Quick Tip #17

Here are some simple stocking stuffer ideas for the camper, bushcrafter or outdoor enthusiast in your life.

 

Ferocerium Rod (fire starter)
Magnesium block (fire starter)
UCO stormproof matches or any matches you can find
Bandana or Survival Bandana (Survival Tips printed on it)
Cordage (550 or 850 paracord, 1000# Paramax, bank line or even Jute twine which can also be used as tinder for starting fires.
Small lengths of fat wood
Compass
Pocket knife or Hobo Pocket Knife
Emergency Fishing Kit
Pocket Chainsaw
Emergency Whistle
Carabiners
Emergency Blanket
Emergency Candles
Books (Survival, Tracking, Weather Patterns, Edible Plants, Shelter Building etc…)
Trail Maps
Pre-packaged Camp food or snacks (Jerky, Mountain House, Backpacker Pantry ect…)
Mora Knife
Flashlight or headlamp
Duct Tape
Small Pocket or small camp stove
Emergency Rain Poncho
Emergency light sticks
Hand and feet warmers
Water Filter

 

These are just a few ideas for those that are not sure what to throw in their outdoor enthusiasts Christmas stocking. There are plenty of other small useful things that will fit in a Christmas stocking but if you are not sure what to fill that stocking with feel free to use this list to help you out. What outdoor themed things are you putting in a Christmas stocking this year that may not be on this list?

Quick Tip #15

Home Depot, as well as some other stores, sells bags of Fat Wood in their fireplace sections during this time of year. Grab a large bag for around $5-$6. You can add a few pieces to your fire kits or emergency bag for quick access to some good quality dry tinder. You can even add a small bundle to any outdoor enthusiasts stocking and I’m sure they will thank you. When you’re ready to use it just shave it down and add a flame or spark from a ferocerium rod. So pick some up and give it a try!

 

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Inexpensive Quality Knives

You don’t have to spend a ton of money for a decent bushcraft or survival knife. Now I do agree in most cases that you get what you pay for but there are some exceptions to the rule. I own some expensive knives but this year I have mostly just carried my Mora companion, with attached fire kit, and an Esee Avispa folder. Both of which are fairly inexpensive, not overly heavy but are very well made knives. I also usually take a small hatchet for cutting up firewood so I’m not using my knife to baton wood (I just prefer to save my knives from this abuse if I can).

Mora makes great quality products that can take abuse but at an expense that you wont mind if you loose or damage it. I have added a fire kit to the outside of mine. The fire kit consists of a ferocerium rod, 1 piece of quik tinder (burns for 2 minutes) and is attacked with a 1 1/2″ ranger band. The Mora knife I carry is made of high carbon steel. This is a great quality for bushcraft or survival but also means the knife blade needs more care and cleaning. It is highly worth it in my mind.

The Esee Avispa is a great addition to the Mora. I carry a pocket knife on me daily because I find I use it and need it a lot. So it’s only natural for me to be carrying a folder. The blade on the Avispa is made of Aus-8 stainless steel. I like to have a stainless steel folding knife as a companion to any high carbon steel fixed blade I would be carrying because it saves me from pulling out my fixed blade knife every time I need to cut something and the stainless blade needs less care and upkeep than the high carbon steel blade needs. Also I like the fact that if I loose one knife I’ll still have one available to me instead of loosing my only knife and having nothing else to use.

These two knives together weigh less than one more expensive bushcraft or survival knife by themselves. For about $50-$70 you could have a great set up for your wilderness adventures. Before anyone complains, what about this knife or that knife, I know there are many great and expensive bushcraft and survival knives out there as well as better folders but these just happen to be what I’m carrying a lot these days and I think this is a great setup for those that can’t afford much or don’t want to spend a lot on one or two knives. These are fairly inexpensive knives but are better quality than their price portrays.

I hope this was helpful to some and an encouragement that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on gear to go out and enjoy the wilderness. Feel free to let me know what your favorite knife or knives are to carry on your wilderness adventures. As always get out there and enjoy the wilderness and maybe even relax and unwind a bit.

Quick Tip #13

When putting together an emergency fishing kit try using braided fishing line instead of mono. If you’ve ever tried to straighten out that emergency fishing line in any of the small kits available on the market today you know it’s a feat in itself to get it untangled and to try to ever get it straight again. Braided fishing line can take being wound up tightly unlike mono line can. Also the braided line is thinner in comparison to the mono for the same pound test line. If you ever need that emergency fishing kit you made you’ll be happy (jumping for joy) that you chose to use braided fishing line over mono. Which fishing line do you prefer, braided or mono, for an emergency fishing kit and why?

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?