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We’ve all seen post-apocalyptic movies or TV shows that feature heroic survivors scrounging for food and, more likely than not, fighting off some sort of un-dead enemy. It all looks so…achievable, doesn’t it? In the movies, someone always manages to build a fire and find drinking water; no one ever dies of dehydration or from an infected wound. The question is, if civilization were to collapse, could we rebuild life as we know it?
According to The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Dr. Lewis Dartnell, the answer is no. In this eye-opening survivalist guide, the author argues that if civilization should fall and necessities such as food and clothing no longer ‘magically’ appear for us on store shelves, then humanity would crumble. With all the advances and conveniences we’ve created, we’ve forgotten how to meet our basic needs if this crutch was taken away. In order to survive in a post-civilized scenario, we would need to relearn many of the core skills our ancestors used to advance civilization in the first place.
Why It Needs to be on Your Nightstand
The book is written from the perspective that if the world were to suffer a major catastrophe, it would be next to impossible for the ‘survivors’ of whatever calamity befell our civilization to retrace the steps of recent generations. Readers will learn the skills essential to rebuild our world in the immediate aftermath beyond just basic survival. By growing and mastering these skills, readers can move on to more complex tasks and learn how to improve their lives should the unthinkable happen.
Can’t we just use all the same stuff we enjoy today?
Consider this: many of the advances we enjoy today were created during the Industrial Revolution, fueled primarily by fossil fuels. At that time, these fuels were easily accessible and abundant, but now can only be mined or drilled using energy intensive and increasingly advanced methods. Oil, for instance, is currently fracked out of the ground using cutting-edge technology; a group of post-apocalyptic survivors wouldn’t stand a chance of pumping oil from a fracking well, let alone distilling it into fuel or plastic.
Given that we won’t be able to exactly replicate what our ancestors did, we need to devise ways of leapfrogging many of the steps they took as well as alternative solutions to problems solved during a different time.
A Quickstart Guide To Rebooting Civilization
In The Knowledge, Dartnell argues that “the aim for an accelerated reboot of civilization is to jump directly to a level that saves centuries of incremental development, but that can still be achieved with rudimentary materials and techniques – the sweet spot intermediate technology.” The book will teach you the skills needed to reimagine and recreate many vital technologies, including the following:
- Melting down and reshaping plastics to make containers and other durable, reusable materials
- Making steel via the Bessemer Process, instead of forging the way medieval blacksmiths did
- Damming up a stream to create a millpond for a waterwheel – a technique not used until 600 AD, nearly 1,000 years after the widespread adoption of waterwheels
- Leveraging chemistry to create a great deal of materials for building and creating, including basic chemistry to more efficiently make paper, soap, and fuels
How do I know this sort of thing is even possible?
Sound incredible? The Knowledge provides plenty of examples of times throughout history when civilizations successfully redeveloped technologies to survive. For instance, the City of Gorazde repurposed a roman-era waterwheel technology to generate electricity in the 1990s. This was during the Bosnian War when the city was cut off from the grid during a three-year siege by the Serbian army. A few years earlier, Europeans were able to repurposed more than 1 million cars to run on wood, coal and methane gas during WWII.
An old wood-powered car. Think you could get it back up and running?
What You’ll Learn About Rebuilding Civilization
The Knowledge provides an in-depth review on the key tenets of civilization and the skills needed to rebuild from scratch. If you were in a post-apocalyptic situation right now, would you be able to weave cloth from plant material? Preserve your food? Put wind and water energy to work? Find your way using only the stars as a guide?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you need to read this book. In addition to learning the skills needed for those key tasks, you’ll also learn the following:
- What makes soil rich, the best fertilizers to use, and the best crops to cultivate based on ease of growing and nutritional value
- How to turn crops such as cereals into consumables like bread and beer
- How to preserve your food using traditional methods
- How to spin yarn and thread from plant and animal materials to weave cloth
- How to harvest the raw materials for more complex necessities such as soap, fuel and preservatives
- How to scavenge for basic materials to build tools (such as a blacksmith’s) that will allow you to build more complex tools (such as a lathe or drill press)
- How to create medicines needed for infectious diseases, childbirth, and more
- How to perform basic medical exams and diagnosis without MRIs, X-rays, etc.
- How to manage transportation in a post-fossil fuel world, e.g. wood-powered cars, animal power, wind for sailing
- How to develop basic communication tools such as quills, inks and paper, as well as more complex medias such as the printing press, telegraph and radio
- How to use basic chemistry to make explosives for mining and salvage work
- How to use the stars for navigations as well as primitive tools such as sundials and astrolabes
The Ultimate Prepper Book?
If you’re looking to develop your self-sufficiency toolset, this book is a must-have. When disaster strikes, the greatest resources you can have is knowledge. The Knowledge gives you a holistic view of what skills you’ll need so you can prioritize your learning and development. There are also practical examples of how to use those skills to build the necessities of life from readily available materials.
The essential knowledge provided in this book will give survivors the tools to build a strong foundation for the future generations that come after, so that they can do more than survive – they can thrive. If you are interested in vastly increasing your own preparedness or learning more about The Knowledge, you can read what other people are saying here.
About The Author, Dr. Lewis Dartnell
Dr. Lewis Dartnell is a professor of astrobiology at the University of Leicester in the UK. He is a UK Space Agency Research Fellow, STFC Science in Society Fellow, and the Senior Editor of the journal Astrobiology. He has committed countless hours to his exhaustive research of the technologies and skills needed to rebuild our world, and the detailed thoroughness of his book demonstrates this. In addition to all this Lewis has somehow has time to keep up a preparedness related blog at The-Knowledge.org.
I recently reached out to Dr. Dartnell to speak with him about his book and ask the questions both myself and readers of The Bug Out Bag Guide had after reading The Knowledge. His rationale for writing the book in his own words is as follows:
What I tried to do with the book is push much farther beyond what most prepper books deal with – not focusing on the run-up to a disaster or the immediate aftermath, but looking years or generations down the line as to how you would actually need to know to reconstruct a new civilization (not necessarily rebuilding our world) from the ground up and ensure it remains vibrant and progresses. The idea behind the book is what would be the crucial knowledge you’d want to be able to hand to a group of post-apocalyptic survivors if society were ever to collapse (be it from pandemic outbreak, asteroid impact, or whatever) to help them rebuild as quickly as possible – a quick-start guide for civilization itself.
Q&A with Dr. Dartnell
There are so many prepper books available, why should this one be on your must-read list?
I have very deliberately written The Knowledge to pick up where other prepper books leave off. You can certainly stock-pile canned food, bottled water, and other consumables, and this would fare you and your family well for riding out a disaster. But then what? What do you do once your reserves have run out? What would you actually need to know to produce everything you need for yourself, and to start recovering a society from the bottom-up? The Knowledge is a thought experiment on how you could orchestrate the reconstruction of a technologically-capable society in the aftermath of a global catastrophe. I take a post-apocalyptic world as the starting point, and ask what is the critical scientific and technological knowledge you’d need in order to reboot civilisation after an apocalypse, how to avert another Dark Ages, and how you might even accelerate that reboot second time around… The one thing I hope people take away after reading The Knowledge is to understand a little more about the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how the life-support system of our modern civilisation works, and appreciate the everyday things we just take for granted today.
