Top 6 Best Rescue Knives For Rapid Response Action

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Rescue knives represent their own unique class of blades. They incorporate specific design features you won’t see in other blades. A good rescue knife must be up to the task of rescuing a person or persons from a range of life threatening situations. The knife must easily cut through seat belts, rope, and other restraining material. It must be able to punch through glass, slice, and easily be retrieved and deployed. The rescue knife is strong, locks securely into place in the case of folding rescue knives, and is ultimately more useful than not in a rescue scenario.

Here are a few things to look for in a good rescue knife:

  • Serrated edges (good for cutting through seat belts and other cordage type material.)
  • Prominent thumb studs for easy opening even with gloves
  • Shorter blade 5″ MAX. Longer blades quickly become cumbersome and difficult to work with.
  • Blunted tip. Especially crucial for EMT’s and firefighters working around moving humans and animals. You don’t want to stab anything.
  • Comfortable handle
  • Glass breaker pommel
  • Corrosion resistant coating especially if used frequently around water
  • Stainless steel (less prone to rusting and extremely durable)
  • Full tang

The quality of the knife is also most crucial. What if you roll your car off a bank straight into a lake and your seatbelt locks up? Are you trusting your knife to one of these trinket knives that are going to bust as soon you as you go to do something useful? When you buy a high quality knife, you are buying it for life.

Let’s take a look at the contenders.

1.) SpyderCo Assist Combo Knife

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  • Overall Length: 8.375″ (213 mm)
  • Blade Length: 3.687″ (94 mm)
  • Steel: VG-10
  • Closed Length: 4.875″ (124 mm)
  • Edge Length: 3.188″ (81 mm)
  • Weight: 4 oz (115 g)
  • Blade Thickness: .125″ (3 mm)

The SpyderCo Assist rescue knife is the knife chosen by professionals time and time again. Take good note of the features. The blade itself is made of time tested VG-10, a material very resistant to corrosion while also retaining a good edge. It’s a big knife with a lot of handle but a shorter blade. When cutting anything it’s crucial to have a firm grip. If you notice, the dull top edge of the blade is grooved out. This is so you can squeeze the serrated blade and handle together making for a relentless rope or cable cutting tool. Extremely ergonomic. The bright orange color makes it easy to locate if dropped in the dark or in a place with a ton of debris, it sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s exactly what you want. The blade also features a prominent hole for drop dead easy opening. SpyderCo was the first to pioneer this unique design. The SpyderCo Assist is a durable trustworthy companion.

2.) Benchmade Triage 916 Rescue knife

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  • Blade Length: 3.40″ (8.64cm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124″ (3.15mm)
  • Open Length: 8.25″ (20.96cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.85″ (12.32cm)
  • Weight: 5.24oz: (148.55g)

The Benchmade Triage 916 is another all time classic rescue knife and a staple for emergency personnel around the globe. This American Made rescue knife packs loads of features and delivers above and beyond the call of duty. The blade hits all the spots – partially serrated with a wicked sharp edge, bright orange, built in seat belt/cordage ripper, and a fully functional glass breaker on the butt end of the pommel. The knife easily opens with a single hand thanks to the ambidextrous thumb stud and securely locks into place, ready for deep action. The grip on this handle is ultra aggressive – people often complain about the texture wearing down their pockets. For the serious knife user this is not a problem and in fact, a solid advantage. This blade grips extremely well even in wet weather. The blade is made of N680 stainless steel and treated with anti corrosion coating making it well tasked for water work. Another great knife.

3.) Cold Steel SRK

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  • Weight: 8.2 oz.
  • Blade Thickness: 5.0 mm
  • Blade Length: 6.0″
  • Handle: 4.75″ Long Kray-Ex
  • Overall: 10.75″
  • Steel: Japanese SK-5 High Carbon Steel w/ Black Tuff-Ex Finish

The Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife is a fixed blade knife designed as a general purpose survival and rescue knife. It’s seen heavy use in the military and a directly issued to the Navy Seals for combat training. It’s sharp as hell, durable, and non-slip. It’s a solid general knife that does a lot of things well.

