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How To Use Desiccant For Survival and Preparedness – Plus The Best Desiccants To Buy

In order to properly prepare for future emergencies, you must be willing to make significant investments.

Investments in dollars to amass supplies. But also an investment in time research the right life-saving supplies.

We do this to protect ourselves and our families from an unknowable future. But these critical emergency tools and supplies will likely sit around for months (or years) before they actually get put to use.

And honestly, we all should hope and pray the day we actually need these supplies will NEVER come. No one in their right mind hopes for a real disaster to strike!

But if it does, you want to ensure you’re keeping your supplies in the best condition possible. You don’t want your investments to spoil, rust or decay.

One of the best ways to protect your survival investment is to keep them away from water, moisture, and humidity.

That’s why you need desiccants.

So today in this article we will be covering in detail the following topics:

  • What’s A Desiccant Anyways?
  • Items You Should Protect Using Desiccants
  • Common Desiccants & Makeshift Desiccants
  • Desiccant Safety
  • Best Desiccants For Survival and Preparedness
  • Difference Between Oxygen Absorbers and Desiccants

What’s A Desiccant Anyways?

Simply put, a desiccant is any material that adsorbs moisture and holds on to it.

For your survival supplies, you place them inside an enclosed space and if the container is 100% sealed, the desiccant will remove a bunch of harmful moisture from the container.

Desiccants are also ideal for keeping sensitive electronics, tools, and weapons rust free – especially in humid climates.

Humidity (moisture in the air) is one of the primary drivers of survival supply corrosion and spoilage. Desiccants are made to combat this harmful humidity.

A prime example of this in action is most commercial desiccants help maintain the freshness of their food items. Especially foods easily damaged by moisture.

So if you’ve spent money, time, and energy dehydrating or freeze-drying food, desiccants can help protect it. They prevent the dried foods from re-hydrating (due to humidity in the air) and spoiling your supplies. 

At the time of publishing, you could get a FREE 72-Hour Survival Food Kit from Food4Patriots when you cover shipping. Supplies are limited so claim your 72-hour survival food kit right now. Items You Should Protect Using Desiccants

One of the first questions people ask me about desiccants is, “What survival supplies can they protect?”

Upon review of my survival gear, I quickly realized everything in it is susceptible to moisture damage!

The obvious supplies (food storage, gun safes, ammo storage) are often the first use for desiccants. But these are far from the only items that benefit from a low humidity environment.

I also keep desiccant containers in my tool chest to keep my power and survival tools rust-free and sharp (like my expensive survival knives).

I keep my garden seeds in a sealed container with several small desiccant packets. These packs prevent the seeds from sprouting prematurely or growing mold.

During the winter, I keep a survival blanket and spare clothes for car emergencies in a giant ziplock bag in the back of my vehicle. I add a large capacity desiccant to prevent them from feeling damp if I ever need them in a roadside emergency.

Just about any survival tool or supply in your emergency plan needs be kept as clean and dry as possible.

And that’s why desiccants are a critical survival tool in and of themselves. They help protect your important survival supplies for the long haul.

Here are 10 surprising uses for silica gel desiccants:

10 Surprising Uses Of Silica Gel You Didn't Know - YouTube

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Common Desiccants

There’s a broad range of desiccant options on the market. Remember a desiccant is any material to removes moisture, there are lots of materials that can do this.

Some are good at removing moisture from large spaces while others are best for small enclosures. The fundamental materials in each type of desiccant are different.

So let’s cover the most common types of desiccants used for survival and then we’ll cover a few makeshift desiccants as well.

Silica Gel

One of the most common desiccants you’ll run across is silica gel. It’s a stable polymer (usually in the form of small beads) which can adsorb roughly 10-20% of its weight in water vapor.

You can find small silica gel bead packs in medication bottles, food pouches, and even shoe boxes. This past weekend, I opened a bag of beef jerky to discover the familiar white silica gel pack keeping my favorite snack dry.

One interesting fact about silica gel beads is even after they’re fully saturated, they don’t feel damp or lose their shape.

Most small disposable silica gel packets are for single use only. But, most large silica gels containers are reusable.

These reusable ones often include a moisture indicator of some sort. A moisture indicator that changes color once the silica gel beads are completely saturated.

Since they can be reused, they can be “recharged”. This is done by drying them in a low-temperature oven, which drives off the moisture. Once cool, you can reuse your dry silica gel desiccant!

Here’s a good video on how silica gel actually works:

How Does Silica Gel Work? - YouTube

Calcium Chloride

When you need to remove A LOT of moisture from a larger area, reusable silica gel packages are not your best option. Large humid spaces are where calcium chloride desiccants are most useful!

Calcium chloride is a fancy name for salt and is generally found in bags of small white pellets. Unlike silica gel, calcium chloride is not a reusable desiccant, but it makes up for this with ease of use.

Most calcium chloride desiccant setups are simple. They are basically a small basket of pellets held in a mesh basket over a bucket.

As the calcium chloride adsorbs water, it slowly dissolves and drips down into the bucket. Eventually, leaving a bucket full of water and an empty basket.

These require more hands-on attention meaning you’ll need to periodically empty the bucket and refill the basket with fresh calcium chloride.

But the results are impressive. I’ve seen calcium chloride used in electronic cabinets the size of a small bedroom on ships.

Dry Uncooked Rice

In the modern world, we’ve all heard horror stories of dropping a smartphone in the kitchen sink or toilet.

Common knowledge is to leave it turned off and to stick it in a bag of rice for a couple of days. Once it’s dry, you should be able to turn it back on without shorting out anything.

The reason this works is that dry rice is a natural desiccant.

In a small, enclosed area like a plastic bag, it can absorb the trace amount of water inside your electronics. It will slowly dry it without having to open up the phone case.

Of course, it’s still nowhere near the efficiency of other desiccants, but rice is easy to find and cheap.

Plus, it’s an excellent long-term food for survival caches. I love any survival tool or supply that can pull double-duty!

Odd Makeshift Desiccants Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer

It turns out that non-dairy coffee creamer packets contain a surprisingly good desiccant.

One of the creamer ingredients adsorbs moisture from the air. So you can build yourself a makeshift desiccant from a bunch of creamer powder!

No, not my first choice for a desiccant (especially with valuables), but it’s good to know it works in a pinch.

Cement Mix

Another desiccant to file under “it works, but now what?” Cement mix is a powerful desiccant.

The nature of cement attracts moisture and converts it into a solid mineral.

Don’t believe me? Try leaving a couple of bags of ready-mix concrete out in the rain. You’ll soon notice they suck in moisture and turn the bag into a hard concrete pillow.

In a humid climate, this can even happen even without direct contact with water.

Of course, turning the powdery concrete mix into rocks isn’t the best way to control moisture. But if you have a bag of concrete on hand and need a desiccant in a pinch, it may be worth trying.


Yes, you can use your stash of old newspapers for more than just starting fires.

Whenever I have wet boots or gloves that can’t go into a clothes dryer, I crumple up some newspaper and stuff it inside. Then I leave the paper stuffed boots overnight in a warm place.

Dry newsprint paper is particularly good at absorbing water. So it draws moisture out of the fabric and holds onto it.

Try swapping out the newspaper a couple of times a day to helps dry your boots even faster.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Desiccant Safety

While most of the time desiccants are not extremely dangerous to handle, they can be harmful in certain situations.

Not For Consumption

We’ve all seen the silica gel bead packs in a box of shoes and gave a chuckle because of that silly “Do Not Eat” warning plastered all over it.

Seriously? They don’t look or smell at all appetizing, so I’ve always wondered “why the stern warning”? But it turns out there’s a reason to avoid consuming desiccants.

Desiccants are, by design, very good at adsorbing water and holding it. They can even pull water directly through your skin.

In particular, you should keep them away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Powerful desiccants can damage sensitive skin and tissue in these areas.

Have you ever mixed concrete and noticed a sharp stinging sensation in your nose? That’s concrete dust you inhaled. It’s the lime in the cement pulling water out of your nasal passages.

You’ll also notice your hands are dry and chapped if you came in contact with the fresh cement without gloves. Again, the desiccant has pulled the water from within your skin.

The effects could be even worse if you happened to consume a hefty dose of desiccant. It can form a large solid mass INSIDE your stomach that needs to be removed by surgery!

So when working with a powerful desiccant (like concrete mix), always protect your eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s also smart to wear gloves and protective clothing on any exposed skin.

And for those small silica gel packs (I can’t believe I even need to say this but..) – “Do Not Eat Them.”

Note: While those “do not eat” warnings might seem silly, the bigger fear is that a baby or pet would accidentally consume them.

Babies put everything in their mouths and dogs love anything that smells like beef jerky. So those warnings are to let YOU know to keep them away from those who might accidentally consume them.

Keep Away From Pets

Keep all desiccants away from your pets.

Most pets avoid the stinging sensation of an airborne desiccant like concrete dust but don’t take chances. Keep your pets clear.

Some of the improvised desiccants (dry rice, flour, etc.) are food items and might be enticing to your pets. Keep them stored out of their reach, and you’ll both be happier.

Trust me; pet surgery isn’t much cheaper than human surgery these days.

Cobalt Chloride

Another safety concern comes from one of the color-change indicators in silica gel desiccants – Cobalt (ii) Chloride.

This material is a light blue color when dry but slowly changes to a bright pink when it has adsorbed a significant amount of water.

These blue/pink indicator silica gels are common in the US. They are also available in sporting goods and craft stores. But, there is some concern that cobalt (ii) chloride is a hazardous material.

The European Chemicals Agency suspect it may be carcinogenic. But test results aren’t conclusive yet, so it carries a label of “substance of high concern.”

Since there are several other moisture indicators on the market, you may as well play it safe. I recommend avoiding the blue/pink indicator silica gels altogether.

At the very least, it adds one more argument NOT to snack the silica packets in your new shoes!

Here’s an article from the National Park Service. It includes more information on cobalt (ii) chloride in silica gel: https://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/02-15.pdf

Best Desiccants For Survival and Preparedness

When it comes to survival and preparedness, the best type of desiccant depends on the intended use.

The desiccant you use to keep your basement, garage, or gear cache dry will not be the same you toss in your gun safe, ammo storage containers or toolbox. A

And when it comes to keeping food safe, the requirements change again.

Dri-Z-Air System

For a large space like a basement, garage, or cabin, calcium chloride is the most effective option.

But, they’re a consumable product and so reuse is not an option. The good news is active ingredient is available relatively cheap in bulk.

I would start off with all purpose-built system like Dri-Z-Air.

Dri-Z-Air is an all-in-one solution, and you can refill with fresh calcium chloride pellets.

When the basket is empty, and the material has adsorbed water, just dump the contents down the drain.

The basket is held shut by a cotter pin so you can easily refill it.

If you go through a lot of calcium chloride (say, winter in the pacific northwest), you’ll need to buy in bulk.

Fortunately, calcium chloride is also a good deicing material. So it’s usually easy to find in bulk bags.

Morton Safe-T-Power is one available brand, consisting of nearly pure calcium chloride.

It can be used in the same “basket and bucket” systems as Dri-Z-Air, which makes it an excellent refill material.

For smaller, more enclosed spaces (such as a gun safe), calcium chloride systems are often too large and messy. The area is too small for all the white dust and buckets of water.

In these situations, I turn to silica gel with a moisture indicator.

Hydrosorbent Silica Gel

You can buy silica gel in bulk or small packs. If you choose to buy in bulk, make sure you have a method to contain them.

I have several sleeves of bulk silica gel, tied off in cotton socks to form a desiccant beanbag. These are great to toss in the back of the gun safe to provide a lot of..

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An MRE meals guide for long-term survival and food storage.

After water and shelter, food is one of the most fundamental long-term survival necessities.

Food is fuel that keeps your body running like an engine.

It sustains you and keeps you energized. It’s a survival necessity from the day you’re born until your final breath – no exceptions.

Sure, it’s true you can survive weeks without actually eating something. But going even a single day without eating has a discernible effect your energy levels.

And after two days, your cognitive abilities to think clearly will begin to suffer. And we all know, in a real emergency, a clear mind and ample energy are critical for successful survival.

That’s why it is so damned important to keep a stockpile of emergency survival food!

Heck, it may even end up being the best investment you ever make.

Now, ideally, you’ll want stockpile something lightweight, calorie dense, and nutritious. And, most important of all, it must be NON-perishable food.

Lots of non-perishables do not taste very good. In fact, lots of nonperishable survival food tastes like crap.

Foods with extreme shelf lives are usually full of preservatives. Let’s just say these foods don’t make for a great gourmet dining experience.

But, there are some survival rations that DO taste fairly good. Some might even say they taste exceptional (especially relative to other nonperishable foods).

One of the best, nutritious, longest lasting, tastiest survival foods, are MRE meals.

So we’re going to dive into MRE’s and how they can be used for emergency preparations:

  • What Is An MRE Meal
  • What Makes MRE Meals Great
  • Best MRE Meal Deals
  • How To Heat An MRE
  • Maintaining Your MRE Stash
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. What Is An MRE Meal?

MRE stands for Meal Ready to Eat, as in, it’s ready to eat straight out of the packaging.

They come in sealed airtight packages to prevent them from drying out or going bad.