Question #2 – Note This was the winner for best question!
Given a small amount of time and money, what five skills would you recommend a person learn to be ready for any eventuality? In order of importance, please.
Well, at the end of the day, developing any new skill to a meaningful level of proficiency takes time – there are no short-cuts, particularly if you want to be prepared for any eventuality. But as long as your community of survivors has a diverse set of skills represented amongst them, and can work together effectively, you’ll have a much better chance of thriving. Throughout the chapters of the book I talk about the most crucial domains of knowledge and capability, why they were crucial in our own historical development and therefore why they will be needed if we ever have to reboot civilisation from scratch. This, of course, includes areas like agriculture and knowing how to grow enough food to sustain your community, and to keep your land productive and fertile over the generations. Knowing which natural fibres you can harvest and spin into thread, and then weave into clothes on a loom is also important. But history teaches us that building a capable society needs much more than just basic survival skills like these. The knowledge of how to extract crucial raw ingredients from the world around you and transform them into the most useful substances and materials. How to you create soda, needed for everything from soap to glass and paper? How do you get metals out of their rocky ores, to make all the tools and building materials that you need? And being able to use tools is also critical, as well as knowing how to maintain and repair them. I explain in The Knowledge why the lathe is so fundamental, and how it has the astounding ability to reproduce itself. All you need to make all of the components of a new lathe is a lathe, and if you know how, you can even use a half-finished lathe to complete its own construction. All of these crucial capabilities were developed slowly over time, and what I’ve tried to achieve in The Knowledge is provide enough of an outline that these could be redeveloped rapidly during a post-apocalyptic recovery. Well, as far as is possible in one single book, of course!
What do you think the hardest thing to master or salvage would be?
If our civilisation ever did collapse and a community of survivors had to start again, rebuilding a progressive and technologically capable society, I think one of the most difficult fields to recover will be medicine. Although there are some herbal remedies that can be extracted relatively simply from natural sources, the vast majority of pharmaceuticals in use today are purified or modified by advanced organic chemistry, and that is going to take a lot of time for a society to redevelop. For centuries of history, doctors found themselves in the frustrating position of being able to diagnose the ailment or injury inflicting a patient but being essentially powerless to do anything about it; without antibiotics to treat infection or without anaesthetics and analgesics to allow surgery. I explain in The Knowledge the fundamentals of these things – how to chemically synthesise nitrous oxide or how you could re-isolate penicillium mold,for example. But in the aftermath of a global catastrophe the survivors would find their health-care capabilities knocked back to basics for quite a while once all the pre-existing drugs and medicines have degraded away (which I also discuss in The Knowledge)
What key skillsets would you want to teach the next generation so they could build on whatever knowledge or technology you yourself were able to salvage or re-learn?
Of course there’s only so much information you could fit into a single book, or indeed a whole library of tomes. So the key skill for a society rebuilding after an apocalypse would be knowing how to fill-in the gaps – how to rediscover all of the other knowledge that you weren’t able to explicitly preserve or salvage. And so just with the last two or three centuries of our history, by far the most successful system for generating understanding will be science. The scientific method is essentially knowledge-generation machinery – a process you go through to understand the world around you and be confident that your explanation is the best one. As long as the survivors can maintain an inquisitive and rational mind-set then civilisation has a chance of recovering rapidly and not getting caught in another Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance.
What is the single most important issue with regards to hygiene? They are so many things to consider, from hand washing to location of a latrine, and how to do these things with very limited resources (like water).
I would argue that one of the most important nuggets of modern understanding that should be preserved if all else is lost, is the notion of germ theory. This is the idea that the reason people fall sick and pass their disease on to other people is not because of bad odours or the whims of fractious gods, but that there are things so tiny they are invisible to our eyes, but which get inside our bodies and make us ill. The most easily prevented diseases are spread by what doctors delightfully term ‘fecal-oral transfer’. Health education studies in the developing world have found that nearly half of all gastro-intestinal and respiratory infections can be avoided simply by regularly washing your hands. Although the importance of germs and hygiene seem obvious today, in our own history this wasn’t appreciated until surprisingly recently. As late as the 1850s, people in London, the capital city of the greatest empire on the planet at the time, were pouring their waste into the river Thames, and 20 yards downstream someone else was dipping in a bucket and drinking it. So if you did have to reboot civilisation, imagine the centuries of pestilence that you could leap-frog over with the fundamentals of germ theory. With this understanding, it is immediately obvious why you need to keeping washing your hands, treat carefully your sewage in large settlements, and use antiseptics and aseptic techniques to stop infection of an injury or after surgery. So in The Knowledge, I explain how to make your own soap for personal hygiene, how to produce ethanol as a disinfectant, why privy pits should always be dug at least 20 metres downhill from your source of drinking water, and how to construct a rudimentary microscope to demonstrate for yourself the existence of these invisibly small bacteria and protozoa.
Thanks again to Dr Lewis Dartnell for taking the time to answer our questions, if you want to find out more about the book, you can check out The Knowledge here:
I am here to help individuals/families/group become more resilient in their lives. I believe in a holistic approach that covers everything from the fire alarms in the home to gardening. I know being prepared means taking back your life. It means learning the skills the World War 2 generation acquired and used. While others are in a Red Cross shelter you are safe in a destination of your own choosing.
I offer one on one session over phone or Skype. Or choose to meet every month for a period of time. I will also meet with groups in the Portland, Oregon or surrounding areas. I accept barter of silver or goods for services.
Please feel free to contact me through:
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Our only product is our Manual Washtub, for off-grid living. We’re also known as “Ozark Tom’s Big Load Washtub”. Our tubs are built by “Preppers for Preppers”. They’re the largest on the market (35 gallon), 100% stainless steel, heavily built, ergonomically designed, and meant to last a lifetime. Our design was tested, changed, tested, changed, and tested again – the way you’d do it if you were putting your name on it! Visit our website, and view the video: http://ozarktubs.com/
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Satmodo is a satellite phone store based out of San Diego, California. We offer satellite phones and mobile internet solutions nationwide, for purchase or rentals. We provide service and equipment for Iridium, Inmarsat, Globalstar. We don’t just rent and sell satellite phones but we improve your entire user experience when you do business with us.
One of the first things to go down during a disaster is communications and by buying or renting a satellite phone you can make and receive calls and send and receive text messages any place on the earth as long as the phone can see the sky. We provide 24/7 sales and support, free training on how to use your equipment, low cost emergency plans to keep the phones active for a “just in case” moment
More information about our products can be found on our site www.satmodo.com or by calling us at 1-800-279-2366
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TayaFaith.com – your source for fragrance-free handcrafted soaps, Taya’s “Fix-it” cream, Hand-made toys, and Bee-wraps; a green alternative to plastic.
