Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gear Review: The Fallkniven S1 Pro Survival Knife. The Ultimate Goldilocks Blade!


The quest for a Goldilocks Knife, or one that’s just right, is less a journey and more of a marriage. To trust one’s fate to one single blade especially for survival situations, there must be a commitment to making the best of the situation regardless of the challenges. Thick and thin, sickness and health, and all that.




In additional to personal preferences, there is a small handful of knife characteristics that can be adjusted by blade makers including those addressing the grip such as size, thickness, materials, guard options, and shape. And for the blade there is steel type, length, thickness, grind, shape, and overall size. Of those eleven characteristics, even if each one only had two options, that would be 2 to the 11th or over 2000 combinations. But of course each option has many more than two possibilities, with some nearing an infinite number of choices.




Goldilocks might be a fairy tale, but the Fallkniven S1 Pro Survival Knife is very real and very sharp. Even in its own lineup of Pro Knives, it right down the middle. Not too much. Not too little. Flanking the S1 are the larger A1 Pro and the smaller F1 Pro. With the A1 being noted for its large size and the F1 a designed for smaller cockpit carry, something in between should be just about right. But “just about” is not enough to be “right” when looking for the perfect knife.




Looking at the features of the Fallkniven S1 Pro, it is clear that while this particular knife is smaller in some aspects, but no less potent. For instance, the blade thickness of the S1 is an amazing six millimeters or just shy of a quarter inch. And that’s on a blade only 5.1 inches long.



Speaking of the blade on the Fallkniven S1 Pro, it’s a cobalt steel convex edged masterpiece. The steel is amazing from both the standpoint of overall sharpness and durability. In the never ending search for the perfect steel, blade steel makers have been dabbling at the atomic level with chemistry, crystal structure and the optimum blend of edge shape and cutting performance. The best steel can be neutered by a poor choice of grind, and a marginal steel can be given superpowers with the right shape and grind. But ultimately, one wants the the best of all worlds; the best steel with the best grind, and the best performance characteristics. And it seems the Fallkniven S1 Pro has come as close to this Goldilocks formula as anyone ever has.



Fallkniven uses an enhanced convex grind on the Fallkniven S1 Pro as well as its other Pro blades. The convex grind is an advanced grind with no simple characteristics or ease of manufacturing which is why the convex grind is not a common option among knifemakers. The convex grind is a graceful arc from blade side to blade edge. Most designs transition the blade from flat side tapering linearly to a point where a sharper angle dives towards the absolute edge. It’s an effective strategy for 99% of the uses, but what about the 1% that really matter when it matters? That’s where the convex edge shines.


The heavy blade chops like a dream. A small dream, but a dream nonetheless. And the S1 Pro can slice all day long without a sharpener in sight. But when a touchup is needed, the S1 Pro kit comes with the famous Fallkniven DC4 diamond/ceramic sharpening stone.



The Pro Survival Knife line of Fallkniven provides three exceptional choices, the A1 Pro, S1 Pro, and F1 Pro. All three have their advantages, and no single choice is a wrong one. But given your intended uses, strength, and capabilities. Having used many survival knives for many purposes, truly, if you want a perfect sized survival knife, the Fallkniven S1 Pro as close to perfect as perfect can get.





Friday, May 12, 2017

The BOBOB: A Survival Book Bunker


Be honest, you probably own somewhere between a handful and a shelf-full of various survival and prepping oriented books. And you have the intention of reading them, but know that you probably won’t unless you absolutely have to.
My personal survival oriented book collection occupies about eleven linear feet of shelf space, and while the books address many topics they fit into about a half dozen specific genres. There are the military survival manuals, the medical and first aid tomes, those pages that address wilderness lore and primitive skills, general prepping, hunting, tracking, gardening, game preparation and food storage, a few odd tangents, and plenty of survival stories. So how to take my library on the run?




