Snugpak Scorpion 2 Tent Review ACTION REPORT

In this review I take a look at the Scorpion 2 from Snugpak

Searching for the perfect tent is a long process chocked full of rigorous research and mulling over every design element. Snugpak has a complete line of tents to stop the buck. The Scorpion 2 is Snugpaks signature 2 man tent boasting design features not seen in even the most expensive setups. In this post we dive into the elements of this tent and take it out deep into the bush for a proper test.

Features and specifications

  • 2 man tent
  • Fully waterproof
  • Fly first setup
  • Freestanding design
  • Dual layered
  • Shelter weight 3.80 lbs
  • Trail weight 4.93 lbs
  • Pack weight 5.83 lbs
  • 1 door
  • 3 vents

Full review

The Snugpak Scorpion 2 comes well packed straight from the factory. The packs size and weight makes it a solid choice for backpackers and hikers. The full setup weighs just under 6 pounds – this will be heavier for some folks but just right for some. When it comes to packing light you end up trading comfort for a lighter pack. I like the design of the Snugpak Scorpion 2 because it offers a ton of features and shelter in a lightweight profile.

The first design element incorporated into the Scorpion 2 is the dual layer fly first setup. When pitching the tent you setup the external rain fly first and then move inwards to setup the second waterproof layer. The 2nd layer attaches to the fly through fast connecting toggles.

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

This dual layer design creates air space between the layers keeping you toasty warm even in the coldest climates. The Scorpion 2 has 3 vents to serve as the main ventilation channels. Next to zero condensation is seen on the inside after a restorative nights sleep.

The tent is advertised as a 2 man tent but I will be the first to point out this false advertisement – sure, the Scorpion 2 could easily fit 2 guys but I will tell you that neither of them will be comfortable. This is more like a 1.5 man tent to be quite honest. In fact, it’s the perfect tent for a single person and large enough to stow them and all of their gear. If you have a 4 legged friend you both will stay nice and cozy.

Overall I love the stylish look of the Scorpion 2. It has all the right angles and turns heads around the campsite. I’m usually not one for looks but the Scorpion 2 is aptly named the Scorpion for good reasons – everything about the design screams Scorpion. It has a certain desert/military/utilitarian look I absolutely enjoy. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the bulky WalMart designs from tent makers like Coleman and Ozark Trail. Snugpak has outdone themselves and entered into the market with serious competition. All of the Snugpak products retain this high level of quality and attention to the details.

The Scorpion 2 also comes in at a very reasonable price point. At the time of this writing you can get the Scorpion 2 for about $280 bucks – this is a fair price for everything you get. I will always pay more for something of enhanced quality than to suffer with an inferior product. I’ve slept in cheap tents before and believe me – this is one aspect of camping you DON’T want to cheap out on. Cheap tents will leak on you, collapse, are difficult to setup, and made of heavier materials. Snugpak uses the best materials to keep you dry, comfortable, and LIGHT on the trail.

Final thoughts

Any product you get from Snugpak is going to be solid and this includes the popular Scorpion 2 tent. You can see from the other reviews that people absolutely rave about this thing. Sure, it’s definitely NOT fit for 2 men but it’s perfect for you and your gear…possibly someone else if both of you don’t mind not having much space. I recommend reading my review on the Scorpion 3 if you like the 2 but need a slightly larger configuration. Overall, the Scorpion 2 is the best setup you’re going to get in a freestanding 4 season tent.

 

Snugpak Stratosphere Review ACTION REPORT

full review of the snugpak stratosphere

There are two schools of thought when choosing shelter – go light or go big. A heavy shelter provides ample room for sleeping and storing gear. A light shelter makes for a pleasant hiking experience at the expense of a comfortable shelter. The Snugpak Stratosphere is a lightweight sleeping system designed for those who demand nothing but the lightest setup – but also a system with built in design elements to keep dry and well protected from the elements including the bugs.

