Month: March 2022 (Page 2 of 4)

Knife Only Survival Skills a book review

Knife Only Survival Skills by Tony Nester

About 130 pages long, I read it in half a day. The first half of the book details the big 5 survival priorities and PMA positive mental attitude and for the first time someone has actually said from interviews that no one remembers the acronyms that are drilled over into us in courses.
Survival Psychology actually makes sense the way tony explains it. The first half of the book concentrating on basic fire making, water, shelters and signalling for someone stuck for three days.
The second half focuses on longer term skills such as hand drill, dead falls, procuring fish and wild game. Survival wild game meaning rodents.
Wasn’t really much on knife skills that I assumed the book was about but what I liked is he went through scenarios and explained how his courses worked and predicaments that people found themselves in.

Would I buy it again . No. Would I read it again. No. Would I recommend it. Yes to the right person. Would I buy other books by the same author Yes definitely. Did I enjoy reading it. Yes. Did I learn anything. Quite a lot, filled in some holes. Hard to say that from books coming out on the market at the moment. How would I describe it. A survival book not a bushcraft book, but a survival book that gets you interested in reading more on the subjects that were brought up. I cant say that about many books either.
Having said I wouldn’t read it again. After finishing this review I’m going to read it again. Just to pick out the little bits and pieces that I want to look into in more detail.

RATS EDC Amendment

I wrote an article a while ago about basic EDC gear. That said always carry a cutting tool, a way to start a fire, a light and a tactical pen. Id like to amend that with an idea I am starting to work on after writing about tourniquets and pressure bandages. That is to also include a tourniquet.

My idea is to find a small pouch that I can put on my belt that will hold an Olaes flat pack pressure bandage and a RATS tourniquet. The idea came from the RATS being the smallest and easiest tourniquet to carry but I wanted to wrap it flat pack style so it doesn’t bulk out a pocket. So it is always on you and not just in the car or a shoulder bag or knapsack.

I always pick up a blade I don’t always pick up a medical system to support that blade.

Alternative Pouches

ITS Tactical


Tourniquets and Pressure Bandages

(Disclaimer not a medical technician. This is personal opinion blah blah blah for the snowflakes)

Im putting this up for a mate that was asking questions about what to purchase after looking at the medical kits and IFAKs on the US sites.

I pretty much said buy from Tacmed Australia and make your own its cheaper. To put together a Wilderness medical kit theres a good youtube clip by the Grey Bearded Green Beret linked at bottom of the page. One thing I would like to emphasis that was on the full length dvd was you not qualified watching a youtube clip, go out and get proper training.

Some people will say to use one type over another. Simply put I use different bandages for different applications.

Firstly Pressure Bandages.

Israeli vs Olaes. I use both The Olaes has 3 meters of packing gauze included and a plastic sheet for abdominal wounds and a velcro braking system to stop the bandage unrolling. The Israeli has a plastic clip to make it easier to obtain better pressure.

Israeli left Olaes right

In all my IFAKs I have Olaes bandages due to the extras. I use the flat pack version in my Blue Force Gear Micro Trauma kit so it will fit. Where I use Israeli Bandages are on my harnesses and gun belt set up. They just fit easier into the type of tourniquet holder I use.

Israeli on harness

Tourniquet Differences.

Once again there are advantages and disadvantages of each type and style. On all my harness and belt systems I use SOF T wide. They’re wider for femoral leg wounds and have an aluminum windlass as opposed to a plastic one.If I’m going to use something on myself I want the best. The SOF T also has a buckle system so once staged you don’t have to slide it up over the appendage. They also have a triangular locking system for the windlass as opposed to a velco locking tab.

SOF T on harness showing triangular locking lug

In the IFAKs I keep in my medical kits I use the SWAT rubber style. I don’t care if I apply it to someone else and they are dragged off in an ambulance with a $20 piece of equipment. Where as the SOF T version s are more than three times in price. The Swats also pack smaller and flatter.

swat rubber

The RATs versions are great for keeping around for kids and they fit in pockets the smallest. I always have them about.

couldnt get a good pic of mine

Gauze and Quickclot

Combat Gauze is the best but also very expensive so I use it with my firearms related equipment, and stand sport quickclot in my other gear.

combat gauze

It came down to price, packing ability and where I expect the most damage to a wound as to where I would use different pieces of gear. For Combat you have four appendages so need four tourniquets. For bushcraft use I carry Two. A SOF T and a RATs for Kids. You can never own too many tourniquets or pressure bandages. Dont get hung up on hype better off having one than none.

Tacmed Australia

Grey Bearded Green Beret

Tactical Gear RATS

Olaes Use

Blue Force Gear Micro Trauma kit

Q and A

Q; Why do I use more than one type.
A; If I could afford all SOF T tourniquets I would buy all SOF T but I cant . I also wanted to try out a few different ones for myself which not many people do.prices listed below and I look out for sales specials usually.
Q; Why use different ones for those applications
A; First RATs always have a tourniquet for kids and they fit in a pocket the easiest to carry on a person and not in a kit.
Second I have three SOF T one for harness, one for battle belt and third for bushcraft gear. I cant afford any more than that. Those are the places I expect the greatest amount of bleeding.
Third SWATs I can afford to fill my IFAKs and trauma kits with these
SOF T t $46
SWAT $20 from legear normally $30
RATS $35
CATS $65
combat gauze $80

Solo Stove

contained unit

I first heard about a solo Stove from Kevin Reeve at Onpoint Tactical in a news letter regarding constructing bug out bags and thought this was the best thing under the sun. Able to burn both wood and alcohol in a small unit with eliminating smoke as much as possible.

