Top 5 Best Molle Backpacks

Molle backpacks are functional military-spec bags that allow you to attach gear to the outside via specialized webbing. Molle has been the standard tactical choice for military personnel — and for a good reason. Molle is versatile technology that easily extends the carrying capacity of any backpack. Let’s look at 5 of the best Molle backpacks out on the market in 2016.

Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack

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The Spec Ops Assualt Pack is a versatile Molle designed pack that works well for a number of applications. This is the bugout bag of choice for many survival enthusiasts. Super durable self healing zippers (the last thing you want to bust) and unique features you won’t find in other packs — the high visibility meshing on the inside of the pack for example. This makes it easy to grab what you need from the pack as fast as possible — especially in the darkness of night. Also, the buckles on this pack are insane! Extremely durable. The problem I have with most packs is that the buckles bust too easily under load. You can tell right away that these buckles won’t be busting any time soon. Use this pack as your GOTO bugout bag, camping bag, or even your everyday recreational bag (it carrys my 15″ laptop perfectly.)

This pack does not have any organizational pockets on the inside. If you’re an organizational freak of nature than one of the other packs in this review will be more satisfactory. However, you can easily attach multiple organizer pockets to the outside via the molle webbing. This pack has the best Molle layout I’ve seen on any pack.

It should be noted…this pack is overbuilt. The heavy duty quality of everything on it means that this pack is HEAVY. Not advised for the lightweight backpacker but highly advised for anybody that values insane durability and longevity.

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Direct Action Ghost Tactical Backpack

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For the average height survivalist who wants to go GHOST MODE. I say average height due to the detachable hip belt. I am 5.11″ and the hip belt almost doesn’t fit my torso. If you’re tall the detachable hip belt probably won’t fit. Not a big deal since you can remove it from the pack — less weight means faster bug outs anyways.

I got to say, I’m a fan of the super slim/taller profile of this bag. I think the bag looks better than any other Molle backpack I’ve seen. But that is just aesthetics…let’s talk about function.

Basically this bag is 31.5 liters (including the detachable organizer pouch) and has Molle in every damn place imaginable. And we’re talking LASER CUT Molle. More functional than the original Molle while looking 10X as cool.

As for as pockets go, the Direct Action Ghost Tactical backpack has a few. In the main compartment you have a deep pocket for your hydration bladder and a zippered organizer pocket on the front flap. I have a 2.5 liter hydration bladder that still has plenty of room.

On the outside of the main storage pocket is a sunglasses pocket and 2 expandable zipper pockets for water bottles or whatever else you want to stuff in them.

Also on the exterior is a secondary 3.5 liter detachable organizer pouch. This makes the pack extremely versatile depending on what you want to do with it. You can grab just the main pack when you don’t need the added space and then attach the pouch later in situations where you do. This organizer pouch has multiple pockets that make it easy to keep important gear in order.

Out of all the packs I’ve tried, this pack is probably the most comfortable. Both the back and the shoulder straps are padded to the max. There’s nothing worse than a pack with shoestring shoulder straps that dig deep into your traps and deltoids with every step. They are also ventilated to air out your sweaty pack during a long bug out session.

A+ for comfort most definitely. Once again, these Molle packs are extremely high quality and the Ghost is no exception — using military grade hardware for the zippers, buckles, and everything in between.

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Kelty Tactical Falcon 4000

 


The pack (Now called the Kelty Eagle 7850) built for MOUNTAIN OPS. Boasting a 66 liter pack and rocking the coyote brown color, the Kelty Tactical Falcon was built for an extended camouflaged stay on the high mountains — or any place you need to carry in a LOT of gear. We’re talking about going full on STUFF MODE with this thing because it lacks serious storage pockets aside from the large “dump and go” style ruck sack compartment.  People cry about this thing having zero organizational space but that’s what the MOLLE is for. If you want organization then you can purchase MOLLE packs that can attach to the outside — and this pack has plenty of MOLLE to go around. At the top of the sack you will find a detachable lid style pouch that converts into a fanny pack, or, if that’s not manly enough for you, a shoulder bag. Like all Kelty gear, this backpack is extremely well built and very padded in the shoulder straps and back area. A lot of backpack companies add extra bullshit to their packs for flashy purposes. I like the Kelty because it keeps things simple, functional, and no-nonsense.

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ILBE USMC Assault Pack

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Now we’re talking. This pack is standard issue for the United States Marine Core. I like to think of it like the Kelty falcon 4000 on steroids. It’s a similar style rucksack (70 liters) with an internal frame and top detachable lid. This pack is BOMBPROOF. I am too afraid to throw around the fragile packs I have from REI but not this one. I treat it like a red headed stepchild and it still comes back for more punishment. BOMBPROOF I tell you. I think the U.S. military knew what they were doing when they made this pack. MOLLE webbing runs the side of the pack by the compression straps. It has the digital style camouflage if that’s your thing.

