Gerber StrongArm Knife Review

gerber-strong-arm-review

Gerber continues to pump out quality product after quality product. Knives like the Gerber LMF2 stand as some of the best knives in the business and have seen extensive use by the military. This time they have released one of the best budget knives on the market with the Gerber StrongArm. The StrongArm is a serious knife lending itself to many survival and tactical scenarios.

Check out the specs below and see Amazon for the current price.

Specifications

  • Blade Length – 4.5″
  • Total Length – 9.8″
  • Weight – 7.2oz
  • Blade Material – 420HC Stainless Steel
  • Blade Thickness – 3/16″
  • Grind – Saber
  • 90 degree spine
  • Handle Material – Glass filled nylons with rubber overmold
  • Sheath included – YES
  • Made in USA

Full Review

Gerber strikes a great balance of high quality and affordability. Gerbers reputation as a solid brand shows once again with the StrongArm. There are a number of things I love about this knife. The first thing I noticed picking up the knife was the extremely comfortable grip material on the handle. The rubberized diamond grip makes it virtually impossible for the StrongArm to slip out of your hands even in wet weather. When I look for a knife I always make sure the handle is ergonomic and designed to grip as much as possible. On the end of the handle is a reinforced pommel for smashing through glass, hammering objects, or for self defense. Having that reinforced pommel on the butt-end of the blade comes in might handy in lots of survival/outdoor situations. That pommel is also a very effective self defense weapon. If you don’t want to kill the guy simply deliver a couple skull crackers with the pommel.

Now…the blade itself came out sharp straight out of the box. I was worried about how sharp the edge would be considering the blade is 3/16″ thick. I was surprised to discover the overall sharpness of the blade was on par with thinner blades made of traditionally sharper materials like carbon steel. The blade on the Gerber StrongArm is made of 420HC stainless steel. Stainless steel doesn’t quite sharpen up as fine as carbon steel but it tends to hold edges longer and is much more resistant to corrosion. With a carbon steel blade you almost have to babysit it and always wipe it down after use. A quality stainless steel blade like the StrongArm can get nearly as sharp and you can put it through much more abuse. I found the blade also held its edge for a considerable amount of time even after putting it through several cutting, hacking, slicing, and wood splitting tasks. One last design I like to see on a blade is a 90 degree spine. This makes it easy to use with a ferrocerium rod and always comes in handy in the bush.

On to the sheath…

If a good woman makes the man, a good sheath makes the knife. The sheath sets the Gerber StrongArm apart from even the ESEE line of blades. The Gerber sheath included with the StrongArm is best in class and features design elements you simply don’t see in other sheaths. The versatile design allows you to mount the blade vertically or horizontally on your belt or mount to any MOLLE compatible attachment systems.

Final Thoughts

The Gerber StrongArm is a competent knife and is comparable to much more expensive knives like ESEE. For the price this is one knife you can’t pass up on. Plus, the sheath is the best in the business. All Gerber products are made in the USA and many of the Gerber knives have seen use in the military for training purposes. Gerber stands behind their products and the reviews for the StrongArm are very good. You will not be disappointed if you choose to purchase this knife.

 

Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit Review

gerber-zombie-apocalypse-survival-kit-review

The survival and prepping scene has exploded with the rise up of survival awareness and popular shows like “Doomsday Preppers.” With this rising a surge of survival products has flooded the market. Having used many of these survival products I’ve concluded most of the premade survival kits are completely garbage except for these.

In fact, I gave up on buying these types of kits for a long time until I ran across the Zombie Apocalypse Kit from Gerber. Gerber has been a giant in the survival industry and consistently produces high quality products. The Gerber LMF2 knife is one of the best knives in the industry and included in the kit. I’ve used and reviewed this knife in another post. 

The thing is, I like the idea of a survival kit that has everything you need to maintain all the elements of survival.

Contents of the kit

Here is the Zombie Kit in full glory. The kit includes 3 knives, 2 machetes, a camp axe, and Bear Grylls signature parang. It’s got everything you need to establish a camp from nothing in the woods. The versatility of the kit lends itself well to many tasks. Let’s explore the in depth details of this kit.

