Fire Steel Or Cheapie Harbor Freight Magnesium Fire Starter? Which Is Better?

I haven’t done a side by side comparison of the Swedish Fire Steel vs. the cheapie $2 magnesium fire starters you can buy from Harbor Freight.  I intend to.  The Swedish Fire Steel sell for quite a premium over the HF fire starters.  Is it really worth the extra money?

This does look pretty cool though:

 

“FireSteel.com Firesteels are THE name in FireSteel. These firesteels give big robust sparks that pop and bounce all over.The choice of Survival Experts world wide, FireSteel.com FireSteels are hands down the best!”

Catch More Fish In A Survival Situation With The Speedhook – Survival Kit Fishing, Fish Snare, Emergency Fishing Hook


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The speedhook looks pretty darn cool.  You can catch more fish in a survival situation with these, as it’s my understanding that they were developed for military survival applications.

Speedhook

I thought they were illegal (apparently, they are illegal in Canada and Minnesota) to use in all but a survival situation.  (I’d still like to test one or at least see a video of one being used.  Edit: See video below.)

Speedhook - Survival Kit Fishing, Fish Snare, Emergency Fishing - PACK OF 3

Speedhook - Survival Kit Fishing, Fish Snare, Emergency Fishing - PACK OF 3 Rating:
List Price: unavailable
Sale Price: $9.95
(as of 04/05/2013 23:12 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Product Description

The Regular Speedhook is specifically designed for survival applications and is so effective, it is outlawed for non-survival use in some areas. This small device is used for fishing and trapping when no food is readily available. The Speedhook works like a spring loaded trap and when a fish, or other small animal, "takes the bait", it automatically springs open setting the hook. Includes 3 Speedhooks.

Details

No features available.

If anybody has tried the speedhook yet, I’d be curious to know how it worked for you?

Teton Sports Deer Hunter Sleeping Bag, Good Down To -35 Degrees


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This is a durable, rugged SHTF sleeping bag.  It will keep you warm in extreme weather.  The only (possible) downside is that it is bulky, so plan on using it as something you’ll throw in the back of an SUV or a travel trailer.  But otherwise, this is the sleeping bag that will give you peace of mind that not matter how cold it gets, you’ve got a piece of gear (combined with a bivvy sack and a liner) and I just don’t see how you can go wrong with it, especially at this price.  I bought it in the middle of winter when we were doing one of our “Three Day No-Utilities Test Runs” and I was more than comfortable.

I had previously tried using the green Army surplus ECWS bags.  They worked fine for my wife, who is 5’3.  But at 6’1 it just wasn’t tall enough for me.  Not sure if maybe the surplus vendor who sold them had washed them and they shrunk as I can’t imagine guys bigger than me using those, so it could have just been the one’s we got.

Regardless, this Teton Sports Elk Hunter bag has more than enough room.  ** For some reason, Amazon is listing this as the Deer Hunter bag, but when I bought mine at a local sporting goods store it was called the Elk Hunter whereas the Deer Hunter bag was only rated to zero.  [Edit: Apparently this one is the Deer Hunter after all.  They’re saying the -35 is the “Survival Rating”.]

Teton Sports Deer Hunter -35 Degree Sleeping Bag, Brown, 90-Inch x 39-Inch, Left Zip

Teton Sports Deer Hunter -35 Degree Sleeping Bag, Brown, 90-Inch x 39-Inch, Left Zip Rating:
List Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $161.08
(as of 03/10/2013 01:56 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Eligible For Free Shipping

Product Description

The Deer Hunter 0 Fahrenheit is designed for rugged conditions and comfort. 100 percent brushed poly flannel liner and Super Loft Elite 4-channel hollow fiber fill gives you a comfortable night sleep. You can also zip two bags together to make a double sized sleeping bag. -35Fahrenheit is a survival rating.

Details

No features available.

Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Escape Bivvy, 8.5 Ounce


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“I gave this escape bivvy a test run a couple of nights ago on top of a mountain. Impressed with the leg room and was able to successfully use it as my only “sleeping bag” overnight in 40 degree weather comfortably. Extremely happy with the way it also easily packs up back into it’s stuff sack. This will now be replacing my sleeping bag on everything but the coldest hikes.”

Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Escape Bivvy, 8.5 Ounce

Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Escape Bivvy, 8.5 Ounce Rating:
List Price: $50.00
Sale Price: $34.53
(as of 03/10/2013 01:56 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 3-4 business days

Product Description

The SOL Escape Bivvy is nothing less than a revolution in backcountry shelters. The complaint with most ultralight emergency shelters is the same condensation builds up inside as you get warm, leaving your clothes soaking wet. With the Escape Bivvy, condensation is no longer an issue, and you never again have to choose between staying dry and staying warm. The proprietary fabric lets moisture escape at the same time that it keeps rain, snow, and wind on the outside all while reflecting your body heat back to you. Waterproof seams plus a drawstring hood closure and side zip mean you can seal out the elements entirely or use the bivvy like a traditional sleeping bag, and the high-visibility orange exterior makes it easy for rescuers to spot you even in areas with high tree cover.

Details

No features available.

Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Survival Blanket For Two Person, (Pack of 2)


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“I was very impressed with this. I was on a survival course weekend and did not have a regular sleeping bag. This item is very light weight and kept me so warm that I ended up sleeping on top of it for one of the nights.”

Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Survival Blanket For Two Person, (Pack of 2)

Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Survival Blanket For Two Person, (Pack of 2) Rating:
List Price: $12.00
Sale Price: $14.00
(as of 03/10/2013 01:56 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Product Description

This is not your father's reflective blanket! 20% larger than competitive products! Survival and first-aid instructions are printed directly on the blanket + you will have them when you need them! Features BRIGHT ORANGE STRIPE...an easy to spot universal

Details

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eGear Survival Essentials Magnesium Fire Starter


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“Forget the Bear Grylls faro rod, or any other fire starter. There is no better product to start a fire that I have tried than a magnesium faro combination. Damp tinder? No problem. This one is the cheapest I can find and I works the same as all of them. You can cut off the little saw attachment if you want and just use the back of a knife.”

Sobert Gummer adds: “The best place to buy these is actually Harbor Freight, if you have one near you.  If not, buy it from Amazon at the link below.  Harbor Freight usually sells them for around $2.  A must-have for your bug out bag.”

eGear Survival Essentials Magnesium Fire Starter

eGear Survival Essentials Magnesium Fire Starter Rating:
List Price: $6.56
Sale Price: $3.47
(as of 03/10/2013 01:56 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Product Description

26-310-251 (blister pack) • Integral flint strike bar • Reliably starts hundreds of fires • Striker included • Dimensions: 3” x 1” x 3/8” • Weight: 1.5 oz.

Details

No features available.

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel


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This is Cold Steel’s upgrade to the Spetsnaz E-tool (shovel). Sobert Gummer says: “Get one, you’ll find a hundred uses for it. But be sure to get the optional cordura sheath for it, too– you’ll thank me, later.”

Most telling review: “Excellent product, made of top-notch material. It works great for chopping and digging, works ok for slicing/cutting and bushwhacking. Basically an excellent camping tool, or shovel/hatchet replacement in any limited-weight situation (e.g. survival). The steel is remarkably durable, I usually dig in gravely areas, but the shovel hasn’t lost it’s edge yet. The handle can be a bit slippery, but nothing you can’t fix with a tape and paracord handle-wrap or a lanyard (drill a hole through the back, loop some cord through, tie it off).”

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel with Hardwood Handle

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel with Hardwood Handle Rating:
List Price: $27.99
Sale Price: $18.87
(as of 03/09/2013 01:25 UTC - Details)

Availability: Usually ships in 4-5 business days

Product Description

The Special Forces Shovel is modeled after the original Soviet Spetznaz shovel. The Spetznaz soldiers made up the most elite unit in the Soviet Army. The U.S. equivalent would be our Green Berets. The shovel head and socket are forged from medium carbon steel, then heat treated for maximum strength. The edges come sharpened to a utility/axe edge that can easily be improved to razor sharpness.

Details

No features available.