Fragrance-free soaps – “Fragrance” on a product label can represent hundreds of separate ingredients, many of which are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. As I became aware of the number of people (including myself and family members) who are affected by artificial scents, I developed a line of totally fragrance-free soaps and other personal care products. They contain no chemical fragrances or dyes. The only scents are naturally occuring from the ingredients themselves, such as cocoa butter, beeswax, coffee, etc. Some of my products:
*Charcoal Soap – An all-natural lye soap, formulated with Activated Charcoal, creating a drawing formula to help pull dirt from pores. Essential oils help alleviate acne symptoms.
*Pine Tar Soap – An all-natural lye soap, formulated with Pine Tar to help alleviate skin issues. Pine Tar has been known to help with dandruff and psoriasis.
*Castille Soap – A gentle, all-natural lye soap, perfect for baby’s sensitive skin. Will not strip newborn skin of natural oils.
*Coffee Soap – An all-natural lye soap, formulated with coffee to eliminate odors, and coffee grounds for scrubbing. Will even remove the odor of gasoline from your hands.
*Taya’s “Fix-it” cream – An all-natural cream to soothe and moisturize your skin. Works as a year-round salve and lotion to heal dry skin. Users have reported it helping with psoriasis, eczema, bug bites, and rashes. This product is cloth diaper safe and washes out completely.
*Bee-wraps – Bee Wraps are handmade with 100% cotton cloth, impregnated with all-natural beeswax. Plain wraps can be used like plastic (saran) wrap. Snak Saks are perfect to keep your veggies, chips, or other snack items fresh without having to resort to throwaway plastic bags. Bee Wraps Sandwich Wrap – keep your lunchtime sandwich fresh, without resorting to plastic wrap. Velcro closure keeps it secure.
*Hand-made toys – I have started a line of hand-made toys, including peg people/peg animals, cloth doll houses and barns, as well as custom-order dolls.
email me with any questions or custom requests.
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I empower people to use essential oils to support the healing processes of the body rather than relying on medications for many things. Essential oils have many properties that are useful in times of economic distress as well as everyday use to decrease our dependency on doctors. Some of the properties are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory to name a few. Our ancestors used to know what bark, plant or root to harvest and how to use it. We have lost that knowledge. Now essential oils are an easy way to get back to treating ourselves. They are safe, effective and inexpensive as well as having a long shelf life when stored properly. I will be happy to help you decide what you need in your emergency satchel and I will show you the most economical way to build your essential oil supply. I recommend doTERRA essential oils due to their high standards of testing for purity and potency. There is more info on my website – www.EssentialRN.com You may retail purchase at www.mydoterra.com/SherrieWortel. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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Bug out bags are always great to have around whether you’re an avid lover of the outdoors or not. Emergencies can happen in any place at any time and it’s always better to be prepared in case something unexpected happens. There are many items that can be included in a bug out bag for various purposes. Finding the best survival flashlight for your bug out bag (BOB) is an important part of assembling your kit. There are a lot of options out there and it can be difficult to find a good flashlight among all the noise. In this article I will step you through the process of finding the best survival flashlight by looking at features, size, weight, battery type, and materials. To save you time sorting through the huge variety of options out there I have also made some recommendations to help you identify the best survival flashlight for your BOB.
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This one may seem odd as a flashlight’s primary purpose is very obvious – to light your way. However to save weight why not choose a survival flashlight that can be used as a multipurpose item? Look for a light that has some additional features to add flexibility to your kit.
Self Defense Flashlight
There are many survival flashlights that can be used as a billy club or kubotan as a means of self-defense against animals or other people. If you already have a reliable weapon such as a firearm, pepper spray, machete or EDC knife, you may not need a self defense flashlight that acts in this way. However, they’re still good to have as you can never have too many means of protection.
Some flashlights come with strobe patterns built in. This is useful for signaling members of your bug out team, vehicles, or a search party in case of emergency.
Our Picks For Best Survival Flashlight
Best Overall Bug Out Flashlight: Vizeri LED Flashlight
The Vizeri LED Flashlight is a fantastic choice for a bug out flashlight. It is a compact powerhouse that will not take up much room in your BOB, coming in at 4.25″ long and weighing less than 4 ounces. This hand sized light still manages to pump out 230 lumens, more than enough to blind an attacker, light up a large area, or scare off an aggressive animal. Additionally it can take either AAA alkaline or 18650 Li-ion batteries to give you flexibility when trying to scavenge replacements in the field.
The Vizeri LED Flashlight proves its versatility again with its 5 output modes (high, mid, low, SOS, strobe), giving you the ability to signal for help, blast out a blazing light, or conserve energy. On top of all this the Vizeri LED Flashlight is weatherproof rated up to IPX-7, giving you confidence that it will illuminate your path in all conditions. The features listed above are typically found in lights that are in the $150-200 range. The Vizeri LED Flashlight provides all this FOR LESS THAN $40. Overall a great survival flashlight at an amazing price.
Best Self Defense Flashlight: SureFire E2D Defender
The SureFire E2D Defender is an ideal self defense flashlight that excels in both of its required tasks. First off, the SureFire E2D Defender is a dual mode flashlight that can shine at a blazing 200 lumens for tactical situations or be toggled down to 5 lumens for discrete or energy efficient applications. The flashlight will shine for 1.9 continuous hours while in high mode and an astounding 76 hours in low mode. The SureFire E2D Defender has also been smartly designed with a lock mode in the on switch to prevent accidental activation while on the trail to keep your batteries saved for when you need them.
As for the self defense potential of the SureFire E2D Defender, it has been thoughtfully crafted with your protection in mind. The crenellated front bezel and scalloped tail are designed to intimidate on sight and magnify the force of a strike. There is no doubt that a blow from the SureFire E2D Defender will stop an aggressor in their tracks, whether animal or human.
Overall the SureFire E2D Defender is a fantastic multipurpose tool, providing outstanding illumination and effective self defense options to any bug out bag or EDC kit.
Best Full Size Flashlight: Coast HP17TAC Flashlight
If you are looking for a full sized light for your BOB, the Coast HP17TAC Flashlight is an outstanding choice. First off, it is extremely bright, pumping out a blinding 615 lumens in high mode and a respectable 64 in low. The Coast Flashlight will effectively throw its beam a whopping 882 feet, just shy of 3 football fields.
The Coast Flashlight’s larger size allows for it to carry a larger battery supply. This translates into the best lifetime of any of the flashlights that we looked at. It will operate at its high setting for over 15 hours and coast along on low for more than 51 hours.
The other advantage of the larger size of this flashlight is that it can easily double as a blunt self defense weapon. Measuring just over 13″ and weighing 1lb, you can swing this with confidence if your back is up against a wall.
The Coast HP17TAC Flashlight is powered by 3 D size alkaline batteries which make scavenging for replacements a relatively easy proposition in any populated area.
This is a great flashlight that is built well enough to light your way for years to come.
Other Bug Out Flashlight Options:
Some survival flashlights are bright enough to temporarily blind attackers if shined at their eyes. These lights typically use an LED light source and put out 100 lumens or greater. This can be a good option if you are looking for a non-lethal means of deterring attackers.
