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I’ve been a prepper long before my daughter came along. Prepping with a child isn’t necessarily that much different than prepping for an adult; they need food, water and shelter just like adults do. Sure, they’re kids and will definitely act out, throw tantrums, have a difficult time comprehending and understanding something right away; but their basic needs don’t change.

Mother and daughter on an adventure

Let them be involved in everything; let them help create their bug out bag, let them help pick out a bag of their own, let them help make dehydrated meals, etc. Kids want to be involved in your life and more importantly, they should know what you’re doing and why.

The biggest piece of advice that I have about kids is that we must be patient and understanding. Kids don’t know anything. It’s up to us to teach them and it may take a few times (or more) of teaching for them to fully get it. It’s up to us to remain patient, understanding and most of all, encouraging. They’ll get it, just give them the proper time they need.

You may have taught your kids this skill or that skill, but when it comes to a real emergency, your kids may not be as understanding as they are during less stressful everyday life.

Let me quickly say that I know bugging out isn’t for everyone. The fact is, bugging out is just a fancy term for ‘evacuate’. Well, not ‘fancy’, per say, it’s a term derived from the military. Many prepper terms came from the military, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t valid. There are countless emergencies or disasters which could force you from your home. Just recently there have been stories of sinkholes in Florida and an erupting volcano in Hawaii. In both of those situations, evacuations have been ordered.

I highly suggest creating a comprehensive disaster plan so that you know what to do for each and every scenario, no matter how “unrealistic” it might be; never say never. Get the whole family involved and if your kids are too young to help with the plans, then you need to be their advocate.

You need to plan for their safety and comfort. If you have a family, maybe a tent would be better than a tarp. Making sure all of their needs are properly going to be taken care of in a bug in or bug out situation is the most important thing to consider.

You also need to keep in mind the safety of your children when it comes to any tools, knives, weapons or anything similar.

Do you carry a gun? Is the safe always on or does it even have a safe? Is it kept on your person or stored elsewhere? Are your kids aware that you carry a gun? Do they know about proper gun safety?

Do you carry a knife? Is it somewhere that they can easily access? Are your kids aware that you carry a knife? Do they know proper knife safety?

What about other types of items that they shouldn’t be getting their hands on?

If your children are too young to comprehend safety around certain objects, then it’s even more important that you find a way to keep those objects from them until they’re older and can fully comprehend safety around objects that could be dangerous if not properly handled.

How do you do that if you’ve bugged out into a comfy, cozy tent with sharp objects in your bag that they really shouldn’t be getting their hands on?

Mac and cheese time

When I’ve done my mock drills with my daughter, who is 22 months old at the time of writing this, this is what I do:

Keep the children involved/distracted with other objects. My daughter loves glow sticks and flashlights and rocks and ripping paper and drawing and many other things. Keeping young children entertained isn’t difficult, it just takes a little pre-planning forethought.

Always keep an eye on them. It is so easy to lose track of your kids, especially during a stressful situation when you’re having to do a million other things besides just watch them. However, we have to do something to keep an eye on them. So involve them in whatever you’re doing. Are you purifying water? Let them watch or let them hold the purifier or whatever it is. Are you cooking? Let them (safely) stir the pot. The best way to know that they’re staying out of trouble is to involve them. If you can’t or don’t want to involve them, then make sure they are off playing outside and can’t gain access to the tent where your bag is. My daughter is too young to work the tent zipper….for now. One day she’ll be able to work it but by then, hopefully she’ll be old enough to comprehend safety lessons.

Hanging out at camp

Give them their own bag to rummage through. Each of your children should have their own bug out bag anyway, but if they don’t, give them their own bag or ziplock or something to rummage through. Fill it with some goodies that will keep them occupied and entertained so that they aren’t interested in rummaging through your bag.

The point is, kids do need to be entertained to keep them out of trouble. Some kids are great at entertaining themselves, some kids are great at getting into everything they shouldn’t. You know your kids best. If you think it’ll be best to carry a box with a lock on it to keep the sharp objects in there, that’s up to you. Or you could keep the things that they shouldn’t be getting their hands on inside a certain pouch and then lock the zippers of that pouch. You could even use a zip tie to lock the zippers together, thereby locking the pouch and ensuring that they do not get to the objects that they shouldn’t.

I highly suggest doing as many mock drills as you can NOW when there is nothing urgent and no impending doom about to come barreling down.

By running mock drills you’ll be able to see not only how well your plan plays out, but how well YOU react to your children, spouse and the plans themselves.

Simply writing down plans isn’t enough, once you throw yourself into a mock drill, you will learn a lot about yourself and any holes in your plan(s).

When it comes to kids, they feed off of our emotions; if we’re stressed or angry, they too will be stressed or angry or just difficult to deal with. It’s important that we try to remain calm and keep a level head around our kids. It won’t be easy; that’s why we run mock drills so that we can learn how to better ourselves and our plans for when it really counts.

Bugging out with kids isn’t difficult, it just takes time, patience, planning and understanding.

Good luck!

Author bio:

Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness where she teaches people how to be prepared for everyday emergencies and disasters. She lives in Texas with her husband, daughter and two dogs where they are active in the outdoors, self-reliance and preparedness

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Russia is the country that comes to mind when you think about the AK 47 assault rifle. Adopted by 55 different countries and used actively in 100 others, it is one reliable rifle. And despite its origins, the gun has become a favorite of American recreational shooters and hunters. So, how does it compare to one of America’s most loved tactical rifles, the AR 15? The latter is arguably the most popular and produced gun in the US. In fact, according to the National, Shooting Sports Association over 1.2 million AR 15 rifles have been produced since 2015. Since the Obama administration imposed a sanction on Russia, the demand for AKs has skyrocketed. And with Kalashnikov USA producing American made AKs, the demand will only go up. But which between the two rifles is the better option? When choosing a tactical assault rifle, there are a number of things to consider. In this article, I will explore the main things to consider using the AR 15 and AK 47 as examples.

AR 15 Vs. AK 47
  1. Effective range

Depending on what you want to use a tactical rifle for, the effective range is of great importance. In essence, both the AR 15 and AK 47 rifles have a range of about 400 yards. However, in the hands of an experienced shooter, the AR 15 can be deadly from 600 yards. The problem with the AK is that it is designed for combat level accuracy and not target level accuracy. However, when paired with the best scope for AK 47 it does wonders on the range. But in regards to accuracy and effective range, the AR 15 is hands down the better rifle.

  1. The ammunition and caliber

A Beginners Guide To Caliber - YouTube

The term caliber is used to refer to the internal diameter of a gun barrel. A high caliber rifle is able to use larger bullets. For big game hunting, a high caliber rifle will be ideal. The AK 47 uses a 7.62X39 mm cartridge while the AR 15 uses a smaller 5.56X45 cartridge. Due to its size, the AK cartridge is more powerful as it contains more powder. The muzzle velocity of the AK stands at 1500 foot-pound while that of the AR 15 is 1300 foot-pound. Thus, when it comes to power, the AK 47 is a more powerful tactical rifle.