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5.11 Tactical RUSH 72

The tactical 5.11 Rush bag is a great hyrbid option

This is the most popular bag on this list. It’s also a bag that people have very strong opinions about. Some love this bag while others absolutely hate it. I personally really enjoy this pack and it’s my favorite on this list (saving the best for last.) It’s truly the best of both worlds — not too big and not too small. It’s coined as a 72 hour bag, meaning you can fit 3 days worth of gear in it. I have taken this thing on 3 day backpacking trips and can attest to this statement. Rock solid durability. Tons of Molle. And, if you want to take this pack into town you don’t look like you’re leading an armed cavalry to take down the local bank. It looks very civilian while staying true to military spec:

  • Made in USA
  • Large, external shove-it pocket, Top exterior crescent-shaped organization pocket, two exterior, side, gusseted zippered pockets
  • 1050D nylon with water-repellent PUx2 coating on main body, 210D 118T water-repellent PUx2 coating on inside pocket flaps and pocket bags
  • Closed-cell foam back padded hydration pocket with two back-to-back zippered pull tabs
  • Top, quick-access non-scratching fleece-lined sunglass pocket
  • Generous web-platform on three sides with additional attachment points

A great pack for bugging out, multi-day camping trips, or recreational use. The best Molle backpack for your money in my opinion.

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Conclusion

Did I miss anything? Let me know what you think of these Molle backpacks in the comments below. That’s a direct order soldier.

And if you liked this post, check out my post on the best tactical backpacks too. Thanks for reading!

 

The Best All Around Survival Knife

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Imagine yourself in a heated survival situation. Let’s say you have gotten lost because you wandered off from your hiking buddies. You have sustained a couple minor injuries including a sprained ankle. It’s getting dark, drizzling and you have to build a shelter and do camp stuff. A survival genie appears and grants you one wish — but the catch is…you can only wish for a knife. ANY knife you want. So, which knife do you choose?

Obviously, you want to maximize your chances of survival. What you need is the best all around survival knife. You need a knife that can take on the following tasks:

  • Batoning wood
  • Falling small trees
  • Cutting rope
  • Digging (if you have no other tool)
  • Self defense
  • Skinning game
  • etc

Now, choosing the best all around knife means the knife will be a jack of all trades knife. Since you want a knife that can do all of the above tasks, the knife you purchase must be well rounded.

I can think of no better all around knife than the Kabar Bk2. There’s a good reason why this knife has been issued to all branches of the military. Hell, it even sees widespread use in the police force as well. The Bk2 is simply the best jack-of-all-trades knife that does many jobs very well. Yes, maybe not as well as a knife made specifically for a certain task but it will get many different jobs done with zero complaining.

Check it out…

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The Kabar Bk2

 

What makes this knife so great?

First off, this knife has the two basic elements of any good survival knife: a fixed blade and a full tang. Fixed blade knives are superior over the folding type varieties. Folding knives introduce a vulnerable weak spot in the blade while fixed blades have no single point of weakness. Full tang means the blade metal runs the length of the entire knife — from the tip of the blade to the bottom of the handle. This makes for an extremely durable blade that isn’t going to break on you when you need it most.

A folding knife with a half tang won’t even get through a single piece of firewood before it shatters — along with your hopes of surviving.

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A full tang blade runs the length of the handle

Blade length

The length of the Bk2’s blade is 5.5 inches. This makes it an adequate companion to chop wood. I found the blade to be just long enough to make wood chopping easy. While a longer blade would make processing firewood easier, this isn’t the only thing you’re going to need it for — especially in a survival situation.

The length of the blade makes this knife extremely easy to work with. It’s long enough to chop wood yet short enough to skin fish and perform finer, more delicate tasks without being awkward to use. You can put a nice edge on this sucker too, that’s for sure.

Specs

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The best knife for your belt

There are other knives out there that do specific jobs very well. But I got to say, the Bk2 is the one knife I would take with me into a survival situation. It’s lasting durability and versatile design make this knife a must have companion for your belt. By the way, Kabar makes another great knife called the Bk7. This is another great knife you might consider as well. Click here to check out my comparison post between the Bk2 and the Bk7. Long story short, I would still recommend the Bk2 if you had to choose between one or the other.

Let’s hear your comments and criticisms below.

 

What is the Illuminati?

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The Illuminati has received wide spread press coverage in recent years as more and more citizens question their governments. People are waking up. People are beginning to realize that they only have the illusion of control. Deep down we understand that someone else – some group – is pulling the strings. But who exactly?

What is the Illuminati?

