Primitive Bushcraft / Camping 18th century style

So one of the areas that I am very interested in learning about is the more primitive bushcraft of the 18th century as opposed to the more modern styles of bushcraft and newer equipment.  Dont get me wrong that is neat too but I want to know more about what has come before.  This is a video series I found that has been very helpful by Kenneth Kramm.  I have collected them all here for your convenience.

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Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Knife Review

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The Gerber fixed blade paracord knife in the Bear Grylls line of knives is  on of my favorite knives in the line and one of the best made knives in the Bear Grylls series.  The blade is small, about 3 inches long with a thin handle wrapped in bright orange paracord.   You get just under 5 feet of paracord and the wrap is very grippy and makes a nice non slip handle for genera use.  There is a small choil that makes using the blade for fine tasks easier and allows you to adjust your grip on the blade for a variety of uses.  The blade is a standard drop point design and is very functional as a small camp knife or utility knife, good for processing small game, cleaning small fish, utility tasks around camp or for yard work or daily use. The blade has held a good edge and came shaving sharp out of the box and has only required light honing to stay that way.  The sheath is wonderfully designed and fits on a belt very securely.  You can also adjust the sheath so that it rides in a variety of ways, vertically, or as a left or right draw, there are also holes on it to tie cordage to to make a neck knife or strap it to a pack.  For the price this is a great backup blade or small primary bushcrfaft or utility knife.  Though there are knives in the Bear Grylls series I do not like this one I fully recommend.  If you want a good solid small knife that will store easily in may places from a backpack, to a glove box this knife will fit the bill.

SKS Review: A Workhorse Utility Rifle

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My SKS was one of my first rifles.  My father gave it to me for Christmas when I was 17 years old and it has been a constant companion ever since.  Mine is a pre ban Russian model built in 1954, it has an integrated bayonet and the original military sling and was new in the box when I got it even though it was built in the 50’s it had never been issued.  My dad bought it back in the days when you could get a Russian SKS for less than a hundred dollars and it has been worth every penny and more.  On top of the sentimental value the rifle holds its practical side is just as valuable to me.

Lets look at the history of the gun.  It was built as a military carbine and issued before the rise of the AK-47.  Even when it was replaced by the AK it held an important secondary role in the Russian military as a weapon issued to second line troops and training troops, much the same way the US used the M1 Carbine in WW2.  Being a Russian weapon it is very rugged and simple built for farmers and conscripts to be able to use very easily and to learn about very quickly.  It fires the 7.62 X39 round the same as the AK and the bullet has basically the same ballistic characteristics as the US 30-30 round. This means it is good for a variety of uses.  It can be used for hunting medium and small game up to Deer and could probably bring down larger animals if you were careful with your shot placements. It is a great varmint round for medium sized animals like bobcats and coyotes which the rifle is very popular for in Texas and the southwest.   With the abundance of military surplus ammo it makes a fun little plinker for target shooting and of course it makes a great defensive weapon as it was origonally built as a battle rifle.

The weapons tend to be fairly accurate depending on the country of origin but most will hold a 1 to 2 inch group at a hundred yards. Mine holds a 1/2 in group at 100 yards with iron sights. The rifle is very rugged and simple to use.  It has an integrated 10 round box magazine that can not be removed. You can speed load it using stripper clips or load it one shell at a time.  The rifle strips down into 6 pieces when field striped and is extremely easy to clean. It should come with a integrated cleaning rod and a small cleaning kit which is housed in the buttstock of the rifle.

If you are looking for a beater gun or a truck gun and don’t want to break the bank on it this rifle will perform well and should last a lifetime or more.  If you enjoy collectablity or want a generic rifle that will perform multiple functions it will also fill many roles.  The prices have gone up over the years but you should still be able to get one without breaking the bank.  There are also countless aftermarket upgrades that you can get for the rifle, everything from synthetic stocks to removable magazines. I can not recommend this rifle enough, it has history, character and performs time after time no matter how bad its treated.  I have loved mine and I hope you enjoy yours just as much.

The USGI Canteen cook set with Canteenshop.com stove review

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What you see above is in my opinion one of the best and most affordable canteen sets for utility use, survival, bug out situation or day hikes. At the core of the system is the 1 quart USGI canteen, this is made of plastic and can be found for around two to five dollars if you look just a little bit.  It is the perfect size to carry for day hikes and general use especially since most water purification chemicals and tablets are made for a 1 quart size.

As seen above it is in a modern USGI Molle canteen pouch, this pouch is great as it can attach to almost anything with the Molle straps it also has two large pockets on the sides that can be used to hold a variety of things from matches, lighters, bags of tea or water purification tablets.

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The addition of a relatively inexpensive canteen cup provides much more versatility to the canteen system and moves it from being a simple water container to a cook kit and water purification system.  The stainless steel cup fits over the bottom of the canteen when carried in the pouch and not in use.  The cup can be used to collect water so that you do not risk contamination of the canteen with water born pathogens.  You can then boil the water to purify it of any of the said pathogens.  The cup also serves as a functional cooking implement, I have personally used it to cook soup, boil noodles and once even as a tiny frying pan to cook breakfast sausage.  It also allows you to have a hot beverage and still keep the main canteen and the water inside it cool.

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There are military surplus stoves available but this is an area where I would spend a little more to get a lot more use by purchasing the Canteenshop.com canteen stove.  This stove nests on top of the canteen cup when stored in the pouch.  This little stove is probably the best 20 or so dollars I have spent in total value for what I got and one of the few areas where the military solution falls far short of the civilian product.  I have used this stove many times to cook food, boil water and as a small heater when I did not want a large fire.  The top of the stove can even be used as a small grill and it is the perfect size to cook up blue gill fish.  The stove is very heavy duty and will last at lest your lifetime if not longer and will probably end up being passed on to future generations of campers as I hope mine will.  Rob over at the Canteenshop has this and many other products including an all stainless steel canteen which I would love to get my hands on but is significantly more pricy than the system I am reviewing here.  In total by shopping at goodwills, military surplus and other second hand shops, with one item the stove coming from www.canteenshop.com I have a total of 35 dollars in this kit.  So for a very reasonable price you can put together a small cook/hydration kit that will last you for many many years.