May 02

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

By Wayne Mills | Reviews

Surviving in the wilderness on your own has been a challenge for the most resourceful and bravest people due to its unpredictable nature and endless possibilities that can occur. This is what makes having the best gear so important. Survival Gear is necessary when it comes to emergency situations and your survival kit must include only the best survival items if you want to be prepared for everything that comes your way. However, surprisingly, a lot of people tend to overlook water quality as something that can be an emergency situation. A lot of people think that the most important thing is shelter. It is very important to have a decent and safe shelter, but if you don’t have drinking water, you could have the best tactical backpack packed with the best Gerber gear and you could still lose your life. That is why we want to use this opportunity to present maybe the most important survival tool – a water filter. This is a review of the LifeStraw water filter, so pay attention closely and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

One of the things I love about this water filter is that after filtering there is no aftertaste or nasty smell like you get with other water filters – the LifeStraw does not contain iodine or any related chemicals, making it safe and clean for drinking. However, you should note that the filter is not safe to be used under freezing temperatures. This is due to the possibility of creating tiny cracks in the device which will cause weak filtering, and thus you can contaminate your body with the unwanted chemicals and bacteria. The creators guarantee that the filter does not contain any chemicals and thus you will not have any problems related to that. However, note that the 

filter cannot filter chemicals, salt, viruses or heavy metals – so for example,drinking water from a pool is not a good idea since the water in pool contains chlorine. Also be patient with drinking if water does not start to flow immediately – it takes 3-5 seconds of sucking before the water comes through the filter.

How the LifeStraw water filter works

LifeStraw has a 0.2 micron fiber membrane, which does not contain any chemicals or moving parts. The product works in three steps: basically you open the cap where dirty water enters, put it into water and on the top side you have a cap, which you need to remove so you can reach the mouth piece. Then you suck the water via the mouth piece and water passes through the filter, from the bottom of the tube all the way up to the top. As we have mentioned, note that it does take a few seconds before the water is filtered and before it comes to the top. Also, after each drinking session, remember to blow back through the LifeStraw in order to expel dirty water and clean the membrane/filter.

Personal experience

I had a situation during one of my camping trips where I simply could not find drinking water after I had drank all of the water that I had brought in with me. At first, I was little scared, but then I reached for my LifeStraw Personal Water Filter to test it for the first time. Thankfully there was a creek nearby where I was camping, but I was not sure if I should I drink that water. It looked fairly clean so I decided to try it out. The water came out crisp and refreshing with no aftertaste. Since then, I have been buying this LifeStraw for every camping trip. Now, when going out for longer durations, I just buy them and stack them in my backpack so I'm ready for all emergency situations. There have been other tips where the water was pretty dirty, but thankfully didn't have a bad smell. The group I was camping with used their LifeStraws and were pleasantly surprised – the taste of water was not like you get from a tap, but it was decent. No traces of any particles (at least from what I’ve seen) and the taste was good. I have been more than pleased with the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. They are great to bring along for longer trips or emergency situations like earthquake or kits for your car. Buy a couple of these and you don’t have to worry about yours or your family's drinking water in an emergency.

May 02

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

By Wayne Mills | Reviews

Having a good knife is essential if you are thinking of preparing a serious survival kit. You may think that a knife is a knife, but you'd be surprised by the differences between an everyday knife and a certified or quality-approved one. In an emergency or survival situation, a knife can be a line between life and  death, Picking a good knife can be difficult if you don't know anything about them. I have heard great things about Bear Grylls knives so I was eager to try one out. I'm happy to say that I've owned the Gerber Bear Grylls serrated knife for a season and it has proven its value in several situations. Those situations re-enforced the fact that it is very important for your survival items to be the highest quality.

The Grylls seratted knife comes with a comfortable, mold-rubbered grip that is designed for firm and secure grip, that won't slide in your hand while cutting wood or doing other vigorous activities. The knife itself is made of carbon stainless steel, which is essential to retain edge retention. The rubber grip texture ensures comfort and prevents the knife from slipping out of your hand. Gerber knives are well-known for their strength and firmness, meaning that you will have no problems with cutting even the thickest wood. Another cool addition of this knife is the inclusion of a whistle! 

