Knife

All posts tagged Knife

Image source: Bushcraft

By Kevin Danielsen Off The Grid News

There’s just something about a gorgeous knife, right?

If you’re a bushcraft lover, dreamer and even just a beginner, there’s a good chance that if someone caught you on your lunch break, surfing Google images over that tuna sandwich … they’d likely stumble upon your hand-forged, Micarta-adorned, convex-grinded knife addiction.

Maybe it’s just me, but I truly believe that there’s just something about a gorgeous knife.

And believe it or not, this will actually help in expanding your bushcrafting knowledge.  Here’s why …

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: Why The Simplest Knives Are Always The Best Knives For Bushcraft

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By Josh

There are some things you keep to stock just in case things go south like stored foods, mountains of ammunition, and other big bulky heavy items that you’ll need to survive long term. However, there should also be a few things that you keep with you just in case you can’t immediately run back to your retreat/home the moment a disaster occurs. These are only the top 5, the most important, but even just having these could be sufficient to help you get through a dangerous situation.

1. A Quality Multitool or a Knife

multitool

Rather than stating one or the other, I left it up to you to determine which would be more versatile and acceptable in your own situation. A quality multitool can give you access to a smaller knife, pliers, screwdriver, and scissors all in one convenient package. It also doesn’t carry the stigmata of “weapon” that a knife does, meaning that if you live and work in a “No weapons permitted” area, you have a better chance of justifying the multitool than the knife. A knife can obviously be used to cut, either in self-defense or to create pieces of rope, cloth, or other material as needed. Having at least one of these at all times ensures that you have a cutting tool and potentially a means of defending yourself in an emergency.

2. Prepackaged, Nutritious Food

energybar

Obviously you don’t need to start lugging around a crockpot full of chicken noodle soup, but having a few energy bars stashed in your pockets could give you something to munch on for a day or two while you make a trek back to your home or bugout bag. Look for something with some decent calories, some protein, but minimal sugar if possible. Unless you’re using them for a quick energy buzz sugar is just going to give you a sugar crash after it’s been consumed, which is no good when you’re lacking other food sources.

3. A Compass

compass

We’ve discussed how to use one previously, so you’ll know how important a compass is to proper navigation. If you can include a map of the local area with that too, great. If not, the compass alone at least allows you to know which direction you’re heading and to take directions from other people you may meet. Tiny button compasses are less ideal than the larger ones, so if you can squeeze it in somewhere try to get a quality compass that takes up a bit more space. If not, use the little guy but understand that it is much more limited.

4. A Packet of Medications

in lieu of carrying only a few pills, some might find it better to carry all of them...

Obviously if you work in an area where getting mugged for your prescriptions is likely this doesn’t apply, but generally speaking keeping a few pills in a plastic bag is a good idea even if you don’t have meds you normally take. Obviously having a day or two’s worth of your everyday medications will be good for avoiding withdrawal, but having a couple ibuprofen or other OTC medication might also help in the event that you are injured or sick after the disaster. I would recommend having some kind of proof in that bag if you do take prescriptions if only because of the potential for accusations by police or concerned citizens if you go without.

5. Cash in small bills

cash

It has often been said that money makes the world go ’round, and having some cash on hand could get you a hot meal, a comfortable car ride, or even a place to stay for the night. They could also be used to empty soda machines of bottled water even if credit cards were no longer accepted. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t want to carry any more than $100 in cash with me at a time even in the safest neighborhood, and the key is to keep it in the smallest convenient bills possible. If you fish out a few bills and it all comes out 1′s and 5′s, even a fat wallet doesn’t look like great pickings for a bribed guard or a thief when compared to the guy flashing 20′s from his inch thick stack of bills.

Of course there are many other items that you might carry depending on where you are or what you do on a daily basis, but these 5 are almost certainly going to be useful regardless of the situation you are in.

Your thoughts?

What would you add to this list? Are these a good pick for the top 5? Let us know in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Top 5 Items You Should Always Have With You For SHTF

BIG-homemade-knives

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In this day and age, making your own tools and weapons may seem an anachronism and also pretty inadequate. There are knives made from high-tech materials available everywhere, and plenty of models to choose from. Regardless of your need or your preference, there’s a knife ou there to suit your needs.

What happens, though, if society collapses and there are no longer superstores from which to purchase any knives? This theory applies to absolutely everything, including tools, weapons, food, and even clothes. We are living in modern times; everything is just a click away or a phone call away, but that can change in the blink of an eye.

