The “COOL” factor can get you killed.
I have been involved in the wilderness survival / Prepper sub-culture for most of my life.  As a youth my time in the forest with my friends was an introduction to the lessons I would come to learn. Sports like hunting and fishing, trapping and snowshoeing as well as rock climbing and camping were the precursor to advanced survival skills.
I read every book available and was proud to transpose that knowledge to the real world, first to master the skill set and then to impress my friends.  Some of these friends also took to the same path but via a different trail. I am lucky to call many great woodsmen my friends. The time we spend together as a rowdy band of fools often turns into an unmatched cross training exorcise.
The norm these days is to pick up a magazine at the local mall for the latest hub bub on the art/skill/science of self-sufficiency.  The COOL factor is just so high.  The covers of some of these wonderful volumes of modern lore are such eye candy we just can’t help but pick one or two up.  Even the internet (YouTube) has become the latest venue for stand in or surrogate instruction. Now I’m not saying this is bad, indeed I myself love watching people share new ideas (or even old ones) it not only gives me pride in my fellow Brothers and Sisters but it allows me to learn  new ways to convey an idea.
But here’s the rub.  Some of these weekend warriors will have great photos or video showing gear that they HIGHLY recommend. My issue is of course is most of this gear is new, unused; scratch free, clean and in retail packaging. What the heck?
Is this your first time using this stuff? What are you basing your opinion on?  Your lack of real testing or just legitimate use could get me killed if I rely on it.
Before I give any gear or technique the nod I want to use it….REALLY USE IT.  I have destroyed good gear. I’m not talking about destruction testing (although I think this type of testing is fantastic) I mean putting equipment to the test through hard labor. Knives are used, tents set up and left up, filters used in the nastiest types of water, miles of rough terrain go on my boots and packs and everything carried by them.  If an item fails after two years of hard use it has not failed…it has supplied two years of reliable service and I will report as much. Two months will give you the same report…if you are comfortable with two months of service so be it.  I do however USE the gear before I post a report.  So next time you see an article about a favorite knife, backpack or mess kit check the info closely. Look for signs of use and not just signs of cool.  The difference can save you some grief.

Stay Safe
RJ Mosca

H2O Carrying Systems (Bottles)

H2O carrying systems…..”Water Bottles”

 
Call them what you will, a canteen, hydrator, flask, spun aluminum bottle. The water bottle is an important piece of equipment to the outdoor traveler. All serious outdoor hobbyists should carry water no matter how long you think you’ll be out.  There are several very good water carrying systems on the market today that appeal to any whim or philosophy.  You can be as trendy or specialized as you like and can spend big bucks doing it.  All your friends will love you even more knowing you spent fifty dollars on the flask on your hip or in the pocket of your designer back pack….not.
I say hum bug!  After trying many different types and sizes of water carrying systems I have settled on one that has the most going for it in terms of design, environmental impact, weight, cost and common sense. 

The sports drink bottle!

Readily available, designed to be carried while active with textured or ergonomic shapes that by designed fit into your bike rack, cup holder, or pack pocket. Some have wide mouth openings, some have squirt or sip tops just made to convey needed liquid to its owner as quickly and practically as possible.  All are clear to show the color (flavor) of the sport drink and entice you to purchase the cool refreshing beverage within so they are easy to keep clean and easily monitor your supply. Unlike some cheap “canteens” on the market they are certified FOOD GRADE by law and because they are containers for a retail food product, they are subject to inspection by health authorities. Some producers of plastic containers are not inspected by US health authorities, in fact some are not made in the US at all and thus the production methods/materials are never reviewed. You can be sure any “food” product sold in the US has had its production, packaging and distribution plants inspected. This plastic is safe and will not leach chemicals with use.

Sport drink bottles are tough and forgiving of hikers like me with butter fingers. I have had many survive drops from heights even onto rocks.  They have universal sized screw tops and they can be frozen repeatedly and hold up very well indeed, in fact I have two or three that I’ve used for two plus years.