  1. Ease of use

One of the most important factors to consider is how easy it is to use a rifle. In my experience, I believe the AR 15 is easier to use than the AK, especially for an American shooter. The reason being that the AK has much more kick than its American counterpart. In addition, having tested both weapons myself, I can testify that the AK’ safety, trigger, and bolt carrier are harder to manipulate. On the other hand, the AR 15 is easier to manipulate. Additionally, the AR 15 has many accessories that you can use to customize your rifle. You can find the best bipod for AR 15 or even the best scope easily. The AK 47, on the other hand, does not have many customization options. Thus, for a beginner, I recommend sticking with the lighter and easier to use AR 15.

  1. Maintenance required

AK 47 Cleaning - YouTube

Being mechanical tools, tactical rifles require maintenance. However, some require very little maintenance while others require regular maintenance. If you want a tactical weapon for use in harsh weather that will not let you down even after using it for long go for the AK. The ruggedness and reliability of the AK 47 is legendary. In fact, I know friends of mine who have never cleaned their AK’s. The AR 15 has small gas pins and rings that tend to break after long-term use. Thus, with regards to maintenance, the AK is the easier to maintain. It is worth noting that both are easy to field strip.

  1. Weight

Whether you are a hunter or a recreational shooter, there is no denying that you do not like carrying insane amounts of load. Thus, the weight of a tactical rifle will be an important factor to consider. The weight of a rifle depends mainly on what it is made of and its magazine size. That being said, the AR 15 which is made of an aluminum alloy and synthetic material is lighter. To be more specific a fully loaded Ar 15 rifle with 30 rounds in the magazine weighs 8.8 pounds. On the other hand, the AK, which is made from wood and metal weighs 10.9 pounds when fully loaded. It is for this reason that most hunters prefer the AR 15 to the AK.

  1. The price

Whether we like it or not, parting with some of our hard-earned dollars is the price to pay for our need for a tactical rifle to be satisfied. The question is how much money we are willing to spend on a tactical rifle. Some people are able to spend upwards of up to $1500 on a rifle while others can only spend $ 500. Thus, when buying a rifle, it is important to consider the price. When you want to choose between the AR 15 and the AK, the latter is cheaper. The price of an AK ranges between $400 and $ 600. On the other hand, the price of an AR 15 can be anything between $600 and $1500. Nevertheless, with $500 you can build your AR 15 using parts bought from different places. When it comes to ammo, the AK 47 ammo is cheaper. However, given that the AK is not originally an American rifle it is subject to changes in international politics.

  1. The barrel

The barrel is an important component of any gun. This component has a big influence on the performance of a weapon. Due to the modular design of an AR 15, it is easier to get different kinds of a barrel to use on it. The AK 47, on the other hand, does not have as many options. Thus, if barrel customization is important to you, then I recommend going for the AR 15.

  1. What is it for?

The reasons for wanting a tactical assault rifle are many, from self-defense to hunting. The rifle you pick should be suited for what you want to do with it. If it is hunting, then it is important to consider what you will be hunting. Between the AR 15 and the AK 47, the former is ideal for hunting small to medium-large animals. This is essential because of the kind of cartridges they use. For larger game, you might want to consider the AK 47. Though the AK 47 packs more of a punch, the AR 15 can still be used for hunting due to it being accurate and more effective at long range. Thus, it will depend on what your preference is.

  1. Availability

According to the NRA over 61,000 AR 15 rifles were produced in 2016 alone. This means that the AR 15 is very much available. The AK 47, on the other hand, is not as available. While it does come in a number of variants only about 40% of the rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov are exported to the US. However, lovers of this legendary rifle will be pleased to know that Kalashnikov USA has started producing their own brand of AKs. Nonetheless, in terms of availability, the sheer number of AR 15s that are produced make the rifle a more readily available tactical rifle.

Conclusion

The tactical assault rifle options available out there are almost endless. This being the case, I believe that your choice boils down to preferences and price. True both the AK 47 and AR 15 rifles are reliable and accurate rifles, but they will appeal to different people. Therefore, choosing a tactical assault rifle depends on what you want it to do. Obviously, both guns go “bang” when you pull the trigger but excel in different situations.

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Shelter is something that you need to have in order to survive. Being able to have shelter means that you are going to stay dry, warm, safe and in privacy. But, being able to get shelter is not always as easy as it would seem to be in during a survival situation. Sure, you could get lucky and find a dark cave, that hopefully doesn’t have any type of animal in it, or you could possible build a shelter using logs and branches if you have survival expert training, or you stumble into an empty cabin, that hopefully doesn’t reside any where near Camp Crystal Lake.  There are some really simple survival shelters you can build with a tarp as in the video below but a survival tent is a much better option.

Building A Survival Shelter - YouTube

There are many possibilities. Those are all valid options for getting shelter, but it is simply relying on pure luck that is a pretty bad idea. For most people, building a survival shelter is just not feasible and that basically means that you will want to have a good option for shelter on you. I am not telling you to get an RV or a mobile home that is super handy, I am talking about having a survival or emergency tent.

Tent options

They have been used for over 40,000 years and to give a bit of understand on this, humankind learned how to make portable shelters before humankind even learned to cultivate agriculture and there has been plenty of time to perfect the technology of tents. Today, emergency tents have gotten much more sophisticated, specific and elaborate, but that is the real issue. There is too many to pick from. There are tents that range from single person to group tents that will sleep more than 8 people. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, there is a tent for that situation. So, we get what a survival tent is, the next question is what makes a good survival tent?

What to look for in a survival tent

When you are searching for an emergency tent there are many features that you may want, but we will just cover the most important ones.

  • Durability – you need to look at the durability of the tent. The modern fabrics that have been made for tents are quite durable, but there are some tents that are bomb proof when compared to others, so you need to find a tent that is going to be very durable within an extreme environment.
  • Weight –  you need to check into the weight. Heavy tents can be a real pain, especially if you are carrying it in your pack. Every single ounce will matter on a long journey. So, when it comes to survival, you need to have a portable, light weight tent that is best. Even if it is just for a camping trip with your family, if everything else is equal, take a light one.
  • Folded dimensions – A really popular option is a tube tent because they end of folding up so small.
  • Ease of set up – check to see how easy it will be to set up. There are some tents that make it feel that you need to have a degree in engineering to put it up. These tents are really time consuming and can push a person over the edge to where they rather burn the tent for heat and sleep on a pile of leaves. It is best to look for a tent that will be easy to setup. Being able to set your tent up quickly and without all the hassle that makes you want to live like a naked cave dweller is best in survival situations.
  • Color and shape – Shape is not really that important unless you plan to be in an area that has really high winds such as on the side of a mountain. In these situations, it is best to have an aerodynamic low-profile tent. However, when it comes to survival, color is going to be a strategic choice. It will depend on if you are wanting to stay hidden or if you are wanting to be rescued. If you are wanting a tent where rescue is going to be important such as trekking in high altitudes on a side of a mountain, then you are going to want to have the brightest orange possible. Now, if you are in a situation where you happened to land yourself in hostile territory, such as in the jungle in the middle of a war, then you are going to want a natural colored tent that can blend in with surroundings.
  • Weather proof – Check for rain protection. If your tent doesn’t have a rain fly, then it needs to be made of a waterproof wall. Nothing sucks more than waking up sleeping in about 3 inches of water inside of your tent. So, you want to make sure that you are checking into all the waterproof properties of the tent that you purchase.
  • Size – Then you need to know how many people you are going to fit into this tent. If you happen to be planning for doomsday and the zombie apocalypse with your family, then your survival tent is going to need to be pretty big. It has to be big enough that everyone can fit inside of it. Personally, I like 2-person tents as it is spacious enough for a single person, but it can fit another person if it is needed. There are people that like single person tents, but that seems almost like sleeping in a coffin. The decision for this is going to be based on your preferences and needs.  Just make sure it can fold up into a small size like a tube tent.
  • Price – There are some survival tents that will cost you an arm, a leg, and your first-born child, while others are pretty inexpensive. You need to fit the tent you want into your budget but remember when it comes to survival gear, you are going to get what you pay for. If you go super cheap, then you are most likely going to get really cheap results. Now let’s get into the best types of survival tents on the market right now.
  • Warmth – How warm is it and can it keep you warm?

92 Degrees In A Campfire Heated Tent - YouTube

Best Survival tents Arctic Oven with Vestibule

This tent is great if you are planning on being in an area that is super cold, such as traveling on an arctic trek to see the northern lights. This tent is super warm, and it is very spacious as well. This tent is so well insulated, that people have stated that in negative degree weather, they started sweating and stripping down to their skivvies. That is perfect. The tent also comes in a lot of different sizes and the prices are a bit steep ranging from a couple hundred to thousands. Then again you are going to get what you pay for. These are not really that great for carrying in a backpack as it weighs about 110 pounds, so if you are in the arctic, then you most likely have a sled and it can be carried on that.

https://arcticoventent.com/tents/all-tents/arctic-oven-12-with-vestibule/

High Peak Outdoors Maxxlite Tent

This tent is great for trekking. It has a bathtub bottom that will seal out any snow or rain and it can be used in any temperature and it works great in negative weather. It has aluminum poles that provide the structure of it. It is only a 2-person tent, but it does have a rain cover that provides a vestibule at an end of the tent to store you gear. It is also pretty light weight as it weighs less than 7 pounds.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1

This tent is high quality and light weight which is great for backpacking. The walls are mesh, which allows ventilation and are best for muggy nights in the jungle when you need to feel that breeze that may slip through. The design of the tent is just enough space to sit up and the door is perfect for making exiting and entering a breeze. It also comes with a storage space and a 2-pole design which means easy assembly. The package even comes with a repair kit if your tent gets ripped during your travels. The only thing is that it is not meant for any winter weather and there isn’t a lot of privacy, but it is great for those overnight treks.

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/products/tents/backpacking-tents/zephyr-1

Mountainsmith Genesee 3 Season Tent

This tent is great for families and even those who just like having a bunch of room. It is perfect for windy and rainy climates. It has a fully enclosed rainfly that has protected top vents. It also has super fine mesh that will keep out those pesky insects and the reflective guy lines happen to include plastic tighteners.

https://mountainsmith.com/genesee-4.html

When it comes to choosing a tent, for whatever you plan to use it for, it doesn’t have to be hard or super time consuming. We have provided you with guidelines that can help you to pick the tent that is best for your situation. If you follow them then you are sure to find the tent that is going to best for you and your lifestyle and you will have a tent that you would be proud to use in any circumstances.

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Paracord survival belts have come a super long way. When you start thinking about belts, the last thing that you will think about is the versatility of it. That is because the primary function of a belt is to just hold your pants up from falling down around your ankles or using it to spank your kids with. And since spanking children is often frowned upon, you are left with a belt being something to keep your pants up with. Beyond that, they only have a limited use for a day to day basis, well that is what people think.

Paracord belt

The one thing that many people have no idea about is that belts are really useful. They are one of the most functional things that you will wear. A good belt will be solid, durable, designed to bind and cinch, and it can secure things in place. They can even be used as a self defense tool. When you think about it, there are a lot of survival uses for a belt. Here lately, there have been advances for belts when it comes to the survival department.

Types of survival belts

Three main types:

  1. Tactical
  2. Paracord
  3. Super durable belts

There are some survival belts that look like a regular belt, but they have super strong durability. Then there are other survival belts that have been designed to have built in survival tools and various functions. That is why finding the best survival belt for your needs can be really overwhelming. This article will help to cover a few of the best survival belts that are on the market but first we will talk about the best uses for a paracord belt.

Paracord belt uses

Main uses:

  • Use the paracord for creating a shelter or anything else you need paracord for such as making traps etc.
  • A weapon
  • Splint for a broken bone
  • Help elevate a sprained ankle
  • Help drag a stretcher that you’ve made
  • As a sling for a broken arm
  • etc.

You can see that the options are pretty much endless.

You can use them for serious medical issues. The most common one is a tourniquet as a good solid belt can be used as a tourniquet, and that is why many IV drug users are often seen using them. However, it isn’t recommended that you use a belt to inject yourself with illegal drugs. If you have to stop bleeding, then cinch the belt as tight as you can. This will help to slow or even stop the bleeding for massive gashes or to prep for cutting something off. It can also help to elevate an injury. You need to elevate sprains and broken bones. That is the key to helping it heal much faster. Simply create a loop to hold the injury and then fasten it to something that is above you. It can also be used to help make a splint for a broken bone. Take a straight object on both sides of the break and then use your belt to cinch it in place.

You can use a survival belt as a self defense weapon. You can use it as a whip to get people to get back. If you swing hard enough, you can cause the belt to have enough force to break skin open. Or if you use the buckle end to hit someone with, then you are going to cause some serious damage. You can even use it to choke someone with it, but it isn’t recommended unless you are forced into a super bad situation. You can also use it to physically restrain someone.

