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.

estwing survival axe

ESTWING SPORTSMANS AXE

Estwing Sportsmans Axe

This Estwing axe is a firm favourite amongst our bushcraft and Survival friends. Razor sharp and you can clip it onto your belt with the included sheath.

We never leave home without ours, neither should you.

When it comes to quality you really can’t go wrong with Estwing. This axe, used by foresters, bush crafters, campers and survivalists alike is definitely one for the pack.

Built to the highest standards you can trust in the Estwing Axe when you next head out into the Wild.

at a glance

ESTWING E24A SPORTSMAN’S HATCHET

survival axe

RATING:
 (663 Reviews)


EDITOR RATING: 98


Verdict: Manufactured from 1055 carbon steel with special bar quality the Estwing Sportsmans Axe is heat treated to ASME safety requirements, giving it a 45-60 Rockwell standard grading.

Made in the USA since 1923…

features:

All steel quality construction
One piece Head/Handle forging
Fully polished with sheath
Genuine leather grip (very grippy)
14-Inch overall length
3-1/4-Inch cutting edge

PROS:

Estwing have been in this game for a very long time and are still one of the most popular brands today. That says a lot for their quality.

This Axe is no exception. A great feature of this particular model is the single piece construction. Never worry about a loose head flying off into teh woods again.

CONS:

The only issue we found on this axe is that the coated leather handle tends to loose its varnish coating over time.

The easiest way to overcome this is to remove the varnish and to treat the handle with some oil. That way it will last for years.

FINAL VERDICT 98

If you are in the market for a new survival or bushcraft axe then you should get yourself an Estwing. USA made and top quality.

estwing survival axe

Back to the Best Axe Review

Here is a great review by Black Owl Outdoors to give you an idea of the quality of this Eswing axe. Sharp, versatile and definitely one for your outdoor pack.

beginners preppers guide

Survival In A Suit | A Businessman’s Guide to Survival

survival and preppers guideSurvival In A Suit | A Businessman’s Guide to Survival

A while ago I had an idea and well it has ended up in a series of posts, the first of which is below. I wanted to provide a guide to modern survival for business people. I am far from an extreme survivalist but have a keen interest in keeping myself and my loved ones safe in the event of a disaster.

What I am trying to accomplish with this series is to provide a guide to both men and women, who go to work every day, know little or nothing about how to survive when things go bad and would like to have at least the basic knowledge of what to do if it ‘hits the fan’

 

And So It Begins…

The first post in the series aims to cover the basics of modern day survival. What happens on day one. What you will be feeling and most likely what as a minimum you will need to think about to keep yourself and your family safe. Future posts will cover off on the gear required, tips and techniques for building camps, gathering basic supplies like drinkable water and food, how to protect yourself and longer term survival.

We hope you like this post and please comment below if there is something you feel we should add. We are far from experts so the more advice we get the better this guide becomes for everybody.

Day Zero – The Basics of Modern Day Survival

It doesn’t really matter if you’re lost at sea, hiding in a forest or camped out in the basement of your house, you still find yourself facing some pressing questions regarding surviving.

You may begin to wonder “How can I keep warm overnight? “How can I stay hydrated?” “What am I going to eat?”

These are all solid questions, but when it comes to the crunch, you’ll have to prioritise your survival techniques. It’s not a case of survival of the fittest it’s about letting common sense and logic prevail, something you innately have, especially if you’re in a 9-5 office job.

Do what you do best, make a to-do list (a mental one that is). Having a list gives you focus, lets you tick things off and stops you getting overwhelmed during this very emotional first stage where everybody is in a panic, people are missing and things, in general, can’t get much worse.

Perhaps you’re sitting patiently in your house waiting to be rescued. Maybe you’re plotting your grand escape. All this aside, you’ve first got to prioritise. Everything you know about survival and the gear you take with you prepares you more; it makes you stronger! Being prepared and in the know will give you the advantage and you’ll be able to deal with a crisis more effectively and approach it with the same head as you would in the office.

If you have to leave your house and head out into the wild then first and foremost you need to focus on staying warm.

Stage One – Why Do I Need A Fire

Let’s imagine for a moment that you had to leave the house in a rush, grabbed the family and your pack and make a run for the woods. It is late afternoon and while warm now the nights are very cold. Number one on your list should be fire.

What are your fire making skills like? Fires are crucial. They not only help prevent you from cooling down too much and developing hypothermia, they’re also a bit of a pick me up, a morale booster, something you’ll need when trying to survive outdoors. Not to forget that fires also act as good rescue signals as well.

Apart from giving you life-saving heat fire also gives you focus and a sense of stability.

Just because you’re in a dire situation outdoors doesn’t mean you should rush building a fire and lighting it; sometimes this can do you more harm than good – panic will get you nowhere.

Plan your fire wisely and make sure you’re well-equipped with enough kindling to keep the fire going. Be sure to carry a fire-making kit with you. Your average cigarette lighter with butane is fine.