Features

  • Bivvi system
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Mosquito net
  • Sturdy aluminum poles
  • Taped/sealed seams
  • Snagless zippers
  • 2.44 lbs
  • Room even for large guys

Full review

full review of the snugpak stratosphere

Sleeping in a bivvi is quite the experience your first time. Bivvis are lightweight and are easily transportable but most fail to keep you dry and are extremely cramped. The Snugpak Stratosphere is more like a tent/bivvi combo. It’s not quite a tent yet much more expansive then your standard bivvi sack. The Stratosphere comes with sturdy aluminum poles to prop up the head end of the bivvi sack. There’s a surprising amount of head room and space to keep even the most claustrophobic person satisfied and sleeping soundly. On the tail end of the bivvi are nylon loops where you stake down the tent. This prevents the bivvi from rolling around and makes it feel like an actual tent rather than just another layer around your main sleeping bag.

Check current price on Amazon. 

The material is waterproof and will easily withstand rain storms. The heat you generate will cause a bit of internal condensation but overall the Stratosphere is well ventilated. The mosquito net allows for ventilation while simultaneously keeping the critters and crawlers at bay. In warm climates you don’t need much to stay warm in this bivvi.

The Stratosphere has also seen extensive use with many search and rescue teams worldwide. The lightweight footprint makes for the perfect hiking experience. There’s nothing worse than lugging around a 6 pound tent all the way to the campsite and then back. The Stratosphere weighs in at a mere 2.4 pounds and packs down to basically nothing. When fully compressed it easily stuffs deep into a backpack or happily lashes to the externals with a bit of paracord. You will question the true durability of the Stratosphere as soon as you pick it up – it’s light as a feather. But as you set it up and use it, the ultimate utility of this bivvi will blow your socks clean off.

Perhaps the greatest fear of many people is becoming stuck inside the bivvi itself. How easy is it to get the bivvi sack open again after you’re all zipped up? It’s actually very easy and the zippers are specially designed to not snag on the fabric. This leads into one of my favorite elements of the Stratosphere – the zippers. They’re extremely durable and smooth open and closed like a hot knife through silky butter. Anything that zips I want to make damn sure the zippers aren’t going to bust on me the first time I go to use the product. The Stratosphere over delivers with solid a solid zipping experience.

But can it fit the big guy? I am not a big guy myself (5’10”) but I can tell you this – there is AMPLE room in this thing and it’s quite easy to tell that the Stratosphere will stow away the larger guys too. As a guy with a medium build the Stratosphere bivvi is the perfect size for me and my gear. I’ll thrown my entire backpack straight in with zero problems.

Final thoughts

The Snugpak Stratosphere is hands down the best bivvi you can get on the market today. The genius design actually resembles a bivvi/tent combo while still staying true to the lightweight and packable footprint. The Stratosphere is a solid sleeping system for the lightweight hiker or anyone requiring a no-nonsense waterproof sleeping setup.

 

Choosing the Rush 72 vs the Camelbak BFM

In this showdown we pit 2 of the most solid backpacks on the market against each other. The Rush 72 and the Camelbak BFM represent the best in military grade backpacks. Both of these packs are built for long term use and have seen extensive applications in the military. Both are versatile and have similar features – but both also have significant differences that will surely sway the decision of those with specific requirements. Let’s take a deep dive into both of these packs and discover the core differences and features of both.

Comparing features side by side

Rush 72

Camelbak BFM

The Camelbak BFM

 

**Note** I have individual reviews of each of these packs. Use them to gain a deep dive into each pack and see a comprehensive breakdown of what both bring to the table.

Rush 72 review

Camelbak BFM review

Starting off with the raw carrying capacity of each pack we see the Rush 72 can cram a few more liters of storage. The Rush 72 supports up to 55 liters while the Camelbak BFM clocks in around 51 liters. 3 liters is quite a bit of space but not quite enough to make or break a decision. An extra 3 liters could easily be added to the externals of both packs by making use of MOLLE compatible pouches. Speaking of MOLLE, it’s visually obvious that the RUSH 72 has much more MOLLE than the Camelbak. You can barely find a section of the Rush 72 not completely covered in MOLLE webbing. On the BFM, MOLLE is only seen on the front of the pouch and in some versions there’s MOLLE on the side pockets. The Rush 72 is the obvious choice if you rely on MOLLE.

