Coleman Signature Instant Tent 6
A few months ago I moved out on my own after 14 years of being married. Since I wasn't going to be married anymore I decided it was time I got back into the outdoors and shared some of the experiences I had growing up. One of the things I want to share with my kids is the fun of camping.

Now I'm not your average American camper who likes to pack up an air conditioned RV and go out into the woods with all of the same conveniences I would have at home. I like to actually get into nature a bit more. I prefer tent camping. In fact, I prefer backpacking with a small 2 person tent if I can, but with my kids I needed something a little bigger.

I opted for the Coleman Signature Instant Tent 6 with a rain fly for when I go camping with my munchkins. It is supposed to fit 6 people (That's pushing it), but the real reason I got it was because of how easy it is to set up. I can unpack this thing and have it up in about 5-10 minutes. Taking it down is a bit longer, but not too bad. It's just really easy to use.

As I said, the 6 person limit is really pushing it. I can barely fit myself, my two kids and my dog in it with our gear without stepping on each other. There is a pretty decent amount of standing room in it though, and I can get around in it without crawling.

The bag it comes in is pretty big and bulky. This is certainly not a backpacking tent. It is more for the average car camper, and for that it works well. All in all, I highly recommend this tent for family outings!

Dave Canterbury's Five C's of Survival

Posted by El DiPablo | 7:00 AM |

I'm a big fan of the first two seasons of Dual Survival which starred Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. Dave got fired after the second season for embellishing on his resume when applying for the Dual Survival gig, but in my opinion he has his stuff together when it comes to survival.

Here is Dave's video on Youtube where he apologizes to his fans for misrepresenting his past:

That being said, I was watching season one episode nine of Dual Survival and Dave broke down what he calls his five C's of survival. They are:

  • Cutting tool
  • Combustion device
  • Cover
  • Container that can boil water
  • Cordage
He surmises that if you have those five things then you can survive. I wanted to compare these items to my four recommended basic items you should always have with you when you venture out into the wild. For a refresher, those are:
  • A good fixed blade knife - Clearly that qualifies as a cutting tool. Check!
  • A good way to make fire - I recommend using fire steel. That happens to be a combustion device. Check!
  • A good way to carry water, and treat water - I recommend an army canteen set that includes a canteen cup. You can boil water with a canteen cup. That qualifies as a container. Check!
  • Cordage - I recommended always wearing a survival bracelet so you have useful cordage with you at all times. Cordage = cordage, so check there too!
The only thing I don't account for is cover, however with your knife and your cordage you can pretty reliably build your cover, so with my items you would be covered under Dave's five C's of survival.

In the end what these types of lists come down to is the basic need for shelter, water, fire and food. If you can secure those things using the tools I recommend, or similar tools, you will survive!

Get Dave's new book Bush Craft 101 now!

A few months ago I purchased a Coleman Trailhead II cot for camping with my kids. It is actually a pretty comfortable cot in my opinion. Here's a picture:

The problem, as with most army style cots is with the tension bars. On this particular model it is easy to put the first bar on, but to put the second bar on it takes an act of God! The cot material is so tight that you need to use some sort of pry bar to put the second bar on and a few times I smashed my fingers or almost cut myself with the pry device. No thank you!

I found a slightly better way to set up my cot and it works well for me. I took some nylon rope and made a tight loop that fits through the piece of material where the second tension bar is supposed to go. I made it tight enough that in order to put it on I have to slightly fold the cot to loop the rope around the ends of the cot. When I fold the cot back down the rope is nice and tight, but it's not so tight that I can't put the primary tension bar on where my head goes. Check it out!

Setting it up this way still give me plenty of tension for my feet to rest at night, as well as tension for my head, but I won't injure myself trying to set it up! I hope this tip helps you out!

Knife Review: Hawke Harrier Elite

Posted by El DiPablo | 7:00 AM | , ,

Let me start this post by saying that I'm a big fan of Mykel Hawke. I enjoyed watching him when he was on Man, Woman, Wild, and I own both his Green Beret Survival Manual and his Special Forces Survival Handbook.

That being said I thought I would purchase one of his knives so I went for the Hawke Harrier Elite. The price was only $14.95 which wasn't that bad, but being that cheap did throw up a red flag. Now I've had inexpensive knives before like the Smith & Wesson Border Guard II that were in the $20 range and are tough as nails, so I wasn't immediately turned off.

First let me give you a list of it's features:

  • AUS-8 Stainless Steel Blade
  • Blackstone Coating
  • Flip out finger guard
  • G-10 Handle Scales
  • 3 3/4- inch blade
  • 8" Overall Length
  • Thumb studs
  • Pocket clip

So let me start off with the good, I like the tanto style blade and the blade was easy for me to sharpen. That is the extent of the good stuff. This knife is a real cheaply made (In China) piece of junk. The flip out finger guards on this sized knife are pointless and don't leave any room for your fingers. The general feel of the knife feels super cheap. Not only that but the coating on the hand grips started to chip off right out of the box.

Mr. Hawke is a world renowned survivalist, and as such should be ashamed to put his name on this product. I hear (I haven't tested them myself) that his more expensive knives are quite good, but this model needs to be recalled and discontinued.

That is my opinion, do you have any Hawke Brand knives? If so, which one(s)? Do you like them? Dislike them? Let us know in the comments.