.com. We talk about their new line of 2016 knives, if you have watched shot show coverage you might have seen a few.  A neat little bush crafting style knife the 2016 SCHF55 which is a Brian Griffin Design could be yours.

3-21-16 9_56d4cb4d0a6240.75543610This is a great knife for general bush crafting duties. If anyone knows me they know I love my knives and I can say this one is a winner. Tune in and come to our chat for a chance to win! I will also talk about a few other things regarding Schrade that I love and a little history I have of my own with their products. The company really stands behind their products, I have dealt with them in the past and they do not disappoint. They offer great quality knives at an affordable price. I have many of their blades, some new some old, and I like them all.

We will have a great time with Andrew who is very knowledgeable in the blade arena. Andrew also wants to discuss SCHF55 designed by Brian Griffin, the SCHF56L and SCHF56, as well as the SCH111 and SCH112 which are karambit styled blades. If you follow Schrade lately they are coming out with some exciting stuff, and always skirt the edge of design, they have some interesting makers and all around something for everyone.

I personally own a few of their large fixed blades, a few small ones, a few of the old uncle henry styles, which I still carry today. So whether you like old style or new there is one out there for you, so listen to the show and I guarantee it will be a good time!
Join us for Survival & Tech Preps “LIVE SHOW” every Monday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Knife Depot & Schrade Knives” in player below!

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Picking a Survival Knife Episode 93

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Buck Hoodlum survival knife

Buck Hoodlum

 

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Picking A Survival Knife

This week Mike and I tackle picking a survival knife. We focus on how to find the right knife or blade system for your area. Not all systems work well everywhere. Jeff Radtke in Wisconsin has little need of a machete. Just like carrying an axe in Florida isn’t the best.

After location budget is the next big concern in picking a survival knife. You should get the best knife you can afford. It needs to be one of, if not the most, expensive items in your kit. Not saying you can not get by with a $17 Mora. In fact you should definitely own one. If you break on, which is hard to do, you aren’t out much money.

The knife is your main tool and should be high quality. I would not be happy to have my life depend on a cheap knife. You can’t take your money to the grave. I have a few hundred in my knives and they are all quality.

We list off a few recommendations. Knives that I have owned and used. We also talk about some to avoid.

 

Topics

  • Picking a Survival Knife
  • Where are you and how are you going to use it
  • What is your budget
  • Which grind to scandi, hollow, flat
  • Custom or production
  • Just one or more
  • System to pair it with
  • Some recommendations
  • Mora classic not the rubber handle one
  • The buck hoodlum
  • Kbar
  • Condor bushcrafter
  •  Not the habalis trade knife.

Links

 

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The belt knife!

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The belt knife!
Josh “7P’s of Survival

belt knifeI have talked about knives on this show probably more than any other subject and yet it is almost always about a specific brand of knives. On this episode I decided to go in a different direction with a familiar topic and talk about how to go about selecting your belt knife. I have written several articles on this topic and one in particular I talk about the ten elements that I ensure a belt knife will have if it is going to be a one tool option.

For a long-term Survival/Self-Reliance Knife I look for the following options:

1) Fits your hand comfortably in all positions;
2) Manageable and effective blade length;
3) Solid/Flat Pommel;
4) One Cutting Edge with no serrations;
5) 90 degree edge on spine;
6) High Carbon Steel;
7) Sharp/Spear Point;
8) Heavy duty sheath with ferro rod loop;
9) Thick enough to withstand prolonged abuse;
10) Fixed blade with full or nearly full tang blade.

belt knifeNow let’s take a step back from that…. The first step in selecting a knife is making the determination of #1 how much you’re willing to spend and #2 what functions you plan to use the knife. So you only want to spend a small amount but want an all-around utility knife? Well, there are many options out there and we will talk about some of those. So what if you want a do it all knife but could care less about batoning you can always go for a leatherman, if you want a fighting knife they make a knife for that… So knowing exactly what your tool to do and do well is essential to getting the most out of your purchase regardless of how much you want to spend.

Throughout this show I walk through a potential knife purchases for various tasks and at different price points and what I would most likely purchase in that scenario. As always I welcome your questions and comments and would be glad to provide a little advice if you’re in the middle of a knife selection.
For articles mentioned above and other information visit 7P’s Survival Blog HERE!
Join us for The 7P’s of Survival “LIVE SHOW” every Tuesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “The belt knife ” in player below!

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Archived shows of 7P’s of Survival at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post The belt knife! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

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Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

Sam Serrato. Image source: Fox5

Zero tolerance run amok almost destroyed the lives of two high school students in Escondido, California. Brandon Cappelletti, 18, and Sam Serrato, 16, faced expulsion from school and criminal charges because security guards found knives used for fishing and other chores in their vehicles.

“Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wake up in the middle of the night,” Serrato, a junior, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “If I end up getting expelled, I’d have to go to a community college. It’s not what I really want to do. My whole life would change.”

Security guards found a pocketknife with a blade more than two and a half inches long – the maximum allowed length under state law — in the glove compartment of his SUV while it was in the parking lot at San Pasqual High School. The knife didn’t even belong to Serrato; it belonged to his dad, who had put it there after purchasing it weeks earlier.

For that transgression, Serrato could have faced up to a year in jail and expulsion from school, which would have made him ineligible to play football. Serrato is an honor student who is hoping for a football scholarship to a four-year school.

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Cappelletti almost saw his dream of serving in the Marine Corps disappear. The branch’s high standards make even a misdemeanor a disqualification for service. Cappelletti had left three knives in his pickup truck following a fishing trip in January and forgot about them; the knives were used for cutting fishing line and fileting the fish. Like Serrato, he never actually took a knife into the school.

State Law Mandates Zero Tolerance

Outrageous: Student Goes Fishing, Leaves Knife In Car, And Gets Arrested?

Stock photo. Image source: Pixabay.com

The two ran afoul of a California state law that makes it a misdemeanor to bring a knife with a blade longer than two and a half inches on school property. Security guards found the weapons while searching for drugs with drug-sniffing dogs, although the guards found no drugs.

School officials tried to expel the two, but that provoked a backlash which prompted a large crowd to fill a school board meeting. Even some school officials turned out to support the two.

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“I’m willing to stick my neck out for these kids because they are the kind we want representing us in society,” football coach Tony Corley told a reporter. “They made an honest mistake. They will learn from it and I hope their lives won’t change because of an innocent mistake.”

Officials apparently listened, and on February 13, The Union-Tribune reported that no criminal charges would be filed and the two will be able to return to school. That will enable Cappelletti to report to Marine boot camp this summer.

“Following the review, and based on the totality of the circumstances, the Escondido Police Department has decided to not submit the cases to the District Attorney’s Office, or to the Juvenile Diversion Program,” Lt. Ed Varso of the Escondido Police Department said in a statement. “No charges will be pursued in the case.”

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What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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19 Ways to Use a Knife in a Survival Scenario

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19 Ways to Use a Knife in a Survival Scenario Every prepper has at least one survival knife in their supplies (good preppers have two or three). Buy why? What makes knives so important? Someone once asked me what I expect to do with my knife other than sharpen sticks and skin animals. The answer: …

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The post 19 Ways to Use a Knife in a Survival Scenario appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

A Good Knife, How to Choose One that Fits Your Needs

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knifeChoosing a knife is a very personal thing.  A lot depends on why you want it.  Even through a knife is very versatile, the design and size of a knife can affect its performance.  One of the most experience hunters I know, field dresses out all his game from elk to birds with a small inexpensive 2 ½ inch bladed pocket knife.  He claims larger knives are too cumbersome.

Personal if I am going out in the woods for any period of time I will carry a larger sheath knife (normally an old Marine Corp K-bar) and a folding knife at the very least.

Here is a few simple guidelines will help you determine what type of knife is right for you.knife

  • Fixed blade or folder, a fixed blade is normally bigger and stronger.  A folder is lighter and easier to carry concealed in many situations.  In some states, a fixed blade may be illegal to carry concealed.
  • What do you plan to use the knife for?  This will help you to determine the size that is required.  It has been my experience that many people choose a larger knife than they need.  You can clean and skin an elk with a 4-inch folding blade.  A large knife is better if you are clearing brush, batoning, cutting firewood or defending yourself.
  • Stay away from the cheap Rambo knives with the hollow handle.  It is best if your sheath knife has a solid one-piece tang.
  • Check the grip it should not be made of a material that will become slippery when wet or bloody.
  • A straight blade knife works better for chopping wood and is easier to sharpen.  A good smooth stone can even be used to sharpen a straight blade, whereas a serrated edge almost always takes a special sharpener.
  • A strong blade has good edge retention, is resistant to rust and sharpens well. I like carbon steel, because while it is more subject to rust, it is much easier to sharpen in the field and with a bit of care can be kept rust free.
  • If you choose a folding knife, be sure you can open it one handed.
  • Buy a good US brand if possible.  There are some good foreign knifes, but beware of the cheap Chinese and Pakistani ones.
  • You don’t need to spend a million dollars to get a good knife, but don’t go to cheap.  Good serviceable knifes can be found for under $75.00. If you are broke you can’t go wrong with a  Mora, Your Best Choice For a Reasonably Price Knife
  • It should be either a fixed blade or locked in the open position.
  • It should serve the intended purpose

Now that I have given you my guidelines, I am going to say that I have never found one knife that is perfect for everything.  In my bug out bag, I have an old issue Ka-bar.  In my pocket I always have at least two knifes.  Whatever knife you chose, take it out and use it. Be sure it will do what you want.  It is like any other piece of gear it needs to be well tested.

Howard

The post A Good Knife, How to Choose One that Fits Your Needs appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Seven must have survival knife styles for survivalists

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When people start talking about survival, prepping or off-grid living, the most contentious debates occurs over which survival knife is best. All sort of questions get asked and eventually, some people will settle on a certain type of knife. In this article we will approach the survival knife debate from a different angle and we … Read more…

The post Seven must have survival knife styles for survivalists appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

19 Ways To Use a Knife in a Survival Scenario

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One thing you’re guaranteed to find on any decent list of survival supplies is a knife. It’s easily one of the most versatile pieces of equipment. So much so, in fact, that many survival experts believe it’s the most important tool you can have with you. To the […]

The post 19 Ways To Use a Knife in a Survival Scenario appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The World’s Best ‘Survival Knife’ For Clearing Brush, Cutting Firewood And Even Carving

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parang 1

I am a big fan of edged weapons. The utility of a good blade is such that, in my opinion, no one should ever be without one.

A decent knife can get you out of more binds and fix more problems, from the mundane to the major, than just about any other tool. But let’s face it: The knives most of us carry are generally a compromise, as there really is no one-size-fits-all knife that excels at every task. So, despite the undisputed need for a solid, general purpose knife, it is good to consider the prospect of acquiring some more specialized implements and keeping them in your car kit or survival kit.

One area where general purpose blades and even most Bushcraft knives fall short is chopping brush and wood. This can be a lifesaver in situations where shelter-building and gathering firewood, or a variety of other tasks, becomes necessary. For these purposes, I like a good machete; it is a fantastic tool and a wonderful backup defensive weapon. And where machetes are concerned, my top design choice is the parang, originally from the region of Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s used by some of the world’s top survivalists, including Bear Grylls.

Typical vegetation in Southeast Asia is of a woodier variety than that of North America, so the parang has a host of features that make it ideally suited for heavier chopping chores. For starters, parangs have a thick, heavy blade and are generally of a rat tail or full tang design for strength. To prevent binding in the cut of woody material, the bevel of the blade is more obtuse than in other designs, and the edge is most often of a convex grind. Both these features are there to help prevent that embarrassing and potentially dangerous moment when your blade just won’t pull free of what you are cutting.