Pocket configurations on both packs are extremely comparable except for the side pockets. The BFM has 4 side pockets (1 big and 1 small pocket on each side) while the Rush 72 has 2 large pockets. The large side pockets on the Rush 72 are slightly bigger. Personally I would rather have the single larger pocket on the Rush 72 than the 2 pockets with the smaller bigger pocket on the BFM. The mini pockets are basically useless for storage. Each admin pocket (the large front pockets on the packs) boast a versatile arrangement of storage options. Each backpack also has a top pocket designed for sunglasses or NVG’s (night vision goggles.)

Both packs are also hydration ready but this is where the Camelbak BFM delivers a crushing blow to the Rush 72. The BFM supports not one, but 2 hydration bladders in the designated storage compartment with multiple spots to feed the drinking tubes. The Rush 72 is compatible with any standard Camelbak bladder but the feeding system runs through the top admin pocket, getting in the way and taking up pocket space. Not a major problem but a slight annoyance.

The Rush 72 and BFM also come fully equipped with a hip belt and chest strap. The Rush 72’s padding is much thinner but the chest strap is adjustable. Using the C-Clamps you can adjust the strap up and down the shoulder straps. This makes getting a solid fit very easy. The BFM does take the cake for ultimate comfort. Everything on the BFM is extremely well padded and comfortable. If you’re doing extremely long hikes comfort is key. While both offer ample padding, the BFM goes an extra step to deliver the most comfortable experience.

$$Price$$

As of this writing (Jan 2018) the Camelbak BFM is significantly more expensive than the Rush 72.

Check current prices for the Rush 72

Check current prices for Camelbak BFM

Final verdict

Overall these are 2 very comparable packs in terms of features. With all that said, can you truly justify the hefty price tag of the BFM? This might be the case if you value Camelbaks top of the line hydration system and superior padding. However, if you simply need a durable pack and don’t care about the hydration system, the Rush 72 is the obvious pick. It has more space, much more MOLLE, and it’s much cheaper.

My choice? I have to go with the Rush 72.

 

Camelbak BFM Backpack Review

Camelbak is well known for their popular hyrdation packs. When you think of Camelbak you typically think of those low capacity hydration bladders you see on runners. Recently I discovered Camelbak has a line of military grade packs geared towards the serious hiker, backpacker, and prepper. The Camelbak BFM is well bolstered and padded in all the areas that count, perhaps too padded as I will illustrate in the review. Let’s crack straight in to the goods.

Features

  • Military grade
  • 51 liter cargo pack
  • Clam shell style opening
  • Internal compression straps
  • 3 liter hydration capacity
  • 100% nylon
  • MOLLE webbing
  • 5lbs 2oz
  • 7 exterior pockets
  • Room for an extra 3L bladder
  • Good fit even for larger guys

Review

Pure ruggedness…Like Oliver Twist, this pack will always come back for more.

Starting off with raw carrying capacity we see the Camelbak BFM has 50 liters of storage available. 50 liters is a ton of space. With this space you can easily stow away 2 – 3 days worth of gear and food for any kind of trip you can think of. The pack is versatile enough to be used as a carry on for your luggage and also a seasoned backpacking companion. As you’ll see, the ample pockets and storage allow for creative packing configurations.

Pockets…

The main compartment is where the bulk of your gear will be stowed. This compartment opens up like a clamshell revealing massive storage space with internal compression straps to lock down gear. On the flap are 2 meshed pockets for organizing gear you need quick access to. I can tell you this – the zippers on this pack are pure bolstered insanity. One thing I ALWAYS look for in a pack is strong zippers. The zippers on the BFM are indeed military grade which is good – there’s nothing more frustrating than a busted zipper.

On the outside of the pack are 7 pockets of varying sizes. The 2 big pockets on the side are large enough to carry a liter of water or anything else you can think of. Both pocket setups are identical on both sides. Above the larger side pockets are 2 small pockets for extra goodies. On the front you have another generously sized zippered pocket with tons of MOLLE on the front. Inside this pocket is even more mini pockets – there’s a large meshed pocket and 2 separate pockets for additional organization.

On the top you’ll notice a special pouch designed for goggles or sunglasses. This pouch has a soft yet durable material to protect important gear from scratches. I keep my keys, glasses, and wallet in this pouch because it’s easy to get to.

Comfort

You won’t see thin spaghetti straps on the Camelba BFM. Instead, well padded shoulder straps grace your shoulders making it easy to carry heavy loads with zero pain. The padding comes EXTRA thick. While some don’t like this amount of padding I prefer it because I know it will eventually wear down over time.

The same level of padding is felt on the back plate. We’re talking supreme comfort here. In fact, I’ve only worn a handful packs I would considerable comfortable. The BFM is one of these packs. This pack was designed for military personnel who would no doubt be lugging large amounts of gear.

Rounding off the support and comfort is the extra padded belt strap. The belt strap does its job taking the bulk of the weight and placing it on your hips. Carrying the bulk of the weight on your hips allow you to bear even the largest loads with relative ease. This is certainly not that old Jansport you had back in highschool.

Hydration ready

The BFM comes ready to stow not one, but two hydration bladders. The bladders fit nicely in their designated section of the pack. The Camelbak has dominated the hydration market for years. Their bladders feature quick lock technology making it easy to disconnect from the feeding hose and refill. The mouth to the bladder is the largest in the industry and features a locking mechanism that refuses to leak. At the end of the day, the hydration pack makes it easy to rehydrate without taking off your pack and digging for water.

MOLLE and compression straps

Another feature I love to see in packs is MOLLE compatibility and compression straps. With the MOLLE you can add on additional storage space with compatible packs. Very cool to store your medical kit or other crucial gear in this way. Sometimes it’s conveniant to drop your pack and simply carry needed gear in a small MOLLE pouch.

The compression straps secure your gear and allow you to store additional gear on the outside. Things like tents and sleeping bags stow very well when compressed to the outside of the pack.

$$Price$$

Check current price on Amazon

Final thoughts

The Camelbak BFM is an overall solid pack. This pack is probably overkill unless you need something with this level of storage and durability. The BFM is the obvious choice for the serious backpacker who appreciates the Camelbaks genius hydration system. It’s also an easy choice for a bug out bag. Having this amount of storage space and hydration at your disposal in a bug out situation is priceless.

What do you think of this pack?

 

Gerber Strong Arm vs Prodigy vs LMF 2

In the past years we’ve seen ESEE dominate the market when it comes to survival knives. ESEE has long been the standard but that all changed with Gerber. Gerber has 3 knives which are now held as some of the best knives on the market for the best prices. The Gerber StrongArm, The Gerber Prodigy, and The Gerber LMF 2 all hold their own in the ring and represent some seriously powerful blades in the bush.

At first glance though it’s difficult to spot the differences and make a firm buying decision. Let’s take a spotlight look at these blades and highlight the features and differences between each knife.

Spec comparison

StrongArmProdigyLMF 2
Blade Length4.5 Inches4.75 Inches4.84 inches
Total Length9.8 Inches9.75 Inches10.59 inches
Blade Thickness3/16"NANA
Blade Material420HC Stainless Steel420HC Stainless Steel420HC Stainless Steel
Weight7.2 oz8 oz11.67 oz
TangFullFull3/4 insulated
Sheath IncludedYesYesYes

The breakdown

gerber-strong-arm-review
StrongArm
gerber-prodigy-knife-review
Prodigy
LMF2

 

The chart above gives you a good idea about the core differences between each of the blades. You can see that all of these blades use the same type of steel and are more or less the same length. The LMF2 is the longer and heftier of the group lending itself well to doing some serious damage. The LMF2 was the signature knife sent to the US armed forces for direct use in the field. The design implements a partially insulated tang to cut through electrical wire without getting shocked. I usually advocate for FULL tangs no matter what but this could be seen as an added feature. The LMF2 also has drilled holes to quickly transform the knife into a spear with a bit of paracord lashing. Also, with the added length and weight comes more steel…and a bigger price tag – The LMF2 is going to run you over $20 dollars more than the StrongArm and Prodigy.

The StrongArm and Prodigy are nearly identical in price tag and perhaps even more difficult to decipher the core differences. The Prodigy has a slightly longer blade and weighs in only slightly heftier than the StrongArm. Still, you will be paying just a bit more for the StrongArm. Why is this? My guess is the included sheath. With the Prodigy you’re getting a basic nylon sheath with limited mounting options. With the StrongArm you’re getting a much better sheath with modular mounting options. The StrongArm sheath can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or on any Molle compatible webbing. It’s up to you to compare both sheaths and decide which one you like better.

Besides the sheath you can also see a clear difference in the handles. The shapes and textures of the handles are much different. With the prodigy you have the textured over-mold while the StrongArm has the rubberized diamond grip. Both handles grip very well even in wet weather conditions. You can also see the glass breaker points are located on different sections of the pommel. The point on the StrongArm is strongly centered while the point on the Prodigy is angled off to the side. I like the angled approach personally, you feel like you can get a nice strong crack.

Price wise the Prodigy and the StrongArm cost nearly the same. The LMF2 is significantly more costly. I can’t say the extra cost is justified. Besides the insulated tang there isn’t much of a difference between the knives at all.

Individual reviews

I’ve reviewed all of these knives as individual posts. Read these for a more in depth look at each blade.

Gerber StrongArm Review

Gerber Prodigy Review

Gerber LMF2 Review

Final thoughts

Looking at all the points and features of all the knives it’s obvious the LMF2 is in its own category considering the cost. The StrongArm and Prodigy are much more comparable. In fact, they are so similar you could almost make a decision based on the looks of the knives alone. In that case I personally spring for the Prodigy. I don’t require a super fancy sheath to justify the few extra bucks of the StrongArm. Plus, I like how the pommel breaker is angled off to the side. With all this taken into account, both knives will do any job just as well – I can guarantee that.

Which one do you choose?

 

 

Gerber Prodigy Knife Review

Every so often a knife comes around and blows everything else out of the water. The Gerber Prodigy is a solid knife at a price point even a McDonalds burger flipper can afford. The Prodigy gets a lot of things right and incorporates many features I frequently discuss when choosing the right survival knife.

Let’s check out the Prodigy in full detail and break down and discover why this is a knife that belongs on your belt.

Specifications and features

  • Fixed blade knife
  • 420HC stainless steel
  • Full tang
  • Drop point
  • Blade length – 4.75 inches
  • Total length – 9.75 inches
  • Total weight – 8 ounces

Full review

gerber-prodigy-knife-review

What’s to love about this knife? First, we’re talking about a solid brand here. If the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Gerber is baby food – think again. These are 2 seperate companies all together. Gerber the knife brand has picked up some solid contracts with the military. The Gerber LMF2 has seen extensive use in the military and still utilized to this day by armed forces. The Gerber Prodigy takes many of the same hardened features from the LMF2 and incorporates them into a more budget friendly knife.

The Prodigy is of course a full tang knife – the tang being the metal part of the blade that runs into the handle. Partial tangs only run a partial way down the handle while the full tang runs the entire length. Full tang knives are much stronger and you can still use them if the handle breaks off. Wrap a bit of paracord around the tang and you got yourself a brand new knife.

Moving on to the blade we see Gerber implementing 420HC stainless steel. This is a decent steel for a knife. High quality steel significantly drives up the cost of the knife. The steel used on the Prodigy sharpens up quite nicely and holds an edge. In fact, the knife is sharp as razor wire straight out of the box. Making feather sticks is no problem at all with the prodigy. Running partial length of the blade is a serrated edge. I find this part of the blade comes in mighty handy. The serrations bite in deep to whatever you are cutting making a rapid separation.

One thing Gerber knives have nailed down is the ergonomics of the handle. Picking up a Gerber knife feels like you just pulled the Excalibur from the sacred stone. With a grip this powerful you must be careful not to go full blown Rambo mode around the house. On the end of the handle you notice the bolstered pommel. Use this edge to break through glass and as a powerful self defense weapon. A couple cracks with the glass breaker pommel and you’ve successfully knocked your opponent down long enough to make a smooth getaway.