Gerber LMF2 Infantry knife – The LMF2 infantry knife is one of Gerbers signature survival knives. The knife boasts a number of hardened features including a full tang, a partially serrated edge, and a design that makes it completely shock proof when cutting through electrical lines. In fact, the Gerber LMF2 has seen extensive use in the U.S. military and was once issued to active duty personnel. A civilian will find the knife just as useful.

DMF Folder – The Gerber DMF folder is a folding knife making it a formidable sidekick to the beefy LMF2. While the LMF2 is best carried in a sheath, the DMF folder can easily be stowed in cargo pockets or simply clipped to your belt. The knife opens with a manual action, features a very comfortable grip, and includes both a serrated and standard edge. The pommel (butt-end of the blade) is fortified and makes for a strong and sturdy blunt force weapon. This end of the knife is often used for breaking through thick glass, self defense, and hammering jobs.

Gerber Epic – The Gerber Epic is the knife in this kit you leave around camp. It’s a light low-profile blade for small jobs you might find around the campfire. Crack open a cold one with the built in bottle opener or make a fast job of a skinning job for the days catch. It’s a unique design and a great addition to the other 2 knives in this kit.

Camp Axe – The included camp axe is a force of nature. A good axe is sharp and well balanced. Out of the box the Gerber camp axe feels absolutely lethal. The balance and grip combined with the sharp edge makes quick work out of any bushcrafting you’ll be doing in the wild. You can easily fall branches, small trees, and split firewood with great precision and ease. Let me tell you, having a solid axe in your survival kit is an absolute must.

Gator Machete – The Gator machete looks like it crawled out of the Walking Dead and into the realm of mortals. This is a dual purpose machete designed for serious bushwacking and breaking through even the toughest thickets of brush and foliage. On one end is a fine edge blade and on the other is a full blown saw. The ergonomic handle fits perfectly in your hand. The metal is forged of high performance carbon steel so it not only maintains an edge, but gets wicked sharp too. Any type of natural obstacle in your path does not stand a chance.

Gator Machete Pro – A truly powerful tool for clearing brush. The Machete Pro features a sharp edge that curves into a hook. The hook is useful for dragging brush out of the way and digging deep to get at roots and other hard to get obstacles. Wielding both machetes in the Gerber Zombie Kit you will become a wild machine of the wilderness, chopping down anything and everything in your way. This machete also comes with a military grade sheath for safe keeping and transportation.

Bear Grylls Parang – The Parang features a dominant curved element not seen in the other machetes. Traditional tribesman of the deep jungles are often seen with a curved blade when clearing brush and jungle obstacles. The curved blade naturally slices deep into branches and foliage making clearing a much easier job. There is a technique to using the Parang that once mastered makes you unstoppable in the bush.

Full Review

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Usually I am not a fan of these premade survival kits. Most of the time the companies get everything wrong and include a bunch of worthless trinkets always proving themselves useless. These kits might have a couple solid items but generally lack anything of high quality. The Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit gets a lot of things right. First off, this is the only survival kit I’ve seen that focuses on solid bushcrafting and camp craft items. With this kit you have everything you need to establish a base camp, defend yourself, skin fish and game, fall trees, split firewood, etc.

Second, Gerber is a high quality brand that makes high quality gear. You simply feel the quality when you pick up anything made by Gerber. The grip and balance of all these tools has been carefully calculated. As mentioned, some Gerber products like the LMF2 have been used by active duty military personnel.

The versatility of the tools is also something to mention. There isn’t a whole lot you can’t do with a decent knife and machete. This kit has 3 machetes, 2 knives, and a solid Parang. This is the kit to get if you want it all.

This kit is an easy choice especially if you don’t want to hunt around for each individual product in a survival kit. With this kit you have a sense of continuity as you switch from say the machete to the knife. The feel is familiar. The materials are common. The balance is there. Not all of us want to spend weeks searching for the “perfect” items with exact specifications. The Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Kit is a get it and forget it package. You can buy the kit knowing that what you are getting is high quality and adequate for most applications. The kit is a huge time saver at the end of the day.

Final thoughts

I recommend this kit to anyone who wants a high quality survival kit with items that will last for the long haul. Looking through the hype of the whole “Zombie kit” angle lies a solid kit with superb tools needed for hardcore survival.

Even if you never face off with a zombie in your life, this kit from Gerber gets 5 out of 5 stars.

 

 

The Will To Survive

will-to-survive

The prepper network and community has expanded to the far reaches of the world thanks to the internet. Nowadays, anybody has access to a wide spectrum of information and can learn basic prepping and survival principles. It’s easy to get into prepping and fall down a rabbit hole of information and lose your way. There are tons of popular survival products on the market and one can easily blow through an entire years salary in no time at all.

New and even seasoned preppers easily forget that survival goes far beyond purchasing gear and food. True survival ultimately comes down the the will to survive.

What is the will to survive? The will to survive is an experience. Being an experience, you cannot easily explain it like you could if you were simply giving directions. I will however argue that the will to survive is embedded deep into all men. It’s a primal will that’s been forged in us from the very beginning.

In fact, you are here reading this very article because you come from a long line of survivors. At one point in your long lineage of ancestors the will to survive developed. If it hadn’t you would not be here.

The will to survive will ultimately be responsible for your survival. Sure, there’s a lot of gear and prepper items you can purchase to make this easier. But without the will to survive such items will be useless.

Many people become fearful of the future. They become paranoid and life becomes chaos for them. Perhaps you as well sink to these lower levels of consciousness.

I propose that you should not be fearful because inside you is the will to survive. Deep inside of you is a primal switch that when turned on, will power and pull you through even the toughest times. You can think back to a time of struggle in your life and see how you are still living. You can think back to a time of immense pain and anxiety and see that you are still here. There is a good chance you will still be here tomorrow.

Because you know this you can set aside any fear. Because this has been proven to you it’s easy to live a life of peace and calmness. From a place of calmness you will effortlessly find answers and solutions to the problems life will throw at you.

You no longer have fear because inside you is a will to survive programmed in at birth.

Keep this in mind as you go about your day. Keep this in mind as you go about your preps.

Kaito Ka700 Radio Review

Kaito-ka700-emergency-radio

When it comes to receiving critical news about the world around you nothing quite beats radio communications. Radio is highly resistant to disruptions unlike the global network of cell towers which can go easily go down. Radio communication is like email, it’s never going to die despite new technologies seemingly coming out everyday.

Kaito has a number of emergency radios on the market with the KA700 being their top product. I have discussed in a previous blog post the differences between the various models but in this post I will focus specifically on the KA700 model.

Specs and features

  • 5 methods of power (hand crank, solar, batteries, USB, AC)
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH internal battery
  • 3 x 5.4 x 10.5 inches
  • 2 pounds
  • Multiple Signals (AM, FM, NOAA, Short Wave)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Red Flashing LED for emergency signaling
  • Low level Red LED for reading
  • Cell phone charger
  • Bluetooth capable
  • MP3 player and voice recorder
  • txt reader
  • Alarm clock
  • SD card storage

Full review

The Kaito KA700 includes all the features of the previous models plus Bluetooth capability and MP3 and voice recording. There’s a slot for an SD card where the Kaito can read through preloaded songs, recordings, and even display txt files on the digital screen. You can actually program the KA700 to record radio broadcasts directly to the SD card for later listening. Pretty cool stuff.

But perhaps the defining feature of all Kaito radios is the quality of radio signal and the number of frequencies you can tap into at a moments notice. The Kaito has excellent programming capabilities to access certain frequencies at the touch of a button. The Kaito can receive AM/FM signals as well as short wave and all 7 NOAA emergency broadcast frequencies. One thing to note is that the Kaito has been certified by the NOAA as an approved device. Sure, you can go and skimp out on a cheap radio that claims NOAA compatible but not all of them truly are. The Kaito KA700 is full fledged certified and you’re going to be surprised at how crystal clear the signal is.

Other features are the 5 way powering system allowing multiple ways to recharge the device. Even without power the Kaito KA700 can be charged via the solar panel or the hand crank. There are also options to charge via AC, USB, and batteries. You never see this type of versatility in other radios and that’s why Kaito is at the forefront of emergency radio systems.

As soon as you pick it up you feel the ruggedness. I wouldn’t have an ounce of worry if this thing happened to take a tumble off the table or even a roll down a steep hillside. Durability was baked straight into this thing so you can take it anywhere without worrying about something breaking.

