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 ProtectUsingDesiccants
Common Desiccants & Makeshift Desiccants
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Knifedoesn’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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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. Whilemoving 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:
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.
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
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 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:
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.
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.
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 ChargerPortable 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.
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.
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!
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.
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 EasyPowercan 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Monkey Fist Comparision ChartHow 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.
Paracord of your color choice
Marble, rock, golf ball, pool ball or another round, heavy object
(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 Step1. 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.
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 UsingA 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.
“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.
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
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
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.
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 Final Word
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.
P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?