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


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.



Core Principles and Gear Inside The Preppers Kit


So you want to put together a preppers kit in case SHTF? You’ve seen the madness this world is capable of. You’ve seen first hand the man made and natural disasters of the world. When you go to the store you observe the human zoo knowing full well any one of these chimps can break down at a moments notice. An EMP blast can send us straight back to the stone age. How do you prepare for these things?

Putting together a basic preppers kit is a good start. But how does one go about putting together a kit capable of blasting through the madness and seeing yourself through to survival?

First, it helps to understand the core principles of what goes into the kit.

The blueprint of survival…

The human body needs food, water, and shelter to survive. Without these elements in place the body begins to atrophy and death quickly follows.

Water is of course an essential element in any kit. You should be stocking 5 gallon drums of water in your home. On top of this you need something in your kit to purify water should you run out of your stockpile. A water filter like the Sawyer Squeeze can purify 100,000 gallons of water. This is great for a single person. Do you have a family? A larger water filter like the Big Berkey provides clean water from any source to your entire family. Go ahead and use that pond or river water. Even if you live in the City you can find dubious sources of water easily made clean by water filtering products.

Food is the next on the list. Now, when focusing on long term food storage think about foods that keep a long shelf life. You can get long term food storage kits for fairly cheap and they last up to 25 years. Cheaper options include rice, beans, and grains. These are staple foods providing your body with the carbs and proteins required to sustain your survival. Make sure you have a good stock pile of food because chances are you’re a lousy hunter. Luckily, most SHTF scenarios will be over fairly quickly.

Shelter. Chances are you have a home. This home is your first line of defense against the chimps. You know, the apes who will take to the streets and plunder and pillage anything in sight. Even in safe times there’s the off chance of getting burgled. Learn about cheap ways to fortify your home. In a bug out situation consider packing a solid SHTF tent.

It is true that in extreme conditions a lack of shelter will kill you faster than a lack of food and water. Shelter not only protects you from the elements but protects you against the shit slinging chimps who have reverted back to their primal modes of being.

A list of goodies…

  • A good knife
  • fire kit (matches, lighters, ferrocerium rod)
  • Spices (salt, pepper, etc)
  • Water filter
  • Water containers
  • Cooking supplies (pots, pans, basic stuff)
  • Paracord
  • Bug out bag
  • IFAK (individual first aid kit)
  • Generator
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, games (Why not have a little fun?)
  • Propane powered stove top
  • Propane
  • Emergency radio
  • Essential oils
  • Hygiene kits (Shampoo, toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, feminine products, etc)
  • Duct tape
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing
  • Good attitude

With these basic provisions in place you now have yourself a solid preppers kit to work with. Beyond the kit itself it’s crucial to assess your skills and hone anything that needs sharpening. It’s one thing to have all of this stuff and another to know how to use everything and why. I recommend picking up books on both survival and bushcrafting. Work on your skills everyday knowing you just might have to use them one day.

Hurricane Survival Kit With Full Checklist


In the wake of the recent hurricanes I realized I had made a post on every survival kit except hurricanes. I guess they’re one of those natural disasters you don’t think about too often. However, if you live in a tropical region your number one prepping priority should be for hurricanes. Depending on the strength of the hurricane, you might be able to whether the storm with essential survival gear. Be careful though, sometimes the best thing to do is get out of dodge.

First and foremost on the list is dealing with power outages. If you’re a homeowner the best investment you’ll ever make is purchasing a generator. A generator will keep things running until power is restored. When the power is offline, it’s only a matter of time before all the food in your fridge begins to rot. With a generator you can keep some essential lights on and keep all your food from spoiling. It’s also nice to power a television especially when everything has gone dark.

Second, one of my favorite pieces of survival gear is the emergency radio. A high quality emergency radio has AM/FM/SW bands alongside being able to receive broadcasts from the NOAA. This information you receive through your radio will inform your decisions about bugging out or bugging in. If the power goes out and you don’t have a radio, how will you know what is going on around you? If anything, a radio can provide basic entertainment. Radios like the ones from Kaito provide hand cranked power, include a built in flashlight, and support USB connections so you can charge all your gear. I have a full write up on the 5 most popular Kaito radios. The higher up radios even support bluetooth.

Flashlights and more flashlights. You really can’t have enough of these around when the power goes out. Unless you enjoy fumbling and bumbling around in the dark, everyone in your family should have a flashlight to navigate around the house. Candles are a nice touch but pose a fire hazard in the home. Keep flashlights around instead and be sure you are well stocked up on batteries too.

Moving on, at the very least you must have a basic first aid kit. I’m a big fan of the IFAK (individual first aid kit.) It’s a kit you can put together yourself and includes everything you need to treat a range of injuries. In a hurricane anything can happen and emergency assistance might not be able to get to your location. Hurricanes can cause chaos for emergency response teams and the sad truth is that it’s mostly every man for himself. It’s crucial to have a first aid kit and brush up on basic medical knowledge so you know how to use the supplies.

With some of the core supplies out of the way, here is a complete hurricane survival kit checklist:


  • Waterproof gear
  • Food and water (at least 1 weeks worth)
  • Fire kit
  • Water filters
  • Knife
  • Bug out bag
  • Paracord
  • Propane cook top
  • Propane
  • Sand bags
  • Life jackets
  • Multi tool
  • Plywood, hammer, nails
  • Duct tape
  • Large tarp
  • 2-way radios


Perhaps the most important piece of gear you have is your knowledge. Knowledge whether to leave and knowledge whether to stay. If you choose to stay, this gear will be indispensable to you and your family. With the right skills and gear you can weather the storm and see yourself through to another day.




Build Your Own Military Grade Survival Kit


Having a survival kit within arms reach is always a good idea. The problem I see with many kits is they are lacking in many crucial supplies. They are not well thought out and leave a lot to be desired. This is why I recommend building your own kit. Now the only question is, what do you put in a kit? To answer this question in the best way possible I turned to the Navy Seals. Below is a complete list of what you need to make your own military approved survival kit as used by the U.S. Navy Seals .

Hard case contents list

The Seals were issued both a hard case and a soft case. The hard case measured 4 x 2 x 1.2 inches and was designed as a multipurpose piece of equipment. If a Seal needed to do so he could cook and boil water in the case and use it as a digging tool. The hard case should be non reflective and completely sealed from the elements. The contents of the hard case must not rattle as to give away the position of the Seal.

Inside the case is a number of survival goodies:

  • Multi tool
  • Button Compass
  • LED light
  • Fire kit
  • Water container
  • Water purification tablets
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Signalling mirror
  • Thermal blanket
  • Kevlar line
  • Safety pins
  • P-38 can opener
  • Stainless steel wire
  • Ducts tape
  • Magnifying glass
  • Waterproof paper
  • Ink pen
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton pad

Soft case contents

The Seals were also issued a soft case measuring 3.5 x 2.25 and featured a U.S. american flag patch. The soft cases were desert brown. It is difficult to track down a military issue soft kit but there are modern Molle pouches which are very tactical in nature that fit the bill for the following items:

  • Carbon steel hacksaw blade
  • Ceramic razor blade
  • Moleskin adhesive patch
  • Kevlar thread
  • Fishing leader and down rigger cable
  • Suspended navigation magnet
  • Ferrocerium rod
  • Cotton ball
  • Bobby pins
  • Handcuff shim
  • Universal handcuff key

About the military survival kit and some thoughts

There is certainly a lot of gear here in this kit. This survival kit clearly includes everything you need to purify water, build fire, make shelter, and contains gear to navigate your way back to safety. For the average Joe this kit is probably overkill. What are the odds you’re actually going to catch a fish with the supplied fishing gear? While I like this kit and it is more than comprehensive, it takes someone with a considerable amount of skill to properly use many of the items. Another example is the handcuff shims and the handcuff key. It’s very unlikely you’ll ever find yourself handcuffed. Even so, did you get to your shim in time and EVEN if you did, could you shim your way out of a pair of cuffs and make it to safety? Some of you probably could but I bet money that most could not.

Same goes with the compass. Not many of you know how to use a compass and they are mostly useless unless you have a map. If you’re looking for an easy to use kit I recommend going through my bug out bag checklist.

Beyond securing the items in this military kit. It’s crucial to understand how you can use each piece of gear. Without that knowledge you’re simply lugging around a bunch of dead weight. Maybe you are of the philosophy that states “better to have and not need…”

Well, you know the rest.

Final Thoughts

I like this survival kit. While I might not go out and get ALL this stuff I’m a big proponent of taking the good and discarding the bad. In this case, I’m not going to include a fishing kit or a compass because I don’t have fishing skills and I don’t know how to navigate. I also live an urban environment where the extra weight and space of a fishing kit just wouldn’t make sense. In my case, I might use many of the items listed here but include things like a real water filter, a survival radio, a personal IFAK, and other pieces of gear I talk about in my bug out bag guides.

Overall, the military knows exactly what they’re doing so in no way am I dogging on this kit. I’m saying the military also trains their people to use all this stuff in survival scenarios. Many of us don’t have the same skill set and therefore our personal survival kit will look much different. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


Time magazine on Navy Seal Military survival kit


Top 7 Premade Survival Kits Worth Your Money


I’ve discussed in great detail the exact items you need in any survival kit. You have your urban survival kit, you have the wilderness survival kit, and you have a plethora of bug out bag items. These are great resources if you want to manually piece together a good survival kit. However, I realize some of you simply want something you can buy and stash away for a rainy day. For you guys I have assembled a post of 7 premade survival kits available for purchase straight away.

1.) Emergency Zone 840 Survival Kit


The most comprehensive kit on this list. The Emergency Zone 840 contains everything you would need in a survival kit with spare room to add your own gear. This survival kit comes with the following items:

  • 118 piece first aid kit
  • Weather protection (2x reflective sleeping bags, 2x emergency poncho, 1x tube tent, 2x hand warmers.)
  • Food and water (2x 3600 cal food bars, 12x 4.2 ounce water pouch.)
  • Water purification (1x folding 1L water container, 5x water purification powder, 1x water purification instruction sheet.)
  • Hygeine kit (2x toothbrushes, 2x toothpaste, 1x comb, 1x razor, 1x shampoo, 1x soap bar, 2x feminine pad, 1x washcloth, 1x toilet paper roll.)
  • Tools (2x glow sticks, 1x survival whistle, 1x 50 ft rope, 1x duct tape, 1x work gloves, 1x multi-tool, 1x playing cards, 1x can opener.)
  • Emergency preparedness guidebook (48 page guidebook, pencil, weatherproof zip bag.)
  • Light (radio/flashlight)

This is a great kit for someone who does not want to spend their time hunting and pecking around for the right gear. I will say, the bag the kit comes in is somewhat low quality. I can’t see it holding up long with heavy use especially in regards to the zippers and straps. This is easily remedied by purchasing a higher quality pack. I’m a big fan of the 5.11 Rush 72. The contents of the survival kit are all high quality stuff and you will find them extremely useful in a survival situation.

