One item I always pack with me when hiking or camping in the mountains of Colorado is my military poncho. I take it for two reasons, the first and most obvious is so I can keep the rain off me if a freak rain storm comes out of nowhere, which is typical in Colorado. The second reason is I can use it as a shelter if I get caught in a survival situation.

Check out this video from "Fat Guys In The Woods" host Creek Stewart as he shows us nine different ways you can configure your military poncho as a survival shelter:




Have you ever used your military poncho as a shelter? Tell us about it in the comments!

My new batch of homemade ferro rods! #Survival

Posted by El DiPablo | 6:00 AM |

Last year I wrote about my homemade antler handle ferro rods. This year., I decided to make some more ferro rods using some pieces of wood found around my area (Plus two made of Poplar dowels).

I suppose you are wondering why someone would need so many ferro rods. Well, I'm a little bit of a prepper and I've also resolved to never have to make fire by friction. Plus, ferro rods are great in any weather condition for starting fires.

This time I purchased a lot of 16 ferro rods from Amazon, and at the time of this writing the rods only cost about $1.56 each. Compare that to $4.00 for one Coghlan ferro rod.

Anyway, once I got the rods I cut some branches from various trees and bushes around my area, mainly lilac, ash, and aspen wood. I whittled them down, sanded them a bit and drilled some holes to put the rods into. On the rods themselves I took a hack saw and sawed grooves in the end so the Gorilla Glue I used had something to expand and grip onto better.

Here is a batch drying after having been glued:


Here is a set after having been dipped into some Thompson's Water Seal. Before dipping I cut off any excess Gorilla Glue and re-sanded it a bit to smooth it back out:



I'm going to give a couple of these away as gifts to friends and loved ones. The rest I'm going to keep on hand in case I ever need them. Making these myself allows me to have a bunch of ferro rods handy at a cheaper price than buying commercial versions, and it also allows me to have unique rods that no one else has.

A few weeks ago my brother and I took my kids up to The Grand Mesa for a day hike. We were originally looking for the West Bench Trail, but Google Maps took us to an old back road and left us without a trail-head. My brother and I decided to just go explore the woods with the kids and make our own trail.

On the way I found a few stumps that yielded some really decent fat wood. Check out the pictures!





My son stopped to eat some lunch as well while my daughter explored the trees.



The most fun part on the hike was when my brother Craig was showing the kids how to start a fire using a magnesium bar fire starter and my Hawke Peregrine 2.0 knife. Check out the video of that!


As you can see in the above video, my brother's ferro rod striking was a bit unorthodox, but it worked. It sort of reminded me of old flint and steel striking, but I digress...

After that, we also showed the kids how dried pine pitch, or pine resin can be used as a fire extender and we melted two huge chunks of pine sap which burned like napalm on the piece of bark we were using as a fire base. Check that out!


We had such a great time making our own trail, learning about nature and survival, and just getting some exercise in the great outdoors!



In this video I update my review on the Mykel Hawke Peregrine 2.0 tactical survival knife. The big change in this video vs my original blog post (Link below) is that I talk about the sheath, as well as talking about how I used a grinder to create a ferro rod striking area on the spine of the knife. Long store short it's a great knife, and if you grind down the back a bit it makes an awesome ferro rod striker!

Here's links mentioned in the video: