Slingshots and Survival Knives
[David, Goliath and Rambo…]
I sort of went off on a tangent in the Tekna [Knives] Article and I thought I would write an interesting piece, more of a story than a review on something specific. A collection, memories of growing up and experiences. What made me think of Slingshots? Well, I mentioned an Aitor Jungle King II Survival Knife I had when I was a teenager and that I always had a Tekna Diving Knife with it. They were a pair.
The Aitor Jungle King II has a set of Slingshot forks built into the plastic sheath. There is the connection.
There is a story in here that some might find entertaining and informative. Especially in uncertain times like we live in now and so many people assembling Survival Tools. Others might be bored by it all, in that case, I’m sorry. We all have a story to tell and this is a little bit of mine growing up.
I cannot remember if I traded for this Slingshot or if a friend gave it to me. I was probably about 7 or 8 years old, but I "obtained" a Slingshot. It was an aluminum frame Wrist Rocket.
I have to say something now, I have checked a lot of websites and Saunders has the name "Wrist Rocket" Trademarked. The Slingshots shown on those websites are not the Wrist Rockets that I remember. Further, I don’t particularly like their version or modification of the Wrist Rocket and yes, I have owned them. I just don’t like the brace to yoke angle. I still have mine and I prefer it to any other Slingshot I have ever used or owned. I have bought a lot of "Wrist Rockets" over the years and have never found one better than the old one.
Something else I have noticed whilst perusing various websites is the fact that some people are selling Wrist Rockets as Self-defense Weapons. Very interesting...some would say outlandish, but more on that in a little while.
For now, it is about 1978 and I have this neat new Slingshot. It is awesome, all my friends want one and their parents won’t let them have one. My Dad is ambivalent and my Mother takes the damned thing every chance she gets and hides it in the same place where I always find it. In the cabinets over the washer and dryer. I don’t know if the confiscation [theft] was symbolic or if she simply forgot that she always placed it behind stuff [junk] that was behind the folded sheets up there…but I always found it there.
I never busted any windows with it and never shot another kid with it. There were several acres of pine forest where we lived in that neighborhood and behind the western portion of the neighborhood, there was a "sandpit." At least that is what we called it. Large clay banks too…odd combination, but it does exist.
I would go back there and I would shoot that Wrist Rocket until my arms were so tired I could barely lift them. Occasionally, a band would break and snap back into my face, which was always special. I shot the thing so much that I became "deadly" with it. I could "kill" cans at about twenty feet, just snapshooting, raise the thing to eye level and let a projectile go and POW! Another tin can met an untimely demise.
Oddly enough, an Archer who was a Hunting Buddy of my Dad’s indirectly taught me the finer points of Slingshot Shooting when he attempted to teach me how to shoot a Compound Bow. His name is Rick Jennings, some of you might know him on The Internet as "The Gun Guy." Rick was a good friend of my Dad’s. Rick shot a deer; I think his first, with my Dad’s ancient but slick .30-40 Krag. Not the strongest action or most powerful cartridge but a good rifle on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where the deer are fast and the brush gets thick. I can still remember the pride both of them had at the time. I remember the massive amounts of batteries my Dad and his Friends would buy for the hunting trip, for portable CBs in a walkie-talkie configuration. Good times.
[Mr. Rick Jennings has an excellent website, an incredible resource for Gun Owners. Just do a Google.Com search for, "The Gun Guy."]
Well, I shoot Compound Bow a lot better now although I hardly shoot anymore. It was almost impossible for Rick to teach me then…I just did not have the patience for it really. But it sure carried over to the Slingshot.
The key to many of these things, I am learning, is in the release and follow through. It is funny, I never could throw a star, knife, spike or hatchet until I realized that I had to release like an Archer or a Catapultist [Fancy term for a Slingshot Aficionado!]. By that I mean this, you release with no snap and no fanfare, you let it go as if it turned red-hot instantly. Just…let…it…go…smoothly.
In that one motion and the reality of that motion, you have the key to accuracy and consistency with Bow and Arrow, Slingshot or Thrown Edged or Blunt Weapon…you know, like a Boomerang, but let’s not get too far afield in this little story…
Where was I? Oh! Snapshooting at about twenty feet…could do it very reliably. In fact, I even amazed my Dad on a few occasions. One time when we were rabbit hunting, he had this little Spanish-Made .20 Ga. double barrel shotgun he loved. My oh my, that was a fast handling little scattergun. Deadly on rabbits. Anyway, I would take the Slingshot sometimes. I would climb in the truck and we would go. He would look at the Wrist Rocket sitting on the seat between us, spit Skoal out the window of the truck and mutter something about me being full of shit…and we were on our way.
I did in fact kill a rabbit at about twenty-five feet with that Wrist Rocket before he could get it with the little .20 Ga. I shot a lot of rabbits with that Slingshot, but I only beat my Dad once. That rabbit flashed and you can call it luck…but I’ve done it more than once. Just once with Dad.
That was about 1980 and I remember we were hunting in a field about one half mile from railroad tracks. It was a great day. I think my Dad sort of liked that…that I could do that. Sort of made a believer out of him.
I’ve read about Zen in Archery, Japanese Combat Archery and Sport Archery, Kyujutsu and Kyudo, respectively. And as I understand it, there is a moment in time that is perfect. That moment is when Archer, Bow, Arrow and Target are One with The Universe. When everything is perfect and the shot is true.
That’s sort of like the perfect Snapshot. When you Snapshoot and everything is as if it is…One with The Universe, and it is an amazing thing. It’s as if there is a connection between Shooter and Target and everything in between the brain and hands and that target are connected and in an instant, they are One.
It took about two years of practice with a Slingshot to get that good. A kid can get pretty good with a Primitive Weapon, trust me.
I also remember making my Dad so damned mad he could not find the words to scream. He just went red and his mouth was going and nothing was coming out. That was a hint to get out of his Airspace.
He found out that I "borrowed" [theft] two boxes of Hornady .30 Caliber Bullets from his reloading desk. He went to load up some .30-06 rounds and found out that he was a little [COUGH COUGH] "short" in the projectile column… He loved the peace and quiet of the woods, hunting and fishing…and simply sitting at his huge, oak desk and reloading…and I miss seeing him too.
I was experimenting, you see. Not content with the occasional bag of white marbles sold as Slingshot Ammunition, excellent "Tracer" Ammo for a Sling, by the way… I wanted to see what some real BULLETS would do!
I was shooting .30 Caliber Jacketed Soft Points [JSP], if I remember correctly, they were in the 150-165 grain range. And what a hit!
A word of caution is in order now…if you are a kid and you happened across this site or this little story, please realize I’m not talking about shooting the whole cartridge, meaning what you put in the gun. I’m talking about just the bullets, as my Dad was an avid reloader of ammunition. Please don’t do this…
I was down in the good old sandpit and I was tearing up some targets! WOW! We’re talking about sending a .30 Cal. JSP Bullet through a half-inch thick piece of plywood, not rotten plywood either! It was not "fresh," brand-new plywood but not what I would consider "rotten" either. It was good plywood. The bands would snap and you could hear the smack on the plywood. Mostly shooting at ranges from about twenty to forty feet. Now, sometimes they did not go through, sometimes they would stick in and you would see half of the bullet sticking out. Still quite impressive if you ask me…especially for a long projectile that was cartwheeling end over end…
I was placing the bullet in the pouch by simply laying it in there. I tried placing the base of the bullet in the center of the pouch. Not good at all, dismal in affect. It never survived in that position from the instantaneous, flinging force of the bands on release…
The eerie thing about using long rifle projectiles in a good Slingshot is the ricochet-hum and other interesting sound effects you hear, especially when that round hits at approximately 100 Feet Per Second [FPS] and does in fact ricochet off into space. You can hear it for quite a distance as the projectile flies end over end through the air.
You can routinely penetrate half-inch plywood at about fifteen to twenty feet and as far as forty feet with a good Slingshot and equally good ammunition for it. I’ve given up on sound effects now and when I want to get some good ammunition for the Wrist Rocket, I buy .50 Cal. Lead Balls for Muzzle-Loading. They work just fine. Cheaper too. I wish I could find .70 to .75 Cal. Lead Balls, I think those would be the maximum in this size Slingshot.
I will spare you the description of the rabbits, squirrels and vermin I shot in my youth with these sorts of projectiles out of a Wrist Rocket. You can sum it up in two words, "humane" and "effective." I have never hit a small game animal with a Slingshot and wounded them; every one was a clean kill.
A few years after my Dad died, my Mother was dating a Mechanic who specialized in the transmissions of huge dump trucks and other Earth-moving equipment. So, he knew I needed some ammo for the Wrist Rocket and he started bringing me home all sorts of bearings. Not rusted but shiny, new bearings. The whole series of bearings were no good, worn out, but if you knocked out the individual ones, they were not worn, they were uniform.
I had ball bearings from approximately .30 Cal. All the way up to about what would be .75 Cal. These were round, steel ball bearings. I had hundreds of them.
Then, I had other bearings. These were cylindrical, approximately one-half inch in length and about three different diameters. Approximately .30, .40 and .50 Cal. These were flat on both ends, they were also steel.
I would sit out in the yard with a hammer and a piece of railroad track that my Dad had used for an anvil and I would beat the bearings out of the housings. At one time, I probably had well over 1,000 of both types of bearings. Hunting and Target Shooting was good!
The steel ball and cylindrical bearings were approximately 30 FPS faster than a similar sized lead projectile. That’s a guess, they might have been even faster. They did not pack the punch that lead did when shooting at plywood (as per my admittedly un-scientific testing) but they were possibly better for hunting because they were faster which meant less lead-time on a running rabbit and small game are not as tough as plywood!
Around the same time, I just started using the projectiles my Dad never had a chance to use for his reloading. I had a plethora of projectiles to choose from. My Dad never had a chance to teach me to reload ammunition. I never had the patience for it while he was alive. I wish we would have had at least a few more years together. He taught me a lot; this is one thing we missed out on together.
So, I broke out the big projectiles then. My Dad was a big fan of the .45-70 Government Cartridge. Speaking of Mr. Rick Jennings, I believe he was present when I touched off my first .45-70 Govt. round out of a Marlin M1895 Lever Action! WOW! What a round! Maybe one day I will be able to afford that Jim Brockman Customized Marlin .45-70!
A Timeless Classic…
Anyway, I had all of these .30 Cal. Projectiles for reloading that would never be used and a few hundred .45-70 Govt. Projectiles as well. Some JSP and some JHP…copper jacketed, of course…
My Mother was going to simply throw most of this stuff away regardless, so I used them. I spent a lot of time shooting in the woods, trust me.
I cannot tell you how to shoot a Slingshot accurately. I can tell you that you need a consistent anchor point as you do in Archery. Usually,
the corner of the mouth. The pouch has to launch from the same place every time for consistent accuracy. Because this is a very dangerous place to have in line [your face, meaning, your precious eyes] with two lengths of surgical tubing under extreme stress, I have to tell you two things in case you have not figured it out for yourself:
Now, after a while, you will naturally develop your own Instinctual Shooting Style with a Slingshot. This is Snapshooting too. You can become so good that you will transcend the need even for a consistent anchor point for the pouch, to a degree. You will just find yourself to be One with the Sling and that’s that!
For a right-handed shooter, the slingshot will be in your left hand. The top-most fork will be the left fork, as you tend to slightly cant the slingshot over to the right a few degrees. [Just about the same as Jim Cirillo’s weakhand shooting method with a handgun.] Some people use this as their "sight," it is their aiming device, the left fork.