Keep in mind that a team of marketing gurus has put a lot of time into the shape and style of these bottles, perhaps much more time then other outdoor equipment suppliers.  The height, diameter and human/bottle interface (opening and grip) carefully considered and tested to be user friendly.  After all, their valued product is inside and it’s all part of the package they want you coming back for.
These sport “ADE” drinks are commonly used by the outdoors community so we probably already have one or two of these in our refrigerators. Why not make good use of a good thing? It saves money, saves the environment and is by virtue of its superior design a much better water bottle. Now THAT’S trend setting!


Safe Travels  RJ Mosca

RUGER 10-22 Survival Rifle

I was having my usual survival rifle conversation with some
of the guys the other afternoon.
The consensus was that as a dedicated survival arm the 22
Rim Fire still holds the title of best all around.





This page is not to dispute that claim in fact I agree. Moreover I believe internationally those countries that enjoy the freedom to own and use firearms will agree that in this capacity the 22 Rim Fire is top of the list. The ammunition is readily available, inexpensive, easy to carry and store and offers no recoil.
Of all the 22 Rim Fire rifles that can and are used for this
purpose and there are many fine firearms that fit well into this category, the
Ruger 10-22 rifle is probably number one (or at least in the top three).
What makes this so is the cause of much conversation and argument.
It seems the lists of pros and cons about this rifle abound. I have used many types of Rim Fire rifles as a survival arm. Most notably the Armalite AR-7 and the
Winchester 94-22. The AR-7 deserves a page all of its own and in future I will
post one that will raise your eye brow. My love affair with the 94-22 is ongoing and I can say this fine rifle has fed me more times than Burger King has.
The Ruger 10-22 has a very interesting history…go look it up, I’m not going there today. This is a survival Blog and far too many Internet sites can blow the 10-22 trumpets if you really need to know. Today we discuss the rifle as a survival arm. My first 10-22 was in my hands as a teen. Being who and what I am the first thing I did was personalize it to my needs (for that time) I changed the stock giving up the ugly utilitarian wood for a skeletonized black synthetic pistol grip. I Mounted a Weaver V-22 variable on the little black rifle and never looked back. It was tough and as accurate as I expected a 22 rifle to be back then (and I expected great things). I have owned a few 10-22 rifles in my time, four I think over the years. Two were standard models and two were upgrades, all were reliable rifles. That’s the key word here RELIABLE. I have heard some say the 10-22 suffers from accuracy issues while other sing songs of praise. Like anything else that is mass produced there are bound to be a few Monday morning rifles out there but all mine have been Wednesday after lunch pieces. I and a few million others have few negative things to say about the Little Ruger. The 10-22 feels good in the hand, not heavy as much as respectfully well made, it has chops. The rifle is dynamic and balances well in most hands. Made of good milled armorers steel and investment castings that
make it feel tight and solid. It can be brought to bare quickly and without shifting and goose necking. Be careful that any aftermarket stock you use does not sacrifice these important characteristics.

The rifle can be configured in so many ways; it really is a chameleon. I think this is one of the rifle’s strongest assets. After market goodies fill the catalogs. When you buy a Ruger 10-22 you really buy the foundation for whatever you need a reliable 22 Rim Fire rifle to be. Stop with the factory basic or dream big, it’s up to you. Although the standard model offers all you need for hunting-target practice or just plinking fun, I suggest you find what aftermarket features are available that might improve your ergonomic relationship to this platform and make it truly your own. Be it Target or Race Gun applications, Survival situations, Varmint hunting or Zombie defense.



Women and children love this rifle. It is very user friendly and experts are made in a single days training. Telescopic or electronic dot sites mount low to an aluminum receiver and will improve your chances of placing the round in the bull’s eye but the provided iron sites are good and have their place. Note heavy barrel models have clean (No iron sights) barrels. The 10-22 is easy to service and maintain
making it field friendly with very few tools, Allen wrenches and standard screw
drivers do it all. This is important to the survivor. The rifle works well when
fouled but as most firearms it should be kept as clean as possible. Bumps and
falls have never seemed to bother the rifle as much as it has me and all of my
10-22 rifles have had their “Character” marks.

