Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Survival Gear

Survival Gear Reviews

Hand Tools For Urban Survival

In an urban survival situation, its important for units to be self supportive. This includes being able to do basic repairs to the home or structure the people are staying in and growing a home garden. This is where the hand tools come into the picture.

Hammers

Unlike an air powered nail gun, or an electric powered nail gun, this amazing device only works with the swing of an arm. You hold it in your hand, grasp firmly and swing.

Every urban survivalist should have several good quality hammers on hand. Do not try to get off cheap. Go ahead, spend the money and get a quality product.

It has been my (Kevin) personal experience that hammers made in the USA are of better quality then those made in China. Also, buying made in USA products helps keep the factories here in the states. That keeps the jobs local which means less people on government assistance. So, buy American and keep your neighbors with a job. Or pay higher taxes and buy your neighbors food stamps, its your choice.

Be sure to include framing hammers for fixing walls and roofs, 4 pound hammers and 8 pound hammers in your collection.

Hurricane Season and Disaster Preparedness Plans

Hand crank powered flashlight at the bug out location

June 1 starts off the 2009 Hurricane season. For those of you that live in areas that might be affected by a hurricane, now is the time to make sure your plans and supplies are in place. Lets just review some basic disaster preparedness plans.

Have a primary and a backup evacuation route. This includes everything from interstate highways to country back roads. Drive these roads every once in awhile – check on construction zones and slow areas. If the traffic is slow during rush hour, its going to be at a dead stop (or barely moving) during an evacuation.

Have enough food and water for double to triple the number of people in your house right now, for at least 1 week (7 days). If you live 100+ miles inland, you might have to receive friends or family members that are evacuating from the coastal area. Do not depend on evacuees to bring their own food – most do – some don’t.

Coleman 533 Dual Fuel Camp Stove

Coleman 533 dual fuel stove

The Coleman 533 dual fuel stove may not be small enough to take on an extended hiking trip, but its just right for around a camp site such as a park or survivalist retreat. If you need a stove to take to the lake or local park, then take a look at the Coleman 533 dual fuel stove.

Features

  • Dual Fuel engineering: operates on clean-burning Coleman Liquid Fuel OR unleaded gasoline
  • Fully-adjustable 10,500-BTU burner
  • 2.1-pints fuel tank runs for up to 2 hours on High setting
  • WindBlock system shields burner for maximum heat and reliable operation in all weather conditions
  • Filter funnel included

Part 2 of the Maxpedition Versipack Review

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack

This is part 2 of a review on the Maxpedition Versipack. The first part of the review can be found at this link – Maxpedition Proteus Versipack Review Part 1.

As mentioned in part 1 of the review, this buttpack was picked because of its lightweight and heavy duty construction. The Versipack will be used to fill a specialty role. Which is going to be for 3 – 8 mile day hikes. But before the pack is taken on an all day hiking trip, it has to be put through a few test. In this review, the pack is taken on a short walk through the woods to see how well it carries.

In the first video a 2 quart military canteen was attached to the back of the pack. Well, that did not work out too well. The canteen pulled the pack downwards and back until it almost touched my legs. So the 2 quart was taken off and a 1 quart canteen was attached to one of the side pockets. I wanted to attached a second 2 quart canteen, but it was in the back of a closet that was full of boxes. So never mind on that.

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack Review Part 1

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And from the first moment I handled the Maxpedition Proteus Versipack, I knew the pack is a solid piece of equipment.

One reasons why this buttpack was picked, I needed something to carry just enough gear for a day hike. My current fannypack is a little big, so I decided to downsize.

Not only is this a fannypack, but it has a grab handle on the top. So the pack can be carried by hand, or worn around the waist.

Since the Versipack as ALICE attachment points, this makes the pack a modular system. Instead of carrying a water bottle inside the pack, I added a 2 quart canteen on the back of the pack.

Please note the canteen does NOT come with the pack. The canteen is one that I had on my Maxpedition Vulture II backpack.

I took the canteen it off the Vulture II pack and put it on the Maxpedition Proteus Versipack.

Picking a Good Quality Ice Chest

Two ice chest next to a barbecue pit on a trailer

After a disaster – such as a hurricane – part of the relief efforts usually include bottled water, MREs or canned goods and ice. The ice is supposed to help people preserve their cold or frozen foods. But, this ice is of little good if the person getting the supplies to does have a good quality ice chest.

It has been in my experience that Rubbermaid brand is almost the bottom of the bucket. I have taken a 34 quart Rubbermaid ice chest, put a couple of bags of ice in it. And the next day just about all of the ice is melted.

On the other hand, Coleman and Igloo both offer quality solutions. One of my ice chest includes a 128 quart Igloo 5 day. Your supposed to be able to be able to put ice in it, and when kept in the shade the ice is supposed to last 5 days.

Back in June of 2008 a buddy of mine got married at the beach. My wife and I loaded up the truck, hooked up the bar-b-q pit and headed to the beach to take part in the wedding. In the back of my truck was an Igloo 128 quart ice chest full of ice, drinks and a couple of frozen gallons of water. We got to the beach Friday evening. The Igloo 5 day extreme ice chest was in the back of my truck all weekend, in direct sunlight and day time temps were in the mid 90’s. Sunday, when my wife and I loaded up to go home, there was still ice in the chest.

Solar Powered Sidewalk Lights Instead of Candles

Most people do not realize that they have a renewable light source right at their feet. And that is those solar powered lights along the walkway. If you do not have any solar powered sidewalk lights, take a look at a local hardware store, or big box mart – such as wal-mart, lowes and k-mart. They are usually in the garden section.

When shopping for a solar powered light, do not get the cheapest ones on the shelf. But then again, dont go overboard on the price either. There are usually 2 different colored lights – clear and amber. Do not get the amber colored lens, they do not put out as much light as the ones with the clear lens. Be sure to get the lights that use an LED and not a regular bulb.

The way those lights work, during the day the solar cell recharges 2 AA batteries. As the sun starts to go down, a light sensor tells the unit when to turn on. Depending on how much sun light the solar cell got, that defines how much light the unit can provide. The more sun light the cell is exposed to during the day, the longer the burn time at night.

16 Gallon Portable Water Drum

Storage Drum

Every survivalist should consider some kind of portable water solution. Whether this is 5 gallon buckets, 7 gallon drums or like in this video, 16 gallon drums.

The drum in this video will hold 16 gallons of water, but I only put 15 gallons in it. This is to leave a little head room. These drums originally held some kind of Dr. Pepper syrup. But its nothing that some soap and water will not wash out.

When the drums were bought and brought home, dish washing soap was squirted into the drum, a water hose was inserted into the mouth and the water hose turned on. The water was allowed to circulate through the drum for 10 – 15 minutes. Then the drum was turned over, drained, stood back up and the water hose reinserted.

Tips on How to Bury a Cache Tube

Sometime around 1998, some of my buddies built a cache tube, and filled it with various items. Some of the items in the cache tubes were magazines, ammunition and a Ruger mini-30.

Green PVC is better then white. The green stuff has a life expectancy of around 800 years, buried and full of sewage. Yep, that last part is correct, the green stuff is sewage pipe. So be sure to get it new and not used.

One end cap does not need to be glued on. To make that seal, use heavy duty water proof wheel bearing grease for boat trailers. Boat trailer wheel bearing grease is designed to be submerged in water. Spread it around the outside of the pipe on the end that the cap will not be glued on. Spread it on thick, as the cap goes on it will push the extra in front of the cap, building up a bead of grease.

The end cap that is not glued on, you will have to have some kind of vent hole, or the caps will not stay on, the compressed air will push the caps back off. Use something like a 3/32 drill bit to drill the vent hole, then plug with water proof, heavy duty wheel bearing grease.

Coleman Exponent Sleeping Bag Review

Coleman Exponent sleeping bag

An unbiased review of the Coleman exponent sleeping bag by trained professionals (not really). Both of my kids liked the sleeping bag and found the bag to be comfortable. But, the bag is supposed to have a comfort rating of 32 degrees. Even with temps around 36 degrees, my daughter was still cold, but my son slept good. Here are their stories.

Even though my daughter had a US Army Poncho liner and a fleece blanket in the sleeping bag with her, she was still cold. It might have helped if she would have had a sleeping pad between the ground and the sleeping bag. But we did not have any pads with us, just a poncho thrown on the ground. I told her she needs to develop some warmth skills, like in a role playing game. She did not find that too funny, in fact she just gave me an evil look like I was stupid or something.

My son had his sleeping bag in his hammock, along with a fleece blanket and slept comfortable.

Overall, the sleeping bag seems to be of good quality. However, being made in China the bag is over priced. Coleman has a lot of these products made in Communist China and then puts a “Made in the USA” price on them. If you can catch this bag on sale, or at a reduced price it is a worth while buy.

Katadyn Hiker Water Filter Review

Water filters for SHTF

The Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option in the water filter market. Its available through most large sporting goods outlet stores, such as Gander Mountain and available through several internet stores.

Even though the Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option, there is nothing “cheap” about this product. It appears to be made out of quality material, is durable and is an overall well made water filter.

Katadyn hiker water filter

The first time this Katadyn filter was used, my son, my nephew and I were on a 6 – 8 mile hiking trip through the piney woods of East Texas. The trip started off a on the deer lease we belong to. From there, my nephew, my son and I hiked between a couple of the rolling hills, across 2 creek bottoms and stopped for our first rest break on an old logging road. This was when Korey (my son) realized he had lost his water bottle. Luckily for the three of us there was a deer stand near by where we found a discarded plastic water bottle.

Description of the Large ALICE Pack

Large ALICE backpack

The All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (also know as “ALICE Pack”), was first introduced by United States Army in 1974. The ALICE pack was intended as a replacement to the aging M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment [LCE] and M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment.

The ALICE pack has become popular with the players of airsoft and paintball. The popularity of the ALICE pack is due to the quality of the materials it is made out of, its easy to customize, and the packs area easy to find in most military surplus stores.

With the introduction of MOLLE packs on the market, there has been a shift from the ALICE pack to the MOLLE pack. Personally, I think the alice packs are more durable then the MOLLE packs. The ALICE pack frames are aluminum and will not break like the MOLLE pack.

The military service people that I have talked to prefer the ALICE packs over the MOLLE pack, mainly due to the plastic frame of the MOLLE breaking.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018