The built in flashlight is surprisingly bright and doesn’t drain the battery as much as you’d think it would. On a full charge the radio will go on for roughly 30 hours before requiring a recharge. Of course, this will drain much faster if you’re also using the flashlight. I recommend if receiving critical radio broadcasts is your main goal then let the Kaito do its job and use a regular flashlight!

Lastly, there’s a USB charging port you can use to charge your smartphone or any other USB powered device. If your battery is dead on your phone this could be a true life saver.

Conclusion

Kaito makes the best emergency radios hand down. The Kaito KA700 is their top of the line model with features not found in any other radio. If you want solid radio and emergency reception AND all the bells and whistles, the Kaito KA700 is the perfect radio to invest in. Thanks for reading!

What Does SHTF Stand For and Mean?

SHTF stands for SH*T Hits The Fan. It’s often used in the context of something going catastrophically wrong. In terms of this blog, it refers to the collapse of the entire system as we know it. People who actively prepare for SHTF are known as preppers and take great pride in stocking up on supplies and ensuring their family is equipped for total collapse.

Will the SHTF though? This is a topic of ongoing debate. In fact, the debate has been going on for such a long time many people are starting to look at preppers as “tin foil hatters” or otherwise dismissing them as complete crazies or lunatics.

Are they crazy though? I like to think about the following quote from Sun Tzu in the art of war:

The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. – Sun Tzu Art of War

In this passage Sun Tzu is speaking directly on the importance of preparation. A warrior always keeps his sword sharp even in times of peace for he knows not what the future holds. If war does manifest, a warrior is ready because he is prepared.

In the same sense, nobody really knows if or when all hell will break loose. The important part is that you are prepared for SHTF in case it does happen.

And when we speak about SHTF, we aren’t necessarily talking about total system collapse. TSC (total system collapse) is simply the highest degree of SHTF and one must ask themselves how much one is to prepare for. For many people Sh*t hitting the fan can mean losing a job or suffering a medical condition. For the average Joe preparing can be as simple as keeping a weeks supply of food and slowly putting money away into a savings account.

So you see, SHTF and what it means is a broad topic of discussion. It’s a rabbit hole you can choose to explore or completely ignore.

Here at DSK I’ve written on a number of preparation topics. I recommend you read up on the following:

And that ought to get you started. Thanks for reading and hope that explained a lot about what SHTF stands for and why we do what we do.

ESEE Laser Strike Review | Best Knife In The History of Ape Tool Making

esee-laser-strike-review

In this review I’m taking you up close to one of my favorite survival and bush knives. The ESEE Laser Strike is a knife that’s been around the block and time tested by many people. The Laser Strike simply gets a lot of things right while other knives fall short in either quality or functionality. Previously designed and made by TOPS knives, ESEE now manufactures the knife and reforged the knife with their own time tested qualities.

Let’s take a look at the specs…

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 10.00″
  • Blade Length: 4.75″
  • Blade Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Blade Thickness:
  • Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
  • Spear Point
  • Powdered coating to protect blade
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Sheath: Kydex

Full review

esee-laser-strike-review
The ESEE Laser Strike With Sheath

 

When I choose a knife I need it to do a number of things. I first want the blade to come out of the box sharp as a razors edge. Looking at the thickness of the blade before hand I was concerned about how well the ESEE Laser Strike would take an edge. Out of the box I can say this blade came out dangerously sharp and cleaned the hairs straight off my arm. Smoothing the blade across your arm you can see the hair build up into a nice nest leaving a trail of bareness in its path. Even MORE importantly than the out of box sharpness is how long it retains and edge and easy it is to sharpen back to former glory. I can tell you the Laser Strike blade will hold an edge for a considerable amount of time before it requires a resharpening. I spent weeks batoning wood and abusing this knife like a red headed step child before it required edge work.

And when I say I abuse my knives I truly do. I want a knife that can take the abuse and keep doing good work. When I baton wood I come down hard over the spine with a sizable log hammer. My intentions are to break the knife and test its fortitude and reliability. I found myself exhausted from hours of batoning while the ESEE Laser Strike stood its ground and came back for more. I quickly surrendered and offered a deep bow of respect to my new companion and life long bush friend. There’s something about this knife that looks damn good in the bush and fits comfortably on your belt. Almost like years of ape tool making coming to a concentrated LASER focus in the best blade possible.