The Illuminati is a secret group of powerful masterminds with roots that go back to the 1700’s. Originally, the group was formed to rebel against the powerful influence religion commanded over the decisions of government. Over time, the Illuminati grew into an influential force until they were stamped out by existing governments who saw the group as a threat to their power. The Illuminati is said to have survived by going underground and working mysteriously in the background.

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The all seeing eye representing complete domination and control over a global population.

Theorists propose that the Illuminati have infiltrated mainstream media and control every aspect of the entertainment industry. Public figures like Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Kanye West are thought to be members of the Illuminati, operating at the forefront and advancing the globalist agenda. These pop stars operate in direct daylight and have powerful influence on young minds – minds that are primed and ready to accept pre-programmed beliefs about the world – beliefs that benefit the indoctrination of our youth into the new world order.

Society is rapidly losing it’s ability to think rationally or deeply about anything meaningful. Go to any mall and notice the hundreds of unconscious youth plugged into their phones – absorbing the globalist agenda and not questioning anything they see.

Illuminati and the new world order

The new world order is part of the globalist agenda designed to bring sovereign states and countries under the rule of a totalitarian government. The agenda of this global government is complete control and domination over the world population. Secret plans from this mysterious agenda have surfaced and include reducing world population, mass brainwashing, world conflict, secret police, militarized nations, and total government collapse.

Where’s the proof?

The proof is right there for everyone to see but globalist super powers like the Illuminati have orchestrated and brainwashed us to disbelieve. Conspiracy theorists are seen as “nut-jobs” and cast out from society. This is exactly what they have planned. Globalist think tanks have employed the worlds best psychologists to develop brainwashing techniques that short-circuit the rational mind. You have been conditioned to associate “conspiracy” with the mentally ill or crazy. This is not by mistake — this has all been carefully crafted and carried out by the Illuminati in their never ending quest for power and control.

How to survive the coming economic collapse

Globalists shadow cults like the Illuminati have one agenda. Total government collapse. Using their insider knowledge of the financial system they will crash the dollar. This will usher in a new era of fear and panic. The masses will quickly flock to anybody who can promise to restore order. This is when they step in. This is when we get chipped, tracked, vaccinated and led right into the slaughterhouse. You must be prepared for the coming collapse. You must arm yourself with the knowledge required to withstand an economic meltdown and the insurgency of a police state. Are you ready?

Going off the grid

Learning to survive off the grid will be an essential skill. When the power is cut, when the food trucks stop running, you will have no other option. Start preparing now. The knowledge is out there. Protecting your family if you have one will be priority number one. The threats to their safety will astound you. They will come from all angles — not  just from police or other militarized branches of the NWO. Your own neighbors and people panicking for resources will be the first to secure whatever resources you have at all costs. SO, when you are learning this stuff you have to keep quiet. You cannot broadcast your abundance to the world.

People change when resources start to run out. They will turn against you. Do whatever it takes to protect your family. Preparation is your only option — because it’s not a matter of IF the Illuminati fulfills their agenda but WHEN.

Start today.

 

Top 5 Best Survival Guide Books

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Are you armed with the knowledge required to survive a survival situation? Is it possible to download the best survival tips, tactics, and techniques into your brain? Books are still the GOTO source for the deepest level of information – survival is no exception. Let’s crack into the best survival guide books out there.

The following list is NON-FICTION. These books provide real world survival strategies to get your ass out of any jam.

SAS Survival Handbook

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Let’s get this one out of the way first because you’re probably tired of seeing it listed. SAS Survival Handbook remains the DEFACTO STANDARD for survival. John “Lofty” Wiseman was a survival expert who spent years training the British Special Air Forces as well as the Green Berets. At 18 he was the youngest candidate ever to be accepted into the British Special Air Services (SAS.) Suffice to say that this guy knows his shit when it comes to survival. The third edition of his book includes all the basic survival stuff including additional knowledge nuggets like urban survival and terrorist attacks. It’s a no brainer and should be on your shelf if it’s not already.

Wilderness Survival

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Wilderness Survival is written by a USAF survival and escape specialist. This book is awesome because the author stresses the importance of staying calm. He outlines a few powerful psychological techniques to stay calm and assess the situation properly. This is an often overlooked aspect of survival that doesn’t get the coverage it deserves. The book is extremely practical for any kind of wilderness survival situation.

The Preppers Long-Term Survival Guide

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This book isn’t your typical survival book. The author isn’t so much concerned with short term survival, but with long term sustainable living in the wake of devastating disaster. This 240 page guide is a preppers wet dream and covers everything from sustainable food storage, defense, and even how to rebuild a whole society from the ground up. Awesome stuff here.

Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual

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I had a blast reading this book. Hawke takes a casual and slightly humorous approach to his writing which makes the content extremely consumable. But don’t let me lead you into thinking this book is for clowns. Hawke is a seasoned survivalist with an impressive background as a Green Beret combat veteran. The book is jammed with actionable survival strategies even a third grader could understand. This is easily the most amusing read on survival, a nice change of pace considering how dry many survival books tend to be.

Bushcraft

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Bushcraft is the art of using the environment around you to sustain life. This book by Mors Kochanski is the cleanest most detailed book on the matter. It’s bursting with practical advice and filled with beautiful diagrams that detail how to make everything. Mors covers shelter building, rope making, making fire and tools, cooking, and a host of other survival tasks. Get this book for the images alone.

Conclusion

Don’t wait until you’re forced into a survival situation to learn this stuff. Grab at least a couple of these books to get yourself started. Get out there and practice what you read and always continue to educate and test your skills. Happy reading!

Martial Law in America 2016

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Martial law is the complete suspension of the United States Constitution. It is the complete ANNIHILATION of your freedoms. Under martial law, you have zero rights and the country is ruled with the iron fist of the police state.

Martial law can be enacted for a number of reasons: pandemic outbreak, civil unrest, terrorist insurgency, and natural disasters are a few situations where martial law will be declared.

What are the chances of Martial law happening in America? Many analysts believe that the U.S as we know it is quickly descending into a police state. Globalized politics, giant corporations, and destruction of our environment have been systematically planned by the wealthy elite.

Resources are becoming scarce. The wealthy elite have planned this descent. By keeping us poor and uninformed, we are blind to the fact that we are heading straight for the slaughter.

One only has to look around to see our inevitable decline into dystopia.

Increased levels of automation are forcing workers out of their jobs. You can already see this taking place in the grocery stores in the form of self checkouts. These forms of automation are increasing. Data projections estimate that automation will take over 60 percent of jobs by 2030.

Terrorists and dangerous immigrants are pouring over our borders at an alarming rate. Crime rates will continue to skyrocket. It is only a matter of time before the U.S. descends into a state of complete chaos.

That time is coming up fast. The question isn’t IF martial law will be declared but WHEN. When will the general population become so disgusted with the state of the united states that they do something about it? How many terrorists and illegal immigrants will we allow into our borders before we realize the chaos we have created?

The problem is that most of us have been programmed to be obedient little sheep. Many of us do not have the backbone to stand up for our rights and question the state of our government or policies.

This means that many of us will be forced to survive with our families or with the assistance of small militias.

How do you survive a situation where the government and police are no longer their to protect you? How do you survive a chaotic world where danger lurks around every corner?

You must arm yourself with the right knowledge. You must learn the skills required to protect you and your family. If you have land, the best option is an underground bunker that can sustain you and your family.

Underground bunkers provide safety and security even in the event of biological warfare. I’ve built one right in my backyard using the following blueprints. I suggest you do whatever it takes to protect yourself from the inevitable decline of the U.S. government.

As much as I love this country, I don’t see it going anywhere good. Empires rise and fall. It’s time for the United States to finish its cycle of being top dog. I wish you luck.

Must Have Equipment For Urban Surival

Heavy-Equipment

What are you going to do if SHTF and you live in the city? If you don’t have the right equipment you’re going to be in for a hard time. Surviving in an urban environment requires that you have a bug out bag filled with all the essentials.

Here a few absolute necessities:

Backpack – You’re going to need to shove all your gear in a backpack. I’ve previously thought that the style of backpack you bring was important but now I really don’t think it matters that much. Just make sure you can carry the thing. It also has to be super durable. You don’t want it breaking on you half way through your bug out.

Knife – Yes, the knife still remains at the top of the list. The knife is an extremely versatile piece of equipment and I guarantee, you won’t want to bug out without one. The knife can be used for self defense purposes along with a host of other survival tasks. The knife just might be the single most important piece of equipment you have.

Cellphone – Short of a nuclear bomb going off there is a good chance the cell towers will still be functioning. It’s much easier to phone a friend to come save your ass then it is to Rambo your way through a disaster site. You’ll also want to call your family to make sure they are okay or to arrange to meet at a bug out location. It would also make sense to stock a portable battery charger so you can charge up if your phone happens to be dead.

Trash bags – You might be laughing but trash bags are another versatile piece of urban survival gear. They can be used to rig a temporary shelter, a poncho, or a rain water collector. Stuff them with leaves to create an insulated sleeping pad. Believe me, the ground will sap the warmth right out of you if you sleep directly on it.

Lighter – Basic firestarter. Fire is an obvious aspect of survival and making one in the city is no different than making one in the wild. You need some form of firestarter, some tinder and some good ol fashion night logs.

Food and Water – Bring 72 hours worth of food and water. Do you really want to start eating street pigeons right out of the gate?

Flashlight – If the power gets cut and it’s dark, you’re going to have a hard time getting to safety. If you’ve lived in the city for a while perhaps you have forgotten how dark it gets at night when there arent any lights.

Proper clothing – Get some solid clothing that makes sense to have in a bug out situation. This usually means layers. Tactical hikers pants with zip offs are good options. Good shoes. Good socks. I like merino wool as a base layer and some kind of water resistant jacket. This really depends on your location. You will have to dress warmer in colder climates.

Bear Mace – No, not for bears. If you don’t know how to defend yourself the traditional fist to face way then your going to need an alternative. I guarantee that whoever trys messing with you will back off right quick when they get maced right in their face.

Gloves – Protect your hands from broken glass and whatever else you encounter in the city.

A Plan – The most important piece of equipment but the most overlooked.. Where the hell are you going to go if disaster strikes Start preparing now. If SHTF right now would you know what to do? Having a plan is the only way to ensure that you get to safety. This means knowing how to contact loved ones and having a plan of where to meet up.

Good luck with your kit.

 

How To Make A Martial Law Survival Kit

martial-law-survival-kit

Martial law is the official suspension of the constitution. It is the transfer of power from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government to the jackbooted boys of the U.S. Military. Martial law is imposed in times where civil unrest, natural disasters, or war has reached a boiling point that local law enforcement officials can’t or refuse to deal with. Having a martial law survival kit is essential for keeping you and your family safe.

This guy gives a good generalized intro to what can be expected:

 

The Martial Law Survival Kit Checklist

Ideally you will avoid or bug out of any location where martial law is the new order. Civil unrest can threaten your life and liberty as easily as the presence of a military force with zero interest in your basic rights. You will see humans acting like animals. You will see the transformation of man to beast as local populations panic and scurry for resources. Violence will surround you at every turn. Here are a few items that will help you prepare to get out of dodge.

Backpack – You will need a bag to store all of your supplies. Duffle bugs should be avoided because you want to stay as mobile as possible. Your backpack should not draw attention to you. In martial law scenario you don’t want to look like a renegade by running around with a military style backpack. See my post on using civilian packs vs military packs. I personally use the 5.11 rush pack.

The tactical 5.11 Rush bag is a great hyrbid option
The tactical 5.11 Rush bag is a great hyrbid option

Food and water – Pack at least 72 hours worth of food and water. This will give you a 3 day window to secure other resources or get to a safe location where these resources are readily available. Pack high calorie foods like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Think hiking trail mix. You don’t want to bring food that requires you to stop and cook. In a scenario like martial law you won’t have the luxury of fine dining.

Methods of purifying water – It’s a good idea to pack a means of purifying water. What if you must bug out to the wilderness? What if your only water source is the local pond, lake or river? These sources of water must be purified before drinking. For a cheap compact solution there is the Sawyer water filter or the easy to use Lifestraw. I have written extensively on both why you need to purify water and the many water purification methods you have at your disposal.

First aid kit – A solid first aid kit will assist you in treating many injuries you might suffer during martial law: scrapes, bruises, sprains and lacerations can easily be treated with a first aid kit. You might have what you need around the house but if you don’t there are ready made options available to you. You should also include any medication you take inside your first aid kit.

Tactical Flashlight – A tactical flashlight presents numerous advantages over the standard flashlight. They are light, extremely durable and they double as a self defense weapon. The brightness of the light will easily blind an assailant long enough to make a clean getaway and the serrated edge is something you don’t want to be on the business end of. The Fenix PD35 is the standard for tactical flashlights and one I always keep on me.

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The Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight

Knife – The knife will be an invaluable piece of gear in your martial law survival kit. Self defense will be a priority of increased magnitude. The knife will also serve you as a versatile companion around the camp. If I had to choose one knife to take out into the thick of martial law it would have to be the Cold Steel SRK.

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The Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife)

Cash – Short of a complete system meltdown cash will still be an effective and sought after resource. You can use the cash to barter or use it at stores, motels etc once you get to a stable location.

Poncho – Do you remember the last time you were soaking wet and cold? It’s an absolutely miserable experience and not only will it sap your will and motivation but you run a severe risk of hypothermia. A simple poncho will keep you high and dry while you make it to safety.

A means to make fire – Speaking of the cold and miserable you will want to include at least two methods of making fire. A BIC lighter and a ferrocerium rod is a good combination. The BIC lighter will make your life easy in dry weather and the rod will ensure you can still get a fire going in wet conditions if you can’t use the BIC.