4.) Kershaw Funxion EMT

  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Liner lock
  • Thumbstud and flipper
  • Single-position pocketclip; deep-carry
  • Carabiner clip, cord cutter, screwdriver tip, hex wrench, glassbreaker tip
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV, black-oxide coating
  • Handle: Glass-filled nylon, K-Texture™ insert
  • Blade length: 3 in. (7.6 cm)
  • Closed length: 4.25 in. (10.7 cm)
  • Overall length: 7.25 in. (18.4 cm)
  • Weight: 4.8 oz. (137 g)

The Kershaw Funxion EMT packs all the features of a solid rescue knife into a value bomb dropper. If you want a halfway decent survival knife but don’t want to spend the big bucks, you can pick this bad boy up for less than $30 bucks. Kershaw is a solid brand but cheap does come at a price. This particular blade uses an inferior form of stainless steel known as 8cr13MoV. It’s a weaker metal but still does the job. Just don’t expect it to last a lifetime or never break.

5.) Gerber LMF 2

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  • Overall Length: 10.59″
  • Blade Length: 4.84″
  • Weight: 24.28 oz. (w/ Sheath)
  • Weight: 11.67 oz. (w/o Sheath)
  • Blade Material: 420HC Stainless.
  • Blade Style: Drop Point.
  • Blade Type: Serrated.
  • Handle Material: Glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold.

The Gerber LMF2 infantry knife was specially designed to assist downed aircrew pilots and personnel in the event of a crash landing. It’s strong enough to cut straight through the fuselage of an aircraft and versatile enough to assist in a range of survival oriented tasks. It has a partially serrated blade and a unique tang design allowing you to hack straight through electrical wire without getting shocked. This is a fixed blade knife. The back of the knife features one of the hardest glass busting pommels you’ll find on a knife.

6.) Kershaw Blur

  • Made in the USA
  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Thumb stud
  • Inset liner lock
  • Reversible pocketclip (tip-up/tip-down)
  • Lanyard hole
  • Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, DLC coating
  • Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum, Trac-Tec inserts
  • Blade Length: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.5 in. (11.4 cm)
  • Overall Length: 7.9 in. (20 cm)
  • Weight: 3.9 oz. (110.5 g)

The Kershaw Blur is a tactical folding knife with Kershaws signature Speedsafe opening mechanism. This blade flings open at a moments notice. The steel in question is 14CC28N, a stainless steel mix which sharpens up to a razers edge and fairly anti-corrosive characteristics, not to mention the coating. The blade is serrated and the glass breaking pommel is standard on all models. This is a solid knife with an aggressive grip well suited to rescue situations.

 

Top 7 American Made Knife Companies

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Tired of dishing your money out to overseas manufacturers? If you’re looking for an American Made knife company to send your money to, look no further than this list.

1.) ESEE

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ESEE knives are manufactured by Rowen Manufacturing in Idaho Falls, Idaho. This is great news for Americans looking for American Made knives. ESEE knives are the absolute best in the business. ESEE still holds true to the belief that high quality American made knives can still be competitive with the cheap Chinese and overseas products. If you’re looking for a high quality survival or rescue knife, look no further than the infamous ESEE 5. The ESEE 5 is absolutely bombproof and represents a knife that will last multiple lifetimes.

Notable knife: ESEE 5

2.) Benchmade

Benchmade knife company was born in California, eventually establishing permanent roots in Oregon. All Benchmade knives are custom made right in their shop in Oregon City, Oregon. The story goes, the founding owner grew tired of the cheap Bali-Song butterfly knives he played with as a kid and set out to create a knife made with state of the art materials and engineering techniques. He showed his finished product to a gun store owner who asked Les if he could make 100 more. The rest as they say, is history. Benchmade now makes a range of high quality products. The Benchmade 940 is perhaps their most popular knife.

Notable Knife: The Benchmade 940

3.) SpyderCo

SpyderCo knives are manufactured in the great state of Golden, Colorado. They’ve carved out (no pun intended) a large following of dedicated customers with their unique designs and attention to quality and detail. The company has pioneered many knife features now standard on most blades – the pocket clip and blade serrations being the most notable of these designs. In 1981 they unvelied the C01 Worker, their first folder knife and the first knife ever featuring a hole in the blade, designed for fast opening for both righties and lefties. They’ve continued to push the envelope with their designs.

Notable knife: SpyderCo Paramilitary 2

4.) Ontario knife company

Ontario is a knife company founded in 1989, in Naples, New York. Currently, all of their knives are manufactured in Franklinville, NY. Ontario boasts some serious accolades and have direct contracts with the U.S. military. They’ve supplied survival knives for both the USMC the Airforce, and most notably created the M9 bayonet. Ontario specializes in hardcore military knives. These are not knives you take home to grandma. Their history of military use means these knives are meant for serious business and survival. If you want a knife that’s going to stand the test of time and see you through even the hairiest situations, go with an Ontario.

