31 January 2013

Knife Review: CRKT Free Range

I know I discussed doing a review on the Mora knife that I own but I picked up a CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool) Free Range Hunter Clip Point Lockback Folder recently that I am really pleased with.  That is a mouthful so we will stick with CRKT Free Range.

As before, I will give you the specs from the site, initial reactions and positives and negatives. You decide whether you like the knife. At least pick one up to get the feel of it and you will see one main reason I bought it.

Open Overall Length 8.875 inches
Closed Length 5.125 inches
Weight 4.4 ounces

Length 3.75 inches
Thickness 0.12 inches
Material 8Cr13MoV
Blade-HRC 58-59
Finish Satin
Grind Hollow
Style Clip Point
Edge Plain

Material Double Injection
Liner 2CR13

Type Lock Back

Carry System Sheath
Weight 1.1 ounces

My immediate thoughts when I grabbed the knife for the first time was, “I thought I was actually going to hold a knife.” Folks, this thing is lightweight and fits perfectly into my hand. The rubberized grip made it easy to shave wood and get a firm grip to cut through 1/2” sisal rope.

For starters, I have an everyday carry that is a little heavier and spring assisted. However, I wanted one that I could depend on to be a little more durable for the long haul. I like the size and feel of the handle in my hand. It conforms to my fingers nicely so, as mentioned above, was very lightweight and comfortable. I also like the fact that I am not limited to the sheath, but instead it is slim enough that I can slide it into my pocket. The downside is there is no clip and I can’t carry anything of size in the same pocket.

I took it through a few tests:
slicing - It sliced through cordage like butter and sisal rope with a little resistance.
cutting - I used it to cut some slices of wood as well as food, both acted as if they were meat from a crock pot that had been cooking for 10 hours. “Fall off the bone”
chopping - I did not chop with it due to the type of knife and I have one for chopping and batoning, see Gerber Knife Review
carving/whittling - Okay, so it’s an old test, but it passed with flying colors as well
hair off the arm - yet another old test but well, it just works for sharpness. It won’t give a clean shave out of the box but the sharpness does hold well with the CRKT.

Comfortable Grip
Smooth Opening
Thumb Post for Quicker Opening
Clip Point blade
Sturdy Locking Mechanism
Thumb Ridge along 1” of back of blade
Durable Sheath (plastic insert. can hang vertical or horizontal with belt)
Not a serrated blade (I didn’t want one on this knife)

Not spring assisted opening
No pocket clip

What modifications I might make:
To the knife itself, I may add that pocket clip
To the sheath, I might drill two holes in bottom for water drainage and run braided paracord pace-counter through it

That’s about it. I am pleased with my purchase from the North Georgia Mountains

Until then,
Use your instincts to survive

21 January 2013

"The DOOMSDay Prepper"

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" - This quote, made famous by the short film, Chicken Little in 1943 and then again with the movie of the same name in 2005, is an indication that people expect a Doomsday scenario to play out before the end of their lives. Many of you may remember reading Henny Penny and Chicken Little when you were little.

For decades people have had a hidden fear of what may be considered the "end of days" or armageddon type event where there is total destruction or annihilation of the earth. Recently, people have started bringing it to the forefront of their discussions and mass media has added to the fear machine with movies such as "Armageddon", "Deep Impact" and various Zombie classics.

Many have considered, National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers, as a relief for them to discuss what might have originally been taboo. I use it as a launchpad for many conversations around prepping and the reasons why to prep.

For this post, I want to set the record straight on something that has been weighing on my mind; The Doomsday scenario. If you watch the aforementioned show, you will notice that no one and I mean no one, has stated they were preparing for doomsday but instead something that would change the course of how they live their day to day lives.

I have heard about an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruptions and even hurricane scenarios but none talk about the total destruction of the earth.

If that is the case, then why do we prep? Someone mentioned on Twitter around the Mayan Event (12.21.2012), the preppers will be sorry after the date passes because they will look foolish. To some I retorted and said many are not preparing for the Mayan Prophecy and went on to explain what I was preparing for when the question returned to me. I found this to be the case with many others as well.

I have created a friendship, albeit mostly virtual, with many in the prepping communities and credit a lot of that to the Twitter hashtag #preppertalk. Many of the discussions that go on are around great subjects such as food storage, reuse of old materials and general self-reliance. Yes, including gardening and permaculture. I was amused at the number of folks that poked fun and even gave me a "ROFL" when I asked if they were ready for the Mayan Prophecy to come to pass.

Please understand, there may be someone out there that they do fear an "end of the world" doomsday event where the moon and sun collide with the earth and the big blue marble no longer exists. It is for each person to decide why they prepare without judgement because it doesn't affect you. But please understand, many of us are just normal folks, looking to ensure the safety, security and well being of our families, now and in the future.

As for me, I just want to make sure that if I ever lose my job or if cold weather turns the power off, we have food and warmth until all things are restored. Sure there may be some other things, but really, Zombies? I use that as another launchpad for discussions and it works REALLY well.

By the way, thanks to all who watched my first video post. I hope to have more in the future.

Until then,
Use your instincts to survive

13 January 2013

Battery Firestarter

  In an attempt to try something a little more modern than still photography, I have added a video to my latest post as a supplement for my topic.

Many people have seen the 9v Battery and Steel Wool Firestarting method. Some have even used a car battery. 

But what if you only have a cellphone and steel wool. Now the debate comes as to the practicality of carrying steel wool on a normal basis, but we are testing unusual circumstances or something that might be understood as SHTF or TEOTWAWKI. 

So without further ado... here is the short two minute video. 

Until then,
Use your instincts to survive

Special thanks to my son for video and production.