A longer lighter which is used to light a gas stove is more durable. Just like when you backup your data at work, you need a backup plan for lighters, which would naturally be matches.

There are two types of matches, you’ve got your bog-standard wooden matches and then there are your waterproof ones – you should take both. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a MacGyver get yourself a fire starter; that way you’ll be able to get a fire going no matter what situation you find yourself in.

There are a few more tips for fire starting and where to light a fire but we will cover them later in another post.

Stage Two – Shelter, Clothing, Keeping Warm

If you are planning on staying in the one location for a period then you need to make a shelter. Nothing fancy but it should insulate you and your family from the elements, both rain and cold are killers in a survival situation so get a shelter up as soon as you can.

Build it during the day where you can see what is going on. A lot depends on the situation you are in and what you have access to during this crisis but always build some sort of shelter. It’s game over without one.

If for some reason you find yourself lost in the outdoors, the most important thing to try and do is regulate your body’s temperature. The fastest killers in the outdoors are all related to your body’s temperature. If you get too cold, you’ll risk hypothermia and if you get too hot, you risk hyperthermia, which is why it’s essential to try and keep warm in cooler environments outside or vice versa.

Imagine being lost in the wilderness. Night is closing in, you hear strange noises, you feel foreign eyes following your every move, and it’s freezing cold! This is far from the ideal scenario. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get wet and make sure you build a good insulated shelter from the rain. Your adrenalin is most likely to be running at a high, but try and keep it real and keep your sweating to a minimum. Sweating is going to make it much worse and as soon as you begin to cool down, you’ll feel the effects of the bitter cold much more.

Your shelter in the wilderness is just as important as your fire – it will help you maintain a good body temperature. So, you’re not a DIY kind of person at home; it doesn’t matter, anyone can make a decent shelter with insulation no matter what your outdoors experience is.

There are four known things that help govern your temperature – clothing, shelter, fire, and the way you behave or in other words, your actions!

What Do I Need To Wear?

Rain or shine, the first thing that’s always going to help you survive in the wild is your clothing. When you’re outdoors in a survival situation, you’ll have to deal with a range of environmental temperatures, including extreme ones. The best approach to take with clothing is the same as you would use for hiking or camping – using the layering approach.

When you go to the office, you’re usually dressed in layers. Think about when you head outdoors in the sweltering heat in your Armani suit; what’s the first thing you do? Take off your jacket of course! The same goes for staying safe outdoors; you really need to be able to add or take off clothing when needed.

When you think about layering outdoors, you might immediately think about catwalk models strutting their stuff with the season’s latest fashion – layering. Don’t let this deter you, layering clothes is easy.

If you find yourself having to layer your clothing outside, think of it in three simple layers or steps.

  • First, you’ve got your base layer of clothing. Long johns or woollen tights are a good example of a base layer, but there’s one kind of material you should avoid when layering clothing – cotton. Cotton doesn’t trap heat, especially when it’s damp or wet.
  • Your second layer, your thermal layer, consists of clothes made out of wool, fleece or pile, all of which have insulating properties even when they get damp.
  • Your final layer’s called your shell layer. This layer of clothing essentially protects both you and the other layers of clothing that are keeping you warm from other elements such as wind and rain. Ideally, your shell layer will be breathable, meaning that your sweat doesn’t get trapped and create moisture in your clothes.

 

When it comes to surviving in the wild, many people think they know better and get rid of clothing they don’t believe they need. You wouldn’t throw away a perfectly good tie, so why would you discard clothing when you’re in trouble in the outdoors? If you get too hot, simply take a layer off, tie it around your waist or shove it into your belt. Just because you’re not using something at that moment it doesn’t mean you’re not going to need it later.

As the day turns to night and there’s still no sign of rescue, you’ll have to try and remain warm. Add your layers of clothing on one by one and then insulate them.

“With what?” you ask; anything you can find! Stuff your clothes with leaves, grass, moss, rubbish bags or even cardboard.

Basically, you can insulate your clothing to stay warm in the outdoors by using anything that you can attach to your body or tie to you.

Admittedly you don’t wear anything on your head when you head to the office every morning, but no matter what the environment is outdoors, you should always cover your head to protect it. If your body’s warm, but your head’s still cold, you can still get hypothermia, especially if your head’s wet.

When it’s sunny, a covered head will help deter heatstroke. You don’t need to be even carrying a hat per se – improvise! Use something to tie around your head such as a sweater or a bandana, making sure it’s covered completely including the back of your neck and ears.

Stage Three – Water, Doomed Without It.

You should already have a water supply in your pack but this will run out very quickly, especially if there is more than one of you. You cannot underestimate the need for a stable and reliable water source.

One of the most important things you’ll need in any survival scenario is plenty of liquid to keep you hydrated. Know your body; you’re no longer in the air-conditioned office with everything that’s familiar. You are now in a do or die situation and water is key.