Weight and Size
One problem that many people have when trying to figure out what to put in their bug out bag is dealing with the weight and volume constraints of their backpack. Even small bags can be extremely heavy when they’re filled with survival gear. Large bug out bags that become overly heavy can be far too difficult to carry and may even rip due to the weight. To check out how heavy your BOB will be try our free tool here. Ideally a bug out bag flashlight will weigh 16 ounces (1 lb) or less when fully loaded with batteries.
Another issue that is especially prominent in small bug out bags is the issue of space. A bug out bag is not very useful if a few large items are eating up all of the space. The key to dealing with this isn’t putting in fewer items, it’s finding smaller items that work just as well. Many people choose to buy small flashlights that fit easily in the palm of your hand such as mini-flashlights and keychain flashlights to have lightweight and effective lights that take up little space. If you have plenty of room to spare, a rugged tactical flashlight can be a good choice. While being heavy is a benefit for flashlights that double as billy clubs, it’s best to avoid a bulky survival flashlight if you do not intend to use if for this purpose. Look for a light that is 8 inches or less in length to keep your BOB uncluttered, this should suit most survival needs. If however you are looking for a flashlight that can double as a self defense item you may want a larger model, as mentioned above.
What Batteries Are Best For A Survival Flashlight?
When you use a flashlight as your everyday carry (EDC) flashlight, the type of battery you choose comes down to your own requirements and how you plan to use the flashlight (see Chris’ article on choosing the best EDC flashlight for your needs here). However, a flashlight that you plan to keep as part of your bug out bag will have a different set of requirements to consider when it comes to batteries.
An EDC flashlight for example is going to be used often and probably for relatively short periods of time, whereas a survival flashlight for your bug out bug will only be used in case of an emergency situation. In such a scenario, chances are that there will not be power available and you will need to use your flashlight for long periods of time. For this reason, alkaline batteries (AA, C, or D sized) would be the battery option I would recommend. And here is why – alkaline batteries are generally much more commonly available than high-end battery types such Li-ion batteries, while still providing enough power to your flashlight for an extended period of time. When your battery power runs out, you can simply replace the batteries with new ones you have with you or that have been scavenged and carry on.
Alkaline batteries are not perfect though. You need to keep in mind that alkaline batteries can lose power over an extended period of time and could leak battery acid when left in your survival flashlight for a long period of time, ruining your light. So if you do go the alkaline battery route, check the batteries regularly for corrosion or leakage. If you spot leakage, replace the batteries as soon as possible!
LED Light Source
When it comes to flashlights, you can’t get much better than LED bulbs. They’re brighter, clearer, last longer, are more energy efficient and far more durable than traditional incandescent light bulbs. All these factors make LEDs a great choice for many uses including survival flashlights. LED bulbs are also a favorite for tactical flashlights as their intense brightness is good for blinding enemies.
How Bright Should My Survival Flashlight Be?
When it comes to buying a flashlight for your bug out bag, brighter is almost always better. Visibility is vital when it comes to survival situations. About 45 to 150 lumen is the preferred amount for many survival flashlights, but be warned that increased brightness means more strain on the batteries. Note that if you are looking for a self defense flashlight, a minimum of 100 lumens is needed for blinding aggressors.
Having a focused beam and a good reflector are also necessary for getting the most out of your light. Bigger bulbs and wider reflectors allow a larger area to be illuminated, which is good for lighting up eating areas, car interiors or small rooms. However, when the beam is wider the light doesn’t reach as far. Focused beams with narrow reflectors don’t illuminate as much, but the light extends much farther. Having an adjustable beam will allow you to have the best of both worlds, look for this feature when finding the best survival flashlight for your bug out bag.
Should I Get A Weatherproof Flashlight?
It’s always a good idea to ensure that the flashlight will stand up to water, cold and hot weather, mud, ice and other adverse weather conditions as natural disasters are a common reason to need a bug out bag. Weatherproof flashlights are especially beneficial to hunters, hikers and anyone who plans on using their BOB for wilderness use. Weatherproofing is typically expressed in terms of an IPX rating from 1 to 8. Look for a flashlight that is advertised as rated IPX-4 for basic water resistance and IPX-7 or 8 for a survival flashlight that is able to be submerged without damage.
What Should My Survival Flashlight Be Made Of?
Anodized aluminum is a favorite of tactical flashlight users, but is it as useful for your bug out bag flashlight? Most metal flashlights are sturdy, but some plastics can also be very strong and stand up well to various forms of damage. Metal conducts both cold, heat, and electricity while plastic doesn’t get very cold or hot in intense temperatures. Metal can be quite heavy while plastic is fairly light. If you’re merely using the flashlight for illumination, plastic may be a better choice. If you have the ability to use it as a self defense flashlight, anodized aluminum will be a better choice.
Best Survival Flashlight Features
Additional features can be useful when finding the best survival flashlight to meet your particular needs. For example, some flashlights have alternating colors for signaling, night-vision, tracking blood and more.
- Multiple brightness settings can be useful for saving battery life or when you want to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
- Brighter beam settings can are useful for signaling and potentially blinding enemies.
- Clips for belts, lanyards, hats and more are great for convenience purposes. Having a headlamp or a hat clip for a flashlight can also allow for hands-free use in emergencies.
When looking at extra features for your survival flashlight make sure to find elements that are well suited to your individual needs. This will help you effectively find the best survival flashlight to help YOU survive.
When looking for a survival flashlight for your bug out bag, the one that is the best choice is really determined by the ultimate purpose of the light and the main application of your bug out bag. The most critical factors to keep in mind are quality, brightness, battery life, and durability. No matter if it’s a small light for a bug out bag that you keep in your car or a large tactical flashlight for a large bug out bag meant for longer term survival situations and outdoor use, those four factors should be the main aspects to keep in mind for any bug out bag survival flashlight.
About The Author
This article was provided by John Bee, who is the author of The Flashlight Guide.
Fine Photography. Digital through Large Format. Weddings, Groups, Portraits, Commercial and Aerial Photography.
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Preparedness Consulting Group, LLC specializes in Victim Mitigation and Preparedness Planning Consulting Services.
Victim Mitigation entails a confidential, personal, residential or corporate comprehensive security risk assessment. We will provide you with a detailed analysis and make best practices recommendations on how to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of criminal activity. In the unfortunate occurrence you are a victim of a crime you will be able to aid in the prosecution of your assailant and enhance the probability for the recovery of your property. We cannot guarantee you will not be a victim but we can guarantee you will be Prepared.
Preparedness Planning consists of a confidential analysis of you individual and family readiness. If you are preparing for the next power outage, natural disaster, man made disaster or personal tragedy Preparedness Consulting Group offers a realistic approach to preparedness that is based upon your mindset, abilities, comfort zone and budget.
We are located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our typical clients are individuals, families, small groups and small to medium sized businesses.
Preparedness Consulting Group, LLC is an accredited business registered with the Better Business Bureau and a member of the National Rifle Association Business Alliance.
“Emergencies don’t wait for you to be prepared, they happen when you least expect them.” Do you have a plan?
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There are a great many types of gear that make up a well-rounded bug out bag (BOB) but few are as versatile and reliable as a good knife. Finding the best fixed blade knife is frequently at the top of the list when building your survival kit for good reason. A quality fixed blade knife can be used for many survival applications, it doesn’t take up much space in a pack, and is simple to take care of. In this article we are going to take you through the crucial steps in finding the best fixed blade knife for YOUR bug out bag. There are a lot of options out there and to get you started we have done testing and research to save you time and money when finding your own fixed blade knife.
Best Fixed Blade Knife Practical Uses
A fixed blade knife is one of the most versatile tools you can add to your survival kit. Its uses are not limited to bushcraft or wilderness survival either, there are a great many urban tasks that can be simplified by having a great knife at your disposal. Some of these tasks include:
- Prying doors and windows
- Breaking glass
- Cleaning game
- Lash onto a stick to make a spear
- Shelter building
- Self defense
- Cutting rope
- Chopping wood
- Batoning through branches
- Opening containers and cans
- Preparing food
Our Picks For The Best Fixed Blade Knives
Best Overall Fixed Blade Knife: KA-BAR Becker 22
The KA-BAR Becker 22 is a solid, heavy duty field utility knife that can be used in any environment. Its medium size (10.5”) is a great compromise between the heft of a larger knife and the control afforded by a smaller, lighter blade.
The KA-BAR Becker 22 is proudly made in USA, highlighting the commitment to quality that Ka-Bar is known for. It has a full tang and integrated glass-breaking tip in the pommel. The Becker 22 uses a drop point and flat ground blade to maximize versatility and edge retention. This is a knife that will stay sharp as you use and abuse it in real-life survival scenarios.
The Becker 22 has a Grivory (glass reinforced nylon) grip that is nearly indestructible and a quality MOLLE compatible nylon sheath that features a cargo pocket for storing a sharpener or magnesium fire starter.
The KA-BAR Becker 22 is a fantastic, high quality knife that is designed with versatility and hard use in mind. It will faithfully serve its owner for many years to come.
Best Fixed Blade Bushcraft Knife: Tom Brown Tracker
The Tom Brown Tracker is the most versatile bushcraft knife that I have come across. It is extremely well made and features a multifunction blade that has a two stage front edge and a serrated spine. This makes it highly versatile for bushcraft tasks including cutting rope, chopping branches, skinning, butchering, hunting, and shelter building.
The Tom Brown Tracker is a large knife (11.9”) that is heavy enough (1.75lbs) to split wood, butcher game, and perform light chopping duties. The micarta handle includes a lanyard hole to ensure tool retention when swinging the blade. Its wide belly makes the Tracker excellent for accurate slicing and pushing cuts. The knife’s serrated spine allows for rapid slicing of rope, plastic, and many other manmade materials.
The Tom Brown Tracker comes with a kydex sheath that is secure enough to be worn horizontally or vertically, allowing for rapid deployment as you see fit. This is an awesome knife that will get you through your wilderness survival scenario with flying colors.
Best Urban Survival Fixed Blade Knife: Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool
The Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool is the ultimate in urban survival. It is large enough (12.5”) to be an effective pry tool for forcing doors and levering debris out of your path. The Becker BK3 has enough heft (1.3lbs) to chop through most materials and the glass breaker in the pommel doubles as an effective hammer for pounding nails or anything else.
The Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool has a feature rich blade that greatly multiplies its versatility in the field. It integrates a partial serration, rope cutter, and pry tip, none of which feel like they were thoughtlessly tacked on. Each of these options mesh well with the overall design and make this a tool that can assist with nearly any urban survival task.
This knife screams quality, it is made in USA and features a full tang and indestructible Grivory grips that offer fantastic control over the 7” blade. This is a heavy duty knife that can pry, hack, split, cut, and hammer equally well. The Ka-Bar Becker BK3 Tac Tool is a perfect choice for urban survival or search and rescue applications. Its wide versatility would even make it a great addition to any tool kit.
Fixed Blade Knife vs Folding Knife
You may be asking “why a fixed blade knife instead of a folding knife?” It is a valid question. After all, folding knives are generally more compact and lightweight than a fixed blade knife, which is usually preferable for a survival kit you will need to carry with you. There are however some big advantages that a fixed blade brings to the table in a survival situation.
Fixed blade knives are generally far stronger
This is essential if you are going to be putting your survival knife through hard use such as the majority of the applications listed above. The hinge that a folding knife pivots around is a major point of weakness in its design. This is OK if you are using it for fine, detailed cuts or general every day use. However, if you are intending to use your knife to force a door open or split wood you will want the strength of a fixed blade.
Even a small fixed blade knife will generally be longer and heavier than a folding knife. This is an advantage again for hard use work. Longer length will allow for greater leverage when prying and additional range in self defense or hunting.
The small additional weight will not significantly impact your ability to carry your BOB but will come in handy if you need to chop or hammer anything.
Ease of maintenance
This is another weakness of a folding knife that is eliminated by choosing the best fixed blade knife that you can find. The hinge and locking mechanism in a folder can be prone to clogging by dirt and sand or corrosion. These problems can make a folding knife difficult if not impossible to use. A fixed blade has no hinge or lock to fail on you. Simple is better in this case.
Folding knives do have a place in many survival and EDC kits. I would recommend picking a folding knife for your secondary or backup blade in a bug out bag (see our folding knife guide here). For your primary workhorse you will want the best fixed blade knife that you can find.
Best Fixed Blade Knife Handle Options
When finding the best fixed blade knife your handle options can be split into two categories – tang and grip. I will break these down for you to help decide what is best for your particular environment.
Knife Tang – What is it and why is this important
The tang is the part of the knife that extends from the base of the blade guard to the butt of the knife, it is commonly covered with the knife’s handle or wrapped with paracord. There are 3 varieties of tang in all knives, which are the Full Tang, Partial Tang, and Hollow Handle.
A full tang knife will have a solid piece of metal that extends from the hand guard all the way to the butt of the knife. Generally full tang knives are a single piece of steel comprising of both the blade and tang. A full tang will make your knife far stronger than any other option. This is the best choice for a heavy duty knife that will be used for tasks such as hammering, prying, chopping, batoning, and butchering animals.
A partial tang is when the blade steel extends only part way down into the handle. This is generally sign of a cheap knife as manufacturers often use this approach to cut costs. This can be OK if you are looking for a blade to display in your home. However if you intend on using and depending on your fixed blade knife in a survival situation leave partial tang knives on the shelf.
There is much debate among the survival community about the utility of hollow handled survival knives and whether it is worth the trade off. A hollow handle will always be weaker than a full tang option but some people think this is worth having as it allows them to carry some of the gear mentioned above. To make this judgment you would need to first assess what you will be using your fixed blade knife for. You can get away with light duties with a hollow handle knife but if you are going to be hammering or prying anything you will want a full tang for sure. As survival is a highly dynamic and unpredictable environment by nature I recommend playing it safe and going with a full tang when finding the best fixed blade knife for your kit.