This knife is a dangerous one indeed. Believe me, take this thing outside and we’re talking about doing serious damage in the bush. The knife can easily handle camp tasks like splitting firewood and even finer tasks like skinning game. Overall the Prodigy is a versatile knife well suited to many tasks.

One last thing to touch on is the sheath – the best in the business. The Sheath securely locks the blade into place and Molle compatible webbing allows for easy attachment to your belt or backpack. I like how the blade snaps firm into place while being easy to retrieve at a moments notice.

Final thoughts

This knife is a great daily driver. If you want a single knife that can do it all the Prodigy is the blade for you. At just around $50 bucks you’re getting a blade of very high quality, durability, and value. This knife is going to last you for years requiring the occasional resharpening of course. Do yourself a solid and pick up this knife today.

 

 

InstaFire Firestarter Review

Fire is one of those ancient elements man was born with and something which still sees daily use. Man has learned to harness the power of fire and control it to a precise degree. Every man should experience starting a fire from scratch at least once in his life. The thing is, starting a fire from scratch takes a bit of skill and experience. The modern man or millennial probably couldn’t start a fire if his life depended on it. Even with a lighter and all the right materials there are many ways to mess up and become frustrated.

Fortunately we have products available that make firemaking much easier. Now even the most boneheaded among us can get a roaring fire blazing with little to no effort – and make all the ladies swoon for him in a very primal way.

InstaFire makes starting any kind of fire drop dead simple. This stuff is so easy to use even the boneheads are making the expert firemakers look bad.

Is InstaFire Up To Snuff?

Looking at the package you can see the company makes some bold claims about the product. The package claims the granules will burn wet wood, will burn on water, and is made of completely natural materials with zero harmful chemicals. That is indeed a tall order. In my extensive testing of the InstaFire I can say most of these claims are true. The granules will burn up to 20 minutes or so and the stuff DOES in fact float and burn on top of water. The flames are weather resistant but I found they had a difficult time staying lit in heavy winds.

The InstaFire will NOT catch a wet log on fire. While the package claims that the InstaFire will burn wet wood you’ll soon discover what a frustrating experience this is. Wet wood simply doesn’t catch unless you already have a blazing fire going.

With the InstaFire you still have to practice the basic principles of fire making. Simply shoving the granules under a massive log and lighting them is not going to do jack. You must start small and be sure not to smother the fire by attempting to light a piece of wood too big.

With all that considered the InstaFire will make your life a lot easier if you already know how to structure a campfire. The flames stand up well to mild wind and you can pile the granules on wet ground and they will still light. The package itself is both flammable and waterproof. There’s no need to open the pouch if you don’t want to – simply light the whole damn enchilada and watch as a roaring fire magically appears before your eyes.

Different Size Options

InstaFire comes in either packages or buckets. The packs work well for camping/backpacking trips while the buckets are great for in-home storage. Here is what’s available:

Final Thoughts

My thoughts about the InstaFire are you sure as hell don’t need them but they certainly make starting fires a LOT easier. Maybe you are not that great at lighting fires or you simply don’t feel the need to “man up” and light a fire the old fashioned way. The InstaFire is a great product and has been thoroughly tested and accepted by thousands of happy product owners. The thing is, it’s so cheap if you’re even on the fence about picking some up you should do it. Nobody wants to be that guy who can’t get the fire going!

 

What Happens To Prisoners When SHTF?

In 2013 The U.S. Bureau of Justice released a document stating that over 2.3 million people were incarcerated in the United States. This is a staggering number. Americans like to beat their chests for being the best but happily gloss over the fact that we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world. These 2.3 million persons are dispersed across 1,719 state prisons and 102 federal prisons.

There is a need to discuss what happens to these prisoners if the shit does indeed hit the fan. Will the guards simply walk away? Will they be shot? Will an inside guard release the prisoners? Can the prisoners free themselves if everyone leaves?

These are crucial questions to consider especially if you live nearby a prison. Even during non SHTF events you must consider that prisoners are released on a daily basis, free to roam the streets once again.

