Wise Company Emergency Food Review: Survival Grab & Go

Wise foods is one of the most trusted names in emergency food storage. They collaborate with Exxon Mobile, who provides their packaging for all their products. This packaging is called Metallyte and provides maximum protection against oxygen and moisture in their sensitive products.

Wise Survival Food’s innovative approach to providing dependable, affordable ready-made freeze-dried or dehydrated products is one of the things that keeps customers coming back for more. They manufacture quality products with not only the best shelf life options, but also the greatest tasting food with the freshest quality ingredients.


General Features: Wise Company Emergency Meals

wise company emergency foodThe 20 pound Wise Company Entrée Grab and Go Food Kit features 30 four serving Mylar pouches, offering a varied assortment of different gourmet entrees.

This is a great option for being able to open one pouch without taking away from the shelf life of the other individual pouches and the buckets not only stack for easy storage, they have a durable handle for easy transport in emergencies.

This particular product has a 25-year shelf life, which is among the best in the industry. A Wise Emergency Food Kit will feed one person for two months or will feed four people for two weeks. All you need to do to reconstitute the food is pour in boiling water and wait about ten minutes.

No pots or pans are needed and you can simply throw away the packaging when you are finished eating. In addition, it’s a way to have good peace of mind in knowing that, in the same space as a washer or dryer would take up, you can store enough emergency food to feed a family of six for up to one full year.

Wise Food Supply Kit Includes:

  • 30 separate entrées in Mylar packages all in one storable bucket.
  • 25 year shelf life
  • Will feed one person for two months, or four people for two weeks
  • A large amount of food entrees to choose from.

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Shortfalls: Wise Company Emergency Meals

wise food storage comThere seems to be some concern that there might not be a full four servings in each package as promised. However, considering that sizes and rations are often reduced greatly in an emergency situation, we must take into consideration that many of these entrees or for just that: emergencies.

If you are planning to use these for storage purposes for off grid situations or long term camping, then you could get one and see how it works out for you, then choose accordingly the next time.

There are also allergens to take into consideration. Most of these meals are made containing soy, eggs and other products that might cause an allergic reaction in some people. Caution is advised if this is the situation

One final note, many of the meals in the Wise Company Food Buckets are meant to be paired with some kind of dehydrated meat. For instance, the alfredo meal doesn’t include any chicken or meat.

The pasta itself is still gourmet quality and the best you will find in and of the popular emergency food kits, but I just wanted to make people aware of this. It’s not really even a shortfall, just something to keep in mind as you order a bucket of your own.

 

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Recommendation: Wise Company Foods

wise emergency mealsWise Food Storage Company is, as far as I am concerned, the cream of the crop in the category of survival meals and survival food kits. This of these buckets as the gold-plated of Ferrari class of survivalism. If your family to be prepared to any emergency and not suffer any quality of life from eating rations or energy bars, a Wise Food Busk is the right choice for you. To see how ahead of the curve Wise Company is, just take a look at the other most popular emergency food supply options here.

Wise Food Storage is a company that has a great many people trusting their product and their popularity is certainly on the rise. They boast a 99% customer rating as well as a 100% quality guarantee, so there are really no worries in trying the Wise line of products.

With a longer shelf life than most emergency food companies have, they offer an extensive array of food choices including milk, eggs and gluten free products that are well worth checking out.

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Top 5 Best Survival Lighters 2016: Waterproof, Windproof Lighters

Top 5 Best Survival Lighters 2016: Waterproof, Windproof Lighters

Nothing is more frustrating than finding yourself without a reliable lighter when you really need one. Now, imagine having that feeling, which is duly amplified, in a true emergency situation. Not only is it incredibly frustrating, but there may even be times it could be life threatening!

You definitely need a reliable way to start a fire in an emergency situation, for more than one reason. First, you may need to start a fire to cook with, to warm yourself with or to dry clothing that has gotten wet. You might also need to boil water for purification purposes. You might need to light candles, lanterns, torches, road flares, or any one of a hundred other necessary situations. The fact of the matter is that when you are in the midst of an emergency, a device to start a fire is an absolute necessity.

So make sure that you have something reliable and easy to use. In order to help you make an informed choice, we are going to go over the top five survival lighters here today. You should come away with a better understanding of what types of lighters are available and what will fit your own specific needs.

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company Zippo Tesla Ultimate Survival Technologies Capsule Lighter
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Type Flint and Tinder Electrical Arch Butane with Piezzo Ignition Liquid Naphtha and Flint
Size 6.1 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches 3 x 1.75 x 0.5 inches 2.5 x 0.5 x 1.5 inches 0.2 x 2 x 4 inches
Weight 1.44 ounces 4 ounces 1.4 ounces .8 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Review

best outdoor lighterThe first item is the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter. It comes in a lightweight plastic case with a water resistant o-ring seal that keeps the contents nice and dry. The reliable flint wheel ignition creates a spark that then ignites the frayed wax tinder stick. Four of those are included and refills can be purchased. You can also change the flints, just as you do with a regular Zippo lighter.

With this waterproof lighter, there is no need for fuels of any type and no need to worry about wicks. The tinder sticks do need to be replenished and it is advisable to go ahead and stock up on these when you purchase the lighter, but since you never have to worry about fuel this is a great survival or camping lighter.

The Zippo name is a trusted one in the field of lighters to begin with, but this lighter also comes with the Seal of Approval by the North American Hunting Club.

  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.09 pounds
  • Type: Flint and tinder

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Tesla Coils Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter Review

best camping lighterNext is the Tesla Coils Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter. This electric lighter requires no flame, butane, wicks or flints so there is absolutely no hassle.

All you have to do is charge it up via USB and it will create an arc of electricity with the simple push of a button. Since there is no flame, there is no need for it to be a wind resistant lighter, and it is economical as well as environmentally friendly. The lighter also has the safety feature of not being able to be lit while the lid is closed, which makes for no worries in just tossing it into your bug out bag and forgetting about it until it is needed.

The Tesla Coils lighter is great in any situation, for camping, backpacking, storms, emergencies, etc. You can turn it completely upside down to light virtually anything and there is no blowback from a flame to burn your fingers. Holding it in an on position will not create a lighter that is too hot to touch either.

  • Dimensions: 3 x 1.75 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Type: Electrical arch

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Ultimate Survival Technologies Floating Lighter Review

best lighter for camping The Ultimate Survival Technologies Floating Lighter is a floating butane lighter with a piezzo ignition that works against the odds in the most adverse of conditions. It holds 14 ounces of quadruple refined fuel, but is shipped empty. Its design is not only water resistant with an o-ring seal, but also windproof up to 80 miles per hour and comes with a two-year warranty. Talk about a windproof waterproof lighter.

This device was designed specifically with the toughest users in mind and quality tested to ensure that its durability to meet the roughest standards with which it might be faced, making it one of the best windproof lighters on the market.

Having one of these in your supplies will be a plus, as anyone can operate it, much like a normal every day lighter.

  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 0.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Type: Butane with piezzo ignition

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Waterproof Peanut Capsule Survival Lighter Review

waterproof torch ligherFor something a little different, we have the Waterproof Peanut Capsule Survival Lighter. This lighter uses liquid Naphtha fuel and regular flints that can be purchased anywhere you can buy fuel and flints for a Zippo lighter. Refilling and changing the flint is also done just as you would do with a Zippo, just pull out the insert and pour fuel into the cotton. Postal regulations dictate that these types of lighters must be shipped empty.

There is an o-ring seal between the top and the bottom that eliminates the worry of fluid loss and keeps the lighter safe from leaks. It attaches easily to key rings and lanyards with its open and close chain. It is a handy lighter to have in your gear, there is no doubt about that. The ease of use and refillable options mean that it will be something you can count on for many years to come.

  • Dimensions: 0.2 x 2 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.05 pounds
  • Type: Liquid Naphtha and flint

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Everstryke Match Pro Survival and Emergency Lighter Review

best torch lighterOur last item for review is the Everstryke Match Pro Survival and Emergency Lighter. Completely redesigned from previous models, this waterproof lighter now boasts a replaceable flint and a wick that lasts about 10 times longer than competitors last last and is replaceable as well. It strikes hot the first time with a flame that burns at over 600 degrees F. It contains a built in o-ring to indefinitely keep fluid from leaking out and has a lifetime lighting capacity of about 15,000 strikes.

This is an invaluable lighter to keep with you just about anywhere: your gear bag, purse, tool box, tackle box or even your wallet. It comes with a clip attachment that makes it easy to attach to just about anything without fear of losing it or having it fall off at inopportune moments. Made of solid stainless steel, it can take all the rugged adventures you care to take it along on and more.

