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  • 15 Survival Uses For A Drum Liner

    Drum liners are meant to line 55-gallon barrels and drums, though they can be used for many other applications, too. Hand one of these generously sized plastic wonders to a crafty survivalist, and he’ll only be limited by his imagination. If you weren’t a believer in the utility of drum liners before, here are 15 good reasons to toss a couple in your survival kit.

    1) Solar Still: Use a clear plastic liner it to build a solar still for drinking water production. Cut open the bag and lay it over a hole in a damp, yet sunny, location. This hole should have a container inside to catch water, and the drum liner should be buried around the hole’s top perimeter. The final touch for this solar powered water machine is a small stone in the center of the plastic liner, which should create a cone shape out of the drum liner cover, pointing at the container in the hole. A productive solar still can kick out several cups of water per day.

    Hi... Good post, Tim. Many useful and potentially life-saving ideas...!!

  • Survival Gear Review: K12 Pocket Survival Cards

    Not sure if your friends and family can hack it in a survival situation? Maybe they need a “cheat sheet” to walk them down the path to survival. I’ve seen a lot of booklets and survival cards over the years in my on-going search for concise, high-quality survival literature. What I’ve never seen before, though, is a set of waterproof, tear-proof survival cards that give you the tools to light a fire, too. That is, until I came across the new K12 Pocket Survival Cards.

    Hi, Tim... Interesting post. Wish some of those cards could have been seen. Since that was not the case...I'll have to say this: If they're as good as you say, they could serve a good purpose by being THOROUGHLY STUDIED before the fact. In other words...don't wait until you NEED this info before you use it. Then keep carrying them as recollection-refreshers.

  • Survival Gear Review: The Chinook MinimalistPAK First Aid Kit

    When you hear the word “minimalist,” you probably think of something that is stripped down to the bone, and maybe to the point of being ineffective. But this certainly isn’t the case with the new Chinook Medical Gear MinimalistPAK. Being on a bit of a first aid kick lately, I was eager to check out this company’s version of the bare essentials.

    The kit was bigger than I expected it to be (though it does fit in a BDU pocket), yet lightweight at 9.2 ounces. Everything is contained in a waterproof zip-top plastic pouch, that measures 4 by 8 by 2 inches in size. Upon opening the kit, there was a nice assortment of quality supplies for basic first aid, even some name-brand stuff. The kit contains medicines, dressings for bleeding and wound care, and a few unexpected extras like a space blanket and rehydration salts. I don’t think you could purchase all the contents separately for the cost of this kit, a respectable $24.

    Hi... I think that it's a decent 'starting' kit (hence the name Minimalist?), but it does leave some things to be desired. I prefer to make up my own FAK with items that can be found in most pharmacies. In addition, I also include a Trauma Pack which also includes the 'bloodstopper' "QuikClot", put out by Adventure Medical Kits. I keep such FAKs at home, in the UTE, and in my GHB. Total of only a few ounces, weight-wise, and gives me a much more secure feeling knowing that they are readily acessable.

  • Canadian Man Fights Off Bear by Grabbing its Tongue

    When a black bear attacked Gilles Cyr two weeks ago, Cyr let his survival instincts kick in.

    And those instincts told him to grab the bear’s tongue and hold on for dear life!

    Mr. Cyr told CBC News that he was walking through his property near Grand Falls, New Brunswick when a black figure flew out of the woods toward him. Before he knew it Cyr had a black bear on top of him and its tongue in his hand.

    Hi... Well, the guy had the presence of mind to do SOMETHING...!! saved his live. Good on him.

  • Ultra-light Bug Out Bag

    The typical Bug Out Bag is often overstuffed with less-than-critical materials, but there are five pieces of gear that you absolutely must have in any good Bug Out Bag (and they might be the only components included in an ultra-light BOB). Every ounce should count in a situation where you must leave your familiar world behind and subsist on your own. Here is the minimum of what you’ll need. 

    Hi... Excellent post, Tim. If only more sportsmen would take that advice. For myself, I call it my Get Home Bag...containing those very items, plus many more. It's a sling Pack, and when fully loaded (fire, cooking, first aid (including a Trauma Pack), shelter, signaling and many more related items, it weighs only seven pounds, minus food and water. Tinned or 'instant' freeze-dried food is added before each trip afield, and water is carried on my hip.

