We take a look at the Survival Edge from Cold Steel to see if it lives up to the hallowed moniker of “Survival Knife”. The definition of a survival knife can get a bit philosophical and personal and goes to the heart of this review. The question of primary importance in the end may be “did we get our money’s worth for the $20 price tag?”
Does it do the things I expect a 5″ blade to do or is it an over-sized, light-duty bushcraft knife with a gimmicky handle that leaves me wishing I’d spent $20 on a Mora knife instead?
Watch the review to find out!
Here it is, the Bark River Bravo-1. It comes in several different metals and a multitude of handle choices. Why does it draw so many comparisons with the Fallknivens?
The knife’s history is legit and positive reviews well deserved. Watch the video to see it go to work!
I take a quick look at the SOL Sport Utility Blanket under 20 degree conditions to see it does indeed add warmth. Then it’s time to package up some heavy logs and see if it can withstand the weights claimed by the manufacturer for carrying stuff.
It outperforms the typical mylar space blanket in spades. As you can see in the video it’s not perfect but certainly brings enough to the table deserve a serious look.
Adventure Medical’s SOL Escape Bivy claims some amazing features. It’s alleged to be breathable, ultralightweight, inexpensive, and contain a barrier that reflects 95% of the user’s radiant body heat back to them (like a mylar blanket) increasing heat retention.
To find out if the SOL Escape Bivy lives up to these claims we put it through a few quick and dirty tests. They’re not perfect but we have a better idea of the bivy’s capabilities now. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!
Our Crovel Tactical arrived to us weighing 3.5 lbs, 8 oz more than the manufacturer’s claim. It’s built with a solid weld unlike the Crovel Extreme which greatly improves this version’s durability. It digs and chops well enough (for an e-tool) but that’s where the lovin’ stops and reality crashes the party.
It is made from non-stainless, 4140 chromoly steel which, in this case, is quite soft. Our axe blade dulled quickly and significant dings were left in the shovel’s edge from use in rocky soil. It remains to be seen whether getting the paracord handle wet will rust the handle or not. Smashing rocks with the blunt end left it mashed and gnarled – unlike the Crovel Extreme which held it’s form quite well under similar stress.
The saw blade appears totally unusable except on the smallest branches which might otherwise be done in by a single swing of the Crovel.
The Superspike reversible tip on the bottom of the handle looks cool but only ensures the operator will have something sharp pointed at them at all times and does not appear to have any real function we can discern.
Mr. Ralston’s demo video on Youtube highlights the Crovel Tactical’s ability to chop rotten wood (?) as well as its use as a throwing axe. Why anyone would throw a valuable tool for any reason in a survival situation (or otherwise) is a mystery to us but, yes, with practice, you can get it to stick into a tree. See video.
It has a nice feel to it and is a big piece of metal. The potential for greatness is there but at $109 with a nonfunctional saw blade we can’t recommend the Crovel Tactical over any other e-tool.
After a hiccup with order fulfillment, AlpineAire’s excellent customer service shipped this reviewer the correct order expediently and even let me keep the erroneous shipment. Top notch.
There’s much to like here. In addition to their routine line of foods, AlpineAire makes a wide selection of Gluten Free (not taste free), low sodium meals with wholesome ingredients and few artificial additives that remind me of Mountain House. Their pouches are two servings each and last between 2 and 4 years. Their can products have a much longer shelf-life, however.
The taste was good, on par with other freeze-dried meals. A great line of food for any gluten sensitive persons to check out.
Side note: their website is one of the few places we’ve spotted 2oz peanut butter packets in mass quantities.
The Pursuit Mat is a self-inflating sleep pad geared for the military user, according to the manufacturer. It weighs in at 27 oz on our scale, about 4 oz greater than the manufacturer claims. its basically made of some sort of open cell material that springs back to shape when the valve on the air tight cover is opened, sucking air into the pad. Does it work? Meh. If by the moniker “self-inflating” the company means “you will have to inflate it yourself” then, yes. Luckily it gets itself halfway there after about 10-15 minutes and with only a few breaths it’ll be full. It’s weightier than closed cell mats and more expensive. But it’s also much more durable and takes up less space. Which is more important to you?