Outdoor Wound Care Kit at Walmart with Celox packets

I braved the local Wal-Mart last night for zippo fluid which they no longer carry and found a new product in the camping section called “Outdoor Wound Care Kit” for about $8.00

Outdoor Wound Care Kit box

Most of the contents are your normal run of the mill FAK items: (4 bandages, 2 hand wipes, 2 2×2 gauze pads, and 1 ibuprofen)

The common items

But the last item is the important one it include two of the small packets of Celox blood clot agent which I think should be in everyone’s pack.

I’ve used both Celox and Quickclot and for me there about the same. The main difference is Quickclot is easy to use just apply the sponge and loosely wrap it in gauze were Celox granules needs to be applied, allowed to clot and then you loosely wrap it in gauze. But now you can get it locally!


‘SickSalamander’ over on /r/CampingandHiking asked a really good question:

Are those tiny packets of celox with a picture of a person putting them on a finger?

I was taught in my WFA class that celox is only for serious trauma. If you apply it, you need to go to a hospital immediately to have it cleaned out of the wound. Then the doctors there patch you up properly. It is just to buy you a few hours so you can get to the hospital without dying of bloodloss first.

I thought it wasn’t for minor cuts. But those tiny packets of it aren’t big enough for large wounds. The smaller one I have is 15g. Those little ones are 2g. And the celox website is now advertising them for home use.

Anyone know if you can use these on a cut and clean it yourself without going to the hospital?

My reply is yes this is the “Home” version which is more like secondskin rather than the big versions of Celox. I’ve used the larger versions on nasty wounds before and you can pick it out but it will start bleeding again so that’s the reason you go to the hospital/doctors to clean it.

Honestly if your talking about a 2+ inch deep bleeder I’m more than likely going to pull out a Derma-Gel sheet and a Israeli Bandage and get you or me ūüėČ to the hospital asap. For a normal wound (1″ or less) I’d use Celox/Quickclot and gauze this little packet should work for any small heavy bleeder that a bandage won’t cover well.

Posted in Camping | 2 Comments

Decided to take a nap during lunch today

It was way to nice a day to stay in doors and we have a well mowed lunch area behind the employing parking area that no one uses so I said heck with it and strung my hammock up to take a half hour power nap.

That was a hell of a lot nicer than setting at my desk or the break room ūüôā

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I’ve removed Badger&Blade from my links

Thanks to troll moderator over at B&B { Jim@badgerandblade.com } I’ve removed their link as I can no longer recommend them for wet-shaving information.

When I first joined the forum it was without a doubt the best source of wet-shaving knowledge I could find. Unfortunately petty little self-important bureaucrats like Jim have turned it into a walled garden that looks down their nose at low life’s like me who only want to share knowledge on their hole-in-the-wall blog (how dare I link my blog to a forum post I made!) even after following his ‘rule’ that I remove links on my personal blog I guess I didn’t bow and worship enough so I’m booted … my life has ended.

I’ll add a few links this week to far friendlier shaving websites and forums in the mean time Leisureguy’s { shaving } and { food } posts are top-notch!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gas mask bag smack down! Finnish vs Czech

I recently posted a review on the {  Czech Army bread bag } and while I liked it I was really searching for a Finnish Gas Mask bag. I finally broke down and ordered one for my son to take to the upcoming { Pathfinder Gathering } and of course as soon as we got it in the mail a few popped up at a local military surplus store so I snatched two of them for myself.

Here is a glamor shot of the Finbag loaded with my gear:

Finnish Gas Mask Bag

Finnish Gas Mask Bag

I noticed right away that the Finbag is made of thicker canvas and the stitching is of better quality. It also has D-ring connectors so that you can remove one side of the straps which should help with taking it off and on. It also has a waist strap to keep it from bouncing on your hip which while looks dorky as hell actually works.