Overall I’d say this kit can be fairly well rounded with a few gear additions. I found it a little strange there is nothing in this kit to start a fire with. At the very least throw in a couple BIC lighters and waterproof matches into a plastic bag. I would also say adding a bottle of Ibuprofen into the first aid kit is a great idea.

2.) Ready America Deluxe 4 Person Emergency Kit


Another great survival kit packed with essential items to weather any emergency. Once again, the included backpack in this kit is subpar but everything else is good to go. I still have gripes with this kit however. I don’t think it includes nearly enough food and water to sustain 4 people as advertised. Certainly add more food and water into the kit and get the contents into a bag that isn’t going to bust on you immediately.

  • (4) Food Bars (2400 Calorie)*
  • (4) Boxes of Water (1 Liter) *
  • (4) Emergency Ponchos
  • (4) Survival Blankets
  • (1) Emergency Power Station: Flashlight/AM-FM Radio/Siren/ Cell Phone Charger
  • (1) Duct Tape (10 yards)
  • (1) Multi-Function Pocket Tool
  • (1) First-Aid Kit (107 piece)
  • (4) Emergency Lightsticks (12-hr)
  • (8) 10” Nitrile Gloves
  • (4) Safety Goggles
  • (4) Niosh N-95 Dust Mask
  • (4) Pocket Tissue Packs
  • (1) Pair of Leather Gloves
  • (1) Emergency Whistle
  • (12)Pre-Moistened Towelettes
  • (3) Bio-Hazard Bags
  • (1) Backpack

3.) 4 Person Deluxe Duffel Survival Kit


This is a truly comprehensive kit great for a family. The contents of the kit feature a wide range of essential survival items. This is a heavy kit not made for bugging out but bugging in. It’s a kit you stash away and only take during an emergency bug in situation. Check it out on Amazon for a full list of contents.

4.) Deluxe Earthquake Honey Bucket Kit


This is more of a kit designed for earthquakes but it could easily be useful in many survival situations. It has gear not found in the other kits like a pry-bar, utility knife, water shutoff tool, face masks, and matches. It also comes in a sturdy bucket making it safe to stash away in the more dark and damp areas of your house. Check it out here.

5.) The Small Commuter Survival Kit


One of the cheapest and smallest kits on this list but still manages to pack a punch as a great kit for the car. Great for the kids or even for yourself as personal survival kit on the road. This small commuter kit contains the following items.

  • 2400 Calorie Mayday food bar and 6 pouches of Mayday water
  • Flash light, Light Stick, Emergency Whistle
  • Mayday Survival Blanket, Emergency Poncho, N-95 Mask Particulate Respirator
  • Basic 37 Piece First Aid Kit

6.) The Mountain House Just In Case Bucket

Mountain house makes great go bag goodies convenient storage buckets.

Not exactly a full fledged survival kit but a great long term survival food option. And if you’ve never eaten a Mountain House meal before you are in for a treat – They’ve long been the staple of hikers and backpackers everywhere for their tasty meals and long lasting kits. Their kits are guaranteed up to 30 years and come in an extremely durable bucket. This kit comes with a number of tasty meal pouches.

7.) Premade 250 Piece First Aid Kit


Last but not least we have a comprehensive first aid kit. The ones included in the above survival kits are great but they’re lacking some crucial items. This first aid kit also comes in a sturdy plastic shell protecting it from the elements wherever you want to store it.


Purchase one of these kits and give yourself the peace of mind knowing you’re prepared. Anything can happen at anytime and you certainly don’t want to be caught with your pants down when TSHTF. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think about these premade kits.



Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit Review


Bear Grylls. The man, myth, and legend in the survival industry. Noted for his extreme survival antics (Repelling down a cliff with bailing wire anybody?) and his complete willingness to drink his own urine at a moments notice. Bear has amassed a large following in the survival community prompting his marketing crew to release a plethora of survival products with his name stamped straight in.

One of his most popular products is his signature Bear Grylls ultimate survival kit. The kit contains a collection of 16 survival tools to aid your extraction from a survival situation. Let’s explore what is in the kit and determine if it’s worth the cash.

What’s in the kit?


There’s a total of 16 gear items in the kit including 2 survival related instruction manuals:

  • Gerber Miniature Multi-tool – A surprisingly capable multi tool comparable to a mid grade Leatherman. The best piece of gear in this kit by far.
  • Waterproof Bag – Everything in this kit fits conveniently in the waterproof bag. There’s also enough room left to add some gear of your own which I address later in the post.
  • Miniature Light – Fairly bright light. Good enough to find your way around camp and navigate around your gear. No substitute for a decent flashlight or tactical light however.
  • Hand Saw – Leaves more to be desired. Basically useless.
  • Signaling Mirror – Good signal mirror. Bravo Bear, Bravo.
  • Survival Blanket – Not the best in the business but made out of the same material is any other standard space blanket. I figure you could a weeks worth of use out of it before it begins to fall apart. These are cheap enough to replace with something better like the Survival Frog Tact Bivvy.
  • Fire Starter – High quality fire starter better than most. I actually recommend the Bear Grylls fire starter any chance I get.
  • Waterproof matches – Good stuff. Hard to go wrong with these.
  • Cotton Ball – Fire Tinder – Basic cotton ball. Not much to say.
  • Snare Wire – Meh. Somebody with proper snaring skills might balk at the quality but could still catch something with them. Useless unless you have snaring skills.
  • Emergency Cord – Shoelaces? It’s definitely not paracord which is the industry survival standard. Would have been nice to see paracord but I guess that would have gone over budget.
  • Waxed Thread – I’m assuming used for sewing and patching up clothes.
  • Fishing Kit – Once again, worthless unless you know how to fish and not exactly a comprehensive kit.
  • Sewing kit – Good if you know how to sew. Useless if you don’t.
  • Lanyard Whistle – Standard survival whistle. Surprisingly loud and useful.
  • Lightweight, ripstop nylon bag with waterproof zipper – High quality pouch.
  • Land to air rescue instructions – Comprehensive and detailed instructions for signalling aircraft and other vessels.
  • Priorities of Survival – Pocket guide contains Bear’s survival essentials – Essential survival advice and wisdom.