First, the bunker. I chose the Pelican Storm Case iM2400 waterproof polycarbonate container. If the end is more of a whimper, then this case is overkill. But if it's more of the bang I suspect it will, then this Pelican is just the bird for the Storm. The size is about the same as a small suitcase, and was chosen to provide some focus to the bunker, but not to limit this to a Top Ten List. Additionally, weight and size need to play a role in your decision making. If I Bug In, I have all my books, magazines, manuals, and pretty much everything else in my prepping world. But if I have head to my BOL (Bug Out Location) then I need a single, durable, waterproof package that just might contain my entire Library of Alexandria.


Like many with a survivalist/prepper bend, I tend to accumulate books about all aspects of survival from pet first aid, to boobytraps, to gardening within a square foot, to firearm repair. But as my library increased in weight, I decided what I really needed is a Bug Out Bag Of Books or BOBOB. Or another name I use is my Survival Book Bunker or SBB. In other words, a consolidation of reading material chosen specifically for when one must take the survival literature show on the road. Bug Out Books are not about Bug Out Bags (that ship has sailed), but instead the necessary skills that might be needed in the future to survive and thrive post Bug Out.


Lately, however, I have admitted to myself that I won’t be reading many of these books cover to cover but rather just referring to them or studying their table of contents so I know the gist of the book. And instead putting the books back on the shelf, I have decided to build a portable bunker for them when when I have to throw the Survival Book Bunker (SBB) in the back of the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) when I head to my Bug Out Location (BOL) with my Bug Out Bag (BOB).


The books I’ve selected are not in stone. They are just the best representatives of the different categories or genres of books that I think will be mission critical in a true Bug Out situation. And the book categories include:
1. Advanced strategic survival techniques: These books are the military survival books that address situations across all terrains, weather, and adversaries. They often lean towards the escape/evasion/short and long term survival from a non-apocalyptical point of view. But no matter the perspective, they are the broad-spectrum unformation antibiotic for survival. If you don’t have these books, you might not need the rest of the books in the bunker.



2. First Aid and Emergency Care: This category of books should need no introduction. But what it does need is a variation of complexity. For some who might use this Book Bunker, basic first aid might be a new skill. Others however, might be advanced and need guidance in surgical techniques for removing bullets and suturing wounds and cauterizing arteries. And not just for humans. Animal care might be part of your kit. I know Pet Vetting is part of mine.





3. Primitive skills and Woodlore: Books in this pile are geared towards self-reliance and off-grid life. They include topics about solid shelters, cooking, toolmaking, and pretty much anything else you might need for long-term life in the woods. There are plenty of sub-genres in this category including hunting and gathering, long-term food storage, long-term shelter building, tanning hides, making cordage, and literally basket weaving. On a side note, my particular copy of “Wilderness Living and Survival Skills” is autographed and signed by both authors. I’m not sure it will improve my chances, but everytime I see the signatures I will know I am not alone in the survival world.




4.. Gardening and Food Preservation: Maybe 50 or 100 years ago, a basic understanding that everyone would have is how to preserve game, salt meat, and can fruit. Not that those skills are difficult, but rather just illusive in today’s technofied world. But luckily they can be regained rather quickly with a few minutes of reading, and a few hours of doing. Gardening? Well that is another matter entirely. Gardening, like marksmanship, is a skill gained through practice and experience that is also perishable. But when it comes to food production, the stakes are a little higher to getting it right the first time.



5. X-Factor books: There is room for a few in my Survival Book Bunker for a couple tomes about boobytraps, parameter security, and a few other unmentionable topics that might provide a level of security and survival advantage beyond the suggestions in mainstream literature. And I’ll just leave it at that for now.


MIA
A few topics are missing from my Book Bunker. I might add them later, but for now I will leave them as just concerns on the horizon. And here they are:


Farming and Ranching: Frankly, I would find it more likely that I would stumble across a library of books on animal husbandry than I would find a herd of cattle in need of an owner.


Blacksmithing: A couple of hundred years ago i would have worried about making my own ironworks including blades. But today I am going to reserve my Book Bunker  space for dead-on needs over imagined scarcity. In fact, for blacksmithing I would need much more gear in my BOB than just a book on how to forge metal like a hammer, anvil, bellows, and shop.


