UP YOUR READI­NESS GAME

QUICK AND IN­EX­PEN­SIVE CHEATS FOR IM­PROV­ING THREE PIECES OF ES­SEN­TIAL OUT­DOOR GEAR

Gun World - - Preps - Brian Mor­ris is a re­tired Army Spe­cial Forces master sergeant with more than 25 years of ac­tive-duty ex­pe­ri­ence. He is a for­mer Spe­cial Forces weapons sergeant with mul­ti­ple com­bat tours in the global war on ter­ror­ism. Mor­ris is also an avid hunter, fishe

Other than the ob­vi­ous things, such as heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing, one of the big­gest dif­fer­ences be­tween liv­ing in­doors and liv­ing out­doors is that prod­ucts de­signed for the in­doors tend to be made bet­ter than out­door prod­ucts at that same price point. High-qual­ity out­door gear is ex­pen­sive, and if you don’t spend a lot of time out­doors, you prob­a­bly don’t want to in­vest a whole lot of money into camp­ing and sur­vival gear. Or, if you do spend a large amount of time out­doors, maybe you don’t have the de­sire or dis­pos­able in­come to pur­chase top-of-the-line equip­ment.

In any case, for a more rea­son­able cost, you can eas­ily take mi­dlevel gear you al­ready own or plan to pur­chase and mod­ify it to make it bet­ter.

When mod­i­fy­ing gear, I try to re­in­force the dura­bil­ity of equip­ment and in­crease the gear’s over­all func­tion­al­ity. To in­crease func­tion­al­ity, I like to fol­low the Dave Can­ter­bury “Rule of Threes”—this sim­ply means that every piece of gear should have at least three sep­a­rate func­tions or it’s not worth car­ry­ing.

HOW TO MAKE A GOOD TENT GREAT

The tent I de­cided to mod­ify was my six-per­son, four-sea­son Wn­nideo pop-up tent. I chose this tent be­cause it is a very well­made tent that has a sur­pris­ingly low cost of un­der $80.

One of the best things about this tent is its ease of setup via per­ma­nently in­te­grated poles and a lock­ing hub so you are not in­sert­ing poles every time you set up the tent. I also like the fact that it has four screened win­dows and two zip­pered doors. While this tent is a bit heavy at slightly more than 9 pounds, I don’t mind the added weight in ex­change for a shel­ter that sets up com­pletely in fewer than three min­utes.

In or­der to in­crease the life span and per­for­mance of this tent, for an ad­di­tional cost of un­der $40, I sim­ply used two spray cans of rub­ber sealant ap­plied to the seams and two spray cans of sil­i­cone pro­tec­tant/wa­ter­proof­ing ap­plied over the en­tire tent. This process re­in­forces the seams so they won’t tear or leak, and it pro­vides a se­cond layer of pro­tec­tion from the el­e­ments to the en­tire outer sur­face of the tent.

A good tent can pro­tect you from pre­cip­i­ta­tion, pro­vide shade from harm­ful UV rays and heat, pro­vide warmth in the cold, and it will pro­vide pro­tec­tion from dis­ease-car­ry­ing in­sects such as mos­qui­tos and flies.

TURN YOUR LIGHTER INTO A MINI RE­PAIR KIT

Only a fool would ven­ture off into the wilder­ness with­out a com­bus­tion de­vice. The abil­ity to make fire is one of the sin­gle most im­por­tant things a per­son can pos­sess in the wilder­ness. Fire can keep you warm in the bit­ter cold, it can pu­rify your wa­ter and cook your food, and it can be used to sig­nal your res­cue. Plus—and this shouldn’t be un­der­stated—psy­cho­log­i­cally, it can boost morale and make you feel safe.

There are many lighters to choose from at vary­ing price points, but I pre­fer to use a sim­ple and low-cost BIC lighter. For that rule of threes, I like to se­cure a 3-foot lan­yard made of 550 para­cord to each of my lighters, along with a quick-re­lease snap link to at­tach to each of my field top gar­ments or jack­ets (de­pend­ing on the time of year). Then, I wrap 2 feet of Go­rilla Tape and 2 feet of elec­tri­cal tape around the lighter, one on top of the other. The re­sult? I now have a lighter to make fire, 3 feet of 550 cord from my lan­yard, and 2 feet each of Go­rilla and elec­tri­cal tape to con­quer just about any sit­u­a­tion that can arise in the field.

A GOOD SUR­VIVAL KIT IS A MUST-HAVE

Any­one who spends time in the out­doors should carry a sur­vival kit as part of their EDC. How­ever, full kits are ex­pen­sive. It’s more cost ef­fec­tive to start with a ba­sic kit and ex­pand—or build one from scratch.

TO IN­CREASE FUNC­TION­AL­ITY, I LIKE TO FOL­LOW THE DAVE CAN­TER­BURY “RULE OF THREES”—THIS SIM­PLY MEANS THAT EVERY PIECE OF GEAR SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST THREE SEP­A­RATE FUNC­TIONS OR IT’S NOT WORTH CAR­RY­ING.

I start with the SOL Ori­gin Sur­vival Kit be­cause of its low price point of un­der $40, as well as its many built-in func­tions. Plus, it comes in a wa­ter-re­sis­tant case.

A few im­por­tant items to con­sider adding to your sur­vival kit in­clude— as­sorted fish hooks den­tal floss strong nee­dle for gear re­pair mag­ni­fy­ing glass for fire-build­ing mag­ne­sium shav­ings io­dine tablets ra­zor blade chew­ing gum ac­etaminophen ibupro­fen an­tibac­te­rial oint­ment io­dine and al­co­hol wipes glue stick con­dom for wa­ter stor­age (warn­ing: If you plan to use a con­dom to keep in your sur­vival kit as an emer­gency wa­ter con­tainer, only use a non­lu­bri­cated con­dom. Thor­oughly clean the con­dom prior to use. Also, be aware of la­tex al­lergy pre­cau­tions.)

Plus, I re­place the ex­ist­ing lan­yard with my own, con­structed of 4 feet of Ti­tan 4-in-1 Sur­vival Cord (de­vel­oped by Ti­tan Sur­vival in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the U.S. Army Green Berets). It has a unique de­sign that com­bines Mil­i­tary 550 para­cord with 25-pound fish­ing line, waxed jute, wa­ter­proof tin­der and con­duc­tive cop­per wire. It has hun­dreds of ap­pli­ca­tion op­tions be­yond the orig­i­nal ny­lon string lan­yard.

I then use Go­rilla glue to se­cure a BIC lighter, Live Fire fer­ro­cerium rod with striker, Live Fire emer­gency fire starter tin and a mag­ne­sium striker to the kit.

These are just a few ideas for mak­ing good out­door gear great—with­out break­ing the bank.

Shel­ter, fire and emer­gency sur­vival are three very im­por­tant items in your kit, so it’s best to start here be­fore mov­ing on to other items. The im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that you can make im­prove­ments to any of your gear, and you don’t have to go broke do­ing it.

All it takes is a lit­tle bit of imag­i­na­tion and in­ge­nu­ity. GW

ANY­ONE WHO SPENDS TIME IN THE OUT­DOORS SHOULD CARRY A SUR­VIVAL KIT AS PART OF THEIR EDC.

I A BIC lighter mod­i­fied as a re­pair kit: It is wrapped with 4 feet of ½-inch Go­rilla Tape, rub­ber bands and 4 feet of elec­tri­cal tape, as well as an at­tached lan­yard con­structed of MIL-SPEC 550 para­cord con­nected to a quick-re­lease snap link for easy...

The Sur­vive Out­doors Longer (SOL) Ori­gin is big enough to hold ev­ery­thing you need in an emer­gency, with room left over to add ad­di­tional sur­vival items. Yet, it is still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. At a price point of un­der $40, it...

This six-per­son, four-sea­son Wn­nideo pop-up tent is in­cred­i­bly easy to set up—thanks to its pre-at­tached hub. Its per­for­mance has been up­graded with sil­i­cone wa­ter­proof­ing sprayed over the en­tire tent, as well as Flex Seal to re­in­force the seams and...

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