The chamber of the 10-22 rifle is friendly to most types and makes of
ammunition feeding and cycling anything it’s fed. Some of the “target” models have match chambering and although I have never found any make of ammunition my rifle won’t eat, there are some that claim the tight tolerances have proved
problematic. As a dedicated survival firearm this might be a legitimate
concern. I will report any failures I encounter in future….don’t hold your breath.

My heavy barrel target model sports the latest incarnation
of what I predict will become “The Classic 22 Scope” of the century, the Adventure Class Center Point variable power telescopic site. These low cost scopes are worth more than a passing glance. The Mil-Dot for the common man and although produced overseas (China) are a great deal. More on that later in another page. I keep a fifty yard zero on the CP and this combo with one particular brand of
ammunition (Winchester Xpert HV) will hold just over an inch from a sand bag
and when I’m doing my part. A game getter to be sure. At one hundred yards the group is predictable and as deadly as I will ever need. Large Zombie sized targets need to worry about this Ruger even at two hundred yards if you know what I mean. Survival rifles have to aid in all types of survival at times.
Here an Israeli Special Forces unit uses a suppressed
version of the Ruger as a tool against violent protesters. Shots to the knee cap incapacitate the most violent in the crowd without fear of over
penetration or ricochet.

The 10-22 magazine is what puts the TEN in the 10-22, a TEN round rotary magazine that (in my opinion) was based on some of the European hunting rifles. I know of many who replace it with a thirty round (stick) magazine but I find the rotary box to be nothing short of genius. I like the way it locks up and is removed. All actions to make that happen must be deliberate and not likely to dump a mag accidentally. They also help with prone and offhand shooting which is important to me. A true classic 22 caliber workhorse, the Ruger 10-22 is a great choice for the survival rifle.

The BIG Orange Strap!



THE SPORT STRAP
Not many people like me but a few think I’m special (which we know I am).
Last year a friend gave me a gift I’m ashamed to say I’m just getting around to using. It was a wrist band for active sports enthusiasts like me.
The SPORT STRAP is designed to protect your chronograph from
bumps and bangs. It comes in several colors but knowing my unnatural attraction
to the color Orange, my gift was just that…BRIGHT ORANGE!
The strap is like many I have seen over the years. A Velcro closure holds a flap over the watch/compass/weather instrument until needed then it is simply pealed back for a peek.
However the SPORT STRAP has an almost pillow like cushion that protects the instrument very well indeed, this is much more than a scratch guard.
I have decided to carry my TIMEX EXPEDITION on this band. This particular model the M540-V7 is a thick chrono probably due to its silent vibration alarm capability, however it fits
as if custom made.
The SPORT STRAP is nicely appointed with reflective piping
and tape as well, you know I love that. A very well thought out and produced
piece of kit.
If you are a climber, kayaker or just a clumsy
hiker/camper, the SPORT STRAP might be worth a look.

Catskill Cloud Hiking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik4e9kxAcIc&feature=g-upl

A Day In The Forest, In The Rain and with my Brother John....great day.
I always carry an extra rain jacket (thank goodness) and always pack goodies in the truck for after the hike. I was happy to share with my new friends Kevin, Cheryl and Rebecca.

GERBER SURVIVOR LIGHT...Bear who?