Portable Radio – A radio will prove to be a crucial item in your kit. Tuning into emergency radio broadcast frequencies will alert you to changing circumstances – good or bad. If you know how to operate a HAM radio you can receive broadcasts and also transmit to your friends and family. Portable hand cranked radios are available. More robust radios will take time to learn how to operate but will pay off in a big way.

Boots – There’s a good chance you will be walking a lot. A good pair of boots will keep your feet dry and protect you from any debris you will be tromping over.

Trash bags – Keep a few of those black industrial sized trash bags in your martial law survival kit. These bags are versatile and can be used to collect rain water, provide a dry ground cover or used as make shift shelter.

Tarp – A good survival kit will always include items that are multi-purpose. The tarp is one such piece of gear. With a good tarp you can rig up a shelter and collect rain water if you need to.

Paracord – Some might say cordage is the most important piece of gear in your survival kit. Use cordage to rig up a tarp for shelter, lash wood together, string up large game for cleaning, bear-bagging food, making fishing line, rigging traps, making bow-drills, extra boot laces etc. This stuff is light and cheap.

Guns and ammo – I have saved this one for last due to the controversial nature of guns. Guns will immediately draw attention to yourself and in the hands of the unskilled could prove to be a truly unwieldy and dangerous addition the your survival kit. That isn’t to say having a gun is invaluable. A gun is obviously the most effective choice for self defense and hunting. Remember – during martial law guns will surely be outlawed so decide for yourself if bringing a gun is worth it given your skill with the firearm and its probable application.

Final Thoughts

There are many items you could pack into your martial law survival kit. Remember though – you want to keep your pack light. Packing heavier convenience items might sound like a good idea but will become cumbersome down the road. Packing light and using basic survival knowledge will ensure your ultimate survival.

Cold Steel SRK Survival Knife Review

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The Cold Steel SRK (survival rescue knife) fixed blade survival knife has been an all time classic choice for survivalists looking for a jack of all trades knife. This blade is extremely versatile and multi-purpose. The SRK has been embraced by the military and Special Forces due to the blades tactical applications and is standard issue for the U.S. Navy Seal Team training program. In this review I will break down the features of the SRK and demonstrate why this blade is a worthy companion for your belt.

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The Cold Steel SRK survival knife in all its glory

Cold Steel SRK Specs

  • Type – Fixed
  • Total Weight – 8.2 oz
  • Blade Material – VG-1
  • Tang – Full
  • Blade Length – 6″
  • Blade Thickness – 5mm
  • Total Length – 10.75″
  • Handle – Kraton material with bottom guard
  • Point Type: Clip

The Blade

The blade on the Cold Steel SRK survival knife is stainless steel. The exact material in question is VG-1; a durable Japanese blend of carbon and molybdenum. This combination is very resistant to corrosion. The unique blend also holds a razor sharp edge and a strong clip point. The blade itself measures in at 6″ and the entire length of the knife checks in at 10 3/4″. Blade thickness is 5mm. Personally I think it’s the perfect length and fits right between the Kabar Bk2 and the Bk7. Not too short, not too long. I can easily baton wood with this thing and turn right around to carve up some game. The razor sharp clip point also makes this knife your right hand man in a combat scenario.

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The Handle

The handle on the Cold Steel SRK measures 4.75″ and it’s made of a synthetic polymer material call Kraton. I love the handle on this knife for a couple reasons: The rubberized material of the Kraton is ribbed and checkered for a nice grip and there’s just enough space hanging off the back when I have a good handle on it. It’s a no nonsense handle with a single bottom guard. A lack of a top guard makes it easy to find the right grip depending on how you want to use the knife. This adds to the overall versatility of the SRK.

The Sheath

The sheath is hardened plastic made out of Cold Steel’s secure-ex technology. I like that you can hear the blade snap into place. The Nylon belt loop makes it easy to attach to your belt for both lefties and righties. The sheath also comes with Molle webbing so you can attach it to your pack or pretty much anything else. One minor thing I noticed was the Kraton handle rubs against the sheath and with continued use becomes worn and doesn’t fit as secure and snug. I’ve heard some people say the sheath dulls the blade overtime but I have not experienced this. Overall the sheath is well designed and a nice fit for the Cold Steel SRK.

cold-steel-srk-sheath
The Cold Steel SRK next to the secure-ex sheath

Price

As of this writing the Cold Steel SRK is going anywhere from $85 – $90 USD.

Video Review

Final Thoughts

The Cold Steel SRK survival knife is a great jack of all trades blade for multiple tasks. I feel comfortable taking it into the bush and using it around camp. If you need a knife specifically for the bush I would opt for either the Kabar Bk2 or Bk7 but the Cold Steel is much more versatile. A survival knife should do more than just baton wood and this is where the Cold Steel SRK shines. Not many knives can effectively operate in the wild while also being a stellar combat companion. For the knife that does it all you can’t go wrong with the Cold Steel SRK.

