Friday, August 27, 2010

Survival Gear: The Army's Greatest Invention


No, it is not a gun, or a plane. It's a can opener. Yes a can opener. A P-38 Military Can Opener to be exact. Yes, unless you have been in the Army, though I dont think they use them anymore (if I am wrong please correct me in the comments area), you might have not seen the style of one of these before. Sure there are the commercial hand held openers, but many of our veterans have sworn by these. Years ago these used to come in C-rations for opening the canned goods that came with them. The actual can opener itself is a little bit smaller than what the picture shows, it is exactly 2 inches long and an inch and an 8th wide. It is steel, with a 3/4ths of an inch curved claw blade that can open almost any can, and be used for other purposes too, like cutting things that need cutting, or used as a mini screwdriver. It is small, light, compact, and to me seems pretty tough and the hole on the end makes it so it could be put on a necklace or keychain. I tried it out on a can of tuna for my lunch yesterday. This is a useful little tool.

BTW, I bought 15 of these for $7 total at amazon, though supposedly many have lasted a lifetime for our veterans.

Go here for more information on this little tool at Wikipedia. There is another link on that page to Georgia Outfitters where they have veterans stories on how this little tool was used too in the resources area.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Survival Gear: Field Testing Part 2

I am just quick making another post because there are also a few other things that I forgot to mention. It is a good idea to field test your gear for several good reasons.

1. It is good practice. Get comfortable actually using it, even if it is for mundane things. Good example is what I mentioned in my last post, I made my lunch with it. What good is your gear if you do not know how to use it or how it works? Testing in relatively safe conditions before you happen to get into trouble helps.

2. It shows where you can make improvements with your bag, and your personal skills. Are there things that you forgot to add? Or is there something that you did not think of, but found you could use later? For example, my bag could use a rag for cleaning things like dishes. Or maybe an extra pair of socks to keep your feet dry? If you do not have it, then you cant use it.

3. Testing shows how well your gear performs too. Maybe you bought or made something that was supposed to work, but didn't?

4. It gives you a chance to use up the perishable things in your bag so that way what you have does not go to waste. Waste not, want not.

These are all good things to keep in mind when you put together an emergency bag. Someday you may have to rely on it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Survival Gear: Field Testing!

You know, sometimes it is good to field test your gear from time to time. It is good practice, and sometimes you get some surprising results. I wanted to get used to using my vehicle bag for basic stuff. What I decided to do was use it to make myself lunch, just a simple mountain house meal. I carry with me some sterno with a sterno stove and a magnesium firestarter as a part of my kit. Remember, I tested this setup once before at home, and it worked pretty well. But there was a difference, it was AT HOME and I used a glass jar. This time I went to a small park, used the same stove and my canteen cup and water that I had stored in my vehicle. This time, it took longer because I was outside and there was a bit of wind, and the water never really got to boiling, but it did get barely hot enough to use. This is something to keep in mind if I am going to use this setup again. In calm conditions it might be different. But hey, it helped start the baby steps to starting out in outdoor cooking, and it feels good to know that I can cook a basic meal anywhere... I hope to do more soon. This is a good example though to go out and practice some skills and get comfortable with using different tools.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Site Edit: Wolves love Birdies!

Just wanting to let you guys know, this old wolf is now on Twitter! Click the follow me button on the right side of the page to get den updates! The Wolf Den is now LIVE on Twitter!

Also, if you like any of my articles and want to share them, you can now click the 'Tweet THIS' button at the bottom of each post! Spread the word about this place!