Reviews

Book Review: The Unoffical Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

interior-pages-unofficial-hunger-games-survival-guide-1
Our regular readers will remember that last year we reviewed Creek Stuart’s Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag. Today Creek’s latest book, The Unoffical Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide is being released and we were lucky enough to receive a review copy just in time for this review. Like Creek’s other book, this one is also full of useful information (see the page sample to the right). Let’s dive in and see what we have in store this time.

Creek uses details from the Hunger Game book series to illustrate specific preparedness concepts, such as specific situations with individual characters like Katniss or Peeta to relate the skills represented in that fictional scenario with a real world survival or wood craft example. I found this to be a fun and engaging approach for someone who is familiar with the books. This approach may have limited impact for someone who has no knowledge of the characters and why that skill was critical to their survival, or even for someone who only watched the first movie. However, given the title and the suspected audience, I think this has the chance to pull non-preppers in and give them their first exposure to these concepts.

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Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag – Book Give Away

Back in May, I pre-ordered the book “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit”. When it arrived a short time later I read through it and was immediately impressed with the job the author Creek Stewart had done. As I was reading it the thought kept emerging that this book was exactly the sort of detailed how-to that we like to do here at Utah Preppers, but on a larger scale. As it turns out, the book initially started out as a blog post on the art of manliness blog. After receiving a good response, Creek decided to work on expanding the concept into a comprehensive how to guide.
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Coast Rapid Response 3.0 Knife Review

Time for another product review. This is the Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, built by Coast Products out of Portland Oregon.Coast Rapid Response 3.0 Knife

This knife features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • 400 Series stainless steel (I wish they mentioned which 400 series.  Saying 400 isn’t very helpful).
  • Liner-Lock, with their “Max-Lock” safety on the side of the handle.
  • One hand opener called S.A.T “Smooth Action Technology” with ambidextrous thumb studs

One of the major selling points on this knife is their spring assisted open.  It is quite snappy.  To prevent any accidental openings you can use their “Max-Lock” on the side of the blade.  When engaged it will prevent the blade from either opening or closing.  During vigorous usage I engaged the Max-Lock unintentionally, then spent a little time fighting with the blade to get it closed.

Coast Rapid Response 3.00 Liner-lock view

You can purchase the Rapid Repsonse 3.0 for $40.00

At $40.00 this is a great knife, especially if you consider that it is a one handed spring assisted opener.  I’ve had this knife in my pocket for about a month now and have used it in a variety of cutting jobs.  The last job I threw at it frankly was knife abuse, but it handled it as well as could be expected.  I was helping a friend lay sod, and I used the knife to cut in the sod.  It lasted through about 3 cuts with a good edge, and soldiered on through the rest of the job if I sawed quite a bit at it.

Once I had thoroughly dulled the blade I took it home, cleaned it up and gave it a good sharpen.  Sharpening this knife gave me a little trouble because of the thumb studs.  It wouldn’t fit properly in any of my power sharpeners, so I had to get out some sharpening rods.  The knife sharpened up just fine and cuts like a champ.

If you have larger hands (I usually wear XL sized gloves) the knife feels a little small sometimes.  For a pocket knife this is great, if you are intending to do longer more rigorous cutting jobs you might want to consider their Rapid Response 3.90 which is a little larger.

You can also watch my video review on the Rapid Response.

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Prepping featured on the Today Show this morning – Today Show Preppers

NBCs Today Show via Google Image Search
As I was getting for work this morning, like most mornings I had the morning news on so I can try to be up to date on those events that are reported on. As I was finishing up and getting ready to walk out the door, the Today Show on NBC came on following the local news. One of the first things they mentioned? The growing number of “preppers preparing for the end of the world”.
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Review: UVPaqlite and ToobLite Glow Sticks

ToobLite Mini with a Paracord lanyard and Turks Head knot.

At times when I’m building up my various forms of disaster kits, I want to throw you hands up in frustration at how reliant I am on different forms of technology. As much as I enjoy the outdoors I’m always bending it back to my more technological side. While this may make things more fun, accurate, or whatever other benefits I get, it also makes me dependent on power.

A great example of this is my need for light outdoors. Now sure we’d like to never be reliant on non-natural light forms, but it’s a reality. Even if you just have a midnight bathroom run once and a while, there are times that you need light. Historically of course, man has relied on fire to provide this light, and now we have flashlights to give us nice, portable light whenever we want, provided we have charged batteries.

