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  • October 21, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: The Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Para Knife 4.0 -1

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    Looking for a lighter weight survival knife? The 4.6-ounce UST SaberCut Para Knife 4.0 gave me a good first impression on appearance and listed features. But how would it perform?

    Out of the package, both the straight edge and serrated edge were plenty sharp. The straight section slices well, and ends at a very acute point. It has a grooved thumb guard and a finger choil for grip in slippery situations. The full-tang fixed blade is made from 4mm-thick titanium-coated 440C steel, and features a paracord-wrapped handle with a workable (but not great) grip.

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  • October 15, 2013

    72-Year-Old Hunter Survives 19 Days Alone-1

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    Move over, Sly Stallone, and take your aging action-hero friends with you. Gene Penaflor, 72 years of age, is now the toughest old guy in America. Penaflor, a San Francisco native, survived dangerous weather conditions for 18 days after a disorienting injury and several days of thick fog kept him stranded in a mountainous section of northern California’s Mendocino National Forest.

    According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, Penaflor went missing on Sept. 24 during a hunting trip with a friend. The two hunters separated, planning to meet up for lunch and to resume their hunt. But Penaflor didn’t make it to the rendezvous. He had fallen and been knocked unconsciousness much farther from basecamp than he normally traveled.

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  • October 15, 2013

    Survival Gear: What's In A SEAL's Survival Kit?-1

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    Masters of advanced planning and preparation, Navy SEALs are often trendsetters when it comes to gear and equipment. Earlier this year, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, AKA Navy SEALs, put out a request to vendors for 300 new survival kits. They were looking for a rugged survival kit, full of multi-use items that work in a variety of climates and situations. Here’s the list of the supplies they requested.

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  • October 14, 2013

    Survival Skills: Turn Any Snare Into a "Constrictor"-2

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    With trapping season already upon us, it’s a great time to dust off your snaring skills and maybe even employ an upgrade or two. One of my favorite upgrades for snares is to create a “constrictor” set, which enhances the strangling action of a standard snare trap. This choke point in the trap’s action also makes nylon or hand-woven cord a legitimate option for lethal traps. Paracord or hand-twisted bark rope might be the only cord you can access in a survival situation, and while these are far from being the best options for a snare line, the constrictor element of the trap makes them a realistic choice. This works because the constrictor chokes out your quarry quickly, and doesn’t give it enough time to chew through these soft lines. Here’s how to set this snare on your own trap line.

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  • October 10, 2013

    Ultra-light Bug Out Bag-7

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    The typical Bug Out Bag is often overstuffed with less-than-critical materials, but there are five pieces of gear that you absolutely must have in any good Bug Out Bag (and they might be the only components included in an ultra-light BOB). Every ounce should count in a situation where you must leave your familiar world behind and subsist on your own. Here is the minimum of what you’ll need. 

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  • October 7, 2013

    Survival Skills: Make Emergency Fuel — Bucket Biodiesel -0

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    If a disaster hits, and you run out of diesel for your truck or generator or heating oil for your home, you can make your own biodiesel out of a wide variety of oils —both vegetable and animal. Olive oil, corn oil, lard, peanut oil, and even recycled fry oil from restaurants all work, but new liquid oil will produce biodiesel with the fewest number of steps.

    To create biodiesel in the easiest way, use 1 gallon of new vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil are the best), 14 grams (1/2 ounce) of lye in the form of sodium hydroxide (available as drain cleaner), and 800 milliliters (27 ounces) of methanol (methyl alcohol is commonly available as a fuel treatment). Make sure the label says methanol, as isopropyl alcohol won't work.

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  • October 7, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: The Land Shark Survival Bag-0

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    If you’re looking for the mother of all space blankets, the heavy-duty Land Shark Survival Bag ought to fit the bill. Designed to suit the needs of a variety of persons, including pilots and soldiers, this bivy-style heat-reflective survival bag can be deployed on land or at sea. Though it seemed heavy and bulky as I first opened the package, I could quickly see that the quality far exceeded my expectations. And here I thought it was going to be just another space blanket.

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  • October 3, 2013

    How to Spot and Treat Acute Mountain Sickness -0

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    Acute Mountain Sickness can be a common illness in higher altitudes, especially if you make a quick trip up to a much higher elevation or engage in heavy physical exertion at a high altitude. AMS, also known as altitude sickness or high-altitude pulmonary edema, typically occurs at elevations greater than 8,000 feet above sea level. Although headaches and shortness of breath are common symptoms, altitude sickness can also cause severe complications with the respiratory and nervous systems. How do you detect this altitude related illness?

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  • October 1, 2013

    Visit a Disaster Bootcamp in Maryland-0

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    This weekend in Maryland, an unusual event will take place—a bootcamp-style training course designed to teach the average person the ins and outs of modern survival and disaster preparedness.
     
    Maryland is no stranger to big, somewhat unusual events, being the host state for one of the nation’s larger renaissance festivals, but organizers of this Disaster Preparedness Bootcamp promise to provide practical hands-on skills in a safe and family friendly environment. Some of the topics to covered include:

    - Water sourcing and storage
    - Knife Selection and Use

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  • September 27, 2013

    Survival Training with the Department of Justice: 4 Weeds You Can Eat Almost Anywhere-1

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    I had a rare privilege this week. I was invited to be a guest instructor for an inter-agency survival training camp for some folks who answer to the Department of Justice. Twenty guys from a diverse group of agencies were working on their wilderness survival skills in the mountains of Virginia, and I had the pleasure of joining them to provide a little training on edible and medicinal plants, with a focus on common weeds that are found globally.

    While I cannot get into the who, what, where, or why they were doing that training (nor provide you with pictures due to operational security), I’m glad to share a bit of what I told the team about the virtues of weeds that we all probably see every day.

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