These survival rations were originally designed by the U.S. military. MRE’s were developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. They replaced the MCI rations (Meal, Combat, Individual rations). MCI rations were the ones used throughout WWI and WWII.

MRE’s were lighter weight, cheaper, easier to transport, and more nutritious than MCI’s.

MRE’s were for soldiers who got trapped without food deliveries, or mess halls. MRE’s kept those stranded warriors fed, and living to fight another day.

While MRE’s are still relatively new, the need for portable nonperishable military food goes back thousands of years.

“The generally awful reputation of military food dates to ancient times.” – Rebecca Rupp

Providing a supply of nutritious food for soldiers on the move has been an epic challenge throughout history.

The logistics of keeping an army fed on the move often made the difference between winning a war or losing it!

One of the ancient options was to scavenge the local areas, depleting farmers and small towns of their meager food supplies. This practice was frowned upon back then, and even more so today.

Hence, the modern day armies figured out a new means to feed an army on the move without stealing from civilians. MRE’s are the most recent solution to this ancient problem.

History Channel - Battle Factory - MRE ( Meal Ready to Eat) - YouTube

MRE Mass Popularity

However, with the insane utility of MRE’s, they quickly became popular among the civilian world as well, especially with:

  • Hunters
  • Backpackers
  • Campers
  • Hikers
  • Bikers
  • Fishermen
  • Etc.

Basically, anyone and everyone who spends long hours outdoors.

They’re still one of the most popular forms of survival food today.

Even humanitarian and government disaster response groups have adopted MRE’s. They hand them out to victims of natural disasters and national emergencies.

MRE’s are fantastic, and you should take advantage of the fact that they are so readily available today. So stock up because they may not always be as cheap, and as abundant.

Here’s an interesting video of 5 Things You Don’t Know About Military Rations:

5 Things You Don't Know About: Rations - YouTube

What Makes MRE’s Great?

There are a lot of reasons why MRE meals are great.

First: they have a very long shelf life.

They can last for up to seven years on their own, and if kept in cool conditions they can last even longer. Theoretically, if you freeze them, they can last indefinitely.

This long shelf life makes MRE’s decent choice for emergency preparations.

You can store them with your survival gear, in your food cache, in your car, at your bug out location, anywhere! And you can be sure that they will be good when you come back in a year to eat them.

They’re cheap.

Most of the places online that sell MRE meals do so in packs. Usually, you can get between four and twenty per package. And the more you buy in bulk, the cheaper they are on an individual basis.

A single MRE costs around $6-7, but if you buy that same MRE in a pack of twelve, it will cost closer to $4 or $6.

That’s great incentive to buy a lot of these things. The more you have, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Transportation and portability are critical when it comes to MRE’s.

These things were designed to be carried by soldiers over long, hard distances. So, weight and packability are significant factors.

MRE’s are engineered to be light, while still packing a big nutritional punch.

And because of the way they’re packaged, they’re easily stored in a backpack, glovebox, or pocket.

No spilling, molding or mess.

They taste pretty damn good for military/survival rations.

These things do not taste like dried cardboard caked in mud, like a lot of non-perishable meals. Many companies offer different meals and flavors, so it’s not difficult to find one you like.

Some offer full MRE meals (with a variety of flavors), including:

  • entrees
  • side dishes
  • sandwiches
  • sandwich bread
  • desserts and snacks
  • sauces and spreads
  • and even drink mixers

MRE’s make survival a tasty experience. Just because you’re in a shit hits the fan scenario, does not mean you have to eat crappy food.

Best MRE Meals Deals

There are a lot of different MRE meal companies out there, and they all make a similar product. So I have put together the following best MRE Meals Deals going on out there.

Western Frontier 12 Meal Case

These genuine US warfighter rations offer about 1250 calories per meal.

These cases also include flavorful spices, matches, toilet paper, and other survival accessories.

The meals are randomly selected from two different menu options, but come with a variety of

  • Asian
  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Traditional
  • Vegetarian

There’s even an assortment of snacks, dessert, coffee, milkshakes, and beverage powders.

While the packs have an inspection date of 2019, there is no official expiration date. This means that they’ll likely last about 5-7 years on their own.

Check Out Today’s Price

Captain Dave’s 12 MRE Meals

This pack comes with 12 entrees (not complete meals, just the main dishes).

There are at least six different meal flavors included with this case. Some are chicken based meals; others are beef based.

This government-approved manufacturer guarantees quality products.

Check out Today’s Price

Western Frontier Ultimate MRE 6 Pack

This case of 6 MRE meals is enough to get anyone through some tough times.

There are approximately 24 different meal flavors that are randomly selected.

They range from chicken and noodles to beef chili, and potato hash browns with bacon.

Check Out Today’s Price

Rothco MREs Box A, Genuine U.S. Military Surplus

These MRE’s are genuine US War Fighter Rations with 12 different Meals per Case.

Making this ideal for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and emergency food supply.

Each MRE meal contains a flameless ration heater for a hot meal anywhere you go.

The meals also feature an accessory pack with coffee or beverage powder, matches, seasonings, gum, wet wipe, tissue.

Designed for maximum endurance and nutrition with average 1250 calories per meal.

Check Out Today’s Price

X MRE Meals 1300XT Single Meal with Heater

If you’re just looking to buy a single MRE this is your best option.

Each meal packs a calories punch per meal of over 1,300 calories.

The shelf life states it’s good for at least 5 years or more depending on storage temperature and conditions from date of pack.

Each MRE meal provides the nutrients & caloric value of a complete meal. XMRE can be eaten anytime at any place.

The food is pre-cooked and can be eaten hot or cold, with a flameless heater included – just add water.

Check Out Today’s Price

Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Assorted Flavor (4-Pack)

This MRE claims a long shelf life if stored per manufacturer’s directions. Each MRE has a 2012 or newer pack date.

Again this option (as are all the others) good for hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and emergency food supply.

Designed for maximum endurance and nutrition with average 1250 calories per meal.

Check Out Today’s Price

At the time of publishing, you could get a FREE 72-Hour Survival Food Kit from Food4Patriots when you cover shipping. Supplies are limited so claim your 72-hour survival food kit right now. Modern MRE Taste Test

Here’s a video of a modern MRE review. This video gives a solid overview of what you can expect from your MRE’s nowadays:

2017 MRE Chicken Burrito Bowl Meal Ready to Eat Review US Ration Taste Test - YouTube

How To Heat An MRE

Of course, as the name implies, you can open the packaging and start chomping away at one of your MRE’s right away. But a lot of MRE meals suggest you heat the meal before chowing down.

There is nothing wrong with eating them cold and fresh out of the wrapper they just tend to taste better warm.

Some MRE cases will include a heating system; others leave it up to you. So, I thought it might be useful to list a few different methods for heating an MRE up.

Flameless Retention Heater

These nifty little ovens were explicitly designed for MRE’s. If your MRE includes a method for heating it up, it’s probably going to be a flameless retention heater.

It works without the need for matches tinder or fuel.

Just slip your MRE inside of the flameless retention heater pouch, add a teaspoon of water seal it up. Now step back and let the magic unfold.

The water starts a reaction inside the pack and generates heat to warm your meal in minutes.

Boiling Water

Most MRE’s are packaged in a material that is both water and heat resistant, so boiling them is no issue whatsoever. And it’s an easy, efficient method for quickly heating up your food.

Allow water to come to a boil in a pot, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the MRE inside of the boiling water and allow it to soak in there for 5-8 minutes.

Pull it out carefully so as not to burn yourself, and you’ve got a hot and ready meal!

This method is particularly useful in survival situations. That way you don’t require a fancy chemical heating package or a butane stove.

If you have got fire, water, and a pot, you can get that MRE warmed up, no problem.

The Saucepan

Get your hands on a saucepan and a heat source (a fire will do, a stovetop will do better).

Open up your MRE, pour the contents into the saucepan and allow it to heat to the..

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The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Neck Knife For You

Before sheaths and folding blades, our ancestors had to come up with some clever ways to carry a blade.

How could they safely take a blade with them every single day in an age before the pocket knives?

One clever and timeless solution to this ancient problem was the neck knife.

By tying a cord around their blade’s handle and wearing them around their necks, they had a weapon close at hand.

It’s both a simple and brilliant.

Few survival tools can double as a functional tool and fashion accessory at once. The neck knife being one of them.

But the variety of neck knives today is staggering and seemingly unending. Unfortunately, not all neck knives are created equal. Some neck knives are great while others simply suck.

Searching for the right neck knife can be a tedious and frustrating process. How do you pick a great one from such a large number of options?

Well, that’s exactly why we wrote this guide. In this article we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • What Is The Neck Knife
  • Brief Neck Knife History
  • Top Reasons To Wear A Neck Knife
  • What Makes A Neck Knife Good
  • The Best Neck Knives
  • Best Neck Knife Uses

What Is A Neck Knife

Quite simply, any knife you wear around your neck is technically a neck knife.

Since you carry a neck knife on your person, they also fall into the category of EDC knives. Neck knives are incredibly versatile in form, shape, and application.

Some are big; some are small, some are fixed blade survival knives, some are everyday folders. Heck, some are made more for fashion while others are purely functional.

  • Curved Blades
  • Tanto Blades
  • Combat Knives
  • Multi-Tool Knives
  • Serrated Blades
  • Drop Point Blades
  • You Name It

There are also short neck knife blades, long blades, thick blades, thin blades, etc. But no matter, all neck knives have one thing in common, they’re hung from a cord or chain around your neck.

Neck Knife History

So who exactly invented the neck knife? Sadly, that’s something we will never know. It’s one of those small historical facts lost forever.

Regardless, things have come a long way since those first, primitive neck knife. But the technology and the idea behind it have not changed.

No matter how high-tech and fancy the blade gets, the basic idea of the neck knife remains the same.

Many people carry a neck knife to this day, some tens of thousands of years after the invention was conceived. Because anything that remains popular this long has got something going for it.

It’s an accessory that can save your life. And when it does, you’re going to thank the mystery caveman who invented it.

Top Reasons To Wear A Neck Knife

This could be a very long list – because when it comes to neck knives, there’s a lot to love. But, for the sake of brevity, I’ll try and limit this conversation to just the most significant advantages.

Always With You

This is the best reason to carry a neck knife.

No pockets, backpacks, belts necessary because everyone’s got a neck. Just sling your neck knife around your head, and it will always be there, hanging right by your heart.

And likely the main reason our ancestors invented them in the first place.

Quick Easy Access

When it’s hanging around your neck, it is always within easy reach. You cannot lose it; you cannot leave it somewhere, you won’t accidentally drop it.

The neck knife is always within arms reach, ready to be slipped out of its sheath and used. Ready for survival, self-defense, or any purpose you run into.

Can Intimidate Threats

If a threat sees you’re carrying a blade around your neck they know immediately you’re armed.

Most people are less likely to confront someone who’s visibly outfitted with a dangerous weapon.

Can Attract Attention

Neck knives are badass – plain and simple. No matter if you’re a woman or a man if you are wearing a neck knife it sends a clear message:

  • I am armed.
  • I am dangerous.
  • Ready to survive no matter what.

Wear your neck knife out and about, if you want some added attention (good and bad).

Or keep it hidden if attention is not your thing.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. What Makes A Good Neck Knife – Good

There are a few key characteristics of a good, functional neck knife. No matter how it’s shaped, how large it is, or who makes it, if it has the following qualities it’ll serve you well.


Any neck knife that breaks as soon as you use it is not going to cut it for survival.

That’s why you choose one be made from high-quality materials, to resist wear tear and lots of abuse.

There are a lot of cheapo-neck knives out there that are more of a necklace than a functional, usable knife.

So be wary when you’re buying – read reviews, and test the blade yourself, send it back if it doesn’t meet expectations.

Also, if you want a neck knife for survival, then look for one that’s got a thicker blade so you can use it for abusive tasks such as batoning.


Because neck knives come in different shapes, sizes and styles, some end up being unwieldy.

A neck knife that’s a full tang oversized ka-bar hunting blade is going to be both bulky and heavy. You can count on that getting in your way more than it helps you out.

Fortunately, most neck knife designs have taken this into account. Most neck knives are lightweight and do not burden the wearer.

That’s the neck knife you want. One that’s so lightweight and compact you hardly notice it’s there, but it IS there ready and waiting.

Compact Tight Sheath

The sheath is as important as the knife itself. 

You want a neck knife sheath that keeps the knife safely tucked away, secure in the sheath. You want the knife to fit snug but not too snug.

If it’s too loose the knife could slip out of the sheath all on its own – not good. But if it’s too tight, then it may become difficult to pull it free.

You also want the sheath to leave a minimum imprint. That way you can wear it under your shirt and keep it hidden out of view.

The bottom line is a neck knife is only as good as the sheath it comes with.

Looks Good

Durability and functionality are first, but after that, you want one that looks cool, right?.

These things are basically necklaces. Yeah, that’s not their primary function, but it plays a role in your purchase decision.

Which means you need to like how looks when wearing it. Thankfully, there are a lot of really bad ass looking neck knives.

The Best Neck Knives

We’ve sifted through hundreds of neck knives out there and came up with this list. It’s a list of the best, most functional, effective, and popular neck knives on the market today.

The Survival Neck Knife From Survival Frog

This is our favorite neck knife and the one we’ve highlighted in the main image at the top of this post.

