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survival kit, reviews on survival gear, the best gear for emergency shelters, backpacking, sleeping bags and survival knives. outdoor wilderness survival situations and snow camping.

Five items beginner hikers should carry

595 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Everybody starts out backpacking as a beginner. While experience is the best teacher, here are a few items to take along so that first backpacking or hiking trip is fun and doesn’t become an ordeal.

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A shovel and toilet paper (in a waterproof container) are vital aspects of any backcountry privy construction. (Leon Pantenburg photos)

Make a portable privy or ‘How to do number two’ in the woods

257 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Where’s the bathroom? Where will you do Number Two? If you’re camping, or setting up a campsite, one of the first and most important tasks is to set up the latrine.

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Dry Canyon, near Bend, Oregon.

Start your survival kit with the Ten Essentials

600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

You don’t have any wilderness experience, but you want some. So what do you take along to make sure you get back? Start your survival kit with the Ten Essentials

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Pilot bread

Pilot Bread: Try Alaska’s modern day version of hardtack

600 300 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Hardtack has been an emergency ration since time immemorial. Here’s a look at pilot bread, a modern day version of hardtack widely used in rural Alaska, and why you should consider including it in your survival gear.

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Video review: O-Pen® pocket water purification system produces nothing – and that’s good!

600 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

The measure of success for a water purifier is not getting any reaction from drinking the water purified by it. And that’s what I got after using the Roving Blue O-Pen®. Nothing.

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Review update: Danner®  Incursions – Best hot weather hiking boot?

561 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Use in the field and sustained wear is really the only way to evaluate footwear. I’ve been wearing these Danner® Incursions for well over a year, mostly in hot, desert environments. Here is what I found.

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Best beginner shotgun? Check out a 20 gauge single-shot break action

600 302 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Here is why a simple, single-shot shotgun may be the best choice for a beginner and a valuable addition to your preparedness battery.

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How to choose the best wool pants for winter comfort, camping and survival

600 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

One of the first winter camping items you should get is wool pants. Here is how to pick the ones that will suit your needs best.

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Desert-tested gear that worked really well on Arizona trek

320 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Some people field test gear, then never do a follow-up. But the real test of product quality is over continued, sustained hard use. These products proved themselves – again – in the hot Arizona desert.

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Best canoe? 40+ years and this Coleman is still going strong

600 341 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Good gear is an investment. I bought my 15-foot Coleman Ram-X canoe before setting out on my 1980 Source-to-Sea voyage on the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The canoe is still being used. 

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