Suppose that you are facing a life and death situation. Maybe the sun won’t shine tomorrow, or you’ll get lost in the woods, or your plane will crash, many scenarios are possible in which you will need a knife but won’t have one. When you’re in the wild, a knife will be your best friend; it could literally be the difference between life and death.

If you like knives like I do, you may be interested in a crash course on “how to make your own knife”. I bet you’ve asked yourself at least once (I surely did) how a knife is made. Making your own knife is like the ultimate level when it comes to survival. So, if you’re forced to make your own blade, to protect and to serve you, what would you do? Where would you start from?

What to Use

3obsknves2Modern knives are made of various qualities of steel or other alloys, plastic or various composite materials. When you’re lost in the wilderness, it would seem improbable for you to have access to cutting tools, hammers, forges and other tools and equipment necessary for forging metals. so a regular “made of steel” knife is out of the question.

That’s okay though, because the first knives were made in an era in which iron was not even discovered yet. There are certainly other ways to get the job done. The first knives are dated from the Stone Age, and they were made out of stone by our crafty ancestors.

Making a knife out of stone is not very hard at all. Practically anybody, with a little bit of practice, can build himself a cool knife by flint knapping, just like the prehistoric men did.

Flint knapping (the process of shaping stone into a tool or weapon) can be done using hammerrock tools as well as wood and bone to refine them. Obsidian, flint, and chert are common stones used in knife-making.

In theory, it’s a simple process: find a piece of rock that has the desired dimensions and hammer it with another rock until you give it a “knife like” shape. After that you must flake off the end of the “blade” to make it sharp and affix a handle on the other end and voila! That’s about it.

It only takes a few rocks and some mad skills (that you’ll acquire with practice) to make yourself a cool looking, functional knife.

What to Do

Now, here are the basic steps you need to follow when making your own knife:

1. Find your raw materials. Native Americans were experts in obsidian and flint knapping, primily because it’s readily available in many places and both are good materials for knives. As a beginner, flint is probably your best option. Both rocks are very hard and tough, they cut well and yet they’re pretty easy to carve and to bring them to the desired shape. The bigger the initial rock, the larger the blade will be.

Geology rocks folks! Knowing which rock is what when it comes to stones could prove very useful in a survival situation, so get your facts straight and learn how to distinguish between different types of rock. For example, obsidian looks like black glass, because it’s actually solidified magma, and it’s pretty hard to find. Flint on the other hand is more common. As a general rule of thumb, creeks are abundant in high quality rocks for making blades, so that’s where you should take a look first.

2. Find yourself a hammerstone, which is actually a medium sized rock that you will be using for striking off the blades. The hammer stone should be as closed to a spherical shape as possible.

3. Use the hammer stone to strike the edge of the rock (the future knife) and if you strike well, the force of the strike will shatter the bottom of the rock, creating a blade like profile. It’s hard to explain; all you need is practice.

4. Be careful when hitting the rock. Rock shrapnel may hurt your eyes. Also avoid hitting your fingers. Don’t hit too hard; go nice and easy and have patience at all times.

5. Use a piece of wood or your hammerrock to polish the blade til it’s sharp.

6. After the job’s done, you’ll have to add a handle to the sharp flint blade. You can use a piece of wood for that, affixed with wire or something improvised from your own clothes.

Don’t worry, if our ancestors could do it, so can we. All it takes is practice and patience.

Good luck!

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: DIY Knives for Off-Grid Survival

Find out more about cold weapons on Bulletproof Home.

Photo sources: 1, 2.

machete

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We’ve discussed the survival axe and knife in a previous post but there is a third tool that many argue should be a centerpiece to any outdoorsman’s kit, the machete. Longer and heavier than than a knife but with a longer blade than an axe, the machete is a perfect marriage of two tools for some. But like any tool, it can only be used properly if you have a quality machete and know the proper technique.

Disclaimer: A machete is just as dangerous as any knife or axe, so treat it with respect. Be mindful of other people, watch for foliage that may deflect your swings, and keep limbs out of the way. Always make sure you keep your tools in excellent condition so that the chances of the blade snapping is low!

