I am often asked for recommendations on knives, gear, books, and such. The thing you need to understand is that everybody is different. I mean, I think Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is one of the best movies ever made but there are a lot of people out there who will disagree. The knife I find works best for me and my purposes might not be the ideal solution for you.
With all that said, though, I thought I’d put together a short post here detailing my personal choices in several categories of products. If nothing else, then when people ask for my recommendation on this or that, I can just give them this link.
Knife — Folder
Folding knives are great for every day carry (EDC) and the technology has improved to such a degree in recent years that I’d put some of them up against smaller fixed blades. My current favorite is the Kershaw Thermite. The 3.5″ blade is plenty long enough for most tasks around the house and retains a razor sharp edge even after heavy use. Plus, it isn’t all that pricey at about $25.
Knife — Fixed Blade
A good quality knife is perhaps the single most important tool you can have in a survival situation. My personal favorite is the GNS made by LT Wright Knives. Here’s a link to their site. You can read my full review of the GNS here. It isn’t an inexpensive knife, though, at $155.00.
For the budget conscious, a great alternative is the Condor Bushlore. I’ve reviewed it at length here. You can find it here on Amazon for under $40. This really is a great knife. My son carries it and loves it.
I have three different multi-tools I use fairly regularly. My SOG Power Lock is the most robust of the three. As such, it is also the heaviest so I tend to only use it when I’m around the house.
Next is my trusty Leatherman, which I’ve had for more years than I can remember. It is one of the first models they ever made and I don’t even think they sell them anymore.
The third multi-tool is the Gerber Dime. It is a great option if you’re trying to keep things low key and trying to avoid having a ton of stuff hanging on your belt. Small enough to fit into a pocket yet with most of the traditional tools you’ll find in the larger versions.
The problem I’ve had with many small flashlights, those designed for EDC, is that they are too long and heavy. They might be called “pen lights” but they are far from being actual pen-sized. The ones that truly are small are also fairly dim. Then, I found the Streamlight ProTac 1AAA. At just four inches long and a half inch thick, this light is small enough to take just about anywhere. On High, the ProTac shoots out 70 lumens, which is incredibly bright for such a small flashlight. Amazon has it for under thirty bucks. I reviewed the ProTac 1AAA here in full.
Survival Kit — Small
Any instructor worth his or her salt will tell you that assembling your own survival kit is typically a far better option than buying a premade one. The sad fact is that there are hundreds of companies out there trying to make a quick buck by selling inferior crap and just capitalizing on the “prepper” craze. That said, there are a few companies out there doing it the right way. One of the best small sized survival kits on the market today is the Pocket Tin Survival Kit designed and sold by Survival Resources. My full review is here. As with any small kit, consider this to be only a backup, a “just in case” sort of kit.
Survival Kit — Large
If you are in the market for a full-size kit, one that is basically ready to grab and go with little in the way of customization, you can’t do much better than the Echo-Sigma Get Home Bag. My review, with a complete breakdown of the components, is here. It isn’t cheap by any stretch but you’ll not find many other kits on the market today that have this much in the way of high quality gear inside. Plus, there is plenty of room for adding your own goodies, too.
I’ll be adding more categories as the year goes on. The above covers the most common items people ask me about.