One drawback we have found is that due to the small size of this lighter, it could become hard to manipulate if your fingers are very cold or if you are trying to light it with gloved hands. Take this into consideration if you are including it in a bug out bag and plan to have a spare, bigger lighter available if you might find yourself in this type of situation.

  • Dimensions: 0.63 x 0.63 x 1.88 inches
  • Weight: 0.06 pounds
  • Type: Regular Lighter Fluid and Flint

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My Vote for Best Survival Lighter

cheap torch lightersMy favorite pick of the five would have to be the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter. For emergency situations, having a lighter that does not depend on any type of fluid or wicks is a big plus. There could be times when those items are not easily found or not obtainable. It does depend on flints, however, so making sure to have a good supply of those, as well as the tinder sticks, would be the best option.

It is also a great added extra that this lighter is waterproof with the o-ring seal and tight sealing snap lid to keep the contents dry, which is the most important thing.

It is also important as a favorite pick, that it carries the Zippo name with the extra bonus of having the Seal of Approval from the North American Hunting Club. All of these things together make for a trustworthy lighter you can count on when the time comes for its necessity.

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Top 5 Best Car Emergency Kit Reviews 2016

Top 5 Best Car Emergency Kit Reviews

A car emergency kit is an absolute necessity, no matter what the situation. As often as we are in our vehicles, the laws of probability state that we will more than likely experience an emergency ourselves, or come upon one, that will warrant the need for this underrated item.

Even if you have never had the least bit of medical training, having a well-equipped emergency car kit in your car might be someone’s saving grace. If you happen upon an accident, there’s likely someone in the crowd that has had medical training and could use your supplies.

There are other emergencies as well, that are not medically related, and still necessitates having a vehicle emergency kit. Whether you are having mechanical problems, have experienced a lack of water or any one of a hundred other situations, it is always best to be prepared. There is an old saying that goes, “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it” and that is certainly the truth, in so many situations.

Today, I will go over what I feel are the best car emergency kits on that market. In doing so, I hope to better prepare you for your own situations. Every one is different in some way, but there is always that “perfect one” for you.

So, let’s take a look at some car survival kits.

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company AAA Top Gear AAA Performance Tool
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
First Aid Kit Yes No Yes Yes
Pieces 42 66 76 49
Size 6.4 x 12.5 x 6.8 inches 16.4 x 7.4 x 6.1 inches 12.5 x 10 x 6.2 inches 11 x 9.2 x 6 inches
Weight 6 pounds 4.2 pounds 7.2 pounds 4 pounds
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


AAA 42-piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit Review

emergency kit for carOur first item is the AAA 42-piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit. This particular auto survival kit is from AAA, a well-known traveler’s resource with a long history of helping drivers, especially when they need assistance. It is an understood fact that AAA ranks among the top experts on what might be needed in an emergency on the road.

This vehicle survival kit includes:

  • 1 AAA car care guide
  • 1 AAA membership brochure
  • 1 (8 gauge) booster cable
  • 1 flashlight
  • 2 AA batteries
  • 1 emergency poncho
  • 1 safety vest
  • 1 roll of duct tape
  • 1 two-in-one screwdriver
  • 6 assorted size fuses
  • 1 shop cloth
  • 4 cable ties
  • 1 reusable zip lock bag
  • 19 piece first aid kit
  • 1 AAA storage bag.

These are all items that you could possibly need in an emergency situation, all in a heavy bag that be stowed easily in your vehicle. Once you have this kit, you might want to go ahead and separate the first aid kit from the rest of the items, and store it in a different location.

 

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Top Gear 66-piece Premium Roadside Assistance Kit Review

survival kit for carOur next items is the Top Gear 66-piece Premium Roadside Assistance Kit. Another trusted name in the vehicle world, Top Gear knows all too well what might be needed in an emergency situation, and this kit proves it.

Top Gear car emergency kit list:

  • a high quality set of 8 gauge 8 foot jumper cables that come with an instruction tag
  • a one size fits all yellow reflective safety vest made of high visibility polyester mesh
  • a hand squeeze flashlight with 3 high power LED bulbs with lock and blinking features
  • a folding multifunction tool that has fourteen different uses
  • two individually wrapped six inch 12 hour light sticks that can be hung
  • a pair of knit-gripper gloves
  • a one size fits all 50 by 80 inch emergency rain poncho
  • a reflective warning triangle complete with instructions
  • a reflective 52 x 84 inch reflective emergency blanket that can also be used as a warning reflector
  • an 18 inch bungee cord
  • fourteen cable ties
  • a roll of PVC tape that is ¾ inch wide and ten yards long
  • an accident report form with carbon copy
  • a high quality tire pressure gauge
  • a whistle and an “I am the Stig” window cling, for all Top Gear fans.

All these items can be readily stored in the accompanying emergency bag, branded with top gear that easily stores in your vehicle.

 

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AAA 76-piece Excursion Road Kit Review

car safety kitThe AAA 76-piece Excursion Road Kit contains a bit more than the 42-piece kit mentioned above. This would be the kit to carry if you make a lot of trips further away from home, or if you are gone for longer than normal.

Emergency car kit list:

  • 45-piece first aid kit
  • Carbon copy accident forms with guidelines
  • AAA Membership brochure
  • Booster Cables
  • Emergency Warning Triangle
  • Air Compressor with Gauge
  • Aluminum Flashlight with 9 LED lights
  • 3 batteries
  • 1 Pair of Cotton Gloves with dimples
  • 1 Emergency Poncho
  • 1 Emergency Whistle
  • 1 Roll of Duct Tape
  • 1 Phillips Screwdriver
  • 1 Flat Head Screwdriver
  • 1 Pair of Pliers with Rubber Grips
  • 1 Utility Knife
  • 2 Shop Cloths
  • 1 Bungee Cord
  • 10 Cable Ties

These are all contained in the car emergency bag that comes with the kit already inside.

 

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49-Piece Performance Tool Deluxe Roadside Assistance Kit Review

car emergency kitsThe 49-Piece Performance Tool Deluxe Roadside Assistance Kit is another great kit to have with you no matter how far from home you are. Small enough to store easily in your vehicle, this is a great kit for new and seasoned drivers alike, complete with just about everything you might need if you get caught out on the road.

Car survival kit list:

  • 1 set of 10 gauge eight foot jumper cables
  • 1 set of six inch split joint pliers
  • 1 roll of electrical tape
  • 10 nine inch cable ties
  • 2 eighteen inch bungee cords
  • 1 rain poncho
  • 1 (23-piece) first aid kit
  • 1 pair of knit gloves
  • 1 Krypton flashlight with batteries
  • 1 ice scraper
  • 1 tire gauge
  • 1 two ton 14-ft tow rope
  • 1 snap blade knife
  • 1 reflective triangle

And, like the others, everything comes in a nice carrying case for easy storage.

 

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First Secure 90 Piece Roadside Emergency Kit Review

emergency auto kitFinally, we have the First Secure 90 Piece Roadside Emergency Kit. You can put your mind at ease with this kit, good as a car kit or a truck emergency kit, with a heavy gauge set of jumper cables and a strong air compressor. You will also find a well-stocked first aid kit here as well.

This kit includes:

  • 1 set of six gauge 10 foot jumper cables
  • 1 (250 psi) DC air compressor
  • 1 (11 foot) to strap
  • 1 reflective triangle
  • 1 nine-way multitool
  • 1 roll electrical tape
  • 2 bungee cords
  • 20 cable ties
  • 1 pair work gloves
  • Headlamp with batteries
  • 8-piece tire repair kit
  • 48-piece first aid kit

In this kit, the first aid kit comes, not only with bandages and antiseptic wipes, but also medical tape, cotton swabs, gloves, scissors and safety pins. The first aid kit has its own case that fits into the whole emergency kit case.

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My Pick for Best Emergency Car Kit

road safety kitMy pick for favorite of these five survival car kits is the First Secure 90 piece. Of all the kits listed, this one has the heaviest gauge jumper cables. This is definitely a tiebreaker among roadside emergency kits, especially if you have a large battery or engine. There is nothing worse than having someone come along to help but your cables aren’t heavy enough to carry the charge.

In addition, this road trip survival kit comes with a good air compressor, another must for roadside emergencies and I would not want to be caught without one.

And finally, having a headlamp instead of a regular handheld flashlight could mean the difference between success or no success when you are the only one to do the work. It leaves your hands free for whatever repairs you need to make while still getting all the lighting you need.