The Hurricane Katrina Case Study

To get an idea of what MIGHT happen we can look to past events. This way we avoid putting on the tin foil hat like so many preppers love to do. Katrina is an interesting situation and it certainly effected the Orleans Parish Prison. The Mayor of New Orleans issued the first ever mandatory evacuation for the entire city while Sheriff Marlin Gusman stated that “The prisoners will stay where they belong.”

Already you can hear preppers hooting and hollering for the Sheriff as they reach for their survival widgets, PBR’s, and cold cuts.

This was a decision he later regretted when he was forced to evacuate the entire prison. The generators for the prison failed in spectacular fashion leaving the entire facility with no lights or ventilation. The temperatures reached blistering levels especially for the prisoners trapped in their cells. At this point the flooding began to intensify and many of the prisons workers and guards completely abandoned the facility to be with their families.

Riots broke out as prisoners began to fear for their very lives. Many managed to break free from their cells and even from the prison itself where the Sheriff had boats waiting to capture and ferry them to a nearby overpass. Here they were watched and guarded by over 300 police officers.

While the Sheriff maintained that all prisoners were accounted for and nobody died or escaped, it was later discovered there were 14 warrants issued for missing prisoners.

What Can We Learn From This?

Firstly, if the shit hits the fan you better believe most of the guards will abandon ship to be with their families. Only a handful of personnel stayed behind to watch over the prisoners. Secondly, without electricity or sufficient personnel prisoners can easily escape if they band together. Many of these guys are smart and crafty and it’s not going to take long before an escape plan is devised and executed. Once they’re out you better believe the first thing they do is find civilian clothes, loot for weapons and ammo, and secure some kind of transportation. This means raiding homes and taking whatever they can. Do you have what it takes to fend off a hoard of escaped inmates? Some of these inmates are repeat violent offenders doing hard time. When faced with one of these animals it’s shoot to kill and ask questions later.

Final Thoughts

While escaped prisoners are a concern, I can’t see a massive influx of them ever being a major problem unless something truly catastrophic has taken place. Total system collapse type stuff. In most cases these guys are locked down tight as a tick and it would take more than a couple hours without power to change that. It’s a good idea to consider how close you are to any major prisons and ensure you have proper defenses.

As always, standard prepping practices apply.

 

 

 

 

FiveJoy Military Shovel Review

Fivejoy-shovel-review

One of the best tools to have at your side in a camping/outdoor/survival situation is a solid shovel. Better than having just any old shovel is having a shovel that folds and hosts a number of crucial survival tools within the frame. The FiveJoy folding shovel is a military grade tool designed for maximum durability and versatility.

Let’s cracks straight into the features and specifications

Features

  • Sturdy folding shovel
  • Carbon steel / aerospace grade aluminum (virtually indestructible and extremely lightweight)
  • Compact design easily fits in backpack or under the seat of your car
  • Angled spade adjustments (40, 90, 180 degrees)
  • Hidden rescue knife with saw, survival whistle, firestarter and bottle opener.
  • Highly resistant to corrosion and rust
  • Industrial strength foam handles prevents slipping and ensures solid grip

Full review

Fivejoy-shovel-review

I’ve always been a fan of the humble camp shovel. Years before we had the technology I would lug around a regular shovel spade with the wooden handle cut down to a manageable size and weight. I used the shovel for many camp tasks and found endless uses and applications for the tool. Recently companies have started to release lightweight folding shovels you can easily pack straight into a backpack or keep in a car. Unfortunately, most of these implementations have been lacking in many key areas.

The FiveJoy Military shovel puts the military back in military grade. The design and materials come together to form the perfect camp/survival shovel for your bug out bag or bug out vehicle. The shovel feels strangely light yet durable. Usually you can feel how cheap something is by the sheer weight. While the FiveJoy shovel feels light I can tell you this – you can abuse the hell out of this in the bush and it will continue to come back for more.

One feature separating the FiveJoy from the rest of the pack is the adjustable shovel angles. Using the locking mechanism you can adjust the shovel to 40, 90, or 180 degrees. This increases the versatility of the shovel for different types of digging tasks.

