• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


The ten best survival gifts for the outdoors enthusiast

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What gift can you give a person who loves the outdoors that they will really use and appreciate? Here are suggestions for dad, mom or any prepared adult.

by Leon Pantenburg

Everybody wants to know about gear. What should you buy, and what is junk? SurvivalCommonSense reviews a lot of different survival/preparedness products, and here are some we recommend.

1) The SurvivalCommonSense STORE is online, and new products are added regularly, so with this bit of  blatant commercialism, take a look at some hard-to-find survival kit items:

This wallet-sized firestarter is waterproof and works under the most extreme conditions. Click on the photo to learn more.

This wallet-sized firestarter works under the most extreme conditions.

  • Wallet-sized waxed fire starter: This waxed cloth fire starter is invaluable for lighting a fire under difficult conditions. This wallet sized set includes 3 strips. Each strip in the package is sized 1.5″x 5″ and individually packaged. The package includes complete instructions on how to use to light a fire.
  • Check out the knives.

2) Wallet: A valuable part of your personal survival gear is a wallet. It should be roomy enough to carry some very basic survival items. But it should also be comfortable enough to  carry everyday. I checked out the T.H.E Wallet J.R. and the Maxpedition Spartan (Neither of these companies advertise on SurvivalCommonSense.) Both have strong points, and either is a good choice as part of your everyday survival gear.

3) Biomass stoves: A stove fueled by biomass – sticks, twigs, natural flammable materials, just makes sense.  You don’t have to worry about running out of fuel, and there are no empty canisters or bottles to fool with. I checked out several stoves this year and recommend  the SilverFire Hunter, and the Solo Stove Titan.  You can’t go wrong with a Solo Stove or SilverFire Scout.

4) Water: The Life Straw portable water filter: I’m always on the alert for ways to shave ounces from my backpack. Cutting water weight is one option, and the LifeStraw Portable Water Filter can really help. Check out the review

5) Survival Knives: Please read the reviews before you buy anything!

Old Hickory paring knife: You can order one here.

Best fillet knife: My choice for the best fillet knife on the market is the Bark River Sportsman.

Cold Steel SRK:  My old, reliable SRK has been with me since 1991, and has been used hard.

Cold Steel Master Hunter:  Here is a good deal on a used, not abused Master Hunter.

Leatherman Wave: I’ve used my WAVE for well over a decade. Get yours here.

Mora: These inexpensive utility knives are great for beginners, and you can afford to have several.

The Kelly Kettle is a simple, effective tools for boiling water fast.

The Kelly Kettle is a simple, effective tool for boiling water fast.

5) Kelly Kettle Trekker: Biomass-fueled outdoor implements are the way to go, IMO, and here is a great way to cook and  boil water quickly, using sticks, twigs and other forest debris. Here’s the video review.

6)Map and compass: A GPS is useful, but not without a map and compass!

7) Mini BIC lighter: Butane lighters are fairly reliable for starting fires. But make a few simple modifications and additions, and you can make another unique survival tool. Get a mini BIC here. View the video on how to upgrade a butane lighter.

8) Books: “Surviving a Wilderness Emergency:”  This book, by wilderness survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt, is my go-to book for basic, common sense wilderness survival.

I met Peter several years ago at the Deschutes (OR) County Sportsman’s Expo after attending one of his seminars.  I sat spellbound through every presentation he did that day. Afterward, we chatted at his booth, and I bought a copy of  “Surviving a Wilderness Emergency.”  That night, after absorbing all the survival common sense, I  threw away several items of survival gear I’d carried for years.

9) Survival fire starters: During a backcountry emergency, you may stake your life on your firemaking tools. The Lightning-Strike is a system worth considering.

10) Socks: Nothing is fun outdoors if your feet are cold. Try these wool or synthetic socks to keep those toes toasty.

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