Top 6 Best LED Camping Lantern Reviews 2019

Top Camping, Backpacking LED Lights and Lanterns

Whether you are planning on a trip into the backcountry or preparing your home for an emergency, proper illumination is an essential tool to have at your disposal.

Illumination is listed in the “10 Essential Systems” for the outdoors, which was written by mountaineers to help people be prepared in the wilderness. When traveling in the outdoors, you must be prepared to hike or set up camp at night, even if your plans do not call for it.

If preparing your home for an emergency, battery powered lanterns will allow you to complete essential tasks, even after dark. Having adequate lighting in these unpredictable situations is essential for your safety and survival.

In this article, we will be looking at 6 different emergency lanterns, comparing them, and selecting the best one. For comparison purposes, we will be taking a look at each of the following categories.

  1. Brightness – Brightness is measured in units called lumens. One lumen can be described as having the lighting power of one candle.
  2. Battery life
  3. Size and weight
  4. Modes – Many portable lanterns will offer different lighting modes including high, low, night, and a strobe mode for signaling during an emergency.
  5. Water resistance


Here are our Top Picks

Company Ultimate Survival Technologies Energizer Rayovac Ultimate Survival Technologies
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Brightness 29-300 lumens 28-55 lumens Up to 240 lumens 18, 200, 508 lumens
Battery life 30 days on low, 32 hours on high 29 to 58 hours with AA, 195 to 380 hours with D-cell 40 hours on low, 90 hours on high 60 days on low, 36 hours on high
Modes High, Medium, Low, and Strobe High, Low, and Night High, Low, and Strobe High, Medium, Low, and Strobe
Water resistance Yes IPX7 Waterproof Yes Yes
Size 3.5 x 3.5 x 7.2 inches 5 x 6 x 11 inches 7 x 3.5 inches 5.1 x 4.8 x 9.5 inches
Weight 1 pound 14.7 ounces 1 pound 14 ounces 3.8 pounds
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon


Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Lantern Review

led lantern lightsUST 30 Day Lantern Review: This lantern by UST can run for up to 30 days on its lowest setting of 29 lumens. Its high setting is 300 lumens, which can easily light up a large area. It has 4 modes including low, medium, high, and an SOS strobe setting.

This is a battery operated lantern that runs on three D-cell batteries and it is made with a rubber housing that is both water and impact resistant. It features a large rubberized carrying handle and a smaller recessed hook in the bottom that allows it to be hung from the ceiling. The light diffuser easily comes off with a twist to allow the bulb to shine brighter. You can remove the diffuser and set aside in strobe mode during emergencies.

This is a great lantern for camping and emergency preparedness. It is on the heavier side, so it would not be best for activities where you will be carrying all of your gear in a backpack. It will, however, last a full 30 days, which is key for emergency survival. Batteries will run down in storage, so it is a good idea to store the batteries separately. The lantern comes in black, silver, and glow.

  • Brightness: 29-300 lumens
  • Battery life: 30 days on low, 32 hours on high
  • Size and weight: 3.5 x 3.5 x 7.2 inches, 1 pound
  • Modes: High, Medium, Low, and Strobe
  • Water resistant: Yes



Energizer Weatheready 360-Degree LED Lantern Review

coleman rechargeable lanternEnergizer LED Lantern Review: The Weatheready Lantern by Energizer has three modes including high, low, and an amber nightlight. It has to ability to run on either three AA batteries, which are included, or three D-cell batteries. Inside the casing, there are three bright white LED bulbs that can produce up to 55 lumens on high. The housing is made of plastic materials and the base is made of impact resistant rubber. It is IPX7 waterproof, which means that it can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water. The on/off push button glows in the dark for easy use at night. The lantern also features a built in carrying handle and recessed hook on bottom for hanging.

The LED camping lantern is large in size, but the plastic housing allows it to remain relatively lightweight. The packaging comes with AA batteries, but the lantern will run up to 15 days on low if using D batteries.

  • Brightness: 28-55 lumens
  • Battery life: 29 to 58 hours with AA, 195 to 380 hours with D-cell
  • Size and weight: 5 x 6 x 11 inches, 14.7 ounces
  • Modes: High, Low, and Night
  • Water resistant: IPX7 Waterproof


Rayovac Sportsman 240 Lumen 3D LED Lantern Review

coleman battery lanternRoyovac Sportsman Lantern Review: The Sportsman 240 by Rayovac has low, high, and strobe settings and can output 240 lumens on high. The Rayovac lantern runs on three D-cell batteries and uses LED bulbs that offer 100,000 hours of working time. There is a rubberized carrying handle as well as a hook on the bottom to hang the lantern for hands-free use. When not in use, a green light blinks so that it can easily be found in the dark. The housing is water resistant and designed for rugged use.

This lantern is almost as bright as the UST 30-Day, but does not have even close to the same battery life. At 1 pound and 14 ounces, it is also almost a pound heavier. With 240 lumens, this lantern is great to have around for emergencies or short car camping trips.

  • Brightness: Up to 240 lumens
  • Battery life: 40 hours on low, 90 hours on high
  • Size and weight: 7 x 3.5 inches, 1 pound 14 ounces
  • Modes: High, Low, and Strobe
  • Water resistant: Yes


Ultimate Survival Technologies 60-Day Lantern Review

best led camping lanternUST 60 Day Lantern Review: The UST 60-Day Lantern works on 6 D-cell batteries and offers low, medium, high, and strobe mode. High mode puts out an impressive 508 lumens, which can light a fairly large area. The light diffuser can be removed with a twist to provide more light or to signal for help in strobe mode. When set to low, this lantern offers an amazing run time of 60 days. The rubberized housing and carrying handle are both water resistant and durable.

This lantern is the heaviest of our six, weighing in at almost 4 pounds. The run time of 60 days only applies to the low setting, which at 18 lumens is not a lot of lighting. However, because of its long runtime, this lantern is one of the best LED lanterns on the market for long-term emergency preparation.

  • Brightness: 18, 200, 508 lumens
  • Battery life: 60 days on low, 36 hours on high
  • Size and weight: 5.1 x 4.8 x 9.5 inches, 3.8 pounds
  • Modes: High, Medium, Low, and Strobe
  • Water resistant: Yes


Divine LEDs Ultra Bright LED Lantern Review

led camping lights Divine LED Lantern Review: The Ultra Bright Lantern from Divine is a lightweight and collapsible lantern that runs on three AA batteries. The company uses military grade, water resistant materials and offers a 10-year warranty. It can produce 60 lumens for about 60 hours. There is no on/off button and the collapsible design allows the lantern to turn on when it is opened and off when it is closed.

This is the smallest and lightest of the five and the only one that is collapsible. This makes it the best for camping or hiking if you are planning on carrying your gear. However, it only offers one mode and does not have any rubberized surfaces. The prices will vary wildly with some retailers charging up to $60.

  • Brightness: 60 Lumens
  • Battery life: Up to 60 hours
  • Size and weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Modes: High
  • Water Resistant: Yes


Ivation Hand Crank LED Lantern Review

rechargeable led lanternHand Crank LED Lantern Review: This hand crank lantern by Ivation is probably the neatest of the six we reviewed here. It is a perfect for a small tent when camping, and if your bug out bag is strapped for space, this lantern is key for tight spaces because it collapses for ease of storage.