  • Contest: Write the Caption, Win a "This Happened to Me" Book

    "This Happened to Me" has been a fixture in Outdoor Life since 1940. Now, we've compiled 183 of the most adrenaline-filled misadventures experienced by our readers over the last 73 years into one tooth- and claw-filled book. You can buy it at

    Or, you can win it here! We're giving away a copy of "This Happened to Me" to the best, most creative caption for the panel above. Limit one caption entry per reader, please.

    Hi... "Yikes...I can leap-frog 'im...dive under 'im...or bypass 'im. And if I ever get out of here, I'll need a bypass my self...!!".

  • Best Day Packs: 6 New Hunting Backpacks Tested and Reviewed

    Our team of pack pros left no stitch unexamined in our evaluation of this field of packs. After we inspected them inside and out to make note of design features, innovations, and overall workmanship—the real fun began.

    We tested each pack with a variety of standardized loads—a 10-pound basic range kit, a 20-pound hunting kit, and a 70-pound load to simulate packing out meat. We tested strap strength by pulling a 220-pound man across a warehouse floor by the pack.

    During the abrasion test, we filled each pack with a metal ammo can loaded with .308 brass and dragged and dropped it on a variety of surfaces, including industrial carpet, a gravel parking lot, and the bed liner of a pickup truck. Lastly, we tested the packs’ ability to support the weight of a man while the pack was suspended by its handle—our “cliffhanger” test. 

    Hi... Yes, for day packs they are considerably overpriced IMuHO. I can and have sufficed with gear that is far less expensive. But, hey...if money is no object...go ahead...spend your brains out...!!

  • Bear Attacks 2010

    Bear problems are up in several regions around the country. Keep track of all the attacks that have happened in 2010, there may be more than you think.

    Hi... Au contrare, my good person...!! Firearms are NOT the 'ideal' item to use against a bear charging you at 35-MPH...!! Unfortunately, most bear 'theories' (and most of them are 'theories') are nothing but tripe. For first hand experience and expert advice on same, Google 'Dr. Tim Smith biologist and bear expert' for the REAL info on how to stay alive when encountered by a bear(s).

  • How to Survive a Bear Attack

    It’s hard to miss the numerous bear attack stories that have been in the news over the last few weeks. Most experts agree that a person should play dead in a fetal position with grizzlies, and fight back when it comes to black bear attacks. But the brave young lady in Michigan who was attacked by a black bear just days ago, was spared after she played dead. She was able to run home after the attack. But an Alaskan hunter wasn’t able to get to help so quickly after a bear attack this past weekend. 

    An unnamed man from Alaska had to wait 36 hours for a rescue helicopter to bring him to a hospital. And luckily, he received life sustaining care while he waited, administered by a fellow hunter with a day job is in the medical field. The attack happened late Thursday in northern Alaska, and the man was finally airlifted around 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Both the 12-year-old girl and the adult male hunter are expected to make a full recovery.

    Hi... Most bear 'survival' advice is nothing more than tripe...absolutely worthless...!! Google 'Dr. Tom Smith bear biologist' and get the real lifesaving details. He has studied bears and their habits; bear attacks and how to avoid them, etc. Statistically, more bear attacks are thwarted by BEAR SPRAY (not mace or pepper spray) than by firearms. More people have been injured and/or killed by trying to use a firearm against a 35-MPH charging bear, than those who opted to use BEAR SPRAY. Make sure your bear spray is EPA registered. This assures you that the spray has the right amount of spray, the right distance it will spray, and the right COLOR of the spray. There's a lot more about avoiding bear attacks, but I'll let you find out first hand by letting your fingers do the walking, okay?

  • Squirrel Hunting Basics: Best Tactics and Guns

    Many hunters start out by chasing squirrels, only to be lured away by larger and more glamorous game. However, as the leaves begin to change and the temperature drops, squirrels seem to appear in the limbs and crotches of every tree, reminding us how much we used to enjoy hunting them.

    Hi... If you have a grey squirrel treed, and it won't show itself, tap the tree with a rock, and that will get it moving again.

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