Tag Archives: survival

Buffalo River Survival Knife Review

_DSC2600The Buffalo River Adventure Series Survival Knife was an interesting product to land on my desk for review.

It features a high carbon stainless steel half-serrated 5 inch Tanto style blade, at the base of the knife there is a stainless steel pommel for hammering, a diamond knife sharpener that is integrated into the knife sheath and a Ferrocerium fire starter.

I generally found whilst the blade is quite sharp out of the packaging, the Tanto point of the knife made the non-serrated part of the blade a bit limiting in it’s use due to the length of it, but this is a do-all survival knife and the versatility of the blade makes it’s limits a little bit irrelevant as it ticks a lot more boxes than a single purpose knife.


How many knives can you ask the following questions about and get a yes to all of them?
Could I gut an animal with this knife?
Could I cut bone or wood with it?
Can I cut rope or other fibrous materials?
Sure can.

_DSC2604So the knife is strong and versatile especially once you add the pommel at the base of the knife. It worked surprisingly well and I thought it would be the weakest feature of the knife, but I found that it performed well and I was easily able to hammer 4 inch nails into timber, so hammering stakes into the ground would be relatively easy considering you are using a knife and not a hammer.

The sheath of the knife also packs some feature in.

The two piece sheath has a plastic part which houses the knife it clips the knife in and has a diamond sharpener on the back of it and keeps a fire starter in the front.

This plastic sheath clips into the nylon holder via a button and a velcro strap. It features a horizontal loop and a vertical loop for either attaching to a belt or hanging off of something.

The diamond sharpener would definitely brighten up your blade and would definitely be helpful if you had a dull edge and needed to sharpen it.

The stand out feature of the knife is the fire starter and that is what truly makes the knife a great survival tool.


With the right material such as a fluffy dry bark it is really easy to light a fire. Of course I learned this the hard way after trying to light a fire with the fire starter the wrong way by striking it against a rock, then after nearly giving up I read the packaging and noticed the notch in the back of the knife. Once I used the the fire starter properly by sliding the notch on the spine of the knife down the fire starter it was ridiculously easy to make sure you had warmth throughout the night.

I tell this rather embarrassing story as it is a cautionary tale. If I was actually out in the bush with daylight fading and it being my only source of warmth for the night I could have been in big trouble. There is no point in owning equipment that could save your life if you do not know how to use it. I am incredibly lucky that I was just out testing this and not relying on it. Sure, I did figure it out, but I could have wasted valuable daylight if I was really stranded out in the bush.

Overall, this knife is truly performs well in all tasks. It makes it easy to start a fire, cut rope and anything else. It really is 6 tools in one little package. For the price it is well worth the $40 Retail price.

Grab a bargain here:


Review: Mainstay 2400 Emergency Food Rations

Over the last several months I’ve been starting to understand the importance of having a high nutritional food source stored away for emergencies. I’m not talking about “doomsday” preparations (although I have nothing against that if that’s what concern’s you) but I’m referring more to having a long shelf life food product stored in your hunting day pack, vehicle boot or homestead.

For years I’ve been keeping food items stored in my hunting pack such as space food sticks and muesli bars. Such items don’t add much weight to your pack and they will come in handy if you ever get lost and end having to spend a night out in the sticks. You do however need to keep a close eye on expiry dates and of course they aren’t a “complete” meal by themselves.

The same goes for vehicle and household food supplies. A long term power outage could cause a lack of cooking facilities and a vehicle breakdown in the middle of nowhere could see you digging into your food supplies. There are many situations that could arise and thinking that it’ll never happen seems a little naive in my eyes.

Given my interest in food rationing products, I naturally jumped at the chance when Susan from Survival Storehouse offered to send me a sample pack to review. Survival Storehouse is a distributor for Mainstay food and water survival kits here in Australia.

Mainstay has several products in their range which includes emergency drinking water packets with a five year shelf life. The purpose of this review however is to concentrate on their 2400 emergency food rations packet. The 2400 designation means that the packet contains a total of 2400 calories or 10,000 kilo joules. There is also a 3600 packet and a convenient pocket sized 1200 energy bar.

Mainstay products are made in the US and exceed US Coast Guard and SOLAS standards. SOLAS stands for Safety Of Life At Sea and by exceeding the standards set forth we can be confident that Mainstay products are what they claim to be.

The 2400 ration pack consists of six food bars which contain 400 calories each. The recommended consumption rate for marine environments is two bars per person per day and for land based situations the rate is increased to three bars per day. I’m not exactly sure why the land based consumption rate is higher but I’m assuming it’s because land environments would require more energy expenditure than simply waiting for rescue on a floating boat. Perhaps a reader can confirm or elaborate on that one for us.

Mainstay food rations are full of Vitamins and Minerals and when I say “full” I’m not exaggerating. Mainstay advertise that their food ration packs contain more Vitamins and Minerals than any other food bar of its kind and after reading the nutritional facts on the back of the packet, I’d be unwilling to argue that statement. These packs are designed to sustain a person under duress situations and they are ready to eat with no cooking requirements. All their ration packs have a five year shelf life and come in a vacuum sealed resealable foil package.

Some other key features are; non- thirst provoking ingredients, temperature tolerable from between minus 40 to plus 148 degrees Celsius (no need to worry about vehicle storage in summer), Zero Cholesterol, Halal certified and they contain no peanuts or peanut oil. Basically Mainstay have ticked all the boxes and clearly put a lot of time and effort into their researching.

Mainstay food rations are prepared in their own bakery which ensures their consistent quality and freshness. The strict supervision also means that you can be confident in their listed expiry dates.

A single serving!

The rations are in biscuit form and they have won awards for being the nicest tasting emergency food available. I had several people sample the rations and all agreed that the taste was very acceptable. They taste like a Vanilla biscuit and I could easily enjoy one whilst sipping on a cup of coffee.

At the time of this review, you can purchase a Mainstay 2400 ration packet for as little as $17.00 which is excellent value when you consider it’s a five year investment.

As I mentioned earlier, Mainstay have several survival products in their range and it’s worth checking out Survival Storehouse’s website to see exactly what’s available. They also sell Emergency ration kits, Cocoon sleeping bags, survival books and a really neat looking water purifier drinking straw.


Survival: Emergency Blankets

A nice addition to anyone’s daypack is an Emergency Blanket. Most survival kits will have one included and they are also a common addition to First Aid kits. Spending time in the bush puts us at risk of being either stranded or lost in less than ideal places which means that we should always be prepared for the worst. My Emergency Blanket is part of my First Aid kit which is with me at all times whilst I’m out and about.

There are actually a lot of uses for these blankets and some are often overlooked. The most obvious use would be warmth. Wrapping yourself in the foil like material helps maintain your temperature by insulating your body and reflecting its heat. This reason alone is enough to make sure you always have one handy.

Another good use would be as a groundsheet. If the ground is moist then it’s important that you keep your clothes as dry as possible. Your clothes are vital to your comfort and survival so getting them damp or wet is not a good idea. Using the blanket to sit or sleep on will keep you separated from the ground and serve as an insulated layer helping you to keep dry and warm.

Emergency Blankets can also make useful shelters. One can easily be used as a roofing material requiring only a makeshift frame to be effective. They aren’t ideal for this purpose but they will work and in this sort of situation you’ll want to use all the resources you can (even the less than ideal ones).

The blanket can also be used as a water trap in wet weather. A fully spread out blanket will catch a large amount water in a very short period of time. You could simply unfold it on the ground with a low point to pool the water, or you could design a more elaborate setup if time allows.

If you’re lost or stranded then you really need to draw as much attention to yourself as possible. Use the Emergency Blanket as a light reflector to help get the attention of anyone that may be searching for you. The foil material is great for reflecting light and can serve as a giant signal mirror.

Not many of us will ever “need” to use an Emergency Blanket whilst out hunting but it’s nice to know there’s one in your pack just in case. They cost very little, take up bugger all room and weigh next to nothing.

Condoms For Survival!

A lot of personal survival kits these days include at least one condom. The saying “you just never know when you might need one” is a fitting motto for both the urban and wilderness jungles. Condoms are an easy addition to a survival kit as they take up very little room, they weigh next to nothing and are easily obtainable. They have a never ending list of uses which ranges from water storage through to medical aids.

The most obvious use for a condom (apart from their intended purpose) is water storage or transportation. They can easily hold a litre of water but make sure they are supported by being placed inside a sock or similar. By supporting them you’re limiting the chance of one breaking, leaving you with no water and no condom.

Being water proof means that a condom can also be used for storing items you don’t want to get wet. Things like mobile phones and matches can be kept dry if conditions are likely to turn nasty. Because they stretch so well, you can fit quite a few small items inside them or even just one large one!

I recently heard a great idea of partially inflating one and using it as a fishing float! Not something I would do at a local river but in a survival situation it may just help you catch that much needed meal.

In an extreme situation, condoms can be used to treat a punctured lung. A “sucking chest wound” can be treated by taping the condom down over the wound which will then control the escaping air.

There’s a heap of good reasons to include some condoms in your survival kit and it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Keep in mind that condoms have an expiration date so they should be checked and replaced frequently. I’m not sure what happens when they expire as I’ve never owned one for that long! :)