So, I can tell you with the utmost confidence, next to the Bow and Arrow and the Crossbow, there is no finer "Primitive Weapon" than a good Wrist Rocket-type of Slingshot. For the long term, for something that would last a lifetime with no surgical tubing replacement bands to be had. A so-called, "TEOTWAWKI" situation, the "David Sling" would be a better choice with the Wrist Rocket type of Slingshot used until Mastery is gained with a true Sling…The David Sling. David Slings can be made out of a single piece of leather if you have a large enough hide to cut one from. The straps and the pouch can be all one, continuous piece of leather…simple and effective.
The David Slings have the added benefit of being able to launch much larger projectiles. Some of these Slings, with practice, can hurl a stone almost as large as an adult’s fist over 100 yards with a great degree of accuracy. They have been used in Combat in ancient times, as well as by Palestinian and Irish Terrorists with success. I have a picture of a Rioter/Terrorist in Ireland using one and just two or three days ago [On or about 11-29-01] on NBC or ABC Nightly News, I saw a Palestinian whipping a "David" Sling and loosing a projectile at Israeli Police or IDF. That is not to say something "positive" about these people or anything. It’s just a fact. These people have severely injured and killed soldiers/police with these Slings. They are not toys. They are definitely weapons and they most certainly have a place as a Survival Weapon for hunting.
I mentioned earlier that while viewing some websites, I have noticed that Wrist Rockets are being marketed as, "Self-defense Weapons." What sort of illegal agriculture are these people smoking that are selling these Slingshots as Self-defense weapons? COME ON!
That is not to say that Slingshots do not carry with them lethal power, they are lethal in my opinion. They can kill. They have killed. Marketing them as something to protect yourself with in this day and age is entirely irresponsible. This is a world of guns, knives and bludgeons. If you want to be well-rounded when it comes to Self-protection skills, you need to study firearms, edged and impact weapons. Very simple.
When I was a teenager, my Dad bought me two books that are excellent. If you have a Son or Nephew that likes the outdoors, consider this a heads-up on a couple nice books for them. I highly recommend them. One is "My Side of The Mountain" by Jean Craighead-George. The other one is a bit more interesting in some respects…
"Deathwatch" by Rob White is a little known classic in my opinion. A College Student who works as a Hunting Guide is in turn hunted by the Man who hires him to be a Guide for a Hunt.
Our Hero, Ben, The Hunted Man, is able to take the Villain’s powerful slingshot and some lead buckshot ammunition. The story is one of survival in a harsh environment while being actively hunted. Quite a good read.
Ben uses the Slingshot to obtain food, shooting small birds, etc., and when the time comes, gains the upper hand on the Villain and repeatedly strikes said Villain with buckshot or rocks from the Slingshot.
The Villain does not perish, but is severely injured, Ben being somewhat the humanitarian, more than the Villain!
It’s an interesting story, it is a story of using a last-ditch weapon, a Primitive Hunting Weapon made with modern materials, to great affect against an armed man. You have to read the book.
One does not go into Combat with a damned Slingshot, no matter how good it is. The aforementioned Palestinians and Irish don’t if they can get their hands on a firearm, common sense, right? People have the craziest fantasies! Anyway, let’s say that you did in fact run into a situation where this is all you had for a weapon. Could it be effective?
Of course, it launches projectiles fast enough to kill. It is, even in extremely skilled hands, slow to reload. It’s just not something that you want to buy with that in mind.
Some people have been killed while hunting, hiking and fishing. I can see situations where you would simply have a Slingshot lying about the campsite and as a last-ditch weapon, utilize it. Absolutely, when you are intent on surviving, you will use anything, but that is entirely different.
I usually carry my Original Wrist Rocket Slingshot when I go fishing, etc. Good for snakes and whatnot. Good for pests that insist on knocking over trash cans and chewing forty gallons worth of stinking, disgusting trash into bite-sized bits all over the yard. I usually use small, hard rubber balls called, "Superballs" for pests in the yard as it is sometimes illegal now to kill pests…these Superballs are very dense and about as big around as a quarter some being as large as a half dollar.
