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Survival Gear

The Bug Out Bag

What if you had only three minutes to grab whatever you could take from your home, and the...

Survivalist Wish List

A roundup of the best and most innovative survival gear ever introduced.

Water Filtration Test

Aron Snyder hiked into the backcountry to test water filtration systems.

Survival Skills

Hypothermia Warning

Even though the weather is warming up, most people forget just how cold the water can be....

Tornado Survival Tips

Tornado season is here and several cities around the country have already been...

Flood Survival

Statistically, floods are the most devastating natural disasters.

Survival Videos

Daily Blogs

  • July 25, 2013

    Survival Medicine: Signs and Field Treatments for Heat Illnesses - 0

    Who hasn’t worked up a lather of sweat doing both favored and dreaded outdoor chores and activities in the summer heat? That familiarity makes it hard to imagine that you can actually die from something as simple as getting overheated. Our ever-cheerful friends at the CDC have stated there are approximately 618 heat-related deaths each year in the United States; 68 percent of which are men (based on statistics from 1999-2010).

    Since August is only one week away, it’s more important than ever to monitor yourself and those around you for heat-related illnesses like hyperthermia. The high humidity and summertime temperatures can cause these illnesses to come on fast, as your sweat fails to evaporate in humid weather and the air temps are near to, or higher than your body temperature. Symptoms of heat illness can manifest in different ways, but they are generally divided into two conditions: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion
    Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s core temperature goes into a hyperthermic state (you are over 100 degrees F). This condition can easily occur when the air temperature is higher than your normal... [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 23, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: StatGear Auto Rescue Tool - 0

    A frequently overlooked facet of survival and preparedness is dealing with vehicular emergencies. But as anyone in law enforcement, firefighting, and rescue can tell you, people become trapped inside their own cars all the time. You may also find yourself to be the first person on the scene when someone else desperately needs your help.

    Even if you are not a first responder by trade, the T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool from StatGear could be a very handy and affordable piece of gear to keep in your vehicle. This multi-tool was designed by practicing New York City paramedic Avi Goldstein. The four main functions of this tool are a combination blade, a hook-style seat belt cutter, a spring-loaded steel-tip window punch, and a five- lumen LED light with replaceable batteries. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 22, 2013

    Survival Skills: How to Make Your Own Blow Gun And Darts - 5

    When we think of the origin of the blowgun and breath-propelled darts, we tend to think of the world’s jungles. That notion is generally correct, but not completely. Native Americans of the southeastern United States have crafted and hunted with blowguns for centuries. This simple precursor to firearms can be made with store-bought materials, or you can harvest your own supplies to build a blowgun from traditional materials. It’s a fun weapon to use for target practice, and it could be used for small-game hunting if no other weapon is available.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 16, 2013

    Survival Skills: The Figure 4 Deadfall - 1

    The figure-four deadfall is often the first trap illustrated in the trapping chapter of your handy pocket survival guide. As a result, it’s often the first trap people try to build when learning how to make traps. It might also be the last trap they ever try to build because of the trap’s frustrating design. If you carve just one part incorrectly, the whole thing will fall apart. If you have an eye for carpentry, whittling, geometry, or physics, you can usually produce a functional figure four on your first try. But if you have ever been stymied by this classic trap, let me help you out. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 15, 2013

    Survival Skills: How Critter Scraps Can Keep You Alive - 0

    In recreational hunting and fishing, many of us are all too happy to ditch the guts, bones, fur, and feathers of our quarry. In these modern times, most people keep only the meat, and return the rest from whence it came.

    But if you’re lucky enough to get an animal during a survival situation, those less traditional edible parts (and all other parts and pieces) become a lot more desirable and valuable. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to use critter scraps for survival.  [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 12, 2013

    Survival Skills: 3 Wild Medicinal Plants You Can Find Now - 5

    When the need for first aid or medicines is a part of your wilderness emergency, it’s great to know how to use the medicines that surround you in everyday plants and weeds. Native plants and non-native plants were dependable medical resources for previous generations, and we can still find them and use them today. Here are three common and valuable wild plants that you can find in summer.

    1) Yarrow

    This plant can be found in fields and open areas coast to coast, but it’s originally from Europe. Yarrow is as close to Neosporin as you will find in wild medicine. The white flowers and the green, feathery leaves can be crushed into a paste and applied to cuts, scratches, and scrapes to disinfect the wound and stop blood flow. Yarrow is also used as an anti-fungal, and when brewed into a tea it can induce sweating to break fevers. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 10, 2013

    Survival Skills: How To Cook With Hot Rocks - 2

    Hot stones have been used for cooking for thousands of years. Three of my favorite rock-cooking methods are frying, boiling, and stir fry. The upside to these methods is that they don’t require a lot of materials from home. Most or all of the gear for these low-tech culinary techniques can be sourced in the field. If you’re a careful cook, you’ll even make some meals that taste good. Seriously, this is nowhere near as nasty as you would think. 