Drug chemistry: While it would be nice to grab a handful of whatever is around and formulate some broad-spectrum antibiotics, in reality the chance of cooking up some perfect drugs for your needs is pretty slim. In the end, I will leave my chemistry needs to medicinal plant guides and chicken soup for colds.



Survival Stories etc.: There is an entire shelf of books that no longer have immediate relevance because, as I noted above, “That Ship Has Sailed!” These books including general preparing, how to Bug Out, what to consider with your Bug Out Vehicle, where you should put your Bug Out Location, and what you should cache in your BOL. Also of lesser consequence are lists of supplies, and the endless pile of survival stories (although there is still plenty of successful data mining to do if you have the time).


In the end, if you toss in a Bible of your persuasion and a copy of the US Constitution into your Survival Book Bunker you should be good to go.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gear Review: The Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller Apocalypse Watch



In the field of survival, especially that where a significant amount of prediction is needed, it is often fun to review those pieces of kit that might beyond the esoteric. Such as a $12,000+ watch for example. So here we go. A review of what might be the world’s toughest EMP-proof watch. And a slightly out-of-reach survival item for the average prepper.


Narrowing down the possible candidates for tough watches will first eliminate all electronic movements such as those of the quartz variety. The next cutoff is easily made by chopping out all the watches that don’t suggest at least 100 meters of water resistance. But making that cut means little since the tougher watches will leave 100m in the dust when it comes to pressure testing.


The next limit will be of case material. Stainless steel is an obvious candidate, but titanium is worth considering. Those cases of carbon fiber and super-plastics are few if any when it comes to watch movements that won’t be affected by electromagnetic pulses. Plus they are quite limited in their pressure rating due to the nature of the flexible materials.




And the final easy cut is that only watches in production and are accessible will be considered. The custom makes and those of highly limited run are not of much good if you cannot ever get one.


So when considering the above limitations, a single category rises to the top: stainless steel case automatic movement dive watches. And the undisputed king of that particular category is the Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller. Of course the Rolex DSSD, as it’s nicknamed, is a massive watch, nearly half a pound in weight, 1.7 centimeters thick and a five-figure price tag.


But the good is that the Rolex Deepsea has a rather amazing depth rating. Not the 100 meters common to most sports watches, nor 200m that’s a minimum of sport diving watches. And not the 1000m of the famous Rolex Submariner. Instead the Rolex Deepsea will survive just fine at at 3900m or 12,800 feet!


Sure the Hublot Oceanographic 4000 was the first watch to break the 4k meter pressure barrier, but its limited run of 1000 titanium pieces and 500 carbon fiber ones keeps it off our list since you can’t walk into a store and buy one. Plus, a little known fact about the Rolex Deepsea is that it actually passed pressure testing of 4,875m or almost 16,000 feet in order to meet the ISO 6425 Divers’ Watches Standard the design must account for a 25% margin of error. This fact launched Rolex back into the top spot of production watches’ depth rating.

But of course when it comes to one-offs, Rolex does have the world record for watch depth with its Rolex Deepsea Challenge and a successful depth of 35,787 feet. If you were able to wear such a watch, you could count on it surviving the weight of 10 SUVs driving over your wrist at the same time. So like all these exercises in mechanical toughness during survival situations, there won’t be a human around to witness it if the watch does fail.

You call that a watch? This is a watch!
Arguments abound on the internet as to whether or not a dive watch is the category of toughest watch. Some argue that a lightweight watch has better survival fitness due to it’s more nimble low mass and thinness. But that line of reasoning is from the perspective of avoiding conflicts, not running headfirst into them. The Rolex Deepsea is for when you cannot hide, cannot run, cannot avoid the dark side of survival.


Clamping a half-pound watch to your wrist is not something for those lacking confidence or a small wrist for that matter. The Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller is absolutely massive by watch standards. Well, almost. It is actually smaller than my first two Garmin GPS watches but not my third. And the Rolex Deepsea is smaller in diameter than my Suunto compass/altimeter watches, but the Rolex is at least three times the Suunto weight.


It’s Complicated
Each feature of a watch beyond hours and minutes is an additional complication. Add a date, add a complication. Chronographs add another complication as do alarms, months, moon phases, etc. The most complicated wristwatch has 33 complications so needless to say, its chance of surviving a rough ride is exactly zero. The Rolex Deepsea has one complication beyond time...the date. Why this is important is due the fact that the more complications, the more chance of failure. As systems interact, a lesser system could take down a major system. And as more complications get stuffed into the same small watch housing, well, it gets so complicated in there that the chance of failure is exponentially greater than the regular mind boggling mechanical complications of a lightly featured Rolex. If the point of wearing a watch is to know the time, then you certainly don’t want a 1000 year calendar complication to take down your hourly notation.


Keeping it Simple
By adding a trendy three-dial chronograph on a watch, at least three more complications were added that are three more pathways for failure. Well, actually there are way now way more than three since the complications interact and each interaction is also a point of failure that could take down the whole watch.


The Rolex Deepsea has a uni-directional bezel that can note a specific position on the minute hand for an old-school way of locking in a starting time. And that bezel is a special ceramic material that is harder to scratch than a losing lottery ticket. But all those amazing advances in watch technology along with the never-compromising Rolex name also means I have a potential high-value bartering asset on my wrist at all times.

The Rolex Deepsea is not the lightest, thinnest nor cheapest mechanical analog watch on the planet, but it is certainly one of the toughest. In fact, wearing half a pound of Rolex on my wrist is something I had to get used to, it is nothing I would ever change. So when time no longer matters, Rolex is there for you. And it will be there when time matters again. Something to think about. Right?


Gear Review: ONX HUNT Maps for the GPS Bug Out


T = 0



It’s really happened.


There’s no more question. Bugout time is here.


Plan A is already a non-starter, so Plan B is put in gear with your bugout vehicle locked and loaded.


After a tense nine hours of evasive driving, you blast through the last open highway lane as you watch impromptu roadblocks take shape.


Night is falling along with the rain. Cold, scared, confused, hungry, you and your family have to get to a safe place and dig-in long enough to plan your next move. And the last thing you want is to get in a gunfight over where you’re parked.


Since your Plan B was more conceptual than detailed, you are at a substantial tactical disadvantage compared to anyone familiar with the area you now find yourself. Communication is down so you cannot call your second cousin in Montana, or your wife’s sister-in-law in Wyoming, or your neighbor’s parents in Idaho. You are going to have to solo on this one.



What you need now more than water, food or shelter is information. You need a magic solution that will tell you where you are, what public roads are nearby, and most importantly, who owns the land; every single piece of land. And it turns out that just such a magical solution is available in a tiny chip you drop into your GPS, whether on your car dashboard or handheld receiver. It’s called Hunt by onXmaps.





You Are Here.
In our bugout scenario, this is where you fire up your GPS and instantly your screen blinks to life with color-coded land ownership blocks clearly identifying down to a couple meters what is private, what is state, and what is federal land. You can clearly see where the water is located, what campgrounds are nearby (to avoid them), and possibly the most important bit of survival trivia, the exact name of the person or organization that owns the land. Don’t underestimate that final piece of intel!


Through the beating windshield wipers, you see the turnoff you’ve been praying for. Your GPS shows the road snakes through the trees to a dead end that would be a perfect camping spot in happier times. But right now your main concern is who owns the land. A mistake now could be deadly because everyone is a little loose with the trigger when scared and confused. And nothing brings on fear and confusion like S hitting TF.



Luckily, it happens that you have as much right to use this land as any other American so the race is on to see who gets there first.


You dim the lights and make the turn. Grinding up the muddy track, you see no sign of man. Your spirits lift as you take the spur deeper into the pine trees. Moments later you hit the end of the road, and you are alone. Killing the engine, the first time 10 hours, you listen to the rain dance on the roof of your rig. Instead of worrying about where you are, you can now concern yourself with fortification because Hunt by onXmaps has given you the green light to dig in.



In reality your GPS clearly shows you smack-dab in the middle of a bright yellow finger of BLM land flanked by white private land a quarter mile to the south, and green Forest Service land a mile to the north. The nearby creek is the boundary line separating your new home (yellow) from the private land (white) meaning you can safely access the water (blue), and the BLM land is fertile hunting ground all the way to the mountains to the west.



Hunt by onXmaps
A hundred bucks. Let’s get that out of the way right now. A state-specific premium map chip costs $100. That’s not chump change, but in the big picture it’s less than two tanks of gas in your BOV. Maybe less than one if your BOV is “not quite” stock.


Most states are covered by Hunt by onXmaps, and with few exceptions a simple highway map will get you to to a state worth bugging out to (with the exception of Maine which desperately needs its own onXmaps map). However, the featureset of Hunt by onXmaps is much deeper than just land ownership.




At Your Fingertips!
GPS receivers, even the newer touchscreen ones, are nowhere near as responsive let alone as large as an iPad. For the tablet and smartphone crowd, onXmaps is available for Android and iOS touchscreens through a combination of free App and purchased membership code. For the same $99, a statewide premium account will light up a mind boggling rich amount of information that reacts instantly to taps, touches, pinches and swipes.



The tablet will need a wireless connection (cell or 802.11x) to load the information from the onXmaps servers, but if you have any idea where you are going you can cache information in the onboard offline in-App library. However, caching dense layers of information can take up a rather large amount of memory so screenshots are another quick and lighter option. You can even email screenshots within the App for quick communication. Even more, you can literally trace out a route using the line markup tool and in two clicks, fire off the map with highlighted route via email to anyone anywhere.



The touchscreen version has many layers that can be added and subtracted with a tap. The user can touch between satellite imagery, road and transportation lines, property boundaries, hunting districts, walk-in areas, and a dozen other metadata overlays.


Let’s be frank:
Knowing the name of the landowner can make all the difference if you are cornered. Politely calling names into the headlights cornering you will change the dynamics of the situation. Or knowing that that your bugout neighbor is on state or federal land, not their own land as they might tell you. Or realizing that there is public access to a water supply in one direction but not the other. In fact this information is so critical that even locals use Hunt by onXmaps when chasing game, fishing, driving around the backcountry, and recreating in general. Even some police forces apply the magic of onXmaps when planning raids in residential areas.



Tough Love Montana Style
Let me tell you something. As a card-carrying landowner in rural Montana, I cannot count the number of times some SUV, pickup or ORV “stumbles” into my territory claiming to be “just driving around” when in reality their intentions are somewhere between clueless and criminal; usually leaning towards the latter. Let’s clear up some things, “No Trespassing” “No Hunting” and “Private Drive” can also be easily translated into I do have certain rights ordained by God, the US Constitution, and Montana State Law that are in my favor should I feel threatened. And SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, or whatever string of capital letter you want to use is “just cause” for feeling threatened thus clearing the landowner to act appropriately. Just because my driveway is a quarter-mile of unimproved dirt road does not mean you are welcome to explore it at your leisure. Normally we give the trespasser the benefit of the doubt, but when WROL is the law of the land, expect an apology for my actions, not permission.




Bugout Wisdom
Weighing less than half-a-gram, the Hunt by onXmaps microSD card is easily the most powerful survival accessory by weight and size. While it’s true you cannot eat it, drink it, or shoot with it, the gigabytes of information on the chip may provide you a longer life than a whole case of MREs. Don’t bugout without one!
















Bug Out Bullet Bottles




Having a stockpile of ammo might provide comfort when bugging in, but what about when you have to bugout? As you plan your survival options, make sure to include portable but long-term ammo storage solutions. There are about as many ways to store and carry ammo as there are survival calibers, but in the end three truths emerge: the ammo must be kept dry, clean, and quickly identified. Other than that, the way you do it is up to you.


Military surplus ammo cans are a popular storage choice, but the weight of a full metal ammo can is a significant drawback when going mobile. And worse, the handles on the lightweight plastic ammo cans are notorious for breaking off just when you need them the most. Another popular solution is to pour the ammo into clear, sealable plastic bags. That solution scores the highest on light weight and identification, but turns in the lowest possible scores for durability.



Some ammo manufacturers are selling ammo sealed up like a can of beans. For example Fiocchi makes a sealed “Canned Heat” of 100 rounds of 9mm, and Federal makes a "Fresh Fire Pack" sealed can of 325 .22 long rifles. The cans are purged of atmospheric air and filled with nitrogen preventing oxygen corrosion on bullets and primers, and both cans have key-open lids that rip off like a sardine can.



The factory sealed ammo cans are an excellent solution for a very narrow problem. But since the can is not hermetically resealable, the S really has to HTF before you want to break the seal. A better solution and one without the single-use disadvantage is as close as a water bottle. A wide-mouth Nalgene lexan water bottle to be exact.


The Bottle Basics
I was searching for a survival ammo storage solution that was durable, inexpensive, modular, lightweight, had visible contents, and provided unlimited shelf life. My choice was Nalgene lexan water bottles with large mouths. The two main sizes are 16 ounces and 32 ounces. After working with the bottles for a while, the advantages racked up beyond many other traditional ammo storage options.


Using plastic bottles to store ammo is nothing new, but in most other cases the bottle was the convenient novelty and not actually a well thought out component in the system. As evidence of the lack of foresight with other bottles, I offer the five-second rule. In five seconds or less, Can you empty the bottle of all .22 or pistol ammo. Soda bottle solutions are about as functional as a piggy bank. The fastest way to empty them is to slice them open with a knife. Not quite ideal in my book.



The Nalgene lexan bottles are extremely durable, transparent, impervious to temperature change, puncture resistant, reasonably heat resistant, watertight, and cheap. Further, they hold enough ammo to make a difference, but not so much as to be too heavy, bulky or fragile. And in my mildly scientific tests, I can empty a 16-ounce wide mouth bottle filled with .22 shells in four seconds.


A brand name bottle is important. No-name plastic bottles can contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds that are common in Chinese made plastics of undisclosed material. The off-gassing inside a sealed plastic container can react with the contents so care is needed when selecting long term storage containers. Lab-grade Lexan is fairly inert, but ironically the reason I have these bottles available for ammo storage is because they were rotated out of our drinking water bottle collection due to the possibility of BPA (Bisphenol-A) chemicals leaching into the water from the particular polycarbonate plastic used at that time. As people convert their water bottles and other food storage containers to glass, stainless steel, polypropylene, and BPA-free polycarbonate, the older Lexan bottles are often donated to places like Goodwill so there should be a cheap source of such ammo storage at your local thrift shop. Since the airtight seal of the lid is critical, shop carefully, and don’t forget that new bottles are still inexpensive.



Dry = Bang
To keep the ammo dry, a highly efficient desiccant such as silica gel is the best option. Although the small “Do not eat” packets that are so common in about everything purchased these days are a better-than-nothing choice, the even better choice is to use quality bulk silica gel, especially with color indicators of viability. I buy silica gel by the pound from Carolina.com, a scientific supply company, but there are other quality sources including craft shops, auto parts stores, and of course Amazon.com with products such as the one quart bottle of ATD Tools replacement desiccant.




The reason I suggest avoiding the free packets is there is no standard for purity or even evidence that they are real. If you are going to count on your ammo in the future, don’t save a buck or two on the most important element in survival ammo preservation. A popular emergency desiccant can be found in dry “Minute Rice,” but save that option emergencies. You need something you can count on for many years, not just a quick solution designed to prevent further damage to your iPhone after it took a swim in the toilet.


Rather than just dumping a tablespoon of silica gel into the bottle, the bulk silica gel should be kept contained in something so you can preserve it. A simple solution is to put the gel into a small zip-closure bag and then poke a few dozen holes into the bag with a pin or small nail. Another idea is to repurpose those small drawstring bags that seem to come with a lot of other gear. For the larger bottles, I like to use the small cloth drawstring bags that companies like Benchmade include with their folding knives. I also recommend putting the silica gel at the top (lid side) of the bottle because that allows easy checking of the color indicators and oven-refreshing of the gel every so often without dumping the bottle.




I don’t have a firm rule for the amount of silica gel to include, but more is always better than less. You cannot make it too dry in the bottle, but you can err on the other side. For larger projects, you can use a silica gel calculator such as this one:
But my suggestion is about a heaping teaspoon of quality fresh silica gel for each 16 ounces of volume under normal conditions. If you are going to bury your bottle or live in a humid climate, double the recommendation at the minimum. Also, plan on refreshing the gel after the first week just because there was likely more humidity included in the bottle when first sealed. Quickly swap out the week-old gel for new gel and you should be good to go for long term storage.


There are many recommendations for refreshing silica gel but most suggest oven-heating the gel to at least 200 degrees F minimum and 250 degrees F max for between two and eight hours. I’ve found that my color coded silica gel is ready to go again using the minimum time and temp, but I live in a low humidity area.



Keeping ammo free from exposure to moisture is especially critical with rimfire shells because the case crimping around the bullet is rarely very tight. In fact many .22 bullets spin freely around in their case. This is in stark contrast to excessively crimped and more moisture resistant military cartridges.


Bangs per Ounce
A 16-ounce lexan Nalgene bottle will easily hold 425 rounds of .22 long rifle with just enough room for the silica gel and a note with the date, specific ammo brand and type, and manufacturer's lot number. I usually just include the portion of the original box with the lot number and add the date and other necessary additional information. When filled with .22 shells, the bottle weighs about three-and-a-quarter pounds or 1.5kg, which is a highly portable and useful size for many survival and bugout situations.


If you mix brands or types of ammo in the bottle, but want to keep the lot numbers, just make sure you combine different brands where you can easily pair any particular cartridge with the obvious lot number. However in a true SHTF situation, the lot number will be little more than a bit of nostalgia from a better time.



On the 9mm side, the 16oz bottle will hold about 150 rounds with barely enough room for some silica gel. A packed pint bottle of 9mm weighs just under four pounds or 1.8kg. Obviously you could easily double these numbers by using 32 oz or one-liter bottles.  Although the weight of quart of ammo is significant, the larger mouthed one liter bottle do allow an extra mag to occupy some of the space if needed. I cannot speak for all guns, but both a Ruger 10/22 rotary mag and a Glock 9mm mag easily fit through the mouth of a 32-ounce Nalgene. In fact, the bottle will even hold one 25-round Ruger 10/22 mag if you want to really lower the density and thus weight of your quart of .22 shells. However, the 33 round Glock mag is too long to fit in the same bottle.


While we tend to err on the side of larger, don’t forget the small. A one ounce (30ml) bottle will hold a dozen .380 cartridges with enough room left over for a piece of gauze full of silica gel balls. A standard magazine for popular .380 including the Ruger LCP and the Glock 42 holds six rounds. The tiny one ounce bottle, therefore, holds two full mags of bangs. And remember, you can always carry more than one small Bugout Bullet Bottle, but if you only have large bottles, you might elect to walk away from your bottle out of convenience. Small bottles can be carried as second nature.


Survival Deviations
Other non-ammo additions to the bottle include cleaning supplies, a few survival tools (knife, fire starter, paracord, etc.), fishing gear, or just about anything else that fits both your survival paradigm and through the mouth of the bottle.



You can get about 75 rounds of .223 into the 16 oz bottle, but it took me 15 seconds to empty it.  Due to the shape of the .223 shells, the packing density remains low so the bottle only weighed 2.16 pounds, or about one kilogram when filled to the brim with .223 cartridges.


In addition to .223 ammo, you could toss in a bore snake and perhaps an AR-15 small parts kit. But if you get carried away, then the bottle loses its function as a long-term ammo mule.


The bugout ammo bottle is insurance that is too cheap to pass up. An added advantage is that there are many pouches, cases, and accessories designed to fit, hold, carry, insulate, and supplement standard sized water bottles, of which all of them will increase the functionality of the bugout ammo bottle. And even if you do shoot up all your ammo, you still have a water bottle.