Today’s market offers a wide variety of survival accessories. Even the basic ones, like knives, have a multitude of variations and features – from the material of manufacture to the size and shape of the blade. So what should you pay special attention to when going into the unknown?
Large knives with a fixed blade, such as a machete, can completely change your position in a survival situation and are a great convenience for activities such as creating shelters or cutting down trees. The durability of smaller blades is unbeatable, plus their versatility is also worth noting. They can be used as a regular knife, for chopping, or even tied to a large stick to create a spear. Small knives, hunting knives can also be used for detailed work, such as weaving or tying branches. Another option is a folding knife in a scabbard, which can be a convenient carry option in the wild.
Carbon steel is most commonly used for large knives such as machetes or axes. This material is more prone to rusting and requires a coating or mirror polish to reduce corrosion. Stainless steel, usually found in small blades, is the most popular option available and often the least expensive. With both materials, a general rule of thumb is that the lower the carbon content, the faster the edge will dull. The higher the carbon content, the sharper the edge will stay, but it will be more difficult and expensive to resharpen.
There are many portable water filters available in the market. A popular, proven brand may do a good job of filtering water and withstanding prolonged use. They can also be clunky and expensive, well over £500.
Then there’s the Lifestraw portable water filter, which costs less than £100. It is used by both tourists and humanitarian organizations in third world countries. It weighs only 55 grams and is the perfect tool to help you survive in extreme situations, such as survival in the wilderness.
The Lifestraw cannot filter salt (to filter salt water, you must distill it – ed.) or heavy metals, chemicals or viruses. In a survival or urban disaster situation, you will need to use your head first and foremost. Avoid drinking from groundwater sources in a populated area after severe flooding or a powerful earthquake. They may be contaminated with chemicals and sewage. Before using Lifestraw, you will want to move farther from the area to a water source that is less likely to be contaminated with microbes and chemicals.
These tools are extremely useful because of their versatility. They don’t have the best knife or screwdriver, but you’ll be able to use them in many survival situations in no time. When choosing such gear, go for quality and durability. There are multi-tools that contain 30 tools, but they break down in less than a year. This is just a waste of time and money.
Binoculars are often overlooked as an essential piece of survival gear. That’s because there’s a good chance you’ll end up in a place you don’t know very well, especially in the mountains, vast wilderness or forest. With a good pair of binoculars, you’ll be able to see more detail from greater distances and with less eye strain than with cheap binoculars. Checking the terrain from a distance helps you identify water sources, as well as routes along which to cross various obstacles.
Anyone who is serious about spending time outdoors and surviving in a survival situation should consider carrying at least a headlamp, which can serve as a lantern if hung from a tree branch. A headlamp allows for hands-free use and emits a beam of light that can be adjusted so that it is pointed at the ground several inches in front of you, fully illuminating the path you are walking on. It can also be set to shine at an angle if you are climbing a slope or even considering climbing a tree for any reason. Even in the darkest forest or cave, a headlamp will look like the light is shining in every direction you look. This is an essential item that should be in every person’s backpack, and even in the car (changing a tire on the side of the road at night will definitely be helped by a headlamp, making it easier to see everything).