Latest Product Reviews

LifeStraw Mission Review

Released in late 2014, the Mission is one of the latest in the LifeStraw product line. You may have seen our other reviews of the LifeStraw Personal (their best selling filter and very common amongst the survival community) and the LifeStraw Go (a water bottle filter system).

The LifeStraw Mission is a gravity powered water purifier that uses an advanced ultrafiltration membrane with a 0.02 micron pore size, removing virtually all virus, bacteria and protozoa (99.99%).

Technical Specifications

Here are the technical specifications on LifeStraw’s website and we’ll talk about each of the features indepth in our review below.

Purifies 18,000 liters / 4,755 gallons of water to 0.02 microns (20 nm)
Removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.99%), and viruses (99.999%) that can contaminate water
Exceeds US Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards
Compact roll bag reservoir available in 5 liter (1.3 gallon) and 12 liter (3.1 gallon) sizes
Reduces turbidity (muddiness)
Flow-rate of 9-12 liters (2.4-3.2 gallons) per hour
Lightweight: 0.43 kg. (0.96 lbs)
Ultrafiltration hollow fiber membrane
Requires no electrical power, batteries or replacement parts
Easy-to-clean pre-filter and purification cartridge
All raw materials are BPA free and US FDA compliant
No aftertaste: LifeStraw doesn’t use iodine or iodinated resin chemicals

What’s In The Packet…
Included with the LifeStraw Mission is the water bag, the filter, tube, carry sack, strap and four spare mesh pre-filters.

Our Review

At the top of the water bag is a strap that clips together and you can hang this from a tree branch so that the water can be purified.

There is also an additional fully adjustable shoulder strap that attaches to the ‘D’ loops at the top of the bag which allows you to either clip it to your pack or shoulder carry it. The bag itself (which is exceptionally lightweight weighing in at less […]

Introduction to FireCord!

This new-fangled 550 FireCord (pictured above) is making the rounds on the Internet at the moment and in particular, online survival equipment stores. It is essentially paracord with an extra red strand for fire starting purposes.

FireCord was invented by the folks at Live Fire Gear LLC over in the US. The huge upside about FireCord is that you’ve got a fire making capability (which mind you, is both very convenient and handy) as well as a lot of cordage (keeping the inner strands in mind).

You can order FireCord from the Live Fire Gear website: https://www.livefiregear.com (for our American fans) or Cam’s Cords http://www.camscords.com.au (for those in Australia).
How to Use It
FireCord looks just like regular paracord. The only difference is that when you cut the end off you will see the red strand.

After removing the end, pull out 3 hand lengths of the red strand. Using the back of a knife or a small rock, rub the fibres back and forth until you get a nice fluffy mess. You can then use a flint/steel fire starter, a match, a Zippo or butane lighter to light a fire.

After you’ve finished, seal the end off of the remaining cord with a quick flame from a match or butane lighter. I recommend the ‘Spool Tool’ made by TricornE LLC for conveniently storing a large amount of FireCord. It even has a small blade for cutting the cord and a holder for a butane lighter to seal the ends off.
Nifty FireCord EDC Ideas…

Replace your boot and shoe laces with 550 FireCord
Replace the lanyard of your neck knife with FireCord instead of regular paracord.
Replace the zipper pulls on your bags with FireCord
Purchase a FireCord bracelet or make one with a fire starting […]

By |October 12th, 2015|Cordage|0 Comments|

Wise Foods Review

I’ve been wanting to review Wise Food products for quite some time mainly because I’ve heard a lot of good and bad things about them and I wanted to see for myself what’s the deal with these wonderful freeze dried storable foods with a flattering 25 year shelf-life. Recently I stumbled across Everlasting Foods who are authorised distributors of Wise Foods products here in Australia. Daniel the owner of Everlasting Foods and I got in contact and after seeing what we do here on this website in regards to reviewing survival products, he asked me whether we’d like to check out some Wise Foods products. I agreed, so he kindly sent me three different sorts: Creamy Pasta & Vegetable Rotini, Chilli Macaroni and Apple Cinnamon Cereal (yum!).
You can visit Daniel’s website at www.everlastingfoods.com.au. Be sure to mention that we sent you and you will receive 5% off your order!
A bit about Wise Foods…
For those who don’t know or are new to prepping, Wise Foods (check out the main company website at www.wisefoodstorage.com), is a wholly US based and owned company that specialises in manufacturing bulk emergency freeze dried meal replacement supplies. They have various sizes of bulk packages and kits, some of which are available through Everlasting Foods.

Here are some benefits:

Easy to prepare – just add water
Up to 25 year shelf life
High quality and great taste (yes that is actually true!)
Affordable and convenient (affordable – I’d say reasonable and as for convenient, a big yes!)
100% vegetarian for those of you out there who would prefer not to touch meat
Much lighter and more compact when you compare them against canned and other packaged foods

Wise Foods are recommended by top survival experts and other personalities. They […]

  • 16/06/2012 NEWS: Picture of Bob Cooper at Harry Waring Reserve where he teaches people nature survival  in the bush or desert He is also launching a book about survival .Picture of Bob Cooper  using striped bandages to tie up sticks for a shelter . Pictures Theo Fakos
    Permalink 16/06/2012 NEWS: Picture of Bob Cooper at Harry Waring Reserve where he teaches people nature survival  in the bush or desert He is also launching a book about survival .Picture of Bob Cooper  using striped bandages to tie up sticks for a shelter . Pictures Theo FakosGallery

    The Bob Cooper Survival Kit: Tailored To & Tested In Aussie Conditions – Our Review

The Bob Cooper Survival Kit: Tailored To & Tested In Aussie Conditions – Our Review

Well a couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to review Bob’s book “Outback Survival”. Today I’m going to be reviewing his Survival Kit which is in use by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, government agencies, pilots and mining companies as well as prepared people like me. Bob originally developed the prototype for this kit back in the late 80’s. He’s also personally tested it out on a 10 day, 160 + km trek through the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. This current kit is the result of Bob’s extensive testing and refining.

Let us first take a look at the container. It is made of sturdy, durable aluminium with a water-resistant seal in the lid.  You can see the Bob Cooper Outback Survival branding on the front. The container is designed for cooking in which is one big plus in my opinion. The total weight of this kit is 434 grams. The dimensions of the container are 130 x 95 x 43mm – small enough to fit inside a pants pocket.

The kit contains 32 fantastic components – the absolute bare essentials for surviving out in the bush:

Compass, flint and hacksaw blade
Cotton pad, whistle, knife and plastic mirror
Tweezers, and plastic bags
Needle, fishing line, hooks, swivel and sinkers
Trace wire, cord and pencil
Stock cubes, tea bag, coffee and glucose
Puritabs, Condy’s crystals and paracetemol
Scalpel, bandaids and alcohol swabs
Antiseptic wipes (contains iodine)
Pencil and instruction sheet
Magnifying lens and multi tool
AAA Torch and playing cards

We will now take a look at each of the contents individually:

Folding Knife
Included in this kit is a decent fine-edge folding knife: a Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops. It’s one of my favourite folding knives and is excellent at what it is capable of. A […]

Hoorag Survival Bandanna

The kind folks at www.hoorag.com sent me several bandannas some time ago to test out. I’ve been really busy lately caught up with lots of things relating to running this website and have only got a chance to put a short review up here.

Hoorag is based in Florida in the USA and specialise in producing this revolutionary bandanna.

Anyway, I’ve been wearing this one-piece, tubular bandanna on hikes and bush walks for over a month now as it is winter down under. I typically use it as a neck gaiter or a bandanna over my nose. Its very comfortable and effective at stopping the cold from getting to your body. I’m very impressed with it.

They are made in China from 100% moisture wicking polyester microfibre and are rated at UPF30+ sun protection.

According to the Hoorag website, this bandanna can be worn in 10 + different ways:

Face mask
Neck gaiter
Head band
Alice rag
Balaclava
Pirate rag
Pony tail rag

For the survivalist, a bandanna can be used for:

1. Signal (also see signal mirror)
2. Neck Gaiter for cold weather
3. Tourniquet (But for Snake Bites use a Sawyer Extractor)
4. Pot Holder
5. Collecting Wild Edibles
6. Sun block for neck
7. Sling (first-aid – also see medical kits for you BOB)
8. Sling (as in David and Goliath)
9. Sling (for a staff )
10. Cordage  (strips or as is)
11. Washcloth/Towel (Bathe out of a Collapsible Bucket)
12. Sweatband
13. Waist pack/pouch
14. Hobo Pack
15. Padding a hotspot
16. Cleaning Patches for Firearm
17. Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader
18. Gun Wipe Cloth (with oil)
19. Toilet Paper
20. Mark a Trail
21. Dish Rag
22. Napkin
23. Eye patch
24. Pre-water Filter (like Coffee Filters)
25. Clean Glasses and other lens
26. Ear Muffs
27. Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb
28. Dust Mask (in Urban Survival)
29. Wet and wear for Hot Weather
30. Sneezing