Ideally what you were setting up camp you found a safe spot close to a water source. Is it drinkable, reliable and safe to use?

These are questions that must be answered quickly or else you are in trouble and a lot depends on the situation you find yourself in.

We will be covering off effective water treatment in a future post but for now just remember that n matter what situation you find yourself in you will need access to a steady supply of water.

Summary

It’s hard to become super prepared when you’re already in a situation, but it doesn’t hurt to know how to improvise with clothing to survive, learn practical survival strategies such as fire building, building shelter, sourcing food, and of course finding water in advance.

Surviving outdoors in the toughest of terrain is terrifying, especially if you’re not a seasoned hiker or an outdoorsy kind of person, but by staying cool, rationalising a little and prioritising your actions, you’re more likely to stay out of harm’s way and live to tell the story…

In The Next Post

Coming up in the next post of this series we will start to look at the kit you need in your survival pack that will help you through most survival situations. Stuff you need, stuff you can do without and some advice from experts in the area of survival and living off the grid.

If you would like to follow along with this series then please subscribe to our blog to be notified when the next ‘Survival In A Suit’ blog post comes out.

bear grylls survival hatchet

Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet Review And Opinions

Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet

Sometimes we come across a product that really catches our eye. The Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet from Gerber is one of those products.

Now you might think that having an axe out camping for the weekend is a bit overkill because traditionally they are heavy, large cumbersome tools and that you can do just fine with a good quality camping or survival knife but this axe is quality.

First lets look at the high level features and then break it down into more detail.

    • It has a quality rubber handle that provides plenty of grip and two finger notches near the head so you can grip it tightly for carving jobs.
    • It is a full tang construction so will not let you down.
    • Comes with a slim nylon sheath complete with belt loops so its easy to carry around.
    • The Blade is 3.5 inches and overall it comes in at 9.45 in length.

 

We have used plenty of products from the Bear Grylls range and because they are made by Gerber you know you have quality in your hand.

More user reviews and pricing available here

bear grylls survival hatchetBear Grylls Survival Hatchet Construction

First up is the construction. It is made from a full tang construction design – all made from a single piece of steel.

Experts will always sway towards full tang because it is the strongest way to construct it. Think of all the survival knives out there – most top rated knives will be full tang.

You do not have any joints that could fail when you put it under a bit of pressure so the hatchet will stand up to tough jobs around the campsite or in the forest.

It is made from high carbon steel so will probably last longer than most of us.

It may be compact but really punches above its weight. Incidentally it weighs in at 1.4 pounds so is light enough to carry about but all business when you need to get stuck in to some chopping action.

It is right at home chopping up firewood to keep you warm or because of its razor sharp blade and quality design you can use it for more intricate jobs like carving up tent pegs or making yourself an emergency shelter.

Like every blade or tool you use around the campsite be careful. This hatchet, while small is still razor sharp so don’t leave it lying around for the kids to play with.

Design Features

Lets take a quick look at the handle first on our features list. Its super grippy rubber handle is perfect, even when wet. You get a good feel for the tool when using it but will cushion your hand when you are doing something heavy duty like chopping down a tree.

They even designed a flared end on the grip so no fear of it sliding out of your hand when swinging it about like a mad man.

As mentioned above it has finger cutouts near the head. This gives you much more control in your hand when you are working on more delicate operations like carving or whittling pegs.

You loop in your fingers and its like an extension of your hand – except with a razor sharp edge. You could nearly substitute it in for your knife in some cases because it really is that good.

The blade itself is razor sharp and because of the curved edge it is much easier to chop heavier items like logs without it getting jammed.

The back of the head has a cross-hatched hammer edge which is very handy from banging in pegs or even knocking a big of steak into shape if you want to go all caveman on the meat.

We mentioned the handle already but just to note that there is a handy lanyard hole in the end of the handle so you could run a bit of para-chord through it and hang it up out of the way. It does come with a mould resistant sheath that has handy belt loops.

This makes it very easy to transport it around. Just run it through your belt and off you go. Its light and compact so wont weigh you down.

gerber axe bear grylls

Gerber hatchet sheath

Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet Final Thoughts

Our overall rating of the Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet is five stars. It is lightweight but deadly effective and has so many use cases that we could write about them all day.

The best way to see how good it is would be to go out and buy one yourself. You will be glad you did. Its running at about $30 over on Amazon at the moment so go take a look.

Our final though on this: We love the Gerber range of knives, tools and pretty much everything they make and this Gerber mini hatchet is no exception. Word class technology meets rugged survival gear.

The next time you are in the market for some high quality camping or survival gear you should check them out first.

If you have used one of these hatchets in the past then please leave us a comment with your experiences. Feedback from the wild is what this website is all about.

We have our own opinions on the tools we use but are always ready to take on board the findings of our readers.

Check out this great review video below

So thats our Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet review from Gerber. We hope you found it useful.

Thanks for stopping by Wildgetaway.com and see you out there someday.