Here are a few of the cool features of the Ivation. This is a rechargeable LED lantern that you charge by a hand crank. After just one minute of cranking, you can get 11 minutes of low-level light. You can also charge with the included USB cable, which also allows you to charge cell phones or other electronics in emergency situations.

Another cool feature of this rechargeable lantern is that is collapses into a flashlight. So you get a lantern and a flashlight.

The only problem with this lantern is it might be bit small or underpowered for more than just a LED camping lantern. If you are walking through the woods for an extended time or something else, you might want something bigger with a longer batter life.

This is perfect for tents and is one of the best backpacking lanterns around if you don’t want to add much weight to your pack.

  • Brightness: 15-65 Lumens
  • Battery life: 4.5 hours low light, 40 minutes high light. Rechargeable camping lantern with hand crank.
  • Size and weight: 8 ounces
  • Modes: Low, High
  • Water Resistant: Rainproof, not waterproof.


My Vote for Best Camping Lantern

Each of these six lanterns has upsides and downsides. As far as brightness and battery life, the UST 60-Day Lantern wins by a landslide with a whopping 508 lumens on high and 60 days of battery life on low. This is brightest LED lantern of the six.

In the size and weight categories, the Divine Ultra Bright Lantern and Ivation were the lightest and most compact, making them the best option for carrying on the go.

As far as water resistance, the Weatheready Lantern by Energizer beats the competition with full IPX7 waterproofness.

The overall winner in my opinion is Ultimate Survival Technology’s 30-Day lantern. It is very bright, but not as heavy as its 60-day brother, which still allows it to be a great backpacking lantern. The rubberized housing makes it very durable and water resistant. This lantern would be excellent for a camping trip and it’s one of the best emergency lanterns on the market, offering bright and reliable illumination at a decent cost.

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Best Emergency Food Supplies: Survival Food Reviews 2019+


best food rations for survival

Whether you are going on a hike or preparing for an emergency, extra nutrition is vital to your health and survival. Calories can help give you the energy to survive and keep you warm at night. When traveling in the backcountry or preparing for an emergency, it is important to have some type of long term food supply that is both calorie dense and portable. There are many different kinds of food that are manufactured to be lightweight, portable, and shelf-stable for all kinds of activities like hiking, backpacking, survivalism, prepping, and they are great to include in your list of bug out bag contents. These manufacturers also strive to have the maximum calorie-to-weight ratio possible, which makes them great to include in your emergency food supply list.

When packing for a trip in the outdoors, a general rule of thumb is to always pack an extra days worth of food and plenty of water. When planning to bring emergency food supplies, it is also smart to pack foods that do not require cooking—or foods that have their own self-contained means of cooking. This is because you do not want to have to rely on a specific cooking method. You may also not have time to cook in the event of an emergency.

In this article, we will take a look at six different emergency food options and compare them. Many of these options can provide a backup for camping or act as an extremely lightweight option for emergency preparation—perhaps good items to include in your bug out bag’s emergency food kits. To compare the best emergency food supplies, we will look at the following categories:

  1. Size
  2. Weight
  3. Shelf Life
  4. Calories Per Serving


Here are our Top Picks

Company Mountain House Wise Company The Survival Tabs MRE
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Shelf Life 30 years 25 years 25 years 10 years
Calories per Serving Approximately 300 190-300 20 1200-1300
Size 12 x 10 x 13 inches 13 x 9 x 10 inches 7.5 x 5 x 2.8 inches 3 x 12.5 x 8.25 inches per meal
Weight 6 pounds 11 pounds 1.8 pounds 13 pounds for 6 meals
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

Mountain House Emergency Food Bucket

best food bucket reviewsThese meals, produced by Mountain House have long been a staple for survivalists, emergency preparers, campers, etc.

Mountain House has been making adventure food for outdoor enthusiasts for over 50 years, so you know you can trust them and their products.

This particular food bucket comes with a 30-year taste guarantee–the best in the business. Out of all of our other foods listed here, nothing can beat the Mountain House shelf life. They even beat Wise Company by 5 years.

As far as survival planning goes, this is the gold-plated version of survivalism. Meals include things beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, lasagna, granola with blueberries, and many more tasty dishes.

Another benefit of Mountain House buckets is that each pouch is sealable. What this means, among other things, is you can save food that you don’t eat immediately for later, thus extending your survival kit. Also, it helps with preparing the food itself.

The Mountain House bucket contains 12 total meals, 29 servings, and will provide someone with enough food for 3.5 days. It’s smaller than the Wise Company bucket, but you can always buy more than one. I think Mountain House is the best name out there for survival food, nothing beat its taste or its shelf life.

If you want a bigger single-bucket option, however, go for the Wise Company bucket.

  • Size: 12 x 10 x 13
  • Weight: 3.45 pounds
  • Shelf Life: 30 years
  • Calories per serving: Approximately 300
  • Servings: 29 servings



Wise Emergency Food: Grab and Go Food Kit

best dehydrated food choicesThese meals, produced by the Wise Company, are similar to the Mountain House brand, but they don’t have quite as long of a shelf life. Still, with a 25-year life span, these are nothing to balk at.

They come in a tub that includes either 60 or 120 servings. The smaller 60 serving option says it will last one adult for one month or four adults for a week. In other words, if you have a family of four, this will last you for a full week.

The meals, just like Mountain House, are hot ready-to-eat meals that come in all different entrées and flavors, all you do is add hot water.  This foot kit comes with everything from pasta alfredo to cheesy lasagna. The meals are anywhere from 190-300 calories, which is pretty small. They are really meant to accompany some type of stored meat, and considering the small kit already weight 11 pounds, you’re looking at a lot of weight. Way more than the other options.

If taste is your priority, these might be right for you, but you are going to sacrificing a lot of room to bring this along in any disaster scenario.

  • Size: 13 x 9 x 10
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Shelf Life: 25 years
  • Calories per serving: 190-300
  • Servings: 120



Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bar Review

emergency food supply kitsThe Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bars come in a vacuum-sealed package containing 18 individually wrapped bars. The bars are ready to eat and are 200 calories each. There are only six ingredients: wheat flour, vegetable shortening, cane sugar, water, coconut flavor, and salt. The bars have been designed to have maximum palatability across all ages and food tastes and can be eaten as-is or mixed with water. They have a high-energy value and are non-thirst provoking, which is an important consideration when putting together any survival food kits.

The Datrex bars are small and lightweight providing 3600 calories in less than 2 pounds. The bars use all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. While they are not supposed to be thirst inducing, the bars are very dry and crumble easily.


  • Size: 3.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 24.8 ounces
  • Shelf Life: 5 years
  • Calories per serving: 200



S.O.S. Emergency Food Rations: 3600 Calorie Food Bar Review

emergency survival food reviewsThe S.O.S. Rations Emergency Bar is lightweight and easy to store. The 3600-calorie package includes 9 individually wrapped food bars that are 410 calories each. The package containing the bars is vacuum-sealed and can withstand extreme conditions making it good for survival food storage. The bars have a 5-year shelf life if kept in the sealed package. At 1.6 pounds, these bars have a similar calorie-to-weight ratio to the Datrex food bars. This ration is meant to last for three days in the event of an emergency. At three bars per day, that allows for 1230 calories per person per day.