(Adapted from “30 Uses for a Bandanna”, http://survivalcache.com/30-uses-for-a-bandana/)

Hoorags are available […]

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    Uniden UH950s Review – Emergency Comms / Survival Two Way Radios

Uniden UH950s Review – Emergency Comms / Survival Two Way Radios

Today we’re going to be taking a look at Uniden’s latest flagship handheld UHF CB radio, the UH950S.

Uniden is a leading manufacturer of two way radios and other communications systems.  All their units are designed and engineered in Japan.

It has the following features:

Designed and Engineered in Japan
UHF CB Commercial Grade Handheld Radio
5 Watt Maximum TX Output Power
Metal Alloy Chassis
Waterproof
Master Scan™ & Rapid Scan
Voice Scramble
Long Life 2300mAh Lithium-ion Battery
Backlit Keypad and LCD Display
(CTCCS) Interference Eliminator
Range Extender (Duplex) Capability
VOX Hands Free Capable
Digital Coded Squelch
Auto Battery Save
Open Scan
Group Scan
Battery Level Indicator
Busy Channel Lockout Function
Roger Beep
Instant Channel Programming and Recall
Keypad Lock

Included in the box:
– 1 X UH950S UHF Radio
– 1 X Rapid Charge Desktop Cradle
– 1 X SM950 External Speaker Microphone – Splashproof‡ (JIS4)
– 1 X Cigarette Lead Cable
– 1 X EM950 – Earpiece MIC
– 1 X Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery
– 1 X AC Adaptor
– 1 X Belt Clip
– 1 X Owner’s Manual

Additional Features:

Range: 15km
Operating Time: 27hrs
Size of Unit (mm): 58mm (W) x 39mm (D) x 111mm (H)
3 Year Warranty

First Impressions
When I first held the Uniden UH950s I thought to my self “Wow! It actually feels very solid!” I instantly liked the size, look and the solid and durable feel. Looks and feelings aside, let’s get down to business and analyse the features of the UH950s.

Pros
The antenna of the radio seems to be just the right size, not too long and not too short. The white backlit LCD display is easily readable. In my testing of the audio quality while transmitting I found the audio to be remarkably clear and intelligible compared to some lower to medium end Uniden radios that we also have.

The operating time of 27 hrs on low power is 3 times more than comparable models of […]

Bob Cooper’s “Outback Survival Guide”- Review

“The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain” – Bob Cooper

I think I’ve found it – a survival guide relevant to Australia’s environment and conditions.

First, let me introduce you to Mr Bob Cooper, the man who wrote it. If you’re into survival and outback adventures in Australia, the name would ring a bell. If not, well I’m going to introduce him to you. Described by the BBC as “a world authority on desert survival”, he’s been Australia’s survival legend for the past three decades. I’d call him the “John Lofty Wiseman” of Australia. Well in fact the book I’m about to review would be somewhere in the ranks of Lofty’s fantastic work “The SAS Survival Guide: A Practical Guide to Surviving Anywhere” which is my absolute favourite, super-duper, real deal survival guide applicable to many environments worldwide.

So here’s a bit about Mr Cooper courtesy of his website www.bobcoopersurvival.com where you can purchase this book “Outback Survival”, his outback survival kit, snake bite first aid kit, a couple of survival and documentary DVDs, some very special Aboriginal styled “Headsox” head wraps and signup for different levels of wilderness survival, first aid and tracking courses.

“For over 30 years Bob has honed his survival skills by learning from many traditional cultures. His experiences include living for extended periods with Aboriginal people in our Western Desert, sharing bushcraft abilities with the Bushmen of the Kalahari in Botswana also with the Lakota Sioux Indians in Dakota and jungle time with the Orang Asli people in Malaysia.
His roles have included instructing the Special Forces Units, conducting survival courses throughout Australia, lecturing with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service on survival in the Mexican Desert and delivering […]

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    Resqme Key Chain Car Escape Tool: One Device Every Driver Should Have

Resqme Key Chain Car Escape Tool: One Device Every Driver Should Have

What would you do if you found yourself trapped in a vehicle wreck or found yourself in a sinking vehicle? What would you do if you found yourself stuck in a building under siege or on fire? This little device I’m about to review will help you get through a window or cut a seatbelt in a vehicle.

