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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Solar Compass







Here is another was of finding direction. You will need a thin straight stick, the current time and month, the sun, and a compass rosette template that you can print out here.

First, print out a copy of the compass rosette. You can print it on regular paper, but card stock paper makes a better tool.


If there is enough sun to cast a shadow, place the rosette compass paper on a flat piece of ground. It must be as very near to horizontal as possible.

Now note the current time and push your stick though the corresponding position on the ring of dots labeled 4 through 20. 


For example, if the current time is 3:30 in the afternoon that will translate to 15:30 on a 24-hour clock. Place your stick through the ring of dots halfway between the numbers 15 and 16. Be sure that the stick is as vertically straight up and down as possible.

Now rotate the compass rosette around, keeping the stick in place, until the shadow of the stick crosses the middle line at a point corresponding with the current month.

Your compass rosette is now oriented to north - South.



Although in an emergency survival situation you are unlikely to have this compass rosette handy, it does illustrate there are many ways to accomplish the same goals.

Make several of these rosettes and put them in your survival kits, bug-out bags, vehicle, boat, etc. Print them about 5" x 5". You can go smaller, but it makes it harder to line up the shadow.


Click compass rosette to download a printable version.


 Compass Rosette


Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie

Monday, August 29, 2016

Proper Knife Sharpening Angles




Being able to keep your survival knife properly sharpened is critical. Different knife manufacturers have different angles of blades. If you are poor at using a sharpening stone, you may damage or dull your blade worse than it already is.

The use of a sharpening tool that has the ability to keep the same blade angle while sharpening should be an item that is in your survival gear.

The Smith's sharpening tool (picture shown above) allows you sharpen many different brands of knives.

Below is a list provided by Smith's of the most common knife manufacturers and the angle at which the blade has been sharpened.

Knife Sharpening Angles by Manufacturer & Brand
(degrees per side):

Chef’s knife:

Global – 17
Shun – 16
Wusthof – 14
Zwilling Henckel/Cronidur – 12.5
All other Zwilling Henckel – 15

Serrated Knife:

All Brands – Manual Sharpening; Serrated Slot ONLY

Santoku Knife:

Global – 17
Shun – 16
Wusthof – 11
Zwilling Henckel/Cronidur – 12.5
All other Zwilling Henckel – 15

Paring Knife:

Global – 17
Shun – 16
Wusthof – 14
Zwilling Henckel/Cronidur – 12.5
All other Zwilling Henckel – 15

Utility knife:

Global – 17
Shun – 16
Wusthof – 14
Zwilling Henckel/Cronidur – 12.5
All other Zwilling Henckel – 15

Boning Knife:

Global – 17
Shun – 16
Wusthof – 18
Zwilling Henckel/Cronidur – 12.5
All other Zwilling Henckel – 15

Everyday Pocket Knives/Multi-Tools:

Al Mar – 20
Benchmade – 18-20
Blade-Tech – 20-22
Boker USA – 20-22
Buck – 13-16
Camillus – 23
Case – 19-22
Cold Steel – 23-25
Columbia River (CRKT) – 17-22.5(depending on designer)
KA-BAR – Listed on their website on a per knife basis, but generally 15 degrees per side
Kershaw – 20-22
Knives of Alaska – 18-20
Outdoor Edge – 20
SOG – 22 for flat grinds; 18-20 for hollow grinds
Spyderco – 20
Victorinox – 15-20
Winchester – Suggest using Smith’s recommended angle for knife type

Hunting/Outdoor – Fixed Blade:

Al Mar – 20
Benchmade – 18-20
Blade-Tech – 20-22
Boker USA – 20-22
Buck – 13-16
Camillus – 23
Case – 19-22
Cold Steel – 23-25
Columbia River (CRKT) – 17-22.5(depending on designer)
KA-BAR – Listed on their website on a per knife basis, but generally 20 degrees per side
Kershaw – 20-22
Knives of Alaska – 18-20
Outdoor Edge – 20
SOG – 22 for flat grinds; 18-20 for hollow grinds
Spyderco – 20
Winchester – Suggest using Smith’s recommended angle for knife type

Hunting/Outdoor – Folder: 

Al Mar – 20
Benchmade – 18-20
Blade-Tech – 20-22
Boker USA – 20-22
Buck – 13-16
Camillus – 23
Case – 19-22
Cold Steel – 23-25
Columbia River (CRKT) – 17-22.5(depending on designer)
KA-BAR – Listed on their website on a per knife basis, but generally 15 degrees per side
Kershaw – 20-22
Knives of Alaska – 18-20
Outdoor Edge – 20
SOG – 22 for flat grinds; 18-20 for hollow grinds
Spyderco – 20
Winchester – Suggest using Smith’s recommended angle for knife type

Fillet Knives:

All Brands – 15-16

Tactical Knives:

Al Mar – 20
Benchmade – 18-20
Blade-Tech – 20-22
Boker USA – 20-22
Buck – 13-16
Camillus – 23
Case – 19-22
Cold Steel – 23-25
Columbia River (CRKT) – 17-22.5(depending on designer)
KA-BAR – Listed on their website on a per knife basis, but generally 15 degrees per side
Kershaw – 20-22
Mil-Tac – Generally 25 for Folders and 30 for Fixed Blades
SOG – 22 for flat grinds; 18-20 for hollow grinds
Spyderco – 20
Surefire – 28

Custom Knives:

A.G. Russell – 15
Chris Reeves – 18-20
William Henry – 17-22

Common Sharpening Angles (degrees per side): 

Pocket Knives – 20
Hunting Knives – 22
Euro/American Kitchen Knives – 20
Asian Edge Kitchen Knives – 16
Fillet Knives – 16
Tactical Knives – 23
Custom Knives – Varies by Designer


Sharpening Abrasives

Types of sharpening abrasive materials include Diamond, Carbides, Ceramics, Arkansas Stones, and Synthetics. Each have their own unique characteristics and sharpening capabilities.

Diamonds: Because diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, diamond abrasive sharpeners are fast, durable, and very effective. They are very aggressive and remove metal quickly. Premium diamond sharpening surfaces are characterized by a (interrupted) surface that collects and hold the metal filings that ordinarily build-up. This allows sharpening with or without honing solution. Excellent for use on very hard tools or stainless steel. Diamond stones always remain flat, as opposed to Natural Arkansas and Synthetic stones which wear down with use. They come in multiple grits.

Carbides: very aggressive; removes metal quickly; great for quickly restoring a good working edge in 3 or 4 strokes.

Ceramics: removes very little metal; excellent for finishing and maintaining a sharp edge. Can come in different grits, colors, or shapes.

Arkansas Stones: Arkansas stones are genuine silica “novaculite,” indigenous to Arkansas. They remove the least amount of metal while polishing your edge to razor sharpness; No other sharpener can perform both these tasks simultaneously. They are the best abrasive for honing and polishing an edge to razor sharpness and are known as “the world’s finest finishing stone.”

Synthetic: man-made stone; great for quick edge setting as well as final finishing. They also come in multiple grits, colors, or shapes.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Water Purification Using Chemical Treatments


Water purification tablets are a great back up form of water treatment. They are excellent Bug Out Bags and survival kits because they are light weight and inexpensive. Water purification tablets are also great to store in your vehicle or your bug out location to disinfect water on demand.  If the water supply I am drawing from is extremely shady I combine both a filter and the tablets to ensure my safety. Also, be aware that water purification tablets have a shelf life. Check the expiration dates on your tablets and replace any that are expired.

Water purification can come in tablet or droplet form. The tablet form is better because it is a lighter weight that droplets and easy to use when in a stressful situation.

Two water born pathogens that commonly found in untreated water- Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Cryptosporidium is a genus of apicomplexan protozoans that can cause gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea in humans. According to the CDC it is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. In a disaster situation where government maintained services are effected, it is highly likely that this protozoa parasite will find its way into our water supply.

Giardia attached to the wall of the small intestines. Giardia is also an infectious protozoa and it is a big deal in emergency preparedness because it can have such a dramatic effect on your health. The symptoms of Giardia, may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea. 

The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment in about 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and sometimes the infection is more severe requiring immediate medical attention. 

There are three main types of water purification tablets on the market (Chlorine (NaDCC), Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide) . Not all are equal as each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Choose the purification tablet that works the best with your situation and location.



Chlorine Dioxide Tablets (Potable Aqua, Katadyn and Aquamira Brands). Even though the word “chlorine” is in the name, chlorine dioxide is neither iodine nor chlorine. It uses a highly active form of oxygen to purify water so it leaves absolutely zero taste. As a nice bonus the action of chlorine dioxide causes a lot of sediment to drop out of suspension (fall to the bottom) leaving the container of water more clear and further improving flavor. Chlorine dioxide tablets are a good choice for those allergic to iodine, with thyroid problems, or on lithium. Always follow product usage instructions.

Chlorine NaDCC Tablets (Potable Aqua, Oasis Plus, Aquatabsand Rothco’s Military “Chlor-Floc“ Brands). NaDCC, also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or sodium troclosene, is a form of chlorine used for disinfection. NaDCC tablets are different and improved over the older chlorine based (halazone) tablets. When added to water, NaDCC releases hydrochloric acid which reacts through oxidization with microorganisms and kills them. Many tablets advertise no chlorine after taste. Unopened NaDCC tablets have a shelf life of 3-5 years, if opened they should be discarded after 3 months. Always follow product usage instructions. 

Iodine Tablets (Potable Aqua,Coleman, and Coghlans brands). Iodine Tablets use iodine to purify contaminated water. Most iodine purification tablets tend to leave a funny taste to the water and some discoloration, however vitamin C or ascorbic acid can be added after the treatment time to improve the taste and remove the color. This often comes in the form of two bottles with two separate tablets. Iodine water treatment has been proven to be somewhat effective against Giardia and not effective against Crytosporidium.  Always follow product usage instructions. 

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie