Columbia River Knife & Tool Ritter RSK Mk5

CRKT Logo

Hey ya’ll blade fanatic’s,

CRKT SporkCRKT Hisshou

Move over Kershaw, Gerber, there is a new kid on the block and he is one badass SOB. Well CRKT is not too new but compared to some of the big name brands they are the wild and crazy teenager. They make all types of different knifes and tools, ranging from small 2 inch neck knife Ritter RSK that this blog will review to the 13 inch tactical sword, the Hisshou, which is a totally badass sword specifically designed for our men who operate in the shadows and need something that can kill quietly and efficiently. They also make many different incredible tools that range from you basic field utensils such as the Eat N Tool which looks like a spork on steriods, that has a fork, spoon, bottle opener, 3 hex wrenches, and a carabiner, to a multi-tool that has 10 different tools all in one.

CRKT Carabiner

Columbia River Knife & Tool or otherwise known as CRKT was found in 1994 in Tualatin Oregon by Rod Bremer to bring the end user the best quality products and most innovative tools and knives on the market at an affordable price. Personally I love CRKT’s products and plan on purchasing there products as much as possible.

CRKT RitterCRKT Ritter Box

The Ritter RSK is a little tiny thing that comes with an Altoids looking tin box to carry it in. The Ritter RSK is made out of 3Cr13 Stainless steel and its only 3.81 inches long and weighs less then an ounce with and comes with a stone wash finish to prevent corrosion, and it comes with a fitted kydex sheath that makes it the perfect for a neck knife or for a women to carry on her key chain or attached to her purse for easy access. The knife comes sharp right out of the box so be careful don’t underestimate it due to its size. CRKT open box I think it would be great for a survival kit because of its size and weight, one of the most important things when putting together a survival kit is to find items that are small and light but still a quality product that will be there when you need it the most. The ergonomic skeleton grip is perfect for a two finger grip to make fuzz sticks, gut a fish, or dress game, wrap some para-cord around it to improve the grip and give it more real estate to hold on to. In my opinion this is a great little knife, but you have to remember that this is only $20.00 and is less then 4 inches in total length. It is a small knife but a quality product that is less then an ounce.

CRKT Ritter hand CRKT Wrapped

I hope this post gives you a good idea about what you are getting when you purchase Ithis product. I have read negative reviews online with one person stating that the knife is small and doesn’t weigh anything, well duh thats what the description says. I love it when people don’t read the description and when they pay only a few dollars for a product and then get angry when they didn’t get a 7 inch fighting knife made our of 1095 Cro-Van Stainless steel with powder coated finish. Anyways thats my rant for the day. Thanks for listening. Please don’t forget to leave any comments or questions in the comment section and also don’t forget to click on the “follow” button so you don’t miss out on any great posts.

Thanks

nw Tactical

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Gerber Skeleton Frame Knive’s – Bare Essentials

What’s up Steel Junkies,

It’s been a while since I have reviewed a new product, I only want to review products that I actually put to the test for you so you are getting a real honest review. So today we are going to go back to the basics and review two different blades from Gerber. We are gonna be learning about the Gerber Paraframe I Stainless Steel Serrated knife, and the Gerber RipStop Stainless Steel Straight Edge. These two blades are some of Gerber’s more affordable knives. I purchased both these at Target. The Paraframe I was roughly $30.00 and the RipStop I was about $15.00. First lets learn a little bit about the history of Gerber.

Gerber Logo

History of Gerber:

Gerber was founded in 1939 by a gentleman named Joseph R. Gerber in Portland Oregon. Gotta love that this is a good old North West company. It started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were given as holiday gifts. It quickly turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. Gerber makes different knives for different purposes.

Military:

Gerber Cable Dawg

They specialize in Military were every design is based on direct feedback from members of our Armed Forces. Iconic knives such as Mark I, Mark II, and the Guardian series are some of the inspirations for Gerbers Military knife lines. Some of the innovative products that they have developed for the Military is the Cable Dawg, LMF II and the De Facto which serve alongside the standard issue Gerbers such as MP600 and the Gerber Strap Cutter.

Hunting:

Gerber Gator

From the smallest game to the epic trophy, Gerber equips the great predator on earth The Hunter. They focus on making their blades evenly balanced and tough as nails, they focus on making specific gear with long lasting blades, tactile handles and all weather sheaths. Their most famous hunting knife is the Gator which has paved the way for some of todays most innovative blades on the market.