Not to mention that you can use a belt to get people out of harms way. Take for instance, you are hiking with friends and someone falls into a pretty deep hole, a ditch, or even quick sand, then you can use your belt to save them, similar to using a rope. It will be able to extend a couple of feet, unless it is made from paracord, then you can unravel it and it goes farther, which makes it easy to pull them to safety. You can also use belts to drag a stretcher. If you have a friend get injured or you just shot the hugest buck you have ever seen in your life, you will need a stretcher to move it. If you are alone, then that means you are going to have to drag it, which is much easier with a belt made into a strap handle.

Make one yourself

DIY Paracord Belt - YouTube

How to make a paracord belt - YouTube

Some popular options if you don’t want to make one yourself
  1. Campsnail EDC Survival Paracord Belt

This survival belt is very well designed using the cobra weave done in 550 paracord. The belt has 7 well knit strands with around 130 feet of paracord which make it one of the most economical survival belts that you can have during an emergency when you are trekking, climbing, or hiking. This paracord survival belt comes in 47 inches of length, which is able to be adjusted to where you need it. It also has a metal buckle that is made from tarnish free and high-quality rest free steel. This belt also comes in 8 colors, all which are gender neutral unisex colors which do include camouflage. These belts will come with a lifetime manufacturer warranty that is completely hassle free for replacements and defects. The only thing that isn’t to great about it is that the belt is almost 2 inches wide and a bit heavier than some other survival belts, but for a really economical price, it is pretty great.

  1. RattlerStrap Paracord Survival Belt

This paracord belt is very popular and it has a unique emergency weave. This belt also comes in sizes that range between 28 inches all the way up to 54 inches. The RattlerStrap has 7 strands that is made from two 40 feet and two 10 feet weaves, which makes well over 700 feet of 550 paracord. The strands happen to be tightly woven and will stay that way for many years. The width of the belt is just over an inch, which makes it great to fit in standard pant loops. Since the weave makes a crossing center, you can easily adjust the belt through the whole length of it. That means if you lose a bit of weight, you don’t have to purchase another one. It has a titanium buckle and it comes in three colors. It also has a lifetime warranty and replacement service. The only thing wrong is that the price is pretty expensive, but if the investment isn’t an issue, then you need this belt.

  1. Savage Expedition Paracord Survival Belt

This paracord belt has been designed to be really tactical for any survival instances. It is hand crafted and made from military grade 550 paracord. The belt is made from 7 strands that range between 45 to 75 feet in cord length. The belt also ranges in size between 34 inches to 56 inches and has a standard width of 1.5 inches. It has a stainless-steel buckle that is made up of 30 feet of snare wire made from steel. The buckle also contains a 2-inch fire starter, which make this belt best for survivalists. It has a standard warranty and hassle-free service. The only issue is that because of the buckle design, it may not be allowed to be worn on a plane, so check with your local airports before you board with belt.

Paracord Belt Wrap up

When it comes to having good paracord survival belts, having a good one is important. You will need to think about the situations that you may come across and research the features of the belt you want. There are many options for paracord survival belts out there, so be sure to pick the right one for you.

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How many times have you been in the woods, completely stranded in an area that you don’t know under a tree and the only thing that would be able to save you was if you had a couple of feet of paracord so that you could make yourself a lasso and wrap it around a tree branch to pull yourself up into the tree and be safe? It probably is not that often, but when it finally happens, you are certainly going to wish that you had a paracord survival grenade. This handy yet non-explosive life saver is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast who are looking to survive all of their adventures.

Cool Paracord Design Survival Kit - YouTube

Be prepared

The truth is you can never be too prepared whenever you trek out into the wilderness on a vision quest and it is best that you always plan for the unexpected. That is why these survival grenades exist. They are super convenient, very portable, and they could actually save your life. There are many types of survival grenades out there, some that just have a few tools while others are jam packed with them, so there will be one for every level. We are going to cover what they are, what makes a good survival grenade, and add in a few of the best ones for you to get an idea on what you need to be looking for. So, let’s get to it.

What is a Paracord Grenade?

There are some people who have no idea what a survival grenade is. Basically, it is not one of those grenades that you pull the pin and blow everything within a 100-foot radius up, but instead it is a specialized survival kit packed into the size of a grenade. It is often shaped like one and made from paracord. These are the best types of “pocket” sized survival kits and it can be easily placed on your backpack or on your belt by using a carabiner.

Paracord Grenade Mini Survival Kit Review - YouTube

These unique little survival grenades are going to have plenty of items that are going to save your bacon when you are out in the boonies running for whatever type of trouble that you have gotten yourself into. Often times they will be wrapped in 550 paracord, in different colors, personally I like the bright colored ones as it allows me to find it when there is limited visibility. It also comes equipped with a non-load bearing carabiner that is attached to the top. Many people are quite surprised at the goodies that are inside of this little package.

Paracord survival grenade key features

Maybe it is the way that they hang from a backpack, right there and ready to be grabbed at any moment’s notice. Perhaps it is the shape and size. Either way, these survival grenades are more than those weak sardine cans that are often full of fish hooks and matches, because let’s get honest, unless you are going to be stranded on a tiny little island surrounded by miles of water, what is that really going to do for you? A good paracord survival grenade is going to have more than a dozen items in it, besides the paracord. They should be equipped with more than the regular items such as the plain matches and fishing hooks. These will have stormproof matches, water purification tablet, needles, threads, fishing line and hooks, aluminum foil, and even Ziploc bags. Some can come with duct tape, even surgical blades and suture kits. They will often have a ripcord that will allow it to be easily pulled apart whenever you need it, and normally when you need it is going to be right away. The paracord that makes up the survival grenade can range between 18 feet or more. That is plenty of cord to help you when you need it.

Popular Survival Grenades

Now the moment that you have been waiting for, we are going to cover all the best and favorite paracord grenades that are on the market.

Rocky S2V Survival Grenade - FULL REVIEW - A Cool Looking Survival Kit from Rocky Brands - YouTube

  1. M-550D by SurfCity Paracord

This unique paracord grenade is made by SurfCity Paracord, who happens to be a big maker of a lot of paracord related items. This grenade is going to come in many shapes and sizes to choose from, but the best one that people seem to love is the M-550D which is their deluxe version of the M-550. Each one is going to have various amounts of gear in it. If you have a lady at a home who is wanting to get stranded in the forest or if you plan on dropping her off for some peace and quiet, purchase the hot pink version, or if you know a priest who is looking to get into a bit of trouble, get the Holy Hand Grenade. This model has plenty to offer such as orange tactical cord, jute twine, fishing line, hooks, wire saw, stormproof matches, waterproof matches with striker, whistle buckle, split shot weights, butterfly sutures, split rings, needle and thread, compass, aluminum foil, bobby pins, LED flashlight, mini folding knife, water purification tablets, military grade trip wire (handy in hostile situations), napkin tablet, razor blade, universal handcuff key, dog tag signal mirror, flint striker, and a few other nifty items.

