Will Your Survival Gear Work When You Need It?

See HERE for survival gear you can trust

Why are survival products that simply don’t work sold by the thousands?

Over the years we have seen a massive amount of items claiming to be essential survival gear and people are actually buying these items that may not help them stay alive when faced with a life-threatening incident.

How did it all start?

When I asked my wife to marry me I really wanted to give my groomsmen a gift they found value in. I scoured the internet for information on the best survival gear and purchased individual items and put them into kits. Little did I know these kits were filled with items that held little to no value in a real survival situation. Sure the first aid kit, paracord, and a few other items may have had some real value, however, none of the items would be up to the task of helping my groomsmen to actually save their life if they were in a life-threatening situation. Thank the lord none of them found themselves in that kind of situation.

What “survival” information is out there?

When push comes to shove the gear that was in those kits would not help someone in a survival situation. I’m not sure how, but I was duped into believing a flint and steel fire starting kit was a great item to have in the “survival kits” I was giving to my best friends in my life. What a friend I am. Giving the most important people in my life a piece of equipment that was invented in the caveman days. Flint and steel is NOT a modern day survival technique and can NOT be relied on in a situation where the need for fire is desperate. Yet, we still see “flint and steel” listed as a must-have item in your survival kit in modern-day outdoor literature. Don’t believe everything you read! Think of how many people there are out there just like me at that point. Simply naive to the fact that one could potentially be in a life-threatening incident and for those that may realize it when they look at most literature out there they are lead to believe Mylar blankets, Bic lighters and flint and steel kits are items that will actually help them save their lives

Why is this scary?

The biggest disappointment when I discovered there was a lack of practical survival information and gear available was when I realized that so many people walk through the woods and deep into wilderness areas thinking they are carrying gear that will protect them when in reality they are putting them self at risk. Search and rescue incidents are on the rise. Now more than ever people are heading into the backcountry unprepared and putting themselves at risk. This is scary because information on where to go is so readily available anyone can access information now that used to take years of experience exploring those areas or someone local who is willing to share that information. Now you can simply log on to your phone and access detailed information on where to do. What happens when you think you are the same trail but all of the sudden it ends. Or you find yourself stuck above timberline in a storm and the need to shelter yourself is immediate? Without proper gear, this is a very scary situation.

What gear are we talking about?

The majority of this year I included in my groomsmen’s survival kits (and gear that is sold by masses every year) is inferior to similarly priced items that are sure to protect you in a life-threatening situation.

After producing the Outdoor Survival film for Colorado Parks and Wildlife I realized how simple survival can be and from that point on knew it was my duty to bring this information to the masses. Why wouldn’t I want to help people save their own life? It is such a simple thing to do to prepare yourself and realize you need to invest in your own survival kit just in case you find yourself in an unforeseen situation.

Gear you should NEVER trust with your life:

Mylar Emergency Blankets or any other Mylar survival bag, blanket or emergency shelter made of Mylar. Mylar rips easily and most of these products require you to hold the blanket around your body requiring you to use your hands and the biggest thing is that these products DO NOT RECIRCULATE YOUR BODY HEAT. The most precious thing you have to help you survive in harsh conditions is your body heat. You should have a survival shelter that traps all of your body heat around you while allowing your breath to stay on the outside to avoid condensation and the shelter should allow you use of your hands and feet so you can move around for important tasks such as keeping your fire going or signaling to help.

Cigarette lighters, strike anywhere matches, flint and steel or anything other than a quality ferrocerium metal match or stormproof matches. Strike anywhere matches really mean strike nowhere while a standard Bic lighter can fail, lose all its fuel, break or maybe your hands are too frozen to make it light. This style of lighter is currently available in countless survival kits on the market and lots of people use them every day to start their fires yet many don’t realize a survival situation may require a fire starter that can withstand harsh conditions such as an extreme snowstorm or a torrential downpour.

“Survival” cards, fishing kits, spears, harpoons or anything gimmicky like this that is meant to help you gather or procure food. You can survival up to 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. Your survival kit should include a quality water purification solution as one of the must-have items while anything pertaining to food just isn’t practical for true life-threatening situations.

Key chainsaws, folding saws, and axes are all items you may want to reconsider carrying. Key chainsaws and folding saws are extremely inefficient cutting tools that will leave you exhausted after procuring enough wood sufficient enough to build a good fire. Axes are very dangerous and inefficient cutting tools not to mention they are heavy to carry. It is always a good idea to carry a quality fixed hand saw that can fully utilize your arm’s motion by cutting on the forward and back motion.

See THIS ARTICLE for information on gear you should trust.

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Will Your Survival Gear Work When You Need It? was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Camping Gear that can also Save Your Life

A good pair protective gloves (such as Endure Goatskin Gloves — pictured above) can be key to your survival and very useful for camping and working in the outdoors.

Top-rated survival gear and equipment can also be your go-to camping gear.

What is most important when choosing camping gear?

There are many things to consider when choosing the right camping gear. From the price, reviews, and weight to durability, design and how useful the camping gear is. In front of all of these different aspects pertaining to wilderness survival gear and equipment, it is a wise idea to put safety first.

Why should safety be a priority?

When choosing camping gear it may be a good idea to consider what situation you may find yourself in when gear meant to fulfill a leisurely pursuit all of the sudden becomes the gear that can save your life or ultimately lead you into a life-threatening incident.

What’s the difference between camping gear and survival gear?

There are many items you may want to consider keeping in your backcountry survival kit as well as your car survival kit. Many of these items can be used as camping gear as well. Whether you are a mountaineer that needs to set up a backcountry base camp or an archery hunter who needs to set up a spike camp miles deep into a wilderness near treeline you will want to keep a survival kit with you. However, this survival kit can contain items that can be used on an everyday basis in these backcountry situations. So, in reality, there are many similarities between good practical survival gear and camping gear.

What gear are we referring to?

A high-quality Metal Match Kit is a great item to always have with you no matter what outdoor situation you are in. Starting a fire in harsh conditions requires a trustworthy fire starter kit. Also, for backcountry camping and fire building a super efficient and effective fire starter is a very nice luxury to have so you know every single fire you attempt to start will take hold immediately and you will be able to move on to your next task or activity saving you time.

Combined with the Metal Match Kit is a good pair of water resistant work gloves so you can ensure your hands are protected. For survival situations protecting your hands it vital however for everyday camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing or mountaineering it is wise to always protect your hands. The material of choice for top-rated survival experts is goatskin. Goatskin is a closed cell leather so it will not shrink after the gloves get wet and dry like other leathers. The Endure Goatskin Gloves are supple yet durable glove that will ensure your hands stay protected from the many

Another category of items important for camping is cutting tools. It is nice to have sufficient tools to cut wood so you can ensure you have plenty of wood for your campfire. A great item to have with you no matter what the situation is is a dependable wood cutting saw. The 18" Half Dandy saw is a piece of equipment many top-rated survival experts don’t leave home without. This survival hand saw is the bestpacking saw, best hunting saw and best bone saw for elk we have found. This is the perfect example of a tool that can be used both as a survival saw as well as every day saw for camping, backpacking, and mountaineering.

Another great item to have in your survival kit that can also double as a utility for everyday camping, hunting, and fishing is parachute cord. Don’t confuse paracord, 550 cord, or 550 paracord with true Parachute Cord. True Parachute Cord has 7 strands that each include 3 separate smaller stands and will have a breaking strength up to 800 pounds or so.

A shelter is always a must when camping. Whether you just want to sleep in your car while you car-camp or if you want to ensure you are always protected from the elements a waterproof tarp is a great item to keep in your camping and survival gear. The Endure Survival 8'x10' Waterproof Tarp is a great survival tent as well as a lightweight tarp for backpacking or even simply an extra space you would like to keep dry around your existing camping gear set up.

Lastly, it is important to understand you must keep yourself hydrated in the outdoors, especially at high elevations. Altitude sickness can come on fast and if your body is not properly hydrated you are putting yourself at risk. Whether you are camping, mountaineering, hunting or fishing it is a great idea to always have a backup hydration solution. A collapsible water bottle, as well as a 30 pack of Katadyn MP1 Water purification tablets, is always a great thing to have on your just in case you find yourself in need of water. These two items can also act as your main source of water if you prefer to replace an often bulky and heavy water filter.

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Camping Gear that can also Save Your Life was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Medium


What do I need in a Backcountry Survival Kit?

Endure Professional Survival Kit includes items proven to save your life

In my survival kit I make sure I carry items to cover the four basic survival kit categories:

  • FIRE

Here are the items I carry in my survival kit for each of these categories:

FIRE: Endure Survival Metal Match Kit. This kit is the best fire starter you can imagine. Don’t believe some of those gimmicks out there.

Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly (and arranged into the Endure Survival Fire Starting Technique) is the most efficient and effective fire starting technique. This mixture is the single best fuel to start a survival fire with. I also carry a pack of stormproof matches as a backup fire starter. I never rely solely on the stormproof matches as it is important to remember they are only one piece of the puzzle: heat. You need heat, oxygen, AND fuel to start a fire and the cotton balls soaked in vasoline are the foundation of my survival fire kit.

SHELTER: Endure Instant Shelter and 8'X10' Waterproof Tarp. These two lightweight survival shelters, make protecting myself an easy task in case I find myself in need of shelter fast. If I’m trying to pack super light because I know I’m set for a 20-mile day trip I will only carry the Endure Instant Shelter to save weight.

However, for a lightweight tarp, survival tent or simply a rain cover for your backcountry camp the 8'X10' Waterproof Tarp is a great shelter to keep in your backcountry survival kit.

SIGNAL: Included in all Endure Survival Kits are three items that I always carry no matter what the situation is they are always in my survival kit and I make sure that kit is always in my pack or on my person.

Endure Survival Whistle for Life. This emergency whistle is specifically designed as a survival whistle to maximize the air that is blown into the whistle as the whistle has three-chambers as well as an omnidirectional design so it will be sure to penetrate fog and timber.

I also carry a purposed signal mirror and trail tape.

HYDRATION: I carry two items in my emergency water kit. A collapsible water bottle as well as a 30 pack of Katadyn MP1 Water purification tablets. These two super lightweight items make purifying water in the backcountry as easy as you can imagine.

Simply put the tablet in the water and in 4 hours you have water clear of all potentially dangerous containments, even giardia. The Katadyn MP1 tabs are the only EPA approved water purification tabs so if I find myself really in a pinch and only left with cloudy or hazy water these tabs are still 99.999999% effective.

Other items I carry in my survival kit include:

Goatskin Gloves: Endure Goatskin Gloves: Hands are key to your survival. I wear these gloves at all times possible in the backcountry. Your hands are not nearly as tough as you may think. It is important to protect them and these gloves get the job done. For essential survival gear, goatskin gloves are a must as goatskin is a closed cell leather so they gloves will not shrink and harden like other leathers do. Goatskin gloves remain soft, supple and will protect your hands for years as the most likely area to wear, the palm is reinforced with a thick layer of leather.

Cutting Tools: 18" Half Dandy Saw: When it comes to cutting tools a saw is always a safer than an ax. Saws are known to also be more efficient and effective than an axe. Either way, the most important thing when choosing a saw is choosing a saw that will maximize your arm motion. Meaning the saw will cut in both directions, forward and backward. The 18" Half Dandy saw is the best backpacking saw and survival hand saw. It is also the best hunting saw, bone saw for elk so this saw is not just an investment in a survival saw it is a great tool for all types of outdoor use.

Compass: Brunton Tru arc 3: When is comes to navigation it is never a good idea to rely soley on anything that can break. Meaning, anything that has a battery or requires power can and very well may break, die, or get lost. This is why I always carry a compass in my survival kit. I’ve carried the Brunton Truarc3 for years and it has never failed me. When in doubt a compass is always a good data point to reference when you are deciphering your plan whether it be a survival situation, hunt, backcountry fishing trip or mountaineering trip its always a good idea to keep a solid compass on you.

Military Spec Parachute Cord: Don’t be confused by all the products claiming to paracord, 550 cord, mil spec 550 paracord, 550 paracord or any combination. Always look for a certificate for the real thing. Real Parachute Cord has 7 inner strands each made with 3 individual smaller stands. This gives a true break strength well over 550 pounds (close to 800 lbs) and more versatility with the cord itself as compared to the knock-offs out there.

First aid kit: In my pack I always bring a first aid kit and in there I have an OutSmart Survival and First Aid Booklet.

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What do I need in a Backcountry Survival Kit? was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Medium


Welcome to the new Escape

You may or may not have seen the old escape(s), one (the old reelesapefilms.com) was a flash site while the other was a wordpress blog I updated with stories, photos, videos and information from recent hunting, fishing and production trips. These two sites have now come together into one ultimate escape.

Please feel free to browse around and check back for periodic updates. From here on I plan to bring you everything from Reel Escape Films and the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s video production unit. To receive an email every time I post something new enter your email HERE and become a fan on Facebook


Hard Water Fishing

I’m pretty sure almost every lake in the state froze after last weeks frigid temps. This does not mean to go putting away your rod and reel … if you’re a fly fisherman buck up and hit some of Colorado’s reputable tailwaters. Winter time may be cold on the water but trout still eat throughout the winter … even fish under a thick layer of ice need to eat.

So get out and drill some holes to drop a line in for some “Hard Water Fishing.”

My nephew Trace, who caught his first trout this summer, is quickly becoming an accomplished angler

Check out the full story:
LINK (Via “Team Klondike“)


The Cycle of Success

The Sport fish and Wildlife restoration programs partially fund state wildlife agencies like the CDOW. The program is funded by fishing, hunting and boating manufacturers that pay an excise tax on this equipment. These funds are directed back into state fish and wildlife programs and projects. The result: better fishing, boating, hunting and other wildlife-oriented recreation.



New Employee Orientation Video-Basically a pump up video to get people excited about working for the DOW