Survival:

Gerber Bear Grylls

Some men enjoy hunting in the great outdoors and some men just enjoy being in the great outdoors. For the men that enjoy nature for what it is they have created the Bear Grylis line of knives. They specialize in knives for the first timer boy scout on their first trip to the seasoned adventurer exploring some of the highest mountains in the world.

Tactical:

Gerber Covert

Gerber created the Tactical line to service the men and women who protect us on the home front from Police officers, to firefighters, to EMTs. One staple of that line is the Covert series which was developed in conjunction with one of the greatest close quarters combat and fighting instructors Colonel Rex Applegate.

Outdoor:

Gerber E-Z Out

Gerber takes being outdoors to the next step and they do not generalize they specialize by making knives that are specific to all activities, Their Outdoor line specializes in Hiking, Camping. Be the man who is prepared for everything with E-Z Out Rescue, and don’t forget the new Steady blade which are breaking ground in the industry and challenging the status quo on what tools can do.

Essentials:

Gerber Compact Sport MP400

Next they have what they call the Essentials. Gerber Essentials are the tools and knives that get us out of unexpected jams every single day. They are the pocket tools, multi-pliers and everyday carry. One of their top sellers is the Compact Sport MP400 and the Gerber LST, they both utilize their famous one handed open and close technology.

Industrial:

Gerber Groundbreaker

Last but not least is the Industrial line. We cannot forget the men and women who build out countries infrastructure. They are constructed with advanced materials, both lightweight and indestructable, every tool is designed for all-day efficiency and durability. One of the top sellers is the Gerber Legend and the Gerber Groundbreaker.

Over the last 70 plus years Gerber has taken your grandpa’s wooden handle folder blade and took it to the next level.

Gerber Paraframe

Now lets get back to business and review the Paraframe I. The Paraframe I  has eight different knives in the series. I carry the serrated for those extra tough cutting jobs. The Paraframe I is based on a minimal frame lock design. It is wonderfully simple, open frame(skeleton) knife with a serrated locking blade that is super lightweight, it cleans easily and opens effortlessly. The Paraframe is built with a smooth stainless steel handle and a pocket clip to secure the blade to your pocket. The knife has an overall length of 7.01 inches with a blade length of 3.01 inches. Closed it is only 4.11″ with a total weight of 2.6 oz. The blade of the knife is a Clip Point that is made of High Carbon Stainless Steel. The Paraframe is a great everyday folder. I personally used it as my EDC for about two years and didn’t have to sharpen it once. It could have used one but it was not necessary. I mostly used it for cutting boxes, rope, paper, and fabric and anything else that came across the blade, it made quick work of everything I put to the test. For the price it is a great knife, and I really like the skeleton handle. It was the first knife I owned that was this style and I was a little concerned about the lack of grip but I didn’t have any problems. After owning the knife for 4 years and it being my EDC for 2 straight years the knife has no blade play at all. It is as tight today as it was the first day I took it out of the package which is pretty amazing for a $30.00 knife.

Gerber RipStop

Next up we are gonna be reviewing the Gerber RipStop I, the blade I own has a fine straight edge with a Clip Point tip. Gerber built these knives for the non-conformist in you. The RipStop I is super lightweight from lock concept that delivers bold strength and high functionality. The weight of the all Stainless Steel blade that is only 5.75″ in overall length, with a blade length of 2.3″ and when closed it is only 3.4″ is only 2 oz because of the intriguing handle and blade design. All bulk has been stripped off this streamlined race car of a blade. The RipStop has dual thumb studs that make opening the blade a snap for either left or right handers, and closing it is just as simple one handed. I have really enjoyed owning this knife. I bought it only a few months after I purchased the Paraframe because of the skeleton style handle like the Paraframe. I actually carried both blades most of the time, I would carry the larger Paraframe in my back pocket and the smaller RipStop in the front pocket. Sometimes you just didn’t need a 4 inch blade to do the work a 2 in blade could just as easy. It is also not as threatening when whipping it out at work and cutting open a box especially when you work with all women, or when they ask to use something to open a box or package. I could hand them the smaller of the two blades and they don’t look at me like I am some blade freak for having a huge pocket knife even though secretly I am. bwahahahaha(that was supposed to be my evil genius laugh). Once again this knife has cut everything I asked it to but unfortunately it dulled rather fast on me and after years of abuse the blade has quite a bit of play on it. It wiggles back and forth and side to side, and with the design you cannot tighten it without specialized tools. For $15.00 the blade is a good buy and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a small pocket knife for light duty jobs. I recommend this knife for any women who want a small knife they can carry in their purse without adding much weight at all.

