Today’s post is a guest post from long-time SHTFblog fan, “Angry Mike” of Clay Street Wholesale over at MREsource.net.
Take it away Angry ….
It has been a VERY long time since I have sent a guest post in to the SHTFblog. Since the ORIGINAL Ranger Man is back in action I felt compelled, as well as excited to write this post. This list is the 10 things that I MUST have, that I would absolutely grab in lieu of many other items. They are in no particular order. I will explain why I have to have them as well, just in case they don’t make sense. They all have uses in every environment and are tried and true, at least by me.
- 13” Kukri Machete manufactured by Cold Steel. Technically they are manufactured in South Africa and imported by Cold Steel. My understanding of this tool is the blade design originated with the Gurkha warriors of Northern India and Nepal. They found the blade design to be superior to any other for lopping off a person’s head with one swing and no doubt a limb. After using this type of blade I can see why. It is heavier and wider in the front of the blade than in the rear and has a curved shape that looks about the right size for the average humans neck to fit in. As a yard tool it will slice through even the thinnest of weeds with a flick of the wrist, dropping them on top of their root before toppling over. I have taken this blade along on several camping trips and outdoor excursions and it is by far my new favorite “if I can only take one” edged tool. I have split and chopped firewood, hacked through weeds and brush, dug holes, used it as a camp fire poker, hammered with it, built shelters, cleaned fish, cut rope…and the list goes on. When I bought it I had it in my mind that I was going to beat the hell of it to see what it could take. It has taken everything I have thrown at it. The finish is still intact, the blade hasn’t chipped or bent and the 1055 tool steel is still very sharp. A little WD-40 for rust prevention and you have a first rate survival blade. I have found its usefulness far superior to a straight machete. It is just as happy being used as a hatchet as it is a knife. Forgo carrying a hatchet and strap this bad boy on. The only draw backs I have found are a fairly cheap sheath and a plastic handle. I may put some nice hardwood scales on it and re-sheath it to my liking to improve it. For $25 you can beat this thing all day long and not feel bad about it and know it will gladly do it the next day. It could use about a 4” sharpening across the top edge, but for the price I can live with it or modify it later.
- The Remington 870 Express 12 Gauge Pump Shotgun. This shotgun was introduced almost half a century ago by Remington Arms. It has proven its reliability to hunters, law enforcement and military personnel in every climate and environment on the planet and is the most popular shotgun in production and use today. Barrel lengths and types abound to fit every need from hunting deer and fowl to self defense. Swap in a slug barrel for hard hitting rifle accuracy, change the choke and shell type to hunt small game and birds. Extend the tubular magazine and put on a short, smooth bore barrel and now you have a first rate self defense shotgun. Accessories abound for this shotgun to transform it in to anything you might need or want. 12 Gauge shells can be found nearly anywhere and in almost any home that has a firearm, an added plus for the survivor. This is another tool that has NEVER failed me. MSRP is around $550.00 but they can easily be found for less, usually from $350 to $450 brand new. Options will add to the price. I say go cheap and buy modifications you want later. A 20 Gauge version is also available for women, youths and recoil sensitive persons. Hitting your intended target is paramount. Buy what will serve you best.
- The Doan Machinery and Tool Manufacturing Company Magnesium Fire Starter. Shave a dime to quarter sized pile of magnesium off of this baby on to some mostly dry tinder, strike the flint rod and you have fire, guaranteed! Have a scrap of newspaper and you will have a Bonfire in minutes. Even when it’s raining or when the tool is wet, it works. I soaked it over night in a bucket of water to prove it to myself. Don’t have a knife with you? Use a rock to shave off magnesium and strike the flint, it still works! Magnesium burns at 5,400 degrees, hot enough to ignite almost anything. As a solid block it will not ignite unless it is brought to this temperature so there is no risk of accidental fire. It’s no wonder these are issued to US Soldiers and Pilots. There are many look alike products that can be found at outdoor and department stores. These are cheaply made in China. I fell victim to buying one of these for $7.99 and found out the hard way they simply are not worth the money. On its very first outing the flint rod had fallen out and was lost forever, rendering it useless. I have heard countless stories of this very same thing happening. My original Doan Tool has been hanging off of my keychain for 15+ years and has seen serious abuse as a result. The flint rod is still there and it has started at least 75 fires, with probably 3 times that many still left in it. This gem of a fire starter will set you back about $8-$10 depending on how and where you buy it. The only drawback I have found, which really isn’t one, is the cheap little chain supplied with it. Junk the chain and put a heavy duty key ring on it to keep it where you want it.
- The US Military Issue Canteen, Cup and Cover. This combo is unbeatable! The plastic canteens take abuse like no one’s business. The aluminum cup allows you to boil water, collect wild edibles, dig in sand, cook and eat food or just drink out of. The cover has a pouch for water purification tablets and is nearly indestructible. Wet it down and it will keep your water cool through the evaporation process. Its only drawback is that it holds just one quart of water. Sure there are 100 ounce hydration systems out there, but can you boil water or cook with them? Average price is around $15-$20 for the whole kit and caboodle.
- The US Military Issue Rain Poncho and Liner. These two items are indispensable to the survivor or outdoorsman. The poncho will keep the rain off of your back and the liner will add an insulating layer when snapped in to keep the cold off too. Remove the liner and use it as a blanket. Tie off the poncho to trees and make a shelter out of it or bury it in sand over a fox hole. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Like all things the military issues it’s tough as nails, camouflaged and should stand up to any almost abuse you throw at. Average price is around $30-$50 depending on where and how you buy it as well is if it’s new or used. If you don’t own one, get one!