It’s our favorite because it’s the perfect size (not too big not too small), its full tang, it’s thicker than most neck knife blades and it’s got an excellent sheath.

A full tang blade is key for survival, unlike pocket knives.

Pocket knives have major weak points on their folding joints. These joints eventually break from hard use… making them useless in a crisis.

Just like a full-sized fixed blade, The Survival Neck Knife doesn’t have structural weak points. It’s made from one, solid piece of cold-forged steel. This full tang runs from tip to tail and will not break.

The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is also much thicker.

On average, The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is 3-4x thicker than a standard pocket knife.

Most pocket knife blades are extra thin to make them lighter.

Saving weight at the expense of strength isn’t going to do a lick of good in a crisis.

Fortunately, at 4mm thick, The Survival Neck Knife’s blade is thick enough for batoning wood, skinning large game, use as a pry bar… and more.

This neck knife’s sheath is made for survival.

The sheath on Survival Neck Knife comes complete with built-in survival tools:

  • Built-in compass and signaling mirror: Built into the case is a detachable compass, and on the reverse is a handy signal mirror.
  • Complete with sharpening stones: No need to buy an extra knife sharpener. On one side of the sheath is a built-in sharpening rod that will easily turn a dull blade into a razor sharp edge.
  • Will start a fire: The other rod on the sheath is a magnesium fire-starter. Scrape the rear of the blade against the rod and a shower of 5,400° sparks will start a roaring fire.

For survival, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better neck knife at this incredible price point.

Check Out Today’s Price

Columbia Survival Sherpa Neck Knife

This super-lightweight (1.75 ozs) minimalist neck knife come with a finely honed stainless steel blade.

The handle also functions as both a slotted screwdriver and mini-crowbar.

It comes with a breakable neck chain, and it snaps securely into its black nylon sheath.

Check Out Today’s Price

CRKT Minimalist Bowie Neck Knife

This deep bellied clip point bowie style blade is just 2.125” long but it looks sort of like the classic hunting knives made famous in the American West.

It comes with a custom glass-filled nylon sheath with a positive detent to lock the blade in place.

That way you’ll be confident it won’t slip out.

CRKT includes a paracord loop for wearing this knife around your neck.

EDC Micro Neck Knife for Survival / Bushcraft / Hunting - CRKT Folts Minimalist Neck Knife -Best - YouTube

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MTech USA MT-20-14 Series Fixed Blade Neck Knife

This is a full tang; fixed blade survival neck knife is made of 440 stainless steel, matte black, and double-edged.

It comes with a grippy nylon filled injection mold handle which makes it easy to keep ahold of during use.

The knife is 6.5 inches in length (the blade by itself is 2.75 inches) and comes with a nylon sheath and a breakable neck chain.

MTech USA MT-20-14GY Tactical Neck Knife Product Video - YouTube

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MTech USA Mt-665Bk Neck Knife

This wicked looking blade is ideal for combat purposes.

In fact, it’s difficult to find uses for a karambit blade like this one, besides inflicting wounds.

This style of blade originated in Indonesia centuries ago. Today it is one of the most deadly (and frightening looking) blades legally available to carry.

This one is 7.5 inches long overall and comes with a sheath and a length of neck cord to secure it around your neck.

MTech Karambit | Fixed Blade Review - YouTube

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Spartan Enyo Fixed Blade Fighting Neck Knife Kydex Sheath

Designed for survival,

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How To A Make Hardtack Recipe To Store Survival Bread At Home

Maybe you already know what hardtack is and you’re searching for the best step by step survival hardtack recipe? A hardtack recipe that will last many decades!

Or maybe you’ve just recently heard the term “hardtack” and want to learn more about this incredible survival bread.

Either way, this article’s got you covered. Today we’re going to discuss hardtack and show you how to make hardtack at home (plus a few bonus survival foods as well!):

  • What Is Hardtack – Brief History
  • Hardtack Recipe (ingredient list)
  • How To Make Hardtack At Home
  • Pemmican – Hardtack’s Meat Alternative
  • Bonus – ANZAC Biscuits Recipe

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. What Is Hardtack – Brief History

When it comes to survival rations, you have to hand it to the crews on old-fashioned sailing ships. They proved invention is the mother of necessity.

For thousands of years, when currents and wind were a ship’s only means of propulsion it took months to cross the high seas. And yet, nearly every corner of the world was explored and mapped by the end of the “Golden Age of Sailing“.

These sailors endured long voyages that would regularly last months without a harbor. Sometimes it was years before returning back to their homeport.

These long trips required food stores that could last for long periods out at sea. Voyaging long distances meant limited opportunities to resupply; remember this is before refrigeration and canned food!

So one of the staple foods on these ships was a simple, dense, hard survival bread called Hardtack. A survival biscuit made with three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt.

Hardtack is a solid survival bread that held up well to rough transport and kept nearly indefinitely. Since it was both inexpensive and nearly indestructible, this hard biscuit often made up the majority of a sailor’s rations.

In fact, in 1588, the British Royal Navy provided each sailor 1 lb. of hardtack biscuits and a gallon of beer PER DAY!

Obviously, this biscuit was a shipboard staple.

It became such a widespread staple, different ports had unique names for hardtack such as cabin bread, sea biscuits, survival bread, or ship biscuits. Entire industries sprang up in ports to support the resupply of ships with more of this hardy stuff.

Now, if the recipe of flour water and salt sounds bland, you’re in good company. When a ship’s cook wasn’t within earshot, sailors often called it “dog biscuits,” “molar breakers” or “sheet iron.”

Traditional hardtack is immensely HARD.

Why? Because you bake it, leave it out to dry, and store it with moisture absorbing desiccants to prevent spoilage. Each of these steps removes all moisture, making it difficult to bite and chew in its raw form.

Often you must soften it to make safe chewing possible.

However, there were many methods to soften the hard biscuits, including:

  • soaking them in coffee
  • drowning them in beer
  • frying them with oil to make a hardtack pancake
  • pounding them into crumbs with a rifle butt and stirring them into soup – (which both thickened the soup and softened the crumbs)

Pretty resourceful, I’d say!

While soaking them in coffee is still popular. Many people choose to eat them like toast by adding syrup or jam, providing a sweet (and calorie-dense) snack.

Of course, with only three ingredients, you can easily learn how to make hardtack at home for yourself.

Many of the commercial recipes use additional ingredients. This is an attempt to improve the texture and taste, but these additions reduced the shelf life.

There are many recipes variations for homemade hardtack. But these homemade recipes are optimized for rapid consumption instead of prolonged storage.

Common commercial additions are sugar, honey, spices, powdered milk or eggs, and even oil and butter.

However, these hardtack recipes are best kept refrigerated since the additional ingredients compromise the shelf life. Especially, oil and butter which will go rancid quickly if left unrefrigerated.

If your ultimate goal is to store some survival calories for years to come, I recommend sticking to the three basic ingredients.

With such a long history and a fool-proof, inexpensive hardtack recipe, it’s no wonder it remains popular today. It’s become a food staple for homesteaders, survivalists, and preppers alike.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Hardtack Recipe (ingredient list)

You can make hardtack with any flour you so choose.

  • Whole wheat? Absolutely, works great.
  • Gluten-free? Yes, you can.
  • Rye flour? A great alternative for those with wheat allergies.

With an afternoon of work (mostly baking), you can have an ample supply of hardtack that will last years.

Hardtack Ingredients

Start by gathering the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2.5 cups flour (+ a little extra)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp salt

You’ll also need a few utensils:

  • large mixing bowl
  • rolling pin (or improvise!)
  • cookie sheet
How To Make Hardtack – The Ultimate Survival Bread

Note: If you prefer to watch a video instead, skip to the end of this section.

Mixing The Ingredients

Mixing Ingredients Together

Start by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl.

Pro tip: This is a great time to remove any rings on your fingers. Hardtack dough is very sticky, and you’ll have a hard time getting your rings clean later – trust me I know!

After you mix your dry ingredients well, begin adding the water in small amounts. You can mix and knead the dough by hand or with the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer.

Again, it’ll be extremely sticky at first but will quickly turn into a uniform dough.

If it’s still sticky after several minutes of kneading, add a small amount of additional flour.

Ball Of Hardtack Dough

Once your dough forms a solid ball, dust a work surface with flour and place the dough on the floured surface.

Rolling The Dough

Using a rolling pin, heavy pint glass, wine bottle or even your hands, roll the dough out to roughly 1/4″-1/2” thick.

Cut the dough into serving size portions.

Roll To Spread Dough

This will be easier if you form the dough into a rough square (rather than a pizza crust circle).

If you’re not very experienced using a rolling pin you can use pencils as guides! Just lay a pencil on either side of the dough and press down until the rolling pin is resting on the pencils.

Now, rolling back and forth will give you a nice flat piece of dough.

Cutting The Dough

Cutting Hardtack Dough

When you’re happy with your dough shape, place it on a cookie sheet.

Now using a knife or dough cutting blade, cut it into manageable “cracker” size pieces. Ideally, you want them roughly the size of a saltine or graham cracker.

This size is best for long-term storage and it makes a good serving size for later.

I recommend a size that will still fit in a mug if you choose to soak with soup or coffee!

Poking The Crackers

Now, with your “sheet of crackers” cut to size, poke small holes spaced evenly across each piece.

Poking Holes In The Dough

These holes help the biscuit bake consistently. Ideally, you want both the edges and the middle of the hardtack biscuit to have a consistent bake.

The holes allow more moisture to escape and keeps the dough from rising in the oven.

Also, the holes make it easier to break the tough biscuits into smaller chunks later for eating.

Baking The Crackers

Hardtack Into The Oven

Now, bake the dough for 25-35 minutes in a 375deg oven, until it just begins to brown on the surface.

You’re looking for a very light tan, more than an actual brown. Its very easy to scorch the flour, so pay close attention.

When you have a light tan color, take the survival biscuits out of the oven and allow it to cool COMPLETELY. You want it to be 100% cool before putting it into any package to remove as much moisture from the biscuits as possible.

Hardtack Out Of The Oven

Any trace of excess moisture will cause your hardtack to spoil prematurely.

So if you live in a relatively dry climate, feel free to leave it out for several days to dry some more before storing.

Storing Your Hardtack 

You can store dry hardtack for many months or even several years – if it remains dry.

Vacuum sealing or use mylar bags and desiccants will help remove moisture during storage and a solid (metal) container keeps rodents out.

Keep the individual packages small, so you only open what you need while keeping the rest safe and dry.

Here’s an excellent video showing just how easy it is to make survival biscuits at home.

How to Make Hardtack (The Bread that Lasts Forever) - YouTube

As you can see, making hardtack is about as easy as it gets. You can even make a fun day out of it by including your kids or grandkids in the baking process.

And when you’re done, you’ll get the amazing feeling of comfort knowing you have a nutritious bread to feed your family no matter what the future may hold.

Pemmican – Hardtack’s Meat Alternative

You cannot survive long-term on bread alone.

Your body needs other nutrients such as protein, and vitamins as well. But when it comes to long-term food storage, not just any old protein will do. Protein spoils rapidly without refrigeration.

That’s why you must learn how to make pemmican and store it properly. Pemmican is sort of like hardtack in protein form! It’s a protein you can store a lifetime without refrigeration.

Now, I’m not going to deep dive into the history and all the details of pemmican here because we’ve already written a detailed pemmican article.

But if your interested in seeing how pemmican is made, then check out following short video.

Pemmican is another survival superfood that pairs up very well with hardtack for long-term storage and survival.

Bonus – ANZAC Biscuits Recipe

While in survival mode, a meal of coffee-soaked hardtack will do to fill an empty stomach, but no meal is complete without some dessert!

ANZAC is another “survival biscuit” with a long shelf-life. It was developed by the families of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War 2.

The families back home wanted to send food and treats for the troops. But it had to survive months of travel from the South Pacific to Italy where many of their soldiers were stationed.

This lead to the creation of the “ANZAC Biscuit.”

Since that time, it’s become a national staple in both countries with recipes approved by the government to preserve the history of the treat.

Sure, ANZAC biscuits don’t have as long a shelf-life as hardtack (they contain both sugar and butter). However, ANZAC biscuits are a great short-term addition to any survival cache.

And they can be a welcome break from eating hardtack day in and day out!

How To Make ANZAC Biscuits ANZAC Biscuit Ingredients:
  • 1 cup each of rolled oats, sugar and coconut
  • 1 tablespoon golden corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water)
ANZAC Biscuit Instructions
  1. Melt butter.
  2. Add corn syrup to dissolved soda and water. Combine with melted butter.
  3. Mix dry ingredients and stir in liquid.
  4. Place small balls on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300deg for 20min or until golden brown.
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Family First Food Planning Guide. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Final Word

 So there ya go.

Now you know how to make and store a life-saving survival bread in the form of a simple biscuit – known as hardtack.

Pair your hardtack with some pemmican, ANZAC biscuits, and bulk rice storage you’ve got yourself a legitimate survival food stockpile.

You can have a ton of long-term calories on a prepper friendly budget.

Now it’s just a matter of taking the knowledge and applying it. Because taking action now, long before you need it, is the real secret to survival.

Jason K.

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click here to see the Closest Natural Nuclear Bunker to Your Home?