  1. Paracord Survival Grenade by Inch Survival

This tiny kit is packed with plenty of goodies for any hostile or survival environments. It is definitely handy to save your hind end when you get yourself in a pickle in various areas that you are no where near familiar with. This kit comes packed with items such as the carabiner, 550 paracord, sterilized and packaged surgical blade, compass, matches, water purification powder, coffee filter, aluminum foil, duct tape, fishing line and fishing hooks, split shot weights, fishing swivels, alcohol prep pad, antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids, cotton balls, sewing needle, buttons, safety pins, bobby pin, marking tape, reflective tape, brass snare wire, zip ties and a can opener. That is a lot of stuff to fit into a tiny little package. The one thing that is not often found in other survival kits is the coffee filter. These you can use to filter murky water, or you can rip it up to use as tinder to start a fire with.

  1. Paracord Survival Grenade by Wilderness

This grenade can be used in many types of situations simply because it has 23 different tools. It has plenty of great items which include a multi-tool card, royal buckle, wire saw, flashlight, fishing line, floats, hooks, swivels, weights, fire starter, knife blade, needle, safety pins, paper clips (not really sure about that one), paracord, compass, carabiner, aluminum foil, tool card specifications, alcohol pads, Band-Aids, whistle, and cotton balls. This has plenty of tools that can be used in survival situations and it is not bad for the cost either. This is a less expensive model and it does not really have a grenade type of look to it.

  1. Survival Grenade by Holtzman’s

If you feel that you can never be too prepared for any type of situation, then this is going to be the best paracord grenade for you. The reason why is that it is filled up with 48 tools and it looks like a grenade. Extra brownie points for that. This grenade comes with a plastic inner sphere that is filled with safety signal mirror, fire starter tab, bottle opener, wire, electrical tape, split rings, whistle buckle, water purification tablets, wire saw, aluminum foil, compass, razor blade, Band-Aids, safety pins, bobby pins, needle and thread, twine, split shots, fish hooks and fishing line, striker, fire starting rod, pocket knife, LED flashlight, orange paracord, and 50 feet of paracord. It is packed with all that and it weighs well under 8 ounces.

There you have it. All the best information about Paracord Survival Grenades. Take time and do research before you make a final selection. There will be some grenades that only have 10 items while there are some that have 50 or more items. Think about what you want, and take it from there.

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There is not a person in the world who wants to be in a place where they have to defend themselves at any point. Even those highly trained people with techniques for self-defense would prefer not to have to fight because they were targeted by an attacker. Whenever the news gets filled stories of preventable violence, it may feel as if the world is against you. Whenever there is a shooting for instance, there is often a huge spike in the selling of firearms.

The issue with guns

The laws that state when, where, and how you can use a gun can be really extensive in many communities. You can even be required to submit a lot of personal information to have a background check done when you are purchasing a gun and you may have to pass a skills test to even get a permit for you to be able to carry the firearm on you. This can cost you not only in time but in money as a firearm can cost hundreds of dollars, which may actually put self defense out of the reach for many people. Whenever you choose the best self-defense weapons that are not a gun, most of those regulations and rules are often much easier to go by. For the price of having a dinner out with your family, you can get yourself some effective self defense tools that will keep you much safer if you are attacked at any time in your life.  So to summarize:

  • Some people just don’t want to use lethal force
  • Cost
  • Might not feel safe carrying one
  • Legal complications
Who are the likely perpetrators? You don’t want to be on the end of this

Now, just remember that many attackers are not the creepy guy you felt was watching you in the parking lot of your favorite eatery. More than 80% of victims of rape had known their attacker before it happened. Most attacks are going to happen when you are least prepared to handle them. There are many things you can do to help protect yourself. One of those is to have a plan put in place for your self defense before you can ever be attacked. This means that you should know where to run, when to give your attacker what they are wanting, and even when you need to hold your ground. If you happen to be in a situation where you have to fight back, then having a good self defense weapon will certainly come in handy. However, even if you have a knife, taser, or something else, the truth is that if you are not prepared to use your self defense weapon then it will be completely useless, especially against someone that you do not expect. When you have a plan in place, you are able to avoid from being a victim.

Know your weapon

You should know your weapon. You need to know your self defense weapon as if it a part of yourself. Different weapons can be difficult to use and can slow you down if you do not know how to operate them. Things such as turning the safeguard off, pressing the correct buttons, or uncapping sprays are things that you should practice before you ever get attacked.

You are also going to need to have quick access to your weapon. You will want your item handy whenever you need it. Having to dig through your pockets or purse while being attacked will just help your attacker. Yourself-defense weapons need to be where they can easily have access. If it is in your purse, then you need to put it in a place where it will not be buried or hold it in your hand when you are out at night.

You also need to pay attention. The best plans actually include avoiding any dangerous locations and people. Being aware of where you are at and keeping your distance from any type of potential threat will help to reduce your chances of actually being attacked. Knowing the nearest place to run or an exit can even help you to escape as well.  This is what you need:

  • Practice using your weapon effectively
  • Have it in an easy to get to spot
  • Always have it accessible if there’s any chance you’re in danger
  • Be willing to use it!
List of Popular non-lethal weapons

Now, it is really important that you pick a self defense weapon that will make you feel comfortable. The last thing that you want to do is to keep having to worry about your weapon being in your purse, pocket or wherever you plan to keep it. Luckily, there are plenty of self defense weapons that you can pick from and each one has its very own unique use and protecting power. Here are a few of the recommendations on the type of self defense weapons.

Knives

Believe it or not a tactical knife is going to be one of the best types of self defense weapons that you can carry on you. Truth is, as long as you are within 20 feet, your knife can be pretty effective and sometimes deadlier than a gun. A lot of people like the idea of carrying a knife as being a self defense weapon because not only can they help to stop your attacker, they have many other uses besides just self-defense. You are going to want a knife that will be equipped with a long enough blade but lightweight enough that you can handle it with ease. Many experts recommend that your knife have a blade of at least 3 inches. However, you really need to ensure that your knife will be sturdy enough that it can handle a fight. Cheap knives are just as bad as not having a knife at all. In general, a knife is much more accepted than a gun in the public. Outside of courts, schools, federal buildings and planes, you can carry your knife just about anywhere, but be sure that you check your state’s laws on knives. Plus, you do not have to take a concealed weapons class like you would if you want to carry a gun.

Tasers Vipertek VTS-989 Stun Gun

Another great defense tool is going to be a taser. Most people opt to carry a taser over a gun or knife because they are non-lethal, and they can stop your attacker for at least 5 seconds. Experts have stated that being tasered is very similar to having a giant animal with sharp teeth grab you on the spinal cord and shake you for the longest 5 seconds that a person has ever dealt with. 5 seconds is just enough time for you to get away from the situation and find a safe place. You will want to look for a taser that has snatch prevention, which is side plates that will shock your attacker when they try to grab it.