Full review

If you’ve read my recent review on the Les Stroud survival kit you know I had a couple concerns about the contents. The Bear Grylls survival kit will receive the same scrutiny. I believe there are a few fundamental mistakes made with these types of prepackaged kits. There are a number of items in this kit I believe will be no use to the types of people buying this kit which brings me to my first point – this kit is being marketed to people who understand very little about survival. That being the case, why include a fishing and snaring kit which require serious skills and knowledge to use? This type of gear is worthless unless you know what you’re doing. Those who do know what they are doing in this area of expertise would never use the inferior gear found in the Bear Grylls kit.

It’s funny to even think that somebody brand new to survival could catch a fish even if his life depended on it. Give him the right gear and bait and my bet is he still wouldn’t catch anything. If he can’t even do it with the proper gear how the hell could you expect him to do it with the dinky little hooks found in the Bear Grylls Ultimate kit?

One more thing to gripe about is the cordage included. It’s not even real 550 paracord and there’s not even enough of it to do anything useful. It’s laughable really.

Okay Bear, I’m done bashing your kit…for now.

Aside from these gimmicky type of inclusions there are a few pieces of gear I really like. The Bear Grylls Multi tool is actually very high quality and comparable to any decent Leatherman. Considering a Leatherman Wave will cost you nearly $20 dollars more than this kit you can see why the Bear Grylls kit is probably a good investment despite some of the gear leaving much to be desired. The waterproof matches, firestarter, and signalling mirror are also top notch. The included survival manuals are also decent enough and include detailed information.

I also love how the kit is highly portable and self contained. The waterproof case is roomy enough to add some of your own gear if you wanted. You can easily buy this kit and shove it tightly away for a rainy day.

This brings us to the next section of the review…

What I would change about the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit?

For a measly $60 bucks you can’t really complain too much about this kit. As I mentioned before, A decent Leatherman costs more than this kit and the Bear Grylls multi tool is honestly just as good. Sure, you could build this kit yourself for much cheaper but do you want to take the time?

There’s a few things I would change about this kit. First, let’s get rid of the fishing and snaring kit completely or replace them with high quality alternatives. Once again, unless you have the skills to use this gear you are wasting space and in for a world of frustration as you spend all day trying to catch food to no avail.

Second, this is an “ultimate survival kit” but where the hell is the knife? Really Bear? You’re going to sit there and pawn this off on us as an ultimate survival kit and not have the decency to throw in your signature knife? No survival kit is complete without a good knife and it’s laughable that this kit doesn’t have one.

Also, how about let’s throw in some real paracord and include enough length to make it useful? As far as I can tell the cordage might as well be shoe lace and it’s seriously lacking in length. Cordage is far too important to skimp on and this kit fails to include anything useful.


So, is the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit worth it? Taking the points I have mentioned in this article I still think the kit is worth the money. If anything this is a great kit to purchase if you simply don’t have the time to go out and find each individual piece of gear yourself. However, if this is something you want to do I recommend reading my post on Les Strouds survival kit. Not only is it a more comprehensive kit but I have links to each individual item for purchase.

This kit also makes a great gift idea as a stocking stuffer or birthday present. All in all, I think the kit is mostly well rounded if you add the gear I mentioned above.

What do you think about Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Kit? Let me know in the comments below!

What Is In Les Strouds Survival Kit?


In his best selling book Survive, Les Stroud shows you exactly what it takes to survive in different survival scenarios. In an early chapter he dedicates an entire section to what he considers to be a highly efficient and lean survival kit. In this post I will explore the contents of Les Strouds survival kit and shed light on different ways you can use each piece of gear.

5 lb coffee container


Les recommends keeping all of the following gear in a 5lb coffee container. This serves to house the gear in a compact space and also to protect the gear from outside elements like water. Les fails to mention just how you are supposed to transport this container. Are you supposed to hold it in your hand or keep it in your cargo pockets? I doubt a coffee container of that size will even fit in the most baggiest of pants pockets. It would be wise to store the container in a bug out bag or stash it somewhere safe. In the event you need the items within you can easily retrieve the contents and use what you need. However, if you’re venturing out into the wilderness I can’t see how carrying this thing around is practical. I do see the importance of keeping your gear stored in a safe container though.

Folding metal cup


Some kind of stainless steel or metal cup is a versatile piece of survival equipment. The cup can be used to boil water and also doubles as a drinking and eating cup. I’ve used cheap metal cups in the past which tend to warp and degrade overtime. These days I’ve been very pleased with this camp set from Stanley. It comes with a handle so pulling it in and out of the fire is no problem. Without a collapsible handle you’ll be waiting a long time for the cup to cool down unless you have gloves or something to protect your hands.

Multi Tool


A good multi tool or Swiss Army knife is always a lifesaver. The pliers on the multi tool especially come in handy for a number of situations. I use mine to take hot gear out of the fire like my cooking pieces and also to bend metals into place. You’ll never know what you’ll need the multi tool for but you will always be wishing you had one if you don’t.

