Survival Gear & Reviews

Make sure you have the right gear with you when it all goes South. Check out our top recommendations to keep you safe in a survival or disaster scenario.

best 18650 flashlight

18650 Flashlight. What Is The Best for 2016

 

UPDATED March 2017:

best 18650 flashlight

On our hunt for the best 18650 flashlight for our EDC, camping trips and survival packs we will always look for

quality.

Why do you need a quality flashlight and in this instance, what should you even buy?

We want something we can rely on for many different scenarios.


  • For EDC flashlights we want reliability.
  • For survival situations we want it to be rugged, strong and reliable.
  • For camping we want it to be lightweight and not eat through batteries like they are going out of fashion.

There are many things to consider when looking for your ideal flashlight. What do you need it for being the primary one, how bright is it, what type of batteries does it need and can I use disposable batteries in my light?

The fact that a single 18650 battery gives out the same power as 3 normal disposable batteries, you can recharge it whenever you want and you can see where we are going with this.

Size wise your flashlight will be a bit bigger than your normal pocket flashlight but this is a sacrifice worth taking because of the additional power.

When you are investing in one of these tactical flashlights you need to look at how they are put together. Price is always an important factor but as we mentioned earlier we always look at quality first.

Top Rated Flashlights On A Budget

18650 Flashlight comparison review chart

A quick look at the top five 18650 flashlights

Olight S2 Baton 18650 Flashlight

Olight S2 18650 flashlight

The Olight S2 is made of 6061-T6 aluminium. Weighs in at 1.78oz/50.5g(excluding batteries) and can take a single 18650 battery. Quality 18650 flashlight that won’t let you down.

OLIGHT S2 Baton Features

  • Side switch LED flashlight
  • Powered by a single 18650 battery or two CR123A lithium batteries.
  • High performance Cree XM-L2 LED / 950 lumens Max output
  • Cool White balanced Beam
  • Low-profile side switch, removable pocket clip, magnetic tail cap, and timer.

4.8 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now

One of the cool features on this flashlight is the side switch. It’s very handy to get to and lets you easily operate the varying light modes.

How bright is it?

It has a full strength 950 lumens brightness – albeit limited to a few mins on this level.

A 400 lumens setting which will run for about 4 hours continuous use.

Set it to either 80 or 40 lumens and it last for ages.

A very nifty function of this torch is the .5 lumen mode. Just enough light to see what you are doing in the dark without alerting everybody to your presence.

Build quality

A solid flashlight that can take a good knocking. Fits into the palm of your hand so not the biggest light out there but that’s the nice thing about this particular light. It packs a great punch for the size.

Made from Milspec Type III grade aluminium, it fit’s nicely into a front jeans pocket so you can take it everywhere with you. An ideal EDC flashlight that won’t break the bank.


 

Here is a great review video by Joe Robinet on the S2 flashlight that highlights some of the awesome features of this compact but super bright light.


Zebralight SC62 18650 Flashlight

best edc flashlight

The Zebralight 18650 flashlight is one of the smallest 1000 Lumen flashlights available on the market. It features a state of art PID thermal regulated output which comes in handy for different weather conditions. Uses a single 18650 li-ion rechargeable battery that has a runtime of over 5 months in Low mode.

Best EDC Flashlight

  • LED: Cree XM-L2 Cool White (Nominal CCT 6300K)
  • User Selectable Levels: 3 main levels (High, Medium and Low)
  • One 18650 size (up to 69mm long) 3.6/3.7V li-ion rechargeable.
  • Beam Type: 80 degree spill, 12 degree hot spot
  • Head Diameter: 0.96 inch (24.4 mm), Length: 3.8 inch (96.5 mm)

4.8 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


ThruNite TN12 EDC LED Flashlight

Thrunite EDC 18650 flashlight

The ThruNite TN12 EDC LED light is made from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum so is rock solid and can take a beating. Waterproof to IPX-8 and come with a handy stainless steel belt clip.

Best Slim Flashlight

  • Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries(Not Included).
  • Max output:1050 lumens with XM-L2 U2
  • Working voltage: 2.7V-9V
  • 143mm (Length)*25.4mm (Diameter)
  • 82g weight (without batteries)

    4.6 Stars
    Read Reviews | Buy Now

There are many great features to list for this flashlight but one of the features we especially liked about this torch is the memory mode system. Get your light settings just how you like them and the next time you turn the flashlight on it will operate on this setting. No more fiddling around with default settings.

The dual on/off buttons provide immediate light so no waiting around for it to fire up.

This is one of the best flashlights on the market today and definitely worth the money. Perfect for EDC use and can fit easily in your pocket, pack or mounted on your weapon of choice. Go for it – you won’t be disappointed.


Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen Flashlight

fenix PD35 tactical flashlight

Similar to the TN12 the Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen Flashlight is made from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with waterproof rating of IPX-8. It also has duel switches – one for tactical mode and one for normal operation.

Best Tactical Flashlight

  • 1000 Lumen max utilizing Cree XP-L (V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
  • Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
  • 137mm (5.4 in.) Length x 25.4mm (1.0 in.) Diameter ·89-gram weight (3.1 oz.) excluding battery

4.7 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 18650 Flashlight

solaray pro zx-1 18650 flashlight

The Solaray pro zx-1 flashlight is an ultra bright LED flashlight. It comes with every function mode you’ll ever need. High, medium, and low beam selection. Bright tactical intruder strobe and SOS emergency signal mode.

