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  • March 31, 2014

    Survival Gear: Tinder HOT Box Solar Fire Starter -0


    The Tinder HOT Box Solar Fire Starter  is a unique and functional product in that it is both a fire starter and a water-tight tinder box with a rubber O-ring seal. The puck-shaped box offers generous storage space, and its seal proved to be waterproof during the cold March showers experienced during testing. When the sun popped back out, we clipped the tinder bracket onto the parabolic mirror piece and had instant tinder ignition once we achieved the right angle to the sun. We easily lit the char cloth that was provided in the kit, as well as cattail fluff and tulip poplar bark tinder.

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  • October 21, 2013

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


    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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  • September 5, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: The myID Bracelet-0

  • August 22, 2013

    How to Survive a Bear Attack-3


    It’s hard to miss the numerous bear attack stories that have been in the news over the last few weeks. Most experts agree that a person should play dead in a fetal position with grizzlies, and fight back when it comes to black bear attacks. But the brave young lady in Michigan who was attacked by a black bear just days ago, was spared after she played dead. She was able to run home after the attack. But an Alaskan hunter wasn’t able to get to help so quickly after a bear attack this past weekend. 

    An unnamed man from Alaska had to wait 36 hours for a rescue helicopter to bring him to a hospital. And luckily, he received life sustaining care while he waited, administered by a fellow hunter with a day job is in the medical field. The attack happened late Thursday in northern Alaska, and the man was finally airlifted around 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Both the 12-year-old girl and the adult male hunter are expected to make a full recovery.

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  • November 30, 2011

    Survival Skills: Brain Tanning Hides-10


    Before the advent of chemical tanning of hides to make leather, animal skins were subjected to all kinds of strange concoctions to degrease and soften them. Urine, wood ashes, tree bark acid, and even toxic substances like mercury have been employed over the centuries to tan skins into useful leather.

    But few natural substances have had such a long and successful track record as animal brains. How does it work? Brain tissue is full of very fine oils that condition and soften the animal skin, if the skin is moving while it dries. If the skin just lies there and dries out, brains or no brains, the glues in the skin naturally set up and you have “raw hide” as the result—great to let the dogs chew on, but not so great for making clothes.

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  • October 3, 2011

    Couple Attacked in Their Home by Black Bear -2


    A couple from Oliver, Pennsylvania was attacked by a black bear this morning after the bear chased a dog into their home.

    According to, the couple's dog was outside in the yard and was chased inside by a bear. The man inside the home was scratched and bitten and a woman was also attacked and injured. Both were taken to a hospital in Harrisburg with unspecified injuries.

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  • September 16, 2011

    Polar Bear Attack Thwarted-3


    Here’s what we know: A small northern Russian village had an unpleasant visitor last week. A polar bear wandered through town and considered having a local woman for a snack. The name of the town hasn’t surfaced yet, nor has the woman’s name or the extent of her injuries.

    In the clip you can see the animal clawing at her and flinging her body into the air like a rag doll before the polar bear is finally scared away. The bear retreats after one bystander makes a great shot, hitting the bear in the face with a can.

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  • September 9, 2011

    13 Survival Items No Hunter Should Be Without-21


    As we get ready for hunting season, it's time to consider the survival gear that we will be taking along with us. And as we wander off the beaten path, we should be carrying the equipment to handle the most common emergencies that we could face in the field.

    1) If you need daily heart medicine, blood pressure pills, insulin or any other vital meds, bring an extra supply of them on all your outdoor trips. Also bring any event-related medications like asthma inhalers in case of an attack, or epinephrine pens if you are allergic to bee stings or certain foods.

    2) A fully charged cell phone or 2-way radio in a waterproof container could be your ticket home.

    3) Wear appropriate clothing and outer wear. Skip the cotton in most conditions, unless you are trying to activate your life insurance policy.

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  • August 3, 2011

    Which Wild Animals Are Safe to Eat in a Survival Situation? -4


    While securing shelter, administering first aid, signaling for help and performing a host of other chores rank as top priorities during an emergency, the first question that tends to pop out of most people's mouths is, "So what are we going to eat out here in the woods?"

    A quick rule of thumb is that you can eat anything on land with fur or feathers, as long as it is properly prepared and cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria and other pathogens that would make us sick. That means mammals and birds are good to go, although palatability is never guaranteed. 

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  • April 21, 2010

    Ben Roethlisberger—So Maybe I Was Wrong-6



    It was just a few short weeks after the Pittsburgh Steelers had won the Super Bowl that I interviewed the game's most valuable player Ben Roethlisberger for Outdoor Life's new magazine feature, "5 Minutes With..."

    The back page series of articles features celebrities who hunt and fish and the questions are an attempt to delve a bit into reasons why the outdoors are an important part of their lives. I don't fancy myself a celebrity chaser, but I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge that I got a charge out of interviewing folks such as Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry--he called me back four times as I kept losing my cell-phone signal--who struck me as being more of a regular guy than a guitar hero. Or, most recently, Captain Sig Hansen from the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch who conversed with me as if we were sitting around deer camp drinking a cold beer. There have been lots of other pretty cool interviews: Fox News' Chris Wallace admitted to being a newcomer to hunting and I thought that refreshing; NASCAR's Bobby Labonte seemed genuine when he explained that it was the outdoors that grounded him; Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt probably knew more about quality deer management than I did and the list goes on. We have yet to publish some of the best interviews. On that list are: football coaching great Jimmy Johnson, Top Chef's Tom Colicchio and more. But I digress.

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