You should have a Sawyer Mini water filter in your emergency supplies.
As a life-long camping gadget freak, the Sawyer Mini may be one of the best tools I've seen yet. Weighing in at only 2oz the Mini will filter 100,000 gallons of water with only minimal maintenance. No awful to use UV lights, no crazy big pump. Just squeeze a bag of water through the filter into your waterbottle.
The base kit comes with one 16oz reusable squeeze pouch. You'll likely want to get a few larger bags, I like the 64oz for fairly easy filling in a river or lake, and also being a decent size of water to process in one quick sitting. If you have running or gravity fed water that needs filtration, you can also splice the Mini in.
The Mini has a .1 micron filter, and Sawyer claims "this filter was tested to 10 million parts of bacteria and one million parts of protozoa without a single breakthrough — the highest testing level for filtration." The water doesn't taste like chemicals. I remember a boy scout Sierra backpacking trip and iodine purification tablets galore. Gah!
For under $20 no emergency survival kit should be without one of these filters.
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System via Amazon
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Fountain pens have always been my favorite. This Huashilai reminds me an awful lot of my Parker Duofold, and writes just as nice!
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I live in a place so dark that grues are a legitimate concern. I've found no super bright flashlight better sized or more dependable than the SureFire E2D Defender. I also have not found many more expensive. Shockingly, it is worth the $185!
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Writing for MAKE:, Gareth Branwyn reviews the Fiskars ShopBoss, a sucessor, of sorts, to the multi-scissors the company shipped last year. Fiskars is the Finnish giant of bladed tools, renowned for generations for its knives and other blades. Gareth really likes the ShopBoss though he has a few reservations:
The heart of the ShopBoss is a pair of titanium nitride-coated snippers/shears. The bottom blade is serrated and the snips are made to cut through light metals, carpet, cardboard, plastic stock, etc. They made easy work of most everything I chewed into with them, even some fairly thick acrylic. They cut CD media very easily and cleanly and would be a good tool to grab when CoasterBot building. It was a joy to process a giant pile of boxes, plastic banding, and cardboard destined for the recycling center.
Surrounding the snips are a number of other useful widgets: a wire-cutting jaw, a twine/binding strap cutter, bottle opener, and a pegboard hanging loop. The ShopBoss also comes with a plastic holster that clips onto your belt. It includes a pencil holder, a tape-cutting hook, and a metal deburring file (basically a piece of plastic rod).
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