There’s also something about this knife that’s just downright comfortable in your hand. The handle is of course made of ESEE’s signature Micarta material. Micarta has an interesting rugged grip that feels natural and earthy unlike rubber or hard plastic materials that feel fake and manufactured. The jimping on the ESEE laser strike is a welcome friend allowing you to get a good grip and leverage for a variety of cuts and styles. The Choil sinks deep into your fingers for a powerful grip. Grip the Laser Strike and then grip any other knife and you’ll quickly feel the difference in comfort. Other knives? Awkward as you stumble and bumble your way to a clean grip. The ESEE Laser Strike? A perfect match made in the woodland heavens.

The tang is full and you wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t know understand how you could ever purchase a knife without a full tang. If anything ever happens to the handle you still have a usable knife because the metal runs all the way through to the blade. Also notice on the handle there are screws that secure the blade to tang. Unfastening these screws reveals a hidden treasure trove consisting of a ferrocerium rod with tinder tabs. In all honesty it’s a strange thing to include because it’s impossible to strike the rod with the knife due to the powdered coating protecting the carbon steel. You can use the knifes edge to make a strike but this compromises the blade and rounds the edge. Some people grind down a portion of the spine in order to use the knife with a ferro rod. This is my recommendation as well.

The ESEE Laser Strike also comes with one of the best sheaths in the business. The Sheath is Kydex and the blade is happy to snap right into place. There’s no fear of the knife ever slipping out of the sheath. There’s a sliding retention screw letting you adjust how tight of a grip the sheath puts on the knife. Even at its loosest its got a solid hold on the blade. The more I use Kydex the more I enjoy the material and functionality.

Conclusion

For $100 bucks this is one of the best knives you can get. Most people will look at this knife and then go and cheap out on something that’s 20 or 30 bucks. There’s a good reason those knives are cheap. They quickly discover why when they take the knife out into the bush and attempt to do any real work. The ESEE Laser Strike is a serious knife for those who demand quality and performance over all else.

 

Snugpak Bunker Review | A True Tactical Tent

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The Snugpak BUNKER. This is the tent you need to go full blown tactical mode with 2 – 3 people. Snugpak does it again with their ingenious tent designs and drop dead simple setups. Not to mention, the olive green allows anyone to blend in to most wilderness surroundings without being spotted. Gone are the days when you’re forced to use those horrendous brightly colored flys that don’t even keep the rain out! This 4 season tent keeps you high and dry in even the most narliest storms. Let’s dig into this tent and talk about why this bad boy is MILITARY grade.

Specifications and features

  • 2 door
  • 3 man tent
  • 4 Seasons
  • 6.75 lbs trail weight
  • 7.74 lbs pack weight
  • Olive green
  • Easy setup
  • Fly first
  • Alloy stakes
  • DAC Featherlite color coded poles
  • Compression sack included
  • Repair Kit included

Full Review

snugpak-bunker-review
The Snugpak Bunker in full glory mode

 

Snugpak has once again drawn me into another one of their top notch products. This tent is very similar to the Scorpion 3 I have previously reviewed except with a different design. The bunker sits lower to the ground and shaped in its own unique way. I like the low profile of the bunker and the low height makes this thing damn near impervious to wind and other environmental elements. It is a true 4 season tent able to withstand strong storms. Especially if you have everything staked down with the guy lines firmly in place.

Setup

scorpion-3-poles-attachement

Setup is very similar to both the Snugpak Scorpion 3 and the Ionosphere tents. The tent comes with 3 DAC Featherlite snap poles color coded for each sleeve on the fly. This is a fly first tent meaning you setup the outer layer first before the inner layer. It’s versatile enough you don’t even need the inner layer if it’s warm. Each pole slides through a sleeve and snaps into a heavy duty nylon grommit hole on each end. Once the fly is setup the inner layer attaches to the inside via toggle sticks.

Space

There’s plenty of space in the Snugpak bunker as it’s designed for 3 people. 2 people can live like kings and queens while 3 can work but will be tight. Better for those cold nights when you all can snuggle for warmth. It kind of has a hectagon shape which can make for some interesting sleeping arrangements with a bit of though and experimenting.

Weight

The entire packing weight of the Snugpak Bunker is 7.74 lbs. Trail weight comes in at 6.75. Trail weight is usually the weight of the tent without the compression sack, repair kit, or stakes. Overall this would be a difficult tent to pack for a 10 mile hike unless you have a pack mule or enjoy the extra weight. That’s not to say you can’t shove it in a decent 65L backpack or attach it to the externals. It’s just going to be heavier. Don’t let me deter you from a good workout though.

Design elements

A tent with good design is fundamental to experiencing a comfortable night camping. Cheap tents lack the quality and design to provide anything like the Snugpak Bunker. For starters, the bunker includes multiple vents to allow for a proper flow of ventilation. Without good airflow the tent will gather a lot of wet condensation especially with 3 people inside. It can also become very hard to breathe. I absolutely love the fly first design allowing you to quickly establish a dry shelter for your gear before setting up the inner layer.The Fly does a fantastic job keeping out the rain and other natural elements. The inner layer has a reinforced bathtub floor to keep you dry from any water that gets under you. All the seems and stitching are ultra fortified and I have no doubt this puppy is going to last for the long haul even with continued abuse. Finally, the 2 door system makes getting in and out very easy for 3 people – no crawling over one another to get to an exit for a late night bathroom break.

$$Price$$

At the time of this writing the Snugpak Bunker is roughly $244 bucks. This is a steal of a deal in my opinion. In fact, I would pay much more for this tent having been through the ringer sleeping other inferior designs. It’s money well spent especially if you’re going to be using it a lot outdoors. I put my gear to the ultimate test and make sure to squeeze every ounce of value out of it I can.

Conclusion

Is the Snugpak Bunker right for you? You can check out the other reviews to see what others have to say. As far as tents go there really isn’t anything else where you’ll find as many raving fans. The Bunker is a top quality tent that will stand the test of time for years to come. Here is to Snugpak for once again releasing an awesome outdoor product.

 

 

Top 8 Prepper Forums and Resources

prepper-forums

If you’re looking to open up a discussion about prepping there is no better place to turn to than a forum. A forum brings together like minded people who also have a wealth of knowledge to share. In the prepping community there’s a lot of blogs out there providing very little substance. This is why I turn to forums when I need serious answers to serious questions about my preps. Here’s a short list of some of the best prepper related forums out there. Choose one of them and see how you like the community.

1.) Prepper Forums

Prepperforums.net is the largest online prepper forum on the internet as we speak. There are thousands of threads to go through with an active community posting daily questions. To date there are over 500,000 posts and many of them contain absolute nuggets of knowledge you won’t find anywhere else. With large forums you tend to see many posts go unanswered but that is not the case here. This is the place to go if you’re a new prepper and have questions.

2.) Survivalist Boards

Survivalist Boards is the largest survival/prepping community with well over 8 million posts. Needless to say these guys have been around the block and have attracted some seriously hardcore members you won’t find elsewhere. Topics range from wilderness survival, prepping, urban survival, weapons, fishing, and a thriving general discussion section.

3.) Prepared Society

Prepared Society is another forum dedicated to all things survival and prepping. They have a ton of topics and a ton of posts and active members. Besides prepping and survival they have entire sections dedicated to woodworking and other sub categories relating to prepping and survival. If you’re into homesteading they cater to those needs too. This is the place to go if you have questions about many topics and want an answer.

4.) Survival Threads

This forum is a smaller community from the guys over at more than just surviving. While maybe not as active as the other forums there is still some good info with knowledgeable members. If you want a more personal forum where you can get to know the members this is the one. There’s something about tight knit smaller communities you can’t anywhere else.

5.) Equipped To Survive Forums

Doug Ritter runs a website where he reviews gear and products related to prepping and survival. He has also managed to carve a decent prepper forum over the years he has been writing. Probably the least active forum on this list but you will probably get a direct answer from Doug himself. Another great thing about smaller forums is the personal attention from the pros.