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Additionally, the “sweet spot,” or point on the blade where maximum chopping force is delivered with minimum effort, is located further from the handle than in other designs, and the handle itself incorporates a curvature and an enlarged end for a firm and secure grip in damp and sweltering Malaysian jungles — or wet and humid Midwestern summers. Parangs weigh up to two pounds, and are quite possibly the perfect chopping implement.

Traditional parangs have three distinct edges. The tip end has a finer edge for tasks such as skinning of game. The mid blade, in the region of the sweet spot, has a coarser chopping edge. The final region, near the handle, is quite fine for things such as carving. So, despite its primary role as a chopping implement, the parang has a great deal of versatility built into its design.

parang 2 -- woodsmonkeyDOTcomMy favorite Parangs come from Condor Tool and Knife. Condor makes their blades from real, honest-to-goodness, high carbon tool steel. Their machetes are every bit as tough as the high quality shovels and other hand tools they produce. They are real tools built for real work, and with a bit of care they are a lifetime investment.

Condor produces a traditional, as well as a “bushcraft” series. The bushcraft blades feature molded polypropylene grips and a nylon sheath. They have a more modern and “tacticool” look than the traditional styles. The polypropylene handle material offers a good, comfortable, non-slip grip, and the nylon sheath is tough and weather resistant. The 13-inch blade and overall length of just shy of 20 inches makes it a handy size for your survival kit or car kit, but it is still large enough to get the job done. The Bushcraft Parang is an excellent choice of machete.

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Stickler for tradition that I am, I prefer the traditional to the bushcraft models. The main differences in construction are that the traditional blades feature wood handles and a leather sheath. They really capture the classic look of the traditional parang. My favorite in the lineup is the 18-inch Village Parang. With a 12-inch blade and an overall length of 18 inches, it is compact enough to be stored in a small space but still plenty big for most tasks. I will not argue the point that the modern materials on the Bushcraft Parang offer certain advantages, but I sometimes defer to style points when it doesn’t affect overall performance, and the classic style of the Village Parang appeals to me.

Several other manufacturers offer parang-style machetes. Notably, Gerber produces the Bear Grylls Parang in two sizes. These are fine blades and although very updated, maintain many of the features that make a parang a parang. The compact model, at just a shade over 20 inches overall, would be an excellent addition to anyone’s kit.

Once you have covered the bare essential of a good all-around knife, it is prudent to start adding more task-specific knives to your kit. Whether it be stripping saplings and chopping brush for a debris shelter, cutting firewood, or fighting your way through heavy underbrush, you can’t go wrong with a good machete. The traditional parang exemplifies the best in what a good machete should be.

Related:

Why Your Survival Gear Needs A Machete 

Do you have experience with a parang or other type of machete? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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9 Ways To Defend Yourself Without A Gun

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9 Ways To Defend Yourself Without A Gun

Image source: wildernessarena.com

Concealed carry is on the rise, but, unfortunately, we may not always have access to firearms for self-defense.

Below are nine different items that can be used effectively as self-defense weapons. These tools are also small and lightweight so you can carry them easily and discreetly with you wherever you go.

1. Knife

This is probably the first weapon besides a gun that comes to mind. The knife, whether it be a small pocket knife or a larger, fixed-bladed one, is a very commonplace tool because almost everybody has at least one or two of them. While larger knives can draw attention to you, there are plenty of smaller knives that can be easily concealed on your person. I recommend a folding knife with a serrated blade that can be opened and closed quickly.

2. Tactical pen

While it’s true that any pen can technically be used as a stabbing weapon, tactical pens are better for this purpose. Tactical pens differ from regular pens in that they are constructed out of a very durable metal and the end of the pen has a sharp edge that can be used for protection.

3. Pepper or wasp spray

Both pepper and wasp spray are non-lethal weapons that serve as effective deterrents because they inflict significant irritation to the mouth and eyes.

While the active ingredients don’t typically lose their sting and can be stored for a long time, keep in mind they don’t perform well in all conditions, such as rainy weather.

4. Flashlight

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My Personal Defender

A durable flashlight — such as a My Personal Defender — will hit hard and give you lots of reach, allowing you to fend off assailants with something that has the “punch” of a baseball bat.

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The My Personal Defender actually has a telescoping feature that extends it to more than a foot.

5. Stun gun

A stun gun is going to do just as the name suggests and buy you some time to get away to safety. While they are often designed to look like traditional guns, many models are designed to not look like weapons and can be carried discreetly, without drawing attention to yourself. They also work in the rain whereas pepper or wasp spray do not. Of course, they aren’t legal in all states.

6. Keychain knuckles

Keychain knuckles are easily the most effective self-defense weapon that can be attached to your keychain. They have sharp edges and are constructed out of a virtually unbreakable plastic. In addition, they are very lightweight and deliver a brutal punch.

7. Belt

The belt is one of the most common items, and it can be used just as well for self-defense as it can for holding up your pants, but only if you have the right kind of belt and know what you’re doing.

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The metal buckle not only delivers damage to an opponent, but can keep him or her at bay if you’ve wrapped the other end around your fist.

8. Umbrella

Just as there are certain pens that are built for self-defense, there also are umbrellas that are built for the same reason. The difference between self-defense umbrellas and regular ones is that the former are constructed out of a fiberglass material that is both lightweight and offers the same hardness as steel.

9. Rock

If you have literally nothing else to use as a self-defense weapon, look for a rock. You can pick up a rock with a sharp edge to use as a knife-like weapon, or a rounded one to use as a club in your hand.

What items would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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How to Choose a Survival Knife

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One of the most common yet misunderstood survival items is the survival knife. When I first started prepping, I thought all knives were basically the same and that it didn’t matter what kind I got. But the more I learned about knives, the more I realized there are […]

The post How to Choose a Survival Knife appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

4 Amazing Multipurpose Blades For The Outdoors

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If we’re talking preparedness and prepper conduit, we have to agree on one thing: there’s no such thing as being too prepared! And this is because so many things can go wrong at any time. It’s extremely important to be both physically and mentally prepared for when it really hits the fan; and it will hit the fan hard. You’ll need to counteract everything life throws at you, and it won’t be easy. But you have only so much time to do it, your resources are finite and there’s only so many things you can keep around the house or on you. Owning any sort of multipurpose blades is the way to go; the more you can get done with a single object that you can easily store in a small space is the key to surviving in a hostile environment. When it comes to pocket blades, the sky’s the limit. There are many companies that have followed in the footsteps of Victorinox (the producer of the Swiss Army Knife) and have released many competitive products, which are equipped with a lot of useful gadgets alongside a well sharpened blade. Owning such a tool will get you out of many tight spots; it’s only a matter of finding the right one for you. Let’s have a look at some of the finest multipurpose blades on the market.

 

The Swiss Army Knife

It’s only fair that we start with the most renowned name in the business, with the brand that started it all. The Swiss Army Knife is the most common product that Victorinox has to offer. And its reputation is well deserved. This tiny gadget is so much more than just a “blade-in-a-box”, it comes equipped with many tools and gadgets to help the wielder’s cause in so many situations. There are various models with a different combinations of features. The most multifunctional model comes with a can opener, a screwdriver, a compass, a pair of pliers, a nail file, a pair of scissors, magnifying glass, a toothpick and more. More recent models also offer a USB flash drive, a small digital clock and even an LED flashlight. The economic design makes it easy to fit in a small pocket and easy to use in any situation. The price will vary, depending on the model and the amount of features it has.

 

The Leatherman Skeletool

Leatherman have taken the idea forwarded by Victorinox and are trying their best to take it even further. This company have released a very serious model that’s giving the Swiss Army Knife a run for their money. Their “flagship” blade is called the Skeletool, and what’s sets it aside and makes it shine is the carbon fiber version. Not only is it small, compact and easy to use, but it’s also light and very durable at the same time, thanks to the carbon frame. In the tools and gadgets department, the Skeletool has all the necessary appliances you could need in a SHTF situation: a bottle opener/ carabiner, a bit driver, a pocket clip, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and of course, a sturdy and sharpened blade. Based on the model, you’ll spend somewhere in the range of $80 – $100 if you decide to go with the Skeletool.

The CRKT Guppie Multi-Tool

The Guppie Multi-Tool is a device released by Columbia River that can also be attached to your belt, in case your pockets are full The clip gate makes it easy to attach to any sort of belt or D-ring. The gadget is made up of very durable 3Cr13 steel. The knife blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel and it can be opened with one hand. It also has a powerful enough LED light, a wrench, a bottle opener, a jar opener. The wrench jaws are adjustable and open half an inch, making it very efficient for small assembly or repair jobs. This tool is so much more than just a blade, and it will be very useful in case you’ll find yourself in a pickle.

 

The Buck 301 BKS Stockman

The Buck 301 BKS Stockman is one of the most elegant pocket blades on the market. This folding knife is not exactly what you’d call “small”, as it reaches an overall length of 4 inches. This all-American pocketknife has 3 very durable blades, made out of 420HC stainless steel, which will stay sharp for a very long time. It has a sheepsfoot blade, a Spey and a 3-inch clip point. To attest to the product’s quality, the Buck 301 BKS Stockman comes with a lifetime warranty. The handles are made of plastic, but they’re made in good taste and out of a strong plastic, that will last forever.

 

There are so many products to choose from, so making the right choice won’t be an easy task. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to settle for just one multipurpose folding knife. You can get as many as you like, just make sure that the tools you decide to equip yourself with are complementary. No use in carrying too many identical knives on you. The more diverse their features are, the more options you’ll have in a survival scenario.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post 4 Amazing Multipurpose Blades For The Outdoors appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Knife Choice, Care, & Maintenance!

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Knife Choice, Care and Maintenance in SHTF
Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps

KnifeThe need to protect your tools in shtf is key, you might not be able to just go to the store and buy new ones or order one on ebay or amazon. So the question we will answer on this show is how do we maintain our knives in a situation where resources are at a minimum?

1-25-16 Huckberry_How_to_Care_for_your_Knife_4-300x200First we have to look at what you are maintaining, whether it is carbon steel, stainless, or a hybrid of both. During the show I explain what all of these terms mean and how they would apply to your environment you are in or plan to be. I also touch on what type of knife would be best during shtf, what to look for and what to avoid. I go over the uses of the knife in a wilderness or everyday shtf situation.  I discuss what accessories you should carry with a knife, what kind of carry system you should look for and the types and the various uses for each type.

IH7N0054There will also come a time in a shtf that may require you to have to defend yourself with a knife, I recommend a good knife for this and some good instructional videos that will help in the aid of learning how to defend yourself if the time arises. I also recommend a few classes you can take for defense and survival for the use of knives so that you may want to consider this if you have no experience with a true survival situation.
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Wilderness Survival Part 4/4

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2 (Tyler & Kirsten)
Duration: 12 min 45 sec

Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 4/4: Gear, Rescue, and Survival Discussion

Tyler: “So we are here at Boulder Outdoor Survival School and we are learning primitive skills that can help you in a survival situation. Alright so let’s say I don’t know anything. I know I need gear, I don’t know what gear I need to get. Where do I start.”

Kristen: “Hmmm, you’re in a survival situation is that true? Well, you know, everything starts before that situation actually happens. You need to let people know where you are going. If no one is looking for you, then no one is going to find you. So, leave a note in your car if you’re going on a hike letting them know where you plan to go and when you plan to be back. Let friends know. Know the area, have a map of the area on you.

“So actually these skills begin before you even leave the house.”

Tyler: “Ok let’s say I was dumb and didn’t let anyone know where I was going but I was smart enough to bring some kit with me. If there is one thing, and maybe a few more but primarily one thing that I need to bring, what do you think that would be?”

Kristen: “I would say at this point in time a steel blade is probably the most important thing in ones survival kit IF you have access to clean drinking water.”

Tyler: “Okay so why do I want a knife as opposed to a canteen.”