Ultra Bright 18650 Flashlight

  • SOLARAY 18650 3.7v 2400mAh Premium Energy Efficient High-Output, Long Run-Time, Lithium-ion Battery
  • Special Powerful Genuine Ultra Bright XM-L T6 Cree Super-Silicon Carbide Single Die LED Chip
  • Tactical Security Design with Disrupter Strobe and Strong Front Mounted Self-Defense Striking Bezel
  • Deluxe (2 battery) Cordless Lithium-Ion Rapid Battery Charger, Adjustable Focus Zoom Lens
  • (BONUS) 1 Extra Lithium-Ion Battery and (FREE) Our Popular 3 LED Solar Key Chain/Mini-Flashlight

4.7 Stars
Read Reviews | Buy Now


Final Thoughts on 18650 Flashlights:

So there you have it folks. We took a look at our top five  – from compact to tactical and EDC flashlights.

Do you have a favourite light that you won’t leave home without?

We would love to hear your thoughts on this and open up a discussion on why you choose the flashlight you do and what features you look for when choosing a new light.

Make sure you check out our review of the Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2016

Finally, thanks for stopping by our website and have an awesome day.

What is the Best 18650 Battery for your Flashlight

We mentioned above some key points for the 18650 batteries for your flashlight so let’s now expand a bit on this. The Li-Ion batteries are rechargeable and with the right setup, you can easily recharge them on the go.

Now without knowing your circumstances we can’t comment on whether this is a requirement but better safe than sorry is the best approach for most things in this world.

You may be just out on a planned camping trip and have everything you need to hand – or – you may be hiding out due to some sort of disaster where you have nothing with you only your survival pack.

Being able to recharge you flashlight now is potentially a life saver. Because your flashlight is equipped with 18650 batteries you are giving yourself the best chance.

3 times more on time than conventional AA batteries.




More power to feed the hungry LED bulb, and a brighter torch to keep you safe. A single 18650 battery will give you the same amount of juice as three AA’s so why not go for this setup.

Some common flashlight questions

What is the flashlight made of?

Plastic, aluminium or even titanium. Chances are its going to get knocked about a bit in your pack so spend the extra few dollars to get a quality product.

How bright is your flashlight?

Is it an LED flashlight or do it just use conventional bulbs. This will have a significant impact on the battery life of your torch so make sure to factor it in as part of your buying decision.

Where are you going to use it?

Is it a camping flashlight or will it be for more tactical, bug-out scenarios. This will also dictate the style you go for – think about the weight and room in your pack before you buy.

bushcraft survival tips and tricks

Items that disappear when the shtf | the best alternatives

Items that disappear when the shtf and our alternatives


shtfWhen it all starts to go wrong one thing is for certain, people will panic, hit the stores, and buy up everything in sight.

Wait long enough and every shelf in the country will have been emptied.

Carts full of worthless items will be rushed to the checkouts and loaded up into cars.

This has happened in the past and happens all the time today with the slightest hint of a disaster or emergency situation.

What if you knew what to look for.

What if you had time to prepare for this eventuality

What if you had a go to list

What if you knew alternatives…

More has been written about this subject than I care to discuss but look closely enough and you will see that patterns are there. The panic buying does have some structure to it, albeit a chaotic one.

First up we want to look at the basics.


Water

Bottled water will fly off the shelves. Thats a given. You can only last a few days without it and every survival scenario you hear of the first thing focussed on is drinkable water. Clunky and heavy to carry around but a necessity all the same.

Water Filters

A good backup for when you start to run short is a water filer. You can buy a purpose built water filter like this one or if you are handy you could try making one yourself. Below is a great video from Survival Lilly on Youtube showing a handy pocket DIY water filter.

Water Treatment Tablets

Another thing that will disappear quickly is water treatment tablets. Used to remove bacteria from water in order to make it suitable for drinking these are a great addition to any pack. Watch out for shelf life as they do expire and always use as a last resort and for short term only. Boil the water first just to be on the safe side.

Canned Food

Food stored in cans is also a fast mover in a disaster situation. Panicked shoppers will load up cart after cart full of canned food, regardless of its contents, because nearly anything in a can has a long shelf life, can be stored easily and consumed on the go. One thing I will say about canned food is this, yes its handy to have but for the weight you have much better options available to you.

food dehydratorIf you are stocking up yourself and storing goods then a great alternative would be to dehydrate your food supplies and store them in sealed bags. Much lighter and will last a good long time as well.

You could use something like this Food Dehydrator to get you started. One thing to keep an eye on is the temperature you store these at though as you don’t want the food to spoil.

Rice, Grains, Wheat, Flour

These will all get snapped up immediately for a few reasons. Long shelf life, ability to produce high carb food quickly and versatility in general. Rice on its own is great in a survival scenario because its really easy to prepare and gives you plenty of carbs and the high calorie count will give you plenty of energy to keep moving. Check out this chart to compare different types of rice and their respective carb/calorie counts.

If you are looking for an alternative to basic rice and grains then you should consider something like these packs from Mountain House. Lightweight, easy to pack and just add water for a tasty meal.

Medication

All types of over the counter pain medication will disappear straight away. Anything for pain relief will be snapped up. Stock up now because there is nothing worse when you find yourself in a situation and your head is hopping off you with a headache. They cost little or nothing and take up hardly any room but can really help you when shtf.

camping first aid kitGet yourself a handy first aid kit like this one and keep it nearby. You should consider getting a second one for the car just in case but make sure its stocked and always handy.

