If you know me, you know that I’m not much of a gadget guy. I’ve also professed on this blog on many occasions about my aversion to anything that requires batteries or some other element in a survival situation. But every once in a while, technology amazes me. Camelbak, a company I wholeheartedly support, has released a new water bottle which has a UV light built into the cap. With a 60 second burst, the light claims to kill 99.99% of the nasties in your water and it’s rated to last for 10,000 cycles. Meaning if you were to use it to purify all your drinking water every day (3 containers = 96 fluid ounces of water) you wouldn’t need to replace the bulb for ~9 years.
The only downside I see to this thing is that the batteries that power the are built-in rechargables, meaning they assume you’ll have a power source to plug the USB cable in to charge. But I’m sure with some field-expedient ingenuity, somebody would be able to make the cap charge from kinetic or solar energy, making it a sustainable device, which I’m all for.
No matter what the situation, a fella’s gotta eat! And you can only survive on berries and spam for so long before you go crazy. If you trap or hunt an animal, you need to know how to gut it down to it’s edible goodies. Squirrels are one of the more prevalent varmints in North America and are easy to set traps for. Creek Stewart explains step-by-step how to field strip a squirrel in a surprisingly bloodless and efficient way.
How to Field Dress a Squirrel [via The Art of Manliness Blog]
In the PAW, a working stove of any kind will be hard to come by, and sometimes that’s all you need. Sometimes you just need a small, simple fire to cook food over for a few minutes and be done with it. Enter these instructions for a simple handmade stove. Granted, with these instructions left the way they are, you’re devoting more resources to this “quick” solution than you get out of it. But if you modify them a little bit, this could be a worthwhile technique when you’re on the move and hungry.
[Simple Handmade Stove via EnglishRussia.com]
If you’ve ever browsed knives, you’ll know there are more features to consider than you would expect. Which ones are serious considerations? Which ones are superfluous? Which ones are marketing ploys, just trying to snag the uninformed?
On The Art of Manliness blog, Creek Stewart outlines the six most important criteria for selecting a survival knife:
- Fixed Blade
- Full Tang
- Sharp Pointed Tip
- Single-Edged Blade with Flat Ground Spine
- Solid Pommel
A survival knife is not a magic wand nor does it have inherent magical saving powers. The true value is in the skill of the one who wields it. Skill only comes from practice and repetition. You don’t buy a survival knife to decorate your man cave–it is a tool that’s meant to be used. Since the beginning of mankind, the cutting blade helped to shape how our ancestors hunted, fought, built, and survived. From cavemen with sharp rocks to a soldier in modern warfare, there will never be a relationship quite like that between a man and his blade. Choose yours wisely.
How to Choose the Perfect Survival Knife via [The Art of Manliness]
I’ll admit it, I’ve fallen into this trap: assuming that a mini survival kit was more than it actually was, or a reasonable replacement for an emergency/disaster kit. The best thing you can do in regards to a survival kit is to understand what’s in it and what its limits are from a disaster situation:
The mini survival kit is often misunderstood. I’ve seen some information put forth that might lead people to believe that a mini kit is useless. Yet people like Ron Hood, Doug Ritter and myself, among many others, have recommended them for years — and for good reason.
Misconceptions and Applications of the Mini Survival Kit via [It’s Tactical]
When performing land navigation, it sometimes becomes difficult to remember everything you need to. The most vital information being your pace count. Your pace count gives you an estimate of how far you’ve traveled since your last waypoint. It gives you an idea of where you are and how far you have to go to the next waypoint. Trust me when I say that losing your pace count can completely ruin your day, you either have to backtrack to the last waypoint, or completely recalculate your location from a more difficult location. Having pace count beads, also known as ranger beads, helps you keep track of your pace count and is an immeasurable help in a land navigation scenario. You can purchase these if you’d like, but in the case that you don’t have them when you need them, yours break inconveniently, or you’re like me and are too cheap to pay for something this easy to make yourself, Instructables.com has an article on how to make your own beads from three simple materials, though you can feasibly fabricate these out of any reasonable material.
Army Ranger Beads via [Instructables.com]
Cooking over an open camp fire isn’t exactly the most predictable way to cook. It’s easy to char the outside of a meal, while leaving the inside raw or under cooked. Cooking in a pan is even more unpredictable, plus you constantly have to monitor your meal to ensure it doesn’t burn. However, boiling water over a campfire turns out the same result every time – boiled water. If you have a thermos, you can add boiling water to your ingredients, let them simmer for a while and when you come back, you’ve got a properly cooked (read unburned) meal waiting for you.