6.) Doomsday Prepper Forums

Do you have your tin hat locked, cocked, and ready to rock? The Doomsday Prepper Forums to browse when looking for information about people prepping for the ULTIMATE disasters. Sure, the members might go into tin hat land from time to time but lot’s of the information is sound. A total of 49 posts were made today on the forum so it is indeed somewhat active to this day.

7.) American Preppers Network

The American Preppers Network is a no nonsense website completely dedicated to discussing survival and prepping. This is another large forum averaging over 4000 posts a day on a variety of subjects sure to get you learned. Out of all these forums I would say American Preppers Network is more about prepping than anything else. There are some hardcore guys over there that think about the prep day in and day out. While I don’t suggest you follow in their footsteps, you can learn a thing or two along the way.

8. The Ar-15 Forums

Lastly I wanted to include a forum that isn’t exactly related to prepping but somewhere the topic still comes up. The Ar-15 forums are a massive resource to learn anything about the Ar-15. There’s a lot of posts on tactical training which can easily be applied to prepping. This is a great forum to belong to especially if you own an Ar-15 and are using it as your main SHTF weapon.

Conclusion

Finding the right prepper forum for you might take some time. Sometimes you simply don’t like the community/discussions and are forced to hop to the next one. The thing is, when you find the right one it’s the best because you are tapped into many people who have answers to the questions you have. I’ve been involved in forums for many years and still prefer them to modern social media channels like Facebook. In fact, you will find many preppers prefer the forum as well because they are older and they grew up on forums and old school bulletin boards.

Good luck on your forum hunt and leave a comment if you’ve found any not on this list!

Snugpak Jungle Bag Review

snugpak-jungle-bag-with-mosquito-net

Today I’m excited to review possibly my new favorite sleeping bag system. This is the Snugpak Jungle bag and it introduces a number of features to serve you well out in the deep bush or jungle. I’ve spent years in the great outdoors and have become very familiar with other sleep systems. While the Jungle bug may not be practical in colder environments, it’s hard to beat in any weather 40 degrees and up.

Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Features and full review

snugpak-jungle-bag-with-mosquito-net

The first thing I like about the bag is the coyote brown. Going to REI you’ll notice many sleeping bag companies like to use super bright colors. I can see the aesthetic appeal of these bags but if I’m going grey man or incognito mode I don’t want a color that will give away my position. The coyote brown allows you to blend in to many environments.

The outer layer of the Jungle Bag is made of a synthetic material called Paratex. The material is comprised of a micro diamond shell and introduces antimicrobial properties. The outer shell prevents your bag from stinking due to the inevitable build up of mold and bacteria. In wet weather environments like the Jungle this adds a layer of protection from the moisture. Even in dry climates microbes will gather on your pack over time. The outer layer will also wick away moisture and act as a water repellent. One more layer of defense against wet weather elements is never a bad thing. Pair the jungle bag with a tarp or tent and you have yourself a formidable shelter of protection.

Moving to the inner layer you see and feel plush material. It’s very soft and the space between the outer and inner layers has a light layer of insulation called Travel Soft. This material keeps you warm even when wet and does a good job keeping you warm while remaining lightweight.

Where this bag separates itself from the pack is the ingenious mosquito net. Simply crawl into the bag and zip up. The mosquito net is easily zipped from the inside and provides protection from bugs and mosquitoes. In fact, the bag could be used all by itself with no other form of shelter and you’d still be totally protected. The net is a meshed material so of course you can still breathe.

The zippers are designed to be unzipped fully in case you want to use the Jungle Bag as a blanket or an extra layer beneath you. You can even zip 2 Jungle bags together and create one giant sleeping bag for 2 people. I Love how the zippers rarely get caught in the material when you go to get in and out of the bag. Inside the bag is also a zipper pocket you can use as a stash spot for a headlamp or whatever else you can stuff in there.

But what about comfort level? I would say you could use the Jungle bag in 40 degree plus weather. Anything below that and you’ll probably be miserable without ample clothing. However, throw on a couple long johns and you’re good to go. The bag also easily accommodates tall individuals while retaining comfort. I’m 5’10 and have plenty of room left to wiggle around in.

The included stuff sack is also extremely high quality and durable.

