7 Best Survival Gadgets for All Your Outdoor Needs.

This is a guest article by Anthony Maldonado

There are plenty of outdoor activities. Some want to practice outdoor sports, some enjoy just running in nature, some want to go for hunting and some would enjoy just a picnic in nature or camping under the stars. It is very healthy to spend some time in nature. That way we clear our mind from the negative thoughts and release all the negativity. Our muscles relax and our lungs fill with fresh air. With the everyday use of the technology and working all week-long, we try to reconnect with our roots and spend some time in nature in order to recharge our batteries and have plenty of energy for the tasks we have to do. Most of the people want to use the free time they have to spend some time in nature with their friends and family and have a good time. They decide for some outdoor activity and enjoy the benefits they get from spending some time in nature.

Before deciding on any outdoor you  need to prepare and take the equipment needed in order to avoid some impediments that will ruin your time in nature. In this article, we offer 7 best survival gadgets for your outdoor needs.

  • Gadget number one – Personal water filter – There is no life without water, so you need to take plenty of water with you when you spend some time outdoors. Sometimes it happens that you run out of water, so the personal water filter is a must have  gadget with you when spending some time outdoors. Our bodies need to be hydrated so that they can work properly. This tool can be found online or in many shops. It is not very expensive. With the personal water filter you can drink any water you find near you. The filter filters the water and after that the water is safe or drinking. So, when you consider some outdoor activity make sure you do not run out of water or just take the personal water filter.
  • Gadget number two – A flashlight and a battery charger – During  darkness, you will need a flashlight with you. When spending  time camping or maybe doing some other outdoor activity you should have a flashlight and some batteries for it. Rechargeable batteries  will need a battery charger in case the ones you have do not work. A solar battery charger will be perfect for charging your batteries for your outdoor needs.
  • Gadget number three – A lighter – Whether you smoke or not you definitely should have a lighter with you. It is very useful  not only for lighting your cigarettes but also for starting a fire. You may need to get warm or you can use the fire as a source of light.
  • Gadget number four – A hand warmer – When your hands are cold you are unable to perform the activities you need to do. When our hands are warm we are able to do important tasks. Hand warming devices are easy to use; they are re-usable and can be used 12 hours straight. They make your hands warm faster than using gloves.
  • Gadget number five – Sun oven – This might be a more expensive gadget, but it will definitely serve you if you want to spend some time outdoors and prepare the food in nature by yourself. This oven uses the sun lights as energy and heats up to 200 degrees Celsius. You can prepare some food using this oven and enjoy your time outdoors.
  • Gadget number six – A gun – This may not be something that will come to your mind when you want to spend some time relaxing in nature, but it is something you must have with you. There are many animals in nature, especially in the woods. Animals see people as a threat and they just want to protect themselves so you need to have a gun with you in order to defend yourself from the possible danger.
  • Gadget number seven – First aid kit – When spending some time outdoors, you must have a first aid kit with you in case of accidents, or maybe if bitten by an insect, if you cut yourself accidentally and so on. Also have some disinfectant swith you and bandages in case you got wounded. You never know what may happen. It is better to be prepared.

Author-Bio

Anthony MaldonadoAnthony Maldonado has over Thirty (30) years of experience in the field of hunting, sports and self-defense related fields. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and DIY. He is an expert in the area of DIY. He is presently working at his tenbesttipz.com

 

 

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Guide to Picking the Best Mattress & Sleeping Pad for Survival

This is a guest article by Will Bermudez 

“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst!” This already famous truism is the perfect advice for all humanity: the smartest thing to do to ensure our survival is to have a strategy for the times when such planning will be required. One may hope those times will never come, but being ready for any circumstances is a moral duty. One essential detail you need to think about when developing a survival strategy – whether if it is for living in the wild or for surviving a natural disaster – is sleeping arrangements. Depending on your needs, you’ll be inclined to choose between a mattress and a sleeping pad. I tried both options, and I can’t decisively swing over one or another. They both have numerous pros. But in the end, the choice is based on individual preferences. That’s why I put together a short guide to help you consider vital factors when making your purchase of either a mattress or a pad – or both.

