Fixing a zipper pull with paracord

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

I have a reasonably priced Outdoor Products backpack that I use for light day hikes or geocaching. For longer treks or camping I have a larger 24" Everest Pack. Well on my Outdoor Products pack, one of the cheap zipper pulls broke off.

I decided to replace the missing zipper pull with some paracord using a simple diamond knot. If you don't know how to tie a diamond knot, here is the video I used to learn how to do it:

Here is the finished product!

I may end up replacing all of the zipper pulls with these, as paracord is much stronger than the cheap cord they used for the original zipper pulls. We'll see though.

What do you think? Is this something you might do yourself? Let us know in the comments!

My Homemade Antler Handle Ferro Rods

Posted by El DiPablo | 7:00 AM | ,

A few months back I ordered four blank ferro rods, also known as fire steels from In my opinion, he has the best deal on blank ferro rods. You can also get blank ferro rods from Neither of these two sites are sponsors.

I decided I wanted to put antler handles on them for that classic look, and when I attended the Cedaredge Apple Festival last October I found a guy who was selling antler spikes. I bought one for $5.00 and took it home and cut it into four pieces using a band saw.

After I had the pieces I drilled holes into them using a 5/16" drill bit, then squeezed a little Gorilla Glue inside. With the glue in, all I had to do was stick the rods in and let them dry. Check them out!

The one thing I should warn you about if you are thinking about making these is that since the inside of a deer antler is porous, and Gorilla Glue expands, the excess glue may expand out the back of the antler through the tiny pores. You will have to check back on it regularly to wipe off the excess glue with a wet rag.

They look pretty sharp right? I decided to keep the big one and give the other three away as Christmas gifts last year. There is nothing like the gift of fire making is there?

What do you think of these? Have you made any for yourself? Are you planning to do it? If you do make some, share links to pics in the comments!

Meet my new KA-BAR!

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

I've been wanting a KA-BAR for years, and I finally broke down and bought one. They are probably one of the best knives you can possibly own. In fact, it is hard to beat a knife that has been trusted by the US Marine Corps since 1942 because of how durable and practically indestructible they are! Not to mention they are hand crafted in America!

Since I served in the US Navy, I decided to get the USN version of the knife which came with USN stamped on the blade, and US Navy on the leather sheath. The knife itself is still the same style as the USMC version though, and has the compressed leather washer handle for outstanding grip!

Incidentally you can also get an Army version too.

If you are not familiar with KA-BAR, they got their name according to Wikipedia when they received:
...a testimonial letter from a fur trapper, who used the knife to kill a wounded bear that attacked him after his rifle jammed. According to company records, the letter was only partially legible, with "ka bar" readable as fragments of the phrase "kill a bear". In 1923, the company adopted the name KA-BAR from the "bear story" as their trademark.
So KA-BAR is short for KILL A BEAR! That is really bad ass if you ask me!

The KA-BAR is made with 1095 CRO-VAN carbon steel which makes it really easy to sharpen. It also makes the blade super tough. The knife itself is full tang, and in the traditional models have the compressed leather washer grips. Here is a video on the legacy of the KA-BAR:

Along with my new KA-BAR knife I ordered their black kydex sheath so I can easily strap it to my Everest pack if I'm going backpacking in the wild. I'll still keep the leather USN sheath for day hikes and car camping though.

The KA-BAR has a 7" blade which is a little bit longer than most bushcraft/survival knives you might get. Before my KA-BAR I primarily used my Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro knife which only has a 4.8" blade. Still though, the KA-BAR can do standard bushcraft work like making feath sticks and batoning. The steel is better with the KA-BAR though, and it gives you a few extra inches if you have to use your knife for self defense.

Here is a video review of the KA-BAR for bushcraft use:

All in all, I am very happy with my new knife. I'm sure it will be the kind of knife I can hand down to my son, and he to his son. That is the kind of quality you get with KA-BAR!

Do you have a KA-BAR? Do you like it? Do you have any good stories that go along with it? Let us know in the comments!