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Top 5 Best Solar Oven Reviews: Solar Cookers for Outdoor Camping

Top 5 Best Solar Oven Reviews: Solar Cookers for Outdoor Camping

A solar oven, also called a solar stove or solar cooker, is a device created to utilize solar power or the sun’s rays to cook food. It usually comes in the form of a box lined with something akin to aluminum foil, so as to be shiny and conductive of the sun. The box is then covered with a glass or plexiglass type material to hold in the heat that accumulates.

These units are an absolute must-have in a situation where there is little or no electricity because no matter what happens, even in the most dire emergency situations, people still have to eat. Since there are times when it isn’t feasible to sit with a campfire while a meal cooks, these stoves – which can be set up and left unattended – can really come in handy.

While it does take longer to cook food than a lot of other methods, it’s somewhat like using a crock-pot. You can set it to cook, leave it and when you return, the food is ready.

Solar ovens and stoves are easy to acquire and don’t cost a great deal of money, so it’s definitely worth it to have at least one in your supplies. Even if you think you won’t need it, better to be safe, just in case.

In this articles, I will be covering what I think are the best solar ovens on the market. I will compare five different types of solar oven/stove units, which will hopefully aid you in making an informed decision when you decide to purchase one for yourself.

Don’t get stuck eating boring, bland food while camping in the outdoors again. These are the best solar ovens for sale today.

  • Size:
  • Weight:
  • Maximum Cooking Temp:

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company All American Sun Sunflair All Season Go-Sun Sport
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Maximum Cooking Temp 400 degrees F 285 degrees F 200-300 degrees F 400-500 degrees F
Portable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size 24 x 15.5 x 20.5 inches 19 x 15.5 x 2 inches 24 x 24 x 24 inches 24 x 5 x 8 inches
Weight 22 pounds 4.2 pounds 2.3 pounds 8 pounds
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


All American Sun Oven Review

what is a solar ovenThe All American Sun Oven is an ultimate solar appliance that features anodized aluminum reflectors that are rust proof and highly polished. It is lightweight, sets up in minutes and can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is an American made solar power over, and when folded up and not being used, it features a nice carrying handle for easy transport.

Some features that make the Sun Oven stand out apart from the rest: it is 20% larger than previous models, making it easier to cook more food and accommodate larger cooking pans, has increased wind resistance, and has 15% higher cooking temperatures than older models.

You can cook just about anything in this solar stove including breads, pizza, vegetables, pasta, desserts and more. Depending on how the unit is set up, you can choose fast or slow cooking times, from 20 minutes as conventional ovens or all day cooking like a slow cooker.

  •  Size: 24 x 15.5 x 20.5 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Maximum Cooking Temp.: 400 degrees F.

 

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Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe Kit Review

solar powered grillThe Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe Kit is a combo cooking set that comes with everything you need to set up a solar cooking space. This kit includes 1 solar oven, 1 solar oven thermometer, 2 heat conductive baking trays, 2 baking racks that can double as dehydrating trays, 1 enamelware pot and a handy carrying pot, all in a convenient carrying case.

The whole unit is incredibly portable which makes it easy to carry with you whether you are using it for a recreational purpose or in an emergency preparedness situation.

One of the best aspects of this unit is that there is no assembly required, it sets up or stores in just minutes and it cooks for a total of four to eight people. Featuring state of the art closed cell insulation, this oven can reach an internal temperature of 285 degrees Farenheit which can vary based on your location and the time of year. A UV index of 3 or more is advised for the best cooking conditions.

  • Size: 19 x 15.5 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Maximum Cooking Temp: 285 degrees F.

 

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All Season Solar Cooker and Trivet Review

what is a solar cookerNext is the All Season Solar Cooker and Trivet, which is said to cook more food on a sunny day than any other solar cooker of a similar size and design.

It is designed to capture the sun’s rays from sunup until sundown, works anytime during daylight hours, any day of the year, as long as the sun is shining. It will prepare three to four different meals with ease and has a two to three quart capacity.

This solar cooking oven is also equipped with a “sunsight” which allows you to set the unit slightly ahead of the sun for unattended cooking. It will cook a pot of dried beans to completion with no soaking or parboiling, from scratch, beginning with just beans and cold tap water.

Lightweight and portable, this unit folds neatly for easy transport between camps or anywhere you’d like to take it. The design allows for cooking eight to twelve hours a day as opposed to about four hours with competitor’s ovens.

  • Size: 24 x 24 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Maximum Cooking Temp: 200-300 degrees F.

 

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Go-Sun Sport Solar Oven Review

how does a solar cooker workThe Go-Sun Sport Solar Oven is a little different from any of the other solar ovens on the market. In fact, if you do not know what you’re looking at, you might not even be aware, at first sight, that it is a solar oven at all.

This unit is a vacuum tube oven, and with its tube shape, flanked by two parabolic reflectors, the stainless steel cooking tray, which slides into the main tube, can cook a meal for two in just twenty minutes and remain safe to touch. It is equipped with a wooden handle for getting the food out and also comes with a cleaning scrubber and an integrated handle that becomes a stand while in use.

Incredibly portable, the Go-Sun Sport sets up in mere seconds, cooks fast and can cook anything: bake, broil, steam or fry. Something else that sets this oven apart is its two-year, no questions asked warranty. All other solar ovens come with a one-year warranty, with stipulations.

  • Size: 24 x 5 x 8 inches
  •  Weight: 8 pounds
  • Maximum Cooking Temp: 400-500 degrees F.

 

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Happycamping Outdoor Solar Oven Set Review

solar powered ovenThe Happycamping Outdoor Solar Oven Set is very much like the Go-Sun Sport in the tube-type design, it just doesn’t get as hot during cooking. It utilizes the same cooking tube with the wooden handle for insertion and removal of the vacuum cooking tube. And like the Go-Sun, it sets up and breaks down in seconds making it ultra portable and easy to carry where ever you go.

  • Size: 24 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Maximum Cooking Temp: 90-300 degrees F.

 

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My Vote for Best Solar Cooker / Oven

solar stoves and ovensAs with most of my review, these sun oven reviews aren’t any different. You can’t really go wrong with any of these portable solar ovens. If they made this list, they are the best solar cookers on the market. That said, I do have a favorite of the five solar power ovens.

My favorite pick of these five is the All American Sun Oven. Overall, I think it offers the best combination of uses including the ability to cook more food and use larger cooking pans. In an emergency situation, there’s no telling how many people you may have to cook for at once, and having the ability to do so with a completely solar device takes a lot of guesswork out of the situation.

The fact that its maximum cooking temperature potential is 400 degrees lets me know that it would be great for cooking bread and other quick-cook items. In addition, the ability to choose a fast or slow cook speed gives it a versatility the others don’t have. There might be situations when a quick meal is needed and other times when it is important to be able to leave it unattended for longer periods of time.

While its weight might mean it isn’t as portable as others, a heavier unit will be a hardier unit and will probably stand up to a little more wear and tear than some of the others. Light is good in some situations, but in an emergency, the ability to take a little wear and tear goes a long way.

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Top 5 Best Emergency Hand Crank Radio Reviews 2016

Top 5 Best Emergency Hand Crank Radio Reviews

Emergency hand crank radios are most usually only called for in emergency situations, which is why you want to choose the best one possible for you and your home—or to include in your EDC bag. The type of radio you choose will depend on your location, whether urban or rural, your need for information as well as your options for power. For instance, if you can only charge via computer or electricity on rare occasions, you want to look for a unit that will hold a charge for the longest possible time or will run off solar power alone.

These hand crank radios are also great for camping, taking along in the RV or just to use as a greener, more efficient type of radio play. All these emergency radios come with AM/FM reception as well as one or more weather bands that are activated when weather alerts are issued. Even in a remote area, you will be able to keep up with radio and weather alerts and stay on top of the latest news.

Whatever the use, make sure to keep it charged up and ready to go at a moment’s notice and you will never be left without a means for information, light or an extra charging device. This is a definite must have for the bug out bag or just to keep in the car, in the event you need to leave quickly.

