THE BA­SICS, BUT BET­TER

Ti­tan Sur­vival Gear’s new twists on old tools

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Michael D’angona

For those who have been in the sur­vival world for a while—or even for in­di­vid­u­als who have just re­cently dab­bled in the in­dus­try—para­cord, sur­vival bracelets and emer­gency sleep­ing bags are prob­a­bly noth­ing new ... that is, un­til you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced the ones pro­duced by Ti­tan Sur­vival Gear. Ti­tan Sur­vival has taken these some­what com­mon and ubiq­ui­tous emer­gency items and turned them up far more than a notch or two. Not the com­mon throw­away ver­sions that have in­un­dated the mar­ket, these prod­ucts not only of­fer more dura­bil­ity, unique­ness in de­sign and func­tion­al­ity than their in­fe­rior coun­ter­parts, they could also very well save your life. I re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to test these items in the field to see if they are tough enough to han­dle the rig­ors of the rugged out­doors. Hour af­ter hour, I con­tin­u­ally put them through the wringer, and af­ter all the dust set­tled, some pleas­antly sur­pris­ing re­sults were ob­served.

UNPACKING PER­SPEC­TIVE

Look­ing at pho­tos or web­site thumb­nails can’t re­place hav­ing an item in your grasp. The weight, tex­ture and the over­all qual­ity is often re­vealed with­inbmy OS M TEE V NET N SPA A FUT LE R BAR LOW han­dling most sur­vival prod­ucts. These three were no dif­fer­ent. The Sur­vivor­cord bracelet was the first item ex­am­ined. Out of the box, I im­me­di­ately felt the weight; it was solid, to say the least. The metal con­nect­ing buckle was rugged, sim­ple and easy to se­cure. An­other no­tice­able trait was its thick­ness. As op­posed to those sur­vival bracelets found at the check­out stand of a hard­ware store, lo­cal de­part­ment store or even a phar­macy (they are ev­ery­where, by the way), this bracelet had some girth, and that means more us­able cordage when un­rav­eled. Next, I turned my at­ten­tion to the cordage, named by Ti­tan as Sur­vivor­cord. This bun­dle was nicely pack­aged in its own box and, once re­moved, the 100 feet of ny­lon were se­cured by a hook-and-loop strap that pre­vented the cordage from un­rav­el­ing into a pile of twisted line at my feet. The or­ange color was vi­brant, to say the least, and against the back­drop of the Florida woods, the cordage stood out among the green, brown and yel­low fo­liage in the sur­round­ing area. My first thought was that I would never lose this cordage, and the re­flec­tive ma­te­rial wo­ven through­out its

ex­te­rior only added to its vis­i­bil­ity while out­doors. The or­ange emer­gency sleep­ing bag was packed tightly in its olive-drab draw­string sack. I re­moved it and un­folded the bag within a few min­utes. The crunchy metal­lic bag was taller than me (I’m just un­der 6 feet tall) and about twice as wide. The in­side took a lit­tle bit of ef­fort to sep­a­rate, be­cause it was slightly stuck to­gether (be­cause it was fac­tory folded and packed tightly to re­duce pack size). But, once opened, it no longer posed any is­sues. Now, it was time to run these three items through the test cy­cle.

ALL-IN-ONE CORDAGE

My test­ing was com­pleted en­tirely in the Florida woods dur­ing the peak of sum­mer. Although I per­formed these tests in a ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment, all prod­ucts would be per­fectly adapt­able to an ur­ban set­ting as well. Cordage is al­ways needed, no mat­ter where you are. The bracelet goes with you, so that’s not a prob­lem; and stay­ing warm is of ut­most im­por­tance to ev­ery­one, any­where. I eas­ily un­rav­eled the Sur­vivor­cord and cut off about a 6-inch piece of its outer cas­ing. This re­vealed a rather unique com­bi­na­tion of strands. Aside from its ob­vi­ous use as high­strength cordage, I also iden­ti­fied snare wire, fish­ing line and tin­der cord, all of which could be tested in­di­vid­u­ally. I no­ticed im­me­di­ately upon cut­ting the cord that the snare wire was tough—it had given my knife some re­sis­tance as it sliced through. The snare wire is 30 AWG (.25mm) pro­pri­etary brass al­loy with a ten­sile strength of around 7 pounds. The monofil­a­ment line, at 25-pound test, was strong, and I had lit­tle doubt that if needed for fish­ing, it would per­form well. And if fish­ing weren't an ob­jec­tive for your cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, the line would also act as strong bind­ing ma­te­rial for just about any­thing around camp. Bear in mind that all the in­ner spe­cialty strands run the length of the en­tire bun­dle of cordage—100 feet—so you lit­er­ally have 100 feet of ev­ery­thing in­side. That’s quite a lot of gear in it­self. The tin­der strand, made from paraf­fin-im­preg­nated jute fiber, took the sparks from my fire starter eas­ily and ef­fi­ciently. Even wet­ness from the morn­ing dew had no ef­fect on the strand and didn’t pre­vent the line from flam­ing up. My fi­nal test was a strength test of the para­cord as a whole. I cre­ated a loop-step lad­der to reach up­ward into a tree. As I took my first step, I could feel the se­cu­rity be­neath me. There was vir­tu­ally no stretch­ing of the cordage, and it stayed put around the tree, as well as around

THE EMER­GENCY BLAN­KET WON ME OVER IN­STANTLY AS SOON AS I WAS IN­SIDE. IT ONLY TOOK MIN­UTES BE­FORE I COULD FEEL THE IN­TER­NAL TEM­PER­A­TURE IN­CREAS­ING.

my foot. Af­ter cre­at­ing nearly a half-dozen steps, my im­pro­vised Sur­vivor­cord lad­der passed this test with ex­cel­lent re­sults. Dis­man­tling the knots upon take­down was also an easy process, be­cause they loos­ened without any sub­stan­tial trou­ble.

FOR SLEEP AND SIG­NALS

The Emer­gency Bag felt sim­i­lar to a My­lar bal­loon but no­tice­ably thicker. The outer sur­face was a bright-or­ange color, and the in­side was the fa­mil­iar sil­ver seen in most of these space-sav­ing blan­kets. Both col­ors con­trasted against my green-and-brown back­ground and could be seen at some dis­tance. I had no doubt that if this bag were needed as a sig­nal flag or cut into trail mark­ers, they would surely be seen by res­cuers or some­one trekking back to base camp. The pri­mary func­tion of this piece of sur­vival gear is to keep a per­son warm and dry in cold tem­per­a­tures. Although I tested it in Florida, it was dur­ing the early hours. The sun wasn’t fully up, and the out­side tem­per­a­ture was in the low to mid-70s. It was easy to tell that the bag was stor­ing my body heat and would have per­formed well in a cold en­vi­ron­ment. I en­tered the bag. At times, I feared the seams would split or tear as I wig­gled in, but no dam­age oc­curred. The in­te­rior was roomy, and I didn’t feel con­stricted or con­fined. Within about two to three min­utes in­side the metal­lic en­clo­sure, I could be­gin to feel my­self get­ting warmer. As I tucked the open­ing fringe all around my body, leav­ing only my head out of the bag, the heat con­tin­ued to in­crease. Sci­en­tif­i­cally speak­ing, the bag is sup­posed to re­flect up to 90 per­cent of a per­son’s body heat back at them. Without a doubt, it was work­ing on me. Af­ter about 15 min­utes, I be­gan to sweat im­mensely, and the tem­per­a­ture in­crease was sig­nif­i­cant.

THE WEIGHT, TEX­TURE AND THE OVER­ALL QUAL­ITY IS OFTEN RE­VEALED WITHIN MO­MENTS AF­TER HAN­DLING MOST SUR­VIVAL PROD­UCTS. THESE THREE WERE NO DIF­FER­ENT.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to in­duce per­spi­ra­tion in a cold-weather sur­vival sit­u­a­tion; but, again, this was Florida, and the sweat was an un­ques­tion­able in­di­ca­tion that this emer­gency sleep­ing bag re­ally works. Once I was out of the bag, I rolled the unit up and re­turned it to its draw­string pouch. With some prod­ucts on the mar­ket to­day, once the item is opened and used in real-life sit­u­a­tions, re­turn­ing it to its stor­age bag or orig­i­nal packed size is not al­ways an easy task. How­ever, for this bag, press­ing down­ward to re­move the air in­side and rolling it up as you would a tube of tooth­paste, it re­verted to its pre-use state and was eas­ily put back in­side its car­ry­ing pouch.

A HANDY PIECE OF GEAR

The Sur­vivor­cord bracelet looked and felt so good on my wrist that I had a very hard time de­cid­ing whether to un­ravel it ... but the tests had to com­mence. Dis­man­tling the bracelet was quick—a lot faster than I had ex­pected. Within min­utes, I had it com­pletely un­wound and ready for use. The amount of para­cord that made up the bracelet was a pleas­ant sur­prise: It reached about 10 feet in length. Like the Sur­vivor­cord bun­dle, this para­cord had the same as­sort­ment of in­ner strands, tin­der, fish­ing line and snare wire, as well as the seven strands

that made up the “back­bone,” or strength, of the cordage. As with the Sur­vivor­cord, there was no dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of the in­ner items. They all suc­ceeded in pass­ing the same rig­ors I had put the bun­dle of Ti­tan’s para­cord through ear­lier in the day. Bear in mind that once the bracelet is disas­sem­bled, it would be very dif­fi­cult to re­store it to its orig­i­nal state. So, be­fore you go to the most dras­tic ac­tion of break­ing it down, you should ex­plore all your vi­able op­tions for use­able cordage around your en­vi­ron­ment. Yet, even with that be­ing said, if only one of the in­ner strands would make your sur­vival sit­u­a­tion more com­fort­able or al­low you to sur­vive longer, it would be well worth un­weav­ing it and putting it to use.

ADDED TO MY PACK

Af­ter con­sis­tently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the qual­ity of the cordage, the bracelet and the emer­gency blan­ket, it’s very easy for me to say that these three items have earned a place in both my bu­gout bag and my aux­il­iary emer­gency kit. The cordage is, in re­al­ity, nu­mer­ous tools all “wound” up in one, and any piece of in­ner cordage on its own is a worth­while item—to say noth­ing of the strength and dura­bil­ity of the bun­dle as a whole. The emer­gency blan­ket won me over in­stantly as soon as I was in­side. It only took min­utes be­fore I could feel the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture in­creas­ing. Con­se­quently, I am con­fi­dent that in cold con­di­tions, this item could—and would—help pre­vent hy­pother­mia and keep me alive against the frigid tem­per­a­tures around me. The fi­nal item, the sur­vival bracelet, was also pleas­antly de­cep­tive in ap­pear­ance. What looked like a sim­ple weave of para­cord was ac­tu­ally a mini-equip­ment cen­ter for your wrist that sported snare wire, tin­der, fish­ing line and more. The beauty of it all, how­ever, was that it would go wher­ever you would and be ready to tackle some crit­i­cal tasks al­most in­stantly. Without a doubt, the Ti­tan Sur­vival prod­ucts I tested proved their worth. I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend them as ad­di­tions to your sur­vival gear un­der any and all cir­cum­stances.

h Near left: The Sur­vivor­cord tested was 100 feet of re­flec­tive MIL-SPEC 550 or­ange para­cord, com­plete with a hook-and-loop wrap-around tie.

h Far left: The “guts” of the Sur­vivor­cord con­sist of 620-pound test para­cord, fish­ing line, snare wire and wa­ter­proof tin­der.

i Top right: A sin­gle, durable bolt holds the bracelet firmly in place—with very lit­tle chance of it com­ing un­done, even un­der harsh con­di­tions.

i Bot­tom right: The Ti­tan Sur­vival Emer­gency Sleep­ing Bag is com­pact enough to hold in your hand, and it un­folds with ease.

h Left: The tri­fecta of sur­vival gear from Ti­tan Sur­vival Prod­ucts

h Be­low: The Sur­vivor­cord didn’t stretch un­der the au­thor's weight and made a great “step lad­der” up the tree.

h Be­low, left: Thicker than most sur­vival bracelets on the mar­ket to­day, the Sur­vivor­cord of­fers nearly 11 feet of multi-use 550 cordage. h Left: The Sur­vivor­cord Bracelet, bro­ken down into its ba­sic us­able com­po­nents

h Bot­tom: A sin­gle, durable bolt holds the bracelet firmly in place.

h Be­low, right: The para­cord bracelet of­fers three ad­just­ment set­tings to al­low for the best and most com­fort­able fit.

i Bot­tom right: The Ti­tan Sur­vival Emer­gency Sleep­ing Bag also works as a blan­ket or pon­cho. When you need a quick rest, the bag al­lows you to stay warm and dry.

i Top right: The Ti­tan Sur­vival Emer­gency Sleep­ing Bag un­folds to fit an av­er­age-sized man. It of­fers com­fort and enough room to move about while sleep­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.