So today we reviewed two different Gerber knives, the RipStop I, and the Paraframe I. Both are lightweight and stainless steel blades that I would recommend to anyone who needs a lightweight durable knife for light duty jobs. I hope this review will help you in deciding if one of these knives is right for you. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section and I will answer them. Also don’t forget to click on the follow link so you don’t miss out on any updates.

Thanks for reading and keep buying those blades, in my opinion you can never own enough. Blade Junkie for life.

nw Tacitacl

Survival Tips – Edible Plants Part IV

Howdy Partners,

Sorry its been so long since my last post. Life has been hectic, but I’m back and in full force. Today we are gonna cover some more edible plants. I really enjoy this topic cause I love learning about the outdoors and some of the plants you would never in a million years think you could eat and that they would sustain life. So lets jump right in.
Manioc Root
Manioc Tree

  1. Manioc (Cassava): Perennial shrub. The Manioc gros up to three to nine feet tall. It has fingerlike leaves radiating from central, jointed stem. You can find the Cassava in all moist, tropical areas. The Manioc roots need to be ground into pulp. Then cook them for one hour to remove poison from the roots. Once the pulp is cooked thoroughly shape the remaining pulp into cakes for baking. You can also mix in some flour into the cakes before you cook them and they will last a really long time as long as they are shielded from insects. Remember that the roots must be cooked, they are extremely LETHAL if ate RAW.
    Maple
  2. Maple: Common tree in scores of species. Leaves have three distinctive lobes; the maple fruits have two lobes and flutter as they fall. The Maple grows throughout temperate forests. You can eat the Maples young leaves and seeds. To get the sweet sweet nectar that everyone loves so much all you need to do is cut a V-shaped notch in the tree trunk and then collect the sap or what we say Maple Syrup YUM YUM! You can also chew the leaves and seeds; or eat the bark.
    Marsh Marigold
  3. Marsh Marigold: Flowering water plant. The Marsh Marigold has beautiful round, dark green leaves, five-petaled yellow flowers. You can find them in temperate zones to arctic; bogs, streams, and lakes. You can eat every part of the Marsh Marigold but it must be cooked first. You want to bring water to strong boil and then cook in the water until tender.
    Mountain Ash
  4. Mountain Ash: Small tree with orange or red fruits. The Mountain Ash has clusters of white flowers three to five inches apart. The Mountain Ash has smooth grey bark and it grows in woody and rocky places in temperate zones. The Mountain Ash has berries that are edible, you will want to boil the berries to reduce the sharp taste.
    Mulberries
  5. Mulberries: Small to medium tree. The Mulberry looks like large blackberries, with leaves that are deeply lobed and serrated. The Mulberry tree grows in forests and fields of northern and southern temperate and tropical zones. Berries are heavily seeded but very juicy. You can eat the berries raw, cooked, or dried. Try making jam, yum yum.
    Nipa Palm
  6. Nipa Palm: Broad, short palm. The Nipa Palm is a little different then most tree’s the trunk of the Nipa mostly grows underground.  The leaves shoot up from the trunk and can be as large as 20 feet tall, is that not out there or what? The Nipa Palm grows in the mud of east Asian shorelines. What you want to do is cut the stalks of the leaves and drink the sugary liquid juice that comes out. You can also eat the seeds but they are kinda hard. Another great use for this tree other then eating is to use the leaves to thatch a roof, since they are so large and sturdy. 
    Papaw
  7. Papaw: Shrub or small tree with brownish-gray bark. The Papaw has white, six petaled flowers. The fruits are two to six inches long. The largest ones are indigenous to North America. It grows in temperate forests; northern variety is deciduous while southern is evergreen. You will want to eat the fruit raw because it is high in protein. 

Thank you for joining me today in learning about some more plants that are edible. Remember that these are last resort and should not be ate in large quantities. I hope you learned something new today. Also make sure to get out and enjoy this beautiful country that we have at our fingertips. Just remember to make sure to bring the proper supplies.