Final Thoughts

I’ll wrap this up this review by saying the Snugpak Jungle Bag is a great bag with plenty of unique features that make it easy to bust out the wallet. It’s lightweight but packed with solid thermal technology to keep you warm. The mosquito net is a no brainer as well. I love the Jungle Bag and I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

 

Snugpak Scorpion 3 Tent Review

Rarely do I come across a decent 3 man SHTF tent that can withstand all 4 seasons. If I do the tents are unreasonably heavy and nearly impossible to take in a backpack or easily transport. I’ve had experience with the Snugpak Ionosphere 1 man tent and looked forward to testing the Scorpion 3 in rougher conditions. I needed something high quality to serve as long term shelter solution out in the wild. The Scorpion 3 fits the bill.

Features and Specs

  • 3 man tent
  • Fly first design
  • Olive green
  • 5000mm polyurethane rain fly
  • 190t Nylon with polyester mesh for inner layer
  • Well vented (3 vents total)
  • Reinforced bathtub flooring so you don’t get wet
  • 17 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • 6.44 lbs (trail weight)
  • Repair kit included

Full review

snugpak-scorpion-3-review

What first drew me to this tent was the fact that it’s a 4 season tent for well under $400 dollars. In fact, $400 dollars for a 4 season tent is considered getting a very good deal. From there I began looking at the features and other reviews of what other people thought. So far it’s received nothing but great praise from other people who have put the Scorpion 3 to the test. My second favorite element about the Scorpion 3 is the versatile design. Both the fly and the inner element of the tent can be used together or separate. In the summer months you can opt to simply use the fly if bugs are not an issue. In the winter using the 2 elements together provides ample protection against the environment even in the stormiest conditions.

Setup

scorpion-3-poles-attachement

Setup is quite easy. As I’ve mentioned,this is a fly first design so you can setup the fly and then have a dry place to connect the inner mesh layer if you want. The fly is setup with traditional aluminum poles that snap together quite easily. There are 3 poles in total which slide into their corresponding color coded sleeves on the fly. Once the fly is setup there are hooks where the inner mesh layer attaches. Overall setup time ranges from 5 – 15 minutes. You can save time by simply leaving the inner mesh attached when you break down the Scorpion 2.

Space

As far as space goes I will say that what holds true for other tents holds true here. While advertised as a 3 man tent you will probably only fit 2 comfortably. You can theoretically fit 3 people inside but it’s going to be cramped especially if you require room for everyone’s gear. 2 people however will have zero problems with space and there will be plenty of room for everything.

Weight

The trail weight of the Scorpion 3 is 6.44 lbs. Trail weight refers to the weight of the raw materials needed to setup the tent. Trail weight only takes into account the total weight of the fly, inner mesh, and poles. Essentially just the bare essentials to make the shelter not including the stuff sack, repair kit, and other accessories that might come with the tent. 6.44 lbs is a bit on the heavy side if you plan on trucking this thing on your back for 10 miles but well worth it considering the quality and space.

Design elements

scorpion-3-inner-mesh-attachement
Attaching the inner mesh to the fly

 

There’s a lot of great design features of the Scorpion 3. As I mentioned, the versatility of being able to set the tent up with either the rain fly or the inner mesh is fantastic. This feature boasts a number of practical benefits when you consider the environment your setting up at. The “fly first” design makes setting up in the rain an easy and comfortable thing to do. The front door and vestibule provides a large space to crawl through with a subtle tapering that narrows towards the back. Very easy to get in and out of. The vestibule flaps also conveniently fold up and can be tucked away in their own little pocket. All the materials appear to be very high quality and I have no doubt will last many many seasons even with heavy use.

Price

At the time of this writing the Scorpion 3 is retailing at $250 bucks on Amazon. Once again this is a steal of a deal for a 4 season tent for this much space. Considering the quality of design and the many other features this is an investment that will last a very long time even if you frequently camp. I put my gear through the ringer and I have no doubt this is one piece of gear I will own for a while.

Conclusion

The Scorpion 3 is a fantastic tent for the value and Snugpak is quickly becoming the leading heavyweight for high quality tents. I can’t wait to test out more of their products in the future.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the Scorpion 3.