The Finnish bag dimensions are:

  • Length: 12.5 inches
  • Width: 4 inches
  • Depth: 10 inches

The Czech bag dimensions are:

  • Length: 12 inches
  • Width: 3 inches
  • Depth: 9 inches

The Finnish bag is just a bit bigger and can hold a little more but not enough to really differ. I loaded both up with the nearly the same gear list as before:

  • Pouch holding my { Energizer headlamp } and spare batteries.
  • $1.00 hand warmer from Target (left over from the winter).
  • Ancient repelling carabiner, compass/temp carabiner, and two Nite-Ize¬†biners.
  • Silva Ranger compass in USGI compass bag.
  • 3×3 green bandana and red automotive cleaning cloth.
  • 1″ roll of gorilla tape¬†with the spool removed and flattened for size.
  • 250′ (ish) of { #18 bank line } + 20-25′ hank of green paracord.
  • { 32oz SS Guyot } water bottle with water tablets, spork, and spare bandana inside.
  • { Flecktarn camo poncho } with ranger bands and paracord bracelet on shoulder strap
  • Mechanics gloves.
  • Container of pj-cotten balls.
  • Container of micro inferno’s
  • Backup {¬†Mora 511 knife¬†} for small camp tasks or game cleaning.
  • {¬†Cree Trushfire S-A2¬†}¬†flash light.
  • Zippo butane lighter insert.
  • Fire kit – flint&steel+full container of char cloth with a ferro¬†rod ranger banded to it.
  • {¬†StrikeForce ferro rod }¬†with three micro inferno’s inside.
  • Write in the rain notebook.
  • Ultra Thin fly fishing box with twenty lures.
  • Three Colman light sticks.
  • A pouch of spam and tuna fish plus two cliff bars.

Both bags held everything without problems but the Czech bag has its three inner pockets on the side nearest your body while the Finnish bag has it on the outside away from the body with a covering flap.

Finnish Bag interior shot

Finnish Bag interior shot

That makes it easier to get to things like my fire kit, flashlight, notebook or anything else I carry in the pockets without stopping to dig  while I tended to remove the Czech bag to rummage around looking for things.

The Czech bag is actually more secure in that it has a buckle strap on the inside to hold the main pocket closed tight and the sides are more rounded so they do not flop outwards under heavy load like the Finnish bag does (hint – one you snap the Finbag closed pull the flap out so that it covers the sides of the bag so it won’t flop open on you).

The best feature to me is the two snaps that hold the Finnish bag closed versus the buckles on the Czech bag it’s so much easier to snap/un-snap¬†them verses pulling the bag over in front of me to up buckle¬†it.

I think both bags would make a fantastic shoulder bag to replace a small to medium backpack on hikes but I am going to pick the Finnish Gas Mask bag as the overall winner as it’s just a bit more polished and easier to use.


Up next is a small mod to the ‘Finbag’ to add a tarp carrier to the bottom for use as an overnight or possibly two night backpack replacement.

The one shinning problem any of these military surplus gas mask bags have is that there is no external attachment points on them. My fix for this issue is to sew two sets of 1.25 inch webbing loops with sling buckles to the bottom of the bag to see if it will hold my     { tarp } which is just slightly longer than the bag.

Posted in Camping | 2 Comments

New toy in the mail ~ Strike Force Firestarter clone.

I got this on Friday it’s from { DealExtreme.com¬†}

Strike Force Fire steel clone

Strike Force Fire steel clone

I’ve seen it a few times on the website and the $9.14 price tag with free shipping finally tempted me into ordering it. Like anything from DealExtreme it takes three to four weeks to receive it but for this particular item it’s well worth the wait.

It comes in the same box you would get from stores like {REI.com¬†} or ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† { ThePathfinderSchoolllc.com }¬†but without the cool logo’s it just has a plain “Survive” printed on the box and stamped on the plastic handle. It has the same hard plastic square case as the others and is very rugged I have no doubt it will stand up to many years of abuse in the field without complaint. ¬†It fits up to¬†three¬†Micro Inferno‘s in the hollow rod case for quick lighting in an emergency. It also comes with a larger striker on a key chain along with an emergency whistle.

I’m not a fan of the very small built-in striker but it will work if you have no other means of sparking the rod. What I’ve found works the best is to use a folding knife. ¬†I leave them closed and grip the entire handle in my right hand and scrap the rod backwards on the back of the closed blade. That way I can control exactly where the sparks go.

From my “testing” I can’t find a difference in this product compared to the others sold here in the US for $19.95 or more. I suspect that all the Strike Force’s are made in China and these are coming from the same factory but sold locally in China instead of export to a western country. I do know that deal extreme does that with a lot of products and I’ve found a few gems on the website.

But with any of these discount Chinese websites be careful because there is a metric ton of cheap knock-off crap. The nice thing about this particular website is that shipping is ether free or a penny or two at most which makes it a bit easier to swallow a crappy item once in a while. ¬†I’ve also never had a problem with getting the products or getting the wrong items. The one thing I haven’t tried is there return process I suspect that will not be fun if/when it happens.


A comment over in { /r/bushcraft } thought this was just a plug for the Chinese website and wanted to know more about the StrikeForce so I’ll add more to the review:

  • Length: 5 inches
  • Width: 3/4th of an inch
  • Depth: 1 1/4th of an inch
  • Rod¬†circumference: 3/8ths of an inch
  • Rod Length: 1 5/8ths of an inch

The sparks given off when striked is more of a “sparkle” effect when using a knife versus one from { Firesteel.com } but it throws a ton more sparks compared to one of the smaller { Light my fire } type rods.

The only down side that I’ve found with this product or a branded StrikeForce is that the rod is very short but that’s as designed to fit in the handle. If you’re looking for something longer I would go with a four or five-inch { firesteel bunker }

I had no problem lighting jute twine, waxed jute twine, pjcb’s, wicked-pjcbs, and a Micro Inferno with this product and would recommend it to anyone looking to save $10+ on a good ferro rod.

Posted in Camping | 1 Comment

Small update to my EDC post

On the recommendations of ‘mmmgawa’ over on { reddit.com/r/EDC/ } I’ve added a Leatherman Micra to my keyring:

Leatherman Micra

Leatherman Micra

Surprisingly enough I like it. It’s not as heavy as I thought it would be in my pocket and the scissors are useful. The “sloped-neck body design” really makes the scissors rugged for such a small tool.

I also like the metal tweezers which is a huge step up from the plastic ones you get with most SAK’s.

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Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife


I stopped by a local KC military surplus store tonight (Raven’s) looking for some odds-&-ends and walked out with a nicely priced¬†‘Mora Bushcraft Survival SS Knife‘ for the kid to take to the Pathfinder Spring Gathering in a couple of weeks and now I’m a tad big jealous¬†ūüėČ

Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife

Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife

It has a ferro rod holder with a better than average rod plus a “meh” diamond sharpener built into the sheath. I was pleasantly surprised by the ferro rod it turned out better than any of the add on rods I’ve picked up with cheap equipment. The rod’s handle is a bit lighter in weight than I would like but the rod itself throws a mean spark on every strike.¬†The knife spine has a good 90% angle specifically for sparking a rod and it does a great job as most Mora’s do.

It’s a Sandvik 12c27 stainless steel with there standard scandi grind. The knife length is 9.1/4 inches long with a 4.1/4 inch blade that should do well at the Gathering as the kid will probably be using his SAK folder more than a fixed blade but I’m hoping he has a great time and do not want him going in lacking basic gear..

The most surprising thing about this knife is the handle and grip. I’m used to the standard cheap $8~$13 Mora’s and while I love them to death the handles have always left a lot to be desired in my opinion. ¬†This knife on the other hand has a well designed rubberized handle that fits nicely in the hand and is very grippy making it easy to hold on to.

I felt comfortable choking up on the handle while making a feather stick and had no problems with the two pot holders I notched. While I haven’t battened any kindling with it (and probably never will) I would trust it to do the job without any issues.

Overall I would be more than happy caring this blade out into the woods as my main fixed blade along with an axe. It’s not as beefy as my Condor Rodan which I would take without the axe but they are very different knives.

If your looking for an entry level ‘bushcrafty’ knife you won’t go wrong with this model as long as you couple it with a good cheap axe or hand saw.

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Soy wax emergency candles – fun, easy and a quick weekend project

I have seen a few blogs talk about making soy candles and after reading the one over on ¬†¬†{ Teowawk Blog } ¬†I decided to make some. It only took about 30 minutes to make a dozen with plenty of wax left over and best of all it’s easy enough for anyone to do.

The ingredient list is:

Soy Candle Ingredients

  1. Soy Wax: 5 pound bag ($9.95 on amazon)
  2. 20mm Standard Wick Tabs: (150 for $2.60 on amazon)
  3. 100 foot spool of  braided wick: ($3.49 on amazon)
  4. 12 half-pint jelly jars: ($9.99 at local Westlake’s)

So for $26.03 I made a dozen 8-10 hour burning candles ($2.17 per candle) that can be refilled and reused as many times as you want. I probably could have sourced everything locally but decided to go the lazy route maybe for my next batch I’ll check for local prices to see if it’s cheaper.

Here’s the sordid details: ~

Unlike the¬†teotwawkiblog article I decided to skip the double boiler and just used a $1 Dollar General¬†saucepan I bought to melt paraffin wax in. To keep the wax from scorching I added only enough to fill one jar at a time (1.5’sh handfuls) and constantly swirled the pan just over our gas oven burner.

Soy wax chips in saucepan

Soy wax chips in saucepan before melting

Soy wax chips almost melted

Soy wax chips almost melted

That worked extremely well and only took about 3 minutes from adding the chips to total wax melt. Once the wax chips were completely melted I carefully pored it into each jelly jar over the sink then quickly put the jar on the kitchen table. The wax takes about a hour to an hour in a half to solidify so there’s no rush I was able to fill each jar before moving on to the next step:

Here is a shot of the wax in liquid form:

Soy wax pored into the jelly jars

Soy wax pored into the jelly jars

Once all of the jars are full you need to add the wicks. What I did was cut twelve 6 to 7 inch wicks off of the spool and run them through the bottom of the wick tabs until the end was jut inside of the tab that way they could set flat on the bottom of the jar. I then took my leatherman and carefully pinched the end closed so that the wick could not fall out of the tab.

Pinch the wick tab closed over the wick

Pinch the wick tab closed over the wick

Now it’s just a matter of dropping the wick into the center of the jar and holding the wick upright while it cools … I didn’t plan for that part and didn’t have any wick holders on hand so I had to ¬†improvise:

Redneck wick holders

Redneck wick holders

Not the best method but it was easy and the kid’s pokemon card tournaments nets us a metric ton of pencils. I let them cool overnight and they turn out like this:

The candle will look like this after it cools.

The candle will look like this after it cools.

I trimmed the wick down and because I only filled the candle to the first thread line I had enough room to throw in a book of matches into each jar for easy lighting:

I added a book of matches to each candle

I added a book of matches to each candle

Now it’s just a matter of storing them in a place where everyone in the house can find them (on top of a kitchen cabinet and in the garage). I put a lighter with both sets but just in case I know the matchbook will work as you never know what will go wrong with the lights out.

Store the candles where you can early find them in the dark

Store the candles where you can early find them in the dark


All of that took about 30 minutes of work with a 12 hour cool down, was super easy and best of all much cheaper than buying candles. I also found that unlike paraffin wax these soy candles do not emit smoke. While 100% beeswax is still the king of the candle soy wax is half the price and almost as nice.

The funny part was my wife made allot of fun of me over this project but decided after seeing them in action that her and the kid will make them for cheap christmas presents and wants me to order candle scent oils for her.

Posted in DIY | 1 Comment

Time to reassess my EDC/PSK – any thoughts or ideas?

Since I decided to change out my camping/hiking shoulder bag it’s probably a good time to take a look at my PSK (personal survival kit). This is by no means a recommendation I do not consider myself an expert at anything it’s just what this knucklehead carries.

My work day EDC (every day carry) is pretty light:


The knife is a Spyderco Ambitious it’s light enough to clip to work slacks and has enough blade quality to laugh at the boxes I open and tear down daily. I don’t normally carry my PSK (the black bag in the top right hand corner) as it’s to bulky unless it’s winter when I’m wearing a coat so it normally stays in the car console.

The bag is from Adventure Survival Equipment which I found a review of in one of last years issues of Self Reliance Illustrated (great magizine well worth the money). For $18 I decided to take a chance and for the most part I really like it.

It’s big enough to carry anything you could put in an Altoids tin plus a bit extra and can be carried several different ways (belt loop on back, D ring on the side, and a velcro tab on the back) but when fully loaded it’s a bit to bulky to comfortably carry in a pocket.

That’s not a major shortcoming for me but I’m still trying to perfect what I carry in it as I do put it on my belt when hiking, camping or when the family is away from the car (my go-bag has a full med kit) for a long duration.

