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  • Fantastic Plastic: A Million Uses for a Grocery Bag

    Fantastic Plastic: A Million Uses for a Grocery bag

    Any of you with diaper-age children already know the crucial importance of keeping plastic grocery bags on hand at all times. As a dedicated bag toter, I found myself vindicated this week by no less than Backpacker Magazine, whose online slideshow, “Survive With a Plastic Bag,” has got me thinking of other uses for this ubiquitous resource.

    Backpacker’s six tips include some predictable, but still helpful waterproofing ideas, as well as some not-so-predictable ones, like using the plastic bag as a windsock or a whistle. I’m more than convinced I need a handful of these in my hiking pack and emergency kits. But just a little more digging unlocks the further utility of the plastic bag. Here’s just a sampling:

    • Survival Common Sense lists a bunch of different kinds of plastic bags—everything from Ziplocs to garbage can liners—and shows what you can do with them. I like the wallet-sized fire starter, in particular.
    • Outdoor Life’s Survivalist blog has a great little write-up on how to use a standard plastic grocery bag to collect water in the wild. Hint: it doesn’t even require digging a hole!
    • The Master Woodsman (we don’t know who he is, but we like his site) dedicates a whole article to the big, black garbage bag. His super impressive list of uses for the bag includes some shockers. On your own, you might have come up with the idea of making a shelter or lining a sleeping bag with a garbage bag. But would you have known that you can make a mattress, strong cord, or even glue out of one? Yeah, me neither.
    • In possibly the biggest mind-blower, this YouTube clip shows how to boil water in a plastic bag! I’m not going to pretend to understand why the bag doesn’t melt or ignite, but the guy in the video successfully hard-boils an egg in one over a bed of blazing coals. In a plastic bag!


    If you’re still not convinced (Really? What does it take, people?), check back on these previous posts to see still more ingenious ways to put plastic bags to use for emergency preparedness.


    Have we missed anything? What other emergency or survival uses do you have for these fantastic plastic bags?

    Photo courtesy of Backpacker Magazine Ben Fullerton

  • The World-Renowned Faces Behind CRKT Knives & Tools

    Quality, innovation, and value is what you've come to expect from Emergency Essentials, which is why we’d like to introduce you to a new line of knives and tools that share our same standards from Columbia River Knife & Tool® (CRKT).

    These are no ordinary knives and tools. CRKT® products are created by world-renowned designers who took century-old designs and brought them into the 21st century with modern technology and killer design (no pun intended).

    Tested in the field by their experts and ours, these tools make great additions to your survival gear and camping supplies. And with this Special Purchase, you’ll get all the quality you need and the value you expect from Emergency Essentials.

    Check out these select knives and tools and the CRKT® designers who made them. Or click here to shop now.

    Kangee T-Hawk designed by Ryan Johnson

    Kangee T-Hawk       Ryan Johnson

    With 27 years of experience, Ryan Johnson “has spent the last decade applying modern engineering to centuries-old tool and weapon concepts.” His work has redefined the role of tomahawks in Law Enforcement and Military applications, as well as playing a vital role in the special operations community.

    Ryan is currently president and primary designer at RMJ Tactical, LLC, and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife and three daughters. One of Ryan’s designs is the Kangee™ T-Hawk.

    To learn more about Ryan, check out CRKT’s bio.

    Lil Guppie designed by Launce Barber

    CU-K405s       Launce Barber

    Launce Barber designs new products using what he considers the most fundamental tool everybody shares—our creative minds. With a mindset like that, he continually works on improving designs with new solutions to old problems, even after the product has gone to the shelf. Launce finds it important to partner with leaders in the industry who share his same long-term vision.

    Together, he and Tom Stokes—his long-term engineering and design partner—have created a variety of products which have won numerous awards such as Best in Show (SHOT Show 2003), Most Innovative Import Design of the Year (Blade Magazine 2003), and more. Together, they are responsible for the design of the Lil Guppie.

    To learn more about Launce, check out CRKT’s bio.