Let me introduce you to the Resqme…

The Resqme emergency key chain car escape tool is made by Resqme (www.resqme.com) which also produces a lineup of other safety products including the alertme (keeps you alert while driving), the protectme (extra strength pepper spray – only legal in WA by the way), the defendme Personal Alarm (which we’ll be reviewing shortly) and several different prepareme lifesaver kits which are basically a package comprising their other products.

The resqme is an innovative 2-in-1 key chain car escape tool that is made in the USA which is about the size of a car remote and is designed to extract you or someone else from a motor vehicle via a window in the event of a crash or sinking. It has a powerful built-in steel spike glass breaker capable of punching through laminated or tempered glass and a very sharp seatbelt cutter for rapidly cutting through jammed seatbelts. Over 3 million drivers around the world carry a Resqme for safety’s sake and general peace of mind.

With the Resqme, you can be 100% confident that you will be able to rapidly cut through jammed seatbelts and smash stuck windows when seconds count.

The Resqme Keychain Car Escape Tool is the smallest, most compact car accident escape tool currently on the planet. It is just  3.04 cm (1.2 in) high, 7.50 cm (2.93 in) wide and 5.4 mm (0.21 […]

By |July 2nd, 2015|Rescue|0 Comments|

Gerber STL 2.0 and 2.5 Fine Edged Folding Knife – Review

Two folding knives out of Gerber’s many impressive innovations in knife engineering and construction are the STL 2.5 drop point fine edge folder and its little brother – the STL 2.0 drop point fine edge folder. These rugged little featherweight folding knives can accompany their owner almost anywhere without causing interference. You will forget that you have one of these knives in your pocket – until you need it.

The ultra-lightweight handle of both of these little knives is made from stainless steel. The STL 2.5 weighs in at 42 grams and STL 2.0 weighs only 28 grams. The half-arc grooves stamped into the lower edges on each side of the handle offer the holder a steady grip with thumb and index finger while deploying the knife one-handed using the thumb hole in the blade.

 

The frame lock system prevents the blade from closure during use for safety.

The blade material of the STL 2.5 is 7Cr17MoV stainless steel which is similar to the 440A stainless steel the STL 2.0 is made from. Both knives performed excellently at slicing open box tape, cutting rope, whittling and peeling fruit. The blades came sharp enough to shave paper into curls, but not sharp enough to shave hair. The fine edge of the blade allows for rapid and easy sharpening in the field. This knife does not have a belt clip, but does have a small lanyard hole which you can put a lanyard through for additional security. I recommend that you only use this knife for light tasks, as the very thin blade and frame lock may give way causing injury. The Gerber STL 2.5 was not designed to be used as a primary survival knife – it is too small, and […]

Xpectre Nomad Take-down Survival Bow – Review

Xpectre Inc. specializes in manufacturing take-down survival tools such as the Combination Survival Tool, the Compact Survival Tool Kit, the Compact Belt Pouch Fishing Kit and 3 similar take-down survival bows. Today we will be taking a look at the Nomad Survival Bow.

Xpectre’s Nomad Survival Bow breaks down to a super compact 16 inches – the most compact survival takedown bow we have seen on the market. Its small size makes it easy to store in a Bug Out Bag, INCH Bag or Survival Kit. The included arrows also break down to only 16 inches making this a very compact piece of kit. The included carrying case holds the dis-assembled pieces of the bow and arrows, and also doubles up as a back or waist quiver.Both limbs are made from resin filled fibre glass and the riser is made from fibreglass. The riser includes an arrow rest made from metal coated with rubber to ensure a smooth release of the arrow.

The type and placement of the arrow rest means the bow can be used by both left handed and right handed archers. This bow performs equally well when shot right handed, and left handed. All you have to do to convert this bow for left handed use is flip it upside down.

The limbs of the bow break down into 2 pieces, and do not need tools to be assembled. Simply slide the pieces of the limbs into the bracket in the correct order then slide the 2 assembled limbs into the brackets on the riser. You might want to mark the limbs before you disassemble the bow so that when you assemble it next time, the limbs will be bending the same way to eliminate uneven wear on the brackets. […]