Kabar Bk2 vs Bk7

If you had to choose between the Kabar Bk2 or the Bk7 which one would it be? Both of these knives are superior in quality and you simply can’t find a better fixed-blade knife for the price. Let’s slice into the meat of the matter and compare the qualities and features of both.

The Sheath

The Bk2 and the Bk7 share many similarities but the sheath is not one of them. The sheath that comes stock with the Bk2 is a hard plastic material that fits the blade like a glove. You can feel the blade lock into place and you could turn it upside down without the retention strap and the knife would hold. The sheath on the Bk7 is a nylon/polyester material that somewhat loosely fits the blade. While the Bk7 sheath is good enough for the job it does not secure the blade like the sheath on the Bk2. One thing I do like about the Bk7 sheath is the Molle webbing on the back. You could easily attach it to the outside of your pack or anywhere else. Yes, you could go buy a custom sheath of your own but with the added cost you could buy a better knife.

bk2-bk7-sheaths
Sheath styles for the Bk2 and Bk7

The Handle

The Bk2 and the Bk7 use the same handle design and material. The material in question is a hard plastic known as Ultramid. Both knives feel good in the hand. The material does become slick with sweaty palms but this is easily remedied by wrapping a few rounds of athletic tape around the handle or by using gloves.

The Blade

Both the Bk2 and the Bk7 use 1095 Cro-Van steel. You can see in the spec sheets below that the Bk2 has both a thicker and shorter blade. This could easily sway your decision towards the Bk7 if you prefer a longer blade. Certain tasks like batoning wood and carving are easier with the Bk7’s longer blade. However, the shorter length and thicker blade of the Bk2 make this knife damn near indestructible. Tasks like processing firewood and carving are still possible but the Bk7 certainly makes life easier.

You can see the bk2 and the bk7 utilize the same handle but differ blade width and length
You can see the Bk2 and the Bk7 utilize the same handle but differ in blade width, length and point style

Drop point vs clip point

Looking at the spec sheets below you can also see that the Bk2 features a drop point blade while the Bk7 features a clip point. The difference? Drop points are stronger than the clip point variants and well suited for tasks like skinning, carving game and general bushcrafting. Clip points feature a sharper point and are designed for piercing. This makes sense on a combat knife like the Bk7. If you require a sharper point than the Bk7 is the knife for you.

Video Comparison

Kabar Bk2 Specs

kabar-bk2-specifications

Kabar Bk7 Specs

kabar-bk7-specifications

Price

As of this writing the Kabar Bk7 will run you just over $20 more than the Kabar Bk2. This price difference is significant enough to sway your decision towards the Bk2 but it really comes down to what you need the knife for.

Bk2 vs Bk7 Final Thoughts

Both of these knives are beastly and extremely high quality. Other than the length and thickness of the blades both of these knives are similar and stack up comparably. In my opinion I believe the Bk2 is a better all around bushcrafting knife. The Bk2 blade is strong enough to handle chopping wood and short enough to not be cumbersome for preparing small game. With a longer blade the Bk7 batons wood like a mad man and the clip point makes it a great piercing knife. If I was in a self defense situation I would prefer to have the Bk7 on my belt. Knowing what you need to do with your knife will help you make the right choice. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments.

Choosing a Portable Water Purifier

shtf-water

Choosing the best portable water purifier is an essential step in building a fully functional survival kit. In this post I examine the best portable water purifiers and compare the pro’s and con’s of each. See my post on purifying water for an in depth article on the water purification process and why it’s important.

Water Filters

Portable water filters are the most common solution to treat dubious water sources. Water filters work by forcing water to pass through a fine porous material that literally filters out harmful bacteria and protozoa down to certain number of microns. Microns are very tiny units of measurement. Good water filters can filter bacteria and protozoa down to 0.1 microns. This takes care of pretty much all strains of bacteria and protozoa you find in rivers, streams and other sources of water. In this section I will be comparing the Renovo Trio, Lifestraw, and Sawyer water filtering systems.

[c5ab_box title=”Note” type=”alert-info” ]Water filters do not filter out viruses or chemical toxins.[/c5ab_box]

Lifestraw

The Lifestraw Portable water filter has received raving reviews from backpackers and world travelers. It’s a lightweight and simple solution for filtering water from sources that are possibly laden with bacteria. The Lifestraw is capable of filtering up to a 1000 liters of water and filters out bacteria down to 0.2 microns. Simply fill a water container with water and drink through the straw or drink straight from the source.

