Do you still remember how everyone was waiting for the apocalypse in December 2012? It didn’t happen, but there will always be those waiting for it. There are still dozens of guides on the Internet about the Apocalypse Era survival. Some advise people to buy some grains, others – to buy a weapon. Being a specialized media, which reviews fashionable electronic devices, we recommend you to buy some special "survival gadgets".
By the way, even if you do not believe in advertising chatter about the end of the world, don’t close the browser tab just yet. In fact, survival gadgets can be useful for a tourist, or a hunter, or just a regular person caught in a wildlife risk. Most likely you already have a device that simplifies the big city life, don’t you? Today you will learn about the gadgets that are designed for the comfortable existence in the wildest conditions.
Survival Emergency Kits
We’ll start this review with a small exception to the rules. The “survival emergency kits” are common on Amazon and other online marketplaces. In reality they have nothing to do with the electronics; those are just tiny kits of useful mechanical devices looking like a transformer. On the other hand, they may come really handy in a difficult situation and don’t cost much.
We’ll start with Ohuhu® 9'' Survival Paracord Bracelet (the price of which is $4.99). There is a spring hook, a tiny knife, a flint-stone for knocking out sparks, a whistle and a number of other functional things inside the 0.9 inches wide band.
The base of this band consists of 7 heavy-duty interwoven strings. The manufacturers assure that its durability is similar to that of the US military slings. You can find customer reviews of this “gadget” on the Internet, and most of the consumers praise the band’s durability and the ease of knocking out the fire with the help of the flint-stone. Now that’s quite a Rambo fitness band!
We can find a wider range of functions in the Vktech 10 In 1 Survival Emergency Kit at the price of $8.49 at a discount. We’ve got a survival transformer flashlight. It’s got a built-in compass, whistle and a small steel mirror. The flashlight is also equipped with the flint-stone lighter and a small reserve of fuel to keep the fire (let’s hope that this fuel is not explosive)! The gadget is also supplied with the manual covering the most popular salvation light signals (SOS-signal and the Alpine signals). A satisfying perk is the available belt for strapping the device to the body.
Along with Vktech and Ohuhu, a dozen other kits of this kind can be found. All of them are rather similar: some useful device is used as a foundation and is packed with some enjoyable survival features. We’re not planning to describe all of the survival kits, but we are going to give you one important piece of advice. As a rule, these kits are assembled in China, which means that paying attention to the quality of their assembly will be necessary. Be careful!
Ecological gadgets: radiation sensor and water filters
What should you do if you come across water or air pollution? Ideally, you should flee the place immediately, or invest in a box of inhalers. In case you can’t leave the pollution zone (for example when this zone is the entire planet), the following devices will come handy.
Radiation sensor (dosimeter)
Unfortunately, such gadgets become more and more relevant. The popularity of nuclear energy, the accidents across Eurasia (from small leaks to large explosions) resulted in the mass manufacturing of such devices. With their help, you can not only assess the state of the environment but also check the radiation exposure of any object.
There are two types of dosimeters: professional and personal ones. The primary benefit of professional dosimeters is that they detect the cumulative radiation exposure of a person precisely. They are more precise in general. As for the serious disadvantages, I’ll have to mention their size (regularly they are as large as a small suitcase), premium price, and complicated control.
It’s far easier to buy a personal dosimeter, which would suit most of the survival tasks.
Such dosimeters as Geiger Counter Nuclear Radiation Detector cost from $100 to $600 Check the current price.
RadSticker peel & stick, nuclear radiation exposure determining dosimeter is disposable and is the cheapest one and can be bought for just $5.50.
Personal dosimeters are also convenient since they quickly assess the excess of radiation exposure in a given location. The owner of the device will be able to quickly leave the dangerous zone upon receipt of the danger signal. By the way, there are personal dosimeters with or without the threshold level. The former register specific radiation exposure data in a given location, whilst the latter are made for noobs: they simply register the fact of violation of standards and emit a sound signal when the radiation level is elevated without giving a particular figure.