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company iRonsnow Kaito Esky American Red Cross
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Radio Bands AM: 525KHz – 1710KHz; FM: 88MHz – 108MHz; Weather Band: 162.40 – 162.55 MHz AM: 520-1717 KHz; FM: 88.00 – 108.00 MHz; SW1: 3.20-9.00 KHz; SW2: 9.00-22.00 KHz AM: 520-1710 KHz; FM: 87-108 MHz; NOAA: 162.40 ~ 162.55 MHz AM/FM and all 7 weather bands
Battery Power 3xAAA/350 mAh/3.6 volts Ni-MH 3xAA Ni-MH Ni-MH, 3xAAA
Size 2.4 x 5 x 1.6 inches 10.5 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches 5.9 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
Weight 0.45 pounds 1.8 pounds 9.6 ounces 1.3 pounds
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Radio Review

best crank radioOur first model is the iRonsnow IS-088 Dynamo Emergency Radio. This is a compact AM/FM NOAA weather radio that features a powerful three LED flashlight and also doubles as a smart phone charger. Recharge options include self-charging, solar or DC recharge by connecting via USB cord to a laptop or USB AC adapter brick. One minute of hand cranking equates to five minutes of radio play, five minutes of cell phone talk time or thirty minutes of continuous torch light.

The iRonsnow is also equipped with a power indicator to let you know when you are getting low and need to recharge the unit. With three different ways to charge, keeping it charged certainly isn’t a hard task, and you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your radio is up and ready any time that you need it. Keeping an extra supply of AAA batteries will create added peace of mind, as it runs off those as well.

  • Dimension: 2.4 x 5 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 0.45 pounds
  • Battery Power: 3xAAA/350 mAh/3.6 volts Ni-MH
  • Radio Bands: AM: 525KHz – 1710KHz; FM: 88MHz – 108MHz; Weather Band: 162.40 – 162.55 MHz

 

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Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio Review

hand crank radio reviewsNext is the Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio. This unit is an AM/FM/SW/NOAA weather alert radio that features a flashlight, reading lamp and cell phone charger. It has five different ways to be powered: a hand cranking option, which powers the built in battery, solar power that will power the radio with no problems, AA batteries if you happen to have extra, a built in rechargeable battery pack and you can also recharge via USB connected to a computer or other port of some sort.

A solar emergency radio, the Kaito comes with a high quality brushless type generator. The equipped solar panel that aids in recharging is able to tilt into various positions in order to take in more of the suns rays than competitor radios. The lamp is a 5 LED unit that can either be a flashlight or red blinking emergency light. This radio can also be used to recharge several different kinds of small electronics including ipods, smart phones and GPS units. This is a great unit for use in emergency situations as well as camping and other uses where electricity might be an issue or not readily accessible.

  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.8 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Battery Power: 3xAA
  • Radio Bands: AM: 520-1717 KHz; FM: 88.00 – 108.00 MHz; SW1: 3.20-9.00 KHz; SW2: 9.00-22.00 KHz

 

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Esky Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio

emergency crank radioThe Esky Self Powered AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio is also a flashlight as well as a 1000mAh power bank. With three easy ways to recharge this device – hand cranking the internal generator, exposing the solar panel to sunlight and DC recharge via USB – you will never find yourself without radio and emergency weather alerts. That is incredibly important during times of power outage, on extended camping trips or in other emergency situations.

This package will contain the radio itself, one mini USB charging cable, and one 2.5mm output charging cable, one 2.5mm connector to USB converter, a user’s manual and a warranty card. Warranties included are a 30-day money back guarantee, 12-month replacement and lifetime support.

  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Battery Power: Ni-MH
  • Radio Bands: AM: 520-1710 KHz; FM: 87-108 MHz; NOAA: 162.40 ~ 162.55 MHz

 

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American Red Cross FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Alert Radio Review

camping crank radioThe American Red Cross FRX3 AM/FM/NOAA Weather Alert Radio is an Eton hand crank radio and also acts as a charger for your smart phone. It is charged by either a solar or a hand crank option and lasts about a week on a full charge. This device has a retractable antenna so the reception is great. It also runs off AAA batteries and comes with an AC adapter so that you can save the internal charge if you happen to have access to electricity. In addition to picking up AM, FM and all seven weather bands, it houses a powerful LED flashlight with a blinking red emergency light.

A couple of notable drawbacks to this particular model are that there is no indicator light to let you know when the charge is weak or low. It is also not waterproof or water resistant so you will have to take care if weather conditions are not prime. Also, since it’s not waterproof, it might not be the best camping radio.

  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Battery Power: Ni-MH, 3xAAA
  • Radio Bands: AM/FM and all 7 weather bands

 

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Midland ER200 Digital AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio Review

best survival radio reviewsFinally, we take a look at the Midland ER200 Digital AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Weather Radio. This survival radio features and extremely bright Cree LED flashlight, with 130 Lumens, that also flashes and SOS beacon and Morse code. It has USB output for charging smart phones and contains a replaceable 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery.

With multiple sustainable power options, including solar power, a hand crank mechanism and a mini USB cable, this wind up radio is ready at any time, with or without conventional power options. The well-lit LCD display can show the radio station, time or weather channel and the backlight option can be set to on or off. The clock can be set to either 12 or 24-hour formats.

  • Dimensions: 9 x 2.8 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Battery Power: 2xAA, Rechargeable Lithium Ion
  • Radio Bands: AM/FM/NOAA, not otherwise specified

 

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My Vote for Best Emergency Radio

best weather alert radioLet me start by saying that you can’t really go wrong with any of these hand crank radios. These are the best hand crank radios on the market, and they are the most widely used by survivalists and preppers.

But, my personal favorite would have to be the Midland ER200—for several reasons.

First of all, the fact that the lithium ion rechargeable battery is replaceable means that you can get a whole lot more use than other competitor devices. The LCD display is also nicer, as is the option to flash Morse code, if necessary. This option can be a big determining factor in certain situations.

The super bright flashlight is also a big plus, as a good deal of these emergency radios have mediocre lighting, at best, and only truly good in a real emergency when nothing else is available. In my mind, and for the money, it’s definitely the best survival radio.

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Top 6 Best Bushcraft Knife Reviews 2016

Top 6 Best Bushcraft Knife Reviews

A good bushcraft knife is an absolute essential item for the avid outdoorsmen and necessity in your bug out bag in case of emergency situations. A few traits that constitute a “good” bushcraft knife are its maneuverability, its toughness and versatility, and its ability to cover a multitude of needs without needing any other knife.

What is a Bushcraft Knife?


Bushcraft knives are straight blade knives with sharp points and are able to hold a good sharp edge for long periods of time and under all kinds of weather and conditions.

The term “bushcraft” was adopted in the Australian outback, or in the “bush” and that gives you a clue that these types of knives are best used in wilderness survival situations. Any place where you might use a blade for a series of different situations: cutting tree branches into usable items, clearing away vines and green bush, cutting rope, and slew of other activities makes these knives a must have in your gear bag. Bushcrafts are also considered the best whittling knives, but I wanted to focus on their uses as survivor tools.

When choosing good bushcraft knives, think about all the things that you might personally use it for. A knife might be great at cutting wood, but if that is something you aren’t going to have to do, there is no point in seeking one out with that quality.

We will be comparing and contrasting these six knives in the following areas, which are of the utmost importance when considering the best bushcraft survival knife:

  • Blade Length:
  • Blade Material:
  • Handle Material:
  • Weight:

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company Benchmade Spyderco Morakniv Companion Shrade
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Blade Length 4.43 inches 4 inches 4.1 inches 5.05 inches
Blade Material Polished high ground drop point stainless steel O-1 Steel 1095 carbon steel Powder coated 1095 carbon steel
Handle Material Plastic G-10 Plastic Textured black TPE overlay
Weight 7.72 ounces 7.75 ounces 3.9 ounces 12.3 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife Review

bush craft knivesFirst, let’s look at the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife, a carbon steel bushcraft knife. The Morakniv is an all in one outdoorsmen knife with a grip that makes it easy to hold on to and easy to handle because it sits comfortably in the hand.

The 1095 carbon steel blade has a hardness of HRC 58-60, which means it is incredibly durable and can be resharpened again and again with no real problems to speak of. It stand up well to high-impact usage such as wood cutting and can still come back and be used for less abrasive actions. As with all steel blade knives, you will want to care for and keep maintenance up on this knife. If you get the knife wet, make sure to dry it before storing it again to keep rust at bay, especially in saltwater situations. If you use the knife to cut through acidic foods such as oranges or lemons, make sure to clean and oil the blade afterward. Acids of any kind can be very harsh on a steel blade.

Morakniv has been in business in Mora, Sweden since 1891 and is a name that professionals and outdoorsmen alike have come to associate with top bushcraft knives. They only use the highest quality steel which gives their knives the kind of quality that can be trusted for years.

