7 Must-Have Outdoor Survival Items For Everyone

Are you preparing for a trip or a hike? You always need to keep in mind the fact that sometimes you can get lost in the woods. These things happen, which is why it can be a good idea to create your own survival kit as fast as you can. It will offer you some impressive results and in the end you will be very impressed with the value here.

A tactical flashlight
Such a flashlight is the perfect item if you want to survive during night time. It can also help you if you want to reach safety during the night as well, so try to keep that in mind! Of course, this means you will need to acquire some extra batteries or at least a spare accumulator as it will help you a lot.

A good first-aid kit
You never know when you might need it. Usually, it’s a good idea to have some band aids, tape, sterile gauze and so on. You shouldn’t purchase a kit, instead try to figure out what items you might need and create your own DIY first aid kit. You will end up paying less and the value will be a lot better in the end.

A compass
You might not see this as something relevant, but with its help you can identify potential signs of life and you will also get some insight into where you should be headed.

A knife
You won’t survive in a forest without a good knife. Let’s face it, investing in a good knife should always be a priority and that’s exactly why you need to take your time and figure out which one is the best. You will certainly appreciate the use of a good knife, so try to find a suitable one as results can be amazing in the end.

Chords will be needed many times and you should consider that regardless of the situation. It might be a challenge to find the right chords, but the value will pay off immensely if you need to stay away from certain areas. Plus, it’s a solid tool for camping.

Water bottle
You can easily get dehydrated when you go in the wild. It will be very important to keep some water with you at all times. Try to get at least one water bottle with you, if not two!

Shelter building materials
Let’s face it, being stranded in the wilderness can be very challenging. This is why it can be a very good idea to take with you some high quality shelter building materials. These can offer you a great value and the experience will be an incredible one this way.

Of course, it can be hard to get all these tools with you while camping or hiking. Keep in mind that accidents can happen though, so even if they bring some extra weight, you will see that results can be worth it. So, try to use these products and the outcome can be an incredible one!

About author: FRANÇOIS DUMAINE, letsgoplayoutside.com editor-in-chief, traveler, adventurer, hiker.

Ruger LC9S Review

TL:DR-Great little micro gun if you need a deep concealment piece. I still hate micro guns.

Just to be up front I generally hate micro guns. no matter the caliber. I didn’t even want to put ammo though this one because I figured for sure I would hate every round I fired though it, just like with the R51. But surprise I actually kind of liked it for what it is. Don’t get me wrong I still dislike micro guns as a whole but if I had to carry a small gun this would be towards the top of that list. Somewhere under the G43/42.

Usually one of the things I dislike about the little guns is a total lack of usable sights. They are usually just little bumps on the slide. The LC9 has actual usable sights that function well and shoot pretty close to point of aim for me. At 10 yards I was able to hold a decent group. Even at 15 and even out at 25.5 yards (the furthest our range goes) I was able to keep all shots in the -0 zone of an IDPA target with only 3 fliers just outside of the -0 zone and those are attributed to me not the gun.

The controls are ok and easy to reach. The slide release is easy to reach and use, the safety works well going off safe but sucks going on safe while keeping a good grip on the gun. It’s pivot point is to the front of the safety as opposed to the rear making sweeping it on safe a bit stiff but coming off safe is really easy. The magazine release I found to be a PITA to use. It wasn’t easy to push and required a lot of travel to finally release the magazine. Since it’s already a nearly flush fitting magazine release that can make for an awkward mag change.

It felt ok in my hand but again not a fan of these tiny guns to start with. Better than some other small guns even ones chambered in .380 feel to me. Certainly not an ergonomic dream but better than a lot of others.

Trigger was ok even if it had a lot of travel. I did find the reset to be quite long. Basically the entire length of the trigger travel which I disliked. But this could be circumvented with some training. I am finding a lot of pistols with very long resets. Maybe my primary carry gun, a G17, has me spoiled a bit in that department as it has a pretty short reset.

Overall I still dislike micro guns and try to talk people out of them when given the opportunity. I still feel as though most people would be far better served with a larger full size or compact handgun. I carry a GLOCK 17 daily. Either openly or Concealed and have found very few instances where I needed to carry something smaller. There were times I wished I had something smaller but made the G17 work anyway. And after selling off or giving away my subcompact guns years ago I have since added a compact gun to the safe for those times when I want to dress up a little nicer and don’t want to dress around the G17 or want a bit deeper concealment for less than gun friendly environments.

But if you simply don’t want to carry a full size gun or feel as though you need something tiny to conceal on you the LC9 could get the job done well and offer some usable sights and decent handling characteristics to boot.

But I still suggest going with a larger gun 😉

This guest article was written by Joshua Downs.

Choosing The Right Reticle

leupold_vx-2_reticleIf you are on the hunt for a scope for your firearm, you will probably notice that they are all different and they all have different types of reticles too.

But what is a reticle? The reticle is an aiming point or points that you see when you look through a gun scope. It is a series of lines that you will see as you look through the eyepiece of a scope.

There are lots of different styles and shapes. Reticles are most commonly known as crosshairs and it is a very important component on a scope. It is used to measure or help in locating how far the object you are shooting is and depending on the reticle and use, can usually make is easier to hit the target.

The example is an example of a reticle that is found on the Leupold VX-2 rifle scope. This is a BDC duplex or plex scope reticle. It has two dots that represent aiming points for different distances. This is a great reticle for a long range shooting.

So how do you know which reticle to choose?

Essentially, you have to choose your reticle based on how you’re going to use your scope for your firearm or even for bow hunting. For example, if you are looking for a 30-06 scope or 308 scope for long range shooting, it can be difficult till you acquire the skill over time, till then, it’s smart to use a reticle that is specific to the gun and how you are using it to help.

Some of the things need that will make a difference and aid you in your shooting include:

  • The correct firearm
  • The correct round and load
  • The correct scope and reticle

​Sure, shooting of any range and type can be done without using an optic. Iron sights do a good job on their own for the most part, but if you need more accuracy and faster target acquisition, a scope can help you. Those that can actually hit a target 600+ yards with iron sights alone are few and far between.

For most shooters and hunters, optics have become the normal to get the job done.

Let’s take a look at some different reticles and what they’re good for, but before we do that there area couple of different types of shooting to consider

Types of Shooting

So why does each rifle optic have a different reticle? The answer is because each scope is made to be used for different circumstances. There are a couple different types of shooting types to consider and this will determine the kind of scope and reticle you should choose:

  • Hunting
  • Target Shooting


Hunting, whether its’ long range at 400+ yards or close range for varmint hunting, is much different than target shooting.

For long range shooting, for example, the reason a typical max long range hunting distance is around the 300 yard mark, whereas in target shooting, long range target could be as far as 600-1000 yards! Why such a huge difference?

A hunter must make sure that his/her shot counts because they are shooting at a live animal, a moving target that will run away as soon as it hears the shot fired. The reticle choice for a hunter is critical in a hitting a moving target.

Target acquisition is also more important when hunting. Hunters need to shoot much quicker than target shooters, since the target won’t just sit there and can potentially run away. so finding the target quickly is important for a hunter.

All of these factors help determine the type of reticle to get.

Target Shooting

Target shooting is mostly based on precision and accuracy. Target shooters base their accuracy on how close their groupings are on a target while aiming at a small target or bullseye.

Also, the time to hit the target isn’t a critical component. The target typically isn’t moving which makes it easier to shoot, so shooters sometimes try and make it more difficult by shooting at much longer distances (600-1000 yards).

At these long distances there are other things to consider, like the drop of the bullet over the longer distance.

Types of Reticles and Their Uses

Now let’s get into the various types of reticles and there uses. There are dozens of other types of reticles and variations, but these are the main ones we will go over for now.

1. Original plain crosshairs

It’s a simple reticle with two intersecting lines creates an aiming point in the center.


Mainly just target shooting in order to help with aiming. It’s ok for varmint hunting. Not the best choice for hunting in general because crosshairs are usually too fine which will makes it hard to see in low light and target acquisition.

2. Duplex or plex scope reticle

The best all-around reticles for hunting. It has heavy lines everywhere but the center to catch the eye and direct the shooter to the center.

At the center, there are finer lines that is precise enough for proper placement and aiming and don’t obscure the target from being seen. They are often called “[something] plex,” due to each manufacturer using a different name for branding.


Especially good for hunting since it’s better for quick target acquisition due to the thicker lines while still being able to get an accurate shot and not obscure the target with the finer lines.

3. MIL dot reticle

Great for long range shooting if willing to put the work in to figure it out. With enough study and practice is can be used to produce very accurate shooting. Granted, it’s not for everyone due to its complexity.

It uses dots or hash marks, spaced one MIL apart to represents distance which allows the shooter to very accurately measure how far a target is.

For serious long range shooters and snipers, it can be very useful.


Used for extremely accurate long range shooting. Not practical for most shooters in most hunting and target shooting situations, mostly used by snipers.

It’s best to practice using a MIL dot scope for target shooting first. The evolve your skill set into hunting and shooting moving objects.

4. Range finding scope reticle

These are used to estimate the range to a target. It can also be used as a normal scope.

The crosshairs have fine lines and the dots in the center are usually black and small. it’s a little bit better of a reticle than the plain crosshairs.

There are some scopes that have a built in rangefinder. These long range scopes​ with built in rangefinders mean that your attention is always on your target which provides for quick reaction as the target moves.


Shouldn’t be widely used for long range hunting due to the fine crosshairs and small black dots. It is perfect for varmint hunting however and target shooting.

5. BDC reticle

BDC stands for Bullet Drop Compensation. It’s capable of giving a true point of aim for a known distance to compensate for bullet drop.

The distance markers are usually dots, circle, or hashmarks. The markings below the reticle’s center indicate the expected impact point at a given distance, with the lower markings showing the expected impact at longer distances.

The BDC reticle can be simple and complex depending on the brand the style. They can even come with a ‘Christmas Tree’ style reticle design.


Very useful for long range target shooters and long range hunters.

6. Target Dot

The target dot is usually a small black dot in the center of the scope. It’s a very simple reticle. This type of reticle has evolved into red dot sights (which use an illuminated red dot in the center). Red dot sights are generally used for tactical purposes.