The Lifestraw hard at work
The Lifestraw hard at work

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Convenient
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Filters 99.9999% of possible bacterial pathogens

Cons

  • Only filters down to 0.2 microns
  • No charcoal filter
  • Does not thread on to a water bottle or hydration bladder
  • Limited filtration capacity compared to other systems
  • Can’t filter viruses

Sawyer

The Sawyer water filter is widely considered the standard for portable water purifiers. In fact, it outshines the Lifestraw in most of the areas that matter. The Sawyer can filter up to an incredible 100,000 gallons of water and filters out bacteria down to 0.1 microns! Most conveniently, it can screw on to most water bottles and easily attaches inline to a water bladder. Alternatively, you can use the Sawyer to drink straight from your water source like the Lifestraw.

Sawyer-Water-Filter
The Sawyer water filter is the standard for filtering dubious water sources

Pros

  • High capacity (filters 100,000 gallons)
  • Filters bacteria down to 0.1 microns
  • Attaches to standard water bottles and hydration bladders
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Won’t filter viruses
  • No charcoal filter

Renovo Trio

The Renovo Trio portable water filter is the new kid on the block but brings heaps of value and innovation to the table. The Renovo Trio features a 3 stage filtration system: The first stage could be likened to a coffee filter and removes large particles and debris from the water. The second stage introduces an extremely fine hollow fiber membrane that filters microbes down to 0.05 microns! The last stage contains a layer of charcoal that removes heavy metals and dramatically improves the taste of the water. Use the Renovo like a straw or attach it to a water bottle or hydration pack.

The Renovo Trio Water Filter
The Renovo Trio Water Filter

Pros

  • Extremely porous membrane filters down to 0.05 microns
  • 3 layer filtration system makes this the most effective portable water filter
  • Includes replaceable layer components
  • Charcoal layer improves taste of water and removes heavy metals
  • Attaches to both water bottles and hydration bladders

Cons

  • You’re going to be shelling out more bucks for this filter
  • limited to 1000 liters

Chris from Preparedmind101 did a great video review on all of these filters:

UV Devices

UV devices are an ultra cool way to remove bacteria, protozoa AND viruses. As I’ve mentioned in my guide to purifying water, these devices only work with clear water and they require batteries to function. These are two limiting factors when choosing a portable water purifier. However, with these factors covered they are perhaps the most convenient and most effective method of purifying water.

Camelbak All-Clear UV Water Purifier

I’ve personally used the Camelbak UV purifier and I really liked it. Simply fill the bottle from your water source, screw on the lid and hit the button. In 60 seconds the entire 32 ounces of water is safe to drink. I liked this device for a number of reasons: One, the process is quick taking only 60 seconds to complete. The digital display on the cap reads out the battery life and the 60 second countdown so you know exactly when the water is drinkable. You can also see the UV light shining through the water even on a bright day. There are measurements on the side of the bottle. The cap is designed so you can easily attach the bottle to your backpack via a carabiner or a length of paracord. The battery life is also quite extensive and charged via the included USB charger. I used this device on a 3 day camping trip more times than I could count and the battery didn’t even drop half way.

Camelbak-UV-Water-Purifier
One of my favorite hi-tech methods to purify water.

Pros

  • More effective than a filter as UV light also destroys all pathogens including viruses
  • Self contained – no need for an extra bottle and no need to hunch over your water source to drink

Cons

  • Batteries can die
  • Water must be clear
  • Expensive

Steripen Opti Water Purifier

This is a unique little gadget. Works exactly like the Camelbak without the heavy footprint. It’s basically a UV pen you dip into your water bottle. The Steripen purifies one liter of water at a time and takes 90 seconds to do so. The batteries are good for about 50 liters until they need to be replaced. The Steripen also has a built in flashlight although if you’re concerned about battery life I wouldn’t recommend using it.

Pros

  • Kills all water born pathogens including viruses
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely portable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Batteries required
  • Requires a bottle to hold the water you need to purify
  • Batteries drain faster than most UV solutions

Chemical Purification

Purifying water via chemical means is another solid strategy to ensure you don’t catch an explosive case of diarrhea. Iodine tablets are the name and killing everything (including viruses) is the game.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Kills everything

Cons

  • Can take up to half an hour to purify
  • Unpleasant chemical after-taste
  • Cannot be used by pregnant women or individuals with a thyroid condition
  • Tablets lose potency over time

So…which to choose?

Depending on your scenario some of these methods might offer more of an advantage over the other. If you absolutely want to be 100 percent safe you could opt for the Renovo in combination with Iodine tablets. In reality, having multiple water purifiers in your survival kit is your best bet. You could use a standard water filter to purify cloudy sources of water and then further remove pathogens with a UV device. You could even go crazy and pop in a Iodine tablet for good measure! Weigh the pros and cons of each of these devices carefully and make a decision that works best for you. Thanks for reading!