Monday, September 28, 2009

A Simple Survival Kit and Knife

This is one of my favorite outdoors knives although I prefer RAT Cutlery Co. edged tools to the Ontario models designed by RAT - Randall's Adventure Training.

Here are the RAT-7 (Ontario) Specifications:

NSN: 1095-01-523-1972

1095 Carbon Steel Blade

Zinc Phosphate Finish

12" overall length

6.5" cutting edge length

Blade .1875" thick

Thumb grooves in spine

Green Canvas Micarta Handle

My RAT-7 rides in a now discontinued SpecOps Survival Sheath with a large, expandable pocket on the front of it which houses the following items that I have put together.

Left to right:

A water-resistant tube container with 100% cotton balls and #0000 Steel Wool stored inside for dry tinder.

A signal mirror and sighting paddle (heliograph) right above the tinder tube.

EZE-LAP (Pen) Diamond Sharpener, looks like a short writing pen.

ACR Coast Guard Approved emergency whistle (useless for self-defense, indispensable for outdoors emergencies).

Two fish hooks, monofilament line and brass snare wire.

Plastic tube with more fishing gear, lifelike grasshopper and ant lures, flies and braided nylon line and more.

BSA Hot Spark and striker next to it - a ferrocerium rod.

A non-lubricated condom below that. Along with a sock or stocking, you can carry a liter of water in that condom.

Katadyn Water Purification Tablets.

The sheath has a few feet of Mil-Spec ParaCord wrapped around it as well as some non - Mil-Spec Parachute "Type" cord that is braided.

Survival, Sports...a Hobby?

You can have "survival" as your hobby! There is nothing wrong with that. When people take a sport and try to turn it into the ultimate survival skillset...that's something else entirely.

You can learn a lot from people who do "Ultralight" hiking and camping. Along with the military, we have a lot to thank them for. Constant evolution in design and materials benefits all of us.

The military and the "Ultralight" crowd are constantly striving to make equipment more compact and lighter.

That's a great thing.

Unfortunately, along with many great things, there is a negative side.

Sport has become of paramount importance to the "Ultralight" crowd.

First of all, please visit the link in the word "Ultralight" so you can fully understand what I am talking about.

From what I have read online, in various debates with people who are really into "Ultralight" hiking and camping, these folks really don't think they are endangering themselves and for the most part...most of them are probably not putting themselves in any great danger.

The problem begins when a total neophyte embraces the "coolness factor" from those more experienced and then becomes a mouthpiece for his betters. There are a lot of neophytes on forums and some of them are very smart kids that can parade quite well as adults. Or at least as young adults.

I remember reading some website or forum thread about Ultralight camping and someone actually suggested drilling holes in the handle of the toothbrush to lighten the carried load.

So, while I am intensely interested in the advancements of outdoor gear brought about by Ultralight hobbyists, I am totally disinterested in the extreme lunacy of railing against carrying proper survival gear. I also think that anyone that constantly rails against carrying several different firestarters and tinder, a spare compass as well as other essential gear or possibly spares, is more of a hobbyist than a survival expert. Of course, that might really anger some people and that is unfortunate. Much like the self-defense "world," the survival "world" is slowly being taken over by sports enthusiasts.

Monday, September 21, 2009


First of all, let me say that I don't believe everything I read on the internet. I don't believe that we should discard doctors and medical knowledge and embrace New Age treatments for various diseases, etc. I am not a Doctor, Nutritionist, Nurse or anything along those lines. I do not sell herbal products or quaint little machines to make Colloidal Silver. I know that silver has medicinal properties. There are bandages and other legitimate medical products being made today that have silver in them. But people are always out to make some money and Snake Oil Salesmen are still around.

I am, however, a relatively well-read, intelligent cynic. I can read and I can understand what I read.

With all of that in mind, please consider carrying
honey, especially raw honey, for emergency high-energy food needs in survival kits. That doesn't mean I won't carry other types of rations that have sugar in them, this is not a call to use only certain things in your survival kits when it comes to foodstuffs.