    Elishewitz Tao Pen designed by Allen Elishewitz

    Elishewitz Tao Pen       Allen Elishewitz

    Allen Elishewitz’s versatile background as a martial arts expert, Recon Marine, and classical artist has led him to create innovative knife models, as well as luxurious pens and watches. This world-renowned custom knife maker’s work is collected by heads of state, royal families, members of elite Special Forces units, and other notable groups. Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work.

    He works from his studio in Canyon Lake, Texas and is the inventor of the CRKT® Anubis, Pharaoh, Montu, and Horus folders, and, of course, the Elishewitz Tao Pen.

    To learn more about Allen, check out CRKT’s bio.


    Onion Skinner & Onion Shenanigan designed by Ken Onion

    Onion SkinnerKen OnionOnion Shenanigan Tanto

    Custom knife maker Ken Onion first learned about the custom knife industry in 1989 after spending his childhood fervently collecting any knives he could find. He designed his first knife in 1991 after begging a local knife maker to teach him how—and he’s been designing ever since.

    Ken is a designer, inventor, and member of the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame. He designed CRKT®’s Onion Skinner and Onion Shenanigan.

    To learn more about Ken, check out CRKT’s bio.


    M16-14 Titanium and M21 Carson Folder designed by Kit Carson

    M16-14 TitaniumKit CarsonM21 Carson Folder

    Kit Carson has made knives for over 30 years. His background in hunting and fishing and his time spent around the world in the Army as a professional soldier have influenced his work as a knife designer. Kit concentrates his work on building solid, functional knives rather than knives that simply follow a fad.

    Kit has been a full-time knife maker since 1993 and has designed the M16-14 Titanium and the M21 Carson Folder.

    To learn more about Kit, check out CRKT’s bio.


    Ultima 5” designed by Michael and Balthazar Martinez

    Ultima 5"        Michael and Baltazar Martinez

    Michael Martinez and his father, Baltazar E. Martinez, have invented a variety of products over the years, including the redesign of the fixed blade to provide more comfort and control with the patent-pending Ultima. Michael is a former student of R.C. Gorman and specializes in large-scale bronze casting. This sculptor, martial artist, and active club boxer has spent time working privately and in corporate collections internationally, and is the president of Group Design, Inc., along with other design firms and organizations.

    For over 30 years, Baltazar worked for the defense department as a mechanical engineer on a classified nuclear system design. Together, the Martinez’ have created the Ultima 5”- Black Blade with a Veff Combo Edge.

    To learn more about Michael and Baltazar, check out CRKT’s bio.


    No matter which knife you choose to use in your adventuring, CRKT® can help make the most out of your experience.

    Which of these knives seems like the best fit for you?


  • Survival Test: Can You Bug Out with Your Bag?

    Survival Test: Can You Bug out with Your Bug Out Bag?

    A few weeks ago, I went on a hike in Southern Utah. It was a warm day, but not unbearably hot. I carried nothing but my cell phone. The hike was only about three miles, but by mile two I felt like I was going. to. die.

    It didn’t help that half of the hike was through a sand wash (I had to empty my shoes at least four times because they were too full of sand for my feet to fit!), or that the steepest hill was toward the end of the hike. Either way, it got me thinking: What if an emergency had happened unexpectedly and I’d been forced to “hike” my way to safety in those same conditions, but carrying a 20, 30, or 40-pound bug-out bag?

    I’d say I don’t want to think about it, but I have to think about it—partly because it’s my job, and partly because I really am invested in getting prepared. I hate to think that in spite of all my other preparations, skills, and gear, I’d be up a creek without a paddle simply because I’m not fit enough to hike to safety while carrying my emergency kit.

    So, I’m committing to a series of survival tests this summer: once a month I’ll do the same hike (one that’s more local) with my survival pack on my back, and I’ll see how far I can go.

    Between tests, I’ll be working to build endurance and strength so I won’t have to worry about “getting out of Dodge” if or when the time comes.

    How about you? Have you ever done a test run with your emergency pack on? Care to join me?

    If you’d like to join me for my Bug-Out Survival Tests throughout the summer, watch the blog and our other social media channels for announcements, and use the hashtag #eesurvivaltest to share your photos and experiences.


    Until next time.


    --Urban Girl

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