Although it sounds kind of silly at first glance, this small useful tool can be the difference between life and death. Therefore you should not underestimate the importance of whistle. The next thing that I love has become  a trademark for these Gerber Bear Grylls knives; a built-in fire starter. The fire starter is made from a ferrocerium rod, which is cleverly incorporated into the back of knife blade. No matter where you are, as long as you have your knife with you, you will be able to start a fire – it also has enough space for kindling. The sheath of knife is made of nylon, preventing mildew growth. This knife also comes with a manual that covers land-to-air rescue instructions and a detailed pocket-guide inspired by Bear Grylls. This knife also has a diamond sharpener, which is integrated into sheath. It has come in very handy as you can sharpen your knife while you relaxing or are on-the-go. This knife is packed with handy features making it a compact, efficient and trustworthy addition to your survival gear pack.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

As an avid outdoorsman, I was on a quest for a good knife that provides safety and security, while not costing me a small fortune. This knife has been a dream and with the added extra features that are incorporated makes this survival item a winner. The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife is a total of 10” in overall length, 4.8” of that is the blade. The nice grayish-orange coloration gives it stylish and elegant look, but at the same time retains the military-survival outlook. One other thing I wanted to mention is that the knife, while in sheath, stands firmly and you don’t have to fear that you will lose it somewhere. This fixed knife is extremely useful for backpackers, survivalists, military geeks and amateur outdoor activists – due to its compactness and relatively small size. I have tried cutting many items such as rope and wood and have had no problems at all. Plus I tried sharpening it using diamond sharpener and it worked like a charm. I also used it to start a fire couple of times during my camping trips without any problems. I didn't even have to pull out my usual fire starter. This knife makes many tasks easier and should be a standard part of your survival gear.

May 02

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back Pack

By Wayne Mills | Reviews

One of the most important items on your survival gear list is definitely a backpack. Some people would probably say that you could get away with any type of backpack as your survival pack, but they are definitely not right. The reason is simple – you must have a high-quality backpack to keep your survival items safe, dry and accessible. All the survival items need to have a good “stash” or a place where you will put them so you can get to them when needed. Therefore, a backpack is a place where you don't look to save money. Save your money and buy a proper backpack and pack it with everything you will need for your outdoor adventures. Here, we will present a great backpack that many people consider as one of the best outdoor hiking/survival backpacks you can buy. We will talk about general specifications, and I will present my personal experience with this backpack. Another essential survival tool is a water filter. We also review the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter – a survival tool that must be included in your everyone's survival list. You can read our review of the Lifestraw filter here.

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Back Pack offers a safe and high-quality backpack that is great for both amateur and professional outdoor action. It has a capacity of 37 liters. Designers thought of the idea that you might need some extra storage, so the designers decided to give it enough room in case you are professional hiker or prepper, and you need enough room for your survival gear. It has one large main compartment that has three interior mesh pockets – one for easier organizing of smaller accessories that you don’t need all the time, hydration pocket for your liquid so you can drink it while you are moving and sunglasses pocket, which provides a safe storage for your sunglasses in case you don’t need them.

The backpack is made of 1050D durable nylon, while the coating of the backpack is water repellant. Hiking during heavy rainfalls would not be a problem and all your gear inside the backpack will remain dry. With an adjustable height sternum strap and two external compression straps, this tactical backpack is comfortable and while giving you extra storage for your survival gear. This is why it is reasonably considered one of the best tactical backpacks.

5.11 RUSH 24 VISUAL DESCRIPTION

The Rush 24 backpack has side pockets with double zip access, a large pocket with integrated cord for expanding the backpack for more storage and secured straps for stable and comfortable carrying. This comes in handy when your backpack is full and you are walking fast – just tighten the belt, put the straps around and you are good to go. The main compartment is 20”x12.5”x8”, which is pretty big and enough for your survival clothing, Gerber knives or any other survival items. The backpack is really made for tactical purposes, although it can serve as a great second choice for preppers or outdoor activists. Molle/5.11 SlickStick System allows you to customize the size of your storage – expanding it and customizing according to your needs and your wishes. The backpack also has reinforced grab-and-go handle, which is convenient if you need your backpack to be in more reachable position. A water bottle pocket is also found on this great backpack – just make sure that your bottle isn’t too big for the compartment/pocket. For easier recognition, the backpack has loop nametape and flag patches. The last thing you want is to lose your pack with your survival gear.

Personal Review

I bought this backpack not so long ago, although I was skeptical a bit regarding the quality. I’m not some hardcore outdoor traveler or prepper, but I definitely love to spend time outdoors. The 5.11 Rush Backpack offers me everything I need – it has enough space for the basic survival gear, it is waterproof and compact, plus it has few features that some of the best survival brands don’t have. I even ended up buying another one and dropped it into my SUV so I don’t have to think whether I have all the gear all need with me when I go outside. I bought the second one at an auction, where I also got bear grylls knife and some other outstanding gerber gear, like mini compass with flintstone firestarter.

In conclusion, the backpack is really good. You really do get what you pay for. I would even say – it definitely is worth buying regardless of your needs. I even tried going into water with the backpack, and everything was dry after I came out. I didn’t go deeper than 2 meters, but still I was very satisfied it would hold up in wet weather. I love this pack and think you will too.