Great for target shooting and varmint hunting. Similar to a small “floating” dot.

7. German #4

It’s a crosshair reticle that has three, squared-off posts. These posts are at the bottom and both sides. It’s a complicated reticle and the heavy posts block the field of view too much.


The idea is that it is supposed to be used at night and against tangled backgrounds and shadows. It should really only be used it for target shooting.

8. German #1

Very similar to the German #4 with some differences. The lower post is extended to the middle of the field in a “picket fence post” shape and becomes the aiming point. It blocks even more of the target than the #1.


Again, it’s supposed to be used at night and against tangled backgrounds and shadows. But it is not a good design for a low light reticle. It should really only be used it for target shooting.

9. TMR reticle

TMR stands for Tactical Military Reticle. It’s a variation of the Mil Dot and uses various sized and spaced tic marks on the vertical and horizontal crosshairs.


Tactical uses and great for long range target shooting and long range hunting.

10. Special purpose reticles

It incorporates features of the fine Duplex, Post and Duplex, and rangefinding reticles plus a small center circle. It’s a very complex and distracting reticle.

Final Thoughts – Choosing The Right Reticle

Hopefully you have a pretty good idea of what type of reticle you need depending your situation. There are a lot of scopes with different reticles and every brand has their own variation.

In my opinion the best reticles are the simplest. For hunting I like the Duplex and BDC reticles. For varmint shooting I prefer a fine Duplex, and a plain crosshair.

I suggest to avoid anything fancy or complicated. For a good shot, you should not be looking at or thinking about anything else other than finding and hitting your target.

Hopefully we were able to narrow it down for you with some quick tips! Good luck!​

Gary FretwellGuest post by Gary Fretwell, rifle optic guru and big game tracker at http://www.goshootguns.com. He is a 33-year-old die hard hunter from Wyoming. He served in Iraq and is an Asset Protection Officer and a big game tracker who helps hunters like himself find big game.

Key Items For Your Bow Hunting Experience

Are you planning on embarking on a hunting spree? Whether you are planning on doing it alone or with a friend, it’s not that important. What is important is that you get the right equipment for the job. Hunting won’t be successful or meaningful without the right tools. The challenge on what to carry during the hunting spree mostly dawns on you at the very end of your preparations, so it is easy to get lost in confusion. Here is a complete list of the things you ought not to leave behind;

1. The perfect bow for the job

You will have to carry with you a bow and some arrows, and not just a bow, but the perfect bow for the job. It is recommended to go for a compound bow as it is easy to use. It is particularly ideal for a beginner. It is also advisable to get a store-bought target since the rigs are quite fast in launching the arrows. This is where a range finder for bow hunting is applicable. It will enable you to command a better aim on your target.

2. The right hunting apparel

The best time to hunt is when the deer don’t see you coming. A nice camo gear is what you need to stay in the shadows. Most deer are always in open areas; hence, you do not want to startle them upon your arrival. Make sure you have the right rubber hunting boots, the right hunting jacket / vest or base layers to keep yourself warm.

3. A knife for dressing deer

After you successfully hunt down your deer, you will need to dress it. The knife needs to be sharp. Dressing a deer is not a difficult job but most amateurs will prefer to have a butcher do it for them. Dressing and packaging the deer on your own is not a difficult task, and by having the right tool for it, you will make it all easier.

4. Your hunter’s education license

Do not forget to carry your hunter’s license certificate. Most US states will require you undertake a hunter’s education course. It is through this program that you get issued with your hunter’s certificate.

5. Always remember to carry your first aid kit

Make sure the kit has all the necessary items to handle hunting injuries, cuts or abrasions. Hunting sometimes can end up in you getting hurt, so have your first aid kit around ways.

6. Get yourself a survival kit

It is always advisable to buy a survival kit that contains some waterproof matches, a compass, fire starter, rope, some extra batteries, water purifying tablets and emergency food supplies. Hunting can end up taking longer that you expected so prepare yourself beforehand.

7. A good supply of wet wipes

Remember hunting can get a bit messy. Carrying wet wipes can help you clean up if you end up with deer blood on your person. This mostly happens when the kill takes a long time to subdue or hunters choose to go for different types of prey in one session.

8. Carry a couple of air tight zipper bags

Most hunters will opt for strongly scented and alluring hunting items; these items can have a really strong smell. Deer have a nice sense of smell; they can easily detect you and run away. Keep these items in tightly sealed airbags.

9. A nice pair of hand warmers

Your hands can easily freeze and get numb. Once your hands go numb, wielding your bow might become an issue. Be sure to carry hand warmers to avoid this.

10. Carry plenty of water

It is good always to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Carry plenty of water during your hunting spree. Ensure you have enough to last you through the entire hunting period.

11. Make sure you have enough ammo


Sometimes you might find yourself running out of arrows much sooner than you think. Make sure you carry extra pieces to sustain you all the way.

Your bow hunting excursion will depend on how prepared you are; to get the best out of it, you will have to put your best foot forward and look out for the bigger kills while at it.

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting…