OUTDOOR LIVING WITH ONLY A SURVIVAL KNIFE: IS IT POSSIBLE?

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The outdoor lifestyle is not for everyone, let’s be honest. This lifestyle requires a little bit of grit and determination and taking on the wild is not for everyone. I spend a lot of my free time browsing the web, looking for tips on how to make life in the wild more fun. Easy is …

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Seven survival knots every outdoorsperson should know

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A basic knowledge of knots may prove invaluable and may be your most useful survival tool. You may need to construct a shelter, tie up a food bag to keep it away from animals, or secure your boots!

11 Best Knives to Have in a Disaster (and Why)

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A tool that has been around since mankind first began chipping rocks into weapons, few items are more essential to an outdoorsman or survivalist than a quality knife. As with any versatile tool, though, knives serve a wide range of purposes – some better than others, depending on the blade you choose. From skinning an […]

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Worth Reading: ‘Camping’s Forgotten Skills: Backwoods Tips From a Boundary Waters Guide’

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One way to prepare for potential emergencies is to read and learn from informative books with practical, usable information. “Camping’s Forgotten Skills: Backwoods Tips From a Boundary Waters Guide” by Cliff Jacobson is a literary resource that should be part of any survival or prepper library.

Restoring a Cast Iron Treasure: How to clean and season the old time cooking utensils

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A little elbow grease, and some steel wool, can help you salvage a badly rusted cast iron cooking implement. Somebody’s rusty, dust-covered survivor of a failed camping trip may end up becoming a valuable addition to your cooking tools.

Hatchet or saw: Choose the best portable survival kit woodcutting tool

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Should you carry a hatchet or a saw? It depends. When choosing any tool for wilderness or urban survival, anticipate where you might be when you may need the tool, and what tasks it will need to perform.

Top Features to Look for While Purchasing a Suitable Survival Knife

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Written by Billy, Perkins Knives A survival knife is the one tool which is equivalent to numerous tools that would help you in surviving in the wild. It can take care of many tasks for you to ease your stay in the outdoors. When it comes to survival, choosing the right knife is imperative. Such a knife comes with a whole lot of features and all you need is to be assertive of what you require. Before making a purchase, […]

The post Top Features to Look for While Purchasing a Suitable Survival Knife appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Five Great Preparedness Gifts for Under $20

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The Christmas season is here once again and, like most things, that got me to thinking about preparedness.  Whether it’s Christmas, birthdays, or any other reason you may need a gift for a special someone, finding for a quality gift for the preparedness-minded person in their life that won’t break the bank is always a priority.  Here is a quick list of useful and affordable that any prepper would be thankful to receive!

 

 

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System or the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

 

 

Regardless of which one you choose, you can trust both of these lifesaving water filters with your life.

 

 

Strikeforce Fire Starter

 

 

 

Durable and dependable, this is the only fire starter I will carry in my kit.

 

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch

 

 

 

Affordable enough to buy several to spread throughout various packs, this reliable survival knife is always a winner.

 

resqme The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool, Made in USA (Red) – Pack of 2

 

 

 

 This lifesaving tool is small and lightweight, but it packs a powerful punch!

 

Shemagh

 

 

 

Endlessly useful and easily affordable, finding a couple of these in your stocking Christmas morning is guaranteed to bring a smile to any prepper’s face.

 

BONUS ITEMS!

 

Practical Prepping:   No Apocalypse Required

 

 

 

A relaxed look at how anyone can quickly go from scared to prepared without taking on a second mortgage.

 

Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide

 

 

 

Exactly what it says.  A practical, jump start for the preparedness novice, or a fast-access reminder for the more seasoned prepper in your life.

 

Nation Makers tactical morale patch

No all heroes wear a cape.  Say “Thank you.” and recognize the every day heroes in your community by giving the Nation Makers patch.

 

 

If you want to better understand my thoughts on personal preparedness, please check out my books HERE and HERE, or wander deeper into this blog.  I hope this website will help you along your way, especially if you’re just getting started.  Keep up with everything Practical Tactical by subscribing to our mailing list and be sure to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW us across all of our social media platforms as well.

www.practicaltactical4you.com

Practical Tactical

Helle Mandra Les Stroud Small Bushcraft Knife Review

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Helle Mandra Les Stroud Small Bushcraft Knife Review

Reviewing the Helle Mandra offers insight into my (honest) bias. In a lot of ways, I have to compare my feelings for this little “neck knife” to the conclusion I reached in my review of the Buck 110. It’s a non-optimal knife that I can’t help but love. It’s surprising to me after reviewing the […]

This is just the start of the post Helle Mandra Les Stroud Small Bushcraft Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Helle Mandra Les Stroud Small Bushcraft Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Do you need a machete in your emergency kit?

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I carry a machete in my car survival kit, and there are some tasks that a machete is ideally suited for. If you think one of those big South American knives is only good in the jungle or rain forests, think again!

How to: Make jerky from small game meat

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Venison or big game jerky is common, but few use small game animals as the basis of that frontier staple. Making jerky is a great way to clean out the freezer at the end of the season and create tasty snacks out of last year’s harvest.

8 Types Of Knives Every Prepper Needs

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The knife is one of the most important, versatile, and practical tools ever invented by man. As such, it is an invaluable item to have for survival and disaster preparedness. In fact, a case can be made that if you could only have one tool in a survival situation, a knife would be the one […]

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Helle Temagami Les Stroud Survival Knife Review

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Helle Temagami Les Stroud Survival Knife Review

TV personality knives have always gotten a bad rap from the bushcraft community. Far too often companies overplay their hands and throw in marketing crap into a tool that is supposed to be practical in nature. This pessimism isn’t helped with products like the first “Survivorman” knife I reviewed, which if you remember didn’t go […]

This is just the start of the post Helle Temagami Les Stroud Survival Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Helle Temagami Les Stroud Survival Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Survival Knife Review: The Swiss Army Knife Classic?

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In many emergency situations, all you’ll have are the tools in your pockets. And a tiny knife is better than no knife at all. A Classic can be an important part of your survival kit.

How to Start a Fire with Firesteel and a Knife

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How to Use Firesteel

Using firesteel in a survival or emergency situation can be tough. Here’s how to properly use a ferro rod and knife to start a soul-warming, life-saving blaze – every time…

Here’s What You’ll Need:

using firesteel

 

First, you’ll need some REALLY DRY tinder (this is the fine stuff) because this is ONE of the MAJOR keys to SUCCESS. Dead grass or weeds, fine, dry wood shavings, twine pulled apart, dryer lint or cotton balls all make good tinder.

Next you’ll need a campfire all set up and ready to go – I recommend a teepee fire for beginners – we’ll talk more about this in a minute.

You’ll need some comfortable leather gloves and a ferrocerium fire steel rod such as the Bear Grylls, Schrade and Exotac rods.

And last but not least, you’ll need a fixed blade knife.

Set Up Your Tee Pee Fire

using firesteel
Now… set up your tee pee fire with your dry tinder on a dry surface like sticks or a rock, and add kindling. Then top it off with some larger sticks for fuel.

Your Survival Knife

using firesteel
Next we’ll need our knife. Just about any sturdy fixed blade knife with a 90 degree / squared-off AND UNCOATED spine.

The Bear Grylls knife is a popular one with those just getting into survival land. With its included ferro rod and well-designed, notched, coating-free striker area on the spine toward the handle, it’s a perfect knife to start with.

Ferro Rod

using firesteel
Now… If you are using a new ferro rod (like the one that comes with the Bear Grylls knife, you’ll need to remove the dark rust-inhibiting coating from the portion of the rod you are going to strike.

To do this, angle the spine of your blade and scrape off a good bit of the coating. It should throw a nice shower of sparks.

using firesteel

Bonus Tip
Most beginners make the mistake of striking the ferro rod by pushing the knife over the rod and toward the fire… This often results in TOO MANY sparks falling short of the tinder, AND by pushing your knife out toward the fire you run the risk of knocking your fire over as your hand travels forward… which is really frustrating.

So Here’s the Right Way to Do It

using firesteel

With gloves on, hold the knife firmly with your strong hand, spine side facing down and the edge facing up.

Brace your hand on the ground close to your tinder for support. This hand will be stationary during the process.

Now grip the ferro rod with your other hand and bring it under your knife spine tilting it at about a 45 degree angle to the blade.

To generate sparks, pull the ferro rod toward you while it rubs against the edge of the knife spine.

Bonus Tip2

Problems? Here’s What to Do
If after a minute or two you can’t get a fire, your tinder is probably too wet or may not be the proper material.

So, if you have a choice, find new tinder. If not, keep trying. It might take up to 20 minutes to get a fire going in wet or humid situations.

ONE Last thing…

vaselinecotton
Since practice makes perfect… Here’s a simple way to practice using your ferro rod and knife without starting an entire camp fire.

Grab a cotton ball and add a small dab of petroleum jelly…This will allow the cotton ball to burn much longer.

To prepare your cotton ball tinder… Simply pull it apart a bit, expanding it to two or 3 times its original size, so it literally catches the sparks.

Then follow the steps we talked about earlier… AND with a strike or two… You should have a nice little practice fire in no time.

using firesteel

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Don’t lose your gear: Pop a top for equipment safety

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Hanging on to your tools may be critical. Here’s how to rig small items so they don’t get lost.  

by Leon Pantenburg

I learned a valuable lesson the hard way a few years back when my wife and I dumped a canoe at the top of a rapids. (Read the story)

Prevent loss of small critical survival items by attaching a poptop, and securing them to a clip or lanyard.

Basically, it amount to this: You keep the stuff that is tied down or secured. You lose the stuff that isn’t.

But some small items, such as butane lighters, Chapstick or some survival knives, don’t have a way to attach a lanyard or safety snap. (Here’s how to make a lanyard.)

Here’s an easy way to fix that.

Take an aluminum poptop and attach it to the small item with a piece of bright tape. Then, whenever you use that piece of gear, clip or attach it to a lanyard. Attach the lanyard to your belt, button hole or zipper fob.

Get into this habit and you’ll never drop or lose that critical piece of gear.  This is particularly important in areas with a lot of snow, like where I live in Central Oregon.

Add several feet of duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. Secure the lighter to a lanyard with the poptop.

Add duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. Secure the lighter to a lanyard with the poptop.

I frequently am out in areas with several feet of accumulation, and dropping a butane lighter in these areas of deep snow virtually guarantees permanent loss. Even if you can find the lighter again, chances are the cold will disable it for several minutes.

And what about that all-important knife? Drop one in deep snow, and it’s almost guaranteed you won’t see it again. Putting a lanyard on a survival knife is one of the smarter things you can do for winter survival in deep snow.

Either of these situations is a problem if you desperately need to build a warming fire and your hands are numb!

Avoid potential emergencies caused by losing gear by thinking ahead!

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Best hunting knife? We review the Cross Knives All Around Hunter

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Pete Winkler’s recent win on the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” just proved what some of us already knew: Winkler, owner of Cross Knives, produces some excellent blades.

by Leon Pantenburg

Knivesshipfree is a Survivalcommonsense sponsor. I didn’t receive any free knives, and make no promises on any equipment reviews other than that I will be fair. Many of the knives I review are for sale at a reduced price.

I was a visionary (I claim) when it came to Cross Knives. Long before “Forged in Fire” show featured Pete Winkler, I thought his knives looked really good. I ordered a Little Gent because it was such a pretty knife, and specs showed it was made of top quality components.

The Cross Knives All Around Hunter is a well designed hunting knife.

The Cross Knives All Around Hunter is a well designed hunting knife.

When I opened the box, the workmanship proved to be impeccable. But the handle proved to be too short for my large hands, so I returned it.  (Knives Ship Free allows return of products within 30 days of purchase, no questions asked.)

I then ordered a Lil Whitetail Hunter and ran it through its paces. (Check out the review.)

After various whittling, carving, bushcrafting, etc, the finale came when I went deer hunting in October. I didn’t kill anything but time, but a youngster I was hunting with got his first buck.

The Cross Knives Lil Whitetail worked well for field dressing this mule deer buck.

The Cross Knives Lil Whitetail worked well for field dressing this mule deer buck.

I used the Whitetail on the mule deer very effectively, using it to gut the buck, split the ribcage and for some of the skinning. The knife performed flawlessly. Most people would have been happy to let it go at that.

But the Whitetail would be a better hunting knife, IMHO, if it had a little longer blade than the four-inch  version that comes with it.

Nit-picky, ticky and probably obsessive-compulsive. I know. But that’s how I am when it comes to hunting gear that might be needed for survival tasks. My favorite blade length for a hunting knife is about five inches, and anything less leads to a nagging concern that I might be happier with a different knife…

So when the All Around Hunter came out, I ordered one immediately.

The Lil Whitetail, top, and All Around Hunter show a strong family resemblance.

The Lil Whitetail, top, and All Around Hunter show a strong family resemblance.

It arrived, in stabilized mesquite. When I opened the box, it was love at first sight.

Here are the specs:

  • Model Name: All Around Hunter
  • Handle Material:
  • Overall Length: 9.26 (235mm)
  • Blade Length: 4.53 (115mm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.15 (3.59mm)
  • Weight: 7.9oz.
  • Blade Steel: A2 Tool Steel
  • Made in USA

The good stuff:

Appearance: Don’t buy a knife because it’s pretty. Buy it because it will work well for you. The Hunter has the best of both worlds. The stabilized mesquite handle with the custom pins is drop-dead gorgeous. It’s the kind of knife you’ll be proud to carry. In fact, some people might decide it’s too pretty to use hard, and decide to keep it at home in the safe. Not me. And don’t you be one of those people.

The All Around handle works well for my large hands.

The All Around handle works well for my large hands.

Handle: At 4.73 inches, the handle fits my large hand very well. It is well designed, and the stabilized wood proves to be almost tacky when it gets covered with blood or other slippery fluids. I could use the similar-sized Whitetail handle with complete safety, even though I had to reach inside the buck’s abdominal cavity, through the blood, to cut the esophagus during field dressing.

Steel: A2 and CPM 3V are my favorite knife steels, and frankly, I can’t tell much difference in edge-holding ability. CPM 3V is less likely to stain, but that doesn’t bother me one way or the other. A2 appears to be a little easier to re-sharpen in the field, but again, neither steel will probably need it.

All things considered, I generally give the nod to A2, just because of the lower initial cost.

Point: A drop point with a thin tip is a superior point configuration for a hunting knife. It allows the initial piercing of the carcass to get the field dressing started, and the lower point keeps it from hitting the entrails when making the cut that opens up the abdominal cavity. For skinning around the shoulders and neck, this configuration is hard to beat.

Blade length: A four-to-five inch blade is about perfect for my hunting needs. Like anything, this is subject to individual preferences.  (Does blade size matter?)

This 4.53-inch blade will do just fine.

Spine: I like a 90-degree spine. That allows you to scrape a ferrocerium rod to make firemaking sparks or to shred tinder. Save the sharp edge for other tasks.

Sheath: The knife comes with a sturdy leather sheath that is also handmade. Like the knife, it is good-looking.

Based on my experience with the Lil Whitetail, I have nothing but high expectations for the All Around Hunter.

My big game season was a bust this fall. I didn’t draw an elk tag, and because of various tasks associated with selling my house, I only got to hunt for deer on opening day. My usual hunting party had to get along without me this year.

But Oregon has a spring bear hunt, and I have a tag. There is also the potential for turkey hunting. I’ll be using the All Around Hunter. and I’ll let you know how the knife ends up working out.
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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.

The Survival Water Filter That Fits In Your POCKET!

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.

This Cool-To-The-Touch Lantern Provides 100,000 Hours Of Emergency Backup Lighting

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:  

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

5 EDC Folding Knife Features To Consider

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While several icons of the American knife industry have faded away in recent years, they have been replaced by a new crop of forward-thinking knife companies that have introduced many new and innovative knives designed for EDC (everyday carry). Larger than most traditional pocket knives and more modern in appearance than the classic folding knives […]

The post 5 EDC Folding Knife Features To Consider appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Douk-Douk Traditional Slip Joint Pocket Knife Review

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Douk-Douk Traditional Slip Joint Pocket Knife Review

Since arriving back in the UK, my EDC choices have become quite heavily restricted by British Legislation. Instead of moping around the house clutching my over-sized Cold Steels, however, I took the opportunity to go out and buy some UK legal folders instead. Now, with over a dozen knives that fit this category, I’m no longer as… Read More

This is just the start of the post Douk-Douk Traditional Slip Joint Pocket Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Douk-Douk Traditional Slip Joint Pocket Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Bug Out Bag Essentials – Most Important Items You Should Carry

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When thinking about putting together a bug out bag, it’s easy to over pack. One item leads to another, and before you know it you’re carrying 80 pounds on your back, at a time when you need to be moving swiftly, and easily. Start with the basics: water, shelter, and food. Regardless of how far you have to walk, or what the kind of SHTF event has occurred, your bug out bag must contain items that address each of these three basics. You could carry more with you, but these are the bare minimum items that you SHOULD carry with you; the bug out bag essentials.

Water

When you plan your bug out bag you have to think about storing water and cleaning water. Adding a couple of 1 quart or 2 quart canteens on the outside of your bag is probably a good idea. Additionally, a Platypus 2 liter water bag inside your bag will mean that you have to think about water less often. But remember, water is heavy and it is something that your body needs more than it needs food. Planning the storage is important.

Rothco 3 Piece 1 Quart Canteen Kit With Cover & Aluminum Cup
Military Issue 2 Quart Water Canteen with New Issue Insulated Carrier and Shoulder Sling
Platypus Platy Bottle 2-Litre

As far as cleaning water there are several options available. It all depends on how large an item you want to carry and how fast you want to process the water. The LifeStraw is a popular product and is very small. But it only filters water as fast as you can suck it through the straw. The MSR Sweetwater Purifier System is a great product if you are bugging out with a group. It is a larger product to carry, but it has a built in pump that will purify water quickly. Which will allow you to fill up the water containers for your whole group in a short period of time. I think the best single person product is the Sawyer Mini Water Filter. Extremely versatile device that allows you to filter in many ways and even act as an inline filter. Each filter will process over 100,000 gallons of water and the actual product has a small form factor.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System - Bug Out Bag Essentials
MSR SweetWater Microfilter

Shelter

As far as shelter goes, there really isn’t much you can carry on your back except a tent or a tarp. Tent seems like a better choice, at first. But tents are not really safe. You have to zip yourself inside one for it to be wind proof and (sometimes) waterproof. But then you lose the ability to have a fire beside you. You lose the ability to see what is outside and react to it. Have you ever seen Blair Witch Project? Were those kids “safe” inside their tents? I don’t think so! For me I would rather have a tarp that is really waterproof, a rope, and an axe to make my own shelter. A 10′ x 10′ tarp is a good size for a single person. Having a larger one opens up more options, but also takes up more room in your bag. Go ahead and spend a little extra on a tarp that is made of a rip-stop material. Get a camo or a green color tarp. A pink tarp is not a good idea for a bug out bag.

Next, get a good rope. I prefer a 550 style cord over a thicker rope. It is easier to work with and super strong. Titan recently came out with a cool product called SurviverCord. It is basically the same construction as 550 cord, but has 3 extra strands inside. One is a 25lbs monofiliment fishing line. The second is a copper strand that is electrically conductive and could also be used for making small game snares. The third is a jute waxed strand, that can be used while making fires. I honestly haven’t used it yet, but it may become a bug out bag essential soon.

So with a tarp and rope you can make a large variety of shelters. Prepperswill.com has a nice article with different designs. If you have a hatchet or nice felling axe, you can make larger and stronger shelters. This is a must if you plan to be in one place for a longer period of time. Strap the axe on the side of your bag so that it is easy to get to.

WINGONEER Waterproof Lightweight RipStop Tarp for Camping Hiking 10×10ft Compact Versatile Durable Backpacking Tarpaulin – Green
TITAN SurvivorCord, Bronze, 100 Feet – Patent-pending design integrates Fishing Line, Waxed Jute, and Copper Wire into our #1-Rated Military 550 Paracord. Includes 2 FREE Paracord Project eBooks

Food

Ideally you should have three days worth of food in your bag. There are hundreds of companies that will see you high calorie packaged food. But honestly, since I am a veteran, the military’s MREs are the way to go for me. You can save more room by taking apart your MRE pouches. Each pouch has cardboard and extra items that can be discarded, or used as a fire starter. Plus depending on where you are bugging out (woods, urban or coast) you can always supplement your daily food with foraged items, and meat that has been caught through fishing, hunting or snares. The MREs have a heating process built in. But having a small camping cookware mess kit allows for easier fireside cooking. It is probably not a Bug Out Bag Essentials, but certainly nice to have. These are light and do not take up too much room. If you opted for the 1 quart canteen described above, it has a nice aluminum canteen cup that can be used to cook most things.

MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) Box A, Genuine U.S. Military Surplus, Menus 1-12
Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear & Hiking Outdoors Bug Out Bag Cooking Equipment 10 Piece Cookset | Lightweight, Compact, & Durable Pot Pan Bowls – Free Folding Spork, Nylon Bag, & Ebook

Additional Bug Out Bag Essentials

You need to be able to start a fire in order to cook food or to warm your shelter. Find a nice ferro rod so you can always make fire.
Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle – Orange

Very rarely will you get your shelter complete before the sun goes down. Have a nice LED flashlight in your bag.
J5 Tactical V1-Pro Flashlight – The Original 300 Lumen Ultra Bright, LED 3 Mode Flashlight

A good survival knife should certainly be considered a bug out bag essentials! Check out the four that we recently reviewed. I like to keep my knife strapped to the bottom of my bug out bag, so that I can reach behind my back and have easy access to it while walking, and it will be beside my head at night when I use my bag as a pillow.

Even if you don’t know how to use a compass, please carry one. An inexperienced hiker can walk around in circles for weeks in the woods. But with a simple compass you can walk in a strait line in the direction that you are supposed to be going. The (product name) even has a small magnifying glass so that you could make fire during the daylight hours.
Suunto A-30L Compass

Anyone who has been in the Army was issued a Poncho Liner. If I have room in my Bug Out Bag I will always carry one of these. It is a light blanket during the summer and in the winter if you wrap yourself in another blanket or even a Mylar emergency blanket, it will keep you nice and warm.
Genuine US Military All Weather Poncho Liner Blanket - Bug Out Bag Essentials
 

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The post Bug Out Bag Essentials – Most Important Items You Should Carry appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Cold Steel Finn Wolf Scandi Outdoor Folding Knife Review

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Cold Steel Finn Wolf Scandi Outdoor Folding Knife Review

The Cold Steel Finn Wolf has, by a considerable margin, been my most requested knife to review. If you’ve ever checked out this bad boy – this makes perfect sense. I have owned this folder for nearly a year now, and have been mulling what to scribble about it since day one. I’ll start by saying… Read More

This is just the start of the post Cold Steel Finn Wolf Scandi Outdoor Folding Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Cold Steel Finn Wolf Scandi Outdoor Folding Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Start with these basics for your wilderness survival gear

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You don’t have any wilderness experience, but you want some.  So what do you take along to make sure you get back? 

by Leon Pantenburg

One of the most common questions from wilderness newcomers  is: “What gear will I need?”

And that’s a really good question! Walk through any sporting goods store and you’ll notice a bewildering array of gear, stuff, doo-dads, knick-nacks and junk. The buyer must decide which is which.

Depending on what store it is, and the salesperson, you could end up buying some very expensive – and unnecessary – items. In some stores, the salespeople work on commission and push high-priced gear. Or you might end up with a clerk who is covering the counter for somebody at lunch.

So, here’s where to start. The Boy Scouts of America have been preaching the gospel of survival common sense for 100 years. Who actually coined the term “Ten Essentials” is probably unknown. But there is no question that a facsimile of  this basic list is the basis of all emergency preparedness kits. Get your Ten Essentials first.

Here is a list of the Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials, and product suggestions. Check out the links for more info on any of the topics. Look at these ideas, and then decide what will work best for you.

Strong family resemblence; from top: Next Gen, Genesis, GNS and the Rouge river

Any of these bushcraft knives would work very well as part of your Ten Essentials.

  • Knife:  The best knife is up to your personal preference, but you must have some sort of cutting edge along. The only survival knife you have is the one you have along!
      • First Aid kit:  (A first aid kit should go along on every outing, even if you never use it.)
      • Extra clothing: (This will depend, of course, on the climate, time of year and where you are. Clothing needs for my high desert area are much different than for those people in the tropics.)
      • Rain gear: You have two choices for protection from the rain: rainsuit or poncho. I use both, depending on the circumstances.  I hiked the John Muir Trail with a poncho for rain protection. It rained nine days straight! The poncho kept me dry, even though I was expending a lot of energy to hike. I prefer a rainsuit while hunting or fishing, because it won’t flap in the wind, and a rainsuit offers better protection while sitting or standing for long periods of time. Decide what’s best for your needs.
      • Water bottle:  Water is an absolute necessity. I generally carry a Nalgene or other rigid water bottle to drink out of. In my pack, I’ll carry several soft bottles to replenish my Nalgene. The soft bottle are protected in the pack, and

        This combination works well. The rigid Nalgene in the middle is used for drinking and the Paltypus soft bottles store extra water.

        when empty, can be rolled up. The softies  weight virtually nothing, and  take up hardly any space. And if you find a water source, and need to re-supply, you’ll have ample containers along.

        Make sure to include some system of chemical purification or a water filter.

        I’m not a big fan of the water bladder systems, for no really good reason, but they are great for kids because the drinking tube encourages drinking. (And the novelty of  using a bladder water system will keep them well-hydrated until the newness wears off!)

      • Flashlight or headlamp: (I field-dressed a deer shortly after darkness fell  one evening, holding my mini-maglite in my teeth. It was pretty gross – talk about drooling on your gear…) Anyway, ever since that experience I carry a good headlamp. A headlamp leaves your hands free if you are spelunking, end up walking out to the car in the dark, scrambling over rocks etc. Besides, if the lamp is on your head, chances are less that it might be dropped and broken.)
      • Trail food: This is another personal preference. I like to make most of my own, because of my inherent cheapness and a Depression-era mentality inherited from my Dad. But in all my packs, I have several Clif bars, some jerky, sardines, and hardtack.  The gourmet food comes from the Dutch oven. The emergency food is fuel.
      • Matches and firestarter or other methods of ignition – you should have several different types.
      • Sun protection Sunscreen is an item that needs to be in every survival kit, regardless if you’re in the arctic or the tropics. I carry the tube type, because it is less messy to apply.

These are basic navigation tools: compass, emergency whistle, map and GPS. 

    • Map and compass A GPS is also useful, but not without a map and compass! Always include spare batteries for your GPS!

This is the bare bones list, and you should expand and add categories to fit your individual needs. For example, my Ten Essentials includes some method of shelter, such as a tarp, trash bag, bivey sack etc., and I always carry at least 50 feet of parachute cord or light rope, and four aluminum tent stakes.

Neither the scouts, nor I, recommend including fishing gear as a survival tool! Many of the items, such as  the knife, first aid kit and Clif  bars, have multiple memberships in my different  specialized survival kits. Another necessity is the proper size spare batteries for any device that is battery-powered.  It’s a good idea to get battery-operated items that all use the same size.

Your outdoor essentials list can also vary seasonally. I always include a snow shovel and  insulite pad on my winter showshoe treks.

My summer and winter extra clothing choices would also be different. An extra stocking cap is always a good thing to have along, but in the summer, a broad-brimmed hat for sun protection is a necessity.

Some items you shouldn’t cut costs on are boots or hiking shoes; a sleeping bag, and a reliable shelter.

Use this Outdoor Essentials list to form the basis for your own survival kit, then read and research to get new ideas. Your survival kit, if it’s anything like mine,  will probably end up being an evolving project. After every outing, think about what you used, what you didn’t need, and what you wished you had. Then adjust accordingly.

The best survival kit or gear in the world is worthless  if you don’t know how to use it, and just having a survival kit won’t save you. In fact, it might give you a false sense of confidence that could be deadly!

Start your wilderness preparation by reading a credible survival book, or taking a class from a competent instructor. Be wary of any survival-related internet blog or website. Just because someone has a website, doesn’t mean they know anything! Don’t get your survival training off a prime-time survival “reality” show.

Then practice with your equipment. Learn how to make a fire, or pitch your shelter in your backyard. Try out your sleeping bag on a chilly night on the deck to make sure it’s going to be warm enough. Make your mistakes at home, so you won’t in the backcountry, where a screw-up can kill you.

And let this be your mantra: “My survival kit won’t save me. My equipment or gear can’t save me. I will save me.” And  include common sense with every outing!

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Worth Reading: “Survival Psychology” gives the mental baseline for survival

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BOOK REVIEW:  Survival Psychology by John Leach

One idea survival book authors may be able to agree upon is that mental attitude is critical. Countless documented cases  prove  your attitude and reaction to the situation,  not your gear, is the most important factor is staying alive.

by Leon Pantenburg

Some twenty years before the rash of “reality” or “Survival” shows, or anybody had ever heard of Les Stroud or Bear Grylls,  psychological studies resulted in a book about people’s  reactions  in emergency situations.

“Survival Psychology” by John Leach, PhD, of the University of Lancaster, England, was a groundbreaking study, that today is a reference source for many wilderness and urban survival bestsellers. If  some of Leach’s writing or thoughts sound familiar, it is because you’ve read or heard them before!

Swampy Lakes Trailhead is on the edge of thousands of acres of wilderness. Many visitors deny they will ever need emergency gear or training.

Leach studied survivors’  reactions, including those of Union prisoners at the horrific  Andersonville prison during the Civil War;  to shipwreck survivors; to people who made it through plane crashes and natural disasters. Distilled down to one sentence, here’s what Leach found: Psychological responses to emergencies follow a pattern.

One goal of  SurvivalCommonSense is to help you develop the survival mindset to stay alive. So, start with the baseline knowledge of what happens to people, mentally, in a survival situation.

Until you know what might happen in your mind, or in the heads of the people around you, there’s no way to come up with a plan to survive.

Survival situations bring out a variety of reactions – including some that make the situation worse.

Leach’s studies show that only 10 to 15 percent of any group involved in any emergency will react appropriately. Another 10 to 15 percent will behave totally inappropriately and the remaining 70 to 80 percent will need to be told what to do. The most common reaction at the onset of an emergency is disbelief and denial.

Here’s the typical disaster reaction progression, according to “Survival Psychology”:

Denial: The first reaction will probably be: “This can’t be happening to me!” But an emergency, disaster, accident or crash can happen to anyone, and it can result in a situation where your life is at risk.

This disbelief can cause people to stand around, doing nothing to save themselves. The 80 percenters in any survival situation will have to be ordered to help themselves.

Panic: Once you get past denial, there is a strong chance you may panic. This is when judgment and reasoning deteriorate to the point where it can result in self-destructive behavior. It can happen to anyone. To avert this problem, realize it may happen, and use the STOP mindset exercise.

Hypoactivity, defined as a depressed reaction; or hyperactivity, an intense but undirected liveliness: The depressed person will not look after himself or herself, and will probably need to be told what to do. The hyperactive response can be more dangerous because the affected person may give a misleading impression of purposefulness and leadership.

Stereotypical behavior: This is a form of denial in which victims fall back on learned behavior patterns, no matter how inappropriate they are. The Boss may decide to continue in that role, even though he/she has no idea of what to do. Sadly, the underling may also revert to that subordinate role, even though he/she may be better prepared mentally.

Anger: A universal reaction, anger is irrational. Rescue workers frequently come under verbal and physical attack while performing their duties.

A few years ago in Central Oregon, the Search and Rescue team rescued a man who had dumped his raft just before going over a waterfall. Miraculously, he saved himself  by clinging to a mid-stream boulder. During the whole rescue effort, the rafter denied he was in trouble. After being plucked from the rapids, he flipped off the rescuers, and walked back to the parking lot. He never thanked anyone for saving his life.

Psychological breakdown: This could be the most desperate problem facing a victim, and this stage is characterized by irritability, lack of interest, apprehension, psycho-motor retardation and confusion. Once this point is reached, the ultimate consequence may be death.

So, according to Leach, one key to a “survival state-of-mind” is to be prepared and confident that you can handle an emergency. This brings up another deadly behavior pattern: lack of preparation. People don’t prepare for emergencies (see denial), Leach writes, for three reasons: Planning is inconvenient, preparations may be costly and an ingrained folk myth says to prepare for a disaster is to encourage it.

This is all too common in Central Oregon.

Last November, I was at Swampy Lakes snow park near Bend, getting ready for a snowshoe trek. An older couple pulled up next to me, tourists, apparently, from the looks of their inappropriate clothing and rental equipment. They had no survival gear of any kind that I could see.

They struggled to put their snowshoes on, then asked if there were any maps around. I gave them one of mine, and offered to orient it for them with my compass.

They declined.

They also didn’t want the book of matches and a packet of firestarter I tried to give them. And here comes the quote that keeps the Search And Rescue teams busy:

“We’re just going out for quick outing,” the lady said. “We’re not going to do any of that wilderness survival stuff.”

…And she was absolutely right.

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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.

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.

The Best Survival Knife for Preppers

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survival knife

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Now I love knives and have many different kinds, but do I know the best survival knife for you.  I don’t, I can make some suggestion, but you have to make the final choice. I see experts recommending all different types and sizes of knives, and all of them are good in some ways. However, the bottom line is that the best survival knife is the one you have with survival knifeyou when you need it.  You can own the best survival knife in the world and if it is in a drawer at home it doesn’t do you a bit of good.

Now to me survival knives are more tools than weapons.  They have literally thousands of different uses from procuring food, building a shelter to protecting yourself.  Now I carry a Benchmade folding knife everyday and it’s most common use is opening packages from Amazon.  But because it has a decent size blade and is kept sharp, it can be used for many other things.  I have used it for many different types of woodcrafts.  But it is too small to use like a hatchet or for batoning.

So what is the answer, I always have at least one folding knife on my person and I keep a fixed bladed knife handy in my home, in my car and in all my packs.  But the only one I can really count on is the one I have in my hand.

So how should you choose a survival knife, first decide why you want it.  Are you using it to build shelters and chop down small trees or are you using it to build snares.  The purpose that you intend to use the knife for and the type of terrain you live in will affect your choice.

Here are a few thoughts to help you choose a Survival knife.

Do you want a fixed blade or folding knife?

Fixed-blade knives are sturdier than folders, but folding knives are more compact and more convenient.  Ideally, you should have both.  But for an everyday carry you are more likely to carry a folder.

What type of steel.

The type of steel determines how well the blade holds an edge, how easy it is to sharpen, and how it holds up to use and abuse.  There are limitations to every tool, but if you have to do a little batoning, prying or tough carving and scraping with your knife you want to know it’ll be up to the task, and not snap off in the middle of the job.  You also need a blade that holds and edge, so you don’t spend your life sharpening it.

You mainly have two choices of steel carbon steel and alloy steel.  Carbon steel will rust if not properly maintained, and will be easier to sharpen.  I like carbon steel blades.  Alloy, or stainless steel, has the advantage of being corrosion resistant.  Alloy steel can also be stronger and more durable than carbon steel, and is very popular today.  But they are often harder to sharpen, unless you have good stones available.  Most American made knives will have good steel blades.  Avoid many of the cheaper third world blades, especially the ones from Pakistan and China.

Tang Design

survival knifeAn important feature of every fixed blade knife is the tang.  This is what connects the handle to the blade, and should be as strong as possible.  Many of the better made fixed bladed knives have a full tang.

Almost as strong is the hidden tang which is imbedded within the handle. The sturdiest hidden tangs run the length of the handle and are secured at the end, usually by threading into a pommel or end cap.

Blade Design

It’s important to pay attention to the blade design.  If you’re looking for a multi use bush craft knife for fine work like making snare triggers, a heavy blade profile can get in the way.  If you are batoning or chopping heavy branches you want a larger knife.

The Grip

You want a knife that feels good in your hands. You don’t want a knife that will easily slip through your fingers if it is wet or bloody.  For this reason I would recommend that you always try out the knife you want to buy in person. You need to know how it feels in your hand. Is it too large or too small?  Do the finger grooves fit you nicely?

I have probably left you with about as many questions as I have answered and maybe this is how it should be.  You need to find out what works best for you by trying out different knives. In the meantime if you are just starting out and need a fixed bladed knife, buy a inexpensive Mora Knife from Sweden Mora, Your Best Choice For a Reasonably Price Knife, you can get them for under $20 and you may find you don’t need to buy another.

But always remember the best survival knife is the one you have with you, so you probably want a folder for everyday carry and a fixed bladed knife for other purposes

Howard

 

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Gerber Gator Machete Saw Back Outdoor Knife Review

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Gerber Gator Machete Saw Back Outdoor Knife Review

The Gerber Gator Machete has been on my radar for quite a few years now. Not in a “I want to test it” kind of way, but rather, the reviews I’ve read of this tool have been so piss poor that with any sort of common sense, I should really avoid this one. Nonetheless, for… Read More

This is just the start of the post Gerber Gator Machete Saw Back Outdoor Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Gerber Gator Machete Saw Back Outdoor Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

How To Make An Upgraded 10 Cent Survival Blade

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 How To Make An Upgraded 10 Cent Survival Blade This article will show you how to make an upgraded 10 Cent Survival Knife. This tutorial will help you in a pinch! Is it a high end blade? Is it big? Is it a chopper? No, not really. It’s none of the above, but what do you want …

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The post How To Make An Upgraded 10 Cent Survival Blade appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Cold Steel Bushman Hollow Handle Survival Knife Review

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Cold Steel Bushman Hollow Handle Survival Knife Review

The Cold Steel Bushman has been in my possession for quite some time now. Publishing the review has been delayed over and over again, in most part due to my own mixed feelings over this iconic knife. Traditionally, I tend to pick up a knife and I can have a general idea of how it will perform,… Read More

This is just the start of the post Cold Steel Bushman Hollow Handle Survival Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Cold Steel Bushman Hollow Handle Survival Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Buck 119 Special Clip Point Hunter Knife Review

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Buck 119 Special Clip Point Hunter Knife Review

Buck has always been a fascinating company to me. They very rarely jump aboard new trends, and rather tend to trudge along doing their own thing. I don’t say this as a criticism at all, because clearly it works. A Buck knife is unapologetically a Buck knife. It’s curious (because it’s so rare) to handle a fixed… Read More

This is just the start of the post Buck 119 Special Clip Point Hunter Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Buck 119 Special Clip Point Hunter Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

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.

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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.

The Perfect Survival Knife!

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How to Pick the Perfect Survival Knife

By Tim Martinez of “The Knife Depot

Survival KnifeWhether you’re picking up a survival knife to put in your bug-out bag or need a knife to carry out with you on outdoor adventures through the wilderness, it’s vital to pick out the perfect knife.

Even though a survival knife is a matter of preference, there are some general guidelines to picking the perfect survival knife.

Fixed Blade vs. Folding Blade

2-12-16 9_520839A few knife novices will debate whether a fixed blade or folding blade is more useful as a survival knife. Fixed blades offer more strength, but folders are more convenient. I’m here to declare the fixed blade the final and conclusive winner of the debate.

If your life depends on a tool, you want something that will not fail. While folders can be strong and dependable, the simple fact that there are more moving parts means there’s more possibility of failure. If you can only have one survival knife, make it a fixed blade. But I do recommend carrying a folder for less strenuous tasks.

Blade Edge

Take a look through some of the survival knives on that market and you’re bound to notice a few with massive serrations along the length of the blade. These serrations look intimidating and cool, but they will hinder the usefulness of your knife. If you’re insistent, a partially serrated blade is fine, but I highly recommend a plain edge on your survival knife.

The most obvious reason is that it’s easier to sharpen. Sharpening a serrated knife when you’re in the middle of nowhere is nearly impossible. With a plain edge, you can get a keen edge with the aid of some rocks. Not only that but plain edges are more versatile. The main use of a serrated blade is for cutting thicker, more fibrous materials. With a little more effort a plain edge will cut that type of material, but a serrated edge will falter at doing push cuts or gutting an animal.

Blade Steel

In its most simplistic form, you can boil the blade steel debate down to one thing: carbon steel vs. stainless steel. The problem is that all steels are technically carbon steels and stainless steels aren’t truly stainless (unless you’re talking about the newer H1 steel). The reality is that there are tons of steels on each side of the spectrum with tons of variation in performance and maintenance.

If you’re curious about learning more, I recommend reading a longer guide to blade steel. These days, there are not really any junk steels, so any steel that is within your budget will work as long as you understand its properties and what you need to maintain it.

Tang

The tang is the piece of metal from the blade that extends into the handle. Knives can have full tangs, partial tangs, push tangs, hidden tangs, rat-tail tangs, and others. For a survival knife, you should focus mainly on full tangs. This is when the steel extends the entire length of the handle to the butt. A full tang offers the greatest strength and is the least likely of all to break under duress.

Blade Length

You’ll often see survival knives with blade lengths of 10 inches or more. That’s overkill. A reasonable blade length on a survival knife is somewhere around 5 or 6 inches. That’s the sweet spot. Any larger and the knife becomes unwieldy when doing woodwork. Any smaller and the knife will underperform at tasks like cutting branches.

Handle Material

Like a blade’s steel, a knife’s handle material is mostly a matter of preference. Some enjoy Grivory handle scales while others prefer Zytel. Your best bet is to try out different materials and see which ones are the most comfortable in your hand. After you’ve made your purchase, it’s important to look up how to take care of it.

Weight

Heaviness doesn’t always mean quality and it’s certainly not always better. A survival knife should ideally weigh somewhere around 11 inches, give or take. You’re less likely to carry a knife if it’s too heavy, and the best survival knife is the one you actually carry.

Sheath

knife-sheathesSpeaking of carrying the knife, the sheath is another important factor to consider. Sheaths come in different materials, from leather and nylon to Zytel and Kydex. Each material has its own pros and cons, but comfort is the main thing you should look for. A knife that moves around or rattles when you’re navigating the root-ridden forest floor will impact your movement and survival.

The Perfect Survival Knife

I just laid out a laundry list of things you should look for in a good survival knife. But do any knives actually meet all these criteria? Yes! Just some of the knives that fit these seemingly narrow specifications include the Schrade SCHF42D, Fallkniven A1, ESEE 5, KA-BAR BK2 Becker, Ontario Bushcraft Field Knife, Buck Selkirk, and many more. In the end, you should pick the survival knife that you’re the most comfortable with, even if it only meets a few of the things I listed above. But since this is something your life may depend on in survival situations, you’d better make sure it’s a darn good knife.

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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.

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.

DPx Knife MEGA Review

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DPx Knife Review

This is not your ordinary review, it is a MEGA Review!  I recently had the opportunity to test out not one, but three, survival knives from DPx Gear and use them in a real-world scenario. The three knives I’m going to discuss in this mega-review are as follows:

DPx Knife Review

Left to right: HEST Original, HEFT Assault 4, and HEST II Woodsman

I’m familiar with the DPx line of knives from reputation, as this company is known for its focus on hard-use knives designed by experienced, military personnel and adventurers, however, this was the first time I had the opportunity to try them out under real survival situations.

According to their website, DPx knives are tested and used in locations including Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Burma. From the get-go, I was excited to see if these knives could perform up to expectations.

DPx Knife Review

DPx Knife Review

DPX Knife Review First Impressions

From first glance, I knew these were superior quality knives. Simply by looking, I could tell there was serious craftsmanship that went into their assembly; these were not some cheap trinkets that would fall apart after a year of use.

DPx Knife Review

Left to Right: Leather sheath, HEST II Woodsman knife, HEFT 4 Assault knife, Nylon sheath with Kydex insert, HEST Original knife, Kydex sheath.

Picking them up, each felt solid in my hands and had a full tang. Examining the blades, they were very sharp out of the box and much thicker than other knives of this size, indicating superior quality and an ability to handle abuse.

Additional details setting these knives apart from less expensive alternatives included well thought-out jimping, storage space in the handle, a hex driver, a wire breaker, and a bottle opener – for a little reward after a hard day’s work!

DPx Knife Review

Cracking one open with the HEST Original. Cheers!

Blade Steel

I was really excited to check out the HEST II Woodsman and the HEFT 4 Assault as both are made from Niolox steel (the HEST Original is made from 1095 high carbon steel, but more on that later), a relatively new blade material that I had never had the chance to use before.

DPx Knife Review

Testing out the 1095 high carbon steel blade of the HEST Original while preparing to build a fire.

Originally developed for the food processing industry (think large scale, factory-based food processing), Niolox came about as processors were looking for something that would deliver superior edge retention, resist corrosion, and last for thousands of cuts and slices before needing replacement. Using this material to fabricate knives is a no-brainer, what I was truly curious about is how this new material would fare against the old, reliable 1095.

DPx Knife Review: Testing Process

I decided the best way to test these knives out was to take them into the elements and see how they stacked up against real-world tasks. Myself and two other experienced outdoorsmen went on a weekend camping trip (this is where we went if you are even in Australia), each one taking one of the knives.

DPx Knife Review

All three blades sank into a large cuttlefish bone we found on the beach.

We didn’t have a set plan of exactly what skills we would test the knives with, but decided that we would simply keep the knives on us and use them as the need arose. Over the course of the weekend, the knives were tested out on the following tasks:

  • Cutting rope
  • Batoning branches
  • Shaving wood to start fire
  • Gathering mollusks to practice scavenging skills
  • Pounding tent stakes
  • Preparing food
  • Cutting open boxes and packages
  • Light digging
  • Sheaths tested for usability, ease of deployment, and comfort

DPx Knife Review: HEFT 4 Assault

Best Use: This knife is ideal for bugging-out or bushcraft. It was by far the largest, heaviest, and most heavy duty of the knives. A real ‘workhorse,’ this knife is good for medium to heavy duty tasks around camp.

DPx Knife Review

Click the graphic to view the DPx HEFT 4 Assault on Amazon.

What I Liked: 

First off, I like that this knife is made of Niolox steel and it provides good form and balance (balance is right where your index finger sits, which results in excellent control). Another perk is that the jimping is also wire stripper and makes for an excellent grip. The G-10 scales are removable, so there’s space to wrap paracord around your knife or store items inside. There’s also a bottle opener that works competently (more on that below).

DPx Knife Review

As for the blade, it was very thick which made for great batoning and prying.  I was really impressed when by accident, I jammed the knife into a rock and the tip did not snap, due mainly to the thickness of the blade, strength of the Niolox steel, and probably a bit of pure luck!

DPx Knife Review

Harvesting limpets with the HEFT 4 Assault.

DPx Knife Review

Limpets are related to clams and are a great source of protein!

The blade also proved to be quite resistant to corrosion as it was exposed to seawater and then sheathed for 48 hours, with no visible rust. The Niolox passed this corrosion resistance test with flying colors. Additionally, the nylon sheath is nice and streamlined with a pocket that can hold a sharpening stone, fire starter, compass, or anything other small tool, and it also has a molded kydex insert.

DPx Knife Review

In terms of use, batoning through tree limbs was a breeze, due mainly to the thickness of the blade. Versus other, thinner, knives, the .19” thickness gives the blade a hatchet-like cross-section, an indispensable quality for bushcraft.

DPx Knife Review

Note the thickness of the spine, which provides a solid striking surface for batoning.

Cosmetically, there were no nicks in the edge after an entire weekend of use but there were some scratches on the blade coating. This is not something that particularly bothers me, my gear is meant to be USED so if it’s not a little scratched, it’s not useful.  However, if you’re a collector or enjoy displaying your knives, this may not be the one for you.

DPx Knife Review

Last but not least, the craftsmanship is top-notch. This knife is made for DPx in Italy by master bladesmiths at LionSteel.

Minor Cons:

As I mentioned before, the bottle opener worked but could be better. It was not as useful as a ‘church key’-type opener, which admittedly would be impractical on a knife, but it’s nice to have in a pinch. Another issue (that applies only to lefties), is that the kydex molding of the sheath makes this a right-hand draw knife. If you were truly motivated, you could pull out the molded liner, but it’s pretty snug.

Final Thoughts on the HEFT 4 Assault:

I absolutely loved this knife. It’s the perfect size for all but the most heavy-duty of tasks.  You are not going to want to use it to take down a tree, but for the other 95% of the functions you’ll need for bushcraft, survival and camp, this knife is up to the task. If you like the idea of this knife but want it larger, you’re in luck – it has a big brother, the HEFT 6.

A big plus for this knife is the jimping. It really bit into my thumb and gave me serious confidence that my grip would not slip. Also, the Niolox steel more than lived up to expectations and truly impressed me. The edge held its sharpness after a long weekend of use, the steel did not corrode despite being submerged in seawater and wet beach sand, and the tip did not break after an accidental plunge into a rock (oops!).

DPx Knife Review

Well-designed jimping provides a more controlled grip.

If you’re looking for a quality knife and have the budget for it, or want to upgrade your existing knife, this is a good choice. If for some reason you try it out and it doesn’t meet your expectations, I would still recommend purchasing a knife made from Niolox steel.

DPx Knife Review: HEST Original

Best Use: This is a great choice for backpackers or people who want to carry as little weight as possible. It’s fully functional for light to medium tasks around camp and would suit someone looking for a high functioning knife at a reasonable price without sacrificing on quality or someone who wants a quality knife but isn’t prepared to splurge on Niolox steel.

DPx Knife Review

Click the graphic to view the DPx HEST Original on Amazon.

What I Liked:

Of the three knives, this was by far the lightest and the micarta handle provided the best grip. It was very sharp out of the box and the 1095 carbon steel is easy to sharpen and holds a razor’s edge; it’s also less expensive than many other types of steel. The flat pommel made it great for striking and pounding while the partial serration was good for cutting rope and prepping food.

DPx Knife Review

The knife has a slim profile, even with the sheath, and the kydex sheath came with multiple carry options, including paracord and belt clip, and can be carried either vertically or horizontally. It’s made in the USA, can be carried on the right or left side, and in a pinch, the pry bar would work well to break glass.

DPx Knife Review

The versatile kydex sheath can be secured horizontally (shown) or vertically.

Minor Cons:

While the 1095 steel is light and inexpensive, it is not as corrosive resistant as other steels and had to be washed after exposure to seawater (I learned this from past experiences with this material rusting). It’s also worth noting that the blade is powder coated to help protect everything but the edges of the blade from corrosion.

DPx Knife Review

The partial serration on the HEST Original blade was useful, especially for cutting open fruit and preparing foods.

Final Thoughts on the HEST Original:

DPx Knife Review

This is a very good, basic knife with a well thought-out, quality sheath. I enjoyed the flexibility provided by the partial serration and the micarta handle provides a solid grip even in wet conditions. There’s good balance in your hand – this knife feels good to hold. It’s a great option for someone looking for a quality, entry-level knife that will last for years to come.

DPx Knife Review: HEST II Woodsman

Best Use: A good knife for light to medium tasks around camp. It looks good enough to give as a gift, such as to groomsmen or on special occasions. 

DPx Knife Review

Click the graphic to view the DPx HEST II Woodsman on Amazon.

What I Liked:

Aesthetically, this was by far the best looking knife of the three with a really nice leather sheath that looks good and feels nice. It’s also made from Niolox, which is a fantastic steel as mentioned in the HEFT 4 Assault section above.

DPx Knife Review

The size and shape of the blade make it a well-balanced knife and it’s the perfect size for use around camp or all-day carry without it being noticeable. For the size of this knife, it has a very thick blade at .19”.  For comparison, the popular ESSE 3, has a blade thickness of .125”. The flat pommel made it easy to pound tent stakes into rocky ground. And as a knife that is made in Italy by master bladesmiths, the craftsmanship is top tier.

DPx Knife Review

The flat pommel allows for pounding tasks, like driving tent stakes into the ground.

Minor Cons:

Due to its sheath design (vertical mounting, right side draw), this knife can only be carried one way – this is by no means a deal-breaker, but if you intend to hang it off the molle points on your pack or vest, you will need another sheath.

DPx Knife Review

The vertical leather sheath is high quality, though it does not accommodate left-handed access.

Also, the fact that it is right-hand carry only is a negative for lefties.  Lastly, the wood handle provided good grip retention (and looks awesome) but is not as “grippy” as micarta or G10.

Final Thoughts on the HEST II Woodsman:

This is a really nice looking blade that I would be happy to give (or receive!) as a gift. As with the HEFT 4 Assault, the Niolox steel exceeded my expectations. For a multipurpose knife, the HEST II Woodsman has great balance and blade shape. As compared to the other two knives in this review, the HEST II Woodsman is a good compromise on size and cost.

DPx Knife Review

Note the integrated hex wrench and wire strippers on the HEST II Woodsman.

DPx Knife Review: Conclusion

DPx Knife Review

All three of the knives reviewed – the HEFT 4 Assault, HEST Original, and HEST II Woodsman – are all really good knives and it’s obvious that there was substantial attention to detail given to their designs. All were clearly made with the intention to be used, hence the focus on design as well as testing. Each was well-made and included clever add-ons such as bottle openers, pry bars, and hex wrenches. Any one of these knives will serve its owner well for a very long time.

For an experienced outdoorsman, these are easy to recommend, and are differentiated enough that each appeals to its own target users. DPx offers variations on all three of these models, so if you’re looking for a particular blade shape, finish, or handle combination to suit a particular need, you’re sure to find it.

If you do select one of these knives, I do recommend choosing one with a Niolox steel blade, if at all possible.  Niolox steel had a good edge, great corrosion resistance, and exceeded my expectations in testing.

Your Thoughts

Do you have any questions about the features or performance of these DPx knives? Are you interested in seeing more MEGA reviews like this one? Let us know in the Comments section below, thanks!

The post DPx Knife MEGA Review appeared first on The Bug Out Bag Guide.

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…

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Check out these do-it-yourself preparedness gifts kids can make

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As far as I’m concerned, a home-made Christmas gift with some thought behind it trumps the most expensive thing you can buy. And, this is guaranteed:  If  a child makes a preparedness gift for a loved one, that item will be cherished, included in a survival kit and used.

by Leon Pantenburg

When my daughter, Mary was 12, she decided to make all her Christmas presents. Starting in October, she painted pictures, ceramic plates and coffee cups, decorated photo frames and made jewelry for loved ones. All the recipients cherish those gifts, and I wouldn’t trade my handpainted coffee cup for the most expensive item from the Cabala’s catalog!

Here is a list of do-it-yourself survival gear that kids can make. The materials are free or don’t cost much, but they can really provide some quality items. Have the youngster hand-write or draw simple directions along with the SurvivalCommonSense.com links on how to use them. Then, put these under the tree, or use them as stocking stuffers.

What gift is more thoughtful than one that might save your life?
A 55-gallon trash bag can make a quick, effective emergency shelter.

A 55-gallon trash bag can make a quick, effective emergency shelter.

55 gallon plastic trash bag: This plastic bag can provide a quick shelter for getting out of the weather, and be used for many other purposes. A hole can be cut in the bottom, and the bag can be worn for emergency rain gear.  It can be split along the seam  to make a sheet of plastic for catching rainwater, or as a shelter from the sun. Strips can be cut off it and braided into a rope or cord.

Plastic Bread Sacks: Yeah, those sturdy, clear plastic bags that come as bread wrappings should be included in a survival kit. Fold two of them, and place in a plastic sandwich bag. The bags can be used to make transpiration bags for gathering water, as vessels to transport water, or as foot coverings.

In a pinch, take off your boots, put your stockinged foot in the bread sack, and put the shoe back on. Secure the top with duct tape or cord, and you have a reasonably effective method of keeping you feet dry.

The bags can also be used for a variety of  survival techniques: Put your dry tinder in a bread sack as you gather it in the rain. On damp ground, use a bag as a sit-upon.

cotton ball and petroleum jelly firestarter containers

These free containers work well for storing firestarter.

100 count bag of cotton balls and 12 oz of petroleum jelly: This is the raw material for one of the most effective firestarters available. Just gob the cotton balls with the jelly, fluff as much as possible and ignite with a magnesium stick, lighter or match. The system works great, and is virtually foolproof.

Free Containers for Infused Cotton Balls: Put the infused cotton balls in a free container, such as a 35mm film canister/ diabetic test strips container or Red Bull energy shot container, and you have an effective and reliable firestarter system for pennies. And talk about a great stocking stuffer for that hunter, hiker or outdoors-type who is hard to buy for!

Waxed firestarter: Melt  old candles and dip worn-out 100 percent cotton Teri-cloth in the wax to make a very serviceable, waterproof firestarter.  Tear off small strips and pack them in your survival kit.

It took some duct tape and paracord to make these quart Gatorade containers into serviceable canteens.

Quart Gator Aid container: These rugged plastic water containers are free with the purchase of a quart of GatorAide and they can be reused for a long time. The containers are a great backup for other water storage systems, and can easily be replaced. Affix a loop of paracord with duct tape, and you can carry the water bottle on a belt or affixed to a caribinner.

Insulite Sit-Upon: This is an old Girl Scout  tip: Take that old insulite sleeping pad in the garage nobody will ever use again and cut it into squares about 14 inches  by 14 inches. Take it along with your survival gear. If you’re hunting, the pad will allow you to sit  on a cold, wet log without soaking the seat of your pants. Use the sit-upon in combination with your trash bag survival shelter to get through a cold, wet night.

The insulite is easily written upon with a permanent marker. It’s a great place to put holiday greetings!

Hardtack: The original survival ration, hardtack is a hard cracker that works very well as an addition to

Mark's hardtack recipe is tasty and nutritious!

Mark’s hardtack recipe is tasty and nutritious!

the survival kit. The recipe is simple and if the kids like to bake Christmas cookies, they’ll probably enjoy making hardtack.

Notebook and pencil: I learned how to make pocket notebooks several years ago, when my daughter’s elementary school project was to find a way to recycle commonly-used stuff. Since I use a lot of notebooks,  Mary and I figured out a way to make note pad fillers out of  standard writing paper. All you do is fold and cut the used paper three times, then staple the pieces to a piece of  cardboard. It make a great pocket-sized notebook that will fit in a pocket or survival kit. A notebook is a necessity for leaving notes, recording compass bearings, GPS locations and taking map notes.

School or Family Photo with Message on Back: This is probably the best gift. Have the youngster write something on back, such as “Be Safe,”  and make sure that picture gets stored in the survival kit. Then, if that loved one gets in a tight spot, he or she can look at the photo and recall why it’s important to never give up!

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

17+ Crazy Survival Gifts, Gadgets and Gear – Volume #2

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COVER-best-survival-gear-gadgets-survival-camping-gifts-christmas-ultimate-gear-knife-gadget-best

IF you’re looking for MORE crazy, cool and downright useful NEW gear for everyday carry, survival, prepping, bushcraft, bug out or as a gift for someone on your list, who likes to be prepared… you’ve come to the right place.  Here are 10+ survival gadgets, gizmos, gifts and gear…

Gizmos-2-1

Swiss Card Lite – Includes 13 EDC Tools

     13 Emergency Tools – In a Credit Card Sized Pocket Tool
A credit card slot in your wallet, pack or purse is a great place to everyday carry the Victorniox Swiss Card Lite Pocket Tool. Made in Switzerland… the 13-Tool Swisscard Lite includes a small knife, scissors, rulers, tweezers, a straight pin, micro pen, a magnifying glass, 4-function screw driver, and an emergency LED light. Cost is around $30 US.

Swiss Card Lite: http://amzn.to/1PFQtdk

For a Survival Credit Card Tool… check out the Tool Logic Survival Card 2 with a cool knife, firesteel, emergency whistle, light and more… Cost is around $19 US.

Survival Card II: http://amzn.to/1O8jBE5

Shower-hand

Small and Lightweight

Sea Shower-2

Take a 7 Minute Shower Anywhere…

Ultra Light 4 Oz. Emergency / Camping / Bug Out Bag Shower
If you or your better half hate the idea of getting dirty, stinky and otherwise totally disgusting during an emergency, bug out or camping trip… consider the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower. This little beauty is super small, weights just 4 ounces (or 114 grams), holds 10 liters of water, and gives you about a 7 minute shower. In full sun, the black bag will heat up the water it contains – so you don’t freeze your butt off. AND the 10 liter bag doubles as a water container in a pinch. Cost is around $35 US.

Pocket Shower: http://amzn.to/1O8jJmW

Gizmos-2-2

26 Survival Items for $13

Best $13 UltraLight Survival Kit
If $13 dollars US sounds about what your budget can handle for a basic, ready-made survival kit… You’re pretty cheap… but all hope is NOT lost. The LifeLine 26-Piece Ultralight Survival Kit comes to your rescue with some shelter, fire, water, food, navigation and first aid basics… It’s not perfect, but then again you don’t have a lot of money for a survival kit… But if you want a bit more in a on a pre-made kit – and have a few more bucks to invest… I recommend the Best Glide Be Prepared Pocket Tin, the Best Glide Adventurer Survival Kit or the Gear Pods Wilderness Kit – I’ve done full reviews (on YouTube) of all 3.

Gizmos-2-2b

3 Other Awesome Pre-Made Survival Kits…

LifeLine Pocket Survival Kit:
http://amzn.to/1O8kTz0

Best Glide – Be Prepared Pocket Survival Kit:
http://amzn.to/1O8kZXg

Best Glide Adventurer:
http://amzn.to/1O8l3X8

Gear Pods Wilderness Kit:
http://amzn.to/1O8lgcL

Gizmos-2-3

ETON Scorpion II – Charges by Hand Crank, Sun or Outlet…

Bug Out Bag / Emergency Radio
If you’re looking for a durable, compact Bug Out Bag or emergency radio that is NOT dependent on batteries or the grid? Look no further. The ETON Scorpion II has a footprint about the size of my iPhone 6 (although it’s quite a bit fatter) and charges using USB, solar or it’s built-in hand crank. It sports a digital clock, AM, FM and Weather Band Radio, built in speaker, headphone jack, LED flashlight, carabiner (for hanging it on stuff) and a bottle opener (Hey, why not). AND it can even charge your smart phone – Cost is around $50 US.

Emergency Solar Radio: http://amzn.to/1O8lkJD

And for a rugged bear bones, hand crank and solar radio with AM/FM and weather band… I’m pretty attached to my Ambient Weather Solar radio. Cost is around $15 US.

Mini-Solar Radio: http://amzn.to/1O8loZZ

Gizmos-2-4

Ultimate Zombie Survival Kit

VSSL Ultimate Zombie Weapon Kit
Meet the Ultimate Zombie Weapon Kit by VSSL Gear. On the cap ends of the daunting black aluminum case there is a 3 mode LED light on one side and large compass on the other… that when replaced with the high tensile aluminum spike (found inside)…  transforms the otherwise harmless VSSL into a worthy Zombie eliminating tool. There’s also a medical mask to help protect you from whatever Zombified the Zombie in the first place. Cost is around $60 US.

Zombie Weapon Kit: http://amzn.to/1O8mzIG

Gizmos-2-4b

VSSL First Aid and Supplies Survival Kits…

Although the Zombie Weapon Kit is a novelty item… VSSL also makes an innovative and legit first aid kit and a survival kit called VSSL Supplies – Check out my full review on YouTube.

VSSL First Aid Kit:
http://amzn.to/1THTkBk

VSSL Supplies Survival Kit:
http://amzn.to/1O8mO6L

Gizmos-2-5

Sweet $39 Bushcraft Blade by Condor Knife and Tool

Best $39 Bushcraft Knife?
The Condor Knife and Tool Bushlore is about the best sub $50, full tang, traditional bushcraft knife that I’ve found to date. It’s made in El Salvador from 1075 high carbon steel, has a wicked sharp, and tough, full fine edge drop point, blade, a beautiful hardwood handle and comes with a sweet leather sheath. Cost is… around $39 US.

Bushlore Knife:http://amzn.to/1THTzfH

Mora

Mora Light My Fire

Another Great Choice in Bushcraft Blades is the Mora Light My Fire. Although not full tang, Swedish-made Mora blades are tough for the price and the Light My Fire blade is made from nearly legendary Sandvik Stainless Steel and has a very useful ferro rod built into the handle that can be struck using the spine side of the blade to start a fire. Cost is around $29 US.

Mora Light My Fire: http://amzn.to/1O8mYLc

Phone

The Fre’ Power Protects and Powers My iPhone

How to Waterproof and DOUBLE the Battery Power of Your iPhone
If you’re looking for tough waterproof protection for your iPhone AND would like double your phone’s battery life – check out the LifeProof Fre’ POWER. The LifeProof Fre’ POWER solves some earlier issues that I experienced with the LifeProof FRE case… and has done a great job protecting my iPhone 6… AND doubling it’s run time when shooting videos in the field, or when I’m away from power for a couple of days. Costis around $90 US.

LifeProof Fre’ Power: http://amzn.to/1THU21e

Belt

My Rattlerstrap Belt is Almost 3 Years Old…

BEST Survival Paracord Belt
If you want your belt to be more than a pants holding, gear hanger, and think having over 100 feet of everyday carry 550 Paracord available in an emergency is a pretty keen idea… check out the RattlerStrap Survival Paracord belt.  I’ve been wearing my rattlerstrap belt nearly everyday for about 3 years now. The weave is still tight while it looks and functions like the day I got it. But save up your pennies kids. The cost is around $100 US.

Rattlerstrap Belt: http://amzn.to/1O8njh6

If $100 for a paracord belt is beyond your budget… the next best choice is the Bison designs double cobra, paracord survival belt at around $60 US
Bison Designs Belt: http://amzn.to/1O8noRG

See my full review on YouTube.

Cover1-IMG_3473

3-Mode – Bear Grylls Micro Torch Can Save the Day

Emergency Light Anywhere, Anytime
For emergency light anywhere, anytime, pack the Bear Grylls Micro Torch in survival kits, hang from zipper pulls or put on your key chain for reliable emergency light in a super small package. I’ve got several of these little gems kicking around and they’ve saved my butt more than once. Cost is around $7 US for this great stocking stuffer. See my full review on YouTube. (63)

BG Micro Torch: http://amzn.to/1O8nGrP

Don’t Waste Anything: Survival kit and craft projects from big game animals

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There is more than just meat to harvest from a big game animal. With a little thought and ingenuity, you can find useful projects that will use many of the other parts of the animal!

by Leon Pantenburg

Before the foreigners arrived on the American scene, the indigenous people used virtually every part of  a big game animal.

They had no choice! The carcass of a deer, elk, buffalo, antelope or other game animal was their combination grocery/hardware and home store. A large animal provided the raw materials for food, shelter, weapons and virtually everything else needed for wilderness survival.

Today, a harvested big game animal is still a great survival resource. And, IMO, the best way to show respect and appreciation for the animal whose life you took  is to use everything possible.

To start with, every shred of usable meat should be harvested. That means learning butchering and meatcutting skills to most effectively cut, wrap and preserve the meat. (Every prepper and survivalist should know basic butchering as a survival skill!) Get good tools, and practice cutting and wrapping meat whenever you can. The better you are at butchering, the less meat you’ll waste.

Get a meat grinder or grinding attachment for your blender. I have been using the same Osterizer blender with grinder for over 20 years. By now, it has ground up the meat from a small herd of deer and elk and is still going strong.

The ability to make your own hamburger is cost-effective, and assures you save all the tougher and less flavorful cuts to eat.

Don’t neglect the organs. Last October, after a successful Oregon elk hunt, the intact heart was saved from one elk  carcass. It was donated to  Mountainview High School (in Bend, OR) to be used in the anatomy class for dissection.

Dog Food: My office supervisor is Belle, a 14-year-old Labrador (non)Retriever, and there are no wasted scrap meats at my house. While butchering, meat scraps are placed in gallon Ziploc bags, labeled, and frozen. Later, the scraps will boiled and used to supplement Belle’s  food. The broth is also saved. Belle’s favorite meal is  boiled elk or deer scraps, with broth, poured over her regular dry dog food.

Dog Liver Treats: If boiled deer scraps are Belle’s favorite meal, then baked liver treats are her favorite food on earth! If you don’t personally like liver, don’t leave it in the gutpile! (Take along a 2-gallon Ziploc bag and it will be big enough to carry a bull elk liver!) Give the liver to someone who will eat it, or use it to make dog treats.

Here’s a quick recipe for liver treats that will have your dog begging for more! Slice the liver into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Boil for awhile. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at about 300 degrees until the meat is dried and hard. Store  the completed liver treats in a plastic sandwich bag in the freezer until ready to use. If you don’t have a dog, give the treats to somebody who does. I imagine other organ meats could be prepared in a similar manner.

In no particular order, here are some suggestions to make the fullest use of that elk, deer or antelope carcass.

Leadhead jigs are very effective fishing lures, and can easily be made of feathers and hair from game birds and animals.

Leadhead jigs are very effective fishing lures, and can easily be made of feathers and hair from game birds and animals.

Fishing Lures: If you know a fly tier, give the tail to him or her. The hollow hairs of a whitetail make great lures, and flytiers – good ones, anyway – are notorious, constant scroungers of natural materials such as animal hairs, feathers and other stuff. Play your cards right, and you might get some neat flies back. Squirrel tails are another fantastic resource for fly and jig lure makers.

Buck Tail jig: One of the finest all-around lures I know of  is a simple leadhead jig tied into a bucktail. Making one is simplicity itself – all you have to do tie some of the long tail hairs to the jig and go fishing.

Tip the jig with a minnow or a nightcrawler and and you have a very effective rig for catching walleye or northern pike. One of the most effective colors for the jig is the hair’s natural brown.

Soap: If an animal has fat, that fat can be rendered into lard, and made into soap. I made some soap one year from a fat whitetail doe, and distributed it to the rest of the hunting club members for Christmas presents. I called it “Buck Rub,” but think about it while you’re while out on stand, and you can probably come up with a better name!

Soapmaking expert Karla Moore regularly makes soap with a variety of wild game tallows. Click here to get her recipe for a basic  bar soap.

Hides: I am too lazy to attempt braintanning a hide like the indigenous people did.  But the hide can still be kept, rolled up in a garbage bag in your freezer,  until it can be donated to a worthy cause. In many areas, barrels are placed at check stations to collect hides, and local civic clubs process the hides as fundraisers.

In my hometown of Bend, OR, the local taxidermist trades hides for leather gloves. The hide has value, even if you don’t personally want to tan it.

Antlers or Horns: Talk about a useful material! You can make handles for knives, and other tools, and use them for a multitude of pioneer products.

Saw an antler into thin slices, drill two holes in the center, and you have bone buttons. These become prime barter items at historic re-enactments or mountain man rendezvouses.

I used a piece of horn for the handle of my blackpowder rifle’s round ball short starter. It’s easy to make powder measures out of antler tips. Just cut off the desired length, clamp it into a drill press and start drilling. Pour sand or salt into the hole from a powder measure, and keep enlarging the hole  until you get the right sized hole for the desired volume. When you’re done, check the capacity of the horn with a powder measure and gunpowder. These are so easy to make, you can have several.

Elk Ivory: Every elk has two ivory molars in the back of their jaws. I got a pair of nice ivories when I can across a kill site from some other hunters. My Leatherman allowed me to quickly remove the teeth.

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Simple survival tips for using a map and compass

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It’s really hard to think when there’s this awful, nauseating realization that you may be lost in the wilderness and you start to panic. Suppose you have a map and compass along, and a basic idea of how to use them. But maybe you didn’t think about using them…

The day may start out nice, but suddenly bad weather threatens. And – you don’t know where you are.

by Leon Pantenburg

After all, the sun was out, the day was nice, the trail is clear, the scenery beautiful and you stuck the map and compass in the pack somewhere. It was hard to get to, so you didn’t check it.

And, the point was to get out in the woods and relax, and who can unwind when you have to fool around with land navigation tasks? Besides, you’re well prepared, with survival knife, a survival kit, tarp  and…all that stuff.
But then it starts to get dark, or the weather changes, and you don’t remember which of the forks in the trail you took. At this point, many people will start to panic, and when that happens, you can’t reason.

But in this situation, remembering some common sense land navigation memory aides and acronyms will help calm you down. Once you can correctly orient the map, you can figure out where you are and where to go.

You can also decide if the smart option is to set up a shelter, build a fire and stay put while waiting to be rescued. Don’t try to make this kind of decision when you can’t think!

Humans are hard-wired to want an activity pattern. Creating a routine to fall back upon in this situation could help calm you down. It will hasten your ability to make good decisions.

Here’s a survival mindset exercise that uses simple, easy-to-remember map and compass memory aides. Memorize them, and the order they’re in, and you’ll have one more tool in your survival kit.

STOP: First and foremost, in any wilderness emergency is the need to focus on the situation. Stop (sit down while you’re doing this part), Think, Observe and Plan. Stay seated until you reach “P” and don’t get up until you have a plan. Then, get out the map and compass.

Red=N: Which end of the needle is north? Maybe you want to write this on the compass somewhere: Red = North.

These are basic navigation tools: compass, emergency whistle, map and GPS. Start with the basics: does the red compass needle point north?

Yeah – this is elementary stuff, but really important. Disorientation is a symptom of dehydration, fatigue, hypothermia and panic, and you can have all these problems at once. And maybe you also have to deal with  pain, because of an injury.

Also – and this sounds really elementary – make sure the needle actually does point north before you buy a compass. Twice, I have found name brand, quality compasses where the red needle pointed south. (I’m not the only one – wilderness expert Peter Kummerfeldt relates a similar story, with a different brand of compass.)

The first instance was on a compass that belonged to a member of Boy Scout Troop 18, in Bend, Oregon. I noticed the compass on an outing, when the scout was navigating by the white arrow. I convinced the scout that the compass was dangerous (It really was!), and bought it as a joke for Gordon Cotton. (Cotton, director of The Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, MS., collects all types of  Southern memorabilia. A “Rebel Compass,” of course, would naturally point south!)

The other instance wasn’t funny, and could have lead to tragedy. I happened across a compass, with a red needle that pointed south, on the shelf of a local sporting goods store. An unsuspecting customer could have bought the compass, assumed the red needle pointed north and gotten really, really lost. The salesman was appalled, and checked out all the rest of the compass inventory on the spot.  Never, ever buy a compass that has anything whatsoever wrong with it!

Red in the shed: OK – you remember, and are positive, that red is north.

This compass needle is aligned with the orienting arrow. The “Red is in the shed.”

But, next, aren’t you supposed to do something with the pointy do-hickey in the bottom?

It’s probably more dignified to say “Box the needle” or “Align the red, north-pointing needle with the orienting arrow figure on the bottom of the dial.” But you’ll remember “Red in the Shed,” because it rhymes and the alignment box resembles, with a little imagination, a tall, skinny shed.

Two norths? There are two norths on a topographic map: Magnetic north and True North and the difference could confuse an exhausted, cold person.

Magnetic north is where the needle points to the actual magnetic North Pole. In 2005, that was about 800 miles from the geographic north pole, near Ellef Ringes Island in the Canadian Arctic (Latitude: 82.7, Longitude: 114.4).

True north is the direction to the top of your map.  Since the earth is a pear-shaped object and a map is flat, inevitably, there will be some variations

So remember this acronym: MN to MN = Magnetic needle, magnetic north: The Magnetic needle on your compass points to magnetic north. MN-to-MN.

True north is always and truly at the top of your map.

But that’s not the only thing about true north and magnetic north you need to know.

The difference in angle between true north and magnetic north is called declination, and you’ll have to adjust your compass and map.

Which way to adjust for declination? How do you remember if you adjust for easterly or westerly declination?

In the continental U.S. , just look at the Mississippi River. If you have to go east to get to it, then you adjust for easterly declination. If you have to go west, it is westerly declination.  And, if you live in the zone along the big river, you probably don’t have to adjust for declination at all.

Anyone venturing out into the wilderness needs to have a good working knowledge of a map and compass.  Never rely on a GPS alone. Any electronic device can fail, and the best GPS in the world is only as good as its power source.

These tips are a very small piece of staying found. A critical tool in your survival kit is knowledge and skill. Invest the time and money to take a good land navigation class, then buy a quality compass.

Another good idea is to make your own topographic maps. I use the National Geographic Topo! Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software, and make a custom map whenever I go out. There are other fine mapping programs on the market also, and don’t forget google maps as a resource. 

Memorize these aids, and that potential panic attack will dissipate while you figure out where you are!

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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!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
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Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Go to schedules tabs at top of page!

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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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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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Survival Knife Misuse: How To Wear And Tear Your Knives

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Knives misusesRegular knife users have learned to appreciate the versatility and usefulness of their blade. A knife is an essential part of your survival gear. It’s an investment much more than it is a purchase, because when properly taken care of, it may end up lasting a lifetime.

Though not all knives share the same quality standards, one thing is true about the majority of survival knives: they’re designed to withstand regular use for long periods of time. The question is: how should you care for your blade and what are the mistakes to avoid when using it?

12 Common Mistakes When Using Survival Knives

Even the most rudimentary of knives needs to be taken care of, but more often than not, knives become damaged because of improper use and maintenance routines. This may be the result of distraction, inexperience, a lack of proper instruction or carelessness.

But make no mistake: a blade that isn’t properly taken care of will surely become an unusable blade. Let’s first discuss some of the most common mistakes that beginners make when using their knives. What are the bad habits that shorten the lifespan of your knife?

Not Knowing the Limits of Your Knife

Each material has natural limits that it cannot surpass. Knives are not exceptions of this rule. Yes, we may have been brought up in the confidence that knives are wondrous tools capable of withstanding absolutely everything. Similar to Japanese katanas or Thor’s magical hammer, we expect them to perform a plethora of tasks and have completely unrealistic expectations.

Make no mistake, knives are made of steel and steel should also be used with caution. Different knives are created for different purposes. It’s simple: you really can’t use a fillet knife to skin a deer.

Though you may try your hardest, the knife wasn’t designed for that task and will not only perform poorly, but will also have to suffer as a result. So instead of choosing the wrong knife (or an all-purpose-blade for any and all tasks), read up on useful guides on choosing the right knife and work from there.

Not Oiling Your Knife

Many knife enthusiasts regularly oil their blade to ensure that it remains in pristine conditions. You may already be doing this for folding knives (springs and joints), however, you may also apply oil on the blade of your knife. Just use a cloth to apply the oil evenly across the blade. This step is particularly useful in humid areas, where rusting is a concern.

Though the oil you use is subject to personal preference, I recommend Dri-Lube for folding knives. You can find it in any firearm store. Aside from drying on contact, it’s also easy to apply, doesn’t drip or run and will not attract dirt or lint. You’ve surely experienced this with folding knives: they’re simply lint magnets. Be watchful of overspray though.

Failing to Clean Your Knife

Just because you use your knife regularly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also regularly clean it. Running water is often enough, but you must always ensure to dry the knife thoroughly. This is a step that most beginners ignore and end up paying the price for. A knife that isn’t completely dry will never be rust free. Ideally, you should use a cloth that’s used specifically for this purpose.

Also, make sure to not forget your knife in water for longer periods of time.

Depending on your knife’s handle, you may have to also perform other maintenance tasks. Wood handles should be treated with linseed oil while leather handles should be cleaned with leather cleaner. If you own a knife that features a bone handle, never soak it in water.

Knife Abuse and Misuse

There’s a specific purpose for each tool in your toolbox, but this simple concept seems to be lost when it comes to knives. Most people ruin perfectly beautiful knives by substituting them for screwdrivers. Don’t get me wrong, there are emergency situations when there’s no other solution and, despite some whispered objections, such substitutions may be understandable. Anything else is nothing short of abuse.

The tip of your knife is its most delicate part. It’s also the most useful because it makes precision tasks particularly simple to complete. That’s why you should always try to protect the tip. But more often than not, even when a screwdriver is readily available, knives are used in their stead.

Good quality knives won’t wear so easily and may withstand multiple substitution rounds, however, they will become damaged in the long run. Opening cans is another such example. Granted, some multi-purpose knives may be used to open cans, but a high-quality hunting knife, for instance, will certainly suffer.

Steel is a sturdy material, but as previously mentioned, it has its limitations. Steel has certain elastic capabilities, it resists abrasion, corrosion and vibration. But this resistance is limited and you’ll surely damage your blade if and when those limits are exceeded. When a blade is made to pry in small spaces, it is forced in the direction in which its structure is less resistant. This may result in the blade being curled or damaged.

Failing to Sharpen Your Knife

While it may be true that any survival weapon, even a dull knife, is better than none in a situation that demands it, there’s no excuse for not properly sharpening your survival knife. In fact, let’s get one thing straight: even if you own the best survival knife that money can buy, if it’s dull, it simply won’t cut.

A dull knife is just as useful as a fork in a survival situation. This only leads to frustration. Now, in such a sticky situation, there are things that you can do to sharpen your knife. In all others, use the multitude of tools that ensure proper sharpening.

Whetstones are the oldest (and perhaps simplest) way to sharpen knives. Your father, his father and his father before him used whetstones. You’ll want to make sure that you always maintain a consistent contact angle between the whetstone and the knife and respect the angle of sharpening that your knife came with.

Video first seen on How To Make Sushi

Sharpening rods are another popular sharpening system because you only need to position the knife vertically on the sharpening rod and swipe it down while pulling the knife towards you.

Never attempt to sharpen your blade on power-driven grinding wheels, as they burn the temper from your blade. Another common mistake that beginners make is pressing too hard when sharpening their knives against diamond sharpeners. Make sure to read about the best ways to sharpen knives or ask more experienced knife users to show you how it’s done.

Extreme Temperatures

Steel doesn’t only sustain mechanical damage. Extreme temperatures are also harmful to your blade. Sub-zero temperatures can make the steel brittle and increase its sensitivity to vibration and impact. On the other hand, extreme heat may damage the hardening of your blade.

You know that something’s wrong when your blade doesn’t return to its normal color after being cleaned. If it displays shades of dark brown, yellow, or even worse, blue and violet, you know that the hardening is lost. In those portions where the discolorations appear, the steel of the knife is softer and can be damaged with ease.

Ignoring Environmental Influences

Environmental agents are just as likely to corrode a blade, especially if the steel is non-stainless steel. Some knives come with their own holster, but consider protecting your blade if you don’t want it damaged.

Overlooking the Handle

Your knife’s handle is also important: water, glues, humidity and chemicals can all damage it. More importantly, in the case of folding knives, failing to regularly inspect the pins is another mistake that beginners tend to make.

Improper Storage

Knives are meant to be used, however, there are moments when you simply don’t use your knife. Simply abandoning a knife in a shelf will do a lot of harm. Ideally, you should store a knife in a shaded and protected area.

Make sure that it’s not exposed to direct sunlight or humidity (as moisture affects the blade) and don’t store the knife inside a leather sheath as it attracts moisture and creates pits on the blade.

Failing to Repair Your Knife

A knife is bound to take the occasional beating, however, most knife owners will hurry and repair the blade themselves instead of taking it to an authorized technician. Note that some high-quality knives have a lifetime warranty that becomes void when you attempt to repair them.

Using the Blade as a Makeshift Fire-Striker

Granted, we already cautioned against using a knife for anything other than its intended purpose, but this particular case is worth drawing attention to. I’m what you call a knife elitist: knives are tools that must be cherished and taken care of, however, there are some who believe that they are mere instruments to be used however their owner sees fit.

This is something I strongly disagree with. I’ve seen people using the blade of their knives when lighting a fire with ferro rods. Damage to the blade is guaranteed. More importantly, it’s a shame to disrespect a blade like that.

Using the Knife as a Makeshift Shovel

This also happens. But chances are that your knife will come into contact with hard rocks that will end up chipping your blade. You’re better off avoiding this altogether.

Did we miss anything? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!

Interested in improving your safety? CLICK HERE to find out more!

This article has been written for Survivopedia by J. Thomas Roberts from Knifeista.

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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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DIY Bamboo Knife (Video & Transcript)

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Video By SNO Multimedia @ Survival Tips
Please support their channel by subscribing here

Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (Manny Edwards)

Duration: 6 min 23 sec   <—–include length of video

DIY Bamboo Knife

You can actually make a knife out of bamboo that is not as sharp as you need it for shaving, but it will help you dismember a small animal. It works on meat or anything soft like that. You can cut yourself with it so be careful. I’ll show you how to make a knife with bamboo.

sno media 2I’m sure your wondering what in the world would you need a knife made out of bamboo since you need a knife like this to make it. If you have to ask that question then it’s obvious that you never traveled anywhere with Elmer. If your in a bug out situation with Elmer, then Elmer is not gonna have his knife with him. So, your gonna have to supply him with a knife, but you don’t want to give him yours because he will lose it or break it. So you have to give him a knife made out of bamboo. What you want is this green edge, it’s this hard outer part of the bamboo that is gonna make your cutting edge.

(Cutting and Shaping)

sno media 3

I wanna cut off everything except the green. This end to that one. (More cutting and shaping) And this is my cutting edge, but when I was splitting it, it didn’t come off even so I’m gonna peel these pieces off and whats left is going to be sharp. In theory, but no because it dulled the edge so I just need to go again. This is a remarkable piece right there. That split should be sharp enough to cut so before I test it, make myself a handle that’s made to hold. Lets see if that’s sharp and will cut a piece of chicken. This is actually cutting better than it looks like it is. The issue is that I am trying not to scrape this bamboo along the cutting board because its going to dull very quickly. It cuts very well. It’s just that I am stopping before I get to the wood.

snomedia 4Okay! We don’t waste anything around here so I am gonna take these little shards and show you how to make a toothpick out of it. I’m gonna cut right here parallel to the green part. I’m just gonna split this right down..k. I’m just pulling these hairs off. Okay.

So, this is pretty thin, it is thinner on this end than it is on this end. K? So I’ve got this nice and thin and now I am gonna cut it at a very sharp angle. Cut that. Whatever you do with the toothpick you can do with this thing but you can also bind food together. For instance, if you go out and catch a wild rabbit. Wild rabbits don’t have a lot of fat on them and that meat will be pretty dry but if you happen to have some salt pork you can slice some bacon pieces out of it, wrap pieces of the rabbit meat and then use this to stick the bacon on it and hold it all together and uh also, I mean, you could use this as an intense interrogation device. So for instance your out with Elmer and wake up and find your knife missing or your gun and Elmer won’t tell you where he hid them, you can always use these to extract the information from him. Or you could just use it as a tooth pick. lol

Go to the blog survivalnewsonline.com and I’ll have a lot more information about bamboo and its uses in survival situations. I’ll see you at the blog!

 

Video By SNO Multimedia @ Survival Tips
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (Manny Edwards)

Duration: 6 min 23 sec

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The post DIY Bamboo Knife (Video & Transcript) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to make a Bamboo Knife (Video & Transcript)

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Video By SNO Multimedia @ Survival Tips
Please support their channel by subscribing here

Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (Manny Edwards)

Duration: 6 min 23 sec   

DIY Bamboo Knife

You can actually make a knife out of bamboo that is not as sharp as you need it for shaving, but it will help you dismember a small animal. It works on meat or anything soft like that. You can cut yourself with it so be careful. I’ll show you how to make a knife with bamboo.

Bamboo KnifeI’m sure your wondering what in the world would you need a knife made out of bamboo since you need a knife like this to make it. If you have to ask that question then it’s obvious that you never traveled anywhere with Elmer. If you’re in a bug out situation with Elmer, then Elmer is not gonna have his knife with him. So, your gonna have to supply him with a knife, but you don’t want to give him yours because he will lose it or break it. So you have to give him a knife made out of bamboo. What you want is this green edge, it’s this hard outer part of the bamboo that is gonna make your cutting edge.

(Cutting and Shaping)

Bamboo Knife 2I wanna cut off everything except the green. This end to that one. (More cutting and shaping) And this is my cutting edge, but when I was splitting it, it didn’t come off even so I’m gonna peel these pieces off and whats left is going to be sharp. In theory, but no because it dulled the edge so I just need to go again. This is a remarkable piece right there. That split should be sharp enough to cut so before I test it, make myself a handle that’s made to hold. Lets see if that’s sharp and will cut a piece of chicken. This is actually cutting better than it looks like it is. The issue is that I am trying not to scrape this bamboo along the cutting board because its going to dull very quickly. It cuts very well. It’s just that I am stopping before I get to the wood.

Bamboo Knife 3Okay! We don’t waste anything around here so I am gonna take these little shards and show you how to make a toothpick out of it. I’m gonna cut right here parallel to the green part. I’m just gonna split this right down..k. I’m just pulling these hairs off. Okay.

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So, this is pretty thin, it is thinner on this end than it is on this end. K? So I’ve got this nice and thin and now I am gonna cut it at a very sharp angle. Cut that. Whatever you do with the toothpick you can do with this thing but you can also bind food together. For instance, if you go out and catch a wild rabbit. Wild rabbits don’t have a lot of fat on them and that meat will be pretty dry but if you happen to have some salt pork you can slice some bacon pieces out of it, wrap pieces of the rabbit meat and then use this to stick the bacon on it and hold it all together and uh also, I mean, you could use this as an intense interrogation device. So for instance your out with Elmer and wake up and find your knife missing or your gun and Elmer won’t tell you where he hid them, you can always use these to extract the information from him. Or you could just use it as a tooth pick. lol

Go to the blog survivalnewsonline.com and I’ll have a lot more information about bamboo and its uses in survival situations. I’ll see you at the blog!

 

 

This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND licence.  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 How to make a Bamboo Knife (Video & Transcript) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

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