Be careful where you carry a Slingshot and know that in some States they are illegal to hunt small game with, although I believe in skilled hands a Wrist Rocket is hands down, much more humane than say, a .410 Shotgun.
Please understand, I’m Pro-Hunting and I’m not "ragging" on Hunters at all, or on firearms hunting. I’m simply saying that I have never NOT instantly and humanely killed small game with a Wrist Rocket.
The reason I am saying this is, some people think that Bowhunting is a "gimmick." Some Bowhunters think that hunting small game with a Bow is a gimmick. And…some people think that hunting small game with a Wrist Rocket is a gimmick. Other Hunters often look at handgun Hunters with great disdain! But when the rubber meets the road it is all about individual skill. When I was Bowhunting a good bit, I became accustomed to using Bludgeon Tips with a Recurve Bow. After many missed shots and much practice, I managed to bag a Pheasant! HA! [I think I was using a Flu-Flu Arrow on that occasion] Well, it was a lot of practice and soon I had no more time for it. I don’t hunt much anymore…but there are people who are excellent shots with Bows and they can hunt like that with much better results. I would never be so arrogant as to say that this form of hunting should be declared illegal, or because I cannot do it or do it consistently that it is a "gimmick."
If you enjoy shooting Slingshots and you become very accurate with one, and you wish to hunt small game with one, I think that is great. You can put a Wrist Rocket in a shoulder bag with some steel ball bearings and your hunting license pinned to your jacket, walk down the road, and enter the woods, cross roads, everything. Try that with a shotgun in a State that is not "Gun Friendly." Inevitably, someone will have the local SWAT Team called out for the "Psycho walking down the road with the machinegun." Unfortunately, most States that are not "Gun Friendly" are probably not going to be "Slingshot Friendly" either.
Strange days…don’t look for things to get much better either.
If you are skilled with a Slingshot, it is legal in your area and you simply enjoy eating squirrels and rabbits as I do, by all means, have fun! Baked or fried North American Woodland Rodent is a delicacy in my opinion!
So, let us smoothly segue via Slingshot into the next section of this epic…
The Survival Knife
One of the most controversial pieces of Outdoor Cutlery you can imagine! Scorned by some in The Knife World, absolutely despised, hated and condemned by some quite frankly… Others see it as something that makes sense. I’m in the latter category.
One group believes that the utmost strength is required in anything that you would refer to as a, "Survival Knife." There is something to be said for that.
They then go on to "test" these knives to the point of breakage by beating them against rocks repeatedly until they fail. Or sticking them into a vise and bending them until they fail or the handle comes off. Or by placing the edge on a seasoned log and then hammering on the spine of the knife to drive the edge through the log, sometimes resulting in a catastrophic failure of the knife.
The knife is then compared to other fixed blade knives and pronounced a piece of garbage by the "Tester."
I have read reviews about hammering this and pounding that. For one thing, I don’t know how many of you have ever hunted big game. Compact Saws, Hatchets and Knives are a part of the grisly business of cleaning and quartering game. There is no escaping that.
When a Hunter has to, say, split the pelvic bone of a large animal, they do not take a rock and beat on a large hunting knife to drive the edge through. They use a stick.
Just what exactly do you need a knife to do? There is a simple, flawed logic in the arguments of many people when it comes to what their idea of a Survival Knife is. We are Human Beings, we are not Apes. We have the ability to take a tool like a knife and make many tools with that tool. We do not have to make a knife perform like a hammer; we can cut a piece of tree and make a club to hammer stakes in the ground. If we need to pound something into dust or grind it, find a couple of rocks, etc. The focus of learning Survival Skills for the Wilderness should be that.