You don’t want to get taken down by something as simple as an infected graze or cut. This one comes with a handy book to guide you through some effective treatments for those unexpected events.

You could also read up on some of the natural treatments available for pain relief. This is more of a long term strategy but invaluable information if you have the time. Cols and Flu can floor you so it is worth ready this article for some natural remedies.

Camping, Shelter & Cooking

You can bet your last dollar that everything related to camping or outdoors will disappear from the shelves as soon as word of a disaster hits the airwaves. Next to food this stuff goes immediately.

So what do you need to make it out there.

Lets look at what goes first in a panic.

Generators

Everybody panics about power. Without it unless you are geared up properly and have some basic survival skills you will find yourself in trouble within a day or two. If you are planning to stay put then get yourself a trusty generator well ahead of time. There is no point going looking on the day things go wrong as they will most definitely be gone.

survival generatorThis particular model will run for 7.5 hours on half load and should do the job in most scenarios. It’s portable and lightweight so handy if you have to move away from your base.

It’s not going to run a full house of appliances but then in the event of a disaster you could have your fridge / freezer running, power and charge phones etc and run a light or two to keep everybody comfortable.

Tarps & Tents

Tarps and tents always take a hit. These will get cleaned out quicker than a blink of the eye. A tarp is a very handy item to have regardless of the situation you find yourself in. I’m not talking about a big heavy duty oilskin tarp now though. A lightweight tarp will do just fine.

Great for setting up an emergency shelter like the A frame tarp shelter or you can get very fancy and have a tarp / hammock setup so you can camp out comfortably in the woods if you have to move from base.

a frame tarp shelter

There are a million and one options for tents and your choice will depend on your situation.

Are you on your own or do you have a family to look after. Do you live near an area that is suitable for pitching a tent safely.

Each scenario is different so put a bit of time and thought into this one before you make any rash decisions that may come back to bite you later.

Knife

condor tool and knife reviewA good sturdy camping knife or two should be high on your list. Stock up ahead of time, as yes, these will go along with every other type of sharp blade on the shelves.

A knife can be a life saver.

Not just in a self defence scenario but it can be used for chopping firewood to keep warm. making traps to catch food and preparing that catch for dinner, or stripping down bark from a tree to make some type of cordage to help put your camp together.

The list is endless and only limited by your skills and imagination.

We have reviewed the best camping and bushcraft knives for 2016 here so take a look and see if you find something that suits your need.

Another thing you should consider is getting yourself a sharpening stone. All knives are great when they are sharp but if you are out and about for any period of time the blades will inevitably get dull and will need to be sharpened. This stone is just the job.

Remember to keep all knives out of reach from small children and only use if you are comfortable with a sharp blade in your hands.

Hatchet

survival axeYou should also consider getting yourself a quality hatchet. When the power goes out so does the ability to keep yourself and your family warm unless you can make fire.

A good knife will serve you well here but if you have a sharp hatchet you can make short work of any trees or branches that can be used as fuel for your fire.

Think about that for a second. If you have no power, didn’t manage to get yourself a generator then you are going to need fire to keep yourself warm and to cook food over.

We did a review a while ago on some of the best camping and survival axes on the market so take a look and see if one suits your needs. 

No need to get a full size axe unless you are planning to chop down a forest…

Fire Starter

Exotac-nano STRIKER-Ferrocerium-Fire-Starter--250x2Having the ability to start a fire can be a live saver in a disaster situation.

Disposable lighters will be snapped up straight away so always keep a few spares in stock just in case. Waterproof matches can also be a bit of a life saver so get yourself some of those to have just in case.

Another option is to get yourself a ferro rod like this one or flint and steel if you are feeling really caveman like.

There is a bit more work involved in getting a fire going with this kit but once you get the hang of it you are good to go.

Like everything, a bit of practice goes a long way on the day. Check out this video from Mike over on MCQBushcraft where he shows you exactly how to use a ferro rod to light a fire.

 

It’s only in a disaster or a survival situation do you see the real world with open eyes. Being prepared and having the ability to defend yourself is a must. Desperate times call for desperate measures and hunger and needs will push people to do things they would normally never do.

Cooking Pots

camping potsIf you are in a situation where you have to leave your home and move into the bush for safety then you will have to think about cooking meals to feed yourself and your family. You have to consider weight here as you will need to carry everything with you on your travels. 

This set is lightweight and easy to pack but gets the job done. It all compacts into itself and fits right into your pack. Perfect for cooking for two people. You can use this on a small open fire but you should have a grill or something under it to be on the safe side.

If you want to cook on a bigger open fire then you should go for something like a cast iron skillet but be careful of the weight. This one is extremely popular and has a great rating so give it a go if thats what your after.

Torch & Light

Thrunite TN36 UT 3700 LED FlashlightYou are definitely going to need a torch or light of some description unless you have been eating carrots you whole life and can see in the dark.

A good torch will really help you in any situation when it gets dark. It can also be used to frighten off impostors from your property. We could spend a year discussing the different types of torches on the market and the benefits of each one but we have a review already prepared on survival torches that will give you some pointers on what to look out for.

Small compact torches that use 18650 batteries are probably your best bet. 

Batteries

You are definitely going to need a few batteries in your disaster kit. Rechargeable are best but obviously without a power source you are bunched. Get yourself a few packs of disposable batteries anyway. Yu never know when you may need them.

Backpacks

survival backpackYou are going to need somewhere to store all you gear and something handy to grab in the event of a disaster. One for each family member and even a spare for the car. A good backpack is essential for any scenario you may be faced with.

Our preference is for something low key, no bright colors and not something that looks like military either as you will attract unnecessary attention and somebody desperate may try to take it from you. This 36L Mil-Tec pack is a great option and is built to last but will not stand out too much.

You could also look at the option of getting yourself a fully fledged bug out bag so you are ready to go in an emergency. These fully stocked bags are ideal for a beginner or for someone who does not have the time to put their own kit together. Plenty of options available but this pack is an ideal starter that carries most of what you need in a disaster. This bag has enough supplies for four people for three days.


There are a million other things to take into consideration for every different scenario. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but more of a guide as to what will go first, what you need any how to get the right kit together to prepare yourself and your family for the disaster that may lie around the corner.

We are not trying to be hardcore survivalists here, just realistic and working within our abilities. And yes make sure to have plenty of Duct tape – you can never have enough duct tape.

We would appreciate any comments you have and if you feel like it please hit one of the share buttons, it really makes all the difference. 

Stay safe and have an awesome day out there – wherever you are…

 

Best Lightweight Gaiters | Hiking, trail running

outdoor research mens crocodile gaiter

The Best Lightweight Gaiters | Perfect for hiking, trail running and hill walking

Today we are looking at gaiters, specifically lightweight gaiters. These simple, yet effective additions to you kit are a must for the serious hiker, trail runner or backpacker among you.

There is nothing more uncomfortable than a boot or shoe full of dirt and pebbles when you are hiking.

Most of the time you will keep walking and say to yourself every hundred meters or so ‘I must stop for ten seconds and empty my shoe’ but you don’t.

This gets even worse if you are on a competitive run and stopping unless you absolutely have to is not an option…

If you have ever stood on a plug or piece of lego you can feel my pain.

I have hiked for years in every terrain imaginable and one thing that I sort of swear by is a set of gaiters. For something so simple they make the world of difference if you are into hiking, walking in the bush or just rambling out on a trail.

So what are gaiters and why should you even consider buying some.

Gaiters are elasticated covers for over the tops of your boots. They come in various lengths and are made out of pretty much every material on the market. Often water resistant gaiters shield you from getting dirt and bits of gravel into your shoes or boots when hiking about.

I spent years working in Australia on construction sites and while in Western Australia in particular I wore lightweight gaiters all the time. The ground there was mostly sand based and it usually took about ten seconds to get a boot full of the stuff when running about the site. A Kiwi gave me a spare set of his one day and it was a game changer. I could have filled a swimming pool with the amount of sand that ended up in my boots on a daily basis, but not anymore…

Yeah right – you may think, but to be honest they really are an awesome addition to you kit bag and because they are lightweight they don’t add to the load in any way at all. Another great use for gaiters is to keep nasty pests off you lower legs. Often called anti tick gaiters or snake bite gaiters they are great for protecting you when you are walking or hiking through dense bush. I would however opt for the heavier material gor-tex or leather style ones in this scenario.

You won’t win any fashion awards wearing them but its worth the sacrifice for the comfort factor and your feet will love you for it.

Types of Gaiters – Depends on you activities planned…

The right set of gaiters really depends on what you are planning to do activity wise and the conditions you expect to encounter while out there.

The main types of gaiters are:

Trail gaiters

saloman low trail gaitersLightweight, breathable gaiters that offer basic protection against gravel and grit getting into you boots.

They can also protect you against light rain. More for day to day light use but a great addition to any pack.

These Saloman Low Trail Gaiters are ideal for the trail runner amongst us

Alpine gaiters

alpine gaitersTougher and designed for more heavy duty hiking or mountaineering. Great with a set of snow shoes or if you are cross-country skiing.

They have the added advantage of protecting you lets from cuts and abrasions from rock outcrops or thorny brush. Much better at keeping out water and the elements because they are normally made of heavier duty material.

The Outdoor Research Men’s Crocodile Gaiter are as tough as nails. Not much has changed in their design over the years – for a very good reason – they are un-beatable…

Expedition gaiters

These are for when you need added protection from the elements. You are going to get extra features like insulated layers to keep you warm, they are waterproof but breathable so your feet don’t melt, and they will be ultra comfortable. The biggest thing with a quality pair of gaiters is comfort. You should not even know you are wearing them.

What are gaiters made of:

Most of the gaiters you see online, especially the lightweight ones are made from nylon that has a waterproof coating of some description on it. These are perfect of the day hiker and are perfect for keeping you shoes or trail runners free from stones and grit.

The heavier duty gaiters can with be made from layers of nylon that keep them breathable or they may be made from something like gore-tex.

Gaiter Features:

The features for a set of gaiters depends on the style.

You can get sort boot cover type gaiters or you can go for the long calf length gaiters to keep out show and other debris in harsher conditions.

Most gaiters will have some sort of a fixing on the front to attach them to you paces or boot eyes. They also come with an under boot strap to tie the down and keep them tight against the top of you boot.

What to look for when buying a pair of gaiters:

What gaiters should you buy anyway. Here we review some of the best on the market and break them down into different style to hopefully suit your needs.

Best lightweight gaiters

First we took a look at the top three lightweight gaiters first because we like to keep things well, light when we travel.

Outdoor Research Sparkplug Gaiters

lightweight gaitersFirst up are the Outdoor Research Sparkplug Gaiters

  • 86% Nylon/14% Spandex
  • Breathable, lightweight
  • Movement-mirroring stretch
  • Anti-slip silicone pads
  • Hook & loop patches at heel for secure attachment
  • Elastic top and bottom edges

Avg. Weight (oz./g): 1.2oz / 34g (L/XL)

These gaiters are ideal for trail running or hiking. They are made from water resistant fabric and are great for keeping grit and gravel out of your runners when you are hard at it.

READ REVIEWS


rab hunza gaiterRab Hunza Stretch Mid Gaiter

Next up we take a look at the Rab Hunza Stretch Mid Gaiter.

These lightweight gaiters are ideal for trail running and cross country hiking where you are going to be on loose gravel and dirt tracks.

Nothing is going to get past these bad boys.

  • Material: [membrane/laminate] 3L Stretch Watergate, [face fabric] 69% nylon, 21% PU, 10% spandex, DWR coating
  • Closure: front zipper
  • Attachment: underfoot bungee
  • Height: ankle
  • Weight: 3.5 oz

 

Coated with DWR coating these laminated breathable membrane gaiters keep your feet protected from morning dew, moderate rain and soggy trails. They have a front zipper for easy setup and an underfoot bungee and a front mounted lace hook They have a top ridge silicone gripper to stop them sliding down onto your ankle when you are running.

READ REVIEWS


Our top lightweight gaiter offers:


Top Women’s Gaiters


Thrunite TN36 UT 3700 LED Flashlight

The Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2017

The Brightest LED Flashlights Of 2017

 

We all need a bright flashlight. But sometimes you need a bit more.

 

By more I mean an ultra bright flashlight that pretty much turns night into day.

 

Frighten off predators or threats and light up the path ahead with one of our tactical flashlights.

 

So cutting through the marketing blurb here we have our top selection of the brightest flashlights of 2016

 


THE BRIGHTEST LED FLASHLIGHTS OF 2016

 

Coming in at 7500* lumens the Acebeam X60M is by far the brightest flashlight. Rated at 10,000 lumens but several sources and owners say its more like 7500 so lets go with that number for the moment.

 

It will set you back around $400 but if you are looking for a super bright LED flashlight then this is the one for you.

 


Thrunite TN36 UT 3700 LED Flashlight

Brightest Compact Flashlight

 

If you are looking for something a little bit more compact then the Thrunite TN36UT is the brightest compact flashlight.

 

It gives off around 7300 lumens. The Thrunite runs at around $337

 

Some of the features of the Thrunite TN36UT


TN 36 UT CW adopts the latest CREE XHP 70 LED, which reaches 200 lm/watt, a milestone of LED technology. Moreover, TN36 UT CW is well equipped with CREE XHP 70.
1 dollar for 30 lumens compared to average 10 lumens/dollar on the market.
Advanced driver of TN 36 UT CW makes the energy efficiency up to 96.5%. With ThruNite ITC Technology, the flashlight is well protected from overheating and can be used for a long time.
30-day free replacement, 24-month free repair and lifetime limited warranty.

Brightest flashlight that uses AA batteries

 

If you are looking for an ultra bright flashlight that uses the standard AA type batteries then you need to check out the Nitecore EAX.

 

It gives out 2000 lumens powered by 8 AA batteries.

 

This little beauty will set you back around $200, is impact resistant to 1.5 meters and conforms to IPX-8 waterproofing standards of 1.5 meters. The nightcore is our choice for the brightest aa flashlight available today.

 

Some of the features of the Nitecore EAX

Brightest AA LED Flashlight
Maximum output of up to 2000 Lumens
Innovative single button two-stage switch
Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
Eight rapidly switchable brightness modes
Up to 800 hours of runtime

The Brightest Keychain Flashlight

 

The Titan Plus keychain flashlight is an ultra bright 300 lumens LED light that runs on a single 18650 battery. It has three main settings – the full 300 lumens, a secondary 75 lumens medium setting and a low 15 lumens.

 

There are no intense hot spots on the beam no matter the setting and you adjust the brightness by simply twisting the head.

 

Constructed of nickel plated brass that is scratch and corrosion proof this light is rugged but small enough to keep in your pocket or hang off your keychain.

the brightest keychain flashlight

Some of the features of the Titan Plus

Uses 1 Rechargeable AAA NiMH Battery (included)
Proprietary MaxVision Beam Reflector
Quick-Detach Tailcap with Keychain ring
Nickel-plated brass body construction

Cheap LED Flashlights & Accessories


Titan Military 550 Paracord

Be Prepared for Anything with a Killer Bug Out Bag

Bug Out Bag – How Do You Pack Yours?

bug out bagIn our first post in this series we covered off on basic survival tips if you get caught out in the wild. Today we are going to dig deeper into this and detail what you need in a good survival pack or Bug Out Bag.

There’s one thing you’re never without when you make the long commute into the city each morning – your briefcase! Your briefcase contains everything you need to get you through the working day. Of course it depends on your line of work, but every suit carries this office essential – you would never leave home without your laptop, would you? The same goes for camping and hiking; there are some things that you should never leave home without.

Your ‘briefcase’ for the outdoors, your ‘Bug-Out Bag,’ is your essential survival kit if you happen to get into any trouble in the outdoors. Typically, your Bug-Out kit will ensure that you’ll be able to survive in the most extreme cases for 72-hours if you happen to come across trouble while out and about.


