UST Orange Survival Bandana

I’m not one for promoting deals I’m running on my website here on my blog but I thought the current deal was worth mentioning. Now through December, with every purchase of $25 or more, you will receive a UST orange survival bandana. These are no ordinary bandanas. Printed on them are many survival tips that can be very useful in the event of a survival situation. These would be great for kids or adults that are lacking in survival/camping knowledge. There’s the obvious many extremely useful ways to use a bandana but now you would also have many survival tips that you wouldn’t necessarily have to remember or have to call back to memory in a survival scenario. This is just a great way to take something you may already be carrying and make it even more useful. Also, all orders in the continental U.S. will receive free standard shipping through December. Just click on the store button and place an order of $25 or over to receive your free bandana and free standard shipping. Hope everyone is doing well and getting the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

survival-bandana

550 Para Cord 101

In the last 3-5 years 550 para cord has gained mainstream popularity. With a lot of survival gear designed out of 550 cord or incorporating 550 cord somehow, a lot more people are carrying it. Since the invention of 550 cord, which was originally made for and used in parachutes for the military, many outdoor enthusiasts have carried this cord for building shelters, lashing things together as well as many other things. Many people that were familiar with its strength have always kept some in their garage as well. 550 Cord is useful for so many applications that it is considered the duct tape of cordage. It wasn’t until “survival bracelets” became popular and became very fashionable, that many people became familiar with this type of cord. Many veterans that were familiar with 550 para cord because of their military service continued to carry and use 550 cord after they left the military just because of its usefulness.

I as well as many others have always carried some 550 cord in their packs well outdoors. 550 para cord is great because it is made of a synthetic material (nylon or polyester) and because of that it does not rot or mildew. This is great for water applications. Since I like to Kayak it’s great to be able to not worry about my cordage deteriorating because of water contact. 550 cord is affected by UV rays and will weaken with prolonged exposure to the sun. Dirt and oils, like the oils from your skin do affect synthetic materials as well. That is why climbers take very good care of their robes. After each climb they are washed, dried and stored in a dark place. This helps any synthetic cordage to last longer. I’m not telling you that you have to wash your para cord bracelet every time you wear it but remember the dirtier and older it is the higher the chance the cord will not be as strong when you use it. You also want to be careful around open flames or intense heat because 550 cord will melt. That is one of its weaknesses.

If you are buying 550 cord or any gear made out of 550 cord make sure that it says that it is made in America. All of the American cord is tested to meet the 550 lb limit and some of the cord even surpasses 550 lbs. The stuff coming from china is not tested to meet the 550 lb limit even though it is labeled as 550 cord. One of the local companies that I order my 550 cord from, they make 550 cord for our military, has tested Chinese para cord and most of it is failing around 150-200 lbs. You can use this cord if you want but don’t expect it to hold 550 lbs.

The great thing about 550 para cord is that, say you only have a two foot piece of cord, you can take that short piece, cut the melted ends and pull the seven inner strands out and now you have eight cords, two feet long. You will now have enough cord to tie the frame of a shelter together. You can also take one of the inner strands that you just took out of the outer sheath and unwind it so that it can be used for fishing line. There are tons of uses for 550 para cord. Here are just a few:

Making a Shelter                                              Attaching gear

Fishing Line                                                         Snares

Knife Lanyards                                                  Neck Lanyards

Bow Drill                                                              Shoe Laces

Making a Hammock                                        Fishing Lure

Lashing a Knife to a Spear                             Hanging Things around Camp

Tourniquet                                                         Gun Slings

Belts                                                                      Repairing Failed Gear

Equipment Handles                                        Color Coding Gear

 

I could go on and on about how useful 550 para cord is and all of its many uses but I’ll stop here.  550 cord will only be limited by your problem solving skills and or imagination. If you do not have or are not using 550 para cord I suggest that you get some and keep it in your bug out bag, backpacking bag, hunting bag, garage or anyplace you may be able to use it. I always carry 100 feet of cord in my backpack no matter what I’m doing. It is to useful not to have some on me at all times. What things do you use 550 cord for? Are you familiar with its strengths and weaknesses? All of the 550 cord gear in my store is made in America by Americans out of American made parts. You don’t have to buy from me but make sure you are buying quality para cord gear that is made in America out of American made parts.

SOG Powerlock EOD 2.0 V-cutter Review

Let me start out by saying this is the best multi tool that I have ever used. The SOG Powerlock EOD 2.0 with V-cutter far surpassed my expectations. The plier has gearing which makes it much easier to cut thicker gauge wire. If you find yourself needing to cut fencing this is the multi tool you’ll want. Trying to cut wire with other multi tools is beyond a pain and a workout for your hand.

I love that each feature in the handle locks into place when in use. Not all multi tools for sale these days have locking accessories. I also like that the accessories have a cover to keep them securely in the handle until needed. No more having to deal with accessory items wanting to fall out well using the pliers.  I have used just about every accessory on it and they all work great. The knife blade is very sharp. It is half serrated so some people might not like that but I do. The serration comes in very handy at times. The saw works amazingly well. It is a much better design than most saws you find on multi tools. The philips and flat head screwdriver tips are actually usable. I have the ballistic sheath which I really like. It easily clips on a thick leather belt. I’m not sure of the quality of the leather sheath but I have to believe it is made as well as anything else SOG makes.

Here is SOG’s description for the Powerlock EOD 2.0 with V-cutter:

“Using the proven PowerLock chassis, SOG is the only company to apply Compound Leverage™ technology to EOD(Explosive Ordnance Disposal). This makes it a breeze to crimp blasting caps and demolition cord with less hand pressure. Another unique SOG feature is the positioning of the crimper device within the confines of the handle…not in the plier jaw, like all other designs. This serves to minimize collateral damage to the crimper and allows the operator to have full use of the uninterrupted plier surface. Additionally there is no weakening of the pliers that often causes breakage of the plier tips. The crimper produces non-flaring, high pull out strength crimps that meet government fuse well specifications. It is also GSA approved. The multi tool includes the V-Cutter, which can be used to cut seat belts, paracord, fishing line, electrical cable sheathing and much more!”

Here are the specs:

Overall Length 7″ 17.78 cm Closed Length 4.60″ 11.68 cm
Product Weight 9.60 oz 272.16 g Product Type Multi-Tool
Country of Origin Assembled in
the USA
Engravable Yes
Finish Black Oxide Tool Count 22
Lanyard Hole Yes Packaging Unibox – Display Ready
Sheath Included Yes Sheath Color Dark Brown
Sheath Details Ballistic Nylon (Material), Secure Clip (Attachment), Hook & Loop (Closure), Leather (Material), Belt Through Loop (Attachment), Snap (Closure) Blade Steel Type 420
Handle Material 420 Stainless Steel Hardness Rc. 51-53
Lock Blades Yes Lock Tools Yes
1/2 Serrated Blade Yes 1/4″ Drive Yes
3-Sided File Yes Awl Yes
Blasting Cap Crimper Yes Bolt Grip Channel Yes
Bottle Opener Yes Can Opener Yes
Hard Wire Cutter Yes Large Flat Screwdriver Yes
Medium Flat Screwdriver Yes Needle Nose Pliers Yes
Philips Screwdriver Yes Ruler Yes
Small Flat Screwdriver Yes Wire Crimper Yes
Wood Saw Yes

If you are looking for, or in need of a good multi tool then I highly recommend this one. It would be a great addition to your EDC, bug out bag, 72 hour emergency bag, vehicle glove box, tool box or anywhere else you think that a good multi tool would come in handy. I always have mine on me, even when I’m lightweight backpacking. It’s worth its weight. I just leave the sheath at home and stick it in a pocket that snaps. It’s too valuable to lose it because I didn’t have it secured. So go ahead and buy one! You can thank me later. If you already have one, what are your likes or dislikes about this multi tool?

Every Day Carry

E.D.C. is short for every day carry. A lot of people in the prepper, bushcraft, survivalist and outdoor communities are familiar with this phrase. If you have never come across this phrase you should familiarize yourself with it. On a daily basis many people will take a look at what they are carrying on their body that can be used for a survival or emergency situation. Many people even make daily posts online showing what they are carrying for that day and why. Seeing what other people carry is a great way to get ideas about what you might want to carry, what not to carry, how to lighten the load and ways of hiding small survival items out of sight.

It is way too easy to become burdened down by carrying way too much. Try not to be a gear junky, unless you really like carrying all kinds of stuff that weighs a lot. A basis to start with is by simply carrying a pocket knife, possibly a multi tool, a lighter, some paracord and any medications you might need. I like to carry a pocket knife and a multi tool because I use my pocket knife all the time and I don’t want to have to open up my multi tool every time I need a knife. Plus this way I have two knives on me at all times.

Today I am carrying a watch, a paracord bracelet, a bic lighter, a tube of Burt’s bees lip balm, a Gerber Paraframe knife, a SOG powerlock multi tool and an I Phone. Every day may or may not be different for you. Some days I carry more things and other days I carry less. Sometimes you are not able to carry certain items that you would like to, because of where you find yourself. You are limited to what you can carry onto a plane, into a government building and even into a stadium. This will cause you to have to pare down your everyday kit and rethink about what you will be able to carry on your body without getting into trouble.

I do have a small survival kit that I usually have with me. It is incased in a Maxpedition mini pocket organizer. This way I can carry a lot more but also have it all organized in a nice case that easily fits into my cargo pocket. I will review this kit at a later date so that you can see what I have chosen to carry and why. I try to always have on me a way to start fire, purify water, some form of shelter (space blanket) and at least two cutting tools.

Take a look at what you have on you right now that might be able to be used in a survival or emergency situation. Spread it all out on a table and see what is worth keeping, what may be worth getting rid of and what you might want to add to make it a more, well rounded kit. In any emergency or survival situation you’re going to have to survive with whatever you happen to have on you or with you at that moment. Don’t be stuck wishing you had carried that one thing you thought you didn’t need.

Always reevaluate your every day carry kit. Test everything that you think is worth carrying. That way you know it is worth its weight and you’ll know how to use it when it comes time. The last thing you need is something failing you when you need it most.

I highly recommend that you carry some form of an EDC and that you get familiar with each integral part of your kit. Now is the time to prepare. Don’t be caught off guard. Thanks for reading and let me know what you have in your kit and why.