The GERBER
Survivor LED torch (Flashlight)

Over the years I have collected many personal lights. Some have been better than others but all
were serviceable and I’ve found uses for them all. Each and every bag, pack,pouch I carry has its own dedicated light. What I look for in a personal light is simple and I think just about what most seasoned outdoor travels and adventurers look for.
The light must have adequate output for its intended task.
It must be rugged enough to survive rough handling and the elements.
It should have a fair light to battery life ratio (for its intended use).
It should have at least fair ergonomics.
In this category which would include pocket, neck or backpack “task” lights, the options are
many and give the buyer a great selection to choose from. If you are like me, you never go anywhere without light and you also have a collection of lights to serve many needs and
rightly so.
I go nowhere without a MICROSTREAM clipped to my tee shirt under my clothes or a PROTON on a length of para cord around my neck.
If you are a regular reader of this Blog you may know I like the GERBER “Extreme Task” and
the GERBER “RECON” multi filter tactical lights. Both of these AA battery pocket torches are
bomb proof and well designed. Their output is good for the intended use and battery
life is very good indeed.
So what’s new from GERBER?
Well the other day I was walking through my local Mart store and was involuntary drawn to the
sporting goods section (this always happens and I have spoken to my Doctor about it….apparently there is no cure yet).
I spied the GERBER end cap of Bear (EDDIE)
Grylls toys. Now, I have never tip toed around my feeling for this young man.
I find him obnoxious and self-serving.
His antics while entertaining demonstrate very little of what a true survivor
should consider in an emergency situation. In short he is eye candy for
armchair adventures but NOT a practical teacher. Sorry my English cousin.
The Bear Grylls tools sold by GERBER are fun and useful in most respects but the BG turns me off enough for me to ignore anything of that line. I have however found an exception?
The GERBER Survivor hand torch.
Basically a task light on steroids. Like the smaller version of this light, it sports no bezel and is made of aluminum. The twist is the addition of a match compartment in the tailpiece. Both the tail piece and light head are sealed with rubber O rings to keep the insides dry.
The barrel has zero taper (which I like for holding in your teeth) and sports a lanyard hole.
A silicone type rubber grip gives fair handling characteristics and both ends are knurled to help with manipulation when wet.
Run time is in the eight hour range and output is very good for average camp tasks or trail navigation.
The GERBER Survivor torch comes with five (5) lifeboat type matches and a strike card in a small sealed plastic envelope as well as a tiny zip bag of cotton fiber. I have added a ball of drier lint (my favorite tinder) which fits well under the tail cap. The body of the Survivor torch is anodized in a vibrant orange that is hard to miss. I like equipment that is easy to find. The light is impressive for the price (which I purchased from the reduced rack) and I have seen the price vary in wide swings from as much as $32 to half that.

The down side:
As I noted earlier, the business end of the light has no bezel, a recessed cone protects the LED which is exposed and actually rises out of the body of the light. In truth I must tell you that I noted this future when I purchased my original GERBER Task light and was concerned if it would prove problematic with rough handling. It never has.
What I do see as a fault it the design is that this “cone” is anodized the same color as the rest of the flash light. If it was reflective instead of orange or black as it is with the original light, usable light could only be improved.

She's Got Allot Of Moxie

Outdoor Products MOXIE Lite Duty Day Pack.
Out hunting for a "Lite Hiker" day pack for my girlfriend today. The major considerations were as follows:
Firstly Gillie (My Girlfriend) is no hiker, not by a long shot. Much more comfortable in Flip Flops (God Forbid) then an approach shoe, she is cutting her wilderness teeth on some lite Catskill trails this summer. I knew to burden her with a technical piece of LBE would not only put her off but might actually scare her away from the experience. So the load needed to be lite and fun to carry not the type of kit a vet might schlep but a really nice starter bag.
Once again and as almost always, OP or Outdoor Products came to the rescue.
For just a few shekels we found the MOXIE / 4234-OP day pack. A "NON" technical trail bag that seemed to fit the bill.
First note on the bag was that the guys at OP were sneaky as hell in producing this model specifically targeted at the fairer sex. Women and girls will love the color scheme. I found one in mixed pastel pink and another in a calm pastel blue, both very eye appealing to females and in fact were the first things spotted in the camping/hiking section of our local Mart store. We opted for the pink because it matched today's nail polish. Shame on you OP for using such underhanded tactics....give your sales team a nice Ata Boy.
The MOXIE is one of a line tailored to fix the female form and has a specific Logo indicating that it is a woman pack. With a narrower profile, contoured waist belt and ergonomic shoulder straps (with slash pockets for ipod or bear bell) the bag does seem to hang well with a lite load. Now on to the load bearing characteristics....the shoulder straps have no load lifters and are bar tacked directly to the bag so not much adjustment to be found there. The very European tear drop "Ruck" design does lend itself nicely to walking with minimal kit and the bag does have compression/lifters near the mid to bottom range of the pack to keep things tight, that's a plus.
Being "NON" technical, the bag sports no frame at all but instead uses a semi ridged frame sheet to keep the bag standing and provides some protection against pointed objects within the bag from poking into the wearers back. Four cushioned pressure points rest the bag against the two shoulder blades and kidney areas while an open cross section keeps air circulating between bag and the wearers back
Specs are 18.5 in x 20 in x 6 in (47 cm x 50.8 cm x 15.2) small by my standards but adequate for it's designed task.
It is like almost everything OP makes Hydration compatible and will fit a two liter reservoir but does not come with a bladder or tube.
With all the standard appointment we have come to expect from Outdoor Products such as reinforced stress points, clean design and friendly fit the MOXIE was no let down.
After we spend more time on trail I'll give you a complete report.
RJ Mosca