55 gallon trash bags


These thick industrial size trash bags can do a lot of good in a survival situation. You can easily create a shelter or use the bags to waterproof your gear. Crossing a river and don’t want anything to get wet? Throw everything in one of these trash bags and call it a day. You can also wrap your shoes up to create instant waterproof footwear during a storm. They also function very well as a makeshift poncho

Cotton bandana

A cotton bandana in the signature Bear Grylls orange color. Oh the irony!


Use a bandana the traditional way as a means to keep your head from getting sun burnt and to wipe the sweat from your brow. They can also be used to filter sediment and debris from a water source. Note that this does not purify the water. Be careful to boil the water before hand and then filter through the bandana to remove the debris.

Ziploc bag


The rest of the items below fit conveniently in a large Ziploc bag. The Ziploc bag further waterproofs your gear and protects from the elements.

  • 550 cordageParacord. Essential for stringing up a survival shelter and other uses to long to list. As they say, you never know what you’re going to need it for but you’re always going to need it.
  • Small led flashlight – Any kind of flashlight will do. When darkness hits and there is no electricity the night will be very dark. To navigate your way around your gear and camp you’ll need some illumination. I like a good tactical light like the Fenix PD-35 but any cheap flashlight will work.
  • CandleCandles are the old school way of lighting camp and home. They’re drop dead simple to use and are extremely practical as part of a survival kit.
  • Lighter or butane blow torch – Something you can use to light a fire with. A lighter works but a butane blow torch is nearly unphased by wind and other external elements.
  • Space blanket – A space blanket will reflect the heat you lose from your body right back at you. This creates a cycle of warmth even in extremely cold conditions. While you might not be comfortable, a good space blanket can keep you warm enough until the morning – and that’s all that matters. Survival is not a 5 star experience at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Ferrocerium Rod – A ferrocerium rod is a man made metal used to create sparks which ignite a fire. The nice thing about them is they can get wet and will still be usable. This is not the case with lighters and matches. With a little practice in the wild you can easily create fire from dry tinder found locally in the environment.
  • Strike anywhere matches – A basic set of strike anywheres to add a little redundancy to your fire kit. Keep these in a metal container because plastic has properties which can ignite the matches.
  • Signal whistle – Has anybody ever been found by using one of these? I have no idea but Les recommends having one. I can see if you broke a leg in the wild how this might be your only way out.
  • Compass – Almost useless without a map but Les still recommends having one. This is one of those pieces of gear requiring proper training to be used correctly. If you choose to get one this compass is the best in the business.
  • Painkillers – Ibuprofens, Advils, Tylenols etc. Useful for minor ailments of the human body including any aches or pains endured in a survival situation.
  • Knife – Need I say anymore. A good survival knife is worth its weight in gold out in the bush. If there’s one thing you’d want on this list it’s a solid knife at your belt. I’ve written a post on choosing the right survival knife to give you an idea about what kind of knife you want. There’s thousands of knives out there but if you follow a few basic principles you can’t go wrong.

My Review of the Les Stroud Survival Kit

Les Strouds survival kit has taken a lot of flack from the survival community. Either people don’t understand why a certain piece of gear was included or they think his kit is completely missing critical gear. I will say this – The Les Stroud survival kit is extremely lean. This means you’ll need to rely more on your skills as a survivalist.

Everything you need to survive is there. Most importantly you have the means to secure clean water and shelter. Without these 2 elements in place survival is highly unlikely. People wonder why there isn’t 72 hours worth of food in the kit as recommended in most bug out bag guides. The thing is, this is not a bug out bag. This is a survival kit. Man can go 30 days without food but will quickly die without shelter or water. Everything you need to survive is here.

Would it be nice for the kit to have a water filter and everything else that goes into a full blown bug out bag? Sure, but why make it so easy on yourself? This is not a stay at a 5 star hotel. This is survival. With the right skills anybody can survive with the Les Stroud survival kit.


I think the Les Stroud survival kit is good enough for most people with basic skills. The thing is, there is no such thing as the perfect survival kit and who am I to judge one of the best survivalists out there? The nice thing about this kit is everything on it is very inexpensive. You could easily pick the stuff on this list up for less than $50. A good bug out bag with all the goodies will easily run you a few hundred.

What do you think about this kit? Let me know in the comments below.

Complete Contents of the IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)


The IFAK – or Individual First Aid Kit is a pouch one keeps on their person to combat two of the most common fatalities in times of war – severe hemorrhaging and blocked airways. The U.S. Army have deployed IFAK’s to soldiers with well over 900,000 issued pouches over the course of military history.

For the layman, an IFAK proves just as useful when venturing out into the wilderness or as part of a bug out bag. The contents of the IFAK can vary (depending on the branch of military who issued the pack) but I will extensively cover the core supplies needed in the list below. Let’s start with the basics and move up from there.