The contents from the top left are:

My PSK contents

  1. Adventure Medical Kits Two Person Sol survival Blanket
  2. Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System
  3. Cheap gas station lighter
  4. TrustFire S-A2 Cree LED Flashlight
  5. 2x wetfire cubes
  6. ferro rod+striker
  7. fak (first aid kit)
  8. chapstick
  9. 2x ziplock freezer bags

Here is the fak contents from top left:

My fak

  1. 6x plastic band aids
  2. 5x waterproof matches with sandpaper striker sealed in plastic
  3. x2 triple antibiotic ointment packets
  4. x2 itch relief cream packets
  5. x2 two tablet ibuprofen packets (200mg)
  6. x2 two tablet sinus relief packets

I think the fak is the worst part of the kit and needs to be changed. I probably need to find a small tweezers and nail clipper set to go in it to round out the ‘owie’ fixers but that’s about all I can come up with at the moment.

Any ideas or comments would be welcome

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New shoulder bag for camping/hiking

It’s that time of year again so camping will become a priority for me. I decided it was time for a new shoulder bag to replace my old Korean War possibles bag pictured below:

My old Korean War bag

While it’s completely bomb proof it’s a bit on the small size, can’t fit my tarp underneath and I’m not happy with how I have to remove the strap to untie my poncho if it rains. I’ve been looking for a Finnish Gas Maskbag locally for awhile without luck but friday I came across a¬†Czech army bread bag that’s just about the same thing for $14.00.

New Shoulder Bag

The best part is I can sling the poncho on top of the bag using those two little buckles so I can get to it easily and still be able to get into the bag anytime I want. ¬†I added two 12″ bits of jute twine temporarily to the buckles with a larks head hitch and a simple overhand knot on the ¬†other end that loops into the metal lip so that I can pull them loose very quickly in case of rain. I like that allot and will replace the jute twice later with something more robust when I edge the bag in leather.

Opening the bag up you’ll see the standard three small pocket design inside of the main compartment just like the Finnish bag but this one has a middle tie down strap to keep the sides from bulging out like the ‘Finbag’ tends to do when overloaded.

Shoulder bag open

While I like the strap system better than the ‘Finbag’ it is a bit thinner material so I’ll need to reinforce the main compartment opening with leather later. Here is the bag loaded with everything but my cook set and food:

Shoulder bag loaded

It’s a bit hard to tell but in the top left hand inner pocket I have a compass, hand warmer, ¬†and water tablets. The middle inter pocket has a bag with my cheap headlamp and spare batteries. The right inner pocket has my fire kit, lighter, and container of pj-cotten balls.

For reference here is a pick of everything laid out:

Current contents of the bag

Contents from top left:

  • Pouch holding my cheap Energizer headlamps (Wal-Mart) and spare batteries.
  • Cheap $1.00 hand warmer from Target (left over from the winter).
  • Shoulder bag, paracord bracelet, ancient repelling carabiner, and a compass carabiner.
  • Silva Ranger compass and USGI compass bag.
  • 3×3 green bandana and red automotive cleaning cloth.
  • 1″ roll of gorilla tape with the spool removed and flattened for size.
  • 250′ (ish) of #18 bank line + 20-25′ green paracord.
  • 32oz SS Guyot water bottle.
  • Flecktarn camo Poncho (best I’ve ever found – I’ll do a review).
  • Cheap mechanics gloves.
  • Container of pj-cotten balls.
  • ¬†Backup mora knife incase something happens to my belt knife.
  • Cheap dealextrame flash light (I’ll do a review).
  • ziplock bag with six water purifying tablets.
  • $7.00 butane lighter insert.
  • Fire kit – flint&steel+full container of char cloth with a ferro rod ranger banded to it.

The only things missing if I was going to do a easy overnighter would be my hammock and tarp rolled inside of a wool blanket (italian army surplus) strapped to my back and my cook kit which consists of a 38oz SS Guyot water bottle + nesting cup with a spork, salt/pepper, and a mini-bic lighter rolled up in a bandana inside the bottle. I sometimes carry a soda can stove or a military folding stove with me as well but I tend to like a real campfire when I’m out overnight.

Even with all of that I still have plenty of room for some snacks or even a full meal set with some creative packing. Overall I’m really happy with this bag and will compare it to the Finnish Gas Mask bag when I get it (I just ordered one for my son). I’ll have to take it out a few times before the kid and I go to the Pathfinder Gathering in June to see if it’s rugged enough to handle my less than graceful woodland antics so I’ll do a follow up in a few months with a final grade.

Posted in Camping | 1 Comment