Please let comments and questions below. Also don’t forget to click on the “follow” button so you stay up to date on all nw tactical posts.

nw tactical

Tactical Tips – Point Shooting

Sup Y’all gun geeks,

We’re gonna be reviewing Point Shooting. I really think more people should be training using this method for short distance CQC(Close Quarters Combat) then training looking down the barrel using the sights. When push comes to shove your adrenaline will be pumping and your mind will be racing so fast that you will not have the time or wherewithal to even think about using your sights, you will just start blasting away and missing every time. Even our trained LE have that same problem, but now most departments are starting to train with Point Shooting or Flash Shooting. These tactics are used by most of the top shooters in the world such as Delta Force, SEAL Team Six, SAS 22. It takes a lot of practice to get good at or even sufficient. You will need to be at the range day after day putting hundreds if not thousands of rounds down range, but in the end it will be all worth it when it comes time to protect your loved ones.

Recent science says that we lose our near vision and our fine motor skills when our fight or flight response is activated, when sight shooting both of these skills are needed to properly sight shoot. When you are in the fight or flight response you will only be able to do what your muscles have been trained to do. Studies say that most handgun fights are fought within 5-8 yards which doesn’t give you much time to react if you are being charged at or if someone else draws a weapon. Point shooting is a method of shooting a firearm that relies on a shooters instinctive reactions in a life threatening situation to quickly engage close range targets. The method is used in close quarters fighting do to lack of time to react, or you have low light conditions which hinder your ability to use your sights. When practicing point shooting it is very important to have the correct handgun for you, it must feel like an extension of your arm and hand. Do not switch guns when practicing cause the slightest difference in your gun can change the way you point shoot. The weight of the gun, the handle of the gun, the caliber and recoil can all throw off the mechanics that you are teaching your body to use in emergency situations to protect yourself and loved ones.

Now we will go over some techniques to use when point shooting, since to be effective at it you will need to practice a lot. Just like anything else that takes skill, such as basketball, football, baseball. These all take lots of practice to be good at and so does point shooting.

  1. Position yourself 3 yards away from a large(10 inch) target. In an athletic stance where you are on the balls of your feet, execute a tactical quickdraw(covered in previous post) to a firing position and fire multiple rounds into the target. I recommend to fire anywhere between 3-6 shots. DO NOT USE YOUR SIGHTS!!! The point of the drill is to get you used to not using the sights. It may take a while but you will learn to hit center mass of your target every time. One key is to try to do it as quickly as possible, but try to take just enough time to allow the momentum of your arms and gun to slow right before you pull the trigger. I like to call it controlled chaos, I teach it to my 10-year-old basketball team when doing lay up drills. Practice this drill till all your shots are in a grouping of a couple of inches. Grouping is very important, it doesn’t matter if you hit the target every time, if they are all over the place it is not effective. You want your hits in a small group near center mass. Once you have good groups at 3 yards on a 10 inch target move it back a few yards and use a small target and keep going till you reach no further then 8 yards and your target is no bigger then a standard picnic plate.
  2. After you feel you have a good grasp on step one you can start practicing with multiple targets. Try setting up 3 or more targets a couple of yards apart, some closer and some further away but all no further than a 5-8 yards down range. Now execute a tactical quickdraw and go down the line, one shot per target. Once you feel comfortable with this drill and you are hitting center mass change it up. Keep targets in the same spots but put a burst of 2-3 rounds in each. Try them in different order, or have a friend tell you which one to shoot (“one!” “two!” “three, one, two!”), the key thing is to make sure that you can hit your target center mass every time, once you can do this try to accelerate your pace. But remember to always make sure that you are in control and do not try to do more than your skill set allows. To get to this stage will probably take weeks to months of shooting hundreds of rounds every day or multiple times a week.
  3. Once you have mastered step two, try shooting while moving. While moving you should still be able to hit targets at 5 yards. Set up three or more targets a few yards apart. Start about 15-20 yards back and sprint towards your targets, once you are within 5-8 yards of your target tactically quickdraw your gun before you come to a complete stop. Fire a two shot burst, side step to engage the second target and fire a two shot burst, then so on. Each time you run through course, try to do it faster; try not to pause when shooting.