IFAK Contents List

  • IFAK pouch – The pouch holding all of the supplies below. Check out my post on the best Molle pouches for a number of Molle compatible options. This pouch for example would function perfectly for these supplies. Molle (if you don’t know) is a military grade webbing used to attach gear and other storage compartments to your backpack or other Molle compatible product. Very useful.
  • Nitrile gloves – Any good pair of nitrile medical gloves. Gloves serve to protect the treated wound from receiving bacteria from the hands as well as protect yourself from mixing blood with another person. In the medical field proper protection is a must and the gloves are your first line of defense.
  • Hand sanitizer – Hand sanitizer kills germs on your hands and can even be used to treat smaller scrapes and wounds for infections. Once again, proper medical procedures place sensitization at the core of their practice.
  • Band Aids – Nothing fancy here. Basic band aids can be life savers. Even small cuts and scrapes can become severely infected if not treated and covered with a band aid. Too small and light not to have in your IFAK.
  • Dressings – Dressings are used to cover larger wounds. The main job of the dressing is to shield the wound from oxygen and keep the area moist and protected from infections. Dressings also absorb any excess blood and promote the clotting process so the wound can heal. In your IFAK should be a number of different types of dressings.
    • 2X2 – for treating small wounds
    • 3X4 – for treating medium wounds
    • 4X4 – for treating larger wounds
  • Closure supplies – Once the wound is wrapped it should be properly secured into place with medical tape or self adhesive ACE bandage. Waterproof medical tape is available and works great for securing dressings around small cuts and scrapes. The ACE adhesive wrap is well suited for wounds requiring pressure to stop bleeding. Any good IFAK will have the following closure supplies:
  • Clotting agents – Medical products like Quick Clot will quickly stop any bleeding in seconds. Celox is another cheaper alternative (and doesn’t burn as harshly.) These can be life savers out in the field where simply dressing the wound and applying pressure is not working.
  • Shemagh – A shemagh has so many uses even outside the medical applications. In the IFAK context a shemagh can be fashioned into a sling or makeshift tourniquet.
  • Medications – Advil, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Tums, etc. I would also throw in a few Q-tips and some essential oils to top things off. Clove oil works miracles for tooth aches and functions as a powerful antibacterial agent. Other essential oils like lavender can treat and heal burns.


The contents of the US Army IFAK 2 pouch on full display. Note the signature velcro straps that fly away from the sides of the pouch.

Each branch of the military implements their own version of the IFAK. The Army calls their IFAK an improved version of the original design. While the old kit was originally stored in a pouch designed for SAW (squad automatic weapon) rounds, the supplies in the Army IFAK are packaged in a modified top loading Molle pouch with two velcro flaps on either side. This configuration provides rapid access to medical supplies during battle. A comprehensive breakdown of the IFAK 2 and the core differences between the older design can be found here. The pouch the Army IFAK includes the following contents:

  • Tourniquet
  • Bandage Kit
  • Bandage Gauze 4-1/2″ 100/Pkg
  • Adhesive Tape Surg 2″ 6’s Roll
  • Airway, Nasopharyngeal, 28fr, 12s
  • Glove, Patient Exam 100/Pkg (4ea)
  • Pouch, IFAK
  • Insert, IFAK (has folding panels, with cord attached)

US Air Force IFAK


The US Air Force appears to implement a larger kit which includes a full blown trauma kit alongside other medical supplies not seen in other IFAK configurations. Here’s what’s inside their unique IFAK:

  • TRAUMA Module (Surgical tools, gloves, various bandages and tourniquets)
  • Israeli Bandage
  • Pri-Med Bandage, Gauze, Cotton
  • EMS Shears
  • Nasopharyngeal Airway
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Zip Lock Poly Bag
  • Quick Clot


Note the inclusion of the water purification tablets which are absent in the other IFAKs.

Another robust medical kit.

  • IFAK A1 Component Individual First Aid Kit
  • TK4 Tourni-Kwik Self-Application Tourniquet
  • “H” Compression Bandage
  • Primed Compressed Gauze
  • Adhesive Bandage 2″ x 4 1/2″
  • Adhesive Bandages, 3/4″ x 3″
  • Adhesive Bandages, 3/4″ x 3″
  • Triangular Bandages, 40″x40″x56″ Non-sterile
  • Combat Reinforcement Tap 2″ x 100″
  • Burn Dressing 4″ x 16″
  • Bacitracin Antibiotic Ointment 0.9 gram
  • Povidone-Iodine Topical Solution USP 10% 1/2 floz
  • Water Purification Tablets 10 Pack, Katadyn Micropur, Sodium Chlorite

A full breakdown including NSN numbers of these IFAKs can be found here.

Using the contents of your IFAK

Most of the contents found in your IFAK will prove useless unless you have basic first aid training. Below you will find a solid video on using many of the common supplies found in the standard IFAK. Thanks for reading and pop me a comment if you have any questions.


SHTF Loadout For Rapid Response Action

Watching the news everyday continually reminds me why everybody needs to consider their SHTF loadout. Shootings are becoming commonplace to the point where the American people are numb to the news. Emotional intelligence has taken a backseat to knee jerk violent reactions. Man is slowly reducing himself to the violent ape and the general population lives in terror of his neighbor. Even our own government clearly doesn’t have our back as demonstrated by policies which line the pockets of rich politicians. Cops have Carte Blanch to do as they please and shoot who they want with no repercussions. On top of this we have a population spiraling out of control and live in a world of finite resources.

All these things come together to create chaos and disorder. How do you prepare for such chaos? In this post I’m going to cover a few SHTF loadout configurations. These various setups will help you understand what type of loadout is best for you.

What is an SHTF loadout?

First off, what the hell is an SHTF loadout? An SHTF loadout is the gear you strap to your person when TSHTF. It’s the gear you put on when all hell has broken loose and your only option is blasting through the madness like Kurt Russel in Escape From New York. Your loadout is there to give you rapid access to ammo and supplies and protect you from the violent environment around you.

Choosing a Weapon


The best SHTF weapon to have during a full blown SHTF situation is the one you have on you. The second best is the one you prepared to use and practiced with. Without a weapon all you have is a bug out bag (hopefully) and a greatly reduced chance of survival. Your weapon is your first line of both defense and offense. Even a fake weapon is better than nothing as you introduce an element of intimidation to the crazy people around you.

