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Survival Gear : 11 Underrated Items!

From equip2survive.com

Survival gear is a key component to survival. The quality of your survival gear and the choices you make in terms of what survival gear to include in your packs and kits cannot only make a difference in terms of your chances of survival, but the right survival gear can make a huge difference in terms of your comfort level during a crisis. Comfort level during a crisis contributes to a positive mental outlook… which we all know is critical in a survival situation. So arguably, the right survival gear can make all the difference in the world!

When most of us think of survival gear, we tend to picture the standard fare on the survival gear front. In fact, it almost feels like some of these items are borderline cliché' doesn't it? Mora knives and Ka-Bar knives, Gransfors Bruks axes and hatchets and Wetterlings axes and hatchets, Bahco Laplander saws, Maxpedition packs, Leatherman Multi Tools… while all terrific pieces of survival gear, we get it already. Right? Wouldn't you like to see something new in the world of survival gear? Something different?

So how about a list of less conventional, underrated and frequently overlooked survival gear items worth your consideration? How about a few unique survival gear choices that you don't see every day might want to think about including in your kits? Well… we just happen to have a few "off the beaten path" survival gear recommendations for you!!

Goal Zero Rugged Solar Kits for Outdoor Use!
One of the most common types of "crises" that can happen to any of us at any time for any number of reasons is an electrical power outage. Cover your bases at home or on the road with a Goal Zero solar kit!
11 Goal Zero Ruggedized Portable Solar Power Kits.

Goal Zero
is a Utah company that makes a full line of solar panels, battery banks and accessories that are perfect for the survivalist, prepper and avid outdoorsman or woman. The Goal Zero kits (solar panels, battery, inverter, outlets and everything!!) are brilliantly and designed specifically for rugged and outdoor use. Goal Zero has thought of every little detail and you will be up and running with their solar kits right out of the box! The Goal Zero kits also perform like champs. The solar panels are made using only the best and most sensitive photovoltaic crystals. You can even charge with Goal Zero solar panels after dark with your campfire!! (demonstrated in our Campfire Electricity video)

Goal Zero makes a kit to fit virtually every need from recharging your phone or laptop during the work day to powering important appliances in a power outage. Several of these kits are even great for sleep apnea sufferers who love to go primitive camping but need to power their CPAP!

Why go without power during a crisis (or even while just having fun in the outdoors) when you don't need to?

Survival Gear- UVPaqlite Glow in the Dark Light Source!
Inexpensive, lightweight, compact and waterproof, the UVPaqlite is a "no brainer" for a backup light source. Start saving money on batteries today!
10 UVPaqlite

The UVPaqlite is a glow in the dark mat, pad or tube that you can charge with sunlight or flashlight and it will glow for hours! Why is this so great? Well… this little guy can help you conserve your batteries! It's not nearly as bright as your 700 lumen flashlight, but it is great for a nice soft light to help you find things in your tent, on a shelf, or even read by so you don't have to unnecessarily use your batteries up.

Not only will the UVPaqlite save you money on batteries, it is also much lighter and more compact than a flashlight (batteries and flashlights are heavy!), so they are easy to stick in any survival kit, bug out bag or 72 hour kit without worry about weighing your kits and packs down!

Survival Gear - Works Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener!
Keep all of your knives and tools razor sharp quickly and easily with the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener. Get your knives scary sharp in moments! This thing is addictive once you start sharpening. It's so easy to use that a monkey could do it!
9 Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener

The Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener is absolutely awesome. While it is probably not an item that you are going to put in any of your survival kits or bug out bags, it is going to be your best friend in terms of putting a razor sharp edge on all of the tools that you do keep in your kits and bags. Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener is compact, easy to use and it quickly produces razor sharp edges on all of your survival knives and tools! I recently acquired on of these as a Christmas gift and I have sharpened all of my knives to shaving sharp… and even my Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet is razor sharp (takes the hair right off my arm with ease) thanks to this little sharpener! If you are a fan of a razor sharp convex edge and would love to put a shaving sharp edge on any and all of your knives at will, the Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener is a absolute must! And the best part is... you will become a master sharpener in seconds! Even if sharpening knives is not your strongest suit, you'll be sharpening like a pro with the Work Sharp WSKTS Knife and Tool Sharpener instantly!
Survival Gear - The Emmrod Compact Fishing Rod!
The one thing typical survival fishing kits all seem to lack is a good ole fishing rod. But why do without when the Emmrod line of compact rods is available? The rods are compact enough to fit in a bug out bag but fish like full sized rods!
8 Emmrod Compact Fishing Rods