For newbie survivalists creating your first ever Bug Out Bag can seem like a daunting task – it’s difficult to know what to fill your bag with when you have such limited space, and it’s difficult to even know where to start. But in saying all of this, if you’re prepared for the basics, you’re going to be 99% better off than the guy in the next office over who arrogantly dismissed the idea of a Bug-Out-Bag.

Just like you choose your personalised leather-bound diary, choosing your Bug-Out-Bag is a personal thing. Before you start buying all your things for your pack, you need to buy the bag itself. A backpack needs to be tried and tested for comfort, so don’t make a rash on-the-spot purchase and talk to a professional in the store for advice.

Bug Out Bag Essentials

lifestrawWater

Water is crucial and without it, you’ve got slim to none chance of survival. If you happen to get into a survival situation, you’ll soon forget all the expensive gear and your water will become your most precious commodity. Aim at having about 1 litre of water per day at a minimum, so your survivalist pack should contain at least 3 litres.

To boost your chances of survival for a longer period of time, a water purification system wouldn’t go amiss. At the very minimum you should carry a tin flask which you can use to boil water if you get stuck. Throw a few iodine tablets in for good measure, which will purify water when boiled.

Tarp

A good sturdy Tarp is going to be key to survival.

a frame tarp shelterYes you can build a shelter from scratch but having a tarp in you pack can make all the difference if you need to get a shelter up really quickly.

The standard A Frame Tarp Shelter is perfect in this situation. Quick to put up – Length of Paracord, two trees and a Tarp and thats it really. Look for something lightweight that compacts down to a fairly small footprint. Space in you pack will be at a premium so try and avoid the big heavy blue polyethylene tarps.

Don’t worry about pegs etc as you can whip them up really quickly from a thin branch and your trusty knife.

Food and Cooking 

Food is also necessary for survival and on top of the provisions that you’re already taking you’ll need enough for an extra three days. Camping stores have all sorts of ready-made meals available and while they may not be the a la carte dining you’re used to when being wined and dined by your overseas partners, they pack easily are easy-to-prepare – all you have to do is add boiling water – how hard is that? Mountain House put together a great 72 hour food kit that might be an option for you to keep. Can be stored for ten years and you never know when you might need it.

Other provisions you should pack are:

  • Energy or protein bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Trail mix
  • Metal pot
  • Metal cup
  • Can-opener
  • Pot scrubber
  • Stove gas
  • Portable camping stove


Clothing

Essential item number three is good clothing. In addition to the clothes you’re already wearing, you’ll also need:

  • A pair of trousers (not jeans)
  • Woolen socks
  • 1x Long-sleeved shirt
  • 1x Short-sleeved shirt
  • Long Johns
  • Waterproof jacket
  • A hat
  • A pair of work gloves
  • A pair of sturdy ankle support hiking boots


Wet weather gear should also be included in your Bug-Out-Bag. Since you’ve already probably packed a proper outdoor’s jacket, a waterproof/windproof poncho should suffice. This coupled with your shelter will be enough to keep you dry in case of a downpour.

Shelter and Bedding

The next thing you’ll need is some form of shelter and bedding for camping. Your shelter and bedding when outdoors will help you stay protected from the elements. Even though some of the following may seem excessive or unnecessary, you’ll see they’ll come in handy. If you buy lightweight items specifically for camping, you’ll see that if rolled and packed properly, they won’t take up too much space.

  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Sleeping bag
  • Ground mat
  • Woolen blanket

First Aid Kit

You should never head anywhere outdoors without a First Aid Kit. It’s possible to buy a pre-made one from the chemist, which is fine in some instances, but usually these are often filled out with things you won’t even need. When you build your own First Aid Kit, you’ll also get to know what’s in your kit well, which will mean that you’ll be able to react quicker without rummaging through useless or foreign items.

Fire

Obviously, you’re going to have to light a fire in the wild, and you should never just rely on one source to start it. Bring a few different supplies including a lighter, a stove lighter, and waterproof matches. If you don’t trust matches, buy yourself a magnesium firestarter. This will prove to be a good investment and a solid backup to your lighters or matches. Another good tip is to bring a tin 

m-tech usa traditional stainless steel axeCutting Tools

On the note of fires, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to get your wood. If you think you’re going to be able to just scavenge for wood, you’re misguided. Often this is the case, but a true survivalist will bring a tool to cut firewood as well.

As a minimum you should have a trusty solid knife in your pack. This is an essential item and you should not leave home without one. You should also, where possible carry a camping axe with you. An axe’s size doesn’t really matter, but these usually range in length between 14-36 inches.

Another option you have to chop wood or fell trees is a foldable saw. In many cases survivalist newbies prefer this option as less energy is consumed when cutting.

Some critics will say that you don’t need to carry an axe at all, but if you consider the trade off between calories burned without one and the small addition in weight to your pack if you do carry one then you will see why it should form park of you basic pack.

camping torchTorches

Have you thought about night when it’s dark and the only light source you have is the moon? You’ll need to carry at least two dependable torches and enough backup batteries for each one. We have a mega review on the brightest flashlight here based on battery type so make sure to check that out first…

A LED headlight will also come in handy – if you’re really in a true survivalist situation in the pitch black of the night, you’ll need both your hands free when walking.