How to select your machete

There are several types of machetes that we will get into in a moment, but first let’s look at the general quality features that yours should have:

  • For maximum durability, it should have a full tang. Many cheaper blades use a partial tang, which means that the metal only extends partway into the handle rather than all the way through. A full tang adds more stability to the construction of the machete, and is very important if you plan on trusting your life to this tool. Stainless Steel may look better, but carbon-spring steel will be much more durable for you.Stainless Steel may look better, but carbon-spring steel will be much more durable for you.
  • Use carbon-spring steel, NOT stainless steel. Stainless steel has a hard time standing up to the repeated impacts a machete is expected to endure when compared to the strong carbon-spring metals. If you can find the SAE rating for the steel, look for commonly used quality ratings such as 1050 or 1095 steel which are plenty strong for use in a machete.
  • The handle should be durable and comfortable. Although there is some argument over the merits of plastic or wooden handles for machetes, generally speaking it comes down to comfort. If you are woodscrafty, a wooden handle is obviously more easily replaced but otherwise just ensure that the material itself is made of strong plastic/wood without obvious manufacturing defects.

Types of machetes

There are several common types of machetes designed for different purposes. Generally speaking, blade thickness and shape are the primary differentiators between each type. A thicker blade will be better for heavy chopping of wood or saplings, while a lighter, thinner blade will be better for clearing shrubs and vegetation.Parang

  • The Parang or Golok. Thick, short, and good for chopping. The Parang design originates from Malaysia and Indonesia, and is designed for the thick, woody vegetation in that area. Not only is it weighted to chop well, but a proper Parang blade also has a bevel designed to reduce the chances of the blade sticking during chopping.Bolo
  • The Filipino Bolo. The Bolo is another short machete designed for thick jungle foliage, with a thick bulge at the end for added chopping power. Depending on the manufacturer a Parang and Bolo could actually be very similar, but a true bolo should be thicker at the end than a similarly sized parang. The difference between the two mainly depends on how you prefer to chop, as the Bolo tends to be shorter than the Parang.latin
  • The Latin. Used by the U.S. Military, the Latin is a long, thinner blade designed to be a middle-of-the-road sort of tool. The extra length compared to most machetes can be useful in certain situations particularly with thinner brush, but the lack of a weighted end means you’ll spend more energy chopping through thicker wood and branches.
  • The Khukuri. This is not often thought of as a khukurimachete owing to its military fame with the legendary Ghurkas of Nepal, but it was originally designed for general farm work more than killing. It can look almost like a metal boomerang, with the end of the blade being much larger than the handle side. This strange looking design is extremely effective for a variety of tasks, including chopping wood and clearing brush. It is rather short (generally between 16-19 in in length including the handle) but what it lacks in reach is makes up for in incredible chopping power.Coping
  • The Coping. This is a more modern design, which forgoes the use of a tip in favor of a blunt, rectangular end to the blade. This is commonly referred to as a “rescue blade”, as the lack of a tip reduces the odds of harming trapped victims. This advantage is also favored in tight spaces where a sharp tip might have a tendency to catch on hanging foliage.

Proper swinging technique

The machete can seem like a simple survival tool, but much like a knife or axe it needs to be used properly for maximum safe use.

  • Do not use perpendicular swings at the object you are trying to chop. A 45 degree angle is superior. A straight, downward chop is also useful in certain situations.
  • When chopping or hacking, use the broad and thick part of the blade to make full use of it. This is usually referred to as the “Sweet Spot” of a machete, and differs based on variety and manufacturer.
  • Lead with your elbow, and flick your wrist upwards for thin foliage or downwards for woody, thick objects. These motions add additional force to your swing, which saves energy and allows you to complete your task faster.
  • Let gravity and momentum work with you instead of trying to muscle through your chops. Chopping is hard work and requires some muscle, but you gain nothing by tiring yourself out and working against helpful forces like gravity. Swing with your whole arm and and drop your shoulder as you swing to increase the momentum of the chop and use the weight of the blade to increase the force of each hit.
  • If chopping loose or flexible materials, try to pull them taut with a hand or foot that is positioned safely away. Just like cutting a string, a taut piece of grass or vine takes much more force from each swing if it doesn’t have the ability to bend and shift. This will spare you a great deal of frustration if done right, just make sure your arm or leg isn’t in danger if your swing was deflected.

 

The machete is an excellent tool for a variety of tasks, and if properly taken care of will last for a long time. Make sure you know how to use yours properly! – Prepared For That

Your thoughts?

There are literally dozens of different machete style. Is there one we didn’t mention here that you think would be useful? Let us know in the comments.

Tanks_sm

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There’s only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, so don’t waste this opportunity! What other time of year can you openly give prepping gifts to non-preppers? To take full advantage of this time, lets look at some gift ideas for the two different types of non-preppers that may benefit from some creative gift giving.

The “I Might be a Prepper if Someone Opens My Eyes” Person

This is the friend or family member who you probably know fairly well, but haven’t found the right moment to talk openly with about being prepared. You think they would be open to listening about  preparedness and wont look at you as a total loon for bringing up the subject. For them, we should choose a gift that begins the conversation as well as provides a useful item for them to use. Here are some suggestion for all price ranges.

  1. Survive The End Book JWR_ThNew Prepper Guide Book. How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It by James Wesley Rawles is a great book for the new or soon to be new prepper. Not only does it give a lot of great information that a new prepper will need, it provides well reasoned yet simple arguments for being prepared.
  2. Fictional Prepper Book. Reading a fictional book about how others respond to a TEOTWAWKI situation just may spur someone into thinking about what they would do. For most, that leads to the honest evaluation that they are woefully unprepared for even a basic emergency. I highly recommend Lights Out by David Crawford, One Second After by William Forstchen, and Patriots by James Wesley Rawles.
  3. Mountain House Bucket_thFreeze dried food sampler. Not only does it open the conversation, it also provides a way for the uninitiated to try out some of the different means of storing food. An example would be Mountain House Just In Case – Classic Assortment Bucket (Pack of 12), but you can substitute your favorite brand.
  4. Water Purification. Whether you choose an inexpensive Sawyer Personal Water Bottle Filter LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, or a complete Sawyer PointTwo Purifier with Bucket Adapter Kit  you get the chance to explain the benefits of having a means to purify water and the importance of that ability in an emergency.

The “I’ve Already Told You I Think Prepping Is Silly” Person…

…but you know they are coming to your house when it all goes down. Usually these are parents, siblings, or in-laws who you know you wont turn away in an emergency, so you might want to stealthily get them more prepared. An overt prepping gift would be too obvious and probably not well received, so here are some suggestions for getting that Trojan horse into their walls of denial.

  1. Berkey_thWater Purification. Careful with this one or they may be on to you. Try something like a Big Berkey. My family uses ours daily for all of our drinking water because it is healthier and it tastes better. The fact that it provides clean drinking water in the event of an emergency is just a bonus we wont mention to them.
  2. Gun Training. Obviously this depends on their current experience with firearms. If they already own a gun or are open to learning about firearms, a course appropriate with their skill level would be a great gift. I don’t know of many that wouldn’t benefit from additional training, and now they bring an additonal useful skill with them if they show up on your door step someday.
  3. Country Living_Rear_QTR_Table_thGrain Mill. If they are bakers or are open to learning to eat more healthy, a grain mill is a great gift. A manual mill like the Country Living or Wonder Junior Deluxe is a must have for any prepper, and thanks to you, they will have one. If you think they might balk at a manual mill, go ahead and get them an electric mill like a Komo Classic. Most bakers would love a mill that provides them with fresh, healthy flour and even if the power goes out, they still have the skills of knowing how to cook with fresh ground wheat (a GREAT skill) when they are at your place during the Zombie apocalypse.
  4. Gardening Supplies.  If they garden, or if you think you can generate some interest in gardening, then get some good quality gardening tools. Focus on solid, long lasting tools like hoes, spades and the like. Even better, get a good selection of heirloom seeds appropriate for their area and climate. This is a great opportunity to give them valuable skills and gear that would benefit them in many bad situations.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for thinking out of the box when it comes to the non-preppers in your life. Maybe this year’s gift will be the ice breaker so you can  finally have an open conversation about the merits of being prepared. If not, at least  your “guests” might not show up empty handed when the lights go out. – Prepared For That

Merry Christmas and God bless,

Prepared Preacher

Axe_and_knife

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Preppers are ever and always debating which tool or tools are best for various situations, and the arguments surrounding survival knives and axes are no exception. Although each tool has their finer points and uses that the other doesn’t match making them an excellent matched pair of tools, when the time comes you may need to select one or the other for your pack or stockpile. In that case, which one should be included? We’re going to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each tool, both knife and axe, to determine which will be most useful for you.

What is a “Survival” knife or axe?

Although there are plenty of fine knives and axes available on the market, only a small subset of them are truly suitable to be called “survival” axes or knives. Generally speaking, a true survival tool has these qualities:

A small hatchet like this is much easier to carry than a big splitting maul.