Pepper Sprays Sabre Red Pepper Gel

Pepper spray is a well known and quite popular self defense item that you can carry because it is easy to use, quick and very effective as it will cause irritation to the eyes, which will blind your attacker, irritates the skin and the respiratory system. It is vital to know that the pepper spray is not going to stop your attacker, but it will slow them down enough to allow you to get away. Pepper spray is only a diversionary weapon that can buy you a bit of time to get away and find a safe place. You are going to want to find a pepper spray that will be lightweight and that will come with a UV marking dye that will help your local authorities to identify your attacker. Even though the attacker believes they have washed the pepper spray off, it leaves a trail of hidden UV dye. Also look for a spring-loaded flip top that will help to protect against any triggering on an accident.

Tactical Pens SWAT Tactical Pen

This is going to be a really clever choice as a self defense carry weapon. It is very inconspicuous, but it is very useful when it comes to having to defend yourself from an attacker. You can get them online or at tactical places. They offer the same type of hands on protection like a tactical knife, but it doesn’t have a bladed edge. You could say it is less useful as a knife, but it is really great if you do not feel comfortable in carrying a knife on you. Not to mention it also works as a real pen as well.

Self Defense Keys or Keychain

Self Defense will often come in many different forms and sometimes a person may need to rely on the help of others. But, in order for someone to come to the rescue, they will need to know that you are in trouble. Most self-defense classes recommend carrying a personal alarm or whistle that you are able to use when you are in trouble. The best thing about these are they can be small and attached to your keys to access easily. Not to mention they are super loud. These alarms can grab the attention of anyone who is close. It is best that you arm yourself with one of these as well as a back up weapon, just in case.

Non-lethal self defense weapons wrap up

Whatever self defense item you decide to carry on you, remember the main goal is not to win the fight, it is to survive and escape without any major injuries. The best defense is to avoid dangerous places and people. You don’t have to have tactical training to know how to defend yourself, but you need to have a game plan just in case. Practice, know your item, and give yourself a chance to escape unharmed.

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Let’s get honest here, the world is a pretty unsafe place. While we all want to think that our homes are safe unlike being outdoors, we all know better than to put our safety and the safety of our families into the hands of fate. This isn’t an apocalyptic world where it is all about kill or be killed, but sometimes there are times where a person can choose to harm a person or rob them or both. So, it is best to have a plan for those situations and carry personal defense weapons than to be completely unprepared if it does happen to you.

Why carry a self defense weapon?

Also, no one wants to be a victim of an attack. It isn’t like we are walking back from night class, or to our cars after work hoping that we get mugged, or raped in a dark place that you have to cross to get to safety. Unfortunately, many of us have been constantly hearing that we are very much in danger of becoming a victim, especially women. Have you ever stopped to think about what you would do if you found yourself in one of those situations? Will you be able to defend yourself? Everyone needs to have plan in place for self defense and that includes carrying a self defense weapon that will be effective in your personal protection and also a weapon that you’re comfortable in using.

You don’t want to be on the end of this

There are many ways that you can protect yourself. When it comes to many cases, people will take a conceal & carry weapons class to train and earn legal permits to carry any gun on them at all times but guns aren’t always legal self defense weapons. Can you blame those people in the world that we live in? Based on statistics, in the United States alone, there will be over 900 thefts, 190 violent crimes, 130 assaults, 70 robberies, 25 sexual assaults, 13 rapes, and 3 murders committed within an hour – https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/latest-crime-statistics-released. That is a lot of crime to be committed in the time that it takes to have a lunch break. In order to keep from being a statistic, it is best that you have a self-defense plan and have a self-defense weapon on you at all times, especially if you are going to be going somewhere after dark.

Guns Gun in action

It pretty much goes without saying that your best option is a gun.  However, we are not saying that you should not have a gun especially when it comes to home security, but there will be situations when pulling a shotgun or handgun out that may not be warranted, necessary, or just not available depending on where you live. Also, not everyone will be ready or even willing to potentially wound or kill another person. But, just because someone doesn’t want to own or cannot own a gun, doesn’t always mean that they do not want to be able to defend themselves, their homes and their families if there is a bad situation. It is for those situations that we have gathered up some of the best yet non-lethal self defense tools and weapons that you can get without a permit. These tools will leave your attacker in pain, helpless and ready to be picked up by the local police.

Self defense weapon options

Below I’ll go over the best self defense weapons.

Self Defense Weapon Alternatives to Guns - YouTube

Stun Gun Vipertek VTS-989 Stun Gun

If you do not like all the risks or mess that may come with pepper spray or a gun and you have no hesitation to get pretty close to your attacker, then this stun gun is going to be an inexpensive but very effective option. The flash and crackle alone are going to be enough to keep yourself from being attacked, but in the event that you do get close, use those 53 million volts to drop your attacker. The electrodes are spiked and sharp to cut through the thickest clothing and the side shock plates are going to keep your attacker from trying to take it from you. Plus, as an added bonus, there is an LED flashlight on it and it does come with an internal rechargeable battery. If that doesn’t keep you safe, I don’t know what will.

Pepper Gel Sabre Red Pepper Gel

Red pepper gel isn’t a delicacy, in fact it is actually one of the most painful and innovative self defense tools that is on the market right now. The main issue with regular pepper spray is that it can blow back onto you if it is quite windy outside and that can get it into your eyes if the wind is just right during an attack. More than that is that it doesn’t do full effect on the attacker. By using a pepper gel, you are able to spray up to 18 feet away, hit your attacker, and not worry about any of the runoff fumes getting into your eyes and blinding you. Every part of this pepper gel has been enhanced with a UV dye which helps the police to identify the attackers easier and get them off the street quicker. This particular pepper gel is packaged so that it won’t go off while in the holster, so you can rest much easier without having to worry about your gel going off without meaning to.

Pepper Spray Gun Salt Supply Pepper Spray Gun

When you mix all the intimidation of a pistol with the force of mace, you end up with this Pepper Spray Gun. This tool will fire rounds of pepper spray that is powdered 10 times further the average distance of your traditional pepper spray that often create a giant chemical cloud when hit with it. So, not only will the rounds from this pepper spray gun hit your target at 320 ft. per second, with all the kinetic energy of fastball pitching, but it will immediately coat your attacker in chemical pepper spray. You are going to check on the legality of ownership where you live, because some of the laws of some areas will be quite strict and there are some restrictions on this type of gun in some areas.