These bars have a coconut flavor and are non-thirst provoking. The main ingredients are similar to the Datrex bars, but these bars contain additional preservatives. Also, just like the Datrex bars, they tend to be dry and crumble easily after being removed from the packaging.

  • Size: 4.5 x 2 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Shelf Life: 5 years
  • Calories per serving: 410



MRE Meals: Ready to Eat Food Pack w/ Flameless Heater Review

best survival food companiesMRE meals are usually at the top of my survival food list. These meals are a military-style MREs, which stands for “meals ready to eat.” A half case will contain 6 individual meals. Each meal contains an entrée, 2-3 sides including a dessert and drink mix, and an accessory pack. The meals can be eaten hot or cold and include a flameless heater. Each meal will contain somewhere between 1100 and 1300 calories. Each meal has a shelf life of ten years.

These are complete meals, which are great for camping and hiking. Their large size and packaging make them less ideal for emergency preparation. The biggest benefit to these meals is that they contain a large amount of calories and they taste much better than bland survival bars. If you are looking for the best survival food, you cannot go wrong with some MREs.

  • Size: 3 x 12.5 x 8.25 inches per meal
  • Weight: 13 pounds for 6 meals
  • Shelf Life: 10 years
  • Calories per serving: 1200-1300



Survival Tabs 15-Day Food Supply Review

wise food storage reviewsSurvival Tabs are a revolutionary way to sustain life in the event of an emergency. These tabs come in a jar of 180 tabs and can last one person up to 15 days eating 12 tablets per day.

Each tablet is 20 calories, and while 12 tablets per day will not fill you up, it will provide the necessary proteins and vitamins to keep you alive. The highly concentrated formula allows you to fully absorb as many nutrients as possible and up to 99% of the tabs calorie contents. The tablets come in various flavors, including strawberry. They come with a plastic bag to hold the tablets so that the jar can be repurposed as a water container. These chewable tablets are gluten-free and easy to store, with an amazing shelf life of 25 years. This amazing shelf life makes these the best option for long-term survival food storage.

Survival Tabs are an excellent source of nutrients in the event of an emergency, but at only 20 calories per tablet, they will not be filling. The impressive shelf life of 25 years is only guaranteed if the container has not been opened.

  • Size: 7.5 x 5 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Shelf Life: 25 years
  • Calories per serving: 20



Quakekare ER Emergency Ration 2400+ Calorie Bar Review

food supply list wise survivalThe ER 2400-calorie food bar by QuakeKare is an emergency food bar that offers a 5-year shelf life. The 2400-calorie package can last one person for 3 days. There are 6 bars per pack. The bars are not individually packaged, but the outer packaging is vacuum-sealed and re-sealable. The packaging can withstand extreme conditions, which makes it safe to leave in a vehicle or other environment where there is extreme heat or cold. The bars are ready to eat and non-thirst provoking.

When rationing for three days, these rations only allow for 2 bars per day, which is a total of 820 calories per day. That means that these will allot for 410 calories less per day than the other survival food bars we have reviewed. One of the biggest benefits to these bars is that they do not contain coconut, which could be a problem for those with allergies.

  • Size: 6 x 3.5 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 18 ounces
  • Shelf Life: 5 years
  • Calories per serving: 410



My Vote for Best Emergency Food Reviews

So, what is the best survival food? Before I offer my opinion, here’s how I look for the best survival foods to include in my kit. I look for at good combination of the following categories.

Shelf Life: The point of long-term food storage is just that. You want them to be long term. Without a good shelf life, your emergency food rations will eventually spoil, and you’ll need to replenish it more than necessary. I aim for foods with a 20+ year shelf life. Note: If you’re thinking of using one of these for camping or hiking food, this really isn’t a concern.

Calorie Count/Servings: The other point of these food supplies is to sustain you through an emergency. This means your foods need to meet certain calorie requirements. Always be sure to look at the calorie counts of your food to make sure you’re not overspending.

Price: This one is obvious, but if something is ridiculously expensive compared to something that still tastes good with a good shelf life, get the cheaper one.

Taste: Never forget that you’re meant to eat whatever is in your survival rations supply.


Best Choice for Emergency Preparedness Supplies

The food bars from Quakekare, Datrex, and S.O.S are all very similar with a few key differences. The Quakekare bars are the only ones that do not come individually wrapped. All three bars have an almost identical calorie-to-weight ratio. The Datrex bars come in smaller portions, but provide more bars.

The Survival Tabs are an excellent idea in theory, but would not do a great job in subduing hunger. In the world of survival food supplies, the survival tabs do just that. They allow you to survive, but you will still be hungry. They are a true last resort and, given their small size and incredible shelf life, every good emergency food list should have some of them.

mountain house food reviewAs an avid hiker and backpacker, my favorite option is the Mountain House or the Wise Food Kit. These meals are tasty, have tons of variety, and have excellent shelf lifes (the best on the list actually).

In a true emergency situation, however, you might not have a way to heat the water required for these meals. While neither actually require hot water, it will definitely taste better than use cold water.

If you do want to be certain of at least a few hot meals in a disaster, you might consider the traditional MREs. These allow you to quickly and easily heat with the flameless heating kit included. As far as emergency food storage is concerned, MREs usually last 5-10 years, which is comparable to all of the food bars, but the Wise Food Kits last 25 years and Mountain House lasts 30 years!

Another popular food bucket company is Augason Farms.

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Best Magnesium Fire Starters: Emergency Survival Fire Starter Reviews 2019

When heading into the backcountry, it is important to have a reliable emergency fire-starting tool. Fire is essential for warmth and safety and it is listed in the “10 Essential Systems” for the outdoors. Fire is important for those traveling in the backcountry, whether it is for a day or multiple nights. It’s also an essential item to include in your bug out bag for any type of emergency preparedness.

For those heading into the wilderness, fire can be a lifesaving tool if they become stranded. Besides having the ability to keep you warm, a fire can provide many services to aid in the event of an emergency. Wet clothes can be dangerous when the temperatures dip at night and a fire will help to dry them. If your stove has broken, you can use fire to cook. If your outdoor water purifier has broken, you can boil water to safely drink. In colder weather, uses for fire become even more essential, like melting snow for drinking water or filling a water bottle with warm water to place in your sleeping bag for extra warmth.

Three traditional emergency fire starter options are lighter, matches, and fire steel with striker. While a lighter can be a reliable tool, it can fail if it is wet or runs out of fuel, which makes it less than ideal as a survival fire starter. Matches can be used as a primary fire-starting tool, or as a back up. Waterproof matches are available and they should always be stored in a waterproof container. One can also carry a fire tool that can quickly ignite dry tinder. To be prepared, always have dry tinder available. There are a number of tinder options such as store bought nuggets, priming paste, fuel, or even dryer lint.