  • Able to be carried long distances. A big splitting maul may technically qualify as an axe, but it is hardly a survival tool since it is much too heavy! This criteria is generally applied only to axes, since even heavy knives are plenty light for a person to carry. The best kinds of axes tend to resemble hatchets, being small enough for easy packing and light weight yet still substantial enough to take serious punishment.
  • Durable. This is where many knives tend to fail. Although there are definitely uses for cheap pocket knives and the like in emergency situations, a true survival knife needs to be made of sterner stuff. Although axes will generally do better when subjected to a durability test, there is still a need to cull the cheap big box store brands made with low-quality steel. Both knives and axes need to be able to handle chopping wood, sharpening stakes, potential self-defense against people and animals, and the occasional accidental strike against rocks or soil over a long period of time.You need knife and axe blades made of metal which is worth sharpening after hard use.
  • Able to be repaired/sharpened. The axe or knife needs steel of sufficient quality to be sharpened properly over the course of time. Ideally, a good survive knife blade or axehead will have a removable grips/handle in case they become damaged over time.
  • Versatile in function. Some knives are designed primarily for combat or other uses and have special features that allow them to do this job better. Likewise, there are many axes designed primarily for carpentry work or only for splitting big thick logs. A survival tool needs to be a jack of all trades, not specifically good at any one thing but decent at a wide variety of common tasks. Lopping off limbs for a lean-to, skinning small game, splitting small logs, cutting through ice, and cutting notches for traps and snares are but a few of the many jobs your survival axe or knife will need to perform.

The strengths and weaknesses of survival knives

A serrated edge can be useful in certain situations, giving knifes a unique advantage over axes.

On the other hand, a survival knife’s performance can suffer when it comes to the larger jobs. If you should need to split small logs or lop limbs off of trees, you may find that although the knife can do the job it’s not nearly as easy as it would be with an axe. A particular area of weakness is in cutting limbs of the proper size for a shelter. Unless you have softer wood to craft into poles, you may find it difficult to get clean cuts through the limbs that are ideal for lean-to poles. Knives are also more difficult to keep properly sharpened in some cases, although with practice this issue is significantly diminished.

The pros and cons of a survival axe

Using an axe, you'll have a much easier time cutting through logs and limbs.

However, axes do have some weaknesses to put against their strengths. For one thing, almost any axe is going to be larger and heavier than a survival knife and will reduce the overall amount of supplies you can carry. Furthermore, they’re also more awkward to use when trying to make delicate or tiny cuts such as those needed for cleaning an animal or preparing snares. They also lack additional features like serrated edges or a convenient folding action that covers the blade, meaning that they’re more limited in many ways. Furthermore, they’re also more dangerous to use as a single slipup can result in a deep and deadly wound to an arm or leg.

So, which to use?

The truth is, both have their uses depending on your situation. If you need to carry a lot of other heavy gear, a knife would probably suit you better than a weighty axe. If you are going into damp places where you’ll have to cut dry limbs off of trees instead of harvesting dry wood on the ground, an axe will make your work go faster. If you’ll be cutting ropes for snares and skinning the game you catch, a knife will make the work simpler than a big axeblade. It comes down to what you personally need: the smaller, lighter finesse of a survival knife or the thicker, heavier, blunt work of the survival axe. Choose wisely! – Prepared For That

Your thoughts?

Which suits you better? Would you carry both if you had the choice? Let us know in the comments!

paracord bracelet

By Pat B

In prepping, we tend to put a lot of thought into big picture planning. We gather food supplies, medical supplies, fuel and water. We carefully rat hole these items at our chosen refuge, and continue storing, maintaining and rotating our stockpiles. We even consider the event that we may have to leave this refuge at some point, and assemble bug-out bags (BOBs) and off-premises caches for this contingency.

Many of us plan on the possibility that we may not be home when the balloon goes up, and we either keep our BOB in the car or assemble get-home kits for the stated purpose. But crises are a fickle lot, and the odds that they will be cooperative in their timing and have us handy to our gear when they take place are not particularly in our favor. Add this to the fact that there are a wide range of smaller catastrophes that can take place at any time and it becomes clear that keeping some amount of survival and emergency gear on our person at all times is not the worst idea we could have.

Unless you are in a position to carry your BOB on your back at all times, you should give some thought as to what you load your pockets or purse with each morning before you leave the house. Every Day Carry (EDC) items should be calculated to give you a survival edge and help meet basic needs if you are cut off from everything except what you have on your person at any given moment.

The backbone of my EDC gear is what I have come to think of as my “Caveman Kit”. This is a small selection of gear that can accomplish the three basic skills that have been helping humans to survive for untold millennia. These skills are cutting, tying and burning. With these skills covered, you can start a fire for warmth, you can cook, and you can make water safe to drink. You can improvise shelter, catch fish and small game, fix a broken shoe lace or pack strap, or create weapons to defend yourself. With these skills, and a well-stocked cranial survival kit (chock full of knowledge), you can improve your odds in almost any circumstance.

1. Burning. Where burning is concerned, most experts will agree that it is a good idea to have at least two means of starting a fire with you at all times. I always keep a disposable butane lighter with me; these are a very inexpensive piece of equipment, and serve well until conditions get too wet or windy. As a backup, I keep either a blast match or other ferrocerium fire steel. These fire starters will throw HOT sparks in any conditions, and coupled with good tinder will get your fire going in no time. It is a good idea to have a couple cubes of wet fire, a trioxane fuel tab, or even a small bag of dryer lint with you to serve as tinder. If you opt for matches, make sure they are waterproof and strike anywhere; hurricane matches are as good as it gets. Practice making fire; it isn’t always as easy as you think, and fire steels in particular require practice. Fire building techniques are a must in the cranial tool box.

The pack for anybody who wants to be fully prepared for an unexpected emergency

2. Tying. For tying, you should keep a length of cordage with you. Paracord bracelets are a very convenient way to have 6-10 feet of 550 paracord with you at all times. I wear mine 24/7, even when I step into my pleated slacks and button down shirt to venture into the community college where I teach part-time. These bracelets go with just about any attire without looking conspicuously out of place, and paracord is truly the duct tape of string. I have used paracord to replace a broken boot lace, to fix a duffle bag strap that broke while I was rushing through an airport, and to fix the handle on a plastic pumpkin that broke on a trick-or-treat mission with my kids. In more extreme times, paracord can be used to make a tent out of a tarp, to catch a fish, or to lash together just about anything that needs lashing. Your ingenuity is the only limit with this stuff, and a good set of knots should be stored away in your knowledge base.

3. Cutting. I don’t even know where to start with cutting. To say that there are a million and one uses for a good blade is probably an understatement. I won’t even go into them because if you can’t think of at least a hundred in 30 seconds or less you should probably give up prepping! I tend to carry a pocket knife, and lean towards trappers or stockmen. These styles have been around a long time for a reason, they are terribly versatile. In addition to my pocket knife, I like to keep a larger fixed blade or folder on my belt. Even in professional attire, I don’t think that a three inch lock blade in a plain sheath is too out of place. When I am dressed more casually a medium sized, full tang (I am not a fan of hollow handled “survival knives”; I find them to be too weak) bush craft style knife seldom draws comment. Lately, I have become fond of karambits, as they are strong, functional and an incredibly effective cutting and slashing weapon. Aside from the utilitarian functions, never underestimate the defensive capabilities of your knife. When circumstances prevent me from carrying my handgun, you can bet I have a decent blade with me. Devote time to learning and practicing defensive blade work, and file these skills away in your cranial tool kit.

These items form the basics of a very effective survival kit, and rank even higher than a certain credit card on the “don’t leave home without it” scale. From here, you can add gear to suit your tastes, needs and pocket size. I feel that a Leatherman tool is a good addition, and keep one on my belt at all times. The trusty old P38 can opener is right at home on your key ring, and a handcuff key can live there too (just saying…). If you are permitted, a concealed handgun is also a very good idea. The pocket that doesn’t hold your wallet can hold a space blanket and/or an emergency poncho; these two items can be used to create effective shelter and body heat maintenance when combined with your paracord. A small flashlight fits easily in a pocket and could be invaluable if you are caught out after dark.

In addition to your gear you should always dress for your season and climate, even if you are planning on spending most of your time indoors. Always wear the sturdiest and most comfortable shoes that your dress code permits; your Italian loafers may look great but you wouldn’t want to walk 15 miles in them. You probably won’t be able to carry it at all times but keep a water bottle or two (at least one with a filter) close by, in your car or desk, along with a few thousand calories worth of rations (protein bars, jerky, trail mix, things of that nature).

Preparedness is a full-time occupation. With a little forethought you can load your pockets with the basics, without loading them down. Most importantly, never forget that your most important survival tool rides under your hat. Make sure it is full at all times. – Off The Grid News