  • Blade Length: 4.1 inches
  • Blade Material: 1095 carbon steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 3.9 ounces

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Shrade SCHF36 Frontier Full Tang Drop Point Knife Review

bushcraft knives for saleThe Shrade SCHF36 Frontier Full Tang Drop Point Knife has a blade that is made of a powder coated 1095 carbon steel with an easy to hold TPE textured handle that also has a lanyard hole at the back end.

This Shrade is just waiting for its chance to take on the wild open country of any outdoor situation in which you would like to use it. This fine-edged knife will resist corrosion while the 90-degree angle of the spine can be struck against a Ferro rod and used as a fire starter.

A knife like this is made to see you through any situation with ease and built to last a lifetime. Use it, resharpen it and then use again, just make sure you take care of it, keeping it dry, oiled, and sheathed when not in use and it will continue to serve you well.

  • Blade Length: 5.05 inches
  • Blade Material: Powder coated 1095 carbon steel
  • Handle Material: Textured black TPE overlay
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces

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Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife Review

bushcraft knife reviewsComing in next is the Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife. Easily the most expensive knife in our list, the quality is well worth every penny if you have the money to spend on it. The Bushcrafter is the epitome of everything that an outdoor survival knife should be and can take on all comers, with plenty of gusto left over for even more work.

The blade is thick, heavy and easy to sharpen as often as you need to. The simple handle design is nothing short of genius in regards to the handling, usage and maneuverability.

Benchmade has a history of making quality products that are very simplistic in nature. They are a very trusted brand that is known for good quality work and excellent customer service and satisfaction.

This knife comes in a genuine buckskin leather sheath with a flint rod loop and retention strap and has a high ground drop point blade with a polished finish and the stainless steel blade is HRC 58-60.

If you are looking for the best benchmade knife for bushcrafting, this is your blade.

  • Blade Length: 4.43 inches
  • Blade Material: Polished high ground drop point stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 7.72 ounces

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Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife Review

bushcraft knife sheathThe Spyderco blade is another premium bushcraft knife that comes at a hefty price, but is well worth the investment if you have the money to spend.

This knife was designed by a tactical bushcraft expert to be everything you needed in a bushcrafter, but it also has an extremely elegant look to it.

The full-tanged blade is an excellent overall blade, but it may not be the best if you have individual or specific needs. It is a perfect knife for overall use, but with a four-inch blade, it may not be the best for cutting a lot of wood.

  • Blade Length: 4 inches
  • Blade Material: O-1 Steel
  • Handel Material: G-10
  • Weight: 7.75 ounces

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Statgear Surviv-All Outdoor Knife Review

condor bushcraftThe Statgear Surviv-All Outdoor Knife is a great combination of everything and outdoor knife should be. The blade is made of 440 stainless steel and is a full tang bushcraft knife with a drop point. It also has a steel pommel and a rubber handle, which makes for a very comfortable grip that allows freedom with movement. Its sheath has a built in cord cutter and fire starter and there is even a sharpening stone in the rear of the sheath.

While there is a host of things to like about this knife, the one problem seems to be that there is no drainage hole in the sheath, which leads to a build up of water in certain situations. If you should find yourself dealing with that, make sure to clean and dry your knife and let the sheath thoroughly dry out before using them together again.

  • Blade Length: 4 inches
  • Blade Material: 440 stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Weight: 15.02 ounces

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SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP Knife Review

benchmade 162 bushcrafterFinally, there is the SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP Knife. This durable all-purpose bushcrafter knife is perfect for hiking, backpacking, biking or any other outdoor activity in which you might come across the need for a good dependable knife.

The blade is powder-coated steel and partially serrated and the nylon carry sheath has an accessory pouch built in. This knife is corrosion resistant, wear resistant, tough and tactical.

The nylon handle is well-balanced and comfortable to grip and featured a raised pattern that affords the bearer with increased drip even in inclement weather.

  • Blade Length: 4.75 inches
  • Blade Material: Powder coated AUS8 stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Glass reinforced nylon
  • Weight: 5.4 ounces

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My Vote for Best Bushcraft Knife

My favorite of these six would be the Shrade Full Tang Drop Point Knife. The powder coated blade is just the right length for nearly any job you can throw at it, the point is right on target every time and the handle is so comfortable and easy to grip, it’s hard to compare it to others. Then you have the added extra of being able to use to spine of the blade to strike against a Ferro rod which makes it even more valuable for its fire starting capabilities.

This is definitely a must have in the bug out bag or any other bag that goes with you nearly everywhere as it serves so many purposes and can be used for so many different activities. The price, which is right in line with other bushcraft knives like it, is very reasonable as well, putting it within reach of just about everyone. It is one of the best cheap bushcraft knives, but is still a quality blade.

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Top 5 Best Portable Solar Chargers: Solar Phone Charger Reviews

Top 5 Best Portable Solar Chargers: Solar Phone Charger Reviews

What is the best solar phone charger? When preparing for an emergency situation, the first thing that most people consider is a bug out bag, followed by food and water, a first aide kit and weapons. However, there is something else that you might find incredibly handy, especially if you have children with electronic gadgets: a portable solar charger.

Regular solar panels must be mounted, facing the rising sun, and attached to a solar power bank that can store the charge. From there, wiring is routed into an inverter, which converts the power to something that can be used in the home, and then wired into the panel box.

Portable solar chargers, on the other hand, are small, compact pieces of equipment that can be carried with you and the inverter is usually built into the unit itself. This allows things to be plugged directly into the unit, thus utilizing the strait from the source. The drawback to these chargers is that the power they produce is passed directly to the items they are charging. Energy cannot be stored within the unit itself, but there are packs you can purchase that will hold that charge as well as inverters that can allow some regular devices to be plugged into it.

We will be looking at five different solar powered phone chargers that can be used camping or backpacking in this article. For comparison purposes, we will see the differences between them in these four areas in particular:

  • Size:How big is the solar power charger? Can it be transported easily?
  • Weight: How much does the solar battery charger weigh?
  • Wattage: How much can the solar charger actually charge?
  • Devices It Will Charge: Is this a USB solar charger? Will it work as a solar iPhone charger?

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company Nekteck Anker X-Dragon iBeek
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Devices It Will Charge cell phones, mp3/mp4 players, tablets, USB battery packs and other USB devices cell phones, tablets, small game devices headlamps, cell phones, tablets, ipads, digital cameras cell phones, tablets, cameras
Wattage 20 watts 15 watts 20 watts 2 watts
Size 12.9 X 6.7 X 1.7 inches 18X11 inches deployed; 11X6 inches when folded for storage 13.2 X 7.8 X 1.5 inches 6.3 X 0.79 X 3.11 inches
Weight 20 ounces 12.5 ounces 1.65 pounds 7.84 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


Nekteck 20 Watt Solar Charger Review

solar panel phone chargerThe Nekteck 20 watt Solar Charger comes equipped with 2 USB ports and high efficiency panels to charge smart phones and other USB devices quickly even when charging two devices at the same time. The smart IC chip that is built in helps identify what is plugged in and what it’s specific charging needs are, thus allowing for the fastest charge time for the device. Its weight and size make it the perfect portable solar battery charger for your phone or other devices. Bring this along for all your sunny day charging needs.

The Nekteck is also a very durable solar cellphone charger, covered with a canvas that was created for rugged outdoor use. Damp conditions won’t damage the outside of the unit either, allowing you to take it with you with no real worries on rainy days.

Your package deal includes the 20 watt solar panel charger, the USB cable and users manual and the item is covered by a one-year warranty. While this little charger works great for most applications, there are some places in which you may need to lay the panels at a specific angle to receive the most sunlight. All solar panels work in this way, but sometimes the smaller ones need more positioning than the big ones.

  • Size: 12.9 X 6.7 X 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 20 ounces
  • Wattage: 20 watts
  • Devices It Can Charge: cell phones, mp3/mp4 players, tablets, USB battery packs and other USB devices

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The Anker Powerport Solar Lite Review

solar powered battery chargerThe Anker Powerport Solar Lite is small and lightweight, making it very easy to carry with you. It is perfect for charging small devices such as phones and tablets, though it will charge phones much faster than tablets, and does so with less than a full day’s worth of sunlight.

While all portable solar chargers will slow down dramatically under cloud cover, the Anker will resume full speed as soon as the clouds are gone. This solar powered USB charger can add a battery pack to hold a charge obtained from the solar panels, thus extending your charging abilities in emergency situations.