I'll TAKE A JAUNT

THE JAUNT LUMBAR PACK
In my seemingly never ending search for quality affordable equipment and my incurable addiction to load bearing equipment (backpacks) I was lucky enough to find a lumbar (Butt Bag) type day pack or "Lite Hiker" about six months ago that really caught my eye and after some testing via regular use I can now recommend.
The Kelty JAUNT, is the bag and like most things that interest me, it is a bit different. The Jaunt is one of a line created by renowned pack maker Kelty for use as a minimalist carrying system.
The pack is attractive, well laid out and built to provide long life even with regular hard use.
With a textile count of 600 denier ripstop and "Oxford" polyester (whatever that is) the bag seems more then a little tough and smart looking I might add. The Brown (Kelty calls it Bronze) and grey give it a desert camo kind of look but it fits in urban environments just as well.
The Bag lay out is simple and that's what appeals to me. A large main compartment holds the larger items I tote. Under the top cover is a sort of flap pocket that I use for pens, and items of that size and shape. A smaller elastic inside slash pocket holds flat paper type items like passport, I.D. and my Ranger counting beads (yeah I know real kool).
A slightly smaller outer pocket holds those items needed quickly like small flashlight or keys. I keep a micro tool kit in here as well.
I Like the Jaunt, it fits so nicely into my EDC that I actually use two. One is for trekking in the suburbs and one I use for more urban (Man Bag) type service.
A GPS and my usual list of thirty items not to leave home without are in bag number one. A scanner and my "urban" survival items are in bag number two. I carry one of these bags almost every day.
Now for the "carry" itself. The Jaunt is exceedingly well designed for comfy load bearing. Over sized hip belt with load transfer straps help the bag conform to the shape of your body and distribute the felt weight across the hips very well. A padded shoulder strap helps keep the bag in place while walking without transferring the load to the shoulder and a arch shaped DELRIN ( a lite yet high strength homopolymer thermoplastic) support stave keep the bag erect against the spine. Hey this thing really works well too, the bag never settles low or hangs, in fact it's flexible and comfortable!
Mesh outer pockets with both elastic and Fastex type secured tape hold water bottles and glove or pepper spray type items that might be wet or otherwise not fit to carry inside the bag.
One bag is rigged for hiking the other for walking city streets, both ride securely and comfortably. I carry about four pounds of "things" in my EDC lumbar kits, these are perfect for the job.
Whether in the woods or in the crowds, the Jaunt fits in well as a Bug Out Bag, gear haul or even as a really cool Man purse. It is one of the few Lumbar packs that do what they claim to do and at a great price....one of my favorite features.
Safe Travels
RJ

Cutting the Mustard OR Mustard the Cutter

After reading much about the advantages of an acid wash patina on carbon steel blades, I decided to try the simple Mustard and Vinegar treatment I had heard so much about. And No I don't have any Grey Poupon!
I began the project with a brand new Mora 840 MG Carbon Clipper. These inexpensive knives have a reputation for being sharp, durable and easy to maintain. I chose a Carbon blade for it's ease of resharpening and fire sparking qualities. The carbon steel is of course more susceptible to rust and corrosion. The fast answer was an acid patina, the fastest patina? Custom Condiment!




