Also included with the shovel are a number of other handy survival items. Concealed withing the frame itself is a saw, magnesium firestarter, survival whistle, and bottle opener. The magnesium firestarter throws a considerable amount of sparks making it easy to get a fire going. Overall, these items are a nice addition to the main shovel.

Final Thoughts

Some people ask – do I really need a shovel of this caliber? My reply to that is only if you want the best. You don’t NEED a high end shovel like this to dig a hole to crap in. In fact, any shovel will do. But do you really want to lug a regular shovel spade all the way through to your camp spot? I’m a huge fan of lightweight gear and always looking for the latest and greatest methods to save on pack weight. Usually this means sacrificing on quality. This is not the case with the FiveJoy shovel. Even if this will be a shovel to keep in your vehicle, It’s a good idea to go for something compact, lightweight, but also a tool that can withstand serious abuse. The FiveJoy folding shovel is all of these things and overall an extremely useful and high quality tool.

 

4 SHTF Exercises To Build Muscle and Burn Fat

Talking to local preppers in my community and observing preppers online there is one aspect I always see overlooked – raw physical health. Preppers will go to the moon and back to secure the latest survival widget but can’t take a walk around the block to ensure their health is in ship shape. With some of these preppers you can smell the cold cuts seeping through the pores a mile off. You can tell straight away these guys have a doomsday stockpiles worth of food ready to be eaten at a moments notice, but are extremely undisciplined in their health.

Why is it so hard for people to get in shape? Why is physical health such an often overlooked thing to prep for? What good is all that food and ammo if you can’t even run around the block without heaving for air? How much life can you really enjoy if you are quickly winded walking up a flight of stairs? If a fire broke out could you even run down the stairs fast enough before the flames engulfed you and the entire building? Speed and agility are crucial abilities in an SHTF scenario.

If you are not in shape fear not – with the following exercises you’ll be ready for a full blown shtf scenario in no time. Best of all, ALL of these exercises don’t even require a gym membership so there’s no excuse not to get started.

Walking

best-shtf-backpack

Walking is not the most exciting or interesting exercise on the planet. However, this is exactly what you need to start doing today if you want to become stronger. You have probably been neglecting your body for years. This neglect is showing up as excess body fat, sluggish blood flow, pot belly, double chin, clogged arteries, and perhaps even more embarrassing symptoms like erectile dysfunction and low libido. The thing is, you’re not going to become a crossfit or lifting champion overnight. You’ve got to go for the low hanging fruit. Walking for 30 minutes everyday is a great start towards becoming fit and strong. Find a nice section of woods around your apartment or home. If you live in a city walking is the best way to see your logistics at the street level – you will start to notice side streets and elements of the city you overlooked while driving. Double whammy!

Pullups

Pullups and chinups deliver a total upper body workout you’re definitely going to feel in the morning. Pullups contract your lats, forearms, shoulders, and even your abs. You can easily purchase a home pull up bar or simply walk/drive to any local park. With a little creativity anything can become a pull up machine. I like local parks because they offer a lot of versatility for your workouts.

Burpees

Burpees are another total body workout. The burpee is popular in military boot camps and for a good reason. This exercise alone will whip your ass into shape in no time. Start in a standing position and then drop into a pushup position. Complete the pushup and immediately revert back to standing position. Extra points if you throw in the occasional jumping jack. The burpee engages the chest, shoulders, legs, and core. All muscles you will need when the shit hits the fan.

Hiking

hiking-survival-kit

This is my favorite SHTF workout. Strap on a heavy backpack and hit the trail. This exercise delivers a payload of benefits. First of all it’s simply a good time to get out in nature and experience the great outdoors. Secondly it allows you to test out what it’s like to lug your bug out bag around for a few hours. Most people will put a bug out bag together not even realizing they couldn’t carry it a single mile if their life depended on it. Lastly, you’re going to shed pounds and build the proper muscles required to walk long distances – something that might come in mighty handy.

Conclusion

Ultimately getting in shape contributes to your overall well being and having a quality life experience. Of course, having a lean and physical body will drastically increase your odds of survival in an SHTF situation. I’m sure you can think of a thousand reasons why being fit and healthy is a good thing. Now lay off those donuts and get to work!