This article will take a look at the 6 best fire starters on the market and compare them to one another. After comparing each fire tool with the other, you should be able to make a well-informed decision as to the best fire starter tool for you and your needs. We will review each survival fire starter on the following categories:

  1. Type – Which of the traditional methods is used.
  2. Size and Weight
  3. Weatherproofing – Waterproof cases or coatings are often used.
  4. Uses – How many times it can be used to start a fire.


Here are our Top Picks

Company Survivor Outdoor Bear Grylls Wilderness Solutions Zippo
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Type Fire steel Fire Steel Fire Piston Fire Starter Matches and flint
Weather Proofing N/A Waterproof Waterproof /unaffected by water Water-resistant coating, waterproof container
Uses N/A 8,000 Strikes N/A 4
Size 7 inches 4.7 x 0.9 inches 3-6 inches end to end 1.7 x 3.9 x 6.1 inches
Weight 3 ounces 2.6 ounces 4 ounces 1.4 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Starter Review

flint fire starter reviewsThe Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife is a magnesium fire starter kit that includes a magnesium alloy fire steel. It is a full tang steel blade, which means that it uses a one-piece construction. The notches on the spine of the knife act as the striker.

The handle of the knife is wrapped in nylon cord for comfort and can be removed and used in case of emergency. For the storage, the knife and fire steel come in a durable nylon carrying case, and the fire steel has a nylon cord attached in order to prevent losing it.

Compared to other fire starting tools, this is quite large and heavy, but it is a good option for people who are looking for both a knife and fire steel and who want to save both space and money. For example, including this in a bug out bag would be a smart choice because it can act as a survivor knife and a survivor fire starter all in one.

At just $11, it is a cheap tool. As with other fire steel set ups, dry tinder will help to start a fire quickly. The manufacturer does not list how many uses the magnesium alloy rod can produce.

  • Type: Fire steel
  • Size and Weight: 7 inches, 3 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: N/A
  • Uses: N/A

fire starting sticks for sale

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter Review

survivor fire starter reviews of productsThe Bear Grylls Fire Starter from Gerber is a compact tool that includes a ferrocerium rod that is good for 8,000 strikes and a metal striker. Many people incorrectly label ferrocerium fire starts “magnesium fire starters.” While there is magnesium in ferrocerium, there are also other metal.s Both rod and striker slide together to create a waterproof seal when not in use. They each have a durable and textured handle that is easy to grip.

The casing comes with an attached lanyard that keeps the rod and striker connected. On the end of the lanyard is a small emergency whistle, which makes this a great 2 in 1 tool. The casing also includes a watertight cap with a small storage area for dry tinder. The outside of the case incorporates instructions for land-to-air SOS signaling.

This fire steel starter has a rugged design with a generous sized striker and rod, which makes it an ideal camping fire starter. It creates a great deal of sparks to help you start a fire quickly, just as a traditional flint and steel starter would work. Its only downside is that the housing is a bit large compared to similar tools.

  • Type: Fire Steel
  • Size and Weight: 4.7 x 0.9 inches, 2.6 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof
  • Uses: 8,000 Strikes


Wilderness Solutions Scout Fire Piston Review

how to make a fire pistonThis fire piston fire starter is really a great tool that is reliable and can be used over and over again. Since it’s a compression fire starter, it doesn’t necessarily have a “shelf life” in the sense that it will only last 8,000 or 12,000 strikes. It will work as long as you have it because nature is its fuel.

A fire piston uses a similar process as a Diesel engine, where heat is generated by compressed air molecules to ignite a fire. This is a very popular method used by the Boy Scouts, and is a great all around fire tool. It is completely unaffected by moisture and can be used after being submerged in water, making it a great survival tool.

This particular model is made from space age polymer and an aluminum piston shaft made fore durability and made to last. It comes with a lifetime warrantee and is made 100% in the United States.

  • Type: Fire Piston Fire Starter
  • Size and Weight: 3-6 inches end to end, 4 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof/unaffected by water
  • Uses: N/A


Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Review

fire piston for saleThe Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit includes 4 water-resistant waxed tinder sticks in a lightweight plastic case that is a bright orange color and waterproof.

There is a flint wheel ignition to quickly and reliably light the matches while the wax coating on the matches helps keep them waterproof and prolong the flame. The tinder sticks themselves are made of cotton that can be pulled apart. The flint wheel generates a spark to ignite the frayed waxed tinder sticks.

The case that comes with this kit is small and only includes 4 tinder sticks, however, more matches can be purchased. Because it only comes with 4 matches, this kit would be best used as a backup to a more reliable fire starting method.

  • Type: Matches and flint
  • Size and Weight: 1.7 x 3.9 x 6.1 inches, 1.4 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Water-resistant coating, waterproof container
  • Uses: 4


Light My Fire Original Swedish FireSteel Army

survivor fire starter methodsThe Swedish Army FireSteel from Light My Fire comes with a 9mm ferrocerium rod that can last for 12,000 strikes. Ferrocerium is a metal alloy that is part iron, part magnesium, and other metals. This is a very compact fire-starting tool that does not include a case. A lanyard connects the rod and striker and can also be used as a necklace. The spark created by the ferrocerium rod is very hot at over 5000 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the lightest fire steel of the five. For a tool that is so light and compact, it provides a generous sized striker and rod. The downside to this is that the handles are smaller and not as comfortable to grip. However, at 12,000 strikes, this tool will last much longer than you average flint and steel fire starters. This Swedish Firesteel is an excellent product.

  • Type: Fire Steel
  • Size and Weight: 5.9 x 3.2 x 1 inches, 1.7 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: N/A
  • Uses: 12,000


UCO Stormproof Match Kit Review

fire starter survival preperationLooking for strike anywhere matches? The UCO Stormproof Match Kit includes 25 waterproof matches and 3 strikers. If you’ve ever had your matches blown out by the wind, water, sand, etc., these are the matches for you. With their waterproof cylinder, they work as strike anywhere matches and will not be put out.

The matches come in a waterproof durable cylinder that can float if dropped in water. The case has a ribbed exterior that makes gripping it easy in cold and wet conditions.

There is also a slot on the outside of the case for a striker. The strike pads themselves can be replaced easily if they get wet and there are two additional strike pads inside the case. The robust matches burn for 15 seconds and are both windproof and waterproof.

While the case only comes with 25 matches, it can hold up to 40. There is enough space inside the case for small tinder. These matches can stand up to extreme conditions and are great for emergencies.

  • Type: Matches
  • Size and Weight 1.2 x 1.6 x 4.8 inches, 1.7 ounces
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof
  • Uses: 25


My Vote for Best Survival Fire Starter

The best deal here is the Survivor Outdoor Fixed Blade Knife with Fire Starter; it is one of the best magnesium fire starters on the market. For just over $10, buyers are getting a steel knife, fire steel, and carrying case. This makes it a great choice for either a hiking or backpacking fire starter because it can function as a 2 in 1 knife, fire-starting tool.

The Bear Grylls Fire Starter has a sleek and durable design that makes it easy to use and easily portable. This is probably the best choice if you’re looking strictly for the best camping fire starter on the market. It has great reviews and is an Amazon best seller in emergency preparedness.

I would have to say, however, that the best emergency fire starter I have found is the UCO Stormproof Match Kit. These waterproof matches are impressively durable and will stay lit in wind, rain, and almost anything else you can throw at them. The waterproof case is a great bonus that is going to keep your matches safe and dry until you are ready to use them.