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Wok Like A Prepper With A Volcano or a Rocket

In my mind, I can hear the sound of an 80′s song, but I am not an egyptian. No, but I do like a Wok.  Most commonly associated with Chinese cooking, the wok actually has variants found from India to Japan.  Billions of people have relied on this simple pan as their main cooking pot for good reasons. The wok represents one of the most efficient means to utilize a fires heat and cook in a variety of ways. This is why we thought it to be a good test at our recent stove party.

In short, a woks shape allows it to provide the best surface area to connect with your heat source, and concentrate it for efficient cooking.  Depending on what food you use, you could boil, saute, stir fry, and more. So for our test, I grabbed some of the cheapest stew meat, and frozen veggies to test a stir fry.  This cooking method is good in a preparedness sense in that it allows you to take smaller pieces of whatever proteins and vegetables you can get your hands on, and quickly cook them with some flavor for a group.  This can be really important in an extended emergency when food fatigue has set in, or if you just are trying to get the most out fo your food budget today.

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Review – Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker

A few weeks ago, several of our authors met up on a Saturday to test out some stoves we were given to review. Jayce will be posting some information and pictures on those soon. The subject of this post was an unexpected surprise to me. At our meet up were the owners of Saratoga Jacks, a local company that imports and sells high quality thermal cookers.

After the break you’ll find a complete unboxing and review of the 7 liter Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker as well as an introduction to thermal cookers and why they matter to preppers.
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Group Stove Test: First Thoughts

UtahPreppers stove test

Several of the stoves getting setup

Last weekend several of the UtahPreppers got together with some friends to begin doing some hands on tests to start preparing for winter. Recently several of us have acquired new stoves and we wanted to give a conduct some tests to compare how well they worked. For our first meet up we wanted to test a few stoves and other devices with the group. While we learned a lot we realized that we’ve got some more comprehensive tests to run through before we can highlight each of them adequately. But before we move along with the individual tests, we wanted to thank some of the people that helped make this first stove test so much fun and informative. (more…)

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Review: Wrap-It-Ice Bandages

Wrap-It-Ice by Shield-Safety

Today I decided to write a little review on a product that I really wish I didn’t have to do. The reason for this is not for a lack of quality in the product, but the fact that I actually needed to use it. Yes, this is a first-aid bandage that I’ve had sitting in my cabinet waiting until needed, and now it is.

Several months ago I met with Mike at Shield-Safety, and went through their sales pitch about some first-aid products they had.  While a lot of what they did was not new, they had several things that did pique my interest and stand out as something I wanted to buy. Now I’m not normally a person to give into a home sales pitch, but the Shield-Safety people approached us a little bit differently, they taught first-aid basics, and how to actually use the different items that you should have available in a home first-aid station. One of the products they had that got my attention was a sealed wrap for sprains. (more…)

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Goal0 Guide 10 Power Kit

Recently I wrote a bit about my new toys, a varied set of Goal0 solar and battery products. Charging up while campingOne of the key pieces that I bought was their 7m folding solar panels. This well-designed kit provided 7-watts of peak solar power in a tiny kit that could easily strap on to my backpack and provide charging throughout the day for small devices. The kit I bought also included their ‘rockbox’ speaker set, a small set of speakers that that have a built in battery, but easily charge from this small panel.

As handy as the device is, there were some shortcomings.  First off, the device I most wanted to use on it is extremely finicky with what it allows to charge (yeah, it’s an iPhone), and the variability of solar electricity meant that the iPhone didn’t like accepting the charge.  Secondly, some of my devices simply take AA or AAA batteries, and I didn’t have a good charger that would run off the USB adaptor that the 7m provides.

Thankfully there is a relatively new product that addresses these shortcomings, their Goal0 Guide 10.  In short, it’s a battery charger, that doubles as a combined power pack for those devices you would most likely charge from the panel. (more…)

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OvaEasy Eggs

Heading out on a hike recently, I needed to find a good item for breakfast.  Having already converted my friends to the awesomeness that is freeze-dried eggs, I wanted to try something new.  I’ve long been anti- dehydrated/powdered eggs after having far too many bad experiences with them. To me they still always taste odd, and it leaves me not wanting eggs for a while afterwards.  However, I do have a love for eggs and really wanted to have some on our hike.  So as I was browsing along a local sporting good store, I happened upon a new item. (more…)

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Review: Daily Bread Beef Stroganoff With Noodles

The way to a man’s heart is his stomach.  When that man is a prepper, and a blogger, nothing could be more true.  With that said, I was overjoyed recently when I was contacted by one of our local freeze-dried companies.  They were wondering if I would be interested in sampling a couple of their entrees, and writing my opinion on them.  Not exactly a difficult decision there.

What made this choice even better was the timing. I just happened to be heading up that weekend with the guys for a little man-camp time.  What a better way to test things out. (more…)

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