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

The post Hardtack Recipe – The Survival Bread That Lasts A Lifetime appeared first on Skilled Survival.

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Helping Build A Car Emergency Kit That’s Right For You

As responsible adults, we understand the importance keeping emergency supplies in our homes. We’ve built a large stash of emergency supplies and tools for an unknowable future.

We buy plenty of band-aids and Neosporin for cuts and scrapes. We horde flashlights, candles and bulk packs of batteries for electrical outages.

Heck, many of us make it a priority to stockpile extra toilet paper for that surprise blizzard. Because running out of TP IS absolutely a real emergency!

We buy the extra large bottles of painkillers. We store fire extinguishers inside our kitchen cabinets.

And if you’re a reader of SkilledSurival, you’ve likely got an emergency water storage plan. And you’ve spent time building a food stockpile system, and built a bug out bag, etc. – just in case.

But when it comes to our cars, trucks, and vehicles, we act as if nothing bad could happen between point A and B.

Everyone knows they should take the time to build out an extensive car emergency kit but too few actually do.

But the good news is, you’re here now, you’re reading this article. So you’re finally going to get prepared for those treacherous roads with an epic car emergency kit.

After reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need build your own car emergency kit. And hopefully, you’ll also have the will to follow through and actually get it built.

So let’s get started.

Building The Ultimate Car Emergency Kit

Before we jump into building your car emergency kit, I just want you to double check you have the tools you need to change a tire. A car jack, a tire iron, a full spare (or at the very least an emergency donut spare).

If you don’t have those items in your car or truck or van right now, I want you to take care of that immediately.

DO NOT WAIT, if you get a flat without these basic tools, you’re 100% relying on others to help you. That’s not how we operate around here at SkilledSurvival!

And if you don’t know how to change a tire, it’s time to learn. If this sounds like you, watch the video below. For everyone else, let’s continue…

How To Change Your Tire Alone - YouTube

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Emergency Kit Organization

The first step in building an emergency car kit is to figure out a way to organize everything.

Allowing your supplies and gear to haphazardly roll around in the trunk of your vehicle is a terrible idea. Not only will it be an annoying racket but it’ll damage the gear and supplies you’ll need during a real emergency.

So you need an emergency kit bag, duffel, or box. One that’s large enough to keep all your car emergency supplies organized and safe.

There are a lot of options so we’ll just show you one of our favorites and tell you why.

Duffel Bag Setup

Red Rock Outdoor Gear Traveler Duffle Bag

This duffel bag is perfect to keep all your car’s emergency kit gear organized and safe. It’s got tons of storage (48 liters) and zippered internal dividers to keep your gear compartmentalized.

But what I like most about this duffel bag is that it converts into a backpack.

What happens if you need to abandon your car or truck? Well, you’d be silly to leave all our emergency gear behind. The gear in that bag is your lifeline.

Backpack Setup

But carrying duffel bags are great for short trips (like in and out of gyms or work) but they’re no good for long hikes. But backpacks with two straps over your shoulders, that’s ideal.

You can comfortably walk much further with a backpack on. So this duffel/ backpack combo is an ideal solution for a car emergency kit.

The duffel gives you the low profile, easy to pack and organize kit you want in your trunk, while the backpack option is great for the worst case survival scenario.

And if tan is not your favorite color, there are some other color options including all black.

Water and Water Filtration Options

Water is one of the most critical emergency/survival supplies – period. The moment you find yourself in an emergency without water, your survival countdown clock starts ticking.

Sure, in extreme weather (blizzard or heat wave) a shelter from exposure can trump the need for water. But in general, outside of those extreme situations, water is priority numero uno.

So make sure to add some fresh drinking water to your car emergency kit.

I recommend doing this by filling up a stainless steel, single-walled water bottle. This is the best way to store fresh drinking water in a vehicle.

Much better than buying those thin plastic water bottles. Why? Because those thin walled plastic water bottles are weak and can easily rupture.

They won’t hold up long term in a vehicle that’s always on the move. Plus, they’ll burst when exposed to extreme heat and cold conditions.

Protect your precious emergency water supply by keeping it in a strong water bottle.

Water Filtration

The second part of your car’s water plan is adding tools to turn natural water into drinking water.

If your vehicle is ever stranded in the middle of nowhere, you’ll quickly deplete whatever stash of fresh water you happen to have. Not long after, your body will begin craving water otherwise known as being thirsty. Soon you’ll be forced to scavenge for a natural water source.

Hopefully, you’re able to find a small creek nearby, or a pond, a lake, a puddle, whatever. But drinking water from a natural source without proper treatment is a big gamble.

Water can look fresh, clean, and delicious, but you can’t detect hidden microscopic bacteria with the naked eye.

So it’s smart to pack essential water filtration and purification tools and supplies.

That way, you can process that natural water and drink confidently knowing you won’t get sick. Because the last thing you need in any emergency or survival situation is to fall severely ill.

Drinking contaminated water can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. It can turn a serious situation into a deadly one in an instant.

So let’s start with filtration first; you should stash at least one personal water filter in your car’s emergency kit.

Both of the following options are good. Either one will work so take a look at both and decide which is right for you.

LifeStraw Water Filter

Sawyer Mini Filter

Water Purification

Water filtration is an important first step in processing natural water, but you’ll also need to purify it before consuming.

Sure, filtration alone is better than nothing, but why gamble at all if you don’t have to.

So there are a few ways to purify the water you’ve collected.

First off, you can boil the water for a few minutes to kill any remaining hidden viruses. As long as you can start a fire (we’ll cover fire tools in a later section), you can boil water. But only if you have a stainless steel SINGLE walled water bottle.

The key here is 1) metal 2) single wall.

You want it to be metal so you can put the water bottle on a fire without fear of melting.

If your container is plastic, the fire will melt it. And the best case with plastic is the melting plastic will contaminate your water. But the worst case is the plastic will put a hole in the bottle and poof, there goes your precious water.

You also need the bottle to be a single wall only. Because it’s dangerous to boil water in a double wall insulated bottle.

Double wall bottles are designed to keep liquids cool longer by having two walls (inner and outer walls). But if you try to boil water in one, it’s going to take a really long time because you have to transfer the heat through 2 walls.

And in the process trying to boil water, it’s possible for the trapped air between the two walls to build pressure. Build enough pressure, and the water bottle can explode. This explosion can also be called a bomb – so single wall water bottles ONLY for your car emergency kits.

Another way to purify the water is using water purification tablets. What’s nice about these is they’re cheap, small, and lightweight. So there’s no excuse not to add these to your car emergency kit.

Lastly, you could also add a UV light water purification pen to your kit. However, tablets are better because these pens are expensive and require batteries.

So your best bet is to get a small personal water filter, a single wall stainless steel water bottle, and some water purification tablets. With these three emergency water tools, your emergency hydration needs are all set. Congrats!

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Emergency Shelter

Now, many people may be surprised that shelter is the second topic we’re covering (most think food would be next). But as we mentioned earlier, in extreme weather shelters can quickly become the number one survival priority.

Plus, food is one of the least important short-term emergency supplies. You can survive weeks without calories. Yes, severe hunger is no fun, but it’s not very high on the survival priority list (at least initially).

Ok, so when it comes to survival shelter options, there are two extremes we’re worried about. Freezing to death in a blizzard or dying from heat stroke and dehydration.

The good news is, we have a survival tool that can buy you precious time and save your life in either situation.

The TACT Bivvy

This emergency sleeping bag is ideal for cold weather emergencies. It’s made out of a material originally designed by NASA for astronauts and is called Mylar.

Mylar is a very thin flexible material that doesn’t allow air transfer. So by default, it traps/reflects heat.

So, when you hop inside a TACT Bivvy, it’ll trap the heat your body naturally generates. This helps to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in extremely cold conditions.

It locks in your body heat, keeping your core and limbs warm and protected.

Sure, you could add a cheaper space blanket to your car’s emergency kit. And that’s better than nothing, but a blanket doesn’t contain your body heat nearly as well as the TACT Bivvy.

You see, the TACT Bivvy is more than a blanket, it’s a sleeping bag. This may seem like a small difference, but this setup traps heat much better than a blanket alone.

Also, the TACT bivvy is packed in a small portable bag. This keeps your Mylar sleeping bag organized and protects it from accidental punctures.

So for me, it’s worth the few extra dollars to get the TACT Bivvy.

But what about extreme heat? I did mention it can be helpful in these dire situations as well!

Yes, I did, and yes it does.

You see, Mylar’s superpower is reflecting heat. So when Mylar is facing toward you, it reflects your heat back to you. However, if you point the Mylar material away from you and toward the sun instead what happens?

Mylar will block the suns energy from traveling through it.

Just turn the TACT Bivvy inside out (so the mylar is now on the outside). Then find a way to create a makeshift canopy (using some more emergency tools discussed below). And get underneath it.

Instant shade, instant cool.

And if you happen to be in loose soil, you can dig a shallow pit (with a survival shovel) to expose cool layers of soil. Then you can lay in the cool dirt to help lower your core body temperature.

You see, with the right tools and knowledge, you don’t have to become a victim of a dire situation. You can act, save yourself and buy time for escape or rescue.

Note: if you dig a pit, don’t lay under a Mylar blanket or tarp, etc. with the blanket against the top of the hole. This setup now becomes an oven, the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. The tarp or Mylar blanket must be off the ground. You want it to create shade and allow air to flow through and out instead of trapping it.

Vehicle Recovery Tools

Ok, water and shelter are done, that wasn’t too tough now, was it? Now it’s time to talk tools and devices to prevent you getting stranded in the first place.

The three leading causes of becoming stranded in the middle of nowhere are:

  1. Flat Tire
  2. Dead Battery
  3. Running Out Of Fuel

We already discussed the need invest in tire changing equipment – most vehicles have these tools available by default. So let’s focus on the remaining two issues; dead battery and running out of fuel.

The best way to survive an emergency due to a dead battery or running out of fuel is to avoid it becoming a survival emergency in the first place. So it’s important to invest in the simple tools that can quickly fix these problems.

In the past, the only way to fix a dead battery was to carry a bulky set of jumper cables or to lug a large battery pack jumper around. However, with technological advances, intense crank power is now available in a

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How To Find A Survival Suture Kit That’s Right For You

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it holds you together like a sack.

It keeps your internal organs and fluids from spilling out.

It protects your insides from external forces, and it regulates your body temperature.

But sometimes – often – in survival situations, your skin gets sliced wide open.

Maybe you cut yourself with a can-opener or a knife. Or maybe you hit your head on a rock. Or perhaps you caught a jagged branch in the chest, and now you’re laid wide open.

What can you do?

Without a way to seal a severe laceration shut, you’ll quickly find yourself in a heap of trouble. That’s where a doctor or medical professional comes in handy.

One of those 24-hour medical clinics where you can get immediate help. The ones with local anesthetics and nice nurses who’ll stitch you up with a smile.

But hospitals and health clinics are not resources we can always rely on. In the wild, a battlefield, or the apocalypse, you won’t find such medical conveniences.

You’re going to have to rely on yourself, your survival knowledge, and your survival gear.

That’s why you should own a medical grade survival suture kit.

One you can stash in your bug out bag, or with your survival equipment. It puts you on another level of preparedness.

You should, of course, already have a basic first aid survival kit. And check out this guide to building a tactical medical kit if you want to build your own.

But when you’ve got a nasty cut that needs stitches, you’re going to be glad you packed that extra suture kit.

But for those who don’t know what makes a good suture kit, we’ve compiled this article to help you find the right one. We’ve sorted through all the cheap and crappy ones, and found the best of the best, so you don’t have to.

And if you’re not familiar with the art of sewing human flesh, we provide a brief how-to for stitching up a cut. And even, a couple of ways to improvise sutures in a pinch.

We’ll be covering the following suture kit topics in this article:

  • What Is a Suture Kit?
  • Why Suturing Wounds is So Important
  • The Best Survival Suture Kits For Survival
  • How To Suture (brief introduction)
  • Improvising a Suture In A Pinch
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. What Is a Suture Kit?

If you’ve made it this far into the article and still don’t know what a suture kit is; I owe you an explanation.

In the medical world, a “laceration kit” is a set of tools and supplies used to close an open dermatological wound. That is to say, it’s a medical sewing kit, for sewing up human skin.

Paramedics carry them. First responders carry them. Wilderness first responders, firefighters, and military personnel carry them. Even concert venue first aid staff, carry suture kits.

They’re a staple for medical preparation and good for survival preparedness.

But the process of suturing a wound closed is a serious mini-surgery. And it takes both extensive research and practice to suture successfully.

Do NOT buy a suture kit unless you plan on learning how to use it, and are fully prepared to do so. Otherwise, its a useless piece of survival gear.

Attempting to close an open wound, when you have no earthly idea what you’re doing, can be a quick way to go from bad to worse.

Why Suturing Wounds is So Important

Stitching (or “suturing”) open wounds make it possible for a laceration to heal faster and properly.

Often, if an open wound that requires stitches is left untreated, it will open up again. Without stitches, accidental bumps, scrubs, or rubs will pop a weak scab back open.

This prolongs the healing process and makes the wound more susceptible to infection.

But by suturing the wound closed, you’re providing extra support to hold the skin together. That way so it can heal at maximum speed and efficiency.

This is particularly useful in the wild or in a survival situation where mobility is critical. A sutured cut will stay closed and continue to heal, despite the less-than-ideal conditions. While moving with an open gash or wound is both painful and dangerous.

It can impair your ability to survive, and deplete your limited but vital energy reserves.

The Best Survival Suture Kits For Survival

Suture kits are one of those survival items you don’t really need until you really freaking need one. It very well could sit unused in your backpack for months, even years, without being touched.

But one day, when your hand slips on a survival knife or you gash your leg on a sharp rock, it could make the difference between life and death.

That being said, you want one that you can depend on.

If you pull a suture kit out in your time of need, it shouldn’t be missing any pieces. Or the tools shouldn’t be too cheap to use effectively.

That’s why we’ve identified some of the internet’s highest rated, medical grade suture kits:

Meditraining 32 Piece Suture Kit

This kit has everything you need for suturing wounds.

It comes with a reusable suture pad made of hyper-realistic flesh (for practice). It also includes:

  • Needle holders
  • Forceps
  • A scalpel
  • 12 silk-braided sutures with needles

All these items are packed into a deluxe carrying kit and elastic loops help hold the instruments in place.

It packs easily into a bug out bag or medical kit and is efficiently organized. It also comes with a “best money ever spent, & 100% money back guarantee.”

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Matrix Mixed Sterile Suture Kit

This kit has all the basics to start suturing wounds:

  • Sterile pads
  • Surgical Sutures
  • Forceps
  • Surgical Tweezers
  • A stainless steel surgical needle
  • Four different types of non-absorbable suture threads

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Your Design Medical Suture Accessories

With nylon sutures, a scalpel, forceps, scissors, and a suture driver, you’re ready to start stitching.

This training kit also comes with a silicone flesh suture practice pad.

That way, you can hone your flesh sewing skills before taking them to the field.

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Suture Syringe Medic First Aid Kit

This kit is affordable, practical, highly useful, and extremely compact.

It comes with a variety of different sterile medical supplies including:

  • Sterile gloves
  • A catheter
  • Several syringes
  • Three different sized needles
  • Antiseptic wipes and alcohol swabs

This one and done suture/syringe kit is sold in sealed packages meant for single person use.

This is an extremely affordable addition to your bug out bag, get home bagsevery day carry kits or travel gear.

Pick up a few of them for your different survival bags. That way, no matter when or where you need them, you’ll have suture supplies on hand.

Check Out Today’s Price

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. How to Suture (brief introduction)

There are loads of different suturing techniques for sewing shut skin.

It’s been a necessary medical skill for a very long time – roughly 30,000 years in fact! So it’s nothing new.

Cavemen did it, after all, so it can’t be that difficult, right? Not exactly.

Suturing is medical science, and it takes some practice to master the skill. Hence, the suture practice pads included in some of the suturing kits listed above.

Not just that, but there are a lot of needles types and suture threads for various lacerations. It even depends on what kind of cut you’re dealing with and how thick the skin in that area of the body is.

A worthwhile medical textbook will help you choose which threads and needles sizes to use for different situations.

But, no matter what type of needle or weight of suture thread you are using, the basic technique is the same. Here is a brief overview of how to go about sewing someone up:

1. Assess The Injury

First of all, is this something you can handle? Really?

If not, it might be best to wait for a medical professional.

  • Is the cut is too massive for you to stitch up on your own? Seek medical attention.
  • Is there’s too much blood exiting the wound and you can’t work with it? Seek medical attention.
  • Are there are foreign objects in the wound you can’t get out? Seek medical attention.
  • Is it a cut you feel confident you can deal with? Go for it.

Sometimes, though, you’re not going to have much choice in the matter. In a worst-case scenario, where professional medical help is not an option, you may have to try or die…

2. Prepare Everything First

Make yourself (or your patient) as comfortable as possible.

Sterilize all the materials with a sterilizing solution or hydrogen peroxide. Clean the wound with iodine and rinse it with saline solution.

Make sure your needle is affixed to your suture thread, and a knot is tied at the end of it.

Grasp the needle with the needle grabbers vertically (or hold it if you do not have needle grabbers).

Apply a local anesthetic if you have one, to mitigate the pain. If not, warn your patient this is about to hurt like hell. You might have them bit down on a stick to prevent them from breaking their teeth.

3. Start Stitching

Start at the end of the cut closest to the patient’s face, and work away.

Pierce the skin as close to the cut as possible. Try doing this without hemorrhaging or compromising the strength of the stitch.

Loop it down through the flesh, nearly as deep as the cut. You may have to stabilize the skin with a tissue stabilizer to puncture the needle through both sides.

When the tip of the needle is poking out, grasp it with forceps, and pull it through the other side gently. You should try and cause as little trauma to the skin as possible.

The needle should always penetrate the skin at a 90-degree angle to minimize entry wounds. And should also exit perpendicular to reduce exit wounds.

Both sides of the cut should end up looking like mirror images of each other.

4. Tie The Knot

Once you’ve run your suture through, fasten the loop in place with a knot. This is called an “interrupted suture” when you tie off each individual loop.

There are knot tying devices doctors use, but in survival, you won’t have access to such equipment. In that case, the square knot is traditionally used.

Realistically, the knot itself doesn’t matter much, as long as you can trust it won’t fall out or loosen up over time. Stitch every loop through, individually tying each closed as you go along.

Snugly tug on each one to make sure they are not too loose.

5. Disinfect Again, Bandage

Just for the sake of keeping it clean, iodine and saline rinse your recently sealed cut.

The most significant danger of suturing a wound shut is an infection, so do everything you can to prevent that.

Once everything is sterile, bandage the injury with gauze and medical tape. Replace the bandage and clean the wound once a day until it has healed and stops oozing.

6. Removing The Sutures

Once the wound is healed, you are going to have to take out the stitches you put in.

This is not a particularly complex, painful, or delicate procedure. But, you should be careful not to damage the freshly healed flesh.

Using sharp disinfected scissors and tweezers, cut the individually stitched loops. Pull them gently through and out of the skin.

Wipe the wound down with alcohol when done. And that is it! You’ve been stitched, healed, and fixed and now you’re good to go.

Here’s an excellent video showing you several more stitching methods you can practice.

Suture Skills Course - Learn Best Suture Techniques - YouTube

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Improvising a Suture In A Pinch

Even if you own suture kits and have practiced, you might not have what you need in a survival situation, which means you may be forced to improvise.

That’s okay, because, in fact, there are some very effective makeshift sutures out there….

The Super Glue Suture

Cyanoacrylate (aka “super glue”) was widely used by medics in Vietnam to suture wounds shut. And it was highly effective in the field.

Sadly, the FDA never approved it for legitimate use in the states. It was due to fears that the chemicals contained within them were not safe to put in the body. So, the technique fell by the wayside.

But superglue still works wonders when it comes to closing wounds.

It’s a necessary item for any first aid kit, medical kit, and definitely in any suture kit. Super glue is an easy medical-hack that can mimic full-on surgical stitches reasonably well.

I recommend keeping it in mind throughout any survival or wilderness emergency.

Knuckle vs Grinder. Sutured with Super Glue Todd Shaw - YouTube

The Duct Tape Suture

Duct tape is far from ideal, but it works if you have an open wound and you need to shut it ASAP. And if all you have is a shiny roll of duct tape, use it.

It will work as a makeshift suture, but it’s not going to last very long.

Be careful not to cut off circulation with it, though. It’s best to rip the tape into narrow strips and place them across the wound like steps on a ladder.

Then fortify those makeshift stitches with long strips that run the length of the wound. These should be laid on top of the shorter individual strips.

Total Outdoorsman: How to Make a Duct Tape Butterfly Suture - YouTube

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A Guide To Help You Find The Best EDC Knife For You

When a specific tool’s been used for centuries and found across several continents, you know there’s something special going on.

Knives are the perfect example of such a special tool.

And it’s not like the basic knife design has evolved all that much over time either. No, the idea of a blade (stone and later metal) has been with us since the dawn of man.

Knives have maintained their basic applicability, retained their form, and sustained their usefulness since their creation.

Why? What is so great about knives? They’re just really good at cutting stuff, right?

Well, in a word, yes. Knives get their greatness from the versatility they offer in accomplishing simple functions like cutting, chopping, slicing, stabbing, whittling, carving, etc.

But these functions are essential for all sorts of everyday uses; such as:

  • Self-Defense
  • Cooking Prep
  • Skinning Game
  • General Utility (opening boxes)
  • Shelter Building
  • Entertainment (knife throwing)

And that’s why it’s so important to keep an Every Day Carry (EDC) blade with you at all times.

Why Carry An EDC Knife

When you’ve got a pocket knife, neck knife, boot knife or belt knife, you’ve got one of the most ancient survival tools at your side.

But these days, EDC knives are more compact, lighter, and maintain their edges better than knives from the past.

Better than the fixed blade hunks of iron our ancestors had to lug around.

But when it comes to finding an EDC knife, things can get tricky fast.

There are many knife companies making EDC knives today. Trying to find the best one quickly becomes an overwhelming endeavor.

And buyers beware! Not all EDC knives are created equal. Some are designed and built to higher standards of quality than others.

Some EDC knives make incredible survival resources while others are barely a flimsy excuse for a letter opener.

You do not want to waste your money on a product that’s going to fail you when you need it most. That why today we’re going to cover the following EDC Knife topics:

  • Four Types Of EDC Knives
  • Most Important Qualities For Your EDC Knife
  • Best EDC Knife For Survival
  • Caring For Your EDC Knife
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Types of EDC Knives

There are lots of EDC knives designed specifically for survival purposes while others are made for general application.

But no matter the specific design you prefer, they’re all extremely useful tools. It’s a necessary addition to any survivalist’s belt, pocket, get home bag or your packed bug out bag.

However, you decide to carry it, you must choose the type of EDC knife that will work best for you.

Folding EDC Knives

Nowadays, the most popular type of EDC knife is a folder. This kind of knife simply folds in half to reduce its overall length and size when tucked away.

I’m sure you can see the appeal here.

The only major downside to carrying a folding knife is they cannot take as much abuse as a full tang fixed blade survival knife.

If you try chopping or batoning with a folder, you’ll quickly destroy the knife at it’s weakest point – the folding joint. So for most everyday carry uses, a folder is hard to beat, but don’t mistake a folder for a true survival knife.

Fixed Blade EDC Knives 

Unlike a folder, where you retrieve the knife and flip it open, with a fixed blade knife, well, the blade is fixed. There’s no joints or hinges; no unfolding or flipping it open.

So a fixed blade full tang knife can handle a lot more abuse. Think of it as a mini survival knife.

Now there are different ways to carry a smaller fixed bladed EDC knife. So let’s cover each of those options next.

Neck Knife Carry

A neck knife is typically a shorter fixed blade knife that fits in a slim sheath with a cord and the cord goes around your neck.

The better ones have a thin profile when in its sheath. It also should be lightweight, so it doesn’t become annoying or uncomfortable to carry every day.

Unlike a folder, where you retrieve the knife from a pocket and flip it open, with a neck knife,  you grab the knife’s handle and pull it down to release it from its sheath.

Boot Knife Carry

A boot knife is a small fixed blade knife worn in a sheath that wraps around your ankle or calf. Hence, the term “boot knife.”

You don’t necessarily have to be wearing boots tho.

Long pants work to keep the knife concealed as well, even if your wearing shoes. However, you probably don’t want to carry a boot knife around town in a pair of shorts.

Belt Knife Carry

Next, we have the popular belt knife carry.

Again, this is typically a shorter fixed blade knife that rests in a sheath but in this case, it rides along on your belt.

The biggest downside to this type of EDC knife is that it’s more difficult to conceal.

Now, maybe you don’t want to conceal it? Or maybe you want everyone to know you have a knife at the ready. Or maybe you wear long loose shirts and can still conceal it.

For some, the belt knife is the most convenient and most comfortable way to carry a small fixed blade knife around town.

Also, there’s also a newer type of belt knife hitting the market.

One where the small fixed blade knife is concealed in the belt buckle. These have a quick release clip so you can just grab the buckle, pull and you’re knife is ready to go.

Most Important Qualities For Your EDC Knife

As with any tool, there are a few basic components and characteristics you’ll want to look for.

But, everyone’s exact needs and preferences are going to be different for every person. And personal preference plays a big part in picking out the best EDC knife that will work well for you.

You have many factors to think about, from:

  • the weight
  • the shape of the handle
  • the size of the blade
  • the carry location
  • the blade design
  • the handle material

One specific knife might feel great for you and awkward as heck to the next guy. That’s normal. With this in mind, here’s a list of essential features good reliable EDC knives have in common:


Folding knives are exceptional in this regard.

For millennia knives were made with fixed blades that required sheathes for safely. These had to be strapped to a belt or pack. But in the 1900’s, when folding knives hit the scene, it changed the game.

Suddenly, you could put your EDC knife in your pocket, discretely tucked away but at the ready.

Some of the best EDC knives are folders. Not all great EDC knives are folders, but many are. They’ve become popular for everyday carry for a reason.

But short fixed blade EDC knives are compact as well.

Ergonomic Handle

The handle is a critical part of the knife. It’s the part of the knife you’ll be most intimate with, so make sure it feels great in your hand.

It should sit comfortably, and it should be easy to grip. If it feels too small or too large, try another size or another knife.