Tactical Pen SWAT Tactical Pen

It is not that easy to make a really effective tactical pen. Many models will often break and are pretty flimsy, and they cannot get the job done at all. Many tactical pens out there are not that effective when it comes to trying to defend yourself from any type of attacker. Atomic Bear created the SWAT Tactical Pen, and this pen has taken and ripped all the stigma from a tactical pen that has been around for years. The chassis is made from an aluminum alloy, so you can crack and even shatter glass using this pen, but it is not a one hit wonder, or you can use the sheathed, and concealed razor-sharp tip to be able to defend yourself if you happen to be in a pinch. You will also be provided with 2 ink refills for your tactical pen. However, even though the main focus is on the tactical areas, it has a really nice clip and it is an amazing ball point pen that is on the market. When you compare this pen to those high grade, super expensive ballpoint pens, you will see that this tactical pen is in the top 3.

Tactical Flashlight Olight M1X Striker Flashlight

Providing a little bit of physical damage on your attacker is maybe not something that you want to do or you are just looking for something that will let you get away as quick as possible. If that is the case, then the M1X Striker Flashlight is going to be a really solid option. It works great as an everyday type of flashlight, but the Striker does have some pretty nifty features that actually make it better as a self-defense option and tactical tool. The biggest feature is the burst mode which provides over 1000 lumens, that is plenty enough light to temporarily blind anyone who is not wearing eye protection. It even has a strobe feature that helps to provide consistent disorientation. And in the event that you have to protect yourself, you can use the flashlight to swing at your attacker as it has a toothed bezel that was made just for those types of circumstances.

Air Pistols Umarex 19-Shot Air Pistol

Air pistols are nothing to laugh at, especially if you have been shot with one. It is a very painful type of experience. People around you may be laughing, but let them volunteer to be shot with one. Umarex makes a really fantastic and compact air pistol, which is perfect for just about any type of use. You can hand it to your wife or daughter when they go out, you can carry it in a holster, and it is versatile on just how you are able to store it. It has 19 shots and a drop free magazine, so you can pack serious power. The CO2 capsules are within the grip on the hilt, and they are really easy to push in and pop out. The sights are iron, and they are very similar to those on an actual handgun. When push comes to shove, 19 shots is plenty to scare off multiple assailants.

In the end, these are great self-defense weapons that you can use to protect yourself and they are quite easy to obtain.

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Top Survival Weapons by Admin-tsw - 3M ago

A combat knife is a knife used for combat.  Pretty simple really.  A combat knife is the same as a fighting knife.  Many people use the term tactical knife to describe a combat knife but this is incorrect.  A tactical knife is not a combat knife.  A tactical knife can be a folding pocket knife which is something I wouldn’t want to use in combat.

A dagger could be a combat knife.  Middle age daggers were generally long and thin and were designed for piercing through chain mail (a type of medieval armor) which means they had a sharpened tip but may have been blunt along the edge.  It would be useful as a stabbing weapon but not as a slasher.  There are two types of daggers though – ones that are long and thin and designed to pierce chain mail and ones that look more like a spear.  The ones that look like a spear can be useful as combat knives.

Types of Combat Knives

So many different civilizations have used combat knives and most of them are completely different.  Below I’ll list the most well known combat knives from history.

  1. Seax – was a combat knife.  It was used by Germanic and Nordic tribes to great effect.
  2. Bowie knife – was designed to be a fighting knife and was used in the Wild West.

    https://truewestmagazine.com/fighting-blades-of-the-frontier/

  3. Kukri – was used by the Nepalese army.
  4. Boot knife – could be used because it’s easily concealed.
  5. Neck knife – Used by Native Americans and Vikings.
  6. Push dagger – Is obviously designed for combat.
  7. Karambit – small curved blade used in South East Asia.
  8. Tanto – Used by the Samurai.
Key characteristics of combat knives

How can you have a karambit which is a combat knife and also a bowie when they’re so completely different?  All combat knives should share some similar key characteristics though:

  1. Good steel – What type of steel is going to be used?
  2. Weight – you want reach but you don’t want it to be too heavy
  3. Speed – how quickly can it be deployed and used?
  4. Reach – does one weapon have a further reach allowing you to keep someone at arms length?
  5. Guard – If used for thrusting, does it have a guard?
  6. Purpose? To stab or slash or both?
  7. Amount of damage caused – is it going to lacerate or is it going to do more damage?
Combat knives – the most effective style

How effective a weapon is depends on a number of factors such as is the other person armed or are they wearing some type of body armor? 

Karambit – You’ll find heaps of cool looking karambit fighting techniques everywhere as shown in the youtube clip below.  They look great but in reality the reach of them isn’t long enough for my liking.  If the other person is armed you’d want to be highly skilled.

Karambit Blade Work With Doug Marcaida - YouTube

Tanto – It was used for centuries by the Samarui and I love Japanese blades but the guards are so small on them that they couldn’t effectively be used as a stabbing tool without cutting your hand.  Put a guard on a tanto and it’s an awesome combat knife.

Neck knife – Used by the Viking and American Indians but the only way it can be effectively used in combat is if it’s on the outside of your shirt and secured to your body.  If it’s on the inside of your shirt it will be hard to get to when you need it.  If it’s on the outside of your shirt it will dangle around which is fine if you’re doing bushcraft or if you’re using the knife for survival but if you want it for a combat situation you’ll need it secured to your body.  If it’s secured to your body then it can get in your way if it’s secured vertically and you bend over, the best way to do it is to secure it horizontally.

Boot knife – A really good option because they’re mainly designed as daggers.  It takes a little longer to access because it’s not within arms reach but overall it’s a really good option.

Seax – As much as I love the seax, most didn’t have a guard.

Push dagger – Can’t be used all that well for slashing and the reach on them isn’t great.

Bowie knife – Usually has a decent size guard and heaps of reach, is extremely durable and can be used for thrusting as well as slashing so it’s a great combat knife.  The only issue is the weight.

Kukri – Another awesome option.  It’s got reach and the blade is very durable.  It is awesome for slashing and can also be used effectively for thrusting.  The kukri is my favorite combat machete

Best Combat knife

Obviously if you can handle a weapon you’re better off than someone who can’t or isn’t willing to. My favorite types of combat knives are the bowie, the kukri and boot knives.  If you put a decent guard on a long tanto then that would be my favorite.   It’s lighter than other options, can thrust and slash and is durable.  For the record even though I love Japanese blades I’m not a fan boy who thinks they’re the greatest blades of all time and have magical mystical properties. 

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Top Survival Weapons by Admin-tsw - 3M ago

The seax is the knife that was common place among the Germanic tribe, the Anglo Saxons and was popular from the 5th century until the 11th.  It’s popularity spread all over northern Europe.  The Vikings also had a very similar tool which is commonly referred to as a Viking Seax but it was the Anglo Saxons who were historically first to develop the knife that we know today as the seax.  The Anglo Saxons conquered Britain and it’s where we get the English language from.