A hollow handle allows you to store items in the cavity such as:
- Fishing kit
- Fire Starter kit
- First aid items
Best Fixed Blade Knife Grip Options
There are a great many materials that can be used for knife grips. Some of them are as old as recorded history and others are cutting edge technology. Here are some examples of commonly used knife grip materials:
You can go traditional or flashy but the most practical and cost effective in my experience are made from Micarta, Glass Reinforced Nylon, G-10, or Zytel. The overwhelming majority of modern day fixed blade knives will come in one of these options and for practicality they can’t be beat.
The other big factor in finding the best fixed blade knife grip is how it actually feels in your hand. Is the grip (regardless of material) designed with finger grooves to give you good purchase? Can it be used easily both bare handed and with gloves on? Is the knife comfortable in your hand when used for longer periods? Does moisture affect your hold? Look for a good guard and a healthy choil on the fixed blade knives that you are considering. Maintaining a good grip in wet conditions is also essential. Getting these elements right are vital to finding the best fixed blade knife for your kit. Getting them wrong will have serious consequences, turning your ultimate tool into a liability. Take the time to research carefully and read up on your choices.
Size & Weight For The Best Fixed Blade Knife
First off, there is no “perfect” length or weight for a bug out bag knife. The ideal size for you will depend on what you intend to use it for and assessing this is all part of the process of finding the best fixed blade knife for your survival kit. Let’s take a look at how knife size impacts your choices:
A longer fixed blade knife (one greater than 10” in overall length) will be heavier and take up more space in your pack. However, longer knives are better at hacking, chopping, splitting, prying, and self-defense. A shorter knife by comparison is better at finer detail work such as skinning, carving, scraping, and will be lighter and take up less room. As you can see it comes down to what you intend to use your knife for. Weigh these costs and benefits when identifying what knife is best for you.
It is important to find the right balance when assessing knife weight. No one wants to carry around more gear than they need and this includes choosing a heavy knife when you could use a lighter one. As with longer vs shorter blades finding the best weight comes down to what you will be using your knife for. A lighter blade will cause less fatigue both while carrying it in your bug out bag and when actually using it. It is also generally better for detail work. A heavier blade will impart greater force when hammering, copping, or breaking glass. Make a careful assessment when choosing your fixed blade knife. Look for one that weighs less than 12oz for lighter work and more than that if you will have a lot of brute force tasks ahead of you.
Best Fixed Blade Knife Blade Options
There are countless blade options in modern fixed blade tactical, bushcraft, and hunting knives. This wide selection is a great additional way to customize your knife to perfectly suit your particular needs. Here are some blade options and their typical uses:
A drop point blade is a great all around option for a multipurpose knife. Drop point knives typically have a gradual curve along their spine and a wide belly, which makes them easy to control and highly versatile.
Full or partial serration on a knife will allow for faster cutting of rope, cloth, plastic, and other man made materials. Serrated blades also typically stay usably sharp for longer.
A gut hook is a special type of blade where the back of the blade (also called the “spine”) has a sharpened indentation or hook. This is designed to be used when opening the abdomen of an animal when field dressing. Once inserted into an incision in the belly and pulled through the skin this acts like a zipper on the carcass. A gut hook is a popular option for a fixed blade hunting knife for this reason.
A tanto blade has a flat (rather than a curved) edge that comes to a triangular point. This design gives tanto blades superior strength when piercing tough materials. This increased penetration potential makes tanto points popular among people looking for a good tactical fixed blade knife.
A chisel tip is a flat tip that has been sharpened to allow for digging cuts. This wide tip option is also very strong in situations where the knife is being used as a prying tool, making it a popular choice for search and rescue or urban fixed blade knives.
A clip point has a curved or straight section running from mid-spine to the tip of the blade. This cutout allows for maximum control in the point when cutting as well as good piercing potential. The clip point in another popular option for people looking for a bushcraft knife or fixed blade hunting knife.
What Are The Best Fixed Blade Knife Sheath Options?
I have spoken at length now about every detail of finding the best fixed blade knife for your bug out bag except what you will be carrying it in…the sheath! Many people focus their search on finding the perfect knife and then just assume that the sheath will take care of itself. While most quality knives come with a reliable sheath it is worth considering some options to look for when finding a great sheath for your ultimate fixed blade knife.
How do you intend carrying your knife? Are you going to keep it in your BOB? Attach it to the outside? Are you going to clip it to your belt or strap it to your body? Any of these can be good options but it is important to find a sheath that can accommodate whatever style you intend to use. Most good knives come with a sheath that has more than one carry option. Look for a sheath that has multiple options or MOLLE integration to keep your choices open.
The most common materials used in sheath making are:
- Kydex – This is a type of plastic that is molded to fit the shape of the knife. It is lightweight and nearly indestructible. Kydex sheaths generally come with straps to attach them as you see fit.
- Nylon – This is a woven material that is lightweight, inexpensive, and very durable. Nylon sheaths often come with MOLLE integration and either Velcro or snap-secured straps for attachment to a belt or bag.
- Leather – This is a classic style of sheath material. Leather is typically very tough but not as lightweight as nylon. A leather sheath should come with straps and buckles for attachment.
Although not a necessity many higher quality sheaths have a secondary pouch integrated into them. This is most frequently used to store a sharpening stone, fire starting kit, or folding knife.
Finding The Best Fixed Blade Knife For YOU
As you can see there are a lot of factors to consider when finding the best fixed blade knife for your bug out bag or survival kit. Remember to focus on the basics that we have discussed and to take into account the particular tasks you are most likely to use the knife for. Will you be in an urban environment where you will be prying open doors, containers, and windows? Will you be in the wilderness where a fixed blade hunting knife will serve you best? Do you anticipate using it as a self defense tool? If you do, maybe you should consider a fixed blade tactical knife with a tanto tip. Best of luck finding the best knife for your needs, feel free to take another look at our recommendations above to get you started, thanks for reading!
Do you have a fixed blade knife that you love? Is there anything else you would look for when finding your best fixed blade knife? Please let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks again!
Homespun Environmental is a niche store specializing in practical water filter components and kits for the DIYer. This allows our customers to realize substantial savings over factory made systems that many of our competitors offer and also allows for a high degree of customization based on specific needs and local conditions.
Our primary market is US families who wish to be able to cope with short term infrastructure outages and natural disasters. We also serve the ‘prepper’ community that is gearing up for longer and more severe ‘grid down’ situations and the public chaos that would create.
Alongside the US domestic market we consider it a great privilege to serve church groups that are working on the international mission field. We offer personal filtration equipment to keep team members from getting sick during a trip and our systems can be used in mission schools, orphanages, and medical ministry efforts. Many find that our gear is low enough in cost that it can also be distributed as part of outreach and relief for individual families in a community.
We are an American small business based in North Texas. We strive to create win-win solutions for ourselves, our customers, small independent business partners, and the communities in which we do business. Our ethics are what some would call ‘old fashioned’ in this day of high tech marketing and customer data mining.
For every 4×4 filter that is sold on this site a dollar is donated to Christian based disaster relief. For more information see: http://www.dbadisasterrelief.com/
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End Times Warehouse is a family run online store that carries supplies you will need for a short term emergency or when SHTF.
We carry Waterproof Bibles, Survival Kits, Emergency Food, Water Filters & Storage, and more. Check the site often for sales and new products.
Website: Endtimes Warehouse
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Discount emergency preparedness foods and survival kits from the heart of hurricane country in Eastern North Carolina. We are your east coast provider of Legacy brand food storage serving the lower 48 states with free shipping and instant rebates on all our product offerings. Visit us today and let us help you with your emergency preparedness needs. We offer great products at fair prices!
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Kelly P. Fitzgerald, NRA Certified Instructor, a NRA Certified Range Safety Officer (RSO), and is a 12+ year US Marine combat veteran, having served most recently in Iraq in Fallujah, Mahmudiyah, Yusofiyah during 2004-05, operationally participating in over 200 missions.
Kelly, has trained and served with multi-national forces, specializing in transportation security and operations, military operations in urban terrain, counter terrorism, hand to hand combat training and quick response training.
Kelly is also a member and supporter of the following professional organizations:
Veterans of Foreign Wars – VFW
National Association for Gun Rights – NAGR
National Rifle Association – NRA
Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors – ADSI
United States Concealed Carry Association – USCCA
Contact Website – ExpertCCW.com
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We are Practical Tactical, the personal preparedness strategists. OUR MISSION: To help you establish a practical disaster preparedness plan for you and your family.
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and Facebook too!
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CustomFit/SeniorFit Personal Fitness Trainers is a Personal Fitness Training and Endurance Sports Training business located in Southeastern Massachusetts. Our certified Personal Trainers have the highest credentials and degrees in the field of Fitness and Physical Education. We specialize in training the individual and providing them with a customized fitness program which specifically meets the needs of the client. We provide training in Aerobic, Anaerobic, Functional and Sports training. Our clients range in age from 13 to 99 and we especially have customized programs for Senior Citizens and Handicapped individuals. We come to and train you in the comfort of your home. Our trainers are certified in First Aid, CPR and the AED. We specifically serve Southeastern Massachusetts in the Greater Fall River-Taunton-New Bedford area. Our prices are very reasonable and a fitness consultation and fitness assessment are free. Please feel free to contact me, Ed Ducy at ECDucy@Comcast.Net for further information.
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Size: 2.6″ x 0.7″ x 0.1″ | 64.8mm x 17.2mm x 2.5mm; Weight: 12g | 0.4oz
Isn’t this the cutest little DoohicKey you ever did see?
I let The Principal carry it around for a couple of weeks. Well, he has a super duper cool to him multi-tool on his belt at all times and said while this is a neat idea, he didn’t have use for it. So I took it back and put it on MY key ring.
It has come in handy when opening my doTERRA boxes.
It also came in handy when I needed a flat head screwdriver for my license plate holder.
This is a handy doohikey to have on my key-ring. Would I buy one? I think it’s a great stocking stuffer.
It seems sturdy enough as it is made out of stainless steel, but it was a tad tricky getting the leverage I needed to turn the screw on my license plate due to it’s small size. I wouldn’t put it in the same class as The Principal’s chosen multi-tool, that would be apples to oranges.
I received this product free in exchange for my unbiased review. You can read my Disclosure for more information.
Headquartered in Central Virginia, P.E.G. Alternative Energy is the Mid Atlantic Region’s leading provider of alternative energy solutions. Our mission is to increase the energy independence of mankind. We specialize in solar photo-voltaic and other renewable energy power generation. Our clients include homeowners, farmers, and small business owners.
At P.E.G. Alternative Energy, we take the time to understand each client’s unique energy requirements. For most homeowners, our traditional grid-tied solar powers systems offer the greatest return on investment and the most direct path to an energy neutral lifestyle. We also offer a wide range of off-the-grid solar, battery backup, and fossil fuel generator systems for clients who value energy redundancy in addition to cost savings. For the most discerning customers, we offer hybrid powers systems, which provide the ability to run both on- and off- the grid.
Please note: All system components are available for sale with or without our assistance in the installation process.
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doTERRA Essential Oils MydoTERRA.com/MamaKautz
Say you found me on Prepper Small Biz and get a free bottle of Wild Orange or Lemon with Wellness Advocate kit.
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We are the manufacturer of the Custom Bayou Gun Sling.
Our Custom “No Drill” Gun Sling provides the ultimate in comfort & flexibility. With our custom gun slings there’s absolutely no reason to drill unnecessary holes in your precious rifle.
Why take the chance of drilling in the wrong spot, having a drill bit slip & ruining your gun stock, or maybe just a common wood splinter comes flying out of the stock while your drilling ruining your precious heirloom.
Every one of our custom gun slings are made to order to fit your specific gun. We’ll get your exact measurements & build a stock harness that fits your special gun just like a glove. No need to drill unnecessary holes that may de-value your special rifle, plus our custom harnesses provide an extra layer of protection against normal nicks & scrapes.
While our custom gun sling does not require swivels or studs for installation, you can use a sling keeper or swivel on the barrel end if you desire.
Down in Louisiana we all call this “The Bayou Gun Sling“.
She’ll keep your gun from dropping in da Bayou, Sha!
Check out the Bayou Blog
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Eagle Peak Containers has been in business for the past 38 years selling used food grade DRUMS, BUCKETS, TOTES and JUGS. They are great for FOOD STORAGE, WATER STORAGE, RAIN BARRELS and so much more. We are located in Athol Idaho but can ship anywhere in the United States and Canada. Visit our website at www.epcontainers.net
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Insync Survival Gear is a Montana based survival and tactical gear supplier. We add and update our product lines daily and are sure that you will enjoy shopping our eclectic line-up of outdoor sports, hiking, tactical backpacking and knife throwing products.
Find us here: Insync Survival Gear
Call us here: 406-570-6078
Write us here: 151 Angus Drive Belgrade, MT 59714
Read about us here: Survival Kits Plus
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We are an independent publishing house specializing in dystopian fiction and survival nonfiction, books and information that serve or entertain preppers, those preparing for events that could disrupt life as we know it and threaten survival.
All of our authors are based in the United States. All of our books are published and printed in the United States.
Visit us at www.PrepperPress.com
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TOPPACK Gear and RPP LLC represents the best of emergency preparedness kits that the internet has to offer. If you have been searching for a single source supplier of high end quality products to help insure your personal safety when disaster or emergency strikes; you’ve found it!
RPP offers a large variety of emergency survival kits, for your Automobile, Motorcycle, Boat and Personal Evacuation needs, including state of the art First Aid and Medical Responder kits.
Many of our customers search the web looking for bug out bags for sale, or looking for premade bug out bags for sale. We have taken the 72 hour emergency kit to a whole new level here at RPP LLC. The food in most of our packs here at RPP is set up for 72 hours, but the emergency survival kits we have built should last much longer and provide you with the tools to acquire more food and get past that 72 hour mark.
These kits are completely built out. We can custom build you a kit with just the components you need! Many people already have several comparable components on hand. If this is the case with you it can drastically reduce the price to custom build a kit Just For You. Fill out the “Custom JFY Packs” section on the website and let me know what you need to complete a “Custom Just For You” pack and I will send you a free quote. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-279-3361 for Custom Built Packs just for you.
NOTE: We sell all of the items seen on this website individually as well. So if you see an individual item you want simply call or email using the contact information listed above.
With help we have created amazing packages that are perfect for giving you and your loved ones a fighting chance in the event of a crisis. Each kit comes with the necessities you’ll need during times of distress to help you become more self sufficient and less reliant on others.
All of our packages contain High Quality components that are constantly being upgraded and streamlined so we can give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
The foods in our packs has a long shelf life and is delicious, our foods are ranked high in customer satisfaction(#1) and are used worldwide.
Don’t waste your money on junky/cheap kits sold on other sites. You get what you pay for in life, and when life or death and chaos is staring you and your loved ones in the face, don’t rely on inferior cheap kits that will undoubtedly fail you when you need them most!!
Count on our high quality products here at Top Pack Gear. Get the real deal with one of our Top Pack Gear Packs that are hand assembled right here in the USA. We pride ourselves on using only High Quality components. That means you can count on our packs repeatedly with some very basic proper care and maintenance.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact us and we will do our best to help. Your feedback is welcomed and will be taken seriously.
All Top Pack Gear Kits are assembled using only high quality products, vetted by professionals and chosen for the best balance of quality and value for YOU!
Our line of safety and emergency preparedness products come entirely pre-assembled and ready for use. We have designed our kits based upon the real-life experience of experts in the field.
Responsible Preparedness Packages carries supplies and complete kits to assist during: an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, fire, flood, winter storm, or man-made crisis such as a blackout, accident, or terrorist attack.
Natural and man-made disasters are unexpected and unavoidable. Being prepared with emergency items beforehand and quick response afterwards are the only way to reduce casualties. Be Responsible and Prepared today for what may come tomorrow.
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We manufacture the Paracord Survival Grenade, a custom survival kit that contains 42 essential survival items. It is wrapped with 550lb commercial paracord in the shape of a grenade and attached to a metal carabiner that supports 500lbs.
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We recently took a look at the Emerson Mini CQC-15 as a part of our article on How To Choose The Best EDC Knife. We were so impressed by it that we ended up recommending it as the Best Overall EDC Knife. Here we will take a closer look at its features and qualities with our in-depth Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review First Impressions
Right out of the box we could tell that the Emerson Mini CQC-15 is a high quality knife. It feels solid in the hand and the 154CM stainless steel blade comes from the knifemaker very sharp. The overall build quality is outstanding.
One thing that catches the eye right away is the patented “Emerson Wave” feature. This is a cleverly designed lever on the back of the blade that catches your pants pocket as you draw the knife out to automatically open the blade. If you have seen a video of this working (below) you may think this is a spring-assisted open knife. In fact, it is not. It is a normal, manual open folder but the Emerson Wave feature makes the blade pop open in a flash as the knife is drawn out of the pocket. It is a very cool, useful feature that separates the Emerson Mini CQC-15 from its competitors in the tactical folder field.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Blade
The blade on the Emerson Mini CQC-15 is made of premium quality 154CM stainless steel that provides a great balance of edge retention and ease of sharpening. The model we tested had a partial serration with a tanto tip and a recurve to the belly of the blade. The back of the blade is a consistent thickness from base to tip and has robust jimping on the back of the Emerson Wave feature that provides for a confident grip. In a brilliant nod to every day use the blade is beveled on only one side to make field sharpening a breeze. You could grind the Emerson Mini CQC-15 against a flat rock and have it back to usable sharpness in no time without worrying about keeping the perfect angle to your grind.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Grip
The model of Emerson Mini CQC-15 we tested had a nicely textured G10 handle with titanium liners to save weight. The grip is well designed with a curved choil exactly where your fingers would grip the handle. We were able to maintain a confident grip both barehanded and with a pair of work gloves on. The jimping on the back of the Mini CQC-15 and Emerson Wave feature add to this sense of security providing highly effective control under even adverse conditions.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Open Mechanism
As mentioned above the instantaneous opening out of the pocket really pushes the Emerson Mini CQC-15 ahead of its competitors. After using it for the first time we were left asking why EVERY knife doesn’t have this feature. The Emerson Mini CQC-15 also sports a left and right hand thumb stud perpendicular to the blade for ambidextrous opening. Using the thumb stud with a quick flick of the wrist engaged the blade with a satisfying click.
The Emerson Mini CQC-15 is a great addition to any kit
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Attachment
The Emerson Mini CQC-15 has a firm pocket clip for securing the blade to a pants pocket, belt, or webbing. It is worth noting that the knife must be oriented in a specific way in order for the Emerson Wave feature to be able to engage the pants pocket. Because of this the pocket clip is not able to be switched to carry on the left hand side or in blade point-down orientation. Modification is available from the manufacturer for you lefties out there to enable the Emerson Wave to be engaged in a left-pocket deployment. The Emerson Mini CQC-15 also features a large lanyard hole at the base of the grip for securing it to your gear or person. This is highly useful if you are planning on using this knife at heights or as a secondary blade attached to a pack with some paracord.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Lock
The Emerson Mini CQC-15 utilizes a titanium linerlock that automatically engages upon opening the knife. This provides a very tight lock with no wiggle to the blade when deployed. There has been some talk among users of the Emerson Mini CQC-15 that the titanium linerlock against the steel blade can actually be too tight making it harder than other knives to close. This is a bonus of you want a reliable locking mechanism that is not going to close on your hand but can be a challenge if you want to be able to quickly close the blade. It can be remedied by breaking in the knife through use over time and accelerated by rubbing graphite on the face of the linerlock that mates with the blade.
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review: Verdict
The Emerson Mini CQC-15 is an awesome tactical folder that is well built and feels great in the hand. The blade is made of high quality steel that will hold its edge well. The Emerson Wave opening feature is both innovative and practical and provides for a reliable, instantaneous opening for when rapid deployment matters. The only downsides we could find were the easily overcome tightness of the lock and cost. However if quality and practicality are paramount to you, look no further than the Emerson Mini CQC-15. It is a great addition to any EDC list, bug out bag, or camping kit.
Your Thoughts On Our Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review?
Have you ever used an Emerson Mini CQC-15? Is there anything that you think we should mention in our Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review? Please let us know what you think in the Comments Section below, thanks!
Griffin Gear Inc. manufactures recreational and survival equipment.
We manufacture survival and recreational equipment that is made entirely in the U.S.A., we are a veteran owned company.
The current product that we are promoting is a unit that we call “ReLights” which is a reusable safety marker and light source, for more information please visit our site at: http://www.re-lights.com
Additional information is available upon request, thank you for your time and assistance, looking forward to your reply
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I have been in business for 37 years. From growing up in the the drilling industry from explosives and rock removal to well drilling. I have also been a general contractor. Now I am running Welders On Wheels and also into the sales and marketing of super shelters and safe rooms, and to help find placements for people in need for them.
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