For our purposes, survival, there are three basic kinds of honey. Processed honey which you can purchase in large containers and even get in individual-sized packets at some fast food restaurants like KFC and Chik-Fil-A.

The second type, again for our purposes, is raw honey.

The third type is raw honey that has the cappings and pollen and other things in the honey - like Really Raw Honey (Brand Name) markets.

I have been using raw honey, primarily Really Raw Honey, with the cappings and pollen on top, for about five years now. I just purchased a couple containers of raw honey from another manufacturer and it tastes excellent!

Honey is a very powerful, high-energy food for emergency survival situations and without getting into all of the incredible claims about what raw honey can do for you, I think it is safe to say that there is some antibiotic-qualities to raw honey as well as helpful enzymes and whatnot. It is definitely healthier for you than white sugar. You should see the hyperlinks in this post, go read the Wikipedia Entries and visit the other websites through the links.

Honey is a delicious food. If you love honey, I believe you will really enjoy raw honey. It's hard to describe, you can definitely tell it is honey, but it tastes better. A raw honey sandwich or a raw honey and peanut butter sandwich is a very tasty thing at home or on the trail.

Using Coghlan's Reusable Squeeze Tubes, you can carry pre-mixed peanut butter and raw honey and other survival foods and just squeeze out the amount you need.

Flat bread is a good trail food because it's flat so you don't have to worry about smashing it! It tastes great too. You don't have to be a slave to the grocery store, you can make your own type of flat bread called Bannock.

Another thing to be on the lookout for is Condensed, Sweetened Milk in a tube container. Ken Cook clued me into this unique product which he first encountered when he was living in Spain. He also has a solid recipe and procedure for the aforementioned Bannock. A few tubes full of that sweetened, condensed milk, raw honey and peanut butter and some containers for carrying flour, etc., for Bannock, and you could be eating well during some type of emergency in the wilderness. That is not to say that you should discard MREs and other rations or even canned should have a little bit of everything.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coming Attractions...

The idea behind this blog is to, hopefully, get a good conversation going with like-minded individuals on various survival topics. I still have my website,, and I love to write much longer articles on specific pieces of gear and specific topics. This blog is a place where people who enjoy my website can communicate with me, perhaps see "teasers" to upcoming articles, and to read ideas, reviews and concepts that are perhaps not as involved as some of my articles.

That does not mean if you see something here on the blog that it is not "important" enough or "good" enough to be on my website. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You will be seeing things on the blog and then seeing more in-depth coverage of those things on the website later on. Or, you will see some things that were on my website for years reappear on this blog.

One such product is RAT Cutlery. I love my RAT knives and encourage anyone who needs a tough knife they have to rely on to purchase whatever flavor of RAT knife they like. Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin of RAT Cutlery are making an excellent product and the guarantee they offer is just as excellent as their product.

Terry Trahan over at the Weaselcraft Blog ( ), works for Boker USA and the folks at Boker are making some really great knives at low prices. Terry has a hand in that as well from time to time and it is beginning to show.

British Survival Gear is excellent gear! You will be seeing things like British (Surplus) Issue DPM Camouflage Bashas, which are tarps that are excellent for making lean-to shelters and other types of shelter. Millbank Bags for filtering the sediment out of dirty water before chemical treating or boiling to purify it. The Classic Penrith Combat Survival Kit (Tin), a long-time favorite of mine,,,and a whole lot more!

Two weeks ago, I purchased a standard issue USMC Kabar. I have owned "Kabars" before but they were always manufactured by Camillus (black stacked leather washer handle and black leather sheath). I decided to get the highest quality version I could which is the Kabar made by Kabar. None of the "newer" types, just the standard, Classic Kabar with a plain edge. A Kabar along with the sought-after USMC Force Recon / ANGLICO Survival Kit in the trunk of your car is an excellent survival policy if you are skilled. That is a great pair that we will be discussing in the next few days.

So, here's to all of us having a good time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


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