Notable knife: Ontario Rat 5

5.) Kabar

Kabar knives hails from Good ol’ New York City and is famous for their fighting knives used by our very own United States Marine Core. They are a sister company of Cutco Cutlery believe it or not but they produce some seriously high quality knives. The Bk2 and the Bk7 are their most famous knives. These are some of the best fixed blade knives you will come across. The Bk7 in particular is rather beastly and certainly overkill for anything but the most hardcore survivalists.

Notable knife: Kabar Bk2

6.) TOPS

TOPS knives are designed in the USA and manufactured/finished right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. They work closely with military personnel to craft some of the best survivalist knives in the business. TOPS knives have also seen deep action in military hot spots and some military folk absolutely swear by the products. TOPS has everything from hunting/survival knives to tactical/EDC blades. There’s a little something for everyone over at TOPS.

Notable knife: CSAR-T Tactical Folder

7.) Emerson

Emerson knives employs over 20 people right here in the United States. Emerson has a rather unique history and boasts some interesting anecdotes. The Emerson CQC-7 was the knife that killed Osama Bin Laden and sold at an auction for $35,400 dollars. The knives are top notch and Emerson himself has put years of work into making knives his fellow Americans can be proud of. Mr Emerson is also an accomplished martial artist and an expert in hand-to-hand combat. He’s trained many organizations including the Navy Seals and has also written numerous books.

Notable Knife: Emerson CQC-7

 

Cold Steel Recon 1 DEEP DIVE review

There’s lot’s to be said about the Cold Steel Recon 1. For starters you WILL not find a higher value blade for the price of the Recon 1. For under $100 bucks you’re simply not going to find a sturdier feature packed EDC folder knife. That is the magic of the Cold Steel Recon 1.

In this review we’re gonna take a deep dive look at the Recon 1 and discover everything there is to know about this value packed blade.

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 9.375″
  • Blade Length: 4.00″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.13″
  • Blade Material: CTS-XHP
  • Blade Style: Clip point, Spear point, and Tanto
  • Blade Grind: Hollow
  • Finish: Black
  • Edge Type: Serrated or non-serrated
  • Handle Length: 5.375″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.51″
  • Handle Material: G-10

Full review

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The Cold Steel Recon 1 with serrated edge

 

First off, we’re talking about a full blown tactical blade made into a standard EDC folder knife. The spear point version of the Recon 1 screams tactical. The blade is sharp and sturdy enough to do serious damage in the deep woods while also doubling as a formidable self defense weapon. I’ve used this bad boy to split firewood, skin small game, and bust open boxes and envelopes. The blade comes in from the factory sharp as a razor. That is one thing about Cold Steel blades – they all come out of the box sharp as hell. In fact, this blade takes the hairs right off your arms and doesn’t ask twice.

As a folder/EDC/pocket knife some say this is a big knife. I will agree with that statement but I will also say that the second generation of this blade is much lighter. While it IS a big knife it carries the weight of a much smaller knife. You’re gonna have to get used to this knife taking up more space in your pocket than your standard EDC blade. Still, this knife is quickly moving up the ranks on my shelf as my main EDC knife. Especially when I’m heading out to the city, the tactical shanking applications of this knife cannot be understated. The spear point tip means this blade is going to sink deep into whatever you stab it into. You do not want to be on the business end of this blade, that’s for sure.

And speaking of shanking, the blade flings open at a moments notice. The thumbstuds are ambidextrous and with a quick flick of the wrist, flys out of nowhere ready to do business. the blade locks surprisingly firm into place thanks to the Cold Steel signature locking mechanism. Nothing short of serious pressure applied to key leverage points is going to get this thing to bust once it’s fully locked into place. Getting the blade unlocked is drop dead simple and smooth. With only the slightest pressure on the release mechanism the blade is ready to be concealed and placed deep into pocket with the clip.

The textured grip on the Recon 1 is aggressive. In fact, you even feel the roughness through your own pocket. This is why some will never consider the Recon 1 a true EDC – something you can carry everyday. For me personally, I don’t find the texture bothersome. I know if I ever need to work in the rain, the extra grip is going to come in mighty handy. The aggressive texture is something to make note of however. And another thing to note about the handle – the G10 material and the finger choils allows for a truly deep and comfortable grip. Pick this thing up and the first thing you notice is the aggressiveness of the material combined with powerful grip action. There is no jimping however, but I find it grips good none-the-less.

Conclusion

The Recon 1 is one of my favorite Cold Steel blades and a great option for an EDC. The value of the knife is unheard of, it brings a ton of features and design elements to the table you won’t see in other knives of the same price. As a tactical folder, it’s a no brainer.

Have experience with the Recon 1? Leave a comment and let everyone know what you think about this blade.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 review

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In search of the greatest EDC knife of all times I had a number of requirements. The knife had to be small yet powerful. You can’t simply carry a giant RAMBO knife everywhere you go and expect to call it an EDC. With the EDC, you’ll be doing everything from cracking open boxes and envelopes, to skinning small fish and game. I ran across the Benchmade Mini Griptilian and everything looked good on paper…but how did it stack up to the daily wear and tear of life? In this review I take you through a deep dive look at the Benchmade Mini Griptilian. 

Specifications and benefits

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  • Blade length – 2.91″
  • Open length – 6.78″
  • Blade thickness – 2.54mm
  • Blade material – 154CM
  • Drop point
  • Slim profile
  • Sharp as a razor
  • Extremely grippy and ergonomic; patented scales and form factor
  • Easily resharpens thanks to the 154CM material
  • Locks securely into place
  • Sturdy pocket clip
  • Flys open with thumb tack
  • Comes apart for cleaning
  • Perhaps the most famous EDC knife of all time

Full review

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The BMG boasts a number of crucial design specs. First and foremost, the blade material is made of time tested 154CM stainless steel. This blade material delivers the wicked sharp edge of a carbon steel blade while also boasting the serious anti-corrosion characteristics of stainless. The best of both worlds? Yes. This steel does make this blade a jack of all trades knife. It’s not going to give you the FULL benefits of carbon or stainless. For an every day carry, this is just fine for me.

The handle on the BMG immediately burns into your brain the reason they call this the mini griptilian. The handle practically molds right into your mitts, giving you a balanced an extremely ergonomic grippy feel. The name of the knife also pays homage to the scaled grip patterns on the handle and the numerous washboard moldings placed at key grip areas of the knife. The knife also features solid jimping, ensuring you get a clean and solid grip even when slicing deep into a fish or piece of game.

One thing I love about the knife is the dimensions. It’s not too wide and does not annoy you in the pocket. There’s nothing worse than a bulky pocket knife. This knife leaves plenty of room in the pocket with just enough weight to let you know it can be busted out at a moments notice.

With a bit of practice the knife flys open using the prominent thumb stud on the side of the knife. Once the blade is open it locks securely into place using the BMGs classic AXIS locking mechanism. To close the blade, press down on the release mechanism and then fling it back into place, ensuring to let go of the release button before the blade arcs all the way back into the handle.

Lastly, the blade is fully serviceable. The entire thing can be taken apart for a proper cleaning using standard allen wrenches. Now that’s custom.

Conclusion

The Benchmade Mini Griptilian has earned it’s rightful place in the hands of thousands of users who consider this knife the best EDC knife on the market – and I can see why. It’s hard to find a flaw with this blade.

Do you have experience with the BMG? Leave a comment and let others know what you think about this knife.

Bugging In vs Bugging Out During SHTF

The million dollar question that’s been hashed over a million times by preppers and survivalist is the following – in a full blown SHTF situation, is it better to bug out or bug in? Debaters on both sides of the equation bring up valid points which I will discuss in this post.

Bugging out

Bugging out in an SHTF situation appears to be the most popular option amongst preppers. Most preppers and survivalists are locked, cocked, and ready to roll out at a moments notice. Bugging out is the act of packing your things and getting out of town to a secondary bug out location.

But is bugging out always the best option? Bugging out makes a lot of sense depending on the situation. You do NOT want to bug in if you live in a city and all hell breaks loose. The city will be ripe with looters and other dangerous animals who will begin controlling the streets. After all the obvious stuff has been looted, these baboons will start raiding houses to secure survival items. One thing is for certain – they will not be asking your permission.

The other crucial aspect to bugging out is your secondary location. Unless you have a plan, bugging out doesn’t make sense unless the situation is getting progressively worse. Where will you go if you bug out? Do you have family in another city or town? Will you have enough resources? Where are you going?