Kristen: “The land offers plentiful resources to allow you to do everything that you would do with modern gear so long as you’re actually able to access it. Sometimes plants, bushes, trees, need an aiding device in order to gather and harvest and use them for purposes, like let’s say your hot rock boiling inside of some kind of container that can’t go in a fire.”

 

Tyler: “So why would you hot rock boil something inside of a container?”

Kristen: “Water purification is very important. Whenever you have the opportunity to purify your water you should, even if you trust that resource. Things like Giardia and Cryptosporidium water borne illnesses usually have an incubation period of 7 to 10 days and then after that you can have diarrhea, vomiting and you end up losing mass amounts of water. So to avoid this, purifying and filtering your water is absolutely important.”

Tyler: ”So I have my knife but I don’t have the skill set. I go to blade HQ and buy myself a knife. What can I do first? Where should I go first to learn how to make that container to boil water, to learn how to make traps, how to make shelters?”

 

 

Kristen: “Well I’m gonna back you up a second. Actually the first thing I need to know is knife safety. I know that it could be a dangerous move to take my knife out of the sheath if my hand is over the blade because it may cut me. So I am going to be careful taking my knife out of the sheath.”

“I know that carving towards my femoral artery is going to be a poor decision so I’m gonna make sure that as I begin to use my knife that I am taking care of what I call my blood bubble. Making sure that my follow through never goes where it is going to hit me. Safety comes first.”

Tyler: ”So if you find yourself hiking or lost, or you find yourself in a vehicle that is broken down. How long can you expect before getting rescued and what are some things that you can maybe prepare ahead of time just in case something like this happens?”

Kristen: “If you have told someone where you are going, most likely in the United states you will be rescued within 72 hours. If you have not told anyone where you were going you will be missing for a while before someone realizes you are gone. I would say a week to maybe two weeks is more likely.”

“The top Items that I would want to have in my car or on my person if I were stuck in a survival situation would be a sturdy knife. I would love to have it be a full size tang, mid-size blade up to a small chopper.”

 

“I would want to have a metal canteen or some other type of water carrying device that I could also use in the fire to boil and purify my water.”

“I personally like to have a 5×5 foot piece of cloth. Wool is my preference because it wicks well. It doesn’t tend to smell after long term use and it doesn’t catch on fire if an ember comes and hits me.”

 

 

 

“Another great piece of equipment to have is a military poncho. They are great to protect you from the rain immediately. Just put them on. They are great for shelter and wind protection. Just like a 5×5 sheet of cloth it is great for hauling material. I would definitely want to have a poncho on me.”

“Rope. Rope is awesome. There are a lot of natural materials that you can use to make rope, BUT para cord is my favorite thing to take with me. I like to use para cord that is about 550 pound weight because inside of a para cord there are multiple strands. You can attach each strand together and have a longer piece of rope that will still give you close to 100 pound poundage.”

 

 

“Other items I would want to have on me might include a wool sweater and wool socks. Eventually something to cover my head with because we lose a lot of heat through our core and our head.”

“For rescue stuff I would like to have a signal mirror on me. Being able to make a fire is critical for a lot of different reasons. Three fires in a row is an SOS signal to anyone in the world. Being able to make fire, having a Bic lighter, Vaseline cotton balls, pitch wood, a bow drill kit or hand drill kit on me. Definitely an item I would want to have. A fire making item.”

 

 

Tyler: “So I know one issue at night time is you get your great roaring fire set up, you fall asleep and wake up and it is gone. What is your solution to that problem?”

Kristen: “There is not a huge solution to that problem. Which is why as far as staying warm is concerned it is very helpful to use other insulatory materials VS fire. The coldest point in the night is usually the early morning. That is the time where we are totally asleep or really could be sleeping and our fire goes out or our hot rocks that we put underneath us are finally cold. Amassing your coals can help protect them and keep your fires going a little bit longer but the truth of the matter is if you want your fire to last all night long you will need to continually feed your fire wood. So you will have to wake up to do so.”

Tyler: “So once I’ve got my gear and I put that in my car kit and I find myself lost. I’ve calmed myself down and figured out where I’m at. Now what? What do I do?”

Kristen: ”If you know that you’re only going to be out there for a week and you need to take care of yourself and the area that you are in does not provide you with resources to maintain you core body temperature or does not provide you with a water source then you need to go find those things. If you leave the spot where you are last found, you want to leave a trail. Just like Hansel and Gretel. It can be pieces of a cloth that are wrapped around trees. It can be making sure that your foot prints are very deep and very easy to back track upon. It can even be a huge fire with smoke coming out of it that you can see. You go check an area and then come back to that point if you haven’t found what you are looking for. Then you go and check another area for those resources and come back to that point. Once you have found what you are looking for you can then move locations.”

“The resources that you need to pick up relate to thermal regulation and to water location. Hydrating. You need material that are going to help keep you warm and dry and finding water is apparel. Dehydration kills very quickly.”

“So how do we locate water if we have no idea where it is? One thing we can do is try to get to a high spot. The more we can see of the land the better our chances are of either seeing the low points where water runs. Even seeing reflection of water is possible from long distances or just getting a better understanding of how the land is moving so you have a better idea of where water might be. If I see sand for miles and I see a mountain in the other direction I will probably head for the mountain. I see grasses, I see bigger trees, more likely t have water than the sand.”

“What are animals doing? There may be tracks everywhere but when you want to look for water you want to look for where animal tracks are converging. Where multiple different species of animals, you find that their prints are coming together into one trail. Most likely that trail is leading towards water.”

“Another thing you can do at that vantage point is look for a change in vegetation. There may be lots of things that are green around you but you see no water nearby. If you look for a change in vegetation, things that are brighter green or I see, for example a cotton wood, some leafy things following in sort of a river like pattern that might be a great indication of water. So that vantage is huge. Get to that high point.”

“Look for things that always reside in water. Like frogs. If you hear frogs you should walk towards the frogs. Other wild life that tends to be in riparian zones that you know of, if you see any of them follow them. On that note, almost every creature needs to drink. So if there is animal life around, don’t fret, there is water around.”

“If you’re trapped out in the wilderness, for however long, and you take care of your priorities of survival, the truth of the matter is what you need to do is accept that just like our ancestors it is totally possible to live at peace in the wild. When you are afraid of nature it is scary. When you learn about it, and utilize its resources and they comfort you and you except the sunrises and the sun sets, you’re gonna do just fine. Resistance to your scenario is probably going to kill you. Acceptance until you can actually get to a point where you enjoy the natural world will save your life.”

 

Tyler: ”So what do you mean by maintaining a good or positive composure?

Kristen: “In times of duress we often have spikes of adrenaline which can be helpful or hurtful. What I mean by mental composure is the ability to calm oneself and utilize your natural energy that is going to happen in a survival situation in the right way. Panicking, yelling, a lot of anger and frustration, these are not helpful to your success. Sitting down, leaning against a tree, looking at something that you know like a bird or the sky that you see every day is going to make a better starting point for you to make good decisions.”

 

 

 

 

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The post Wilderness Survival Part 4/4 appeared first on American Preppers Network.

5 Reasons A Knife Can Be More Dangerous Than A Gun

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You might be a bit skeptical at the idea that a knife can be more dangerous than a gun, but over at Modern Combat And Survival they make a very strong case. According to the FBI, only 10% of officers who were shot died from their wounds, whereas […]

The post 5 Reasons A Knife Can Be More Dangerous Than A Gun appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

ESEE 3 Long Term Review (Video & Transcription)

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Video By Sno Multimedia
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network 

Number of speakers: 1 (Manny Edwards)
Duration: 7 min 29 sec  

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ESEE 3 Long Term Review

Manny: “I’ve got a lot of knives. You might have seen the 30 minute video I did on YouTube a couple years ago that shows pocket knives and survival knives and all kind of cutting tools, but one thing I didn’t have was a knife that I could deploy horizontally off the belt. So, now I’ve got one of those and I’ve had it for several months and using it. I am going to review it for you today.”

“Whenever I had a knife on my hip it was always getting tangled up in my seat belt when I sat down or poking into the chair or somebodies leather couch or the seat of the car. I wanted to find something horizontally at the belt. So what I got is the ESEE 3. I’ve had it for six or eight months now and been using it really hard. It’s my go to knife now. I wear it all the time, every wear I go because it is so handy. Yes, it’s short but you can get it longer if you want.”

“The ESEE 3 is 3.88 inches from tip to the handle and its got a 3.38 inch cutting edge. The four is longer. The five is longer than that and the six is the longest. If you want to wear it horizontally I think a three or a four is as long as I would want to wear comfortably at the belt. If you’ve got to much stuff in your pocket or your belt it’s gonna pull your pants down and be uncomfortable, but this is not bad at all.”

 

“So I can take it out one handed like this, but then when I put it back I can hold the sheath and as long as I can I do it visually to make sure the tip is going into the sheath and not gonna cut into my hand. So I watch the blade go in there and then I pop it in.”

“You can do it one handed okay. Put it in like this and then grip up here on this grip and squeeze it in. So now it’s in there.”

 

“When you get the knife you get the knife and this ABS plastic sheath. Now I have read on the forums that there are people complaining about the fact that it’s not Kydex but ABS is perfectly adequate for what this needs to do. You don’t get this clip that is a separate item you have to buy separately. You just get this clip that closes down over your belt. These things you can adjust up or down narrower for a smaller belt or wider for a bigger belt like mine. To open it you just pull this and then squeeze these open.”

“The sheath has this drainage groove in case you get water in the sheath which is important because the blade is made of 1095 Carbon Steele which does rust. As you can see I’ve already got some rust on the cutting edge. On top where this protective coating has worn off from all the batoning I’ve been doing. So there you see a little patina.”

“So is it a problem for it to rust? Well, yes. You don’t want your carbon steel blade rusting. But you can prevent it by using rust inhibitors or like you can buy a cloth you rub on the blade and it prevents rust or you can oil it.”

 

“So why carbon steel? Why not get stainless steel and not deal with the rust? For me, it’s a practical issue. I have had a lot of 1095 knives all my life and I know how to sharpen them and that really is the issue because when I go for my knife I am not reaching for an ax, or a hammer, or a screwdriver or a pry bar. What I need is this thing to cut. I’ve pretty much got it down as to how I can get a good cutting edge on it.”

“I like it relatively for the factor of the whole thing. Just because of the way I carry it, horizontally. When you first get the knife the mycarta smells. It’s got kind of an offensive burnt plastic smell to it that is pretty unpleasant, but it wears off after a time and no it has no odor whatsoever.”

“It’s a one eighth inch thick blade. If you get the mill model it is gonna come with a sharpened spine and a partly serrated edge right here. A sharpened glass breaker pommel. It also comes in another model that has a rounded pommel. This one comes with a good coating on it, but it’s wearing with all the batoning I’ve done on it.”

“This finger toil is good if you ever need to do any very close carving work right here near the end of the blade. It always makes me nervous to do that because I’m afraid I am going to cut myself so I’ve just learned to grip it like this and keep my index finger on the grip and then get what leverage I can like this.”

“The blade is wide and instead of cutting off this belly and going straight to a point right here you have this big rounded piece of metal. Now what does that do? Well. Let me demonstrate. Okay, because of this belly, if I wanted to feather out a fire stick carving it like this. I can work using the belly near the tip of the blade and use all this longitude force and what that does is it doesn’t tire out my wrist so much. Here is what I mean, I am feathering out here using the big fat belly on the blade.”

“An interesting thing for you guys is it actually comes with more of a belly than you see here, but I’ve used it so much I’ve sharpened it down so now it is flattening out a little bit.”

“If you do break it, these guys guarantee it for life. So if you break it, send it, they will replace it. About this coating wearing off, I would say that is probably normal wear and would not be covered by a warranty. I don’t know if they would charge you to resurface it but I don’t think it would be a problem to put a new surface on this. The thing is, it is kind of pointless because as soon as I get it I will wear it off again. So, I’m just gonna live with it like this.”

 

“Well, that is my long term review of the ESEE 3. I am really pleased with ESEE knives. I have found nothing about it that I don’t like. I have no hesitation recommending it to you. If you don’t like this kind of knife, if you don’t like 1095 steel just leave a nasty comment OR go find a knife you do like.”

“Hey, thanks for watching and go to the blog. I have a write up on this knife. See you there.”

The post ESEE 3 Long Term Review (Video & Transcription) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

EDC For Black Scout Survival (Video & Transcript)

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (Tyler)
Duration: 16 min 23 sec

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EDC For Black Scout Survival

Hey this is Tyler with T Jack survival and today I am going to demo my little survival kit. This is the smallest one that I have. I have a bunch of little kits. One is a fire kit, survival kit, communications kit, and for the channel Black Scout Survival he has asked me to do this little kit. So stay tuned.”

“So a quick little discussion on the concepts behind what you should do or what you should use to put inside of your EDC kit. Now first off, it needs to be small, okay. This little kit I can just grab and put in the pocket of my pant leg. I can leave it in another bag. I can throw it in my work bag with my lunch. I can do a lot of stuff with it because it is so small and mobile.”

“The second thing is it needs to be able either cover or assist you in covering the major survivor related items. Fire, water, shelter, food. In addition to that I like to add communication, security, and power for communication and possibly observation. Communication is going to be your cell phone, HAM radio or something like that.”

“Power for communication is going to be a battery pack, a solar panel, a solar panel with a battery pack back up that triple charges or some way for you to continue to power your devices.”

“Security is going to be a knife, a pistol or something to keep the animals off of you or from attacking you that usually can double as a good hunting tool. So I’ve got communication, power, and security. The other ones are fairly self-explanatory. Fire is incredibly important. You can’t do anything without fire for the most part. You need it to boil water. Eventually when your tools like your filters or chemical purification runs out it always comes back to water boiling. That is your basis, your fall back for everything. So, fire needs to be there to boil water, you need it for heat, you need it for a friend, you need it to cook food. Sometimes you need it to boil certain plants to gain the nutrients from there. So fire is incredibly important. That is why I have a couple different versions of fire in my kit.”

“When it comes to a kit, you don’t always just have to be fire, water, shelter, food. The things that you need to use on a regular basis like a pen and paper. That’s not fire, water, shelter and food. Yeah I can grind up my paper and catch it on fire but it’s not really its original intent. However, it is incredible useful. It’s something I use all the time writing down notes, description’s, leave pictures of dead fall or a figure four or a loaded spring trap or whatever trap that you want. You can put that all on your paper. You can burn your paper if you need to but if you don’t need to then you’ve got it.”

“Another item that is not as good, the little peanut lighter that I have in my bag is not as good a fire starter for me as that striker is because that striker, I am very successful with that striker on a regular basis but that little peanut lighter doesn’t always work. However, I keep it in there because it is good to have a flame back up. When you make your EDC kit don’t just focus on survival but look at things that you can use that is useful. Maybe allergy medication, Visine eye drops, Chap Stick, extra batteries. I have a larger kit that has extra batteries and a head lamp in it. I don’t have that in this kit because I just never need it. I’ve always got in my larger kits the flash lights and stuff. It is a true survival situation let your eyeballs adjust to the moonlight and drive on. I’ve done plenty of forest marches at night with no lights at all. It is completely doable.”

“Anyways, that is just the basic concept that I wanted to give you on your kit. Get your fire, water, shelter, food and if you have a large enough kit cover, communication, power for communication and security. Oh and I’m sorry, the last one, observation. A pair of binoculars or a way to hide your self is observation. Either see or be seen. If you’ve got some money maybe some night vision googles. It’s a military concept I’m bringing in anyways.”

“Use the little kits to assist the larger kits. Use your little kit in conjunction with the canteen cup and poncho. Or a bigger kit that’s got MREs and food and a rifle and all that other fun stuff. But truly, if you have the right skill set you don’t need any of the gear but it’s not about need it’s about “Man I wish I had a go lock to chop this tree down instead of this rock.” Or its about, ”Man I wish I had some chemical purification so I can just drop it in and go so I don’t have to sit here and make a fire and boil my water.” So try and find the items that give the absolute most bang for the buck that are small and will fit in your small kit.”

“So I’ve got this Maxpedition hard use gear bag right here and there is a fatty and a mini. This one is the mini. I don’t remember the full name of it. It’s the mini something. And there is a couple of things that I like to have in my actual EDC survival kit. I am constantly doing stuff with my 550 cord.”

 

“So I’ve got this little guy right here called a peanut lighter. Now the peanut lighter is just a baby Zippo. There we’ve got the spark and the little wick and then it’s just got fuel on the bottom. You can just pull it out like that and that will give you the ability to add more fuel to the bottom of this. It’s just Zippo fuel. I would have quite literally a Zippo fuel tank right here that I’ve attached to it on the key chain. Then fortunately this guy has a O-ring there so I can tighten it up. I can get the stuff to align. It won’t lose all its juice. One of the biggest failures of a Zippo light is that if you leave it for a long period of time it will evaporate and run out of juice. So I’ve got back up juice and then I’ve got the juice in there.”

“Another thing I’ve got in there is Chap Stick. Not only is it good for your lips it can also be added to dry kindling right. Then you can put a spark on that and it works as a mini candle. So if you’ve got some dry grass or something you can always add this to it. Then I have fire pistons in my kit that is dedicated to teaching fire. And it is a really good way to lubricate the O-ring on a fire piston. So I leave that in there as well.”

“My primary fire starter is this ESEE Ferro Rod. It’s got, the reason why I really like this one the most. First off that’s a big fat chunk of Ferrocerium steel right there, but secondarily its got a really nice compass in there. So that’s a really nice secondary item to have. Now what I’ve done is added in the back of this cotton and petroleum jelly. The cotton works as a wick and the petroleum jelly burns. A little close up there. With this cotton and petroleum jelly all I have to do is take a pinch of it, spread it out, hit that with a spark and I’ve got anywhere from a one to five minute flame that I can use to light my kindling. On this is a big, huge O-ring on the inside of there that is replaceable that keeps everything dry but fortunately cotton and petroleum jelly, you can get it damp, you can even get it wet and it’ll still take a spark as long as you just flip all the water off it.”

 

“Alright this little guy, this little snake, is just a high carbon steel and this is an ember lit fire striker. An Ember Lit Fire Striker. He’s got a lot of cool designs. This one he just added, it’s the same design as the old school hand forged stuff but it’s got a cool little rattle snake on it. I really like this one; it’s one of my more favorite ones. (Demonstration) You can see a couple sparks coming off there. I can see them, its daylight though so I’m not sure if you can. So all I do is add a little char cloth to that. When I carry that I have a little Altoids tin with char cloth in it that I add to it. So I’ve got a rock, a little striker.”

“This is a nice little back up. It doesn’t add a lot of weight. Basically what this guy is, is a razor and a saw. A little hack saw. The hacksaw is nice. It’s kind of a mechanism you can use to cut out of hand cuffs if you need to. I happen to use it to put a notch in my bow drill but it’s really nice having that super light back up in there. So I just throw it in there.”

“One other thing, since this kit usually supplements stuff, like as an example the thing I am supplementing today is my Faullkniven blade. An F1. I always got a knife on me. So when you’re carrying a knife a good thing to have in your EDC is a way to sharpen it. The owner of Faullkniven Knife, Pete, sent me a sharpening stone here. There is a Faullkniven knife and D/C stone. This one is phenomenal because it has a soft stone and a diamond stone. That way you can change the grit. You can grind through with your diamond stone and then finish off with your soft stone and that gives you a lot of options for in the field sharpening.”

“For my signaling device I have a little signaling mirror. It’s just a little SOL signaling mirror. Get a view of that. It’s got the little signaling piece in the middle. There’s a bunch of ways you can run your signaling mirror it’s also nice to be able to use it as a normal mirror for shaving or whatever you want. This is also a type of polymer so it’s not going to crack. It’s not an actual piece of glass. I really like that cause it will handle some abuse. I’ll leave this in its bag and slam that back in there.”

“On this far side, I’ve got 2 pens a write in the rain notebook because I always want to write stuff down. I’m not gonna open that and show you what’s in there but I’ve got pictures of traps, phone numbers, and I’ve got GPS coordinates that I wanted to save. Just always stuff you can do with a little write in the rain memo pad. Paper can be used for kindling. It’s a super multi use.”

 

“The final thing I’ve got in here is a pick kit. It’s just really nice to have access to a pick kit. This is a very versatile kit. I have stuff for vehicles, stuff for houses, and stuff for little locks. I even have a broken key removing device right here. So what you can do with a kit like this is gain access to old, broken down abandon things. You can get back in your own stuff that you’ve locked yourself out of. You can help people who have locked themselves out of things. This requires some skills associated with it. You don’t just buy this kit and wiggle around and make it work, but if you check on Black Scout Survivals YouTube Channel he has some really solid explanations of how to use these tools. This is a professional version of it but there is also his version which is the small Bogota kit. I have those in my wallet and I love them. They are titanium and they are strong and capable of doing a lot of different things with it.”

“So this is my basic EDC kit. This is the stuff that I just want to keep together in a bundle that I carry. I’ll leave this in my back pack or my bag. In all reality if I go to the field with just this kit, a solid knife, a canteen and a canteen cup, and a poncho and a poncho liner or just a poncho depending on the weather I can survive in just about anything. So I can make a shelter, I can wrap this up and sleep in it, I can hide from people with it; I can collect water with this device. I can boil water in this, I can cook food in it and pour it into my canteen and transport it. I can use normal water put it in my canteen and use a quarter of my tablets, cause I have to have the measurement correct and then I can just chlorinate the water. I can put it in this little container and attach it to my belt and then get this container wet and use evaporative cooling to make sure my water stays wet in the dessert. That is awesome to have. My knife, I’m not even gonna explain what you can do with a knife, you all know that. I just happen to have this guy right here. This is the Bark River Parang. This thing is awesome. You can whip out a shelter with this thing in about a half an hour to an hour. So much faster blowing through the wood than it is using a small knife. Not that it can’t be done, but if you need a basic survival kit that’s complete, that’s it right there. In conjunction with wearing the right amount of clothing, that is all you need in your little set up survival kit.”

“When I made this video I had the intention that showed the stuff that I really use and I grabbed the three things that I normally grab when I am going out by myself and I’m not filming stuff. This is what I’ll take with me. Normally I have a hatchet instead of this Parang because this parang is brand new to me but for certain stuff it is going to replace that hatchet. This is my actual use kit. This is what I take to the field or when I’m hiking. This is my kit.”

 

“Thank you for watching this video. Please subscribe to T-Jack Survival which is my channel. T J-A-C-K and to Black Scout Survival which you should be watching this video on and thanks for your time guys.”

 

This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND license.  You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice. 

The post EDC For Black Scout Survival (Video & Transcript) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Ultimate Guide To Cheap Knives: 38 Quality Folders For Under $40

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First, let us define “cheap” “Cheap” gear is always a popular topic for discussion and I’m always looking for budget gear options to test and review.  Now I put emphasis on cheap, because it…

The post Ultimate Guide To Cheap Knives: 38 Quality Folders For Under $40 appeared first on .

3 Essential Items for EDC

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3 essential items for edcHere are 3 Essential Items for EDC that can go a long way to assuring your personal safety.

3 Essential Items for EDC

There are many common-sense items you should carry every day, but these 3 essential items for EDC lead the pack.

Pocket Knife

Tools

A good pocket knife will come in handy all the time. especially a Swiss Army knife, or other multi-tool. One of these can provide you an assortment of handy tools to help you conquer many situations. Make sure this is in your pocket, pack or purse whenever you leave your home.

Self-Defense

Another style of pocket knife, that you need to consider, would be a lock blade for self defense.

There is no one-size fits all knife for every person. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are some very strong folding knives, produced by some great companies, like Columbia River Knife and Tool – Shizuka Noh Ken Tactical Knife (3.75″ blade), the Otanashi noh Ken Tactical Knife (4.52″ blade), or the M21-14SF (3.99″ blade).

Shizuka Noh KenIf none of these knives tickle your fancy, find a strong knife, that fits your needs and your local knife laws.

Flashlight

You should always, Always, have a pocket-sized LED flashlight on your person.

If the lights go out, while you are in a unfamiliar building, hotel, mall or a big box store, how will you quickly find your way to safety if you are stumbling around in the darkness?

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times, I’ve been stuck in a hotel with no power. My flashlight enabled me to navigate the stairwells and to comfortably navigate my room. I was also able to read until it was time for me to go to sleep.

A flashlight can also serve to disorient an attacker in the right circumstances.

Tactical Pen

A tactical pen can come in very handy if you find yourself in place, where you may not carry a pocket knife or a pistol. The tactical pen can be a very efficient self defense weapon, especially if you are assumed to be totally unarmed.

There are many styles of tactical pens. I prefer the Schrade Tactical Pen, but my daughters carry the Blackjack tactical model instead. Some people don’t like the bulk and weight of the full blown tactical pens, but they can opt for a Zebra F-402 Ballpoint Pen. The Zebra F-402 is a regular pen, built with a Stainless Steel barrel!

Keep in mind, you’re not going to take down a street gang with your tactical pen, but it’s much better than being totally unarmed.

With these 3 Essential Items for EDC, a lighter and some paracord shoelaces you can be prepared for almost anything.

 

The post 3 Essential Items for EDC appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Small Space Prepper Must Haves

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Small Space prepperMany of us either live in a small space, or have run out of room in a larger space. These small space prepper must haves each help you fit more into the space you have and improve your preparedness. While none of these will break the bank, they were chosen for quality, not based on which one was cheapest. Cost was, of course, considered, but it was tertiary after quality and size. Any of these should last, and last, and last.

Of course these also make great gifts for any occasion from birthday to graduation, wedding, and more. (But you should probably ask before giving one as an anniversary gift.)

Small Antenna for HAM Radio – Getting reception can be tricky. If you need better reception for your HAM Radio hobby but don’t have a lot of space, this may be just the ticket for you.

Gossamar Gear Backpack – These ultra-light backpacking backpacks are in the same price range as regular backpacks, but take far – FAR – less space to store, and they weigh less. Double win!

Multiport USB Charger – Technically, this may not be a prepper item, but the reality is that most of us have a lot of items that can be charged via a USB port that we won’t want to be without. This reduces the number of charging cubes needed for that.

Chemex Coffee Maker and bleached filters – Chemex coffee makers don’t use any electricity and make really good coffee, once you know how to use it. They are particularly good for cold-brew coffee. (The bleached filters are better than the brown ones in this particular case because the brown ones can leave behind a bit of a brown-paper-bag taste, or so I’m told.) The Chemex actually takes a bit less space than most coffee makers because it is really just the specially designed borosilicate pot.

Compass – Different compasses are useful in different areas. This style is really good to use with paper maps and in areas without a lot of long-distance visibility to keep track of a single landmark, like the woods or a city.

SWLing Blog or Baofeng HAM Radio – This is not a hobby that needs to take a lot of space, and the uses of HAM for preppers are many, varied, and impossible to deny. Either of these is a great choice.

External Hard Drive – This is a great way to save all your favorite movies and music in a small space. Copy them all onto here, then store, sell, or otherwise dispose of your collection, which is now easy to pick up and carry with you.

Kindle Paperwhite – I own and use a standard Kindle. My husband has a paperwhite. Only one is easily usable when there is no light, and it’s not mine. Kindles are, hands-down, the best way to store large amounts of reading and visual reference materials in one place. (In case you wondered, I am recommending the regular Kindle over the Fire simply because the battery life is so very long on a Kindle.)

Tesla Coil Lighter – This is a windproof, USB rechargeable, arc lighter. No need to keep extra lighter fluid on hand or as many methods for lighting a fire if you have this lighter.

Mixing tools: Pastry Blender, Whisk, and (possibly) Dutch-Style Dough Mixer – Stand mixers are great, but they can take up a lot of space. I have found that a pastry blender and whisk can do almost everything most people use a stand mixer for in a fraction of the space – and with no electricity required. For anyone who makes a lot of bread or other very heavy doughs, a Dutch-style dough mixer is another hand-powered device that would be a great addition.

Stovehinge: The Collapsible Rocket Stove – This small stove is extremely small, and very heavy. It is most decidedly not a backpacking stove! If you remove it from the case it ships in, you may be able to store it in an even smaller space.

Small Drawer Safe – This model is designed for hand guns but can, of course, be used for any valuables. Because of its small size and weight, it’s easy to bolt into a piece of furniture, such as a dresser drawer, or even into a closet shelf or other part of your home.

Collapsible Solar Oven – The solar oven I have is great, but it definitely takes a lot of space to store. This version is completely collapsible and can store easily behind a piece of furniture.

Sweeper – Instead of a large vacuum cleaner, many small spaces (especially those without plush carpet) can get by with a small sweeper similar to the ones used in restaurants.

Thumb Drive – Everyone should have a reliable thumb drive with copies of their important documents. This particular model includes security, password protection, and a back-up to the Cloud.

Vertical Wall Garden – It is really just like it sounds. This is a way to plant a garden so it will grow along a wall (vertically) instead of on the ground, making it much easier to grow some of your own food even in a small space, like a balcony.

Clothes Washer – This reminds me a lot of a toilet plunger, but it is specifically designed for washing clothing. This is far smaller than most other off-grid options and has great reviews

Sawyer Mini Personal Water Filter – If you only need a water filter for one person, this is a solid choice and takes very little space. (The LifeStraw is another great choice.)

LifeStraw Mission Water Purifier – This is a great choice for small spaces because most of it is flexible. There is a section about the size of a foot long hot dog made of hard plastic, tubing, and a bag to hold the water being purified. All of this fits inside a storage bag and takes about the space of Sunday paper. While this is much larger than some other purifiers, it can provide an average family of five with clean water for up to three years of daily use!

Small Space prepper

20 Quality Prepper Gifts Under $20

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20 Prepper Gifts under $20Most preppers have so many things on their wishlist that it may seem like only those with a lot of spare money can manage it. Starting out, most of us have bought cheap items, not realizing just how low-quality they really were.

You don’t have to be a victim of cheap and poor quality survival gear and supplies — not when your life could depend on it!

Each of these prepper gifts is under $20, but the are still solid quality items, not cheap dime-store items.

These items are a solid foundation of items to get started, or a great round of upgrades for anyone who has been preparing just a bit longer. They are also a great place to get kids started. I still remember getting my first pocket knife (a knife I still own) as a kid, and my eldest loves his new mess kit.

Food and Water

1. Herb Terrarium Small, portable, easy to use, and herbs are good for both cooking and (sometimes) herbal medicine. What’s not to love?

2. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – The LifeStraw is only for one person, but provides water immediately, no fire or anything else needed. It’s easy enough that even very young children can safely use one.

3. Mess kit – In addition to the standard bowl, cup, and utensils, this kit has a small cutting board and container for spices. My teenage Scout loves having the spice shaker.

4. Pie Iron Sandwich Cooker – I’ll admit it. I just like hot sandwiches. This makes it easy to make them over a campfire. It’s just like when I went camping as a little girl.

5. WAPI (WAter Pasteurization Indicator) – Tiny, effective,  and a great way to purify water, the WAPI makes a great addition to any emergency kit. It is roughly the same amount of work for a cup of water or a big pot full of water.

Basics

6. Dryer balls and / or soapnuts – Dryer balls last for years. Once you have a set, you don’t need to buy dryer sheets again. Soapnuts don’t last nearly that long, but they are an all-natural, easily portable alternative to “regular” laundry detergent.

7. (Small) Emergency kit: mylar blanket, meds from home (small container with six to ten tablets each of ibuprofin, headache tablets, and antihistimine), water bottle, food, water tablets, trash bag, fleece blanket – This combination covers the most basic immediate needs in an emergency. Having a mylar and fleece blanket may seem redundant, but it will be softer and warmer than either one alone possibly could be.
(Note: Some items are in a multi-pack but you only need to include one in the kit.)

8. Flash drive – Use one just to store copies of all your critical documents (that’s a plural you – everyone you are responsible for, whether that’s your family or another group) and any other important files you need, such as .pdfs or even copies of e-books.

9. Solar flashlight or UVPaqlite – Batteries die, and we run out of them. Everyone, prepper or not, should have at least one flashlight (prefably a few) that does not rely on batteries. These are both great options.
(Note: The solar flashlight here is over $20, but it’s for a two pack, making each one under $20.)

10. Crackle Finish Zippo Lighter – Sure, you can buy a lighter for $0.99 in the check out line, but can you rely on it? When it counts? This is the classic Zippo lighter. It’s refillable, with a lifetime “fix it free” warranty, and Made in the USA.

11. Paracord belt or bracelet – It’s no secret that paracord has a ton of uses, so a paracord bracelet or belt is a natural gift. You can even make one yourself, if you want.

12. Work gloves – Inexpensive leather or disposable gloves have their place, but higher quality gloves that fit are just so much nicer to wear.

Health and First Aid

13. Breathe Healthy Face Mask – Face masks can be hard to breathe in, but the Breathe Healthy face mask is different. The fabric (tons of fun choices for kids and adults) has an anti-microbial coating that kills germs, but it still breathes well.  I have personally worn them for four hours straight on multiple occasions with no difficulty.

14. Essential Oils – This is a huge, potentially complicated topic, but it’s easy to get started with a few essential oils. Four Thieves is a popular choice for fighting off illnesses. Depending on personal needs, Muscle Relief, Anxiety Ease, or Breathe Easier might be good choices. Lavender and Tea Tree are also popular first choices. (I used Young Living oils for years and recommend them. However, I’ve recently discovered Edens Garden and they are excellent with lower prices.)

15. QuikClot – It’s small, unlikely to ever be needed, but if it is, it could save a life. Isn’t that worth under $20 and a little space in the glove compartment?

Camping and Outdoors

16. 2 Pack Edible Wilderness and Wilderness Survival Playing Cards – It’s easy to overlook the importance of entertainment, but a good set of playing cards can be a sanity-saver in an emergency of any size, even if it’s just to distract you while you wait to be seen in an emergency room. Having all those tips and that information just makes it that much easier to survive and thrive in a real wilderness survival situation.

17. Fixed Blade and whetstone – As great as pocket knives are, a longer fixed blade is better for some tasks. For example, a pocket knife is great for whittling the point on a stick for campfire cooking, but food can get stuck in the folding hinge and that’s potentially just all kinds of bad news. But a dull knife can be a danger and a frustration, so add a good whetstone or sharpening kit to help you sharpen it. (Pocket knives need one too.)

18. Pocket knife and sheath – A good pocket knife can help with cooking (sticks for food), entertainment (whittling), medicine (cauterizing – OK, I wouldn’t really recommend that), and all kinds of things. Fixed blades come with sheathes. Pocket knives don’t, but you still need one. It makes it easier and safer to carry one.

19. Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Sleeping Pad (Small, Silver/Sage) – This is a definite upgrade from the cheap big box store sleeping pads, but is not prohibitively expensive.

20. Wood splitting wedge – A simple tool, a solid wood splitting wedge massively speeds up splitting wood for fires or drying out (to use later for fires).

20 Prepper Gifts under $20

Review: Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife

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Click for larger image.