- The Ruger 10/22 Rimfire .22 Caliber Rimfire Rifle. This little .22 caliber rifle is top notch. Accuracy is outstanding as is reliability. As always firearms cleaning should be top of the list. The 10 round rotary magazine holds enough ammo to have a follow up shot on a rabbit that is still hopping or to take several birds off of their perch. My preference is the synthetic stock with stainless steel barrel. It offers corrosion resistance, light weight and super strength. OH NO! I dropped my above mentioned 10/22 off of a 30 foot rock ledge. No worries, its fine and still shoots straight. True story. Like the Remington 870 shotgun, this little wonder has more accessories made for it than you can shake a tree full of sticks at. Turn yourself in to a “Groundhog Sniper” with the addition of a scope. Go Commando with magazines and a military style stock. The .22 Long Rifle cartridge is without a doubt the most readily available and least expensive cartridge in the world. 500 lead bullet, match grade rounds can be had for around $25! That’s a lot of rabbits on the table for the same price as a 6 pack of beer and 2 packs of cigarettes. A stock pile of 10,000 rounds will set you back around $400 at those prices, allowing plenty of ammo you could trade if TEOTWAWKI hits. The bullet types for this cartridge range from Jacketed Hollow points to shot shells, and they are all relatively inexpensive compared to other cartridges. Some are called “defensive rounds” but unless you can make a head, neck or clean heart shot, possibly multiple shots, reach for the Remington 870.
- The Glock Folding Shovel. This Austrian Army Issued equipment is top notch in my opinion. The folding E-Tool (Entrenching Tool) has been around for decades. Originally developed for soldiers to replace bulky garden shovels, this multi-tasking marvel has been developed in to the fine tools they are today. When soldiers in the trenches of World War I got in to close combat, they found the shovel to be a formidable weapon, putting more distance between them and their enemy than a knife and delivering a helmet denting, bone crushing blow. Somewhere along the way the edges were sharpened by a soldier and they were used like the battle axes of old and to split timber. The spade on this shovel can be angled turning it in to a hoe for irrigation, farming or fighting. The handle holds a beautiful secret; a 6 5/8” saw blade that is perfect for cutting down limbs to build a shelter or sizing firewood. With a saw already in it, there is one less thing to carry and one less thing to forget. It weighs 24 ounces and folds down to a mere 10” X 6 3/8”. Fully extended it reaches out to 25”. The price on average for these is around $50. Money well spent to dig yourself out of any jam. Get one, sharpen the edges and call it a day.
- The Genuine Swiss Army Knife. You can choose Victorinox or Wenger because both are great. Made with surgical grade stainless steel blades these pocket knives are strong, incredibly sharp and have multiple tools. Your basic Swiss Army knife should have a large and small knife blade, can opener, bottle opener, wine cork, tweezers and a toothpick. You can now eat, drink and be merry while digging out splinters. My favorite has a functional saw blade as well as a file which is great for sharpening another knife, machete or axe. Don’t buy cheap imitations because they are just that. Retail prices will range from $20 to $70 depending on the model. I have purchased brand new Swiss Army knives on ebay.com for only $15 including shipping that would have been over $50 in a retail store. As usual, shop around to find the best bargain. Money saved is money earned.
- 550 Para Cord. 550 Parachute Cord was developed for the military for use in parachutes. It is light weight and strong with a 550 pound tensile (test) strength. Soldiers and outdoorsman quickly found many uses for this tough little rope that is no thicker than an average boot lace. This rope is unique compared to most as it has an outer sheath and 7 inner strands. The outer sheath has a 200 pound test rating and each inner strand has a 35 pound test rating. When combined they have a 550 pound test strength. All you have to do is cut a piece and pull the inner strands out and you will have plenty of fishing line, snare line, cordage for shelter making, etc. It is great for wrapping knife and machete handles as it adds cushioning and keeps rope right on your blade. I replaced the shoes laces on my boots and sneakers with Para cord. This way I always have 7 super strong strands of lashing material and can put the sheath back in the shoes and still have laces to keep them on my feet. It is typically sold in 25’, 100’ and 300’ lengths as well as 1,000’ spools and comes in a plethora of outer sheath colors. Average price $4 to $40 depending on length.
- The Pelican Model L1 1930 LED Flashlight. With a 130 hour burn time and a 50,000 hour bulb life this light is a winner in my book. No, it is not the brightest flashlight available, but at only 0.9 ounces with the batteries installed and about 2 ½” long it takes the lead over many other lights for those facts alone. 130 hours is roughly 11 nights of light if it is dark for 12 hours or almost 5 ½ days of run time before the batteries die completely. Carry 4 extra LR 44 batteries (about $5 for a 50 pack online!) with you, and you have 260 hours…a staggering 11 days of run time! This little light shines bright in my eyes!!! If you find a cave, are scrounging for fire wood or shelter material in the dark this little beauty will not fail you as it has NOT failed me. There are IR compatible models of this light as well a night vision light which preserves night vision by using a green LED. This IR and LED light is a must for all Special Operations Operators! I have found this light combined with a lock blade folding knife for a measly $20 online and only $10 for the light itself. I prefer the yellow bodied light over black so I can see it in almost total darkness. I did not see that it claimed any ability to be water proof so I lightly spray mine 3 times with silicone spray after battery changes and have had no problems with the light even after dropping it in 8” of water. Shop around, get one and lightly spray it down with silicone. Low cost, long burn time and tough. Exactly what the survivor ordered!
– Angry Mike
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