Think comfort

Whether you want a thin sleeping pad or a thick air mattress, seek the most comfortable option according to your needs. If you have health issues, allergies or back pains or you just have to sleep in a specific position, choose the product that addresses your problem. Read the descriptions of the products carefully; ask the retailer for more details and, most importantly, read the buyers’ reviews. Test the pad or the mattress, if you have the possibility, for at least 15 minutes, in your favorite sleeping position.

Think storage and transportation

sleeping padModern pads and mattresses are designed to pack small, especially the outdoors models. Some pads pack to the size of a soda can. Deflated mattresses take little space in backpacks as well. But remember that you should focus on quality: the ultra-light ones may not offer the same sleep experience as the full body length ones. Sometimes too thin can mean a hard bed; too large, and the pad or mattress is difficult to carry. Considering you’ll probably sleep on the ground or the floor of a shelter, you should go for a thicker product, but still easy to transport.

Think materials and durability

The sleeping pad & mattress industry has evolved a lot over the past decades in all aspects – materials, weight, versatility, features. Pads are usually made of dense foam filled with tiny closed air cells. Most airbeds are made of PVC and other leading-edge materials meant to increase their durability. A thicker PVC layer (0.6 mm, for instance) offers better insulation, but can also bring extra weight. Good news is that lately, manufacturers went for fumes-free materials for airbeds, which reduces the safety concerns regarding the chemicals in these products.

Think power source

Consider the fact that you may not have an electric power source or that the one you have might get cut off. Thus, if you want to choose an air mattress, look for a self-sufficient product that can be inflated manually, or that can work on batteries as well.

Think quality and price

Try to find the best brands on the market, the ones that have been around for a long while and have developed a wide range of models, making them better and more affordable. Research thoroughly what others have to say about a particular product or brand; TryMattress recommends checking the website of the manufacturer and even the social media accounts since many people choose to give reviews on these networks. Last but not least, consider the fact that a good and reliable product will not be cheap, but it will be a long-term investment in your safety and comfort.

mattress

Publisher’s note: Amazon carries a good selection of sleeping pads and air mattresses.

Valley Food Storage Dehydrated Peanut Powder.

For those wishing to stockpile foods for long-term storage, there are a number of options. There are many companies that specialize in dehydrated foods, and the best advice you can get is to decide what you are going to need, and sample a variety from different companies. And there are a large choice of food types and menus.

Valley Food Storage is one of the major players in the industry. I tested their white bean and lime chili and found it really good. So when I was given another choice of item to test, I decided on the peanut powder. My main interest is in lightweight and easily stored items that would be functional and nutritional either bugging in or out. Peanut butter is a popular staple with survivalists for a number of reasons which I described here where I wrote about the real deal.

Peanut powder is made by compressing peanuts to remove the oil and fats, and then grinding them into powder. This provides a lightweight substitute for the much heavier actual peanut butter. So how does it stack up against the real thing on the two issues I see as most important: Nutrition and taste.

Nutrition

The table below is the label off the Valley Food Storage package. One serving consists of two tablespoons. One serving will contain 7g of protein, 70 calories, and 4g of total fat.

This is the label off of a regular jar of Jif creamy peanut butter. It also has 7 g of protein, but has 180 calories, and 16 grams of total fat

The peanut powder has and equal amount of protein, but a lot fewer calories, fat and sodium. But you are also talking a lot less weight for the amount of protein.

Taste Test

Easy to mix, it is 1 for 1 water and powder. I mixed two tablespoons of powder with two tablespoons of water. It mixed easily and rapidly. It wasn’t as thick as regular peanut butter. It tasted good, but needs a bit of sugar for my taste. Easily done in the field with small sugar packets.  It is advertised as good to mix in things like yogurt or cereal, or juice. OK in a bug in situation, but maybe not so practical on the move.  It would make a lightweight protein additive for such things as crackers, etc. It would also lighten up the blandness of survival food.

Conclusion

Lightweight and tasty protein supplement for a survival situation, but it has the same water dependent drawback that all dehydrated food stuffs have. I have placed one bag in my food stash and will let the wife enjoy the other in her breakfast yogurt.

Available from Valley Food Storage

Survival Hax Survival Shovel

survival_shovel_1_1024x1024One of the fun things about doing a survival blog is that manufacturers and dealers will often send you one of their items to test. I have some definite policies on this. I do not accept money for the review. I get to keep the item. And I will only write an honest evaluation. When Sara of SurvivalHax offered to send me one of their survival shovels I was glad to test it.

Before I discuss the shovel, let’s define what a survival shovel is. For my purposes, it should be lightweight and small enough to fit in a bug out bag. It should be sturdy enough to perform some basic functions. These would include digging a cat hole, digging a fire pit, digging a water run off trench around your shelter, driving tent stakes, and shoveling snow or sand from around a stuck vehicle tires. If you are planning on doing more heavy-duty digging, then you will need a larger tool. The SurvivalHax survival shovel will perform it’s intended functions very well.

This little shovel is basic military style with a folding spade and pick. This design was initiated by the Germans in WW2 and quickly copied by the United States and many other countries. The shovel has a two piece hollow handle which screws together and the end survival_shovel_6_1024x1024cap unscrews and has a ferro rod fire starter. Both handles are hollow. It also comes with a carrying case, as well as a lifetime warranty. When the shovel is unfolded it is 24 inches (2 feet) long. Its collapsible size is 8.6 x 8.2 inches. The head of the shovel is made out of manganese steel with a rigidity rating of 42-46. The handle is made out of steel as well, while the orange adjustment nut is aluminum alloy. It weighs in at about 2 pounds.

The blade is serrated on one side like many other shovels of this size. And like most of it’s counterparts, the serrated edges as well as the blade edge need to be sharpened with a file. This is not a criticism.   A few minutes with a file and the serrations and flat edge are nice and sharp. Again, most shovels of this type need to be sharpened. The three rivets that hold the blade to the mount seem solid. At 2 lbs. weight, it is solid enough to pound tent stakes in soft to moderately hard soil. I took the shovel out back and used both the pick and the blade to dig  around a bit. The soil here is gravely on top, sandy under. Both the pick and blade worked well and the locking nut stayed tight. There were no dings or bends to the blade.

survival-hax-shovel-dissassembledThe handle is a two piece hollow affair that screws together. The threads for both the handle and the end cap are cut clean and screw together with no problems. I recommend lubricating the threads lightly.   The black finish is smooth, actually slick. I solved this problem by wrapping the handle in paracord.

This not only adds no real weight, but gives a more solid grip on the handle as well as providing additional paracord for my kit. As the end cap is a ferro rod fire starter, I decided to use the hollow space to enhance  fire making capability. I took 5 Vaseline impregnated cotton balls and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I attached a piece of paracord to one end and a military p-38 can opener to the other. It works like a pull through with the p-38 being the weight that allows the sack to be pulled into or out of the tube. In addition, I have found a p-38 to be an excellent striker to use on a rod. I tested it on the rod that came with the shovel and got good sparks. I haven’t decided what to use the space in the upper handle for yet. Perhaps kindling.

The carrying case is adequate to store the two pieces nicely in a rucksack, but only has one belt loop and would probably not be too durable for long-term wear on a belt. If you wish to carry it that way, a very inexpensive military surplus e-tool holder can easily be found.survival_shovel_7_1024x1024

Summary

The SurvivalHax Survival Shovel is a well made, lightweight shovel of a proven design that is small enough to fit in a bug out bag, or under a vehicle seat and comes with a lifetime warranty. The hollow handles give you the option of storing additional items of your choice, which most other shovels of this type do not have. Mine is now in my get home bag in my jeep. Available on Amazon or SurvivalHax

SnugPak Softie 3 Merlin Sleeping Bag

Merlin 2Every one should have a bug out bag packed and prepared to go with at least three days necessities. Since sleeping is definitely a necessity in a stressful situation, it requires careful planning in the selection of gear. Weight in a bug out bag is a serious consideration. Sleeping gear can become a large portion of that weight. The SnugPak Softie 3 Merlin is a potential answer to the problem.

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