In my recent article on building a compact emergency survival kit, I mentioned that my kit includes a Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife. This is a great small knife to include in various compact survival kits, being just 3″ long when closed and weighing only 1.3 ounces. It easily fits in an Altoids tin (see the picture below) for those making those kits, as well as easily fitting Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizers and most other small bags & pouches.

Click for larger image.

It may be small, but this knife is also big enough and tough enough to actually be useful in many situations. By contrast, the Swiss Army Knife Classic keychain knife’s blade is an inch shorter and much more slender/delicate, and it is a locking blade, which the SAK Classic isn’t. The blade, frame, and clip are made entirely of high-carbon stainless steel. Total length of the knife when opened is 5¼”. My knife is a half-serrated blade, but it is also available with only a plain edge if that is your preference.

My knife came quite sharp, and there is no wobble in the locking blade. The pocket clip, though I don’t use it, seems quite sturdy. Overall, the Gerber paraframe mini knife seems like a very well-constructed, quality mini knife. For its size and price, it can’t be beat.

Currently (Dec. 7, 2015) Amazon has this knife on sale for $8.75 (regular price is $16), but that price is subject to change at any time. It is a great knife for compact kits, for a small EDC folding knife, and/or a stocking stuffer.

Throwing Target Stand

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throwing target geekprepperTime to redesign my knife throwing target stand.

 

Throwing Target Stand

I finally decided to upgrade the design of my throwing target. The old design used 2×6’s for the target and needed to be replaced at least once per year.

Old throwing targetYou can see the abuse that one day of  throwing does to this target. One good season of practice and the throwing knives reduced this target was a pile of toothpicks!

cold steel throwers

Cold Steel throwing knives shown in roll up case:

The New Throwing Target Stand

The new throwing target stand uses log rounds for the target. It also features adjustable angle and incline so I can lean it back if I have a huge round (which I do in the pictures below).

[See image gallery at www.geekprepper.org]

I didn’t take step by step pictures of the assembly, but the design is pretty simple. You should be able to reproduce or improve on my design from the photos.

The post Throwing Target Stand appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Tueller Drill Test

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Today we are going to talk a little about lethal force and handgun deployment. Over the course of this blog, I have been very clear that in Tennessee before a person is legally justified in using deadly force they have to Believe their life is in immediate danger, and the person against whom they are […]

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3 Steel Types That Make The Best Bushcraft Knives

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3 Steel Types That Make The Best Bushcraft Knives

Image source: perkinknives.com

“There never was a good knife made of bad steel.” – Benjamin Franklin

After having indulged in my own love affair with knife making, this was perhaps the single most important lesson I learned about the art: A knife’s steel will define its application and determine its quality.

Not all knife steels are created equally, because different types of steel will come with different advantages, weaknesses, quirks and nuances. Whether you’d like to get into the art of knife making, or you’re simply shopping around for a survival/bushcraft knife, the metal that makes your knife is going to have a major influence on your expectations and your experiences with it in the field.

With that said, here are three of the most common types of steel that you’ll find when in search of a good knife to have with you at camp.

1. 440C: stainless and cheap, but always faithful

It’s been called “no-name steel” due to the fact that most of your cheaper survival application knives will be made of this stainless variant. Usually, if you find a blade that was made overseas (and I’m not talking about Sweden), then there’s a chance that you won’t even find any markings or indications on what kind of steel this thing is — but quite frankly, nine times out of 10, it will be 440C.

Get The Essential Survival Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

However, it’s not because it’s necessarily a bad type of steel. 440C has quite a great deal of advantages to offer. If anything, 440C is just extremely common, thereby driving down its price point, making it the best option for overseas manufacturers. This gives the blade an additional advantage in a way because it provides an excellent choice if you aren’t looking to purchase that really, really good one on your shopping list just yet. At the same time, you’ll be able to expect your knife to be …

  • Super easy to sharpen
  • Relatively resistant to corrosion
  • Capable of holding its own in the field (provided you’re not trying to chop limbs off an oak tree).

At the same time, you shouldn’t expect the knife itself to do what a Ka-Bar might be capable of, especially if you only purchased it for $15 at a gun show. The steel itself will most likely hold, but the el-cheapo plastic handle could potentially give you problems.

2. 154CM: the do-it-all (fairly well) knife steel

It’s one of the reasons why I decided on purchasing my Leatherman Rebar in the first place. It’s made of 154CM steel alloy. If anything, I’ve been nothing but impressed by the multi-tool, not only because of its functionality but also because I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to sharpen it twice a year … whether it needs it or not.

knife B -- hiconsumptionDOTcom154CM is an alloy that’s achieved a fairly prestigious reputation among knife lovers. The only reason why craft knife makers aren’t usually too fond of it is because the stuff is just too darn difficult to work with. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because its metallurgical properties keep its edge extremely sharp for a very, very long time. Simply put, 154CM does not wear down easily.

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It’s likely for that reason why the American-made Ontario SK-5 Blackbird is made of 154CM specifically for survival applications, because not only will it hold an edge through unforgiving conditions, but it’s also more corrosion-resistant than its high carbon steel alloy counterparts. So in summary, here are its three basic strengths …

  • Holds its edge EXTREMELY well
  • Relatively corrosion-resistant
  • Fairly durable overall

Aside from being somewhat tough to sharpen, 154CM makes for a great knife. But that now leaves us with the granddaddy of popular manufactured survival knife steels …

3. 1095 High Carbon: the knife steel that never quits

This particular type of knife steel is, perhaps, the most loved by the survival/bushcraft community, as it’s basically the workhorse of knife steel alloys. This type of steel is just not going to give up its edge or structural integrity without taking a massive beating in the process.

It’s the reason why knife companies, such as ESEE, TOPS, Schrade and Ontario have used 1095-HC in their manufacturing process for a huge number of their knife product lines. Also, this is going to be your most common steel alloy that is found in your high-grade/price “tactical” knives as well.

Image source: kosterknives.com

Image source: kosterknives.com

However, the only reason why I might not select a high-carbon 10-series alloy knife would be due to the fact that its corrosion resistance is … well … not so good.  This is the reason why most knives made of 1095-HC (or even the metallurgically reinforced 1095-Cro Van) are going to come with some type of coating, whether Duracoat or something else. These suckers will rust if they’re exposed to the elements for even a relatively short period of time.

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However, this happens to be one of the most well-loved alloys for knife making — at least, if you’re cutting it from barstock. In addition, it’s got another interesting advantage: Because it’s a high-carbon alloy, you can use it to start a fire as you would with a flint-steel striker kit. If you’ve sanded off the coating near the blade’s point on the spine, you can take a piece of flint rock or churt to it … and viola … you’ve got sparks to light your charcloth. So to break it down for 1095-HC:

  • Incredibly tough (making it ideal for survival applications)
  • Holds its edge … like a boss
  • Can double as a flint striker

So, if you’re looking for a high-end survival/bushcraft/tactical knife, which comes paired with a sheath that will protect it from the elements, then 1095-HC steel would be a fantastic choice that won’t give you problems. Let’s face it: All knives need love, so just keep it oiled and happily in its sheath, and it will love you back.

Different Steel, Different Applications

While the knife you decide to purchase might have a design that triggers your interest, it’s important to identify its steel beforehand (if possible). The steel alloy that makes up the knife is going to determine how it behaves in the field, and this should influence your expectations of what the blade will and will not offer.

With that being said, you should also consider that a blade’s toughness can also be affected by how it was made, so keep that in mind.

The point is (pun intended), with different steels, you will have different applications. It’s why a search-and-rescue operator won’t carry a chef’s knife, and a chef wouldn’t be caught dead with a Cold Steel SRK either.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

How to make a knife!

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How to make a knife!
Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival”

How to make a knife!Want To learn How to Make A Knife? Listen in as I speak with James Whales (Founder and proprietor of Indy Hammered Knives) about his upcoming knife making classes and what the process students will learn in the class. We will also talk about a few of his exciting new products (one of which is the perfect present for someone who is striving to become self reliant) and possibly a sneak peak at a Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas Deal from IHK!

How to make a knife!We will start off the show talking about his brand new Complete Knife Kit- IHK Skinner (find out more information Here), which I believe is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to learn about knife making or is interested in becoming more self reliant. The kit comes with the following items: 1) 8” IHK Skinner blade (pre shaped, sharpened and ready to go)- the blade is 4” and 8” overall; 2) Book Matched scales (handle material) of your choice- I personally love the ironwood that came on my IHK Bush Clever; 3) Brass Mosaic Pin and Brass Lanyard Tube cut to length; 4) Two ton two part epoxy in corked glass tubes; 5) Custom skinner sheath by Samson Leather; 6) Step-By-Step Instructions- Illustrated; 7) Letter of Authenticity; 8) Care Card Instructions on maintaining your high carbon steel blade; and 9) Beautiful Wooden Gift Box with brass hardware and latch. James has taken care of all the tricky parts of the process and has essentially left you the ability to craft a the scales to your liking.

11-24-15 received_1497217517246315We will then turn to the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Survival Knife. The TEK has two sheath options currently: 1) the coyote tactical sheath with front pouch large enough for an Altoids sized tin complete with ferro rod w/ bungee cordage, four waterproof fire starters and jute twine or 2) A leather hip sheath with IHK logo. This knife and kit look to be an excellent combination for self reliance and I look forward to testing it out in the very near future (be sure to keep an eye out for that review within a week or two.

11-24-15 received_1497217747246292After the break we will come back and talk about the brad new Indy Hammered Knives Knife Making Class. The class will be taught using the same materials and process James uses to produce his one of a kind hammer forged knives. We will walk our way through the entire knife making class process, talk about what you will need to bring and what you can expect to learn while you are there.

Before we close I will be giving James a chance to tell you about a few Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas/Gift Ideas that are must haves for everyone’s Christmas shopping list! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the IHK Bush Clever (see my review here)or the 18th century blanket roll (see it here) I hope you will check them out as I’m sure they would be a great give for anyone that enjoys the outdoors on your Christmas list.
Join us for The 7 P’s of Survival “LIVE SHOW” every Tuesday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “How to make a knife” in player below!

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The 13 Best Deals This Week on Budget Survival Gear

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Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of “The Best Survival Gear Deals Of The Week”!  Here are 13 awesome deals on budget survival gear that could be just what you’re looking for.  In case you missed the first edition, you can check it out here:  Let’s get started! LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – $19.95   … Continue reading The 13 Best Deals This Week on Budget Survival Gear

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UST Para Knife 4.0 Glow Review by Razor

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The Ultimate Survival Technologies Para Knife 4.0 Glow is another blade off UST’s line of budget cutting tools. So far I’m 50/50 on them. Let’s see what this one has to offer: -8.5 inches overall length. -3-3/4 inch partially serrated blade. -Full tang 440 stainless steel. -Black titanium coating. -Nylon …

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Top 10 Get Home Bag Items

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Get Home Bag Items

Top ten Get Home Bag items you need to have make it home quickly and safely.

Of course there are other items that are good to have in your bag, click here for a comprehensive look at why you need a Get Home Bag and exactly what to put in one –> Get Home Bags for Everyday People.



1. Water:
Recent studies show women need around 2 liters of water a day and men need
around 3 liters of water a day. The need for water will increase with physical activity so pad
your numbers on water and include a way to collect and purify more water. The average water bladder holds 2-3 liters of water, the average water bottle holds a quart.  Once more than 3 or 4 liters of water is added to a bag it becomes difficult to carry all of your water needs for extended periods of time, for this reason in addition to actual water, pack a way to collect and purify more water. Most recreational backpacks come with water bladders these days, if yours doesn’t you can purchase one separately to add to it. You need the ability to “collect” more water (meaning, get it into your water bladder or other larger container) and then purify it, so that you are able to reach home or the next fill up point, don’t count on there being a puddle around each time you get thirsty or need water to use a traditional Life Straw.