With Anker’s PowerIQ Technology, it is claimed to be able to replicate your device’s own original charging capability in the fastest time possible, with direct sunlight. It has sewn on loops of parachute cording which makes it easy to hang just about anywhere and doesn’t add the extra weight that some metal grommets will.

While the Anker is a favorite among anyone with a need for solar equipment, this particular unit had one major complaint: the small pocket made to hold a device while it charges does not allow for the Velcro tab to close once it’s in place. The average smartphone is just too large for the small space and it often dropped out of the pocket.

  • Size: 18X11 inches deployed; 11X6 inches when folded for storage
  • Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Wattage: 15 watts
  • Devices It Will Charge: cell phones, tablets, small game devices

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X-Dragon High Efficiency 20 watt Solar Charger Review

solar powered charger for iPhoneNext we will look at the X-Dragon High Efficiency 20 watt Solar Charger, which comes with iSolar technology that is exclusive to this brand.

This technology allows the unit to automatically detect the device which is plugged in and then adjust the charging output for maximum charge of the device. The high efficiency solar cells, made in the USA, boast up to a 25% efficiency rate, while most competitors don’t reach that mark.

Dual USB ports allow for charging of two items at once while the built-in eyehooks allow for easy attachment to backpacks or knapsacks.

This solar cell phone charger also comes with a one-year warranty so no worries in purchasing it. The included USB cords are highly compatible with a wide variety of products and its portability and free hook make it easy to take on the go.

  • Size: 13.2 X 7.8 X 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Wattage: 20 watts
  • Devices It Will Charge: headlamps, cell phones, tablets, ipads, digital cameras

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iBeek Solar External Battery Pack Review

iPhone solar chargerThe iBeek Solar External Battery Pack is a portable all in one charger that also comes with an LED light made into the device, which makes it a great emergency-use device. It contains a built in high polymer battery that is charged via the solar panel and has dual USB ports.

It can charge and support any device that that has a 5V/1A-2.1A input. The LED emergency light works great in the darkness. Pressing the button once allows it to go into flashlight mode, while pressing again will cause the LED to blink in emergency mode.

  • Size: 6.3 X 0.79 X 3.11 inches
  • Weight: 7.84 ounces
  • Wattage: 2 watts
  • Devices It Can Charge: cell phones, tablets, cameras

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Matone Solar Charger Battery Review

portable solar panelsThe Matone Solar Charger Battery is a solar powered all in one that boasts features such as rain resistance and shockproof with a lifespan that allows for about 500 charges from its built in lithium battery. It’s portability not only makes it a great choice as a backpacking solar charger, but it can be attached to many different things, making it’s use hands-free if you need that option.

It hosts universal device compatibility to easily charge Apple products, Samsung, Nexus, LG and HTC as well as GoPro cameras, GPS devices and much more.

This waterproof solar charger comes with a built in flashlight as well as LED indicators that let you know the charging status of the device. There is, however, an attached note that the device’s solar panel charges devices very slowly on its own and advises that the device be fully charged before attempting to charge something else with it.

  • Size: 7.8 X 6.2 X 1 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Wattage: 2 watts
  • Devices It Can Charge: cell phones, tablets, GPS and small cameras

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My Vote for Best Portable Solar Charger

backpack solar chargerIf I had to pick one of these as the best solar charger, my pick would be the Anker portable solar charger. Given its size, weight and wattage abilities, it seems to be the best of the five.

Another factor in my decision is it’s ability to add on a battery pack, of any size, if I want further charging abilities for my devices. This makes is a solar battery charger as well. Additionally, the Anker name is a well-respected one among solar products and has the trust of many people who rely on such products.

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Top 5 Best EDC Bags: Everyday Carry Backpack Reviews

Top 5 Best EDC Bags: Everyday Carry Backpack Reviews

Everyday carry bags are important to many people for a variety of different reasons. The serious backpacker knows how important it is to carry items that are or could be necessary in different situations, especially emergencies. They also know the importance of well-placed pockets and cords so as not to have to dig through the entire pack looking for something specific.

Hobby packers are also concerned with a lot of these aspects, as well as being careful about how rain may affect their backpack and whether it is durable enough to be tossed around at campsites. For those who use these as bug out bags, it is of the utmost importance that they have plenty of pockets, plenty of room in those pockets, good durability as well as other features that would make them last a long time.

We are going to look at five different EDC bags for comparison to see how they measure up against one other as well as how they might differ. While one bag may be the perfect size for one, it may be too big for another and vice versa, so we will go over all the features as well as comparing these three main options:

  •             Internal Features: What internal features and pockets are on the bag?
  •             External Features: What external features and pockets are on the bag?
  •             Material: How durable is the bag? Is it water resistant?

At the end, I will give you my personal favorite EDC backpack, but my preferences might be a little different than yours, so always keep in mind exactly what you are looking to use the back for.

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company 5.11 Tactical Maxpedition Redrock UTG
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Capacity 2,894 cubic inches 618 cubic inches 1,012 cubic inches 722 cubic inches
Internal Features Admin panel, hydration pocket, side pockets Seamless inner construction, main, top and bottom compartments horizontal main compartment dividers, PVC lining front, interior and back pockets, interior pocket
External Features Eyewear pocket, grab handle, contoured yoke, compression straps. PALS modular webbing, top and side handles, paracord zipper pulls To carry handle, adjustable water bottle holder, adjustable shoulder strap Concealed rear pocket, adjustable shoulder strap, durable construction and stitching
Material 15D nylon, PUx2 coating on outside and inside Nylon, Teflon fabric protection, coated with polyurethane. Rugged polyester polyester
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


5.11 Tactical Rush 72 Backpack Review

best everyday carry bagThe 5.11 Rush 72 Backpack is a tactical EDC bag and is the biggest backpack in the Rush series, specifically designed as a full featured three day bag with plenty of space for any accessories or food supplies you might need during that time. It is created to be incredibly durable, made with 1050D nylon that repels water and can really take a beating.

Created to fit a wide variety of needs from everyday carry, to hunting, to emergency preparedness, this bag is great on the go with enhanced quite a bit of storage and functionality.

You can easily organize your belongings into a variety of pockets and compartments that will remain stable and safe during travel. You don’t have to worry about losing gear or having something get crushed in travel.

One of the best features about this bag is the large “shove-it” pocket on the back where you can quickly cram oversized gear or equipment as well as bike helmets, jackets, lanterns, etc. The internal frame support is a great feature that keeps weight evenly distributed, and the adjustable sternum strap allows for even more customized support and comfort.

  • Internal Features: Admin panel for small accessories, hydration pocket with bladder hanger, side pockets for smaller gear.
  • External Features: Eyewear pocket for glasses or phones, grab handle, contoured yoke, compression straps.
  • Material: 15D nylon, PUx2 water repellent coating on outside, 21D 118T water repellent PUx2 on inside.

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Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger Review

best everyday carry backpackNext, we have the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger, originally created for military personnel and law enforcement professionals that were out in the field. This EDC pack is nearly indestructible and has the unique feature of being able to be swung around to the front while being worn, making for easy maneuverability and easy access to all the contents of the bag.

With a main compartment and a hydration compartment, it is made to swing over the left shoulder for better handling of weapons with the right hand or arm. There are plenty of places to attach hanging gear as well as a water bottle pocket that easily holds a 32 ounce bottle. There is definitely no lack of space or features on this everyday carry bag.

  • Internal Features: Seamless inner construction, main, top and bottom compartments as well as space for a 100 ounce hydration bladder, 618 cubic inches of cargo capacity
  • External Features: PALS modular webbing, top and side handles, paracord zipper pulls
  • Material: water and abrasion resistant nylon, Teflon fabric protection, coated with polyurethane.

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Redrock Rambler Sling Pack Review

everyday carry bagsThe Redrock Rambler Sling Pack is another one strap design that swings on over your left shoulder and attaches at the right hip. This everyday carry backpack can be pulled around to the front with ease allowing you hands free access to all the compartments in or on the pack which makes it perfect for hunting, fishing, shooting or emergencies.

The side water bottle holder is adjustable, allowing for carrying of different sized water bottles, and there is a carrying handle right on the top if you’d rather not have it slung across your back. In the latter case, the shoulder strap can be pinned and hidden, out of the way, and still feature easy handling and access when needed.

  • Internal Features: horizontal main compartment dividers, PVC lining
  • External Features: Carry handle on the top, adjustable water bottle holder, adjustable shoulder strap
  • Material: Rugged polyester

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UTG Multifunctional Tactical Messenger Bag Review

best everyday backpackThe UTG Multifunctional Tactical Messenger Bag is a small EDC bag and might not be suited for the bug out bag capabilities that the larger bags have, but suits its purposes well.