When buying a dosimeter, it is important to examine all of the certificates applicable to the device (as many counterfeit gadgets are sold on the market) and to read up at least some information about the existing radiation exposure levels. Otherwise, the figures on the dosimeter’s screen will remain mere digits rather than an indicator of severe danger to your life!
Water Bottle With Filter & Personal Water Filter
The phenomenon of urbanization has already substantially spoiled our planet’s environment and in many places natural water cannot be considered drinkable any longer. It can still be consumed, though, provided you use portable water filters. We won’t describe the simplest hand-made filters since the progress doesn’t stand still. Portable water filters Vestergaard LifeStraw and Lifesaver bottle prove this fact.
Let’s start with the most compact existing personal water Filter, Lifestraw (the price for which is $14.99 at a discount). Vestergaard, the Swiss manufacturer, made sure that the filtration is as much simplified as possible.
Creation of a personal straw-like filter was the result of the European biologists’ hard work. It looks like a cocktail straw, but it is a bit thicker. This filter was made for the countries in deserted areas with the observed deficiency of pure water as well as for the military special operations. In the end, however, the gadget has reached the mass market.
The official description of the device states: “This personal filter can purify up to 1000 liters of water originating from natural wells. Its length is 23 cm, its diameter is 2.5 cm and the weight is only 57 grams. The dimensions of LifeStraw permit its users to easily transport it in their pockets, in the backpack or hang it over the neck. The case of the product is made of robust harmless plastic materials, and the filter itself is made of hollow fiber membranes. The device is able to filter out 99.9% of bacteria and parasites including salmonella and E-coli”.
By the way, according to the Amazon customers' reviews, the filter itself comes very handy when camping, and the consumers are very satisfied… especially taking into account the price of $14.99
LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle
What does the portable filter Lifesaver bottle look like? Unlike the Swiss straw, it is also able to reserve some water. It looks like a large camping mug… Or a bottle… In general, this looks more like a flask which reminds me of a fitness bottle or something of that sort.
The filter comprises the utensil with the volume of 750 ml and a built-in cartridge filtering up to 4000 liters of water. Once the filter is exhausted, thanks to the Failsafe technology the system will be automatically blocked. The filter processes 2.5 liters of water per minute, so it is possible to reserve a strategic quantity of fresh water.
The filter’s creator, Michael Prichards, couldn’t do without the trendy nanotechnology. The size of the filter’s pores is 15 nanometers, which reliably guarantees your getting fresh drinking water. The official website of the invention claims that you may collect the liquid in a swamp or in a puddle without risking your health or having any dangerous consequences.
Cool, isn’t it? It is, of course. But the price of this filter is corresponding and is about $109.95 at a discount. Your safety is priceless though.
Portable power generators
Frankly speaking, it is not quite clear whether the household appliances or the humans depend more on the outlet in the 21st century. What would you miss the most apart from the water once you’re out in the wild? Something tells me that would just be some stable electric power.
This is a very realistic scenario, of course. That’s why we’ll tell you about a portable hydro electro plant and a small hydrogen generator!
Hydrobee personal power source
According to the manufacturer’s claims, this baby will be able to charge any smartphone. It generates the required energy from virtually any water source which has a least some kind of current.
The device consists of two parts. The first one is a cylindrical block which has 6 1.2-volt NiMH rechargeable AA batteries and a built-in USB jack. The second part is the power generator itself which can either float on the surface of a river or be towed by a boat. When the water passes through the generator, the blades spin and thus the electricity is generated. The charging time is 2-4 hours depending on the water flow.
The only “BUT” here is that Hydrobee is still only a project. Its developers weren’t able to raise the needed $50 thousand on Kickstarter and currently they are looking for new investors. The fact that this start-up receives some prestigious scientific awards from time to time gives hope, though. If the developers are lucky, you’ll be able to buy this power-bee for about a thousand bucks!
Brunton Hydrogen Reactor
Would you like to generate some energy from hydrogen? Are you scared of doing this? In reality, it’s not that difficult, Brunton Hydrogen Reactor will help you with this. The idea of having your own small power reactor is very appealing, especially since it is already available for $100.
Portable hydrogen reactor by Brunton is a 2-amp power source that does not need to be charged from a regular outlet. An independent module uses a fuel cell with hydrogen and oxygen from the atmosphere for the production of energy. When all the hydrogen in the cell is consumed, you should replace the cell with a full one and continue working. The more cells with hydrogen there are, the more electricity is being generated. What if you run out of cells? Blocks can be "recharged" by electrolysis of water. Or well ... buy some new ones.
Observers claim that one element is enough for 6-7 iPhone recharges (9000mA). It is also alleged that today this is the cheapest and lightest (in terms of weight) charging devices which you could take on a long journey. In order to understand whether you need Brunton Hydrogen Reactor, read some reviews on Amazon.
Hunting gadgets: thermal imagers and night vision devices
We are absolutely against any propaganda of weapons, but we’ll make an exception and review some gadgets for extreme tracking. After all, with their help it’s possible to track not only your potential victims, but you can also detect some real danger.
This type of “survival gadgets” has been widely used by hunters for a long while. There are so many things they use: thermal imagers, special binoculars, rangefinders… I can’t even list them all! Let’s focus on the most useful devices of the above mentioned: night vision devices.
Thermal imagers and night vision devices
We have already covered night vision devices in our article «Spy gadgets: the review of the most popular units' types». There are different types of night vision devices. Some amplify very faint visible light by means of electron-optical converters while others work in the near infrared range or thermal radiation range (which is also infrared). There are also some devices which function in the UV range, but they are quite rare as this technology is very expensive.
Night vision optical devices and the above mentioned thermal images are considered to be most in demand on the market and most useful ones.
A quality thermal imager costs much (the price may even exceed $20.000), the cheapest solution is cost about $1000. If you decide to buy a “cut-rate” thermal imager, we recommend you to pay special attention to the resolution of the thermal image, the option of saving data in simple formats, connection with Bluetooth-thermometers, Wi-Fi support and ergonomics. All of these aspects illustrate the level of the model in question.
Things are much simpler when it comes to Night Vision Monoculars. Here you can find a worthy device for the smaller price. Pulsar Recon Digital Night Vision 325 Monoculars performs such tasks as photography and shooting video, the screen has got 4 modes: black-and-white, green (which is typical for night-vision devices) , red (which results in lower eyes fatigue when observing the data) and high contrast mode.
External devices jack may serve both for the video output and input. The price of this device – $838.08 at a discount Check the current price.
Pulsar Digital Night Vision Recon 550R Riflescope is much more expensive. it costs $449.97 at a discount. It is distinguished by 5.5x zoom and increased surveillance range (up to 250 meters) which is achieved due to the high-sensitivity matrix and the processing ware of the incoming signal Sum Light. Furthermore, this is one of the most compact night vision devices ever which is available on the mass market. We strongly recommend that you read Amazon customers' reviews before buying such a premium-priced gadget.
The main characteristics of a night vision device are the quality of the lens and the viewing angle, the level of the optical zoom and the availability of interchangeable lenses. The battery life and the surveillance range are probably not even worth mentioning!
This review seems to prove that in the 21st century the gadgets may truly save lives in stressful situations. If you browse the Internet some more, you’ll be able to find at least a dozen of different devices which can’t be officially called “survival gadgets”, but are in fact such. I’m speaking about sport and medicine gadgets as well as the devices for examining the environment and even for doing some renewal jobs….
This means that the web portal Gadgets-reviews will further elaborate on this topic. Follow our updates, as once we will undoubtedly post “Survival Gadgets Part 2”. More useful gadgets are to be reviewed there, so you’d better look forward to it!