Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

Created by CAM

Survival Bros vlogs about getting freebies around town by asking.  This new HD video was filmed at Country Village in Longview, Washington.  You’d be surprised how much free stuff you can acquire by requesting health food samples at local stores in person.  I’m a regular customer, so I can get complementary products in trial sizes, without purchasing a single item.  Plus, I ask nicely, and am very grateful for the edible endowments.  After all, they do call me Cameron Consumption.  I’ve got this survival system down to an Art form.  Thanks for watching.

Comment on the video on YouTube or below once you have completed this #survivalbros Challenge. 

survival challenge 4

I also tried a marijuana CBD spray inside this Washington State establishment!

 

By Cameron McKirdy

A survivalist and cancer fighter answers my questions about his unique ride.  This electric trike gets 240 miles per gallon of gas.  Talk about frugality and wellness wrapped in one man’s mission to live!  The cyclist is always moving his legs, and getting a workout while going down the road.  He had this tricycle loaded with groceries, and clean laundry.  It could easily haul over 100 pounds of gear.  What do you think of this survival mobile?  More on the #survivalbros YouTube Channel.  Subscribe today to watch all the HD video adventures for free online.  Thanks for the support.

electric trike euge

Feel free to leave a comment or word of encouragement for this man

Created By Cameron McKirdy 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SURVIVAL BROS YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE!!!

Prodigy-Serrated_fulljpg

Survival Bros Product Testing The Gerber Prodigy Blade By Breaking a Glass Car Window

Using a “survival” knife to break glass for people locked out of their vehicle, Survival Bros helps by smashing a small car window, so the owner can get his keys and go home. The gentleman’s girlfriend locked the keychain in the car by accident before setting off on a day hike.  At first, their solution was to simply throw a rock at the shiny, new BMW Sedan!  They decided against that method of breaking in.  He didn’t care about money it would cost to repair his ride, because he has auto insurance.  I guess insurance covers women.  The couple would have been stranded on the mountain at night, if they couldn’t get in.  There’s NO cellphone service in The Forest.  Fortunately, she was able to reach her arm in without getting hurt to pull the door handle open from the inside. 

Would you call the Gerber Prodigy a true survival knife?  Comment.  It’s smaller, and only has versions featuring irritating serrations.  Most friends I’ve encountered aren’t fond of this blade profile, because it takes away from the cutting surface area.   Total length of 9.75 inches and blade length of 4.75 inches.  

On the plus side, the sheath is quality, making it easy to lash, or attach to your backpack.  MOLLE compatible, with a leg strap to try as a carrying position.  The rubberized grip works well, and fits in hand ergonomically.  It’s a bargain entry level survival or combat knife.  Whatever you want to call it, or use it for, the price is right on Amazon for under $40 with free shipping.  I’m going to beat mine to Hell this summer in the woods, then consider packing the LMF II, or something new.  Have any knife recommendations for Survival Bros?  You can always email me at thesurvivalbros@gmail.com

Watch Survival Bros breaking car windows with that blade too!  It’s considerably bigger, and better.

Don’t try this! But if you do, wear proper eye and hand protection. 

Produced By http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

Follow Survival Bros on Instagram, or subscribe via email at top left of blog page!  Thank you.  Visit again soon for fun content.  New articles, product reviews, and photos on the way.  We are growing the community rapidly.  This is awesome.  

By Chris Miller

 

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Backpacking Gear for the Florida Trail

Usually I try to keep my pack weight down, though I don’t really consider myself an ultra light hiker. I can live comfortably out of a pack weighing no more than 20 pounds for months at a time. And that is including food and water. My base weight, the weight of my gear not including food and water, usually hovers around the ten pound mark, though I have a tendency to carry multiple paperbacks at a time which can push that weight up a bit.

So what’s in my pack?  Let’s start with what I consider the essentials, sleeping gear and clothing.
I sleep in a cheap Walmart $30 40 degree sleeping bag made by Ozark Trails. It is one of the smallest sleeping bags around which means it packs up into a very tight space. This is one of those occasions when you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a top of the line sleeping bag.  Is it warm enough? Probably not for a lot of winter activities, and even in Florida it can get cold in January. But the sleeping bag is always slipped inside my REI Minimalist Bivy. This adds a few degrees as well as allowing me to easily stealth camp. I also usually sleep in my Under Armour base layer.  My base layer is one of my most trusted pieces of survival equipment. I probably wouldn’t have survived the week of 20 degree nights stealth camping in Austin Texas that I went through a few years ago if it wasn’t for them and my winter hat and gloves. Also something which is always in my pack.
Other than that, a change of socks and underwear, my Petzl headlamp, a 5×7 tarp, a Thermarest Prolite sleeping pad, a Nike Storm Fit rain jacket, an REI Revelcloud packable jacket, a Sawyer mini water filter and a pair of what I call sleeping socks, socks which only get worn at night when I’m in my sleeping bag rounds out most of the rest of my gear.

Sure there are a few other things, random assorted things clipped inside my pack or stuffed in Ziploc bags near the top where they are easy to get to. The toilet paper and first aid kit, the mini Bic lighter and fire starter cubes. I also have a clip with several safety pins, a GSI plastic spoon, some rubber bands, a small set of nail clippers and a P-51 can opener.  You’ll notice that I didn’t mention a knife of any kind.  Airlines are pretty picky about letting you bring knives on board and I have found that when you are stealth camping in urban environments it is very likely that you will at some point be stopped by the police. Usually when I’m hiking I’ll carry a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never needed anything more serious no matter the situation but have recently added a Buck Paklite Caper to my gear. Mostly for batoning wood for fires.  But for the Florida Trail I wasn’t able to pack a knife and in the rush before leaving I had failed to mail them ahead to myself. So I was without a knife in the swamps and back country of Florida.

Backpack Gear List

REI Lookout 40 backpack 53 oz
With 3 Liter Camelback water bladder and insulated drinking hose
Ozark Trail 40 degree synthetic mummy bag 32 oz
REI Minamalist Bivy 15 oz
Thermarest Prolite Small Sleeping pad 11 oz
Blue patched Silnylon 5×7 tarp with ropes 11 oz
Nike Storm Fit Rain Jacket 16 oz
Winter hat and gloves 3 oz
Underarmour bottoms lg 6 oz
Underarmour top xl 8 oz
REI Revelcloud Jacket md 12.5 oz
2 Extra Pair socks 6 oz
Petzl Headlamp w/batteries 3 oz
4 tent stakes w/stuff sack 2 oz
Sawyer Mini Water filter 2 oz
32oz Gatorade bottle 1 oz
Toiletries, First Aid Kit 8 oz
Notebook, Guidebook, Pens 32 oz
Swing Trek Umbrella 7 oz
Tent – Freestanding cheap Ebay tent 31 oz

259.5 oz or 16.2 Pounds

Much heavier than I’m normally used to and this is mostly because it is a new, heavier pack with the ability to not only carry more food but which also has a larger water carrying capacity. Florida is notorious for having bad tasting water which no amount of filtering or flavoring would cover and I wanted to be able to camel up when I found clear water.  Also, the cheap tent was a last minute add on. I wasn’t sure how I felt about sleeping in a bivy on the levees in Florida knowing that alligators were so close. As it was one of the hikers ahead of me woke up to the sound of one snoring next to their tent.  So how did the gear hold up?  Most of the gear are old standards that I’ve lived with for years so I knew what to expect. But there were a few newer items that hadn’t been extensively tested before.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

The first was the Sawyer Mini water filter. Coming in at 2 oz I had used this on only one other two month long backpacking trip along the Oregon coast and it had held up well under the minimal water filtering I had done.  It comes with a squeeze bag for forcing water through the filter as well as a back flush syringe for cleaning out the filter when it becomes clogged. It has a 0.1-micron filter which means I never really have to worry about Giardia, e. coli or salmonella. And the best feature, at least for me, is the threaded end which can be screwed onto most soda and water bottles. This lets you fill your bottle from any source, screw on the filter and squirt the water directly into your mouth.

The biggest drawback, at least on hiking in the Florida swamps, was that the water often had enough silt suspended in it that I had to back flush the filter on an almost daily basis. I’ve heard this complaint from other hikers as well and they say for the slight difference in weight they carry the full Sawyer water filter which doesn’t seem to clog as easily.  This year the swamp was little on the dry side and at least one long stretch had very little in the way of drinkable water. Another hiker had gotten so low that he decided to drink his own urine. He turned around, filled up his Smartwater bottle, screwed on his Sawyer filter and shot a good healthy stream into his mouth.  “Hmm, still salty,” was his only response.  That’s because the Sawyer filters were not meant to filter the salt out of water. Just an FYI if you are thinking about drinking your own urine anytime soon.

Cheap Ebay Tent

I liked this tent mostly because it was freestanding and cost about $20 shipped directly from China.
The problem was that those also seemed to be the only good things about it.  The tent was listed by a few different Chinese Ebayer’s under titles like “Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor Portable UV-resistant Army green” or “Portable Camp Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor UV-resistant 1 Person.”  It was a one person tent that weighed just under two pounds and it could easily be stuffed in a side pouch or rolled up and strapped to the bottom of my pack. I wanted to make a few modifications to it to make it more camouflaged and perhaps add a rain flap over the zipper on the door but there wasn’t time before the trip.  It help up fine in decent weather and even light rain. That’s when I noticed that the floor wasn’t waterproof. This wasn’t a big deal until some of the heavier thunderstorms rolled in. Even though they lasted less than half an hour the wind would force the rain through the walls of the tent and I would end up sleeping in puddles for a while. Thankfully I had my bivy.  The storms also brought out another drawback of this tent. That the poles were weak. In the mornings I would notice that section after section of the poles were splitting and had to be repaired with Gorilla Tape.  But I was glad to have even this cheap tent to keep the hoardes of mosquitos at bay. Even then, sometimes just after sunset, the cloud of them would be so thick outside the tent that I thought they might be able to collectively break the flimsy tent and suck me dry.  Walmart used to sell a Junior Dome freestanding tent for about the same price that was only slightly heavier. It was meant for kids but I used that thing for years before passing it on to someone else. An act I sometimes regret as Walmart has discontinued their production.  Let’s just say that the cheap Chinese tent didn’t make it back from Florida.

No Cook

This hike I decided to go No Cook, meaning that I wouldn’t be packing my pot and stove and that I’d be eating everything cold.  For me this works out really well though I can understand how some people would prefer hot meals.  It meant that I’d never have to resupply fuel and I would have more room in my pack for food.  So what did I eat?  Bagels, cream cheese and sliced salami were most of my big meals. Protein shakes and Multi-Grain breakfast bars were usually my breakfasts and Snickers, Chia seeds and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies were my snacks throughout the day.

Drinks, besides the protein drinks, were powdered Gatorade for the electrolytes and Crystal Light packets to flavor the water.  The big comfort food for me was the protein shakes. They have become a standard backpacking food for me. I carry about a pound of vanilla whey protein along with roughly the same amount of either non fat dry milk or Nido which is powdered whole milk. I prefer the Nido not only for the extra calories but because it doesn’t foam up as much when shaking the shake.  I make the shakes in my 32 oz Gatorade bottle, great because of its wide mouth. Usually I’ll drink some of the water off the top to make room for the powders. Personally I don’t measure what goes into the bottle. I’ll simply add a roughly equal amount of spoonfuls of powder, mixing it in gently at first to make room for more powder. When I think its ready I’ll just put the cap on and shake violently for a while.  The whey protein is great for repairing the damage to my muscles caused by hiking and generally this is just a tasty shake that I never seem to get sick of, which is pretty important in any foods you carry.  The only drawback was going through airport security. I was pulled aside for a security check and they emptied the contents of my food bag. When the TSA agent pushed everything aside he picked up the ziplock bags of what looked like kilos of cocaine. Luckily he laughed.  That doesn’t mean he didn’t swab down everything I owned looking for traces of drugs though.

All in all the gear held up well.  The tent though was left in a dumpster somewhere in Florida.  I’ll stick with the Sawyer Mini and I may start going No Cook on more of my travels.  The pack was a bit heavy for my tastes. Leaving the southern terminus of the Florida Trail I was carrying four liters of water, roughly 8 ½ pounds, more than I’ve ever carried before, and way too much food. I’ll probably go back to the 30 liter pack I usually use for the next adventure, which will probably be hitchhiking across the US.  And next time I go hiking in Florida I’ll probably pack some bug spray.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail on Amazon

@CleanshaveChris on Twitter

Chris Miller Videos on YouTube

Chris Miller Backpacker

Produced by Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros Founder

As you can see in this HD video, nobody beats up gear like me.  I took the new Kershaw Secret Agent knife to the beach, and put it through a rigorous torture test.  I sliced, and stabbed ocean debris washed ashore in Long Beach, Washington.

Kershaw Secret Agent KnifeFlashing the tool with the protective sheath on!

 Model Number 4007, the Secret Agent isn’t flashy.  It’s functional.  The spear point blade has a black-oxide coating for protection against corrosion.  Additionally, the surface is non-reflective.  So it won’t catch light, or be easy to see.  Both sides come sharpened, making it easy to puncture nearly any material.  The Secret Agent handled rope, plastic, aluminum, fiberglass, and even a dead jellyfish!  After the beating, it was still sharp, and the tip showed little wear.  Of course, knives don’t like sand, so I plan to sharpen it for the first time, or I can send it back to the KAI warehouse to get it cleaned up for free.  I’ve stopped by Kershaw headquarters in Tualatin, Oregon (South of Portland) before for a hassle free repair, which took less than an hour.

This knife is a favorite in my collection because it’s lightweight at only 3 ounces.  The ergonomic handle is glass-filled nylon.  It’s well balanced.  Fitting securely in my palm, without being too wide.  Plus, with a rubberized, textured grip, it’s not going to slip out of my hand.  You can wear it on a lanyard, or strapped to your leg.  Blade length is perfect, and no joke at 4.4 inches long.  The black sheath is quality, with a wide, tight clip.  At under $40, the Kershaw Secret Agent knife may be the best value in the industry.  Don’t forget Kershaw Knives’ products are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing defects.  Bottom line:  The Secret Agent belongs in your Every Day Carry knife rotation.  It’s Survival Bros tested and approved.  For more HD videos, SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL.  Thank you.

Kershaw knife Model 4007

The Kershaw Secret Agent is as mean as it looks.

By Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros Founder

Survival Bros smashes the screen of a cellphone with a new COAST Products F611 Tactical Field blade.  It was total destruction!  The carbide tip can also muscle through regular glass, Plexiglas, and plastic.  It’s a sturdy knife, and I usually have it handy at the bottom of my backpack, just in case.  The F611 is a solid tool for camping, because it can help you process wood for a fire, or even when creating an emergency shelter.  You’ll like working with it, and it’s guaranteed by COAST.

Please SUBSCRIBE on YouTube, like, comment, and share if you want more HD videos.  Visit the COAST Products for more gear, and information.  Here’s the link to my other blog on Art, and video production.  http://www.cameronmckirdy.com

Tech Specs:

Cost $43.99 Retail

  • 7Cr17 stainless steel blade
  • 6.0 in. blade
  • 11.0 in. overall
  • 10.8 oz.
  • Tactical elastomer handle on stainless steel frame
  • Molded, hard protective sheathCoast F611 Survival Field Knife

A budget survival knife worth considering

 

Produced by Cameron McKirdy in Seaside, Oregon

Survival Bros goes car camping, and cooks food with the new Pinnacle Base Camper Large from GSI Outdoors.  The slick gear features their nFORM Destination System, offering a nesting design for compact storage.  Watch in HD video as I show you how it works, and clean it with ease.  

The camp cookware is top quality.  Each item is designed for hard use, and extended durability.  The Teflon coating on the two pots, and large skillet is abrasion resistant, so harmful chemicals won’t be scratched off into food.  Plus, the metal is proven to distribute heat evenly, for quick cooking.  You can see in the vlog how my food is boiling over the entire radius.  Also, GSI Outdoors has developed every product they make to be BPA-free.  That’s good, because I don’t want my hormones being disrupted.  This Washington State based company has the excursion items you need.  Carrying around swag from them makes my life much easier, because it does the job, and lasts.  

The Base Camper Large is ideal for a group of four, so I intend on using it when I entertain while tenting with friends, or I’m just super hungry.  You’ll be glad you got a set like this if you enjoy camping, an preparing meals outdoors.  Retail price is $109.95.  Visit GSI Outdoors for more info, and check out the Pinnacle Camper set for the ultimate, integrated cooking and eating solution.  

base camper

Link to the GSI Outdoors Product Page

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros breaks the new Coast TX100 LED flashlight featuring three (3) colors: red, white, and blue!  We smash it on the concrete, throw it really far, and even run it over with a VW hippie van.  Before it was destroyed in our epic torture test, we did get some use out of it.  The light is lots of fun to play with in the woods, and on the street, yet tactical with the different lighting options.  I prefer to use red light in the dark, primarily so I’m less likely to be seen.  Using red at night helps preserve your optimal vision, as white light is hard on the eyes and takes maybe 15 minutes for you to adjust to.  Blue is excellent for cutting through fog in order to see, and be seen.  

In conclusion, Survival Bros uses the TX100 because it’s durable, light weight, and practical.  Plus, with a scalloped bevel on the end, it’s perfect for self defense.  You could blind an attacker, then punch them with the sharp rim around the LEDs.  The small light sure took a beating.  I figured it would have broken sooner when I was hitting it on the pavement.  But all of Coast’s lights, knives, and lanterns have tested well in our product reviews.  Visit Coast’s website for all the tech specs, and make sure to read their fascinating blog articles too.  http://www.coastportland.com  More gear stress tests soon.  Keep checking back here.  Much appreciated.

tx100Consider getting new gear from Coast Products out of Portland, Oregon

 

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros brings you another great product review in HD video.  The ElliptiGO 11R is excellent for climbing mountains, and can go where any road bike can travel.  I was lucky enough to catch a professional competitor at the RV park to review the outdoor racing elliptical cycle.  Special thanks to the veteran that made time to share his experience with us all.  I’d love to hear what you have to say on this product.  Please comment if you own and ElliptiGO, or why you want one.  At $3,500 for the racing model, I don’t know that I’ll be getting an elliptical cycle, but one can dream.  Personally, I think this would be an excellent full body workout, and perfect for rehabilitation from an injury.  It’s comfortable, smooth, but kind of heavy at 39 pounds.  I will have to schedule a test ride at a dealer near me soon.  Watch out Portland!

eliptigo drive arms

Visit the product page at ElliptiGO.com

 

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

Take a look at my new commuter bike called the Giant Sedona.  It’s been way more comfortable to cruise in than my hardtail mountain bike.  I like being able to ride up high, and adjust the handlebars so I can sit up straight.  In the HD video you can see all of the extras I threw on it.  Building a bike, although it not from scratch, is still a blast,  I purchased new Defender fenders to keep myself fresh, a tiny black bell so I don’t have to scream at all the tourists to move or die, water bottle holders for hydration 24/7, and a big manly basket to hold my wildflowers in (more like edible mushrooms).  Andy at Prom Bike Shop in Seaside, Oregon told me this bicycle would be an excellent candidate for a 49cc motor, so I’m thing about that upgrade.  It’s a work in progress.  I’m just grateful to have a bike that doesn’t destroy me after riding it short distances.  I’ve never owned a Giant before, but I’m sure I will be satisfied.  Like the satin black color with gold trim?  It’s different.  You’ll see more videos and blogs featuring this whip soon.  Thanks or supporting Survival Bros.  The website has been doing great, and our YouTube audience is growing rapidly.  So please subscribe to our channel here if you haven’t, or click the link to discover other related fun videos.  Peace.

prom bike Seaside OR

Biking The Prom in Seaside Oregon