The most laughable idea plaguing the survival community is bugging out into the woods. Unless you plan on going full blown RAMBO and you have ultimate survival skills, bugging out to the woods is a recipe for suicide. This is definitely not an option for a family.

Bugging in

Bugging in is another formidable survival strategy when the shit hits the fan. Bugging in makes complete sense for home owners who own property out in rural or country areas. From this unique vantage point you can easily protect your land with guns from the occasional crazy. The fact is country folks won’t be dealing with looters and violent criminals like city dwellers will. If you live in the cuts, stocking up on food, water, and ammo is a solid strategy for surviving the madness.

Just make sure you’re fully prepped with proper food and supplies.

The best strategy for you

There is no right answer to bugging in vs bugging out. You will do one or the other depending on your situation. The BEST thing you can do is prepare for both. This means having the necessary supplies to bug in but also preparing to bug out if the situation calls for rapid response action.

You must slowly begin putting together the proper SHTF supplies and at the bare minimum, get yourself a decent bug out bag.

Survival is not guaranteed but preparing at even a basic level sets you miles ahead of the rest.

7 Urban Survival Tips and Strategies

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Living in the city offers an individual a dense supply of opportunity and diversity. Big cities are a breeding ground for the best jobs, the best social scenes, and the most access to goods and services. However, what happens when the shit hits the fan and you’re forced to exit the city? What happens when core utility services like power, water, and electricity stop working? I’ll tell you what will happen…COMPLETE MADNESS. Some folks have never experienced a complete break down of the system or gone without power for more than a couple hours. Believe me, you’re gonna want some strategies to survive in an urban environment when all hell breaks loose.

1.) Know thy city

The best tip I can give you is to understand and know your city from the inside out. You need to know the back streets and all the potential exit strategies. Are you able to avoid the major highways on your way out? What roads will most of the people use when they panic and start heading for the hills? Knowing the streets is the first step in making a clean unobstructed getaway.

2.) Have an exit strategy

Once you know your city like the back of your hand, start mapping out multiple exit pathways. Practice driving these roads and become familiar with them. Having multiple exit plans gives you a greater chance of success if PLAN A falls through the floor.

3.) Keep a full tank of gas

In a full blown system meltdown you’re not just gonna stroll into a gas station for a Snickers and a fill up. You might not have access to gas for many miles. Keeping a full tank ensures you MAXIMIZE the distance you can put between you and the urban jungle.

4.) Make a bug out bag

bug out bag

A bug out bag contains all the crucial gear you’ll need to survive 72+ hours without access to food or water. At the bare minimum you need 3 days worth of food and water. Keep one in your car, at work, and at home. This way you’ll have access to something you can grab and go at a moments notice. Read my 2018 guide on making a bug out bag. 

>>>also read this post on a kit specific to urban survival<<<

5.) Ride a motorcycle

This option is obviously not for everybody but I will say this – people riding motorcycles have the highest chances of exiting the city rapidly. A motorcycle or scooter can easily zip through traffic. While your average car is sitting around going slow as a snail, the motorcyclist zooms straight through unobstructed.

6.) Stockpile supplies before SHTF

One strategy of survival is “bugging in” rather than bugging out. To bug in you need a healthy supply of food. Mainly, food that won’t spoil if the power is out. Think about food like clif bars, canned goods, and ready to make packages from Mountain House. You can buy buckets of that stuff and be completely set to hunker down and blow through whatever is going on.

7.) Self defense

This is super crucial especially if you’re deciding to bug in. Get licensed to own a firearm or at least get a good combat knife and some long range bear spray. You’ll need something to fend off the looters and other creatures of the urban jungle.

 

The Bare Bones Power Outage Survival Guide

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It’s the funniest thing when the power goes out. At first, a slight panic. Did a breaker pop? Do the neighbors still have power? Wow, it’s dark and and quiet! Then comes the mad scramble for that one illusive flashlight that hasn’t been used in years. Finally! The flashlight has been found. Wait, this thing is out of batteries!

By the time the average person gets around to finding the batteries the power has come back on. Instead of prepping for future power outage occurrences what does the average person do? Absolutely nothing of course. Not a good game plan.

In this post let’s cover some basic prepping you can do to make life during a power outage much easier on yourself.

The basics

First off, check with PG&E to discover the extent of the outage. You can setup alerts to notify immediately of power outages in your area. This will at least give you peace of mind knowing the problem is being worked through, and you’re not the only one effected by the outage.

Second, secure the minimum gear to temporarily continue first world standards of living.

Here is a basic list of gear:

Now, this is ultra bare bones yet more than most people have during a power outage. With the above supplies you have everything you need to light up the house, cook, stay hydrated, and collect updates on the extent of the outage through the radio. If you want to get ultra fancy you can look into generators so you can continue to run your fridge and some of your lights.

Using the propane stove you can begin to cook the food that’s in your fridge. No power obviously means a lot of the food in your fridge and freezer will start to go bad after some time. Cook the stuff that will spoil the quickest. For quick meals you can make fast, look into picking up a bucket of Mountain House meals. These are meals backpackers take out into the wild. All you need is hot water and you have yourself a surprisingly tasty meal. Non-perishable snacks like Clif bars are also power outage past times.

Power outages don’t have to be boring either. Keeping a couple old school board games around is a fun way to bond with the family when the power goes out. Monopoly squeezes out enough action to see even the most hardened technology addict through third world times.

One of the greatest tips I can give you is avoid candles. When most people think about power outages they think of lighting a bunch of candles. This creates a nice little ambiance but also opens you up to a serious house fire. If you do opt for candles, make sure the flame is properly enclosed. The WORST candles you can use are those long candle sticks with an open flame.

Final thoughts

Getting through power outages is not rocket science. You do not need to be a hardened survivalist to make it through. With some basic gear and common sense, you can easily see yourself through even long lasting outages with relative ease.

 

 

2018 Survival Bug Out Bag Guide

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The year is 2018. Do you know where your bug out bag is? If you don’t have one it’s time to take the first step. The bug out bag is the entry point that gets most people started on the path to prepping. Getting together a solid bug out bag is a super actionable step you can take to ensure your safety in the event of meltdown. A bug out bag secures you with the necessary resources to withstand and survive power outages, automobile breakdowns, civil unrest, and disruptions within the municipal systems which keep society civilized.

Your bug out bag is your main companion and great thought must be put into making something useful.

Let’s start with some basics.

Backpack

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The backpack is perhaps the most crucial aspect to the bug out bag. Obviously, it holds all of your gear. There are certain elements which make a bug out bag great.

A good bug out bag is:

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Big enough to stow all your gear (30L+)
  • Comfortable
  • Proper weight distribution

There are military grade backpacks and civilian varieties. The differences between these 2 are not as diverse as you’d think. Even civilian made packs can withstand the rigors of daily use. There are also best of both worlds backpacks which combine the most functional elements of both camps. The Rush 72 is the most praised pack in the survival community and for good reasons. 

I am also a big fan of the Direct Action Ghost (full review here.)

If you don’t want to waste hours on end hunting for the proper pack definitely spring for the Rush 72.

The main idea when purchasing a pack is going for durability, comfort, and adequate storage space. Good shoulder straps and a cushy back are most CRUCIAL.

Gear

Next up is proper gear. I recommend reading my SHTF gear guide. For practical purposes, the list below is more than adequate to get you started:

  • Fire making gear (matches, extra lighters)
  • Plastic baggies (waterproof your gear)
  • Black trash bags (store water, create shelter, poncho)
  • Powerful flashlight (tac lights double as self defense weapons)
  • 72 hours worth of food and water
  • Cooking kit
  • Water filter
  • Change of clothes (socks if nothing else)
  • First aid kit (Learn about the IFAK)
  • Batteries and chargers for your smart phone/electronics
  • Paracord (always useful)
  • Knife (read this)

The bulleted list above is the bare essentials. It has everything you need to secure water, make fire and shelter, and defend yourself. There’s also a few core essential items like chargers and battery packs. If there is still reception your smartphone could be your number one life saver.

The food and water are super crucial. Make sure to stow at least 72 hours worth of food and water. Having food and water when there is nothing is psychologically important to your survival, not just physically. Think about food that won’t spoil – clif bars, tuna packets, dried fruit, nuts, and peanut butter are all very good choices. Mountain House has some tasty options. Add hot water and you have yourself a tasty feast.

Also consider an emergency radio system like a Kaito radio. These devices tap directly into the NOAA emergency stations so you can stay up to date with what’s going on. They can be solar, AC, Battery, and hand crank powered. There’s also a powerful flashlight built in and you can charge your phone via USB. Ultra versatile for those times when the power is out.

Final thoughts

Putting together a bug out bag is not rocket science. Knowing how to use the gear is much more difficult. Your first step is making sure you are prepared with the proper gear. The second step is securing the knowledge required to act on your feet and use the gear properly. That only comes with practice my friend.

Thanks for reading.

Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System Review

One thing always stressed when it comes to prepping is OPSEC (operational security.) It’s crucial to understand what is going around your perimeter at all times. If you do not have security measures in place you run the risk of a potential breach. This could be somebody sneaking on to your property or a number of other threats. There’s a ton of useful applications for something like Guardlines Wireless Driveway Alarm System.

In this review I take a deep look into this particular long range alarm system and discuss whether this is a solid product to maintain a secure perimeter at your house, shop, or base camp.

Features and specifications

There are 2 primary driveway alarm products from Guardline. There’s a $99 dollar model and a $159 dollar model. Both of these models share similar features except for the range capabilities from the sensor to the receiver. In the $99 dollar model the maximum range from sensor to receiver is 500 feet. In the premium model the max distance measures at a whopping 1/4 mile. This is well over double the range of the entry level alarm system. Your choice of model depends on how much range you need. In other words, what do you want to monitor and how far will you be away from the sensor?

Here is a general list of features:

  • Driveway alarm system
  • Sensor and Receiver
  • Long range
  • 500 feet range ($99 dollar model)
  • 1,320 feet range ($159 dollar model)
  • Battery powered sensor (4 AA batteries included)
  • Batter powered receiver (4 AAA batteries included)
  • AC adapter also included with receiver
  • Easily mounts to post or other structure with mounting bracket and screws
  • 30 different alarm sounds
  • Good audible sound
  • Supports up to 16 zones with different sensors
  • Easily use 1 sensor with multiple receivers for different parts of your location
  • Easily use multiple sensors with a single receiver
  • Comprehensive and easy-to-read manual
  • 2 year warranty

Setting things up

the guardline wireless driveway alarm mounted on tree

The system works off a sensor and a receiver. You will place the sensor on the section of property you want to monitor and the receiver close by to you. When you open the box you’ll notice both the sensor and the receiver. It’s very easy to pair the two together. On the receiver there are 5 buttons. On one side you have a ON/OFF toggle switch, a volume control, and the AC adapter jack. On the opposite side you have the controls related to the communications between the sensor and the receiver. The most important button is the learn mode button. This is the button you will use to pair the sensor with the receiver.

It’s actually quite simple to pair the sensor and the receiver in just a few steps:

  1. Turn on both the sensor and the receiver.
  2. On the receiver, hold down the “learn mode” button until the zone 1 LED begins to blink.
  3. At this point the receiver is in learn mode and you can select a tone for the alert. Cycle through the 30 sounds using the “melody” button until you find a sound you like.
  4. Now, cycle through the zones with the “learn mode” button until none of the zones are blinking. Once the light shuts off, the device has exited learn mode and is ready for testing.
  5. Wave your hand over the sensor to verify a successful pairing. If everything goes correctly you should hear the sound for the melody you selected and the ZONE 1 light will begin to blink.

Full review

Rarely does a product stand up to what it claims to do. This is why I am always surprised when I find a product that does exactly what it’s supposed to. No more, no less. The Guardline driveway security system is a simple piece of technology you can use to monitor your driveway or any other piece of property for that matter. This thing is great to alert you when someone is driving up. I can see this being used by business owners to alert them when a customer or delivery man pulls in, or as a fully functional security system. Use this device with a camera system to get instantaneous data on what is going on around you.

I found the system is actually drop dead simple to setup as I explained above. Everything can be powered off of the included batteries and the mounting system allows for a number of different setups. For most applications you can simply screw the mounting bracket into a post and be good to go. You could also use a piece of rope or string to lash the sensor to a tree or anything else. The housing of the sensor is fully weather proof so no need to worry about water or anything else.

The logic behind this driveway alarm is simple. When something passes the sensor, beep at me! I found the device just does that, and it does it very well. I actually found the sensor performs well past the documented ranges. With a direct line of sight you can get the receiver to detect from impressive distances.

My favorite aspect about this product is you’re not just tied into 1 sensor. You can purchase multiple sensors and sync them up to the same receiver. On the receiver you have 4 different zones that support 4 sensors in each zone. This means a single receiver can monitor 16 separate locations on your property. Purchasing multiple sensors allows for a truly robust monitoring system. You can have one sensor monitoring the driveway and another sensor monitoring the front door.

False positives and other considerations…

As with most sensors, you have to be aware of false positives. The Guardline system will occasionally pick up false positives like moving branches, small animals, or anything else that passes through the sensor. It’s crucial to ensure the sensor is mounted straight at what you want to monitor. Clear out any branches that might cross the sensors path. Otherwise, your receiver will have no problems beeping at you all day!

Customer support and warranty

I should also mention that Guardline security has great customer support. They are a small business based in the USA and have a real telephone number you can reach them at. You can tell they truly care about creating a top notch product and delivering over the top customer service. All across social media you can see them helping their customers around every turn. On YouTube you can see them helping out users on their channel. If you have a problem with the device you can simply call them up or send an email.

There is also a 2 year warranty on all of their products. This is a considerable length of time considering this is an outdoor product that is sure to take some flack! I have no doubt this alarm system will stand the test of time.

Wrapping up…

The Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm System is a fully functional piece of equipment that does everything it says it does. Setting it up is drop dead simple. The product is a bit on the pricier side but the reliability and performance of the system is unmatched. You also won’t find better customer service for a product in this category. I have to say this is the best driveway alarm system you can buy on the market today.

Going Grayman and Surviving The Police State

gray-man-concept

The other day I was walking on my daily route when a cop in a white cruiser slowly passed me on the road. He made a right at the intersection while I continued straight. Further up the road at another intersection the same cop pulls up next to me and makes another right. He clearly doubled back.

At this point my radar is on full alert and now I’m just waiting for the inevitable confrontation. The cop was obviously tailing me. Up the road even further the copper passes then pulls his cruiser over about 50 feet in front of me and gets out. He begins walking towards me. My heart rate is now elevated ever so slightly as my mind is attempting to make sense out of what is going on. Usually when this happens the cops have mistaken me for someone else and confronting me on the grounds of “I fit the description of a suspect.”

I immediately ask the officer what is going on. He informs me of numerous break ins in the area and he is making the rounds to see what the pedestrians are up to. I had my house key around my neck and informed him that I lived in the neighborhood and was on my usual exercise route.

It was at this point he asked to see my ID. I politely refused (legally of course as I will explain later.) He then had the audacity to hand me a pedestrian profile document with a laundry list of personal questions. I once again informed the cop that I wasn’t interested in providing any questions to him. He digressed into a half hearted ramble about how this information was for the good of the neighborhood and so forth. I stood my ground and left. The cop understood where he was coming from and realized I was fully exercising my rights as a citizen.

Luckily the cop was respectful but this is not always the case. Some cops will blatantly bully you into divulging information you don’t need to give up. When dealing with cops, the key is to understand your rights and always keep calm.

Stop and identify statutes

In most states there are stop and identify statutes based on the type of interaction you are having with a police officer. There are 3 types:

  • Consensual – at anytime a police office may approach you and ask questions. You are not obligated to respond or identify yourself and may leave at anytime.
  • Reasonable suspicion – if a police office believes you have committed a crime or in the process of breaking the law he may detain you for questioning and frisk you for weapons if he thinks you’re armed. States with stop and identify statutes require you to ID yourself, but you may still remain silent under the Miranda law.
  • Arrest – if an arrest is made police officers have a no holds barred authority to search your person and take you in for questioning. In states with stop and identify statutes you are required to ID yourself. Not providing this information in some jurisdictions is even considered obstructing justice.

Going grayman

This post assumes you are the average man simply wanting to avoid the cops. Not because you are doing anything illegal, but because you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. This is the art of going Grayman. At the time, I was wearing an old pair of jeans, dirty hiking shoes, and wearing a dirty backpack. My hair was uncut and unkempt. All things considered, I looked like a homeless transient. The neighborhood I live in is primarily military families. The men are clean cut and usually aren’t walking around mid day like I was…especially with a backpack. I messed up because I went out looking suspicious. If I wanted to go unnoticed I’d give myself a buzzcut, put a military style hat on, and wear something clean.

The point is not to look military. The point is to look like you fit in wherever you live. A military look in a primarily urban area is going to look suspicious and vice versa. Take stock of how people dress in your area, what they drive, where they go…and then do your best to follow suit. Doing this ensures a safe passage through your day to day travels as you simply look like everyone else. Leave the flash and attention grabbing antics to the teenagers.

Conclusion

Going Grayman is more than just avoiding the police. It’s about not drawing attention from people who have their own best interests and heart – and people who might become a little to opportunistic given the right circumstances. Think about an SHTF scenario.

Thanks for reading.