Don’t compromise here.

A knife that fits perfectly in your hand will help build a bond between you and your survival tool. It should feel like it was made for you.

Locking mechanism (folders only)

On the handle, there should be a button or a sliding clip to lock your blade in place.

I’ve seen people maimed by stray blades accidentally opening in their pockets. It’s essential for your safety that you can lock the blade in place when its folded and extended.

Fixed blade knives don’t have or need locking mechanisms.

Low-Riding Pocket Clip (folders only)

I would argue that the clip of a knife, is every bit as important as the folding mechanism or the blade lock. The clip makes it insanely easy to fasten a knife to the outside of a pack, or into a pocket.

Clips are essential when it comes to EDC knives, but some of them can be a pain.

Some clips are large and bulky and mostly just get in the way. Finding a knife with a nice, low profile clip, is a huge step towards finding the perfect survival EDC knife.

Good Sheath (mainly fixed blade knives)

With neck, boot and belt knives carry options you need to spend as much time researching the sheath as you do the knife. The sheath in these carry locations will make all the difference.

You want a sheath that’s compact but not flimsy and it should have a small profile. It needs to have enough material and size to do its job but no more.

It also should feel snug when the blade is seated.

Lightweight and Durable

There are some incredibly cool looking folding blade knives.

For example, I’ve seen some are made out of hardwood and inlaid with turquoise. Or made out of mammoth bone, with their blades forged from Toledo steel.

While these tools look cool, they are also way more cumbersome than your EDC knife should be.

A knife made out of durable, lightweight materials will serve you far better. Plus, it’ll weigh on you less throughout your day-to-day activities.

There’s a reason they don’t make bejeweled screwdrivers and golden plated hammers. Tools are meant to be used and beat up and worn down; not bedazzled.

If they’re made from precious materials, it compromises the utility of the instrument.

Legal Blade Length

The laws on “how long a knife blade can be” change from state to state and place to place. Some areas only allow knives of specific lengths to be carried on your person legally. While in other places, they might not allow people to carry knives at all.

Researching your states knife laws is an important step in buying an EDC knife.

If you don’t pay attention and buy a knife that’s illegally for open carry, it might get confiscated. Or worse, you might get a ticket for carrying it.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. The Best EDC Knife For You

Here’s a list of the best and most acclaimed EDC knives.

The following weapons have all the qualities listed above. These are very well-made blades you can rely on.

Folding EDC Knives The Benchmade Griptilian 551

Benchmade knives are some of the best in the world. They are so renowned for their quality that the US military uses them as the standard issue army EDC knife.

I carry this exact blade in my pocket at all times, and it’s the best knife I’ve ever owned.

The thick stainless steel blade folds nicely into a highly durable. Plus, it has an extremely lightweight handle molded in the “griptilian” pattern.

The weight is perfect, and the balance of these knives is impeccable. You cannot go wrong with Benchmade, and this is one of their most popular blades.

The best part about Benchmade EDC knives is the lifetime warranty that they come with.

If your Benchmade blade ever fails, or malfunctions, you can send the knife no problem. Benchmade will work with you to replace the item.

Benchmade Griptilian - YouTube

The Kershaw Composite Blackwash Leek

This sleek little EDC knife comes with a 3” blade, and a D2 steel edge, and a very low-profile, reversible pocket clip.

The blade features SpeedSafe open-assist. This flicks the blade open very quickly, with just the touch of a button.

The locking mechanism is located at the bottom of the handle and fixes the blade in place when engaged.

Perhaps the best part about this Kershaw blade is its slim design.

Even when it’s folded into the handle, the knife is extremely slender, hiding easily in a pocket or on a belt.

Kershaw Leek Knife Review - YouTube

The Spyderco Civilian

There are few EDC blades out there as wicked-looking as this knife. Its curved blade is serrated and developed for elite undercover law-enforcement agents.

Much like a handgun, this knife is designed for one thing: self-defense.

A mid-positioned back-lock prevents accidental closures/opening. Spyderco is a Colorado company that’s been making top-of-the-line knives for years.

Their products are some of the best in the blade business, and their price-points reflect that. They are expensive.

But you’re paying for extremely high quality and a lifetime guarantee.

Knife Review : Spyderco Civilian G-10 - YouTube

Gerber Gator Folding Knife

Gerber is one of the oldest and most reliable knife-making companies in America. Making the Gerber Gator a highly reliable survival tool.

It’s basic, it’s simple, it’s versatile, it’s durable, and it’s authentic.

The handle is covered in a ballistic nylon grip molded to look like gator skin. And the thick, stainless steel blade is edged to perfection.

If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable EDC knife, there are few better options.

Gerber Gator Folding Knife Review - YouTube

Columbia River Knife and Tool

CRKT makes some of the most affordable knives for the best quality. They are the perfect balance between affordability and excellence.

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Helping You Find The Best Portable Solar Panels For Your Next Great Adventure

There’s been a recent boom in portable solar panels. And their increasing popularity has taken the survival world by storm.

Why? Because they’re so incredibly useful in wilderness and emergency situations. Not to mention how convenient they are for camping and outdoor adventures.

These portable devices turn solar energy from the sun into usable electrical power. Energy to power any device that relies on electricity to function all while on the go.

Portable everyday carry gear such as:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Cameras
  • GPS units
  • Flashlights
  • Headlamps
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Etc.

The key here is the portability of these solar chargers.

People have been installing large solar panels systems for years now. The market for large solar generators has also been on the rise recently as well. And while these systems are no doubt powerful, they are not mobile.

That’s why the latest portable solar panels are so exciting. They allow you to harness the power of the sun with a device that fits in your backpack or pocket!

So today, we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • The Benefits Of Owning A Portable Solar Charger
  • Who Are Portable Solar Panels For?
  • Best Portable Solar Panels For Camping and Survival
  • Best Portable Solar Setups
  • Pros/Cons Of Portable Solar Chargers
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. The Benefits Of Owning A Portable Solar Charger Portable Power

So the first reason you should own one of these devices is power on the go.

If you enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, or any outdoor adventure, you should invest in one.

That way, you can keep all your small electronic devices charged and at the ready, just in case. Whether it’s to call a loved one, stay on track with a GPS device or charge some batteries for your flashlight.

Not to mention the benefit of powering a cell phone in an actual emergency situation.

“Free” Power

Next is solar power is “free” power – after you’ve invested in a way to capture it and store it. Sure, portable solar panels cost more than a few packs of batteries, but it’s a just one-time investment.

An investment that will easily pay itself off over time.

After the initial investment, you get to charge your devices anywhere for free.

Backup Power

If you’re a regular visitor of Skilled Survival, you’ve thought about your power failure options. If you haven’t, now is the time!

When the power grid goes down, all your home devices have a finite power life remaining. Once the battery hits zero, it becomes an expensive paperweight until the power comes back on.

All those survival books on hunting and foraging you saved to your tablet? Gone.

The full-color step-by-step survival guides on your laptop? The ones detailing how to build everything from a single night shelter to a full log cabin? Lost without power.

And while GPS satellites will continue to send data, it doesn’t matter if your GPS devices are dead.

So they’re smart for small-scale backup energy systems.

But why should you invest in a portable solar charger and not an extensive roof solar array/battery bank system?

First off, large rooftop solar systems are great.

If you can afford to add them to your home as a backup power system or to get off the grid, you should. But, they’re not portable.

It’s a good idea to have a sizeable alternative energy system for survival. But it’s still helpful to have a smaller scale system for your everyday carry devices.

Who Are Portable Solar Panels For? Campers and Backpackers

Portable solar charges are great for camping in remote sites or the comforts of a state park.

At either location, you’ve undoubtedly come across times when you’re getting low on power.

Being able to charge up the camera for a few more photos or to boost the GPS for you to follow your trail out is a great option. And as portable solar panels get smaller and more efficient, you’ll hardly notice it in your pack!

Solar chargers are quickly becoming essential gear for camping.

Hunters and Fishermen

Most hunters and fishermen carry at least a cell phone and a flashlight with us into the field these days.

More and more, they’re also carrying camera equipment, rangefinders, and a GPS. That adds up to a lot of different spare batteries and chargers.

A portable solar charger can take advantage of downtime in the middle of the day to charge all your devices.

Backcountry Travelers and Emergency Situations

Every winter, we hear stories of a family outing turned deadly. When someone blindly follows a seasonal road and find themselves stuck in freezing cold weather.

Many times, these people used up their vehicle battery to keep warm. However, eventually, their vehicles become powerless. And their cell phones start dwindling along with their chances of rescue.

Using a portable solar charger to gain a few minutes of cell phone power can be enough to send an emergency text. It can also help ping a cell tower, giving searchers a general search area to focus on.

Best Portable Panels Camping and Survival

For your first solar charger, we think you should consider a small, portable model. Here are a few of the best portable solar charges we’ve used and own.

Survival Frog EasyPower Solar Power Bank (Internal Battery)

The EasyPower Solar Bank (from Survival Frog) is dead simple and convenient. No moving parts and the only cords you need are the USB cables for the devices you want to charge.

It works with any device that has a USB port and provides up to 5,000mAh of power. That’s enough to charge a smartphone 1-2 times.

The built-in power level gauge is excellent for tracking your remaining charge. Or estimating how much more solar time you need to top off the battery. And, with the dual USB output jacks, you can charge two devices at the same time!

It’s also non-slip, with molded grips in the sides and rubber caps for the USB jacks. It includes a heavy-duty shock-proof design. This means the EasyPower can handle a beating and keep working.

The body also includes a large handle at the top, making it easy to hang from your pack or in a sunny spot. They even include a small carabiner to do just that!

The EasyPower only takes up about as much space as a paperback book, 5.5”x3.0”x0.5” and 5.5oz.

It’s a GREAT option for anyone looking for a quick solution to keeping crucial devices powered up.

Lantern Solar Solar Power Bank (Internal Battery)

This week, I had a chance to test out the Solar Power Bank, from Lantern Solar.

The width and height measurements of the Solar Power Bank are almost the same as the EasyPower (5.4”x3.0”). But, it’s 0.25” thicker and weighs a roughly 2oz more.

It turns out those couple ounces must ALL be the extra battery.

The stand-out feature of the Solar Power Bank is the 10,000mAh internal battery. This is a massive amount of stored power – enough to charge the newest smartphones nearly four times!

That power is all accessed via a pair of 5.0V USB ports – one 1.0A and one 2.0A for faster charging on larger devices.

Wrapped around that large battery is a rubberized shell. It also has a small metal clip on the back to hang the unit in the sun or from a pack strap.

It’s not the most secure clip, but it’s enough to position the solar panel while in camp.

There’s also a subtle white panel on the back of the Solar Power Bank, which turns out to be nice diffused LED light. This is good for in camp chores and finding the zipper in the tent at night.

Pressing the power button once will turn on the internal battery status light. This shows you how much charge is left. Holding the button down for a couple of seconds will turn on the rear light. Hold it down again, and the light turns off.

Simple controls and easy to do even with gloves.

My only gripe with the Solar Power Bank is the rubber dust cap over the USB ports. It’s not easy to get seated all the way and feels somewhat fragile. It’s also not a very secure cap, so I’m sure I’ll get dirt and grime inside the ports at times.

This is not the end of the world, but I wish the caps were better designed since the rest of the unit seems so well-built.

I’ll see how long it holds up to everyday use, but it’s a very minor issue. One I’ll gladly deal with in favor of the extra battery capacity.

The team over at Lantern was kind enough to provide 100 (20% off) coupon codes exclusively for our readers. Click here and proceed to checkout, then use code SOLARSALE20 to see if there are any coupon codes remaining. But you’ve got to hurry because they’re going to go fast. Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Kit (External Battery)

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Kit is a polished setup consisting of two major parts.

1 – The Guide 10 Power Pack
2 – The Nomad 7 Solar Panel

The Nomad 7 solar panel is a compact little unit at 9″x7″ X1.5″.

It weighs in at about 13 ounces.

That’s slightly heavier than some other comparable units. But that’s offset by extra features and a lot more durability than the competitors.

First off, the two solar panels are well protected in a robust nylon housing.

It folds up with magnet closures and has lots of attachment points to secure the unit.

This makes it easy to hang it outside your pack or clip it to a chair in camp.

On the back of the panel, there’s another nice touch – a zippered cable management pocket.

Opening it up, you find several options for connecting your devices.

There’s a standard USB outlet, providing up to 5V/1A straight to your phone, tablet, or anything else with a USB cord. Next, to that, there’s a 12V “Solar Port” which allows you to plug in a car adapter.

Finally, there’s a “Mini Solar Port,” which plugs into a wide array of Goal Zero products. There’s also a Mini Solar Port input – which allows you to chain together several panels for more power.

The accompanying Guide 10 power pack is more than just a simple battery pack.

It’s a compact battery charger with some nice features. It accepts four rechargeable AA batteries which pop right into the unit for charging.

Once they’re topped off, you can use them in anything that takes AA batteries. Then pop in four more rechargeable AA’s to keep the energy production going.

There’s also an adapter to fit AAA batteries, so if you find you use more of those that will come in handy.

My headlamps nearly all use AAA batteries, so I’ll get a lot of use from this.

The Guide 10 also includes a small white LED bulb. So you can use as an emergency flashlight or for quick light inside the tent at night.

It’s enough light to adjust your sleeping bag, find something you dropped, or open the tent flap to get out. And it’ll last over 100 hours on one charge.

If Goal Zero price is a concern, look for an integrated battery solar charger instead (which we just covered above). Integrated chargers are battery/panel in one-piece units. So there’s nothing left behind and no cords to snag or break.

They’re often more rugged than folding systems too. But they often have less efficient cells. And they require more sunlight to charge a comparable amount of energy.

As with most things, there are always tradeoffs but you tend to get what you pay for.

Check out our review video below of the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit.

Portable Solar Panels - Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharge Kit Review - YouTube

Click Here To Enter To Win a Goal Zero Guide 10 Kit!

Make sure you click the link above and enter to win the Goal Zero Guide 10 Kit being reviewed in the video. This solar recharging kit was sent to us for free from Goal Zero for the purpose of this review and giveaway.

Thank you Goal Zero!

A Few More Portable Solar Charger Options

The 3 solar panels we just covered are the ones I’m most familiar with and have personally used. However, that doesn’t mean they are the only ones on the market.

Here are several more highly ranked solar panels you might be interested in.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Best Portable Solar Setups

I own three portable solar charger models (the ones reviewed above). Two have an internal power pack, and one is paired with an external battery pack.

I use them differently for different reasons.

Shorter Trips – Internal

The internal battery systems are best for short duration trips. Ones where I won’t need more than one night’s worth of light or a partial GPS charge.

Enough power to find my way back to the truck, transverse backcountry mountain trails or navigate an afternoon canoe trip.

These small solar chargers are lighter and take up less space in my pack than larger units making them excellent choices for “get home” bags, bug out bags or survival kits.

Longer Trips – External

For longer trips, I turn to the external battery model. These allow me to use one battery pack while I charge a second.

This setup is larger and bulkier. But along with the weight increase, you’ll also get more power generation.

Instead of trying to power your devices directly with this setup, you’ll use the portable solar panels to power an external battery bank.

Charging a battery pack in this way, allows you to set up the charger in the most convenient location. And this prevents you from being tethered to it at all times.

With the GoalZero Kit above, an external battery bank was provided. However, this is not always the case.

Purchasing An External Battery Bank

If you purchase a portable solar panel that doesn’t come with an external battery, then you should buy one.

Many companies make USB battery packs. But, I prefer the most capacity for my dollar. These are usually the generic and off-brand battery packs.

Look for ones with a capacity of at least 10,000mAh and a price around $25. It should have one 2.1A or higher outlet for fast charging and a few extra outlets are always useful.

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The Monkey Fist – A Badass Knot For Survival

There’s no telling when or where you’ll fall into a bit of trouble.

  • It could be while you’re walking home from a friend’s house late at night.
  • Or maybe it’s while you’re wandering around a town on vacation.
  • It could happen when you’re walking back to your car in a deserted parking lot.

Wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, you need a means of self-defense. Something to protect yourself from an attacker. One who pops out from the shadows and demands your wallet, or threatens your life.

There are many self-defense tools for such a situation.

But one self-defense weapon that’s overlooked, but highly useful, is a monkey fist. Heck, most people don’t even know what a monkey fist is, let alone how to use one or how to make one.

They’re a time-tested self-defense tool that’s both dangerous and effective.

Like a miniature flail, a monkey fist can come in many different sizes, shapes, and weights. Some fit on a keychain or in a purse; others are larger and harder to conceal. But they are a versatile means of self-defense survival.

Now, you can purchase many varieties of monkey fists from lots of different vendors. If you know where to look, they are all over the place. They’re also a fairly simple device you can make yourself.

Learning how to make a monkey fist will save you a couple of dollars and it’s also a very handy skill to know.

If the grid goes down and anarchy ensues, you’re going to want to have access to as many weapons as possible. And the more weapons you are capable of making yourself, the better.

So in today’s article, we will be covering the following monkey fist topics:

  • What Is A Monkey Fist
  • A Brief History Of Monkey Fists
  • Monkey Fist Uses
  • Best Paracord Monkey Fists
  • How To Tie A Monkey Fist Knot
  • Monkey Fist Video Tutorials
  • Monkey Fist Jigs

So take a quick look at the comparison guide below and then the detailed analysis and how to guide that follows to help you find the best monkey fist for you.

Monkey Fist Comparision Chart

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

What Is A Monkey Fist?

Simply put, a monkey fist is a large dense knot tied around a hard object. This object is then attached to the end of a knotted length of rope or string.

It looks a lot like a flail used by knights and medieval soldiers back in medieval times.

They can be made to any size. The bigger they are the more deadly they become.

Just for fun, here’s the “world largest monkey fist build”.

World's Largest Monkey Fist - YouTube

A Brief History of Monkey Fists

As with most knotted instruments, the origins of monkey fists are out at sea in the 1800’s. Sailors used them as a way to throw lines between ships or to shore, and in a pinch, they would use them in a fight, too.

Initially, the monkey fist knot was tied around cannon balls to add a lot of extra heft. And just imagine what that would do to an attacker!

Getting slammed with a cannonball flail could cause some severe damage.

Since then the monkey fist has spread widely as a survival tool, and form of self-defense. Most of the monkey fists you will find today are not cannon-ball sized.

Instead, they’re now shrunk down to marble size. This makes them easy to carry. They can be attached to extra zipper tabs, keychain attachments or bug out bag loops.

Monkey Fist Uses

This is one of the most diverse tools in a survivalists arsenal. Unlike other pocket weapons (like pepper spray) a monkey fist can serve a wide variety of purposes ranging from decorative to dangerous.

Here is a short list of the most popular monkey fist uses:

Monkey Fist Self Defense

Obviously, these devices make great self-defense weapons. Ones you can keep with you with relative ease, and covertly.

You can stash them into pockets, purses or bags no problem. And many can be attached to a wallet, zipper, or keychain enabling fast access in a tight situation.

Here’s how to use a monkey fist for self-defense. Hold the long end by the tip and swing the heavy monkey fist hard – using it as a flail.

The blunt knot at the end is what you want to strike your attacker with. Swing hard and follow through to generate the most power per stroke.

Aim for sensitive areas like the temple, trachea or groin.

The more massive your monkey fist knot, the harder your swing. The more force will be generated, the more effective the weapon becomes.

Rock Climbing

Back in the day, before rock climbing was as widely recognized as a sport, they were used as cams. Cams, for those who don’t know, are the devices climbers jam into cracks to create points of contact.

Today’s cams are very technical, but monkey fists do, generally, the same thing when used for rock climbing.

You wedge the “fist” into a crack in the rock as tightly as possible. Then you clip your rope into the other end with a carabiner.

Just like that, you are clipped to the wall in case you fall, and your monkey fist acts as an anchor. One to keep you from plummeting to your death.

Now, I don’t recommend using monkey fists in this way unless you have no other option. Using makeshift climbing equipment is extremely dangerous.

Skydiving Parachute Ripcord

This is popular among people who deal with parachutes. Skydivers attach these to their parachute ripcords. This makes it easier to grasp the ripcord while in free fall.

You might consider buying very colorful monkey fists (or use colorful paracord to make your own). That way when the wind is whipping past your face, you can see your ripcord easily, grab it and yank it.

Then, hopefully, your chute comes out.

Zipper Attachments

Have a zipper that lost its grip tab? No problem! You can make small monkey fists and tie them to your zipper, even if the slider grip has fallen off.

Due to their shape, they make great little zipper knobs. Plus, you can attach them to anything – backpacks, duffel bags, even pants!

Dog Toys

Tired of buying expensive rope toys for your dog at the store? Make your own!

Monkey fists make for excellent pet toys because the material is cheap (rope or cord) and they are very durable. Perfect for chewing or tug of war, a well-tied monkey fist will make your canine companion happy as a clam.

And you can keep making them new ones when they tear apart the one they’ve got.

Monkey Fist Keychain

Monkey fists work well as keychains for several reasons.

First, they are usually bright and easy to spot (thus making your keys easy to find and harder to lose).

Second, this puts an extra self-defense weapon at your fingertips. Keys are one thing that’s almost always on a person. Keeping one on your keychain ensures you’re always armed.


This was the original purpose of a monkey fist. If you have ever tried throwing a rope a long distance, you understand that the task is nearly impossible.

But when you have got a monkey fist on the end of the rope you are throwing, it adds a lot of extra weight. Enabling the thrower much higher accuracy and much greater power.

But rope is not the only thing you can throw with a monkey fist. You can also attach written messages to the handle to pass messages over a decent distance.

Or you can tie smoke bombs to them to smoke out an area within throwing range.

You could even use them to throw fire. Simply douse it with gasoline, light it up and throw it as hard as you can.

As Paracord

Finally, most monkey fists are made out of paracord and paracord has a ton of survival uses. So if you’re ever in a tight spot and in need a paracord, you can disassemble your monkey fist and just use the paracord instead.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Best Paracord Monkey Fists

Where can you buy a monkey fist? The short answer is: online.

  • big monkey fists
  • small monkey fists
  • colorful monkey fists
  • decorative monkey fists
  • etc.

Here are a few of the highest rated monkey fists:

Lost Survival Gear Paracord Survival Kit Monkey Fist

This is an excellent addition to almost any bug out bag. It comes with a monkey fist and a survival bracelet made from high-quality paracord.

Plus it has fishing line, hooks, sinkers, and bobbers as well. It also has safety pins, fire kindling, and stainless steel swivels. The monkey fist itself is small, but it will do the job.

Plus it doubles as a paracord storage system, in case you need some extra cordage.

Check Out Today’s Price

GSM Nautical Monkey Fist Keychain

This simple, old school monkey fist attaches to your keychain with a classy brass clasp.

It’s the perfect addition to your car/boat keys.

Check Out Today’s Price

TOOGOO Survival Keychain

This monkey fist also attaches to your keychain. But it’s a little bit longer and comes with a slip grip on the end for better grip.

The benefit of the added length is for defensive purposes.

The longer the monkey fist, the more powerfully you can swing it and the more range you have.

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Poifect Gear Set of Two Monkey Fist POI

Poi is the Pacific pastime of spinning fire.

Poi’s are mildly flame retardant. This allows you to light them on fire and start spinning them around like a maniac.

While poi is a dancing form of entertainment, these instruments can also be used for self-defense. Even if they’re not lit with flames, they’re still deadly.

These monkey fists come in the largest size on this list. This makes them the best option for someone looking to buy a survival weapon.

Check Out Today’s Price

Monkey Fist Comparision Chart

How To Tie A Monkey Fist Knot

Maybe you want a specific size of monkey fist, or maybe you want to get one made from particular cordage material. But finding the perfect one can be difficult or impossible.

That’s why it’s important to learn how to make your own monkey fist. You can customize it to meet your personal needs and desires.

Not only that but in a dire survival situation, it’s helpful to know how to make your own monkey fist.

You could potentially make a backup weapon for yourself and anyone else in your party. And when it comes to defending yourself in a “shit hits the fan scenario,” there can never be too many weapons on hand.

Note: Feel free to skip ahead to the video tutorials, if watching someone build one is easier to understand than reading about it.

The Materials
  • Paracord of your color choice
  • Marble, rock, golf ball, pool ball or another round, heavy object
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Glue
  • (optional) Monkey Fist Jig

Note: A monkey fist jig makes this process A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT easier. We cover a few good jigs to consider after we show you how to tie one without first. 

The Process – Monkey Fist Knot Step By Step 1. Hold the cord

Wrap the cord vertically three times around the fingers of your non-dominant hand.

This should create a loop that is three wraps wide.

Make sure the longer end is closer to your fingertips, as that will be the end you are working with.

2. Slide the triple-loop off your hand

First, make sure not to let the three loops fall out.

Next, pull the loops off of your left hand and hold them between the thumb and index fingers of your right.

3. Warp horizontally

Continue holding the three original vertical loops with your right hand.

Now use your left to wrap the long end through and around the vertically looped cord. Do this three times.

You should now have three horizontal loops wrapped around three vertical loops.

4. Wrap vertically again

This step is somewhat optional, but it makes your knot a lot stronger. (Although, it depends on how much spare cord you have left.)

Once you’ve got your horizontal wraps done, make three more vertical wraps over the top of the vertical wraps you originally looped.

Now pass these second horizontal loops between the original vertical ones and the secondary horizontal ones.

5. Insert a round object

At this point, there should be an opening within the loops you have made to insert a round object.

Whatever you’re using, whether its a marble, a rock, a pool ball or a cannonball, place it inside the loops.

6. Tighten the knot

To do this, you need to work through and tighten each loop individually. Start with the loop closest to the short end of the cord and work your way through the horizontal loops. And then through the secondary vertical loops.

Tighten each one, making sure that you don’t pull too hard on the first few loops. This may take a little practice, and it will take some patience. So try not to get too frustrated.

You may have to work your way through the knot several times to achieve maximum tightness.

Once you’re finished, you have yourself a functional monkey fist.

This is not a project that will work perfect the first time. You’ll likely need several times before you’re successful. But once you get the hang of it, it will come naturally.

Video Tutorials

As they say, an image is worth a thousand words. So there are several “how to make a monkey fist” tutorial videos.