I remember watching a documentary on South American Indians. The one fellow had a stone ax and the tip, merely a four or five inch section of tip, of a Machete. The sort that was World War Two Issue, not like a Bolo. With that, he made his blowguns, extensive amounts of cutting, whittling, carving and scraping. To make two halves of a blowgun that looked approximately 8 to 10 feet long. Then, the darts…it was an amazing documentary to say the least.
I would say to the critics of hollow handle knives this, if you do not want one because you feel they are weak or unnecessary, that’s fine. Just make absolutely sure that your decision is for all of the right reasons. Make sure you know how to survive with a broken section of whatever blade(s) that you carry. Make sure you can survive if necessary, with only a Swiss Army Knife. Make other tools; make sure you learn that.
The reason for this is, we can get into advertising and marketing hype, the simple fact of the matter is, and anything can be broken. And, no matter how high a quality knife you have, there might be one flaw or void in that blade, somewhere. The best way to survive is to consider the knife broken anyway. What would you do with that broken knife? Could you utilize it if it were broken?
Food for thought.
I have used an Aitor Jungle King II on countless hiking, hunting, fishing and camping trips. I have literally used that knife, purposely, for every conceivable task you could encounter in a "Survival Situation." It never failed. What I did not do was place demands on the knife to be a tool where it could not be a tool. It is a tool to make other tools, to perform tasks. That’s all any knife is. I never spent any time beating on rocks and boulders with it or freeze drying the plastic sheath and hitting it with a hammer…
I even did something with the knife that it was designed to do but I do not believe in doing! You can empty the contents of many hollow handled Survival Knives and then insert a pole and lash the knife onto the pole and use it as a spear. The Jungle King I and II have a hole on each side of the integral guard for lashing to a pole. I did this and speared fish while camping and the threads [for the end cap] were not damaged, the blade did not loosen…
The reason I do not believe in doing that goes back to Human vs. Ape. I can take a knife and sharpen the pole! I can barb the pole! This is good enough to spear fish with! OK?
What if I had to kill a boar or deer ala’ "John Rambo" [GAK! Antigun Actor in that movie] in that first movie? I imagine I could do that with a regular, sharpened wooden spear although I would probably have to finish the animal with the knife or let it bleed out and track it later.
Best to stay elevated when you have wounded a boar or even a deer…and all you have is a sharpened stick. Of course, some folks hunt Boar with a Bowie Knife, but that’s a different story entirely.
In a survival situation, the last thing you need is to be injured by a wounded animal.
You don’t really want the pole to break and have your Survival Knife running off into the brush never to be seen again…that’s not good.
More on the Aitor Jungle King II
As I said before, the sheath to this knife has a set of forks that fold back onto the sheath, quite nicely. This is a very hard Slingshot to hit with. I was very competent with a Slingshot when I tried this and it took a lot of separate practice to achieve any sort of accuracy with it. So, if you buy one and you want to get the most out of your little "Survival Knife System," you better practice with it a lot.
It is almost dangerous, in my opinion, for a novice. If you do not have the bands aligned perfectly with the forks, the projectile could strike the forks or the end of the sheath. That might result in a very close-quarters, high speed and powerful ricochet, right back into your face. The forks are only about one inch wider than the sheath at the points where the bands are attached. That’s not much, much less than a regular Wrist Rocket type of Slingshot.
The real cool part about the Jungle King II was the capsule that was supplied for insertion into the hollow handle. I advise you to check one out if you know how to use a knife to make other tools. In that case, you would probably be well served by the Aitor Jungle King II if their Quality Control has remained the same as it was in the mid-1980s. If you want to beat your knife on rocks like a Caveman, pass on this knife.
I don’t have much of anything positive to say about this knife. I had one at the same time I had the Aitor Jungle King II and the Buckmaster from Buck Knives handled about as well as a brick with a round handle.
Many stories surrounded the Buckmaster. Each side of the guard had a large hole in it, for lashing to poles as with many survival knives, but these were threaded to accept these pieces of semi-pointy steel… And the rumor was, that along with the lanyard ring between the threaded end cap and the body, that you could attach a rope and use this as a Grapnel Hook, you know, you throw it and it anchors, then you climb up.
I think I would rather hit myself with a clawhammer and save myself the trouble. Just what I want to do! I want to climb up a rope that has a razor sharp hunk of steel on the end of it. Talk about a potential Darwin Award waiting to happen… What might have been a survivable but backbreaking fall is now fatal because your own knife is sticking out of your forehead.
When some people realized how preposterous this was, they changed their tune and started saying it was NOT for that purpose. What other purpose could Buck have had in mind? As an anchor perhaps? I think not. Too expensive to be a boat anchor. The bottom "pin thing" that was threaded to go into the guard could be put in place and acted as a better handguard while chopping, but the other pin if placed in the top of the guard would get in the way and poke into your hand. So these were NOT intended to be removable attachments to enhance the guard and protect the hand. I believe, they were intended to be used in conjunction with the knife as a Grapnel.
If you get a chance to buy one, pass it up. If you have one and you like it, please forgive me, it’s only my opinion.
Chris Reeve Knives
I have handled hollow handled Survival Knives from Parrish and even a rare Ray Beers Custom hollow handle knife. As nice as they both were, robust, they still cannot compare with the absolute simplicity and toughness of Chris Reeve’s single piece design.
Mr. Reeve takes a single piece of round stock tool steel and simply machines it into the shape of a knife with a round handle. Then he mills out the handle so that it is hollow. It is simply the strongest knife of this type that you can own. For what you get, they are definitely worth the money.
He also makes just about the sharpest knife you will ever have the pleasure of purchasing.
If you are looking for this sort of knife, this is the one to buy. All of the tool steel is heavily and nicely coated with Kalguard, I believe. I know it is coated, I think that is the particular coating used. Everything but the edge. Excellent knives.
Mr. Reeve does not supply anything in the handle of his knives for your emergency use. I can advise you as to what to put in there, however…
Survival Items in the handle
This does not take the place of a small Survival Kit and a First-Aid Kit that you should always have on you as well. Be redundant. These things are incredibly important. Don’t buy junk matches, but British Lifeboat Matches. Buy a flint and learn how to use it, firing the hot sparks into cotton balls after assembling the necessary sizes of wood tinder from the ground in your area. Buy a larger, Doan Manufacturing Magnesium Firestarter with a Flint Rod imbedded into the side of it for your other pack. Have more than one compass! Have a couple of pocketknives as well. Swiss Army, only Victorinox, are excellent for Survival Kits.
All of the things you would need to survive can be carried in a very small pack. If you go for extreme compactness, all of these things would fit into a Government Surplus M16 Magazine Pouch [holds three, 30-round mags]. Again, be redundant! That means another, more involved fishing kit as well. More fishing line, more brass wire or perhaps a few Thompson locking steel snares [ready-made]. And in another, similar sized magazine pouch; you can place a few Trau-Medic Dressings, especially important while hunting. The rest of the First-Aid Kit, Sawyer [Snakebite] Extractor, Butterfly Bandages, Steri-Strips, Space Blanket, etc., will fit in there. You might be safe, some other people are not and you or someone else might be injured. These things can save your life.
The space and the weight they take up are not a concern. Especially when compared with what you can do with the items. They can save your life. Redundancy is important. What if your Compass gets smashed by accident? What if you lose one? You have another, maybe two more. They weigh nothing…and they are relatively inexpensive. Buy a few of them.
If you are near water and can catch a few fish, you can eat. You have reliable methods to start a fire; you can cook them, boil water to purify it and to stay warm as well. You have a Compass, you can find your way. Best to have a topographic map of the area you are hunting, hiking, fishing or camping in…
All of these things are important.
But if everything is lost, however that might happen, and you have that Chris Reeve Knife on your belt, by your side, you can make it if you have to. You have enough to survive and make it out. That’s all that counts.
I will be posting Articles by myself and others, on our individual Survival Tins we have assembled…stay tuned.
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