It hosts a roomy, drawstring closeable main compartment for the bulk of your gear, an interior pocket for keeping some important things separated, a front quick access pocket for things you need at the spur of the moment, and a concealed back pocket with a zipper closure that is perfect for small weapons and other accessories that are best kept out of sight until needed.

While the features are few, they are well placed and easy to manipulate in a variety of circumstances. With this bag, you will know exactly where your stuff is and it won’t take you long to get to it when you need it.

Leaper’s Inc., the manufacturing company, pays close attention to customer feedback and has been making products for hunters, shooting enthusiasts and outdoorsmen since 1991.

  • Internal Features: front, interior and back pockets, interior pocket
  • External Features: concealed zippered rear pocket, adjustable ergonomic shoulder strap for ease of carry, durable construction and stitching for long life.
  • Material: polyester

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Small EDC Sling Pack for CCW Review

everyday carry pouchFinally, let’s look at the Small EDC Sling Pack for CCW. The main compartment on this EDC carry bag measures 12 x 8 x 4 inches with front and bag dividers as well as an inner zipper-closed pouch for small items such as keys.

The front pocket measures 8 x 8 x 1 inches and houses a divider, elastic mag loops and a drainage grommet. The front slip pocket is 6 x 4 inches with elastic mag loops as well. There is an ambidextrous shoulder strap with webbing and a buckle that can be concealed in the back.

This little pack can deal with it all, from inner city to desert heat and more; it was created to withstand a great deal of activity. Designed to move along with you, whatever you may be doing, it has padding in all the right places and several pockets that allow easy access to everything you need. It is most often utilized for EDC (every day carry) of CCW (concealed carry weapon) and stands up to the test. It is a great choice as a CCW backpack (concealed carry backpack).

  • Internal Features: convenient pockets with dividers and elastic loops with plenty of storage, internal zippered pouch
  • External Features: rear pocket with button enclosure, ambidextrous shoulder strap, carry handle with neoprene padding
  • Material: rugged PVC backed polyester

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My Vote for Best EDC Backpack

EDC pouchMy pick here would have to be the Rush 72 EDC tactical bag, due to its size and functionality. It can be used for the bug out or emergency scenarios as well as having the space for concealed carry and many other items like shelters and sleeping bags that could be needed if caught away from home for a short, extended period of time.

There is also the matter of the water resistance, the rugged wear ability and the comfort straps with an internal skeleton that allows for good weight adjustment. Having everything you need right at your fingertips while being able to comfortably carry it is an indispensable feature of an EDC pouch or backpack.

Of course, if you are looking for the best EDC bag on the market, you can’t go wrong with any of the above choices. The Rush 72 just stands above the rest in my mind.

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The Best Emergency Shelters: Survival Shelter and Tent Reviews of 2016

Top 5 Emergency Shelters and Tents

Shelter is an essential packing item as it affords protection from the elements and in an emergency can reduce your chances of dying from exposure. There have been many instances of even the most experienced outdoorsmen succumbing to the elements because they were underprepared.

In a large majority of these cases, these people did not have adequate survival shelter to protect themselves from the wind, rain, and cold. This was the case with a hiker who was caught off guard in the White Mountains by 100 mile-per-hour winds and negative 77-degree temperatures. For this reason, it is important to have an emergency shelter even if your plans do not include spending the night outdoors.

It is important to consider what type of shelter will suit your needs. There are many different kinds of survival shelters and tents available, ranging from luxurious 8-person tents to 1-person bivouac sacks. The type of shelter you decide on will depend on what type of situation you are planning for. Whether you are packing an emergency bug out bag or perhaps venturing into the backcountry for just a day, you should be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

This article will take a look at five of the best bug out bag survival tents and shelters to put in your own EDC bag. Although some of these tents can stand up to multiple uses, emergency tents are not typically meant for long-term use and will not hold up well in severe storms or protect against extreme cold. They will, however, serve to protect you from wind and rain for a short time while you await rescue.

To compare these tents, we will be looking at four different categories:

  1. Design – Style that is used to construct and set up the tent.
  2. Capacity
  3. Size and Weight
  4. Weatherproofing – Waterproof, water-resistant, or non-waterproof.

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company Texsport Stansport Level One Grizzly Gear
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Design A-frame A-frame Tube Tube
Capacity 1-2 adults 1-2 adults 1 adult 1 adult
Weatherproofing Water-resistant Water-resistant Waterproof Waterproof
Size 54 x 38 x 84 inches 54 x 36 x 78 inches 40 x 36 x 96 inches 40 x 36 x 96 inches
Weight 3.6 pounds 3.8 pounds 6.4 ounces 5.6 ounces
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Texsport Camouflage Trail Tent Review

best survival bug out bag shelterThe Texsport Camouflage Trail Tent is made of durable taffeta nylon material with a water-resistant polyurethane coating that is flame retardant. The material is not lightweight, but it is heavy-duty and rip-stop, which allows this tent to be reusable. The floor space is large enough to accommodate two adults. The design is a traditional A-frame supported on each end by an aluminum pole and staked out in each corner. There is a zippered mesh door to allow airflow and to protect from bugs.

This survival tent is very large and heavy for an emergency tent. The material is naturally water resistant but is non-breathable. The camouflage design helps conceal the tent when set up, which may not be ideal for rescue situations. The tent comes with the necessary tools for set up as well as a carrying case.

  • Design: A-frame
  • Capacity: 1-2 adults
  • Size and Weight: 54 x 38 x 84 inches, 3.6 pounds
  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant

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Stansport Scout Backpack Tent Review

best survival shelterThe Scout is a traditional A-frame non-freestanding tent similar to the Texsport. It is made for 3-season use and is large enough to accommodate 2 adults. The floor of the tent is durable polyethylene and the upper is a polyurethane-coated nylon material that is flame retardant.

This coating allows the tent to be highly water-resistant but not 100% waterproof. The entrance has a mesh door to protect against bugs and provide airflow as well as nylon doors for privacy. It includes aluminum poles, cordage, stakes, and a carrying case.

The tent is a green color that allows the tent to blend in with its surroundings. The materials are non-breathable and the tent interior will accumulate condensation if there is no airflow. At 3.8 pounds, it is a bit heavier than the Texsport but it is just as durable and reusable.

  • Design: A-frame
  • Capacity: 1-2 adults
  • Size and weight: 54 x 36 x 78 inches, 3.8-pounds
  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant

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Level One Emergency Tent Review

emergency shelter survivalThis Emergency Tent by Level One is made of a reflective Mylar material that can retain 80% of your body heat. Mylar is a wind and waterproof material that is the same material used to make emergency space blankets. It is only large enough to fit one person. This is a tube design and sets up with a cord that runs through the top of the tent and ties off to a tree or other surface. This bug out bag tent is significantly less expensive than the first two options, but it is not as durable or reusable.

Unlike the first two tents, this is specifically for emergency use. The tube design means that the tent is open on both ends and will not retain much body heat. The Mylar material is very small, but difficult to repack into the same small size. The best use for this tent would be to protect against wind and rain in an emergency and would be best paired with another insulating material such as a blanket to retain heat.

  • Design: Tube
  • Capacity: 1 adult
  • Size and weight: 40 x 36 x 96 inches, 6.4 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof

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Grizzly Gear Emergency Survival Mylar Tube Tent Review

bug out bag survival shelterThe Emergency Survival Tent by Grizzly Gear is very similar to the Level One Emergency tent. It is also a made of Mylar and has a tube design. This claims that it retains 90% body heat, but as with the Level One Tent, both ends are open which would not allow for much heat retention. Because it is Mylar, the tent is able to be both waterproof and windproof. Floor space is the smallest of these five tents, at only 3 feet across, and would most likely be used for one adult only.

The benefit to this bug out shelter is that it is the lightest weight on our list. This tent would be best used for emergencies only. As a day-hiker, this would be a small and lightweight addition to your emergency kit.

  • Design: Tube
  • Capacity: 1 adult
  • Size and weight: 40 x 36 x 96 inches, 5.6 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof

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SE Outdoor Tube Tent Review

best survival tentThe Outdoor Tube Tent is similar to the Mylar emergency tents with an aluminum-coated interior for insulation. This tent has an additional feature, a non-woven material exterior that is bright orange with a reflective trim. The bright color will allow rescuers to find you with ease in an emergency.