If you are looking for long-term wilderness survival, however, the matches aren’t your best choice, since they are single use and you can only carry 24 or so in a container. For any long-term survival, the Scouts Fire Piston is the winner in the lot.

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Bug Out Bag vs. Get Home Bag

Bug Out Bag vs. Get Home Bag

A lot of people are talking about bug out bags these days. People want to be prepared for disaster when it strikes, and they want to be able to keep their family safe. All this chatter has got people talking about another kind of survival bag: get home bags. Less people know what a get home back is, and they usually confuse it with a bug out bag, so today I want to go over exactly what each bag is and what makes them different.

What is a Bug Out Bag?

A bug out bag is a portable kit that has all the necessary contents you will need to survive for 48-96 hours. They get their name “bug out bag” because you usually use a backpack or a duffle bag in which to place your items. This bag is what you then grab when you need to “bug out.” Hence the name “bug out bag.”

Bug out bags are generally meant for evacuation purposes, not long-term survival, although they do have many of the same items and could be arranged in a way for long-term survival bags. Since they are meant for evacuation and emergency situations, a bug out bag should be an all-in-one set. It shouldn’t be spread out all over your house, or hidden deep within your basement or garage shelving units. The point is, if you need to leave somewhere immediately, you will have everything you need to survive for a few days in just one bag.

Some standard bug out bag items are water, food, gloves, matches, and shelter, but the full contents of a bug out bag are much more intensive and largely depend on the environment in which you live.

What is a Get Home Bag?

Now a get home bag is different from a bug-out bag because it is not used in evacuation purposes. A get home bag is just like it sounds, a bag that is filled with the necessary supplies to get you home. This means that it is a bag that you usually carry with you, or have readily assessable. A lot of people have get home bags in their cars since just about everywhere they are traveling their car is right there with them.

Another difference between the two survival bags is that a get home bag is meant to have supplies for a shorter amount of time than a bug out bag. As we said above, a bug out bag usually has supplies for around 72 or so hours. A get home bag shouldn’t really have items that will last you any more than 24 hours because you generally don’t travel that far from home on any given day, and if you were taking a long-distance trip you would bring your survival bag with you anyway.

Some common things for a get home bag would be water, food, mechanical tools for cars, tire filler to fix a flat tire, shelter. You will usually be using a get home bag in urban areas, so you might want to bring protection of some short, perhaps a spray or gun if you are registered to carry one.

Those are the main differences between the two bags, and while it’s not a huge deal to confuse the two, you certainly wouldn’t want to grab your get home bag when you are bugging out of your house in an evacuation effort. So it is important to understand the difference.

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75 Essential Items for Bug Out Bag Packing List

Packing for the outdoors is an important task that any real survivalist must take seriously. Every year, cases are reported of people who ventured into the outdoors and required rescue or even encountered death because they were not properly equipped for the situation.

Even if you are only planning to be out for a few days in the case of an emergency or natural disaster, it is vital to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Depending on your climate/region, your bug out bag contents will be different. You may want comfort or just the bare essentials. You may be preparing for an emergency or just going out for a weekend survival trip. While you may be packing for different scenarios, here is a general outline of the most common and essential items for every bail out bag.

The 10 Essential Systems: What to Put in a Bug Out Bag

The following list is called the 10 Essential Systems. Created by mountaineers, these 10 categories provide an outline that if followed properly, would keep outdoorsman and survivalists prepared for almost any situation. Everybody’s packing list will look different, but it is safe to say that a well-packed bag and a well-constructed bug out bag list will include things from each of these 10 categories.


What goes in a go bagBefore you pack your bug out gear, you need to find a backpack that is suitable for your needs. Packs that are made for activities like hiking work best for many situations because they are easily adjustable and come in various sizes. The size of the bag will depend on what you are planning for. Bag sizes are measured in liters. For a day trip, anywhere from 5 to 40 liters is acceptable. Overnighters typically range from 40 to 70 liters. For extended travel or expeditions, bag sizes can range all the way past 100 liters. Remember that you will have to carry what you pack, and the larger the pack, the more weight you are likely to carry.


>>See our comparison of the top bug out bags here<<

Larger packs typically have an internal frame and are lighter weight and more portable than traditional external frame packs. The frame helps to give the pack shape and will make sure that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the bag. The straps will ensure that the bag sits evenly and distributes the weight properly to your hips and shoulders. When fitted correctly, about 75 percent of the packs weight should be resting on your hips.

Now that we have discussed the backpack, there are a few accessories that should go with it. The pack cover is a stretchy waterproof nylon cover that fits over the outside of a pack but not the straps, which allows you to carry the pack and keep it protected in the rain. Stuff sacks provide a way to organize the contents of your pack. It is important to know where everything in your pack is and to be able to access it quickly. Some stuff sacks are waterproof, providing an extra level of water protection for your most important gear.

  1. Backpack
  2. Pack cover
  3. Stuff sacks



Depending on your task, navigation can play a more-or-less important role. In almost any case, it is a good idea to have a basic navigation tool. A map of the area is almost always a necessity. A GPS can be a luxury or a necessity depending on your plans. There are many different styles of electronic GPS and they can typically be loaded with maps of the areas that you plan to visit.

Find emergency navigation tools here

  1. Compass
  2. GPS
  3. Map


Sun Protection

You can get sunburn any time of year. As a result, sun protection is essential. In the winter, snow blindness is also an issue to consider, and proper eye protection is required. For additional sun protection, you can choose clothing that covers more skin area and also offers UPF protection.

See more emergency sun protection options here.

  1. Hat
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Chap stick
  4. Sunglasses



Proper clothing is one of the most essential parts of planning for the outdoors. When planning a trip research the area you are going and do not rely on the weather forecast. Layering clothing is the best way to pack efficiently for any weather. Layering works by simply adding more layers for cold weather and removing layers for warm weather. It is important that these items be thin, wicking, non-cotton, and quick-drying materials. This is important because cotton dries slowly and can be dangerous, especially in cold weather. Sweating is also dangerous in cold weather and you must be able to remove additional layers as you hike to prevent excessive sweating. Here is a sample list of clothing items for your bail out bag that could be used in various temperatures.

  1. Wool or synthetic base layer top
  2. Quick-dry shirt
  3. Insulated jacket
  4. Rain jacket
  5. Wool or synthetic base layer bottom
  6. Quick-dry pants or shorts
  7. Rain pants
  8. Gloves
  9. Hat
  10. Bandana
  11. Non-cotton socks
  12. Boots
  13. Gaiters
  14. Camp shoes



bug out bag packing listIllumination will allow you to find your way in the dark if you are out later than expected or if you are planning to stay out overnight. Headlamps are good for use while traveling in the backcountry because they are hands free. Many light sources that are meant for the backcountry will also have a strobe mode that can be used for signaling during emergencies. Others are solar powered and are perfect lanterns for bug out bags.

See more emergency lantern options here.

  1. Headlamp
  2. Flashlight
  3. Lantern
  4. Batteries


First-aid and Hygiene

In outdoor and survival situations, you need to be prepared to take care of yourself. Things like a cut or abrasion can quickly turn into a painful problem if not taken care of. You can purchase a first-aid kit that will include many important emergency items. Things to consider when purchasing a first-aid kit are the size of the group you will be traveling with and the number of days that you will be traveling for.

Find emergency first-aid kits here.

  1. First-aid kit
  2. Toothbrush
  3. Toothpaste
  4. Toilet paper
  5. Medication
  6. Hand sanitizer
  7. Bug repellant
  8. Whistle
  9. Pack towel
  10. Emergency shelter
  11. Emergency sleeping bag
  12. Cordage



tactical trainingThe ability to start a fire in the backcountry is an essential survival tool and an absolute requirement for every bug out bag. You may need a fire for warmth, cooking, or signaling for rescue. To be able to start a fire in any condition, you will want a few fire starting tools as well as dry tinder.

Find emergency fire starters on Amazon.

  1. Waterproof matches
  2. Waterproof case
  3. Lighter
  4. Dryer lint


Repair and Tools

Depending on the type of outing you are planning for, there are a multitude of different tools that will range from essential to amenity. Repair kits for things such as a sleeping pads, stoves, or water filters are important to have in case any of these items fail. You may want tools for gathering wood, personal safety, or entertainment. In the case of an emergency, tools that can signal for help will be extremely valuable.

See other emergency tools kits.

  1. Hatchet
  2. Saw
  3. Multi-tool
  4. Knife
  5. Repair kit
  6. Communication device
  7. Signaling device
  8. Bear spray
  9. Binoculars
  10. Trekking poles



If you are planning a trek in the wilderness, you can bring shelf-stable foods or even things like cheese and eggs. You can choose to cook, just heat water, or go flameless. Many outdoor stores will carry shelf-stable options like dehydrated food as well as trail mix. Emergency food bars will be a lighter and more compact option if you are tight on space. If you choose to cook, there are a variety of stove options that work with different fuels like gas, liquid or solid fuel, some of which work better in different conditions.

Find emergency food options at Amazon.

  1. Dehydrated food
  2. Emergency food
  3. Energy bars
  4. Trail mix
  5. Drink mix
  6. Stove
  7. Fork
  8. Knife
  9. Spoon
  10. Pot
  11. Cup
  12. Fuel



best bug out bag backpack emergency water purifierWe are lucky to have clean water pumped directly into our homes, but when in the backcountry you cannot assume that clean-looking water is safe to drink. There are viruses and bacteria lurking in the water that can make you very sick. If ingested, these bacteria can give you stomach issues, which will lead to severe dehydration and even death. It is important to have a way of cleansing the water you find. You can use a filter or chemicals to purify the water. Proper storage is also important so that you are able to travel with a sufficient amount of water.

See other water filtration options.

  1. Filter
  2. Iodine tablets
  3. Water bottle
  4. Collapsible water storage container



If you are planning for a trip outdoors, there are many options for a shelter and you can choose the one that is best for you. There are lightweight or luxury tents, hammocks, and bivouac sacks. For warmth while you sleep, you will want a down or synthetic insulated sleeping bag as well as a sleeping pad for ground insulation. For day hikes or emergency preparation, there are ultra lightweight options for shelters and sleeping bags.

See emergency shelter options here.

  1. Tent
  2. Sleeping bag
  3. Sleeping pad
  4. Tarp
  5. Inflatable pillow



Whether you are planning for a day hike or a home emergency, the ultimate bug out bag can mean the difference between life and death. The 10 Essential Systems gives a great outline for any trip and can be followed with relative ease. Everyone’s packing list will look different but this list is a great starting point for almost any situation.


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The Best Backpacking Water Filter: Portable Filter Reviews for 2019

best personal water filters survival
Top 5 Water Purifiers

Water purification in the outdoors is an important tool to be able to safely drink water found in nature. Water in nature is likely to have impurities that can cause the drinker serious illness if ingested. Some impurities such as giardiasis will cause crippling diarrhea and severe dehydration, which makes it absolutely essential that you bring a backpacking water filter with you whenever you’re hiking, packing, or planning your bug out bag. The effects of dehydration can lead to illness, injury, or even death. In Grand Canyon National Park, there are cases every year of people who need to be rescued because they have become severely dehydrated. In order to have an adequate amount of water available at all times, backcountry travelers need to have a method of purifying water that they find in the wilderness. Generally, this means bringing along a portable water purifier of some kind.


Here are our Top Picks

Company Katadyn Pocket Sawyer LifeStraw Potable Aqua
Rating: #1 #2 #3 #4
Type Pump Filter Straw Filter Straw Filter Chemical
Effective Against Bacteria and Protozoa Bacteria and Protozoa Bacteria and Protozoa Bacteria, Protozoa, and Viruses
Volume/Time 1 liter per minute Varies Varies 30 minutes
Dimensions 10 x 2.4 inches 3 x 1 inches 1 x 1 x 9 inches 1 x 0.5 inches
Weight 20 ounces 2 ounces 2 ounces 3 ounces
Price See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon See Price on Amazon

The three main types of impurities in water that need to be neutralized are bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Types of purification methods available include filters, chemicals, and many other types of water purification systems that will remove up to 99.99% of these impurities. Viruses are the smallest, making them difficult for most traditional filters to remove. When traveling in the United States, treating viruses is not as important because they are rarely found in natural water sources. Chemical treatment options, such as iodine, will kill all three types of impurities.

In this article, I will review five different options for water purification, all of which are portable water filters that can be carries along inside a backpack or knapsack. In order to compare them, I will highlight the following categories:

  1. Type – The methods that are used to purify the water.
  2. Weight
  3. Size
  4. Effective Against – The three main types of impurities are protozoa, bacteria, and viruses
  5. Time – How long it takes to purify the water.



Sawyer Water Filter Review

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Mini is a filter that is extremely small and lightweight and is popular amongst ultra-light hikers and backpackers in the United States. It weighs only 2 ounces and can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced. This makes it one of the best hiking water filters on the market. With a 0.1-micron filter, it removes 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa. The filter works by attaching it to the top of the squeeze bag you use to get water from the source and then squeezing the contents into another clean container. Users can also use the filter as a straw and drink directly from the water source.

Since the filter is so small, the flow rate will be slower. It has a faster flow when new, but gets slower as particles begin to clog the filter. It can be back flushed to clean the filter, but over time it will slowly work less efficiently. However, at around $25, replacing the filter is cheaper than most repair kits for other more expensive hiking water purifiers.

  • Type: Straw Filter
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Size: 3 x 1 inches
  • Effective Against: Bacteria and Protozoa
  • Time: Varies



Katadyn Pocket Water Filter Review

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

The Katadyn Pocket Filter is a pump-action water filter that is effective in removing 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa. It is successful at filtering out common harmful bacteria and cysts larger than 0.2 microns as well as common impurities such as giardia and cryptosporidium cysts. It uses a silver impregnated and fully cleanable ceramic element to filter. It has a long usable life and can filter up to 50,000 liters of water before needing to be replaced.

With a decent flow rate of up to 1 liter per minute, this filter is good for use with small groups, making it a popular camping water filter. It is, however, the heaviest of the 5 and it is on the expensive side when compared to other camping water purifiers.

  • Type: Pump Filter
  • Weight: 20 ounces
  • Size: 10 x 2.4 inches
  • Effective Against: Bacteria and Protozoa
  • Time: 1 liter per minute




Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets Review

Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets

Potable Aqua Tablets are a type of chemical treatment that uses iodine to purify water. One bottle contains 50 tables and can treat 25 quarts of water. Chemical purification does not remove water impurities, but kills the active impurities that can harm you. Since this method does not rely on using a filter, it’s able to kill bacteria, protozoa, and viruses as well, the latter of which are usually too small to be screened out by a filter. After dropping 2 tablets in a quart of water, it takes 30 minutes for the water to be safe to drink.

Iodine tablets are known to change the color and taste of water. If this does not sound appealing, PA Plus Tablets can be purchased and used to remove taste and color. While iodine is an effective method of water purification, it is not recommended for long-term use. I usually carry a few in my backpack or bug out bag and an emergency water purifier in case one of my other systems goes out.

  • Type: Chemical
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Size: 1 x 0.5 inches
  • Effective Against: Bacteria, Protozoa, and Viruses
  • Time: 30 minutes


For a full review of these Potable Aqua Water Tablets Click Here



LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter uses a 0.2-micron filter to remove 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa. At only 2 ounces, it is extremely lightweight and can filter up to 1,000 liters of water before needing to be replaced, making it an excellent survival water purifier. The straw design allows users to easily drink directly from any water source. As with the Sawyer Mini, the flow rate will vary depending on its use.

The LifeStraw does not have long life compared to our other filters, only offering 1,000 liters. Its design does not allow users to easily fill containers with clean water and would only be a good choice for one person as opposed to a group. Its low weight and ease of use make it one of the best survival water filters on the market, but not necessarily the best for a group of people to depend on.

  • Type: Straw Filter
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Size: 1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Effective Against: Bacteria and Protozoa
  • Time: Varies




Etekcity Water Filter Straw Review

Personal Water Filter Straw with Emergency Camping Canteen

The Etekcity Water Filter Straw used a three step filtration process to filter out 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

This filter also comes with a kit of sorts that includes a pouch for collecting water a syringe for cleaning and other add ons that will save you money from buying them with other kits.

The manufacturer says this filter can process up to 1500 liters of water, which put it above most other filter straws on the market today.  Additionally, reviews from others claim it works

  • Type: Straw carbon filter
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Effective Against: Bacteria and Protozoa
  • Time: Varies




My Vote for Best Backpacking Water Filter Reviews

Before I go into my personal favorite, here is a look at my rating process and what I look for in water filters for camping.


The Potable Aqua Tablets are lightweight and easily storable, making them a great option for emergency preparation or as a backup water treatment method.

The Katadyn Pocket Filter is the best option for groups as it can easily pump water into many different containers.

While the LifeStraw only offers 1,000 liters of water purification, it has become popular with hikers and people who are preparing for an emergency because of its ease of use and reliability. The Etekcity is probably a better choice than the LifeStraw for those wanting a straw type filtration system, as it has a longer lifespan and filters better.

My pick for the best water purification is the Sawyer Mini. This offers the longest lifespan with 100,000 liters of water. It is lightweight and easily replaceable at only $25. This filter has become one of the most preferred methods of water purification for hikers and backpackers in the United States.

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Emergency Bug Out Bag Supplies: P-51 Model Military Can Opener Review

What is it?

The P-51 Can Opener is a military style tool with a sharp blade meant for opening cans. Its predecessor was the P-38 that has been around since WWII when soldiers used it. The P-51 and P-38 are called such because they are 51 and 38 millimeters long respectively. The P-51 is easier to use because of its larger size since it doesn’t require as much thumb pressure and requires fewer turns to open a can. Because of this, the P-51 was often used by mess hall cooks to open larger cans.

At a full 2 inches long, the P-51 is lightweight yet durable. There is a hole in the top so that you can easily add it to your key ring to always have it handy. The blade used to open cans folds back against the body when not in use, making it safe and compact. To use, flip out the blade and place the tip on the top of a can. Hook the notch on the side against the side of the can for leverage. Apply thumb pressure and the opener should easily puncture the can. Repeat this step moving in a circular motion around the can until the lid is removed.

>>See More Can Opener Brand and Reviews<<

Why do I need it?

bail out bag suppliesHaving an emergency can opener is important for every bug out bag you own. If you find yourself without a proper opener, you may try using other tools such as a knife, which can easily lead to injury. The P-51 is small and lightweight, so you can carry it with you at all times. It is a great tool for camping and hiking because of its small size and its sharp blade makes it multi-functional.

They are so useful in fact, that when P-38 openers were issued in the mess kits, the soldiers would keep them and reuse them. The soldiers found many good uses for the tool. The most popular uses besides can opener included a cutting tool similar to a box cutter and a makeshift flat-blade screwdriver. Other uses included a scraper, fire starter, sinker, finger splint, and rope cutter.

checkMark Features

The blade sits folded against the body when not in use, and easily flips out. It is easy to wear it around your neck or on your keychain. It is inexpensive, strong and effective.

  • Weighs only 3 ounces
  • Comes in a pack of 2
  • 51 mm or 2 inches long

xMark Shortfalls

The P-51 is a pretty small tool and takes some practice to be able to use efficiently. It takes much longer to open a can than a regular can opener and a lot more effort. If you choose to keep it on your keychain, it can be a bit noisy when closed because it clinks together.


>>See Other Emergency Gear Reviews<<

how to pack for an emergencyThe P-51 can opener is an excellent emergency tool and should be a part of everyone’s bug out bag. Its size and portability also make it great for activities such as camping, hiking, and fishing. On a typical camping or hiking trip, I would not plan on bringing any cans because of their weight. However, aside from being a can opener it makes a pretty nifty cutting tool that can have multiple uses if you are crafty. It can serve as a back up cutting tool or simply your only cutting tool if you are planning to travel ultra light. It is a standard tool for many outdoorsman and for such a good price, it should be a part of everyone’s bug out or bail out backpack.

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Bug Out Bag Supplies: Water Purification Tablets

What is it?

Potable Aqua is a chemical method of water treatment that was developed by the US military in WWII and is still in use in the military today. They have a great shelf life and can last up to 4 years in a sealed bottle in normal conditions. An open bottle can be kept for up to a year if it is not exposed to excessive amounts of heat, humidity, or moisture. They are small and lightweight, which makes them perfect for camping, hiking and international travel. They are also a great addition to a survival kit in case of emergency. Since they kill viruses, they are great for travel to foreign countries where the water quality may be questionable. In fact, the CDC reports that up to 70% of travelers will have a bout with traveler’s diarrhea at some time.

>>See more water purification options here<<

Why do I need it?


When you are in the wilderness or other area where you are gathering water from a questionable source, it is important to treat the water so that you can avoid getting sick. There are a few different ways to treat drinking water, and you should always have at least one method in your bug out bag at all time.. The main categories are filtration and purification. Iodine tablets are a type of chemical water purification. The tablets do not remove bacteria from water, but neutralize them instead.

There are three types of impurities in water that need to be neutralized: bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Most types of water treatment in the United States do not treat viruses because they are found more rarely in natural water sources and they are so small that most filters cannot catch them. Chemical treatment such as iodine kills all three kinds of impurities.

checkMark Features

The company lists that these tablets are for short-term and emergency use only. The bottle comes with 50 iodine tablets. It takes 2 tablets to treat 1 quart of water, and about 30 minutes for the water to be safe to drink after application.

  • Each bottle treats 25 quarts of water
  • Shelf life of 4 years
  • Kills most bacteria, protozoa, and viruses found in fresh water
  • Effective against cysts such as Giardia Lamblia
  • Effective against common bacteria that causes traveler’s diarrhea, such as E. coli, Cholera, and Salmonella
  • Effective in low temperatures

xMark Cons

The iodine can add an odd taste or color to the water. Sometimes, the tablets will stain containers an orange color. They are only for short-term use, and are not the best primary water purification for extended traveling or hiking. Iodine tablets are not effective against cryptosporidium, which can sometimes be found in freshwater sources in the United States. If you are planning a hiking or camping trip, usually park management will know if there are cryptosporidium cysts present in the area. You will have to wait 30 minutes after adding the tablets before drinking your water. If the water is excessively dirty or particulate filled, you may need to pre-filter the water before adding the iodine.

Should I get it?

>>Read more reviews about these tablets<<

Iodine tables are a reliable method for water treatment. They are best for short trips as either main water purification or as a backup because it is so light and small. I have used iodine tablets on many weekend backpacking trips. If I choose a different type of water purification such as a filter, I usually bring a bottle of iodine with me as a backup. During a normal hiking trip, you can expect to treat at least 6 quarts per person per day.

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Essential Bug Out Bag Supplies: Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket Review

What is it?

Emergency blankets for bug out backpacksThis is a Mylar thermal blanket that is used to reflect heat and keep you warm in the event of an emergency. These blankets are also sometimes referred to as space blankets, first aid blankets, emergency blankets, or simply a thermal blanket. An emergency blanket is made of a low bulk and lightweight material that is easily packable. It is typically a plastic film that has been coated with a metallic agent, usually vaporized aluminum. NASA first developed this material because they needed the smallest and lightest possible insulation to fit inside the spacecraft, which makes them perfect for fitting inside a bug out bag.

A thermal blanket is a must-have for any emergency kit or bag and is great to have with you while camping, hiking, or prepping for an emergency. You can use it to stay warm if you become lost or trapped. You may also come across an injured hiker and need to help keep him or her warm until help arrives. The blanket is small and light and will easily fit into most first aid kits or bail out bags. The best application for these blankets is in emergency situations to help protect against hypothermia. If you are lost and need to be identified by rescuers, the blanket doubles as a signal because it is so reflective. Emergency blankets are also known for their usefulness in do-it-yourself solar projects and can be used around the home.

>>See More Information About These Blankets Here<<

How does it work?

checklist of supplies for a bail out bagThe reflective Mylar material warms you by reflecting your heat and then trapping it in the air pockets that surround you. It reduces loss of body heat due to convection by providing a barrier between you and the elements. This will stop heat loss due to things such as perspiration, evaporation and moisture. The blankets cannot stop heat loss due to conduction either. This means that you can still lose heat if lying on the ground because there are no air pockets to trap the heat beneath you and the material will not stop your body from transferring heat into the ground.


checkMark Features

Here is a summary of the main features of the emergency blanket:

  • Waterproof and windproof
  • Retains up to 90% of your body heat
  • 54 X 84 inches
  • Weighs less than 1 lb.


xMark Shortfalls

The material is made of a very thin plastic and is therefore extremely flimsy. Although you may be able to get multiple uses out of it, it is typically made for one use only. If you are reusing the blanket, it can be difficult to repackage into a small size. The material will only protect against convection and not conduction, so you will not be insulated from the cold ground if you are lying down.

Do I need this in my bug out bag?

The Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket keeps in 90% of your body heat and helps to preserve your body temperature. It is small enough to fit in most first aid kits and is lightweight. A set of emergency blankets like this are an absolute must have in any well built bug out bag. The blankets are good to have in case of emergency, natural disaster, or nuclear meltdown, but should not be relied upon as your sole source of warmth if you are packing a 72+ hour bag. These would also be good to have in the home and in the car in case of emergencies during the colder months.

>>See More Emergency Blanket Options Here<<

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Emergency Bug Out Bag Supplies: UCO Waterproof Matches Review

Why Waterproof Matches?

survival gear to include campingThis is a case of 25 waterproof matches from UCO. The matches come in a waterproof durable cylinder that includes 3 strike pads. These matches are quite impressive. Once lit, they stand up to the toughest of tests including being submerged in water, covered in dirt, and being stomped on (See video). After being completely submerged and removed from the water, the match begins to smoke, and then relights on its own.

Waterproof matches are an excellent addition to your arsenal of survival or outdoor gear, especially for survival bug out bags. Being able to quickly and efficiently start a fire is crucial in most outdoor settings. Many people already carry a lighter, but if your lighter has been submerged in water and will not light, these matches will save the day. Having a fire is vital for things like warmth and cooking especially if you find yourself in a survival situation.

>>See other waterproof matches and emergency fire starters<<


checkMark The case itself is extremely tough and well made and can even stand up to being run over by a car. It is completely waterproof in order to protect the matches and contains additional strike pads on the inside. If dropped in water, the case will float. On the outside, there is an integrated strike pad holder. The strike pads themselves can be replaced easily if they get wet and there are two additional strike pads inside the case. The ribbed exterior of the case makes gripping it easy in cold and wet conditions.

The strikers are durable as well and can be reused after becoming wet. Just allow them some time to dry and use a back up striker in the mean time. If the matches become wet, simply wipe off the moisture before attempting to light them. These matches are a addition to my other emergency camping gear.


  • Case is available in dark green, orange, and yellow
  • Waterproof and durable case that can float
  • Ribbed exterior allows easy grip
  • External and integrated striker with 3 strike pads
  • Durable matches that can stand up to rugged conditions
  • Matches can burn for up to 15 seconds
  • Extended length of match allows for added safety
  • Weighs only 0.2 ounces
  • Case is 1.2 x 1.6 x 4.8 inches


xMark The case is big and heavy when compared to the common match set. This is a problem for people who want to move fast and light while hiking. If you need to put out a match, it can be difficult as you can imagine. To put out the match you must run it under water until it is completely out to avoid accidentally setting something on fire. They also have a tendency to spark when being lit, so you must remain conscious of your surroundings.

Should I buy them for my Bug out Bag?

what should i put in my emergency supply bagThese UCO Stormproof Matches are great because they are so durable and reliable. They are a great addition to add to any bug out bag packing list, but are also a good tool for hikers, campers, fishermen, or any outdoorsman. The matches are also great for everyday use. Flimsy and tiny matches are difficult to work with and have a short burn time. The stormproof matches can be used for lighting barbeques and even candles with much more ease. These matches are reliable enough that I would feel comfortable using them as my primary source of fire starting on a camping or hiking trip. In the colder months, I typically keep stormproof matches on hiking trips as a back up in the event that my lighter fails.

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