The bright silvery steel of a brand new Mora is beautiful as this picture shows, but will tarnish and pit before very long. The edge of a Mora is sharpened in the traditional Scandinavian or "Scandi "grind. A long flat continuance with a wide easy to follow angle. These knives are renowned for their ability to achieve a "shaving" sharpness.

The application of the acid (Mustard) was easy enough. After cleaning the blade well with solvent (Alcohol wipes) and allowing to dry, I mixed a liberal squirt of Mustard with a table spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar. Mixing it only slightly so I would have a clotty half runny half firm semi paste, I applied the acid to the blade with a Q-tip in an intentional random organic pattern that I hoped would give the blade some character.















I allowed the acid to remain on the blade undisturbed for three hours. I had heard others say six to eight hours was necessary but I doubted this as the carbon is so open and willing to take a stain, I was correct. After washing the blade and neutralizing the acid with WD-40 I only needed to give the Mora a loving wipe down.


The Mora took the acid with better then expected results. A semi spotted pattern not unlike marbled conglomerate or pudding stone was etched in the now grey blue and beautiful steel. The natural, organic look of the metal gave the edge the appearance of a custom knife, only Damascus would have more charm. I think the look is worth it even if the patina did not provide some protection from corrosion....which luckily it does.

















How Kool is that? I will never look at a jar of Mustard the same way again. What a fast and efficient way to blue steel. Who knew? Now even if the Mora needs to be re-touched now and again, who cares? It is so easy to produce a delicate and interesting protective pattern on the steel it is no chore at all.

Now as easy as this was to achieve, it was controlled. I planned the application and pattern for this affect. Should you just wipe your blade down with a vinegar type acid, you will only achieve a grey blush and possibly streaking. The protection may be there but the character and raw beauty of the blotching will be missing. Plan out your blade pattern before you commit.


I can't think of a Carbon blade I own that would not qualify and benefit from the "Mustard Treatment". The once plain Jane, purely utilitarian look of the classic Mora now has a personal custom coating that deserves a second glance. This ain't your Daddy's Mora.

Safe Travels

RJ

SWISS RANGER WOOD STOVE

As long as I'm not above tree line, I like a lite wood burning stove.
It saves me having to carry fuel and well, I like the smell of the things. Above treeline is above fuel line so never plan on using a wood burner as an alpinist stove.

I have bought or built several types of woodies, from simple Hobo type "vented" cans to the POCKET COOKER (see page in this Blog for review). Now I have the chance to use the SWISS RANGER. The Ranger is little more then an aluminium vented Hobo can, but it has some interesting features.
video
First and most notably, it comes as a kit. The stove is equipped with "Corked" aluminium bottle, deep canteen cup and a neat bail that is designed to be both a handle and support for the cup/bottle while in the cooking mode.

video

The stoves design is pretty slick. Standing seven inches tall(17.5 cm) it is manageable. It is formed with six stamped ridges into the body that make it crush resistant and give it good grasping characteristics (when cool). Twelve draft holes circle the crown of the stove while ten circle it's base and a open fuel service window (1.5 inches by 2) make up for the missing two holes.