How To Make A Monkey Fist Knot Without A Marble

This video shows you how to make a monkey fist without an object (like a marble) on the inside. This makes for a very small, keychain-sized monkey fist. However, just be aware that these don’t provide much self-defense value.

How to Make a Monkey's Fist with No Marble / Ball Bearing Tutorial - YouTube

How To Make A Monkey Fist Knot With A Marble

This video shows you how to make a monkey fist with a marble on the inside.

Paracord monkey fist how to. Five finger with ball bearing. - YouTube

Making A Monkey Fist Knot Using A Jig

This video shows you the process of using the help of a simple jig to build your paracord monkey fist.

How to make a Monkey Fist using the SpeedyJig Monkey Fist Jig - YouTube

Monkey Fist Jigs

Again, there are monkey fist jigs and toolkits that make it easier to create your own monkey fists.

They serve as an extra set of fingers to hold the loops as you make them. This also enables you to tie four-, five-, and even six-loop monkey fists!

Depending on how often you plan on making one, you may want to invest in one of these.

Paracord Planet Paracord Monkey Fist Pro Jig

With this jig, choose from 10”, 14”, 18”, 24”, 30”, & 60” sizes.

The Paracord Bracelet Pro Jig include vertical dowel posts to support a variety of paracord projects.

This jig will hold your projects in place for easier and faster finishes. It also includes etched measurements to provide accurate dimensions.

Check Out Today’s Price

Maxi-Monkey Fist Paracord Tool Jig

This simple monkey fist jig is capable of making monkey fists from 5/8″ up to 2 1/4″ (pool ball size).

It features a rugged full metal construction platform and comes with (4) zinc plated steel rods for exceptional strength.

Check Out Today’s Price

Uni-Monkey Pro Plus Paracord Tool Jig

This jig is capable of making monkey fists from 5/8″ up to 4″ in diameter.

It includes a sturdy 1/8″ aluminum rotating head plus (4) zinc plated steel rods for added strength.

It has..

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The Best Knife Sharpeners To Pair With Your Survival Knife

“A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.” – Ancient Proverb

That old saying is true on many levels:

  • A dull knife is harder to control than a sharp one.
  • A dull knife requires more force to cut with, and thus lends itself to slipping and cutting the user.
  • If you cut yourself with a dull knife, the wound will take longer to heal.
  • And of course, a dull knife is less effective as a sharp one in survival situations, when you need it most.
  • Knives are one of the most useful survival tools.

Across the millennia, knives have proven their usefulness. It’s an invention both elegant and versatile in its simplicity. But keeping them sharp is extremely important for survival.

You should never allow them to slip into dullness and disrepair.

And in a survival situation, you NEED your tools to function their best otherwise you’re tempting fate.

Knife sharpeners come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and styles these days. So there is no excuse not to have one.

Back in the day, whetstones used to be the only option for effectively sharpening blades.

Whetstones are made from a fine-grained stone known as Hornfels. These handy rocks are still, a reliable way to sharpen knives. But this is modern age; we have fancy knife sharpeners designed for survival purposes.

Lots of manufacturers make them, and this guide is going to give you the inside scoop on which ones are the best.

So today we’ll be covering the following knife sharpener topics:

  • What Makes For A Good Survival Knife Sharpener
  • The Best Knife Sharpener Reviews
  • How To Sharpen A Knife
  • Last Resort Knife Sharpening Techniques

So take a quick look at the comparison guide below and then the detailed analysis that follows to help you find the best survival knife sharpener for you.

Knife Sharpener Comparision Chart

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. What Makes For A Good Survival Knife Sharpener

There are a few qualities that every good survival knife sharpener should have.

First and foremost, you want to make sure it lasts.

Read reviews, try them out, but make sure you can rely on the knife sharpener to do its job when the time comes.

There are a lot of sharpeners out there that wear out quickly, or utterly fail to put a real edge on a blade.

A useful survival knife sharpener also needs to be lightweight.

The most prominent reason whetstones are not more popular is because they are heavy. Having one of those bad boys in your bug out bag will weigh you down.

Along those same lines, you want one that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, get home bag or survival pack.

Bulky knife sharpeners make for difficult survival accessories to pack.

Finally, some extras are nice too.

It doesn’t have to be a multi-tool sharpener, but many modern knife sharpeners do come with some handy features.

The Best Knife Sharpener Reviews

In this section, you will find a list of the highest rated survival knife sharpeners.

Each has a short description so you can compare them, to find out which sharpener will best fit your needs.

1 – Smith’s Pocket Pal Multifunction Knife Tool

This is one of the best options available.

Smith started as a stone company and has evolved to become one of the best knife sharpener makers in the world. Their products are made in America and made to meet their high-quality standards.

This sleek and slim pocket knife sharpener was engineered for outdoorsmen and survivalists.

It features a foldable diamond coated sharpening rod. This allows for sharpening both serrated and straight-edged blades.

It also has one set of carbide blades for restoring edges on dull or damaged knives and shaped ceramic stones. This allows you to add a finished polish to any blade.

Both the ceramic stones and the carbide blades are reversible and replaceable. This means you can extend the life of this sharpener indefinitely.

Check Out Today Price

Smiths Pocket Pal Knife Sharpener - YouTube

2 – Sharpal 6 in 1 Sharpening Tool

This knife sharpener is also a multi-tool because it serves several different purposes.

First, it is an excellent knife sharpener.

It features tungsten carbide blades for quick edge setting and ceramic blades for fine honing. And it includes a diamond coated rod.

It also includes a fire striker, fishhooks, and a high pitched survival whistle.

Check Out Today’s Price

SHARPAL 101N 6 In 1 Knife Sharpener & Survival Tool - YouTube

3 – Alpha Tek Tungsten Hunting Knife Sharpener

This knife sharpener doesn’t have the bells and whistles others do, but in simplicity there’s utility.

It’s bright orange which makes it easy to find in a bag or if dropped in a creek or snowbank.

It can easily be hung on a backpack or slipped into a pack pocket.

Non-slip rubber grips make it easy to root to a surface while you run a blade through its carbide sharpener.

Only three to four strokes restore just about any blade.

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4 – Rada Cutlery Quick Edge Knife Sharpener

This knife sharpener is made from durable black nylon plastic and two steel wheels. Plus, it’s made right here in the USA.

It comes with a plastic case to make portability easy and convenient. But, by far the best aspect of this knife sharpener is its lifetime guarantee.

If ever it ever breaks, or malfunctions, return the product and get it replaced.

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5 – Ioffersuper 3 in 1 Diamond Portable Pocket Sharpening Pen

This extremely lightweight knife sharpener comes with a two-sided diamond knife sharpening rod. This rod can be screwed into the blue handle for easy, safe knife sharpening.

It’s as portable as a pen, so it can easily slip into a pocket or into a bug out bag.

It also doubles as a makeshift survival pen, that can be used defensively as a weapon.

Check Out Today’s Prices

Smith's Diamond Retractable Sharpener Review - YouTube

6 – Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener

Designed with two different shaped diamond coated rods to evenly sharpen any blade.

It has a grippy rubber handle for comfortable and safe handling. And it comes with a smooth hard-plastic case to protect it no matter where you store it.

At only 4.5 inches it fits snugly into any pocket or backpack. And with its nifty hard-shell case, you don’t have to worry about what else you throw in there with it.

Check Out Today’s Price

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Field Sharpener - YouTube

7 – Three Way Cut Premium Knife Sharpening Stone

This list would not be complete without at least one whetstone option. What this sharpener lacks in portability and sleek design, it makes up for in sheer utility.

This two-sided whetstone comes with a bamboo base to set it in during use.

A rubber base to hold it in place, and even an angle guide to help while you’re using the whetstone.

One side of the stone is coarse to shave off any dullness or damage on a blade. The other is fine-grained to polish the job off and fine tune the blade after you have used the coarse side.

While this option comes with some very useful extras, the best part of it is you do not have to use them. The stone is all you need to sharpen a blade, and the stone by itself it relatively portable.

But if you put it in your backpacking backpack or inside of your bug out bag, expect an increase in weight. You’re packing a rock!

This whetstone option is usually best to store in your survival gear, a survival vehicle, or at a bug out location.

Somewhere you won’t have to carry it very far.

Check Out Today’s Price

Three Way Cut Whetstone Review - YouTube

Knife Sharpener Comparision Chart

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. How to Sharpen A Knife

So you’ve bought yourself a survival knife sharpener. Cool. Now what?

You’ve got all these dull or damaged blades, and now you have the necessary tool to hone those edges. But how in the hell do you put it all together?

Lucky for you, sharpening a blade is actually pretty easy. Especially if you are using one of those fancy modern pocket sharpeners listed above.

So here is the rundown:

With A Modern Knife Sharpener:

1. First, you use the diamond coated rod.

Run your blade along the rod at an even 15-20 degree angle.

Make sure that you maintain a steady angle as you run the blade along it, evenly sharpening every inch of the blade.

2. Next, run the blade through the tungsten blades affixed to the sharpener.

This is easy.

Just set the base of the blade in the tungsten niche and draw it back through the metal pieces.

The tungsten should squeeze the edges of your blade and sharpen them significantly with only a few passes.

3. Finally, do precisely the same thing as you did in step #2, but with the ceramic sharpener.

Ceramic is finer than tungsten. This step fine-tunes the edge of the blade polishing them to a near perfect edge.

With A Whetstone

1. Wet your whetstone.

Dunk it, soak it and make sure its sopping wet. Then set it out on a flat surface on top of a dish rag (or your fancy bamboo non-slip base).

Continually re-apply water as you’re sharpening your blade.

2. Start with the coarse grit side of the stone.

Run the blade along the whetstone at a consistent 15-20 degree angle.

Start at the tip of the blade and draw it back towards you, gently moving along the length of the blade to its base. Apply light pressure as you do so. Do not go overboard.

You probably do not need to run the blade over the whetstone more than a few times. Unless it’s significantly dull or you’re trying to rub out some blade damage.

3. Turn the knife over, and do exactly the same thing.

4. Turn your whetstone over to its fine side.

Now repeat the exact same process with both sides of the blade’s edge to really finely hone your knife.

5. Rinse off the whetstone and clean off any grinding residue.

6. Wash the blades in hot water.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate List Of Survival Gear. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It. Last Resort Knife Sharpening Techniques

But what if you don’t have anything? No pocket sharpener, no whetstone; nothing? How do you sharpen a knife then?

Stay calm you can still sharpen your blade.

It just might take a little extra work and some ingenuity. There are a few common resources that you can use to achieve the same purpose.

Ceramic Mug

Get your hands on a mug, and flip it upside down.

Make sure that you can see a ring around the base of the mug of bare ceramic; that’s your makeshift sharpener.

Make sure it is wet and draw the blade along that ring at a 15-20 degree angle the same way you would with a whetstone. This should sharpen your knife relatively well.

It might not be perfect, or the most efficient way of sharpening a blade, but it will do in a pinch.

An upside down ceramic plate will also work.

How to Sharpen a Knife with a Coffee Cup - YouTube


Find yourself a stone that comfortably fits in your hand, and has a relatively flat side.

Riverstones work best for this, and the finer grain the stone is, the better. Make sure the stone is wet (as always).

Hold the stone in one hand and your knife in the other. Now draw the blade back along the stone at a 15-20 degree angle.

This may take longer than it usually would with a whetstone or a diamond coated sharpening rod. But it will eventually get the job done.

Different rocks will work better or worse depending on their geologic makeup. So, try a few different ones to really get the best bang for your buck.

How to sharpen a knife with a Rock - YouTube

Leather Belt

Technically this is will not sharpen the blade, so much as make it keener and straighten out its edge. But it will generally make a knife more effective.

Run the knife away from the cutting edge, along the inside of the belt, like a barber sharpening a straight razor.

Be sure that the belt you are using does not have any stitching or you might ruin it.

Knife Sharpening : Knife Sharpening: Leather Strops - YouTube


This stuff is really cheap to buy and can be found in just about any garage.

Start with a coarser grit to get the initial sharpening and a finer one for the polishing off.

You can wrap the sandpaper around a wooden block and make yourself a poor man’s whetstone.

Sharpening on Sandpaper - YouTube

Vehicle Window

The rough, rounded edges of a car window make for a great honing tool. And there will always be an abundance of cars laying around.

Just roll the window halfway down and draw your knife’s blade along the windows edge.

This makeshift sharpener will allow you to hone your blade to be razor sharp.

the best knife sharpener in the world!!! YOU ALREADY HAVE IT!!!! - YouTube

Another Knife

Remember, steel sharpens steel! So if you’re really hurting for items you can use to sharpen a knife, you can use another knife.

Use the spine of another knife just like you would a whetstone and draw your dull blade along it at an angle.

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Maintaining a sharp edge on your knife is every bit as important as owning the knife itself. A knife is only as good as its blade, and its blade is only as good as you maintain it.

Letting a knife get dull or damaged can be dangerous.

Not only does it make your knife harder to use, but it’s allowing your survival tools fall into disrepair. A sharp knife is symbolic. If you let your knifes to dull, you’re likely not taking care of the rest of your survival gear either.

These days, good knife sharpeners come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s not difficult to find a high-quality one that easily fit into a pocket or bug out bag.

Make sure that you are prepared to take care of your knives so that your knives can take care of you.

Will Brendza

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely..

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