You can find lot’s of discussions online about what kind of gun is best in an SHTF scenario. The truth is, they all have their merits. In this post I won’t confuse you by giving you a thousand choices. I’m going to tell right now to go out and grab yourself an AK-47. Why? Because it’s a damn good weapon with serious stopping power and reliability. You’d be hard pressed to find anybody who denies the power of the AK.

The AK is a high capacity and high powered rifle. You really don’t want to be using a weapon that doesn’t have 30 round mags. This means constant reloading and downtime during firefights. The very nature of the piston driven design makes the AK extremely reliable even when submerged in sand. The AK is also one of the cheapest rifles around and you can find them for roughly $500 bucks depending on where you look. It also doesn’t matter where you find one or the manufacturer. Get one from Yugoslavia, China, Russia, or wherever. Ammo is also cheap and readily available. There’s also something about the AK that signals danger to those around you. Nobody is going to mess with a man wielding an AK-47.

And here’s the secret…

You don’t have to use the AK.

What matters most is your skill and comfort level with whatever gun you have. If you can hit a target 200 yards away with a shotgun then by all means use the damn shotgun! YOU are the weapon and the gun is the tool. However, if you’re starting from ground zero and on a budget (who isn’t these days) the AK represents a powerful weapon and delivers the most bang and versatility for the buck.

The setup and loadout for an AK-47 is drop dead simple. Get a folding stock to move through buildings and fight in close quarters. Get a good set of optics for increased accuracy. Attach a tactical flashlight to the rail mount. Aside from these basic mods make sure to have plenty of mags and ammo. Once again, practice shooting your weapon as much as you can. Your skill level is the most important factor. Mods and the other fancy things you can do to your weapon matter very little. A man who is skilled with a crossbow will easily take down a man with a gun who has never shot one in his life.

This leads us into the next part of the loadout…

Lightweight SHTF loadout

The light as a feather Camelbak Mule. Hydration ready and perfect for bugging out quick on your feet.

When speed is of the essence you can’t load yourself down like a pack mule. When you need to get from point A to point B ASAP you cannot afford the extra weight of all those survival widgets. You may be able to come back for your gear but at this point all that matters is MOVEMENT. Especially when on foot you’ll need to make good use of those chevrolegs.

Now, if this means bugging out of your home the answer is simple. Grab your weapon of choice along with as many mags you can carry on your belt. Molle mag pouches attach straight to your belt and hold any type of magazine you can imagine.

What about a backpack? Sure, but let’s keep it light.

I personally have found the Camelbak Mule to be a loyal lightweight companion out on the trail. It’s a 12.5 liter pack with a 3L hydration bladder. Throw in a couple Clif bars and a water filter and you have yourself a powerful lightweight survival B.O.B. The hydration bladder means you don’t need a water canteen and the filter gives you the ability to replenish your resources. Sure, you might be hungry but man can survive a long time without food. water? Not so much. Plus in a fully blown SHTF situation your security is the most important element of survival. Everything else takes a backseat behind your physical safety. This is why you need to be packing heat.

The compact size of the pack means you can only pack essential survival items. There’s no room for a tent and sleeping pad in this setup. This is a raw SHTF loadout with only the essential pieces of survival gear.

This setup will keep you light on your feet and ready for rapid movement.

The SHTF Battle Belt Loadout


In this setup we expand upon the lightweight loadout by adding a battle belt. A battle belt is usually a MOLLE compatible belt you can use to attach compatible pouches, magazines, and other storage containers. It’s a versatile setup giving you easy access to ammunition and other supplies. Your waist is the best spot to store your gear because of the natural center of gravity. This is still a lightweight loadout and does a good job at not restricting your movement or weighing you down. Range of motion is crucial when using and weapon especially longer rifles.

A battle belt will make good use of Molle pouches to stow crucial gear:

The Plate Carrier Loadout


Now here is where things get heavy duty. A plate carrier like the Condor MOPC is a Molle compatible vest which supports steel ballistic level plates. These plates are designed to protect both your back and chest from pistol and rifle rounds. In the event you get shot at, most people aim for the chest. In fact, even police and military forces are trained to put 2 in your chest first before they go for other vitals like the head. Center mass shooting training is effective against unarmored assailants but ineffective against someone with plate armor.

The plate armor gives you a defensive advantage against enemy shooters. Downsides include the weight of the vest of course. A fully loaded carrier vest can weigh up to 50 pounds and reduce your speed and ability to run fast. The vest could however save your life especially in a combat zone where you’re taking heavy fire. If you’re going to take this route I recommend wearing the vest and going for runs and hikes. This will acclimate your body to the weight and chisel you into shape.

A good plate carrier vest will have Molle webbing allowing you to attach other pieces of gear to both the front and the back. If you’re in shape this is a serious loadout. Like the battle belt you can attach a med kit, multiple ammo magazines, a good knife, and spare supplies. The plate carrier would make an excellent addition to a bug in setup where you’re being over run by hoards of lunatics. Strap that thing on and prepare to give them hell (final stand style) knowing you’re fully protected and ready to go.

Weapon + Bug Out Bag Loadout

The 5.11 Rush 72 Hour Tactical Pack. Grab and go bug out bag for your loadout gear.


Lot’s of preppers are big fans of the above loadouts. If you’re anything like me though you prefer to keep things simple. I find a high powered rifle and a basic bug out bag to be a very effective setup. Sure, you don’t have armor plates protecting your vitals but I value speed and versatility over chest protection. The lightweight loadout above is a great option but I find it lacking in crucial gear. I have confidence in my physical ability to move quickly even with a bag on my back. One of the best SHTF tips I can give is get in shape. Going for daily runs and hikes will put you in the top 10% of people who will actually have a chance of outrunning danger.