contents and interior

The only complaint i had is when doing bushcraft courses they really want you use use a pot that can be hung over an open fire, but for the above mentioned of BOBs the use it is perfect.

set up

I’m not a fan of pressurized hiking stoves. Not that they have problems working but for instance at the moment I live not far from three major country townships and can not purchase pressure pack gas bottles any where. I would have to drive for two hours on way to buy the fuel. Metholated spirits I can purchase from any hardware or supermarket within a 5 minute drive.

with alcohol burner

Designed with a double wall, the Solo Stove Lite is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifier stove. The air intake holes on the bottom of the stove channel air to the bottom of the fire while at the same time, channels warm air up between the walls of the stove. This burst of preheated oxygen feeding back into the firebox through the smaller holes at the top of the stove causes a secondary combustion. This allows the fire to burn more complete which is why there is very little smoke during full burn. A more efficient burn also means you’ll use much less wood compared to an open camp fire.

Assembled Size (of Stove): Height 14.5cm (5.7″) Width 10.8cm (4.25″)

Boil Time: 8-10 min for 0.95 litres (32oz) of Water

Burns: Sticks, Twigs, Pine Cones And Other Biomass

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire

Packed Size (of Stove): Height 9.65cm (3.8″) Width 10.8cm (4.25″)

Solo Stove lite 900 Combo

Onpoint Tactical

UHF Communications

As part of my communications set up Ive purchased a GME TX 6160 UHF hand held radio. I may at a later time purchase an installed radio set up within my 4WD but Ive found a handheld does most of what I require.

When I was younger I didn’t see the need for off grid communications. I went bush to get away from all that and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Now I’m older and have injuries and health issues, as-well as after a few incidents Ive reconsidered. I still have to upgrade a PLB too.

I was driving up in the hills in Northern NSW by myself and was only 50 meters off the main road and sunk into clay. I managed to get out but thought. One I had left my GHB at home half completed and Two no phone signal. I couldn’t even open the doors to let the dog out and walk back to the main road and with lock-downs and paranoia rampant, had no chance of getting help.

I had turned around before sinking any further and limped back to the main road. I didn’t even have my air compressor with me to drop the tyre pressures to 10 pounds to get out of the soup easily. Where I drive now there is no phone reception on the tracks and that’s only 15 minutes from a township.

My Fly fishing instructor was also telling me about carrying a PLB after he tripped and hurt his leg in a stream crossing. Fifty feet from a main road and no way to get help trying to crawl up a river bank. You don’t have to be in the middle of no where to need a PLB. Fifty meters from a road may require one, especially in snake season.

They were just little things not far from home where I should have been more watchful, thinking I’m not going far I wont worry about packing recovery gear. Now I always have the back of the 4WD packed with recovery gear, communications equipment, cooking gear, tarps and first aid, tools, GHB, food, etc.

Having said that I continually break that rule by needing to help people move, use the back of the tray for building equipment. In three weeks time I have emptied everything out to travel three hours to my bushcraft course and need the room for my backpack and hiking trolley and to drop off all my dogs bedding , food etc to a mate to baby sit the day before.

I’m not a big radio freak and want to talk to people (People give me the shits) but the two systems Ive brought will let me either let me know whats going on around me or get me out of trouble in combination with a Slim Jim antenna for extra range.



Junk Pile

Ive been reorganizing my all my gear into boxes ready for my move into a smaller van. Selling my 17 foot caravan and building a 14.5 foot off road trailer more suited for extended off road use. I came across some of the equipment I had purchased when I was a member of a HAM Radio club preparing for my licence.

This had more to do with communications . I’m attempting to get back into it after urging from a mate in the US. Rob from Practical Survivor Blog.

When looking up some of the antenna systems on the AMP 3 site it looks like they no longer list them but I have emailed to see if they are still available.

Follows are a couple of shortwave long wire antennas and a crystal Radio from Patriot Radios that also looks like they no longer exist. I have included a link to Geojohn crystal radios. I first started getting into crystal radios after seeing a WW2 movie of prisoners of war making a radio that did not require power to receive news from the outside.

I have also included a link to the Baofeng users handbook.

crystal radio
packet decription
packet contents
slim Jim antenna

Practical Survivor


Baofeng Users Handbook

Crystal Radios

Seeking Courses

I mostly travel following courses. So I’m starting to plan ahead after finishing Level 2 Bushcraft, Mushroom ID, Pig Butchery. I’m looking for any short term training hobby type courses in Bee Keeping, Soap Making, Candle Making, Poultry Raising, recommendations for Permaculture Design, Soft Cheese Making, etc. Please email through through the contact page. Cheers

Hazard 4 Poncho Liner

As it arrived. I can never refold them back into the front pouch
Trying to figure out how the top snaps work

The poncho Villa Liner arrived from tactical Gear within three days of ordering. Very warm will have to wait till it cools down again to test it out properly. Folds up a little large. It would be something with the outer to wear all the time and not pack away in a backpack.Will have to figure out how to put the snaps on the older version of the outer poncho.

Stainless Steel Upgrades

Im gradually trying to update my gear. I’m keeping my old Trangia aluminum kettles for in the back of my ute for traveling. I’m trying to set it up so I can just stay where ever I like for up to a week without having to come home. Ive been upgrading to stainless when I can find good quality equipment. I looked into three different brands of stainless camp kettles and went for the models that were made from one piece and had no joins. The Glacier is more for in a backpack, while the Uniflame is for base camps. I haven’t used either as yet. Which I’m hoping to do this week. I found it easier to find both of these on eprey directly from Japan.

GSI left, Uniflame right

Uniflame Kettle

GSI Glacier Kettle

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