Gear And Reviews

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This site is not about fancy gadgets or ultralight backpacking gear (to be honest I couldn’t be even if I wanted to–I don’t have the money to be a gear snob!).

Even so, being prepared means having the tools and supplies you need to handle yourself in a variety of situations.

I focus on the most “prepper” gear out there. Stuff that is functional, affordable, really sturdy and really simple–not necessarily the top of the line in every category.

If you get this and it’s your bag, here’s a few gear review prepisodes you might enjoy:

Alright folks, so I have to be honest…. this video kinda went off the rails… I was sitting down to do it, my wife had the camera in hand, and all of a sudden my dog decides to come over and lay right next to me. Then that triggered my little girl Penny to come […]

Due to a recommendation from FerFal at The Modern Survivalist, I recently picked up the Hultafors Heavy Duty Knife. I also recently bought the Cold Steel G.I. Tanto as a 2nd fixed blade survival knife. Today I thought I’d give you a quick “first look” at both of these. Why the Hultafors Heavy Duty Knife […]

A couple of years ago, I did a prepisode on the GMAG salt water battery charger. Try as I might, I was not able to get the unit working well, and in the end had less than stellar results. In conversations with one of the principals at GMAG since that time, it sounds like I […]

My car survival kit is something that is constantly being revised, updated, and added to. Not too long ago, I grabbed a handful of things for each kit, so I thought I’d give you a quick look at the recent iteration (Keep in mind that everything that I have in it can be purchased at […]

Even though I still haven’t gotten my concealed carry permit, I recently picked up an “inside the waistband” kydex pistol holster.  I got it from a local Utah company called Locust Tactical, and am really happy with it so far. While I haven’t run it enough to give a full review on it, I have […]

In this guest prepisode, our friend NotUNotMe briefly touches on the importance of having keychain EDC flashlights. Many people rely on their cell phones as flashlights, but in this video, he makes the good point that phones frequently get left in the next room, the car, or elsewhere not on our person. Our keys, by […]

Are you looking for EDC lights that you can put on your keychain? I have been trying to find one myself that meets the following criteria: is tiny takes AAA battery has a push button on/off switch has a keychain hole drilled in it A couple months ago, I thought I might’ve found a couple […]

Last week I met up with my old buddy JP from Outdoor Element, to check out one of his new creations. It’s called The Kodiak, and is essentially a paracord survival kit. But unlike other traditional paracord survival bracelets, The Kodiak is equipped with much more than just cordage. It includes: A patented “striker buckle” […]

Have any of you guys seen the “Utility Flame” gel packets yet? I got my hands on a couple of these a few weeks back, and wanted to see how long they would burn for. The information from the manufacturer says that they should burn for 14-15 minutes, and I found that to be true. […]

Through a mutual acquaintance, I met the guys from PowerPot last week. If you guys haven’t heard of them yet, they make a really cool thermoelectric charger for preppers that charges phones and devices using the heat from a fire. Thermoelectric sensors in the bottom of the pot transform heat into electricity and then interface […]

You ever stop and ask yourself “Why carry a knife?” Day after day, as we’re heading out the door, we grab our keys, wallets and our knives. I actually didn’t start carrying a knife everyday until after I’d started The Daily Prep (In fact, it was August 11, 2011…you can see the historic moment happen […]

Last Friday, I picked up a new little EDC knife… the Kershaw Skyline. I was at Blade HQ’s 10th anniversary and storefront grand opening party. The mood was right, and knives were “in the air”, so I decided to snag this guy…but not before I almost bought a couple others. So for the contenders on […]

In case you guys can’t remember, these are the dudes that invited me to come field test the Zero Tolerance 350 knife with them last summer, in an “urban bug out” style field test. We had a ton of fun, and have kept in touch ever since (more recently, they also invited me and a […]

Last winter, a giant windstorm hit Utah. For several days, some people were without power, and accordingly without heat. Families bundled up in extra clothing and blankets, and the lucky ones had neighbors with generators that would run an extension cord to them. Being without heat during winter in the Rocky Mountains is a legitimate emergency. […]

Remember my caribou hunt in Alaska? Nobody really knows this, but that video would not have existed without Goal Zero portable solar chargers! My camera (and the backup battery) died about halfway through the trip. Luckily, my guide had a Goal Zero setup that he let me use. I unfolded the solar panels, draped them […]

Hey Guys, After a long hiatus, I have another gear review for you–this time on the SOL Escape Bivy. I’ve had this bivy for a long time, and even took it with me on an adventure once, but for a couple reasons never posted the footage. Now that it’s getting cold again, I wanted to put […]

I wanna know–have you actually used your EDC? If so, let me know in the comments-better yet, send me a video response via YouTube showing me what you usually EDC! -Dan

So a little while back, I got the following email from a reader: Hi, I just wanted to say first off that I really enjoy your blog.  I like the emphasis on building up a skill set instead of just buying a bunch of stuff. I have a question about bug out bags. I’m to […]

When I was in Alaska for 12 days, I used a Jetboil stove to do my cooking (i.e. boil water for my Mountain House). They are really efficient, hot burning stoves that will bring water to a boil in a hurry! Even so, I don’t feel like these things are the greatest prep for a […]

For today’s “best of web” Monday, I feature a website called Promotive. Simply put, Promotive is a middle man between gear manufacturers and “industry leader consumers.” Promotive provides the platform whereby the consumers can purchase the manufacturer’s gear at a sizeable discount. On the flip side, the manufacturers get the benefit of essentially having “industry […]

For the 12 days that I was in Alaska, guess what I was eating… Mountain House! For today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I review freeze dried pouch meals from Mountain House foods (not really “gear in the strictest sense, I know). Mountain House freeze dried meals in the pouch are: lightweight super easy to cook loaded […]

For today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I thought I’d show you guys one of the rifles that Desert Tactical Arms manufacturers. The SRS (Stealth Recon Scout) Covert is a 26″ gun that can be converted to fire in .308, .338LM or .300WinMag calibers. Each conversion takes about 60 seconds, and can be done on the fly […]

If you guys have been with me long enough, you may have seen the first review I did of the Gerber Prodigy. Unfortunately that review was somehow lost in migrating YouTube channels (it was done in terrible lighting and a bad camera anyway), so I’m posting this one to give you a better look at […]

As preppers, we know that the ability to “eat what you store” is HUGE. And a grain mill is an awesome way to do just that. With a grain mill you can turn your grains into flour, cereal, coffee, soup mixes, feed for your livestock, and more. In today’s “Gear Review Wednesday” I give you […]

Last month I caught up with my buddy Ben from Financial Survivalist, and did a little dispersed camping up the road from me. While there I finally got to test my Emberlit Stove, and really liked it. For today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I wanted to give you guys a little look at it. It’s lightweight, […]

What’s up guys, for today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I wanted to give you guys an up close and personal look at the Zero Tolerance 350 folding knife. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you probably saw me get crazy on a little urban bug out field test I did with this knife […]

It might not be water into wine, but the Hydropak pouches allow you to turn filthy, brackish, disgusting mud into a purified sports drink. How? It uses a reverse osmosis process that filters water on the way in to the pouch, so all the contaminants are left outside. Simply put it into the water and […]

In today’s “Gear Review Wednesday” I give you a look at the M3 Medic Bag, from the guys at 1st Survival Gear. This is a mid-sized first aid/trauma kit, with enough to support a small group of people. It has a good amount of gauze dressing, lots of sanitation supplies, a REALLY durable carry case […]

(2 videos in playlist-second one begins automatically after the 1st is finished.) In today’s “Gear Review Wednesday” I throw to some footage I took a little while ago with the guys at Blade HQ. They recorded me on a MBO where I field tested in real time the Zero Tolerance 350 Folder. Lest some of […]

If you haven’t seen the UCO Stormproof Matches in action yet, you definitely need to check these guys out! They are windproof and waterproof–REALLY windproof and waterproof, and fairly inexpensive. They belong in your preps! Resources: Check out a list of retailers you can buy UCO Matches from here. Or save yourself a couple bucks […]

It’s Gear Review Wednesday, and today I give you guys a look at my paracord bracelet and key fob from Survival Straps. Although there are many places you can purchase a paracord bracelet (or you can even make your own), there’s a few reasons why I recommend Survival Straps: SUPER good quality (woven so tightly […]

In today’s “Gear Review Wednesday”, I give you an up close and personal look at my micro EDC. And when I say “micro”, I mean SUPER micro. If any of you guys saw the review of my floss container EDC, you may be wondering how much more micro it can get, but I managed to […]

Gear Review Wednesday, and today I give you a look at the Timbuk2 Messenger Bag. Messenger bags have some SERIOUS advantages over backpacks and other bags for everyday purposes, primarily because of how many situations they are acceptable in. They can be brought to the office, church, the gym, school, and even just doing errands […]

In today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I give you a look at the 36 hour emergency candle. It’s made of liquid paraffin wax, and features: smokeless and odorless burning adjustable wick super light weight construction–no glass or metal lid for the wick If you want to pick a couple up, check them out here: 100 Hour […]

Gear Review Wednesday, and today I’m giving you a look at the handy little Pocket Pal, by Smith’s Knife Sharpeners While perhaps not the absolute best sharpener out there, it’s light weight and light price make it a pretty decent snag for the bug out bag. And best of all, it has a fold out […]

For today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I thought I’d give you guys a look at my most recent knife, the Pry Bar Mora. This is the knife that many of you remember me mentioning that I won on the Zombie Squad Forums for my Autumn mock bug out. I think it’s a great little knife, and […]

Gear Review Wednesday, and today I thought I’d give you guys a look at my car survival kit.  With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, a lot of people are on the roads. This is the time to make sure you have at least the basics in your car. It’s a work in […]

Today’s Gear Review Wednesday gives you a closer look at The Grabber Reusable Space Blanket. This is something I used with Cody From Boise in my trip to Idaho (Prepisode 49) , and with Ben from Financial Survivalist in our Utah mountain bug out (Prepisode 64). It’s a roof, a bed, a blanket, a rain […]

Gear review Wednesday, and today I’m checking out the “Candle In A Can.” What do you think?

Gear Review Wednesday! Today we’re checking out some of what makes the Hi Tec Altitude Ultra WPi a great boot. Having weathered a couple “mock bug outs” and some seriously cold weather in my tennis shoes, I know the value of some good boots!

In today’s Gear Review Wednesday, I give you a look at the Coleman Magnesium Firestarter, available at Wal Mart, Big 5, or probably any other sporting goods store. The concept of magnesium firestarters is simple–scrape off a small pile of magnesium filings, then strike a spark into it with a flint. Magnesium is easily ignited, […]

It’s “Gear Review Wednesday”, and this time, I’m giving you an up close and personal look at my trusty EDC knife, the Gerber Paraframe 1.  If I don’t make this clear in the 8 minute video, I LOVE it. Your thoughts?

G24 Innovations Solar Curve I got a new toy! The itty-bitty G24 Innovations Power Curve solar unit. It’s a BOB-sized solar panel, that definitely won’t power a house, but works well for small applications, considering it’s size.

What is the best way to carry 6 feet of paracord with you everyday? Your shoes. I recently had the idea to scrap my flimsy shoelaces and replace them with more durable, all purpose paracord. It ended up being a little bit tricky, 6 feet of paracord is definitely a welcome addition to my EDC […]

Today is gear review Wednesday, and at long last, it’s time for a guest video. J-Web, friend and long time member of The Urbivalist Community, recently picked up a pretty cool police scanner. At my request he put together a little review for us. His video gives us an up close and personal look at […]

The tights Prepisode. Since I did my 72 hour urban bug out earlier this year, I’ve received a handful of comments and emails from Cody in Boise (Urbivalist reader and friend) to join him in Boise for some outdoor survival/recreation. It looks like it will finally happen next week-even though the summer has passed. Since we […]

VER-SA-TIL-I-TY.  Say it with me folks. Simply put, the Aquamira Frontier Pro is truly one of the MOST bang for your buck pieces of survival gear out there. Not only does it enable “pass through filtration” to filter water as you’re drinking, but it also comes with it’s patented Universal Connectivity System that allows it to […]

The Border Guard folder is definitely not the prettiest in the bunch.  Plus it’s too heavy and long to be a good EDC knife. But with it’s seat belt cutter, glass break, and non-slip grip it can still be a decent car knife.  