The best selling Ultrafire LED torch is light, very bright, compact and reliable and should be in your pack

Knife

bushcraft knife reviewAny seasoned hiker or outdoorsy person will tell you that one of the main items to carry in your Bug-Out-Bag is a survival knife. After a few times outdoors in the wild you’ll soon learn that your survival knife is the most useful and versatile tool that you’ll be carrying.

It’s worth investing in a quality bushcraft knife with a solid blade. Cheaper knives tend to break easily or loose their edge, especially if you have to cut through hard objects. Check out our knife review and see if there is one to suit your needs.

Tying Tools

Paracord will prove to come in handy. You don’t need to be the Mr-Fix-It kind of guy to make it work for you. It can be used for multiple things, especially when it comes to putting up a rain shelter.

Just like paracord, snare wire is very light and will hardly take up any space. If you’re conjuring up images of snaring a rabbit, you’re right however, this should never be relied upon as the only way to gather food!

Sewing Kit

Before you turn your nose up at it, another essential item is a small sewing kit. In a survivalist situation, things happen unexpectedly, resulting in rips and tears. You’ve got to be ready to do some minor repair work because what’s the use of having a tent with a hole?

Camping Shovel

You just never know when you might need to dig a hole in the wild. It could be for bathroom purposes, it could be shelter, or it could be something even more serious, such as digging out a person from an avalanche or landslide. A small camping shovel is hard and light, and should also be a must-have item for your Bug-Out-Bag.

Personal Hygeine

The last thing you’ll probably think of when in an emergency situation is a hygiene kit, but this is something you’d also take with you on a business trip (minus the toilet paper). Include the following in your Bug-Out-Bag, and make sure you pack them well into a sealable waterproof bag:

  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Communication Devices

When you head outdoors into foreign territory, you should always carry your mobile. During a working day your phone is stuck to you, so if you plan on having a phone-free break away, think again.

Emergency services and the local park rangers are probably not listed in your exhaustive phone book, so make sure you programme them in before you leave the house. If you had the room you could also consider packing a Solar charging unit.

Miscellaneous Items

Heavy duty black bin liners will surprise you. They’re so handy and versatile and can be used for a range of things from making your own poncho to a tool for collecting fresh rain water. In an emergency situation, you’ll surprise yourself at how creative and resourceful you can be.

Other than the knicks, cuts, and bruises you may get out there, there’s always the danger of sunburn and insect bites. Carry a high SPF sun block and insect repellant with you. Sun burn and bites can be easily avoided if you’re prepared from the outset.

Of course there are a number of other things that you could probably think of packing as well, but the above list includes the essential items to make you an absolute trooper in case of an emergency.

It’s possible you may one day get into a situation where you’ll have to try to survive yourself. This should only act as a guideline and you should think about what your own personal requirements and needs are and modify your Bug-Out-Bag accordingly.

And remember one thing – In the wild, it’s not the strong who survive, it’s the ones who are most prepared!

estwing survival axe

Best Survival Axe | Which one is in your Pack?

The best survival axe for your pack

estwing survival axe

Whether its a bushcraft hatchet or a survival axe you are after there is one thing thats certain, you need quality. Why? Simply because your axe gets a serious work over every time you take it out of your Bug out Bag or Pack.

It is a trusty workhorse that will never let you down and has so many uses that we would run out of space on this page if we were to list them all.

Here at Wildgetaway.com we are very fond of Bushcraft so do our homework when it comes to stocking up on tools and gadgets that we need out in the forest. We have our favourites and staples that come on every trip. A good bushcraft or camping knife is key, a solid axe or hatchet, paracord & tarp and a means to filter water. With these things you are giving yourself a much greater chance of survival if things go bad.

Today we want to take a look at the top survival/bushcraft axes on the market. Why do we call them both – well to be honest they really are the same thing unless you want a hardcore military grade zombie apocalypse tomahawk.

We are trying to educate and help people in the lost art of Bushcraft on person at a time and hope that you find something useful here today in our axe reviews.

Click on each of the images below to go to a more details review of each product. If you have a favourite then please leave a comment below. You can also help us spread the word by clicking one of the share buttons on the left.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day wherever your travels take you.

Estwing E24A Sportsman's Hatchet

survival axe

Coleman Steel Camp Axe

coleman steel camp axe

M-tech USA Stainless Axe

M-tech USA Stainless Axe

Yes4All Multi Functional Axe

Yes4All Multi Functional Camping Axe

Columbia River Knife and Tool

Columbia River Knife and Tool axe

Condor Tool and Knife Axe

Condor Tool and Knife

bear grylls gerber hatchet

bear grylls gerber hatchet

United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe

United Cutlery M48 Hawk Axe

What to look for in a good survival axe?

So what qualities do you need when selecting a good axe. This tool needs to be reliable and pretty much unbreakable. It is going to get a serious workout every time you take it out of your survival pack.

It needs to be razor sharp, hold a good edge and be easy to sharpen when the blade goes dull.

Balance is very important as well unless you want to carry around a freezer for ice packs..

Some of the survival axes above come complete with a sheath which is very handy and a good safety feature when it is stowed away. It also keep the axe safe from the elements.

It needs to have a good grip. A lot of people think that an axe with a rubber handle is more grippy but we actually prefer a wooden handle on our axes. I suppose its up to personal preference really and what you are most comfortable using when bush crafting or chopping up firewood etc..

Safe Use of your Axe

Whichever survival axe you choose one thing is certain, make sure you are comfortable using it and take it nice and steady when you first start out. These things are razor sharp and will do some serious damage if they clip your leg on the way by.