Chlorine dioxide water tablets or drops (if you can find them) and iodine tablets are a lightweight, long shelf-life, inexpensive option for purifyingnbulk supplies of water. Water filters, even the smaller ones, are handy but can be bulky and expensive, for this reason a water bottle with a built-in filter may be just the ticket giving you not only a way to purify water but also collect it.

2. Shelter: Consider a bivy as an emergency shelter in your Get Home Bag. They are small and light weight – while not luxurious they can be combined with other items to make a quick improvised shelter that will keep you alive on a cold night. If you are more than a two day walk from home, however, you may want to consider a lightweight one man tent.

An emergency bivy should not be a sleeping bag replacement, at best it’s an emergency shelter and it will not keep you warm alone. They are best used this way in conjunction with emergency blankets, sleeping bags and/or tarps situated to block wind and reflect heat.

3. Two Ways to Make a Fire: While the purpose of a GHB is not to go camping, having a means to start a fire will make you that much more prepared if your situation goes from bad to worse. No emergency kit is complete without at least two ways to start a fire. I prefer matches in a water proof container and fire steel.

4. Food: Look for energy dense easy to prepare food. Energy bars and meals bars are great for this purpose and they are light weight. MREs are nice as they don’t require water, but they tend to be heavy and in all honesty you can live on meal bars just fine for a few days if you had to. Other inexpensive light weight food ideas include; instant oatmeal, packets of tuna (not cans), top ramen and jerky.

5. Clothing: If your average commute is the daily trip to the office you need to pack a change of clothes, including footwear, in your bag. A suit and heels will not get you home quickly. Make sure this change of clothes is suitable to the time of year and weather in your area. Click here to see how to easily vacuum pack and waterproof your Get Home Bag clothes.

6. First Aid: Assemble or purchase a small lightweight first-aid kit, not something that you could perform field surgery with, but something that could take care of minor to mild wounds, blisters, and sprains with. Some OTC (over the counter) drugs like ibuprofen for sore muscles and headaches would also be handy. Adventure Medical manufactures great little light weight, water proof, inexpensive medical kits if you don’t want to make your own.

7. Light: You never know at what time a day you could become stranded having a source of light is a must. I prefer headlamps over flashlights as they keep your hands free, but if all you have is a mini-flashlight, throw that in your pack along with some extra batteries (click here to read about battery choices for preparedness).

8. Rope/Binding: At least 50ft of rope in your GHB. 550 cord is small, lightweight and it will support 550lbs of weight. While not suitable for climbing it has many other survival uses, it is the preferred cordage in many survival kits, but having some rope regardless of type is better than no rope.

50ft of 550 cord will be sufficient for most people, there is no reason to purchase and pack true climbing rope for a Get Home Bag unless you have cliffs to scale or crevasses to cross on your way home from work or town. Climbing rope is heavy and expensive, but it may have a place in a Bug Out Bag or in backpacking gear.

9. Knife: A good quality knife should be included in every GHB. This really does not have to be a$200+ survival knife extraordinaire. For a Get Home Bag find at least one good quality pocket knife, you can of course pack something better or in addition if you want, this is merely a baseline. A gas station pocket knife may break on you when you really need it so spring for a well known, good quality, pocket knife and save the big bad expensive survival knife for your Bug Out Bag. I prefer Buck brand pocket knives for their reputation of durability but you may have your own favorite – there is no wrong knife, any knife is better than no knife.

10. Navigation: While GPS is cool and easy to use it may not always be available if something like a solar flare has taken out your car, it will have most likely rendered your GPS useless. Maps and compasses are still king of the non-electric navigation world. Have one of each in your bag and know how to use them. Important note: Do not circle your house and mark “home” on your GHB maps, least your bag get stolen out of your car. I happen to be a fan of Silva compasses, this particular compass is a great beginner compass and is easy to orient to a map and read. Learn how to orient a compass to a map and navigate before you find yourself in a position where you have to. 

Please note: There are many articles on the internet on get home bags and bug out bags, any similarities are merely coincidental. 

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How To Build The Ultimate Budget Get Home Bag

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A GHB (Get Home Bag) is an important thing to invest in if you commute on a regular basis.  It’s basically a stripped down Bug Out Bag, only containing the items you need to get your ass to the house. You don’t need an AR with 500 rounds and a 4 man tent in this … Continue reading How To Build The Ultimate Budget Get Home Bag

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Winter Survival Finale – 17 Ideas for your Get Home Bag

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Hey guys, in Part 5, we’re going to wrap up the Winter Survival series.  If you missed any of the previous posts, here are the links to them: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  In this post, I’m going to go over a complete list of items we’ll be using to build a BASIC Get Home … Continue reading Winter Survival Finale – 17 Ideas for your Get Home Bag

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Winter Survival Part 4 – “Survival Vehicle” Prep

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I hope everyone is enjoying the Winter Survival series!  If you need to catch up, here are the links for Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3.  In Part 4, I talk about preparing your vehicle for the winter weather ahead. You don’t have to be extreme and build a “hardcore SHTF survival vehicle”, but if you … Continue reading Winter Survival Part 4 – “Survival Vehicle” Prep

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Why Pocket Knives are Important for Everyday Carry

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Why Pocket Knives are Important for Everyday Carry

knife 4You never know when a pocket knife will come in handy. In a worst case scenario, you’ll be carrying it around in your pocket, without using it much besides opening a box or cutting some duct tape every few weeks. But in the best case scenario, you could save someone’s life. All of a sudden, it seems worth it to take a light weight pocket knife around with you at all times, doesn’t it? When most people hear “pocket knife” they see a weapon and they instantly think about self-defense. Who wouldn’t want to protect their families and themselves? But beyond self-defense, pocket knives have multiple uses. If you’re not already carrying a pocket knife with you at all times, the following reasons might change your mind.

Eating food

  • Ever went hiking and couldn’t cut up an apple or split a sandwich with someone? You won’t go through that again if you carry around a knife pocket. When it comes to food, pocket knives are invaluable. They’ll help you cut up cheese or prepare food on the go. Not to mention that they will come in handy when someone places a plastic knife in front of you that is supposed to help you cut your steak. Nothing is more frustrating that being handed a butter knife that is virtually useless. A sharp pocket knife will spare you the hassle and enable you to properly enjoy your meal. Pocket knives even double as a fork when you’re really in a pinch for cutlery.

 

knife 3Making fire

  • Getting a fire started with your bare hands can be pretty daunting. But when you have a pocket knife, the task seems more manageable. You’ll realize that pocket knives are important when you are in a rural area and you’re struggling to find tinder for a fire. The tool will come in handy and rescue you from a chilly night and a cold dinner. Cutting up dead branches and chopping dry wood will seem like a piece of cake.

 

 

Comes in handy

  • Everyone would have come across at least one situation when a pocket knife would’ve been extremely handy: cutting a blister pack, opening an envelope, helping an animal who was trapped in a wire tangle, tightening a couple of loose screws or prying open a stubborn phone case. If you didn’t recognize yourself in any of the above mentioned situations, feel free to learn from the mistakes of the rest of us. You don’t need to go camping to slide this tool into your pocket. It’s bound to make itself useful in various situations from cutting strings, doing some work in the garden or opening unrelenting boxes or packaging.

 

Life threatening situations

  • There is the possibility you might come across an accident or undergo one yourself. In case someone is seriously injured, the first step is to identify the bleeding and do everything you can to stop it. However, it can be difficult to go through layers of clothes so you can reach the wound. A knife pocket is going to prove extremely useful in this kind of situations when another man’s life is hanging from a thread and time is of the essence. Pocket knives can save your life in various other scenarios. They can help you cut through a seat belt in case you are trapped in a car after an accident.

knife 2Criteria for choosing good pocket knives

  • Blade length and overall length – the ideal blade will be under three inches. Make a note to check up on your state’s regulations regarding knives and any restrictions.

 

  • Blade type – there’s no shortage of blades out there to choose from, but you’ll want to go for something that is easy to control and offers versatility for everything you have in mind. The type of blade that fits the bill is the drop point. A great all-purpose blade, drop points feel comfortable and are affordable.

 

  • Price – keep in mind that not everything that shines is gold. It’s not impossible to find pocket knives that are not going to burn a whole in your pocket, but still deliver excellent quality and a durable build.

 

  • Brand – there are many no-name brands out there coming out with pocket knives that could only last you a month with average use. A quick Google search before making the investment will spare you the hassle of ordering a lemon. There are various trustworthy brands on the market that offer durable and reliable pocket knives at affordable prices: Buck, Case, Columbia River Knife and Spyderco, just to name a few.

 

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The Ancient Do-Anything Bushcrafter Blade Your Cache Needs

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The Ancient Do-Anything Bushcrafter Blade Your Cache Needs

Image source: themachetestore.com

There are lots of survival blades out there from machetes and hand-forged skinners to double-bit axes. I’d buy them all if I could, because one can never have too many knives. But then, there’s one particular knife which holds a special place in my heart. It’s a legend among blades, and it’s been that way for hundreds of years. It’s the kukri knife.

I have a few reasons for my affinity of the “kuk.” It’s a special thing when you happen upon a unique bushcraft/survival tool that’s not only beautifully designed, but also has been proven to perform.

This is why, I believe, the kukri knife has found its place in the hearts of bushcrafters and warriors alike. Allow me to elaborate.

The Gurkhas Needed a Chopper, So They Invented One

Some historical records have placed the first known use of a Gurkha kukri knife as far back as the 17th century, and it’s been working for the Nepalese people in Asia ever since.

Its first uses were that of something you might require in the bush, as it was designed to perform just about any task a hunter or farmer would ask of it. The kukri could do basically anything: chopping wood, slaughtering animals for food and clearing away thick foliage that you’d find in the jungles of Nepal. Its “weight-forward” design, where the blade curves away from its user with a disproportionately wide cross section compared to the handle, gives the kukri its famed chopping/slicing power.

This Crazy New Device Can Start A Fire Even In The Worst Conditions

The knife itself was most commonly made no longer than 16 to 18 inches. But due to its incredibly efficient profile, it could out-chop and out-slice blades that were twice its length.

And let’s just say that the Gurkha people noticed this power, applying it to other uses of the more combative persuasion.

Battle Blade: More Than Just a Workhorse

The kukri knife’s military usage has bloodied enemies of the Gurkhas in historic battles from at least as far back as the 19th century.

Of course, the Nepalese Gurkha soldier has always been feared as much as his blade. In trained hands, the kukri knife will glide through flesh and bone in one chopping motion, which is another reason why the kukri has traditionally been made with a hoof-shaped notch above the handle. Aside from religious/ceremonial reasons, the notch keeps the handle clear of blood from enemy soldiers, a horse, a goat, or whatever is bleeding after having come into contact with the rapidly descending business end of the blade.

Because the kukri is such an effectively designed chopper, this means it’s a blade to take very seriously. In fact, the kukri knife even has its own safety rules on proper handling, especially since it will hack through a wrist much like it will hack off a tree limb.

A Blade Designed For Just About Anything

The kukri is made to be your all-purpose farm and bush utility

One of its primary strengths is the fact that it can perform just about any camp task reasonably well. Keep in mind, however, it’s not necessarily up to par with blades that were made specifically for the certain tasks in question. To illustrate this point, here’s a fantastic video review on why the reviewer carries his kukri afield more than most of his other blades:

It can assist you with anything from butchering meat to building shelter. The blade allows me to pack in fewer, more task-specific blades. Opting for the kukri can keep my gear weight down, especially if I’m just on a scout and wish to leave the rest of my gear at camp. I believe that this advantage is explained by one of my original points: the kukri’s primary strength is that it can keep up with the cutting power of a 24-inch machete, even if the blade is half the machete’s size.

Get The Essential Survival Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

That makes the kukri knife a weight and function-efficient tool, not to mention the fact that its edge can be maintained easily. Even just a sharpening stone will do the job.

From Gurkha Tradition to the Survival Afield, the Kuk Means Business

It is true that all blades will have their own limitations. And this rule doesn’t necessarily exclude the kuk. I wouldn’t want to use it for cleaning game or any task that requires some semblance of high-precision. But it wasn’t designed to fillet a fish or whittle a toggle.

But there’s certainly something to be said for a blade that’s served the Gurkha people of Nepal for centuries, earning a place of honor in their family traditions, religious ceremonies and even becoming the primary symbol for one of the world’s fiercest military fighting forces. Even in the Middle East, the Gurkhas still fight alongside British forces, soldiers that keep a standard issue kukri knife by their side.

Survivalists are in need of a blade that can make quick work of camp tasks in the field. They also need a weapon that’s been known for its capacity to win a fight. And the kukri knife has been doing that for generations.

Do you have any experience with the kukri knife? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

23 Survival Experts Share Their Knife Of Choice

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Knife Planet recently asked 23 preppers what knife they would want with them during a disaster if they could only choose one. Since I happen to be one of those preppers, I thought I’d share their infographic. I chose the M.A.K.-1 (Multiple Access Knife) because unlike most knives, it was […]

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Pathfinder School, Knife, & Self-Reliance!

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Pathfinder School, Knife, & Self-Reliance!
Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival

Pathfinder SchoolHold on to your hats Ladies and Gentlemen this show is a barn burner and race against the clock! Tonight we will have Jamie Burleigh (lead instructor at the Pathfinder School) on the show to talk about all things Pathfinder! This will be a Special episode of the 7 P’s of Survival and we had to secured an extra ½ hour of air time to allow for all the questions in the Chat Room.

10-27-15 Phantom_II_on_Tree__00931.1439822245.400.527A large part of the show was dedicated to the introduction of the Pathfinder Knife Shop (henceforth “PKS”) a subsidiary of the Self Reliance Outfitters (henceforth “SRO”). Currently PKS offers four knives: Phantom 2, Scorpion, Scorpion HD, Kephart, and maybe a special announcement about upcoming knives! See the knives and visit the website HERE!

While I haven’t got a chance to get one of these knives in my hands yet they look amazing and have the specifications and lifetime guarantee to back up their products just like the other major players in the custom self-reliance knife business. Also being that it is backed by the SRO, I’m positive that you will enjoy your blade just as much as their other products.

We then transition over to a few staple products at the pathfinder school that I love: Stainless Steel Bottle Kit, Stainless Steel Bushpot, and many more products just to name a few. There also may be a few new product revelations in this section of the show. I know many or you want to know about the decelerator that pairs with the stainless bottle kit mentioned above and I also ask and see if any information can be given at this time as it seems like the perfect pairing for that kit! We talk about upcoming events and upcoming specials and what we can expect from the pathfinder school going forward. We also talk about a couple of the products Jamie designed himself: 1) Burleigh Blam and 2) Bug Shot. I have personally used Burleigh Balm and it works amazingly.

Pathfinder SchoolOnce we got through that section of the conversation we talk a little bit about the Pathfinder School, its classes and survival philosophy. We talk about all of their course offerings at the Ohio School location, the 10 C’s of survivability and remote/correspondence courses. We talk what you would need to make it through a PF Class, what to do to prepare for a PF Class and the general order in which you should take your PF Classes. We also discuss Pathfinder TV (a YouTube subscription service) that has a ton of instructional videos as well as the Schools old YouTube channel that has some of the best self-reliance related material on the internet.
Visit the Pathfinders website HERE!
Visit 7P’s Survival Blog HERE!

Listen to this broadcast “Pathfinder School, Knife, & Self-Reliance” in player below!

Download this show HERE!
Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE
Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Go to schedules tabs at top of page!

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Review: Kershaw Lifter Folding Knife

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I purchased my Kershaw Lifter Folding Knife last year. Its been a standard part of my EDC gear ever since. For a relatively inexpensive folder (list price $29.99), it is an excellent knife. I really like the way it looks, feels, and handles. It is sharp enough out-of-the-box, and has held its edge well. I’ve been using it for almost a year now, and it has proven to be very durable. It is now my everyday folder, and I am quite happy with it. 

The Kershaw Lifter checks in at 4.5 inches, closed. The cutting edge of the blade is 3.25 inches, and the overall length is just over 7.75 inches. Made entirely of 4Cr14 steel, it weighs 5.7 ounces. The steel has a black-oxide finish, which not only looks good, in my opinion, but also offers some protection against rust (none on mine, so far, despite everyday use in all weather conditions). The Lifter also has a true deep-carry clip (single position).

One feature I really like is its flipper (that protrusion on the back of the blade) with SpeedSafe assist. That means it can be opened easily and quickly with only one hand. It was a little tight when I first started using it, but became easier after being opened a dozen times or so. However, it does not open too easily (in other words, it won’t accidentally fall open in your pocket).

The fame-lock blade is a modified tanto design. It has a tanto point with a slightly recurved cutting edge. Recurved blades have a deeper “bite,” making it a good self-defense weapon when used with a slashing motion. (Luckily, I’ve never had the opportunity to test this out.)

Please Note: This is a redesign of an older, discontinued, model also called the “Lifter.” The specs and pictures listed on Amazon are for the old design. The pictures and specs in this article are for the  new model which I have, and matches what Kershaw has listed on its website. Have no fear, if you order through Amazon, as I did, you will receive the new design as featured here (the old design is no longer available). 

As of the time of this review, Amazon has the Kershaw Lifter on sale for only $18.11 (40% off list price). I have no idea how long that price will last.

Survival Resource – Mission Statement

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Hello everyone, my name is Dustin and I’d like to welcome you to The Survival Resource! I created TheSurvivalResource.com as a casual, but smart minded source of solid and unbiased survival information.  Whether you’re looking for gear ideas, book reviews, or just good information…it’s provided here.  It’s a source for anyone who wants to learn … Continue reading Survival Resource – Mission Statement

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How to Turn Any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit

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How to Turn Any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom
Believe it or not, friends, getting prepared for everyday disasters doesn’t require a bunker, expensive equipment, or tons of space…in fact, all you really need to get started with emergency readiness is a purse (handbag, man-purse, whatever).

My name is Liv, and I am the Survival Mom’s daughter. I’ve written for my mom before (check out my review of Red Cross’s babysitting course here), and now I have the privilege of writing my own post on how to turn any handbag into an emergency kit.

Down to business

How to Turn Any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom

Getting caught off-guard is not fun.

If you’re anything like me (and my mom) you like to have a few emergency back-up items on you, just in case you need them. Now, call it what you will, prepping, planning ahead, or common sense, it’s not that hard to be ready when any type of emergency strikes, and creating an emergency kit is as easy as one, two, three, and you don’t need any special equipment at all.

What is an emergency kit?

An emergency kit is a small bag/purse/backpack that you keep handy in the event of an emergency (duh), and it can contain food, water, clothes, fire-starting kits, important documents, or whatever you may need if you have to get out quick and don’t have time to pack.

Now, I have a big emergency kit in my closet, put together by yours truly, and it’s all ready for when I have to run. It has all sorts of little prepper goodies inside, and I’m quite proud of it. You can check it out at this link.

However, it’s quite heavy, I don’t have a car to store this in if I’m out-and-about when disaster strikes, and it would be no fun to lug that thing into the library or grocery store. My solution? The mini-kit.

How to Turn Any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom

 

Let me make this clear: There is no definite outline of what goes into a mini-kit.

It just holds whatever you might need for a small emergency, or a short-notice one, and it keeps you going until you can get to your other supplies. There’s no specific size or packing list, because it differs from person to person. I’m just going to give a quick description of mine, and then you can go and put one together of your own.

I keep my mini-kit in my Baggallini Cinch Backpack, which has several nice, deep pockets inside which are good for holding my emergency supplies. My mom and I favor Baggallini bags because they are made of nylon, are durable, and machine washable. She owns three of them in different styles and colors. Once, when she was between purses, she carried her bright orange Baggallini backpack everywhere. It got to be embarrassing after a while. (This, but in shocking orange. She even carried it to church every Sunday.)

Now, since I stay at home most days and don’t do much dangerous stuff, my kit is pretty simple:

  • ID card
  • Swiss Fire Knife
  • Several Band-Aids
  • About 10 matchsticks
  • Small flashlight
  • Smith’s Pocket Pal – a small, handy knife sharpener
  • Extra set of batteries
  • Small plastic bags in case I need to waterproof something
  • Pocket Bible (Reading material, in the event I have to wait in one place for a while and get bored. Also a good stress-reliever.)

How to Turn Any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom

I managed to squeeze these things into an inside pocket of my backpack.

The knife clips nicely to the side of my bag. See? Easy-peasy. So, you just have to think, what emergency is most likely to happen, and how can I do some small-scale prepping for it?

For me, thunderstorms are frequent where I live, therefore a lot of power outages, which is why most of my mini-kit contains light sources. Also, sometimes I run to the grocery store or library by myself (I’m so grown-up), which is why I have the knife–something to defend myself if I feel threatened. Someone who lives in a drier climate might want to carry a pouch or bottle of water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Someone else who lives where it’s cold might want to add a pair of gloves, wool socks, or hand warmers.

Depending on the design of your handbag, designate specific pockets for specific items, and make sure those items are returned to their assigned space each and every time. In an emergency, when your nerves are frayed already, that’s no time to be digging through one pocked or another trying to find the one item you’re in desperate need of.

How to Turn any Handbag Into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom

You can turn any bag into an emergency kit.

Feel free to make it as heavy-duty and long-term as you please. The point is that you don’t need one of those army-grade rucksacks with a zillion little compartments in order to prepare yourself for a disaster. Use a designer purse. Louis Vuitton, even. Any handbag can be transformed into your very own emergency kit!

~Liv

How to Turn Any Handbag into an Emergency Kit via The Survival Mom

Survival Gear

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If you are not content with sheltering in place during an emergency, then you need to think about what you will take with you when you leave — specifically, the weight of the gear you plan to grab and the length of time your gear will enable you to survive. Choose correctly, and you will […]

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Finding an Inexpensive Survival Knife

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CRK Mark IV Everywhere you look people are pushing high end survival knives. But what do you do if you don’t want to drop $200+ on something you might just lose anyway?

Rambo aside a survival knife is basically a good stout knife that will hold an edge, and can accomplish most any wilderness task you set for it.

Native Americans / Mountain Men

For generations Native Americans used stone blades for all their cutting needs. You can still accomplish your cutting needs with a sharp flake of stone if you want to go that route.

The Mountain Men lived with and sometimes against the natives. They usually carried a carbon steel blade very similar to today’s butcher knives. Some of those knives were made in a heavy Bowie or Arkansas toothpick design, but the majority were made thinner out of old saw blades.

These knives are of carbon steal and will rust, but if you use them you will take care of them. Old time steel varied widely in quality (similar to today’s imports) and some of the blades were brittle and broke. This is why Mountain men usually carried several knives, not only for trading but also for replacing lost or broken ones.

Finding these Knives Today

Any heavy bladed kitchen knife will pull double duty as a decent survival knife.

I have a thing for these knives and many times you will find me in the woods with an old carbon steel butcher knife. I always keep an eye out for carbon steel knives.

You can find them at yard sales, flea markets, auctions and thrift stores. I will always go poke through the box of kitchen knives at these places looking for carbon blades.

You can usually get then for $1 each at most. At this price you can afford to have a few extras in your kit. The most I have ever paid was $10 for a bundle of five knives that included a very old mountain man style knife made from a saw blade.

Even Stainless Kitchen blades will work if you must.

Sure your custom made $200 dollar blade looks pretty, but my $1 carbon butcher will do just about the same job, and not cause me to lose any sleep if I drop it in the lake.

Randy Augsburger writes form an old homestead that has been in his family since 1866