Tips to make you a better:

  1. Accuracy and speed can be improved by a methodical and well executed draw, read my post on Tactical Quickdraw, it should help you understand how to execute properly.
  2. PS abilities vary greatly between people. Dexterity and hand eye coordination are a big component, and some people just are naturally inclined in those two areas. Don’t worry about starting off close to your target, everybody is different it might take you a little longer to figure it out buy with enough practice you will master it. Don’t worry about looking uncool if the target is only a few yards away, it will look a lot more uncool if you are shooting at a target 8 yards away but are missing time after time.
  3. Point shooting is much less efficient at greater distances, this is why I’m saying to shoot no further than 5-8 yards. I will be covering Flash Sighting which you will want to use for greater distances, it only takes a tenth of a second longer but you will land hits about four times as much.
  4. I recommend using a low caliber handgun when starting out. Either a .22 or a 9mm will be best because it has less recoil which will help with grouping and shooting multiple rounds quickly.
  5. Remember SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS. These exercises should only be done by people who are comfortable with handguns. If you are new then you should take some gun safety classes at  your local gun range and practice shooting for a few months to get comfortable. Most of these exercises you will not be able to do in your local gun range for safety reasons so you will need to find an area that always shooting and has lots of wide open space. Make sure to know the state and local gun laws before shooting.
  6. Be sure to know what’s beyond your targets, bullets can travel very far distances.
  7. A great way to practice Tactical Quickdrawing the weapon and shooting motion is to practice with snap-caps, you can buy them at your local gun dealer for under $20.00.

Thanks for reading and I hope you practice this shooting technique cause it will save your life when you are in a life threatening situation. Remember though that this is not a novice technique and you need to practice a lot. This is an expert shooting technique and it takes days, weeks, if not months of practice and hundreds if not thousands of rounds down range before you are consistently hitting center mass with good grouping.

Again thank you for reading and be safe always use gun safety rules when handling a gun.

nwtactical

How to do a Tactical Quickdraw with a Pistol

What’s up gun geeks and freaks!!!

Let’s jump right into the post today, we are gonna learn how to do a Tactical Quickdraw. Hopefully by the end of this post you can call yourself quickdraw McGraw. You will be able to out draw Billy the Kid. Well probably not that good but after weeks and months of practice you never know you could be the next fastest draw in the west.

Gun fights are usually spur of the moment, you don’t see it coming, and for this reason you need to know how to properly execute a quick-draw. A quick-draw is a skill that you can learn and it needs to be perfected, just like all skills involving weapons. If you do not perfect it you are endangering yourself and the people around you. There are five steps and each have a specific purpose.

Steps:

    step1

  1. Both of your hands should be moving at the same time. You will want to place your support had on or around your upper chest. Your firing hand will move above your pistol grip and come back down on your pistol to secure a solid firing grip while still holstered. The web between your thumb and index finger should be as close to the tang as possible. Your pointer finger should be straight and resting on the side of the holster to release any active-retention system your holster may have. I highly recommend just practicing this motion until you have mastered it. Stand at attention and burst into this position, and do it over and over again until you grab it perfectly everytime. If you get a poor grip on the gun it will be near to impossible to correct while drawing and will cause you to be inaccurate. This step should be practiced as much as possible. It is a short quick motion but extremely important. Its just like a sprinter coming off the blocks, or a quarterback accepting the snap, or a basketball player catching the ball and squaring his shoulders to the hoop, if not done properly it will effect the entire motion and shot.
  2. step2

  3. Your wrist needs to be as straight as an arrow. You will need to pull the pistol straight up out of the holster, if need be move your should upwards or backwards but do not contort your wrist. I recommend to buy a holster that has an open front but a high side wall, so that when you draw you do not have to pull the pistol all the way out of the holster.
  4. step3

  5. Remember to keep your wrist straight or in line with your forearm, then rotate your arm at the shoulder down and forward. This will cause you to point the gun down range and at your target. Make sure to disengage your safety while executing this motion. From this position you can fire at extremely close targets if necessary. Absolutely do not shoot from this position at targets more then 5 feet away. This is called close contact firing position or firing from retention. I recommend dry firing from this position at first using snap caps you can purchase at your local gun store. The key when practicing position two to position three is to keep your wrist inline with your forearm and rotating your shoulder.
  6. step4