Moving right along, I have a number of gear items in my bug out bag:

One thing to note is you can purchase backpacks with the Molle webbing. One of my favorite tactical backpacks is the 5.11 Rush 72. This thing is loaded with Molle webbing and built durable. You could throw it threw a wood chipper and watch it come out the other side unscathed. This is great for people who like the Molle setup but don’t want to wear the battle belt or the vest.

SHTF Loadout Summary

Here’s a few bullet points to memorize about your loadout setup:

Pair this loadout with a solid SHTF plan and you have yourself a tasty recipe for survival.


The Complete Go Bag List For Getting Out of Dodge


Every able bodied human being needs to have a go bag in case of emergency. Your go bag will contain everything you need for at least 72 hours including some gear for long term survival. Let’s explore the elements of a go bag with a basic packing list of survival supplies.

The Go Bag Itself

The 5.11 Rush 72 Hour Tactical Pack

You’ll need a decent bag to grab in case TSHTF. Maybe you were thinking about using that ratty old Jansport you’ve kept since college. This is fine if that’s all you have but consider making an investment into something that isn’t going to bust the moment you crawl under a barbed wire fence. The go bag carries all your gear and I recommend looking into a quality pack. Read my post on the best Molle packs. Long story short, the 5.11 Rush 72 is a perfect go bag and features tactical elements not seen in other bags.

The Go Bag Survival Gear List

Here’s a quick and dirty list of the essential gear you need in the go bag. I’ll go over each of these items below the list.

  • 72 hours worth of food and water
  • Critical documents (ID, Passport, etc)
  • $100 spare cash
  • LED Flashlight
  • Camping cup
  • Knife
  • Multi Tool
  • Light poncho or trash bag
  • Duct tape (not a whole roll)
  • Lighters and fire starters
  • Water filter (either a Lifestraw or Sawyer squeeze)
  • Drinking canteen
  • Basic first aid
  • Emergency radio
  • USB charging bank for smartphone
  • Chargers for electronics (Micro USB or Iphone)
  • Paracord
  • Change of clothes

The logic Behind The GO Bag

A lot of the bug out bags (go bags) I see are completely overloaded. They include tents, sleeping bags, compasses, and a bunch of other crap you don’t need. You see, the go bag isn’t designed for the end of the world. It’s there to assist you in getting to a safe destination. Maybe your car broke down in a storm or your house got flooded. Perhaps a fire ripped through your area and a mandatory evacuation was issued. The go bag in these cases will see you through a temporary situation. In most cases you won’t be camping in the woods or living off pigeons in the city like some of these apocalyptic crackpots will have you believe.

GO Bag Tips

Food and water will be your number one priority here. While true that lack of shelter will kill you faster in some environments, in most cases you’ll just be hungry and thirsty. This can lead to you making wrong decisions or even death in some extreme cases. A solid GO bag has 72 hours worth of food and water. Think about food you would take hiking. I like the Mountain House packets because they’re easy and they taste good. You can also include other non-perishable items like dried fruits and nuts, peanut butter, tuna packets etc.

Mountain house makes great go bag goodies. Just add water and chow down.

Documents and cash are crucial to you not getting hassled by cops and paying for things when there might not be any electricity. You should always keep things like your passport and a spare ID in your GO bag for situations where the originals are at risk for getting destroyed. Your documents give you access to services and can verify your identity to the authorities and possible medical personnel.


Electronics will of course come into play. A spare prepaid burner phone is a good idea along with all the chargers you need. A battery bank to recharge a dead cell can be a life saver. You have surely felt the fear of a dead cell phone in normal circumstances – only imagine the level of fear in a full blown SHTF situation!


Basic survival gear like the stuff they give to the boy scouts. These include pieces of gear used to make fire and purify water. With fire you can stay warm and cook food. With water you can cook and also keep yourself hydrated. Also having a method to purify dubious water sources is crucial. I like the Lifestraw as a cheap option but prefer something more robust like the Sawyer squeeze. Added to this section of the list is a knife, a multi tool, a first aid kit, and a good LED flashlight.


The Enhanced GO Bag List

It’s easy to go beyond what is on this list and overload your pack with useless junk. For instance, most people don’t even know how to use a compass but pack one anyways. Why? In most cases you need a map and general sense of where you are for a compass to be reliable. Tents and sleeping bags sound like solid “shoe ins” for the go bag but only weigh you down. Like I said, the likelihood of you having to bug out to the woods is very unlikely if you live in the first world. These are nice to have just in case but they serve little purpose in a go bag.

However, if you’re one to go all out I can recommend some “advanced” pieces of gear not needed but nice to have.

  • Compass
  • Map of your area
  • Fishing kit
  • Trapping kit
  • Ham radio
  • Tent / Sleeping bag
  • Shovel
  • Sewing kit
  • Tactical gloves
  • More food than 72 hours worth

As you can see the pack is starting to get very heavy at this point. Think about the likelihood of you ever needing any of these things. Firstly, who knows how to fish and trap game in the modern world? If you have the skill than obviously include these things. But for the average Joe, the reality is that even with the best fishing or trapping gear it’s very unlikely you’ll catch anything more than a hook to your own lip.

Same goes for the compass and ham radio. These are all items requiring a certain level of skill to be effective. If you don’t have these skills than do your back a favor and don’t add them to the GO bag.


Having a GO bag around might just save your ass one day. If anything you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’re prepared to make a long trek across town or through a storm and survive. With a good GO bag you’ll have 3 days worth of food and water and the gear required to secure more. It’s very easy to filter water if you’re in a pinch. Put one of these together as soon as you can to ensure your safety during an emergency