Two of the items worked very well and will remain in my survival bag. The third item proved to be a complete fail, and has been permanently removed from the bag. I also learned a couple of important lessons from this exercise. Here are the results:
|The Laplander Folding Saw|
The Light-weight Hatchet - Having a light-weight hatchet in your bug-out bag sounds like a good idea, but in reality it proved to be a complete fail. The sharpness of the blade wasn't really an issue - it was decently sharp. Rather, the problem was that this hatchet was simply too light-weight. Without any weight behind it, you simply cannot generate enough force to really cut anything know matter how hard you swing it. Normal hatchets have a wedge head with the heavy hammer part of the hatchet directly behind the cutting edge, allowing the force of your swing to be multiplied by the weight of the hatchet. By taking away that heavy wedge in order to make the hatchet lighter, it destroys the effectiveness of the hatchet. A complete fail, and I have removed it from my survival bag.
This field test of my prepper gear points out why you should use all your prepper gear before the SHTF. It will both help you learn how to use your gear and help you determine what gear really works and what gear only sounds like a good idea. So, I am adopting a new slogan - KNOW YOUR GEAR!