Finally got a chance to try out Benchmade's 154BK Jungle Clip Point Bowie Knifethe other day- not bad! It feathers and splits quite well for a large (9" blade) and lightweight (10.9oz) Bowie-style blade. Will post more information on this blade as Spring approaches.
A safe way to carry spare fuel in your vehicle for bushcraft adventures and backcountry emergencies
For months, I have been looking for a safe way to carry spare fuel in my vehicle for emergencies. I frequently drive deep into the mountains far away from cell phones signals and civilization, so I like to be prepared for anything.
When I looked for a solution both locally and online, my search kept coming up empty. All of the gas cans I found were not safe to use inside a vehicle except for emergency use.
Finally, my answer came one day while surfing an Off-Road 4x4 Forum. Enthusiasts there were raving about one can in particular -- TheWavian NATO-spec Jerry Can
After trying out these Wavian cans over the last couple of months, I was quite impressed and wanted to share them with RMB readers.
Wavian Jerry Cans
Made from 0.9mm pickled steel
To prevent internal rust, all of cans are lined with petrol resistant alkyd-ammonia based paint – 100% safe from flaking.
External powder coating gives anti-corrosion protection and smooth finish.
Unique wide channel breather enables ‘glug’ and splash free pouring – 20 Litre Cans will empty in only 25 seconds
Strip welding ensures handle strength
Robust Triple Handle
Special holes drilled in the handle enables pouring spouts to be attached.
Bayonet closure is completely leak proof with the can in any position
UN number approval certifies compliance with Dangerous Goods Transportation Regualtions.
Date stamp on cap – shows year/month of production.
Internationally Patented Locking Pin gives additional security against accidental opening of the can
Wavian Jerry Cans are standard issue for NATO Forces throughout Europe. They are built in the Eastern European country of Latvia, and have to pass very high standards to be certified for use.
These standards include a high pressure test, dropping the can from various heights, and being able to withstand being engulfed in flames for a 2 minutes without failure. Here is a video from Wavian showing these torture tests:
Wavian Jerry Cans come in three sizes-- 20L (5.28 Gallons), 10L (2.64 Gallons) and 5L (1.32 Gallons).
They are constructed of 0.9mm pickled steel.The can consists of two sides which are welded together in the middle to create a leakproof seam:
To prevent internal rust formation, each can is lined with a petrol resistant, alkyd-ammonia based paint. Wavian claims that this paint is 100% resistant to flaking.
All cans come standard with a large spout for use in gas powered equipment and older vehicles, as well as a small spout for filling modern vehicles.
Each can has a bracket to hold the spout when not in use:
For additional safety, all Wavian Jerry Cans come with a steel locking pin over the cap:
The 5L (1.32 Gallon) Can is great for carrying emergency fuel in smaller vehicles, or for safely storing extra White Gas for refueling Coleman Camp Stoves or liquid fuel bottles for backpacking stoves.
Aside from the Wavian can's ability to safely store fuel inside a vehicle, another great feature is that they pour much easier than any of the other post-2009 EPA fuel cans I've owned.
Anyone who's purchased these monstrosities populary known as "Obama Gas Cans" knows what I'm talking about. They are horrible!
The 2009 EPA mandated cans were supposed to be safer for the environment, but the government did such a botched job on their design that they actually spill more gas than the pre-2009 cans because they are so ridiculously hard to pour.
Not so with the Wavian Cans. For an EPA-compliant can, they pour MUCH EASIER. Not quite as a fast as a pre-2009 can (about an extra 30 seconds to empty a full can), but easy enough to make them a pleasure to use. Here is a video showing the pour rate of a Wavian EPA-spec Jerry Can versus a pre-2009 Jerry Can (starts at 2:50):
Wavian Jerry Cans are fantastic fuel cans, BUT, they have one catch -- at $79.95 for a full size can and $69.95 for the small can, they are not cheap.
The reason they are not cheap is because of the amount of military engineering and quality control that goes into them to make them safe, as well as the fact that they are made in Europe.
As pricy as Wavian Jerry Cans are, the ability to safely carry spare fuel ANYWHERE is more than worth the price in my humble opinion.
RMB NOTE: This article is an unfinished draft from 2011. It was intended to be an introduction to Fatwood/Pitchwood Tinder using 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' for its theme. I decided not to publish it and instead, went with a two part series which you can read here and here. These photos were taken inside an old mining cave high in the Rocky Mountains. The cave reminded me of the "Mines of Moria" from Tolkien's books, so I thought you might enjoy seeing the photos I took of it. Cheers, Jason
In J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent literary fantasy "The Lord of the Rings," the Elven queen Galadrielgives Frodo Baggins a star contained within a glass vial with the blessing that it be "a light in dark places when all other lights go out." To me, the real life flammable wood found in the knots and stumps of dead conifer trees known as "pitchwood" reminds me of Tolkien's Light of Eärendil. Pitchwood burns so furious and bright when ignited, it seems almost to have a magical power. Pitchwood's other magical quality is that it is completely impervious to weather. Pieces of pitchwood have been found that were completely submerged in lakes and ponds for decades, yet would still ignite immediately after being pulled from the water. In this sense, a piece of pitchwood could be like a real life "Light of Eärendil" for a hiker lost and alone deep in the wilderness.
Below: Beautifully colored pitchwood harvested from Douglas Fir Trees:
Below is a graphic illustration of how a piece of Douglas Fir pitchwood can be used to illuminate dark places. Dave and I enter an old mining cave high in the Rocky Mountains, using only a piece of burning pitchwood to light the way.
The entrance to the cave:
Did dwarves leave this mark to point the way to the Mines of Moria?
Could these sparkly rocks be the ore of the legendary Mithril?!
Searching for more clues:
Here is what our Douglas Fir pitchwood torch looked like after it burnt out. Amazingly, it burned for nearly an hour! Truly magical stuff.