Emmrod compact fishing rods
are the most incredible compact rod we have seen. They cast and fish like a full sized fishing rod yet they are compact enough to stick in a bug out bag! The secret to their design is the coil system that dictates the "action" of the rod. Brilliant concept and design. The Emmrod compact fishing rods even come with a decent quality reel but can accommodate any standard reels.

And for the more sophisticated fishermen and women out there who prefer different actions of rods depending on the types of fishing they are doing, the handles and rods that make up the Emmrod compact fishing rods are completely interchangeable... meaning that with a single handle you can accommodate various rod actions (light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy) by simply adding a few additional $20 rods to your fishing kit (as opposed to having to buy complete rods and handles at full price)! How great is that?

These Emmrod compact rods are very popular and can be difficult to find, especially if you are interested in a particular style or action... so if you find one available in the style and weight you are looking for, do yourself a favor and don't dilly dally. Get it while you can!

Survival Gear - Havalon Piranta Folding Knife
Certain survival tasks require a razor sharp knife to do them right. Skinning and processing game, filleting a fish and more. Never be caught in the field with a dull blade again with the Havalon Piranta folding knife!
7 Havalon Piranta Folding Knife

The Havalon Piranta Folding Knife is a brilliant hybrid between a surgical scalpel and a hunting knife. This thing is great for hunters or anyone who would love a razor sharp blade instantly by simply changing out a disposable blade! While the Havalon Piranta Folding Knife is not made for tasks like chopping or batoning, it is incredible for detailed tasks like processing fish, game and wildlife.

The Havalon Piranta Folding Knife is not going to replace your favorite primary fixed-blade survival knife or bushcraft knife when it comes to those more labor intensive tasks, but it will absolutey make a nice addition to your kit for those highly detailed tasks that require a guaranteed razor sharp edge.

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Survival Gear - Guyot Designs Squishy Containers!
Containers are an essential part of any kit or bug out bag, but they can be bulky, tricky to pack and downright awkward in a kit. Not anymore! Try a Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl or Cup!
6 Guyot Designs Squishy Containers

Guyot Designs' line of "squishy" cups and bowls are an incredibly overlooked option for survival containers in our view. These soft silicon containers are incredibly compact, lightweight and versatile. The silicon used in these bowls and cups is similar to what you see many modern silicon kitchen items like kitchen utensils, pot holders, baking & oven mats, baking molds & more. These brilliant little squishy containers are completely "crushable" making them really easy to stuff into any pack or kit, yet when pulled out they instantly bounce back to their original shape!

These Guyot Designs Squishy Containers are also heat resistant, meaning you can hold a hot beverage or soup in your hands without burning them. While these amazong little containers are not the best choice for boiling water for drinking, they are so lightweight and compact they are well worth stuffing in each of your kits!

Survival Gear - Guyot Designs Squishy Containers!
Typical packs and bags don't protect your gear from moisture like you need them to... but the Sealine Pro Pack Bag with shoulder straps does!
5 Sealine Pro Pack Dry Bag with Shoulder Straps

Moisture can be your enemy in a survival situation. Your clothing, sleeping bags and bedding, fire making materials and more need to stay as dry as possible to perform at their best. Not only that, but knives and tools can suffer from moisture too! Typical packs and bags that are popular with disaster preparedness, prepping, bushcraft and wilderness survival enthusiasts are generally not great at keeping moisture at bay. But what if you could do better? Who might know a little something about keeping gear dry? Maybe canoe and kayak enthusiasts? How do they keep their gear dry while on the water? With roll top dry bags!

The Sealine Pro Pack Dry Bag with Shoulder Straps is a brilliant combination between a roll top dry bag and a backpack! Instead of needing a separate pack cover (that can get snagged by a tree and pulled off of your pack without your knowledge, exposing your gear to moisture) or lining your conventional pack with trash bags, why not get a pack that is fully adjustable and comfortable to carry AND protects your clothing and gear from moisture??