Always cut away from your body and make sure there is nobody else in the vicinity while you work – especially kids. They will often wander over to see what you are up to.

As with all sharp tools when there are kids about, please make sure they are stored in a safe and out of reach location when not in use. Safety first every time folks.

yes4all multi functional axe

YES4ALL MULTI FUNCTIONAL AXE

YES4ALL Multi Functional AXE

Coming in at around $25 this multi camping and survival pack is kinda awesome. The axe is great for chopping smaller wood or driving stakes without missing a beat.

If you are looking for a handy multipurpose camping hatchet, complete with a saw and a nifty fire starter then the Yes4All is just the ticket. The hand saw takes a bit of getting used to but also gets the job done.

at a glance

YES4ALL MULTI FUNCTIONAL AXE

Yes4All Multi Functional Camping Axe

RATING:
4.5 Stars
 (35 Reviews)


EDITOR RATING: 97


Verdict: Overall a great piece of kit. Handy axe, great for keeping in your pack or bug out bag.

Saw whilst effective is best suited for lighter work.

overview:

Nice and sharp straight out of the box. Very handy because the saw stores right inside the handle. Comes complete with its own fire starter.

Good and solid in the hand and comes complete with a mounded sheath.


FEATURES:


420 s/s black blade
3-inch cutting edge
Moulded Sheath included
Handy compact saw
Fire Starter included

PROS:

Sharp out of the box. Handy hollow handle to store the rest of the kit but still sturdy in your hand.

Axe is spot on and get through whatever you put in front of it. The saw is a great additional and the handy storage inside the handle is a great idea.

Comes complete with fire starter which is awesome.

CONS:

The only real thing to mention here is that the saw may be a bit light. Keep it for sticks under about 2 inches and you are good to go.

FINAL VERDICT 97
4.5 Stars

Would make a great gift for somebody into bushcraft or survival. Put it in your pack the next time you go camping. Its like a mini survival kit with the axe, saw and fire starter all in one.

yes4all multi functional axe
mtech Axe

M TECH HATCHET

M-Tech USA Stainless Axe

The M tech hatchet is a nice sharp out of the box camping axe. Reasonably priced and has a stainless steel single piece design.

Durable and gets the job done. Lightweight so great for in your pack or on a hiking trip into the woods.

The M-Tech USA is a great light axe fit for any camping or bushcraft needs. Fine in the hands of a survivalist as well.

The single piece steel construction gives you a sturdy feel and its razor sharp blade cuts through whatever you put in front of it.

at a glance

M-TECH USA STAINLESS AXE

M-tech USA Stainless Axe

RATING:
4.2 Stars
 (92 Reviews)


EDITOR RATING: 95


Verdict: Nice tidy well priced axe but may feel light in some hands. We actually liked it because you wouldn’t even notice it in the pack.

The sheath is not brilliant but does the job.

features:

440 Stainless Steel single piece construction
Compact and Portable Size
Nylon Sheath included
11 Inch Overall Length
Durable rubber handle

PROS:

Lightweight and razor sharp straight out of the package. Single piece construction gives you a feeling of reliability when its in your hand.

Can take a bit of a beating and holds its edge well.

CONS:

The sheath lets this down a bit. Nothing to write home about and you may be best to get another one if you want to hang this on your belt for a long trip.

It is light in the hand and while thats helpful to keep the weight of your pack down it does mean a bit of extra effort required to get a big job done.

FINAL VERDICT 95
4.2 Stars

The m tech hatchet is light and razor sharp. Worth the small money you pay for it. Handy on a trip into the woods as it fits nicely into your pack without the additional weight.

m tech hatchet
m tech hatchet
coleman steel camp axe

COLEMAN STEEL CAMP AXE

Coleman Steel Camp Axe

For years the Coleman company have been producing quality gear for camping and bushcraft adventurers.

Their steel camp axe is a straightforward very reasonably priced hatchet that should accompany you on your next trip out into the wilderness. This sturdy camping axe should be part of every camping or bushcraft pack. The drop forged head will hold an edge and it is fairly easy to handle because of the rubber non slip grip, making this a great entry level axe.

at a glance

COLEMAN STEEL CAMP AXE

coleman steel camp axe

RATING:
3.7 Stars
 (211 Reviews)


EDITOR RATING: 90


Verdict: Cheap and cheerful but a work horse that you can rely on. The extra weight in the forged head makes chopping a breeze.

You will need to work on the blade to keep it sharp but what do you expect for the price point.

overview:

If you are looking for a cheap reliable axe for your next camping or bush craft trip then the Coleman camp axe is just what you need.

Costing about $10 you cant really go far wrong. One thing you might have to do when you get it is fine tune the blade a bit to get it razor sharp.

 


FEATURES:


Drop-forged carbon-steel axe head
Forged steel handle and nonslip grip
No Sheath included
Great for chopping wood
Rubber shock proof grip

PROS:

Price. At under $10 there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one of these. Even if its to keep as a spare or in the shop.

Cheap, reliable and can take a good beating.

CONS:

Weight. Some have commented that this is a very heavy axe given its size. This, to some may be an issue but it makes chopping wood a bit easier because of the additional weight in the head.

Curved handle. It takes a bit of getting used to and some may prefer other models with straight lightweight handles.

FINAL VERDICT 90
3.7 Stars

You get what you pay for but still this is a very handy axe. Keep it sharp and look after it and it will serve you well.

coleman steel camp axe