    Warning: For all of the methods in this post, make sure you gather the rocks from a high and dry location, as waterlogged rocks can explode dangerously when they heat up in a fire.  The steam builds pressure in the rock causing it to blow up like a grenade. Also, avoid slate and shale, as they are prone to explosion regardless of where you find them. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 9, 2013

    Survival Gear: U.S. Spec Medium Transport Pack - 0

    Although we all should know better, I’ve seen a harmful trend among the preparedness crowd in recent years—the massively overloaded, heart attack-inducing, mega bug-out-bag. It seems that the bigger the pack, the more likely you are to put a cast iron frying pan in it. OK, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you get the point. In a quest to save myself from myself, and to help others down the minimalist path, I began researching smaller bags and backpacks that would do the trick. I think I have a winner, and you won’t believe the price tag! [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 2, 2013

    Survival Skills: How to Use Yucca - 1

    Abundant throughout the U.S., the many species of yucca hold useful attributes beneath their spiny exterior.

    These large perennial plants grow from coast to coast, naturalized as far north as New England. Whether you are fighting your way through an emergency, or you are just living off the land because you like it, the leaves, flowers, roots, and stalks of yucca can provide you with valuable food and supplies. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 28, 2013

    Survival Skills: Solar Water Disinfection - 2

    Largely advocated for developing countries, solar water disinfection is gaining some traction in the survival skills crowd. Imagine an end to boiling your water in order to make it safe. Consider how nice it would be to no longer need expensive water filtration devices or potentially toxic water-treatment chemicals. Sounds great, right? Too good to be true, even… [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 27, 2013

    Survival Skills: Signal Whistle Codes   - 1

    As I mentioned in our post last week on signal methods, the humble whistle is a signal device that works day or night. As long as you have the breath to blow it, the whistle can attract attention in foul weather or fair. But like most things, there is more to the use of a signal whistle than just blowing on it until you deafen yourself. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 24, 2013

    Survival Gear: 5 Ways To Use A Space Blanket (Besides Keeping Warm) - 4

    We all know that wrapping up in a space blanket can keep us warm. These reflective Mylar blankets and bivy sacks usually only cost a few dollars, which make them a great investment considering that the lives they can save are priceless. But besides being a blanket to shelter us from the elements, what other tricks can the simple space blanket pull off? [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 21, 2013

    Survival Gear Review: Ultimate Survival Technnologies SaberCut - 5

    If you’ve ever used one of those wiry little “survival saws,” which is nothing more than a length of cable with some teeth or an abrasive surface glued on, it probably didn’t last too long. I remember the last one I owned—it snapped right before I finished cutting the first branch. Those saws are a great example of a good idea poorly executed.  

    The folks at Ultimate Survival Technologies have never been comfortable resting on the status quo, and their innovative version of the survival saw turned out to be an entirely different beast. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2013

    Survival Skills: 7 Savory Ways To Eat Cicadas - 6

    The roar of the Brood 2 cicadas is starting to die down in our woods here in Virginia. But it’s not too late to grab a few late bloomers and whip up a nutty tasting snack. Yuck, you say? Consider this: Most Americans eat a pound or two of insects each year in processed foods like bread and ketchup. There are even regulations stating the maximum amount of bug bits that a food can contain and still be fit for human consumption. These insect parts are usually abundant in strawberry jams, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, and similar pasty products. The most ironic part of the “Food Defect Action Levels” defined by the FDA is that insect parts actually make some junk foods more nutritious. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 18, 2013

    Survival Medicine: Is There a Field Antidote for Poisoning? - 1

    Being a fanatic about wild food foraging and field medicine, I’ve often wondered what would happen if those two worlds were to collide. What would I do if I ate the wrong plant or mushroom far away from a doctor’s help? What’s the first aid for that? After years of ethnobotantical research, it’s hard to imagine that I would make a mistake that could leave me poisoned. But, I’ve also been around the block enough times to realize that mistakes do happen from time to time. And it might not even be me that needs help. I may need to care for someone else, who was less cautious than I am when selecting wild food.

    This “what if” situation should leave us wondering if there are worthwhile treatments one could employ if poisoning occurs in a remote-area survival event. After much research, I’m afraid to say the prognosis for field treatment isn’t good. [ Read Full Post ]

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