Survival Gear - Katadyn Base Camp Gravity Water Filter!
Why pump when you could let gravity do the work? Filter enough water for your entire family with this compact yet gravity fed water filter! The Katadyn Base Camp is a must for every household!
4 Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter

There are many terrific quality water filters available on the market today, but most of them either A) require manually pumping in one fashion or another (like the classic and best-selling MSR EX MiniWorks Microfilter), or B) are gravity fed (like the Berkey gravity fed home water filters) meaning gravity does all the work for you so you don't have to pump), but they are too bulky or heavy to carry with you. Well, how about a quality filter that offers the best of both worlds? That's what you get with the Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter. The Katadyn Base Camp is an innovative compact gravity-fed water filtration system. Simply fill the roll-top water reservoir with unfiltered water, roll the top shut like a common dry bag, hang from a tree or hook and let the gravity-filtered water flow from the hose and into your favorite bottle or bladder for drinking! Let the Katadyn Base Camp do all the work while you do other camp tasks or maybe even just relax!!

UPDATE!: The Platypus GravityWorks Filter!


While the Katadyn Base Camp has been around a lot longer with proven track record of performance and reliability, the The Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter takes that same gravity filtration concept to yet another level. While the Katadyn Base Camp works quite well, the GravityWorks' bladders are clear allowing you actually see how things are coming along on the water filtration front. And, unlike the Base Camp where you put dirty water in the single bladder and the filtered water runs out a hose into a Nalgene bottle or other container, the GravityWorks is a fully self-contained system with a separate bladder for both the dirty and the clean water. The GravityWorks is also quite a bit more modular and customizable. 

That being said, to be 100% honest with you… we do not think that these mild improvements in GravityWorks over the Base Camp make the GravityWorks worth nearly double the cost of the Katadyn Base Camp. Because the GravityWorks costs twice what the Base Camp does (and the Base Camp filters 200 gallons (758 liters!) compared to the GravityWorks 150 liters), the Katadyn Base Camp is still our first choice in a compact gravity fed water filter… by a landslide!
Survival Gear - SOG Multitools with Compound Leverage!
How about a multitool that does half the work FOR you? Step into a SOG multitool with "Compound Leverage" to get more power with less effort from your multitool!
3 SOG Powerassist Multitools with "Compound Leverage"

When it comes to multi tools, Leatherman is the name that most outdoorsmen and women immediately think of. In fact, Leatherman to multitools has basically become the equivalent of what Kleenex is to facial tissue. Now when it comes to wilderness survival or bushcraft enthusiasts (or any other outdoor activity for that matter), the Leatherman Wave remains the classic that endures as their most popular model. Despite already being their most popular multi tool, the Leatherman Wave enjoyed a significant surge in popularity with Survivorman fans as Les Stroud used it repeatedly in multiple episodes of Survivorman… but the Surge, Skeletool, Charge, Squirt and others are all great tools as well. And let's not forget Leatherman's military grade tactical MUT, the epitome of uber "tacticool" multitools that will be sure to make all of your friends drool with jealousy!!

There are other terrific multitool brands out there as well, but we would like to take the opportunity to advocate for a bit of a "sleeper" in the multitool world: The SOG Powerassist Multitools! Now the SOG multitools with Powersassist, Powerlock and Compound Leverage have been around for some time now, but what makes these tools so great is a patented feature called Compound Leverage that employs a gear drive system to multiply the power and pressure you apply with your hand into even more power from the pliers/cutters! This means the tool does more of the work for you and is literally a force multiplier! Because of this innovative Compound Leverage innovation, tasks are easier, require less strength and minimize your chances of pain & discomfort or risk of injury when attempting tougher more demanding tasks (like the famous two-handed "butterfly squeeze" manuever done at your chest). We love our Leatherman tools, but the SOG multiltool with this amazing Compound Leverage technology has become our go-to tool and our first to grab over the Leatherman when both are available!
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Get more for your money than WetFire with Weber FireStarters! This stuff is so close to WetFire is spooky... yet somehow the Weber version gives you larger cubes, 3x more of them and is STILL less expensive!!
2 Weber FireStarters Lighter Cubes

