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Ways To Signal For Help When Lost

Your perfect day out in the backcountry was filled with beautiful landscape views, a couple of critter sightings, and a picture-perfect little lunch spot overlooking the valley below. Things were gearing up to be a day for the books. As you start to make your descent down the mountain to the safety of your car, you find yourself at a fork in the trail you don’t quite remember being there before. Was it a left or a right turn? The long day of hiking has you confused and unsure. You strike on and as the sun slips lower and lower in the sky, you start to cast some doubt on your choice. Everything looks different. You realize it is inevitable that you’re going to be stuck here overnight. It’s time to stop thinking about how to get down but instead how you’re going to be able to get the help you need to do it. Your phone is alive but completely out of range of service, so beyond having some games on it to keep you preoccupied it’s essentially useless. But luckily, you did bring along a couple of pieces of outdoor gear in case of an emergency just like this. You reach for your flashlight and signal out to the sky the universal signal for distress, SOS. Thankfully, there is a group of nearby rangers that see your light flashing through the forest trees and are able to get you to safety. 

While getting out and exploring the great outdoors is one of the best things to do, it also comes with some inherent risks. Getting away from other people and out of reach of cell phone service can be freeing, but also leaves you without any way of contacting others for help should something unexpected happen. That’s why having a few life-saving pieces of gear on you when you explore outside the realm of cell service is a very good idea. There’s a number of ways to signal for help when lost like a whistle, a flare gun, or even something primitive like a signal mirror. However, when it comes to survival uses, there is not a piece of gear quite as versatile as a flashlight. 

How To Signal with a Flashlight

Should you possibly find yourself unceremoniously out in the wilderness passed sundown, having a flashlight to signal for help can sometimes be the difference between life and death, or at the very least the difference between sleeping in a warm bed or out on the cold forest floor.  

Knowing what SOS in morse code is and how to signal it is survival 101. To signal SOS with lighting such as a Fenix flashlight or cell phone camera light, flash the light fast three times, slowly three times, and then quickly three times. It’s important to remember that when it comes to the flashing frequency, the fast flash time does not exceed one second, and the slow flash time exceeds one second. There are some tactical flashlights that come standard with strobe functions or other features that can be used to get rescuers attention. These lights are also much stronger and have a higher lumen rating than the average store-bought flashlight, making the odds of your signal being spotted exponentially higher. 

Tactical flashlights are arguably some of the most versatile pieces of gear that you can have. You’d be lucky to have one on your person should you find yourself in a precarious situation. Tactical lights have a variety of uses: you can use one to illuminate your path, defend yourself against any not-so-friendly creatures who you might cross paths with, and most importantly, signal for help and find your way to safety. LED flashlights are relatively lightweight and compact, so they aren’t a burden to carry around. They’re also equipped with powerful, high-lumen beams that can reach distances of at least a few hundred meters, allowing you to signal for help from afar, even in the dead of night. 

Built-In SOS Modes

Lastly, most new tactical lights have built-in SOS modes. So if, for some reason, you forgot how to signal SOS (which you shouldn’t!), you can simply cycle through the modes and activate the SOS feature to send a distress signal. However, the one downside to using tactical flashlights to signal for help is that they do depend on batteries, even if they might be rechargeable. The higher the lumens used, the more power it’s going to consume, so use your flashlight wisely. It could be your one ticket out of there. When creating visual distress signals like when using a flashlight, the important thing you need to do is to create contrast. You want your distress signal to stand out against the terrain’s backdrop and be easily recognizable, even if your signals are stationary or if your potential rescuers are a long way off. 

To wit, if you choose to get some alone time with nature, it would behoove you to come equipped with signaling gear and the knowledge to use it effectively should you find yourself in the position to need it. Having a basic understanding of signaling and outdoor survival techniques is always a good idea. While you can not be prepared for every situation that may arise, arming yourself with the survival know-how beforehand can help keep you and your fellow outdoor enthusiasts safe and save you from becoming a cautionary tale.

How to Make Damascus Steel: An Introduction

Learning how to make Damascus steel is a thing of beauty. It is a leap of faith if you want to school yourself to this art.
Over the years, Damascus steel has been gradually gaining popularity. We are all aware that there are different steel varieties and composites that exist today. However, the charm and attractiveness of Damascus steel simply are simply incomparable.
Damascus steel itself features the combination of different mottling and bands. It can be patterned and molded in a variety of shape and length. It can also offer a decorative appeal, but its strength remains to be solid. In fact, this said steel is almost virtually indestructible.
The composition of the original Damascus steel is already unknown. There are no metallurgy records or pieces of evidence that would indicate its original build.
Meanwhile, modern Damascus steel is identified through the combination of various pure metals. You can choose any metal, depending on your needs and preferences. Today, you can see craftsmen opt iron due to its innate rigidity and strength. They blend it with other metals to create those refined steel billets. 

How to Make Damascus Steel

As early as now, it is needed to be emphasized that there is no standard way in creating Damascus steel. Seasoned metalworkers will always give you the same story.

 Perhaps, the biggest reason for this is due to the fact that we are all oblivious of the original make of the Damascus steel. People can craft Damascus steel through the process that they are most familiar and comfortable with. Fortunately, this is not an obstacle that can bother you. It is just necessary to accept that we can get to our desired destination by taking different paths and practices.

 The only advice that I can give you is to find all the necessary resources about Damascus steel. Understand its composition, build, purpose, and function. Try to learn a thing or two from every craftsman that you know. Through this, you can refine your own procedure and comprehension toward making Damascus steel..

Material of Choice

Any steel and iron can be used in the creation of patterns and designs. Even a wrought iron can be welded to the composition. If you will combine wrought iron, nickel or mild steel in a standard billet, the resulting output will not be hardened. There is also a possibility that the lower and higher carbon steel won't interact with each other. This could eventually cause the blade to become unresponsive to any heat treatment.

 If you are working with a tomahawk, things will slightly turn well for you. You can accept the soft layers of the steel because you will only need to harden and sharpen the cutting edge. In my case, I choose nickel for my bars. This particular material has excellent construction and versatility.

 There are some steels that cannot work with a billet. They are quite susceptible to tearing apart while you are subjecting them to heat treatment. The reason for this is due to the existence of different alloy elements on these materials. They don't have a balance in the contraction and expansion rate. When you expose them to intense temperatures, they will just wear out.

 I do recommend that you choose the 15N20 steel and 1084 steel. Combining these two will allow you to get everything that you need for your working piece. The 1084 steel has a dark coloration, which is a perfect contrast to the naturally 15N20 steel. On other aspects, these two steel variants have similar nuances. They are great materials for making a solid blade.

 You can also opt for chainsaw chain and wire rope if you want to create awesome patterns to the steel. The wire rope can be welded easily. However, I have noted that the chainsaw chain and wire rope are still not immune from minor flaws.

Process

It is undeniable that high carbon steels can weld at low temperatures. Mild steels do not have this capacity, as far I know. Meanwhile, wrought iron should be processed to scalding hot temperatures before you can weld them. In the case of the latter, coal forging is a highly suggested step. However, if you want to create pattern-welded steel like the Damascus steel, you should go for propane forging.

 Propane forging ensures that you have total control over all the essential factors of forging such as temperature, time, and environment. When you have these things under your watch, you can forge the steel smoothly.

 The next thing that you have to know is the estimated completion time of your forging. How will you know if the Damascus steel is already done? Well, you can't tell if things are ready if you can't see your project. Therefore, it is also necessary that you can wear certain eye gears for visibility and protection. A generic welding lens can work fine.

You need to have a lot of experience so that you can determine the properties of different steels. You have to understand that the lighting condition in your workshop can affect the color that you see in the metal. In my case, I always observe the reaction of flux and appearance of the billet. If the flux is already violet and the billet's color become similar to the forge, I still wait a few minutes before I put pressure. In this way, the heat level of the billet can increase properly.

Take note that any piece will not weld correctly if the temperature is low. However, you should also know that soaking the steel at high temperatures for a long time is not good either. Thermal cycling and specialized deformations can fix the damages caused by overheating. But at the end of the day, steel with bad welds are not usable anymore.

Conclusion

Making a Damascus steel requires practice and experience. The things and steps that I elucidated here are just the fundamentals. You have to go and research deeper so that you can have a good grasp of the process. You just have to take this guide as a starting point so that you won't get lost in the course. Don't get frustrated if your first attempts are failures. After all, nobody was ever born to become an immediate expert of making Damascus steel. It is an art that requires dedication, time, and patience.

 If you have some questions and other things that you want to get clarified, feel free to drop them in the comment section below!

Gerber Strongarm Review: Get to Pick the Best Tactical Knife for Outdoor Adventurers

Gerber is a top brand when it comes to the manufacturing of top knives in the industry right now. There is no doubt that you would find more people being interested in the brand knowing that they would always get the model they like. Compared to some other tactical knives out there, the Gerber strongarm model seems to be the best in most features. It has been designed to bring back the durability and versatility when looking to get a tactical knife.

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Tips for Buying the Best EDC Knife With the Kershaw Skyline Review

There are times you just wish you had a knife to handle an application. You might need to cut something while on your duties, but it might seem impossible to have the knife with you each time. That should change when you have the best Every Day Carry (EDC) knife. This is the type of knife designed and built to be great enough to be great for carrying each day and simply deploy it when the need arises. So, which would be the best model right now to use as an EDC model? The Kershaw Skyline knife is one of the best models to work as an EDC knife.

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Learn About the Best Survival Knife with the Benchmade 940 Review

Knives come in as handy tools when it comes to various uses. You can easily use a knife for household chores and as a surviving tool while outdoors. What matters is the type of knife that you get for yourself. It is important that you get the best knife that can be used for various uses. Such a knife could be the Benchmade 940. It is one of the top knives you would get many people talking about most of the time. The reason is that the manufacturer made quite a good knife that could handle many purposes subjected to it.

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