This tent is set up using 23 feet of rope and steel pegs. The nylon exterior makes this more durable than the other Mylar tents and allows it to be reusable. It also has the added benefit of being closed on one end with door closures at the entrance. Because of this, it will do a better job at preserving body heat than the other Mylar tents.

The downside to this is that it’s a non-breathable material. This means that condensation will form on the inside of the tent if there is no ventilation. It is also a bit more expensive than the other Mylar tents. But even at a $35 price point, it is still quite affordable.

  • Design: Tube with sealed doors
  • Capacity: 1 adult
  • Size and weight: 82 x 36 inches, 1 pound 9 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant

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My Vote for Best Bug Out Emergency Tent

Before I go into my personal favorite, let me again lay out what I look for in a camping shelter generally and what you should specifically look for in a shelter for your bug out or everyday carry bag.

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The Texsport Camouflage Tent and the Stansport Scout are winners in durability and design. The A-frame is a tried and true design and the heavy-duty material allows them to both be highly water-resistant and reusable. At 6.4 and 5.6 ounces respectively, the Level One and Grizzly Gear Mylar tents are by far the lightest and most compact, making them the best options for those who are just out for the day.

For my own emergency preparation, however, I would choose the SE Outdoor Tube Tent because it is much lighter than the Texsport and Stansport tents, and more durable than the lightweight Mylar tents. It has more features and is better for search and rescue in emergency situations.

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The Best Emergency Sleeping Bag: Survival Sleeping Bags, Blankets Reviews

Top 5 Emergency Sleeping Bags

A sleeping bag is an essential packing item that will provide additional insulation when a person is unable to stay warm on his or her own. Extra insulation is important because loss of body heat can impair a person’s ability to think clearly in an emergency, which can ultimately lead to death. While a shelter will protect from wind and rain, it will not retain much body heat.

Sleeping bags serve the purpose of retaining body heat. The amount of heat they retain depends on many factors including the amount of insulation and the body type of the user. People who are planning on spending the night in the backcountry will carry a sleeping bag with either down or synthetic insulation. For these people, a lightweight sleeping bag is a good choice, but adequate insulation is more important. Those who are planning for an emergency will most likely be more interested in a lightweight option, which means less insulation.

This article will look at and compare 5 different emergency sleeping bags. Many of these survival sleeping bag, which are geared towards those who are out for the day or preparing for an emergency. Some of the ultra-light options here will not provide much comfort, but they will help a stranded day-tripper to remain alive until rescue comes.

To compare these bug out sleeping bags, we will be looking at the following categories:

  1. Size
  2. Weight
  3. Compressed size – How large the bag is when fully packed.
  4. Insulation – Down, synthetic or none
  5. Temperature rating – Sleeping bags with insulation will have a recommended temperature range.

So, what is the best bug out sleeping bag?

 

Here are our Top Picks

Company Bundle Monster Adventure Medical Kits Naturehike Grizzly Gear
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Temperature rating 32-59 degrees Fahrenheit 50 degrees Fahrenheit 48 degrees Fahrenheit N/A
Insulation Synthetic N/A Synthetic N/A
Compressed size 9 x 15 inches 8.5 x 4 x 6.2 inches 11.5 x 5 inches 8.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
Size 74.8 x 29.5 x 11.8 inches 84 x 31 inches 75 x 29.5 inches 64 x 87 inches
Weight 3 pounds 9.4 ounces 2 pounds 4.8 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

 


Bundle Monster Cool Weather Camping Sleeping Bag Review

best cheap sleeping bagThe Bundle Monster Cool Weather Sleeping Bag is a synthetic insulated bag that has a lower temperature rating of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It includes ThermoLock, a proprietary technology that serves to reduce heat loss through the zipper. The material on the outside of the bag is durable and waterproof nylon.

The Bundle Monster comes with a compression sack that allows the sleeping bag to be packed small in order to save space. In warmer temperatures, it can be fully unzipped and used as a quilt. There is a cuff around the top of the bag to surround the user’s head and neck and lock in warmth. Because it has a warm temperature rating, this can be used during 3-season camping.

This sleeping bag has the benefit of being reusable and durable. Of the 5 sleeping bags we will look at, this is the closest to a traditional sleeping bag. The amount of insulation makes it warm but heavy. Its easily compressible size makes it good for emergency preparation.

  • Size: 74.8 x 29.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Compressed size: 9 x 15 inches
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Temperature rating: 32-59 degrees Fahrenheit

 

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Emergency Survival Mylar Thermal 2-Person Sleeping Blanket Review

best survival blanketThe Survival Sleeping Bag is essentially an emergency space blanket that has been fashioned into the shape of a sleeping bag. It is made of Mylar, which makes it windproof and waterproof. It can retain up to 90% of your body heat when used properly, but it is non-breathable, meaning that moisture will not be able to escape.

This emergency sleeping blanket is very common to include in a bug out bag and large enough to accommodate two adults.

The emergency blanket can be reused, but it is not very durable and can be difficult to repack. Mylar is a loud material that makes a sound every time you move. It does not provide any extra insulation and works by retaining your body heat. It is small and lightweight, making it a good option for an emergency or first aid kit.

  • Size: 64 x 87 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Insulation: N/A
  • Temperature rating: N/A
  • Compressed size: 8.1 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches

 

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Naturehike Outdoor Sleeping Bag Camping Envelope Sleeping Bag Review

emergency sleeping bag survival blanket The Outdoor Sleeping Bag by Naturehike is insulated and is rated to about 48 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a thin synthetic filling that is used to efficiently retain body heat. The outer material is made of 320D nylon, which is tough and durable. It comes with a compression sack that allows the sleeping bag to be packed into a very small size. The size and weight makes this a great option for travel.

Its durable design makes this a reusable sleeping bag, but its temperature rating only allows it to be used in warmer temperatures or indoors. The benefit that this has over traditional emergency-only sleeping bags is that the insulation will keep you much warmer and it is much more comfortable to sleep in.

  • Size: 75 x 29.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Compressed size: 11.5 x 5 inches
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Temperature rating: 48 degrees Fahrenheit

 

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Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivvy Review

emergency thermal blanketThe Escape Bivvy by Adventure Medical Kits is a high-end emergency bivvy. This lightweight bivvy sack is made of a reflective material, but unlike traditional Mylar materials, it is breathable. This is important because with other non-breathable systems, condensation and sweat can form inside the bag and take away body heat. It is waterproof and windproof and has a hood to surround the user’s head and trap heat inside. It can reflect up to 70% of the user’s body heat. The bag is a highly visible orange color, which will help rescuers to locate you.

This is the best bare bones emergency sleeping bag. It is highly functional and can be relied upon in extreme emergencies. It is, however, more expensive than other emergency bags at around $50. But, even at $50, it is quite affordable.

  • Size: 84 x 31 inches
  • Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Compressed size: 8.5 x 4 x 6.2 inches
  • Insulation: N/A
  • Temperature rating: 50 degrees Fahrenheit

 

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SE Emergency Sleeping Bag Review

winter sleeping bag reviews The SE Emergency Sleeping Bag is made of Mylar and aluminized PE for additional warmth. The Mylar material makes it windproof and waterproof, but unlike the Adventure Medical Kits sleeping bag, it is non-breathable. It comes with a mesh sack that will make it easier to pack. It is also a highly visible orange color that will help emergency workers to locate you.

Just like the other Mylar bags, this makes a loud crinkling sound that will probably disturb other campers. The benefit of this bag is that it is extremely small and lightweight, making it a good option for day hikers.

  • Size: 84 X 36 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Compressed size: 6 x 3 inches
  • Insulation: N/A
  • Temperature rating: N/A

 

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My Vote for Best Survival Sleeping Bag

Before I go into my personal favorite, let me again lay out what I look for in a sleeping bag generally and what you should specifically look for in a bag for your bug out or everyday carry bag.

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The Naturehike Outdoor Sleeping Bag is a great option for travel because it is small and lightweight while still offering extra insulation. The Bundle Monster is heavier, but it offers the most insulation, making it a great 3-season camping bag. The Grizzly Gear and SE Emergency Mylar Sleeping Blankets are the lightest and most compact options, which make them the good options for those who are only planning on being out for the day.

waterproof sleeping bag coverMy pick for the best emergency sleeping bag, however, is the Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivouac Sack. This is survival bivvy is great because it is has the light weight and portability of the Mylar emergency bags, but also has the added benefits of being breathable and having a hood which allows the user to retain the most amount of body heat. For an unexpected emergency situation, this is the best survival bug out bag sleeping bag to have at your disposal. Plus, it is incredibly compact, which makes it a great addition to anyone’s bug out bag.

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