All in all the stove stokes and drafts quite well if not over fueled. Now that might just be an issue for some folk that don't want to sit and tend a stove while the water heats. Once a good bed of coals is established no great time tending is necessary.
video

videoThe cup size is two standard cups and sports folding handles. It is tapered to allow the draft to bring heat (or flame) two thirds up it's sides, it gets hot (and sooty) but the top third is above the crown of the stove and remains reasonably clean enough for any hiker/camper to tolerate. The bottle appears to be approximately one liter and closely resembles a SIGG bottle...I wonder why that is?
video
In short, I like it. Oh it is black as a coal miners nose after the first use but that's nothing new for a wood burner. It can be a bit tipsy if you tried to put a larger pot on it (not recommended) this stove is a cup cooker/water heater. The bottle can be seated into the stove where it rests in a bent protrusion in the bail (neat idea) and a liter of tea can be boiled up in no time. The can is it's own wind break yet the draft holes really seem to pull in enough air to do the trick.

I have not weighed the stove but have seen accounts on the Internet of it being about 15 oz, I don't think so.
The stove could just as easily be used with ESBIT,TRIOXANE or HEXAMINE fuel tabs/bars.

If you had a small enough ALCOHOL stove (Pop can type) could be dropped down the barrel of the stove and used that way. The stove's wind shielding features would only serve to help an alcohol stove.
Okay, these things are cheap. less then twenty bucks and if you really hunt around you may even find one for half that. Is it worth it? It sure is. Handy, inexpensive and lite, what else do you want? Lets not make more of it then it is, a nested stove, bottle and cup combo, but it is pretty neat equipment and at this price, worth a place on the stove shelf.
I hear folks on the Internet claim it is no easier then using a camp fire. I remind them that fire rings are frowned upon in some places and the concentrated heat source of a can stove saves fuel and makes for very easy clean up.
video

The Swiss Ranger has no carry bag so you might want to buy or make one to store it in. This will save you marking up the rest of your kit with soot streaks when you pack it up.

Safe travels
RJ

SEWING (and repair) KITS

It's the little things
That go wrong at all the wrong times and always to the wrong people. At least that's what I've always heard. Problem is, that person is generally me.

I will rip the seat of my pants, tear off a button or ware a hole in my sock on almost every trip out. I could, and if time allows I do ignore the slight inconveniences but every now and then I need to fix something.
That's why I add two more ounces of junk to my regular kit. Like a sewing kit for clothes. These lite and tiny kits are easy to pack, carry and use.



Small kits like these are inexpensive and even FREE as hand outs from Banks, Stores, as promotional items (with name embossed)
Who cares what name is on it, it's handy.



If you are a four eyes like me, Eyeglass repair kits are a must to the wilderness traveler. Of course I always advise trekkers to carry a spare pair of specks (I throw in a pair of my last prescription, not as good as my up to date glasses but better then blind)
The eyeglass kit can be picked up anyplace (check your Mart store) ask your optometrist OR just like the sewing kits, keep your eyes open for promotional hand outs. You can't really "practise" with these kits but they are fairly self explanatory. TIP: make any screw replacement tasks on your knees with your hat on the ground in between your kneecaps, do the work INSIDE your hat. This way should you drop a tiny screw (and you probably will) you can find it in your hat.

The old reliable tools are still here, Pins and over sized rubber bands, Super Glue and Vinyl seal liquid. These are great for pack and tent repairs.



Most tent manufactures will provide a repair kit with the shelter. Fabric, Seam and Pole repair items are usually included.









For tough outer ware items like Gators and Rain Shells/Pants, I like to use a fabric "Tape" from 3M, it is very flexible and strong. I can remove it and make a proper repair or replace the item once I get back to the homestead, for now it does a super job.

When I hunt primitive (with Flintlock) I will usually carry a repair kit in my possibles bag just in case I pop a stitch. My Buddy Buffalo Bill S, is handy with fur and hide and is always fixin something up for me. He gifted me a really neat sewing wallet made from Elk skin (I think) it's needle proof. He packed it with some over sized needles and raw cordage. The tip of a buck antler completes the look and serves as a thong wrap to secure the wallet. Very cool Bill, Thanks










As a note of interest, I have these "Hand Needles" packed in vacuum glass tubes. I carry two or three just in case I lose the thread pullers in my standard kit. I think their neat.


Safe Travels

RJ