Most survival, preparedness and outdoor adventure enthusiasts are quite familiar with a nice little commercial survival fire starting "tinder" called WetFire made available by a big name in survival gear, Ultimate Survival Technologies.WetFire is basically a little white cube of waterproof survival fire starting amazingness! Just scrape a little off onto your fire bed or tinder bundle and… it will ignite with just a tiny spark! Even better… it is waterproof!! You can actually float a cube of WetFire in a cup of water and it will still ignite while floating in the water!! Many disaster preparedness-minded folks carry a bit of WetFire with them in a capsule, film canister or Ziplock bag in case of emergency because it is such a lightweight, compact and an incredibly effective fire starter even in very wet conditions!

Sounds great, right? How can it get any better than that? Well… while WetFire is not ridiculously expensive (just shy of $8 for 8 x 5 oz. cubes), what if we sweetened the deal by telling you that we could get the same product in larger quantities at a fraction of the price?? Well… we can.

Please allow us to introduce you to Weber FireStarters. This stuff from Weber is actually marketed as charcoal starter for your charcoal grill, yet someone figured out that this stuff is virtually the same exact stuff as WetFire (there are YouTube videos demonstrating the uncanny similarities. Here is a great one: Weber Fire Starters Possible WetFire Tinder Clone), only in larger cubes, larger packages and for half the price. As we indicated earlier, WetFire sells for just under $8 and you get 8 cubes that are 5 oz. each. With Weber you get 24 cubes that are 11 oz. each… and pay a grand total of $3.29 (at the time this was written). So let us do the math for you: 40 oz. for $8 (WetFire) or 264 oz. for $3.29?? Enjoy the savings!
Survival Gear - SOG Multitools with Compound Leverage!
Don't be fooled by it's appearance. It may look like it can from the Civil War era (it actually did), but it still heals the majority of minor skin afflictions at a rate that will never stop impressing you. Once you try J.R. Watkins Petro-Carbo Salve, you will use it on everything!
1 J.R. Watkins Apothecary Petro-Carbo Medicated First Aid Salve

When most disaster preparedness/survival-minded individuals think first aid, the first thing they think of is QuikClot, the incredible hemostatic clotting sponge that stops bleeding on contact in most cases. While stopping bleeding is absolutely critical in a crisis situation, most of the physical ailments and injuries that we experience in the field are not a "bleed out" threatening situation. Can you remember the last time you nearly bled out? Probably not. But I'll bet you can remember many instances of having sun burns, mosquito bites, bee stings, minor cuts and scrapes and other minor skin maladies and injuries, can't you?

Vastly more common are the types of afflictions that tend to create discomfort or are simply annoying… like cuts, scrapes, stings, bites, splinters, chapped skin, sunburns, blemishes, ingrown hairs and so much more. While none of these conditions are life-threatening at all, they are incredibly commonplace in the outdoors and can be irritating, uncomfortable and can really take the fun out of your outdoor fun, right?

Well that's why you should always take J.R. Watkins Apothecary Petro-Carbo Medicated First Aid Salve with you wherever you go! This stuff is amazing. It has been around since three years after the American Civil War ended, but you'll be amazed by its healing abilities! "Watkins Salve", as we love to call it (since it's so much shorter than "1 J.R. Watkins Apothecary Petro-Carbo Medicated First Aid Salve") is a proven topical analgesic with spruce, camphor and cajeput oil. It does wonders on all of the common skin afflictions listed above and more. Hang nails, dry/chapped/cracked skin, blisters, minor burns, staph infections, spider bites, athlete's foot… it will actually draw out pimples and ingrown hairs!

And Watkins Salve works fast too! You will be amazed! We put it on nearly everything. The 4.37 oz. tin will last you years, even if you use it all the time (and you will). Watkins Salve might not save you from bleeding out, but it will provide impressively quick and effective healing relief for the vast majority of other common skin blemishes and injuries! It's a must for every first aid kit, toiletries kit, purse, desk drawer… someplace you know you'll have it with you at all times! This stuff is a game changer!!
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