It was an everyday knife, it was a hunting knife, fighting knife, a general all round knife.  The reason it’s so famous, even today is because if you’re a knife enthusiast you can’t help admire just how spectacular seax knives look.  Here are some modern recreations:

http://northmen.com/en/products/available-items/damascus-seax-viking-shortsword


The most famous type of seax is the broken back seax as shown in the image below:

Seax types

Below you can see all the different types of seax’s. They varied in size, design and blade point significantly but when you see a seax, you know it’s a seax and you can’t really mistake it for anything else.

The first image is the best explanation.  It shows the broad seax categories of:

  • Narrow longseax
  • Longseax
  • Heavy Broadseax
  • Light broadseax
  • Narrow seax
  • Short seax

It also shows the different types of blade points:

Seax – key characteristics

I’m just going to put the key characterists of seax’s below because that’s the easiest way to understand the similarities between the blades.

  • Blade length 18-80cm
  • No false edge like a bowie knife.
  • No sharpening notch
  • No ricasso
  • No distal taper
  • Blades were thick 1/4-3/8″
  • Blade geometry was a full-flat grind and sometimes slightly convex
  • Blade edge was not perfectly straight, there is always some curve even if it is a slight curve
  • The blade is widest at the ‘hump’ of the blade and then tapering from there in both directions
  • Some were pattern welded which is another reason why they have so much visual appeal. 
  • No guard
  • Hidden tang
  • Metal handle fittings were rare
  • Handles were generally very long
Seax Handle

There are few surviving in tact handles but what we do know is this, they were hidden tang just like swords of the era and just like early bowie knives.  Metal handle fittings were rare.

Carving and fitting a seax grip - YouTube

The other thing about the handles was that they were extremely long by modern standards.  The Aachen seax which is often referred to as the knife of Charlemagne has a handle of almost 9″ which is massive.  Most modern knife handles are about 5″.  The handle was made of horn (bovine),

Seax sheath

What’s interesting is how the seax was worn.  It was worn horizontally or at an angle with the blade edge facing up on the front side of the body.  Why is this the case?  Because the blade is so long, if you had it by your side it wouldn’t be very practical unless you were actually fighting and seeing as it was an everyday tool it was more practical to have it in front.  It actually had brass rings which were attached either via leather or chain to the belt.

This is an awesome video showing how to make a seax sheath:

Raven Knife Sheath - Broken Back Style - YouTube

How the seax was worn

Seax – chopper or thrusters?

No one really knows but the seax knife has no guard so as a stabbing knife, it would have been very dangerous to the user.  Once you’ve got one in your hand and feel the weight balance, you’d have to say that it was a chopper.  There are some continental examples with guards but they were so small they were more likely to be just a measure to stop your hand riding up onto the blade in general use, the guards were just too small to be used as a guard to protect from stabbing.  If you were to thrust and hit any type of armor, you would end up cutting your own hand.

Anglo Saxon Seax Examined of Oakeshot Institute By Thrand & Dimicator @ Asfolk! - YouTube

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Top Survival Weapons by Admin-tsw - 3M ago

The iconic bowie knife is a favorite in America and around the world.  It symbolizes the frontier, the wild west.  The knife was created by James Black for Jim Bowie in the early 19th century.  Jim Bowie went on to become a notorious knife fighter who died at the Alamo.  Other than those facts the original bowie knife has been lost to time and Jim Bowie is a character shrouded in mystery.  No one really has any hard evidence about him other than the facts I’ve stated above and that he was involved in the infamous “Sand Bar” fight on the banks of the Mississippi River on September 19, 1827.  What we do know is that knives inspired by the bowie knife were what we’d consider to be a bowie knife these days.

Bowie knife design

Usually 8” plus in blade length, 1.5-2 inches broad and about 1/4 inch thick, fixed blade with a clip point.  Most frontier knives at the time were only 4-6” so as a survival knife, that’s all you really need.  If they could manage to survive back then with only a 4-6” blade I’m pretty sure we can manage today.  The reason a bowie knife was so much bigger than a trade knife was that the bowie knife was also a fighting knife.

In close quarter combat obviously speed matters but so does reach.  If you’ve got a longer weapon than your opponent (excluding guns) you should be able to win the battle.

bowie in the trenches – courtesy of http://bowieknifefightsfighters.blogspot.com/2010/12/bowie-knife-adopted-for-trench-fighting.html

Here are some great pics of some old style bowie knives courtesy of https://truewestmagazine.com/fighting-blades-of-the-frontier/

The bowie knife these days is great for survivalists because it’s so robust.  It can be used in a very similar fashion to a kukri which is also another great fighting knife.  If you’re out in the woods and don’t have an axe or a hatchet, the bowie can be used to chop through small trees if necessary and is a great option for a knife.

The other consideration is this, the knife just looks awesome.  It’s a great feeling swinging a big bit of steel around, it’s heaps of fun as long as you’re careful!

Bowie knives were generally hidden tang

Hidden tang can be fine for knife construction.  Yes, I know most people prefer full tang but swords and kukris used to be hidden tang as well and a sword that’s a few feet long smashing into a shield or armor will have to take more force than a bowie knife trying to chop down a small tree.  The moral of the story is if a sword can handle being hidden tang, so can a knife because a sword is subjected to greater force at the critical point which is where the blade or ricasso meet the handle.  That’s where knives generally break if they’ll break because of them being hidden tang.

Here’s an example of a viking sword with a hidden tang:

Courtesy of http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/viking_sword.htm Avoid cheap bowies

You’ll find a lot of bowie knives under the $30 mark.  That’s all good and well and you think you’re getting a bargain but you’re not.  Generally these knives are made with a cheap stainless steal instead of high carbon steel like 1095.  Bowies were designed to chop and as soon as you start chopping with a cheap stainless steel knife it will go blunt very quickly and a blunt knife is a dangerous knife.  They can get sharp easily, that’s not the problem, the problem is edge retention, it just won’t stay sharp.  If you’re knife goes blunt quickly, you’ll spend more time sharpening it than using it.

Not only is the quality of the steel poor, the hidden tang is usually really poorly constructed because it’s cheaper to weld a small tang onto another piece of metal than to have one continuous tang piece.  Check out the pic below:

Bowie knife tang that’s cheaply made

A bowie knife with a hidden tang should have a tang design more like this:

proper bowie tang Bowie knife handles

Handles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The one second from the left is known as a French pistol handle and the one on the right is known as a coffin handle.  Personally seeing as I use a bowie to chop with I prefer a flared out handle towards the pommel like in the image on the left.

bowie handles Buying a decent bowie knife

You just have to pay up.  If you just want a cheap showpiece that won’t really get used much then sure, a cheap bowie knife will do the job but if you  want something that will actually be a useful tool, you’ll just have to pay because you’re buying a big piece of steel.  The steel used in a bowie knife could be 2-3 times as much as a 4-6 inch blade so it stands to reason that if you want a lot of quality steel, you’ll have to pay extra for it.

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