Water into wine? How about salt water into electricity? That’s what this crazy little battery charger by Infratech does. In this Prepisode, I test the unit, called the “Greenivative Magic” (or G-Mag for short) with my own set of dead AA batteries. About 1 hour of sizzling, heating charge time later….you have to watch. For more […]

Field trip Friday! This time, to talk a little firearms with my good friend Seth, of If you still have not dipped a toe in the world of firearms, you’re not alone. I’m there too. But it’s time to get started! Join us as we discuss: What a survivalist’s first couple of firearms should […]

After posting Prepisode 18, on bulk water storage, I had a little something brought to my attention.  Many garden hoses, in fact MOST garden hoses, are not recommended as “drinking safe.” After looking at several hoses on the store shelf, I even saw that some had warnings stating that they were constructed with materials known by […]

If you don’t have enough space to store a 55 gallon water barrel, I feel your pain.  Prior to moving to my Utah abode, my wife and I lived in a downtown San Diego apartment, where we couldn’t feasibly store a huge barrel. Although the survival hardcores may tell you to suck it up and […]

Why didn’t I think of inventing the 4-in-1 Emergency Tool? It’s simple, inexpensive, and it serves multiple functions (way more than 4!). They assist in turning off gas, water, and emergency clean up efforts. If you don’t have one, it’s not the end of the world, but they are a handy “all in one” solution.

In the eternal order of things, water is sacred. He who is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him (and he may actually live to see another day). Now that I’m out of my 2 room apartment and into a house, I have a enough room for a […]

I’ve held out for long enough. It’s time to commit to carrying at least a few items EVERY single day. To this point, I’ve just never been able to stomach the idea of extra stuff in my pockets. But I think I finally arrived at a solution of how to at least carry something for […]

A couple days ago, I revisited the desert island question. If I had to choose 1 cutting edge in my bug out bag, would it be a fixed blade knife or a multi-tool? As part of my minimalist mindset, I frequently take mental (and physical) inventory of my gear, in an effort to constantly maintain […]

Wet willy ear plugs, peeing in back alleys, and crapping in bushes–If the footage is a little shaky, if I suck on screen, or if there are a million other things this video isn’t–IT IS REAL. 3-part video (28 minutes total). You know what the problem with “field tests” is? They’re hardly ever realistic.The longer […]

In the middle of my corporate ladder climbing career (which lasted less than 3 years), I read the story of a young boy who single handedly sailed the world in a 16 foot boat. The book he later wrote of the expedition, titled “Dove“, is full of excitement, adventure, and brushes with death. He talks […]

I must’ve been good this year, cause I had a treasure under the tree. Although I’ve sold them for quite a while, it wasn’t until this last Christmas that I finally got my own Bug Out Bag. If you’re lucky enough to have in-laws as cool as me (thanks guys!), maybe you got one too, […]

In my search to find the best urban survival fixed blade knife, I’ve come across all kinds. The debate is an ongoing on–carbon or stainless? Tanto/combat vs. hunting blade? Length, width, best sheath (for both knife blade protection and access), best wood splitter, finish, longest holding edge. While it’s clear that there are pros and […]

‘Tis the Season! The tree at the Rockefeller Center has been lit, Christmas music is on the radio, and egg nog is in stores–in case you haven’t noticed, the Holidays are upon us. If you’re shopping for an urbivalist this season (or you are looking for things to put on your own list), forget about […]

Why are people so in love this kit? Is it the quality red bag it comes packaged in? Is it the smokin’ $80 price point? Is it the mountain of supplies that it contains? Well whatever the reason, the fact is that Guardian’s 2-Person Deluxe Kit has become one of the most popular choices for […]

The Road Map for Average Joe Preppers

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