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Archive | Preparedness

Izula Sheath Upgrades from Sagewood Gear

Sagewood Gear just rolled out two new sheath upgrades for the popular ESEE Izula. The Izula comes with a molded plastic sheath that is functional and durable but has limited options for attaching it to your belt. The new Vertical Carry Belt Loop and Scout Straps work with this original sheath so you don’t have to replace it altogether.

The Izula Vertical Carry Belt Loop is designed to attach to the hard plastic Izula sheath and provide a more comfortable ride on your belt by dropping the sheath below the belt line. It is constructed from 9oz Wickett & Craig leather. It attaches to the sheath via included Chicago screws and features a fold-over, dropped belt loop with 24 DOT Mil Spec Button Fasteners.

The Izula Scout Straps attach to the Izula’s original plastic sheath and allow it to be carried horizontally on the belt – AKA Scout Carry. Scout carry often places the knife’s handle very close to the belt so Sagewood Gear has thoughtfully included spacers in the design that make the handle easier to grasp. These straps is also constructed from 9oz Wickett & Craig leather and features the same 24 DOT Mil Spec Button Fasteners.

Kit Badger: To Build A Fire

Ivan at Kit Badger just wrapped up his To Build A Fire series in which he pockets a firestarting tool and then jumps into freezing cold water before trying to start a fire. I was present for the filming of one of these videos and it was as miserable as it looks on camera.

I suggest you watch all of the videos in this series, but if you can only watch one, watch the wrap up:

The series graphically shows several lessons learned with the main one being that just because you can light a fire in ideal conditions, doesn’t mean you can light one when you actually NEED one. It also highlighted the attributes you should look for in a firestarting tool – something that requires as little dexterity as possible and buys you time.

Crowdfunding – MerkWares LLC Pocket Super Shelter

If you are at least mildly familiar with the term “bushcraft”, you are likely also familiar with Mors Kochanski – one of the great figures in the bushcraft world. He developed the Super Shelter concept which was a compact shelter that could be built in the woods with tools and know-how for surviving cold weather. What if a similar shelter could be built with no tools and very little know-how?

Merkwares LLC, makers of the excellent Emberlit Stove, have developed a new shelter called the Pocket Super Shelter. It is designed, when coupled with a small fire in front of the shelter, to actively heat the occupant. It accomplishes this feat with a clear plastic front (towards the fire) and a reflective liner. The clear plastic front acts like glass in a greenhouse while the reflective material, which is more durable than mylar, reflects the heat of the fire onto the occupant.

The shelter comes vacuum packed into a very compact package and can be compressed effectively after it’s first use for continued use. The material used in construction,¬†Heatsheets proprietary Silver Lining™ Technology, is more durable than the typical mylar space blanket or tube shelter.. It sets up with 4 stakes and a single ridge line tied to anchor points.

Check out the Pocket Super Shelter on Kickstarter.

ITS Tactical TourniQuick

ITS Tactical’s new TourniQuck is a pouch designed to carry, fully cover, and even deploy CAT and SOF-T tourniquets. It makes use of a similar one-handed pull-to-deploy design found on ITS Tactical’s ETA Trauma Kit Pouch. When the user pulls the red marked (included red Velcro ONE-WRAP) loop, the outer surface of the pouch breaks away and unfurls the tourniquet fully so that it is immediately ready to place around a limb.

The TourniQuck can be mounted a number of ways including vertically or horizontally on a belt, vertically on a backpack strap, or vertically on PALS webbing. It is made in the USA.

TourniQuick on ITSTactical.com

Sneak Peek: Wild Hedgehog Tactical and Ryker Nylon Collaborate on the EDATK

Wild Hedgehog Tactical assembles and sells a variety of trauma and first aid kits. Ryker Nylon makes the AFAK (Ankle First Aid Kit), an ankle pouch designed to carry essential aid items. It sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

These companies have teamed up to offer the EDATK or Every Day Ankle Trauma Kit, a fully stocked version of the AFAK. It features components like the SOFT-Wide Tourniquet, HyFin Chest Seals, and Celox Rapid hemostatic gauze and weighs in at 1 pound fully stocked.

The EDATK is designed to be carried on the ankle discreetly and comfortably anywhere from the trail to the office. Each compartment is individually secured so that items won’t be lost during high activity.

Stay tuned for pricing and release information. The release date should be closer to the end of this month.

A Deeper Look at RE Factor Tactical’s Trauma Tape

RE Factor Tactical’s Trauma Tape has been a hot product for them. The initial release of Trauma Tape was covered here but since that time, RE Factor Tactical has released a blog post that dives deeper into the features, function, and background of the product.

Read more about Trauma Tape: RE Factor Tactical Blog

Planning Helps… Even When Something You Could Never Plan for Happens

My family and I live in a sparsely populated area of a sparsely populated state. Sometimes it can feel like we are completely isolated from the big city problems that we left behind years ago but, every once in a while, something comes along to remind us that no one is ever completed insulated from the types of situations that prepared people prepare for.

You probably have various plans for your family like we do. If “A” happens, we do “B”. If “X” happens, we do “Y”. You might even drill those plans on occasion like a fire drill. But what happens when something you didn’t¬†specifically plan for happens? Well, the good news is that some planning – any planning at all really – can help even when something that you could never foresee happens.

Trouble can always find you… even here.

Our Story

I will shorten this story significantly so I don’t lose you in the third paragraph. It is a much longer story that I may share sometime as there were a ton of lessons learned for our family. For now, I will start at the middle of my lunch break a few weeks ago when we received a text message from our county alert system telling people to stay away from the road we live on and to report anyone suspicious. This road is very long and we live on the very beginning of it. We wondered where on our road the emergency might be happening but I guess I didn’t think enough of it to take immediate action.

I finished eating lunch while thinking about the text message and resolved that I would find out more after lunch. I put on my coat, started to head out the door and that is when I noticed that there were sheriff squad cars, lots of squad cars, parked at the end of our driveway. The police emergency which was clearly a man hunt wasn’t just on our road, it was happening on our property.

I turned back inside and began the process of notifying our other family that lived on the property of this while also rallying my own family. My wife and I began the process of securing our home – retrieving a firearm for the adults who were not already armed and double checking every window and door lock. This, we found, made our young daughters quite nervous as they didn’t fully understand what was happening but knew it was at least a little serious. So, we also started to give them tasks like taking their coats off their hooks and staging them in case we needed exit quickly, putting on socks, then boots, and similar tasks to take their minds off what was happening because by this time, they were fully aware of police presence.

Almost Any Plan Will Do

If you think about it, most of your short term plans for your family’s safety require similar actions. The stimulus that begins the plan may be wildly different but the course of action set in place by that stimulus is likely to be similar across many situations.

The actions that I described above were planned ahead of time though not necessarily because we thought there would be a manhunt on our property. We never considered that could happen and it likely never will happen again. The actions we took really had more in common with plans for a quick moving wild fire (which is a major issue in our part of the world) than it did with any plans we might have for an intruder. We essentially needed to shelter in place with the knowledge that we may need to leave immediately. So, while the event of a man hunt on our property wasn’t necessarily planned for specifically, we were able to draw from other plans to deal with the issue.

Here are some lessons on planning that we drew from this in hindsight:

  • Keep plans flexible. Many of the plans you have for your family in the home will revolve around ways to exit the home right away and ways to shelter in place so keep those plans flexible enough that they can be applied to many situations.
  • Practice your plans. If you have plans, drill them so that the parts of the plan are familiar to everyone. You never know which parts of the plan you may need for an unforeseen situation.
  • Give everyone a job. Plan for your children so that you can have tasks ready for them to complete. This was extremely helpful in occupying the minds of our kids in a stressful situation.

As I said, the above is an extremely short version of the story. It did end well with the suspect being found 20 feet up a tree down in our woods. There was 16-18″ of snow on the ground at the time so the sheriff’s department was able to track him effectively and the tense part of the situation only lasted about 2 hours.

I’m glad that we had some plans in place even if they weren’t specifically for a man hunt on our property.

Deep Discounts on Para-X Treatment Tubes – IFAK and Bleeder – at BMK Ventures

BMK Ventures is offering 20% off their already discounted prices on Para-X Treatment Tubes. These tubes contain proven components and are designed with versatile packaging so they can be stored in small spaces or repackaged in a pouch you provide. They have both the IFAK and Bleeder versions on sale. Use code “STB20%” at checkout to save.

Para-X Treatment Tube Bleeder

Para-X Treatment Tube IFAK

Sagewood Gear Universal Axe Sheath

There are a number of universal axe sheaths/masks on the market but many of them leave a lot to be desired. They often fit poorly which is dangerous with a sharp axe or they are difficult to install/remove which is also dangerous with a sharp axe.

Sagewood Gear’s Universal Axe Sheath is different. It is not as universal as some axe masks since it is actually available in sizes for many common axe bits. The various available sizes, coupled with the unique adjustable paracord retention strap and closure allow the end user to fine tune the fit to their specific axe.

The Universal Axe Sheath is made from 9-10oz Wickett and Craig Leather. The paracord retention strap can be protected from wear with a piece of included heat shrink wrap.


Sneak Peek: 5col Survival Supply HPG Kit Bag Survival Kit

5col Survival Supply is developing a survival kit designed specifically to fit the Hill People Gear Kit Bag. The kit features quality components from Solkoa Survival Systems, Aquamira, UCO, and more. Given the versatile load carrying capability of the Kit Bag and it’s ability to stay with the wearer even when they have to drop their pack, I am surprised there hasn’t been other similar kits developed.

Stay tuned for additional details.

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