  7. When executing position four you need to remember to keep your gun pointed towards the threat, move your gun toward your support hand, then grasp the gun with two hands and push forward just below your dominant shooting eye. While bringing the gun up prepare your support hand to accept the gun quickly and accurately. Your support hand should wrap around the front of the grip and the side encasing the entire handle. Once again you want to keep the barrel of your gun pointing down range at the target so that you are keeping eye contact on your target, if practiced your arms and hands will point the gun directly at what you are looking at. I recommend to set up a camera or have a friend watch, if recording your sessions you can watch and see if you are dipping the nose of the gun down or throwing it up. If you are doing either of these it will cause you to be less efficient when aquiring your target.
  8. step5

  9. You will want to keep your shoulders squared to the threat while extending both arms straight out. It is recommended in a tactical situation to only extend your arms about 2/3 of the way, the reason for this is because it will decrease your visual size and make you a smaller target. At first this will feel weird but you will get used to it, and it is much better for close quarters tactics. At the very last moment you will want to quickly focus your front sight directly on the targets center mass, do not align the front sights with the back sights this will cause you to rotate or bend your wrists and arms and eat up precious time that can be the difference between life and death.
  10. It is highly recommend to perform a tactical reload before re-holstering, it is a great habit to get into.
  11. You will want to re-holster in the exact opposite order of above. Pull the weapon back close to your body than remove your support hand, at this time i recommend you pause for a second and survey the situation and make sure that all targets are subdued and make sure the fight is not gonna resurface. After you are sure the fight is over, put the safety on, rotate your wrist and raise your elbow and push the gun straight down into the holster.
  12. Start off just practicing drawing the weapon up and out(step 1 and 2). Do this motion about 500-1000 times. If you do it this many times it will create muscle memory and you will be suprised at how fast you will be able to draw. When practicing do it with an unloaded gun. Practice for 15-25 minutes a day for a week straight.
  13. Once you have the presentation perfected practice drawing and shooting a target at the range. Some ranges do not allow you to draw and fire so make sure you know the range rules before practicing quick draw firing.

Tips:

  • Practice makes perfect, create muscle memory.
  • Guns are dangerous so make sure you are using proper gun safety procedures.
  • Take gun safety classes at your local gun range.

Remember to practice this as much as possible. You do not have to be at the range to practice tactical quickdraw, you can do it at home in your living room or bedroom(make sure your weapon is not loaded). Just practice, practice, practice, thats what it will take to be able to perform this presentation perfectly which is the only way to perform this movement. It is not ok to be intermediate at this movement you have to be an expert.

Thanks for reading, now go practice and be safe.

nwtactical

How To Identify a Venomous Snake From a Non-Venomous Snake

Welcome back to nwtactical!!!

We are gonna be covering how to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. Most snakes you see are probably non-venomous but it is always a good idea to know what kind of signs will tell you that its a venomous snake. Most people don’t like snakes but are still fascinated by them. I can tell you that I would never hold a snake again, especially those big boa constrictors. I remember when I was a young boy in elementary school and the Reptile Man would come to our school and we would have an assembly for him. He would pull out all his cool snakes, and lizards, and turtles. I loved it when he came, because the show was fun and looking at them was fun but you couldn’t pay me to touch them. I remember after the assembly he would let students come and touch them or wrap a giant 10 foot boa constrictor around a little kids neck and take pictures. Oh Hell No! not me, not ever.

Alright lets get down to business. Of all snake species on the planet only 1/3 of them are poisonous. There are only 4 different types of poisonous snakes in the U.S. They are Cottonmouths, Copperheads, Rattlesnakes, and last but defiantly not the least Coral Snakes. I will be going over the different poisonous snakes and how to identify a Venomous Snake. So read careful and don’t forget these tips cause these could save your life someday when your out camping, hiking, or hunting.
Cottonmouth

  1. Cottonmouth Snakes (aka Water Moccasin): First and foremost the best way to tell if it is a poisonous Cottonmouth snake is that it will have elliptical eyes (cat eyes, slits). Cottonmouths can range from Black to green so be aware that they can be different colors. One very distinctive identifying mark is a white stripe that runs down the side of the Cottonmouths head. Young Cottonmouths have bright yellow tails and adults do not have this marker, so just cause it doesn’t have one doesn’t mean its not a Cottonmouth so don’t just use that as the only marker to look for. Cottonmouth habit is usually around water or in water, they also can live on dry land but mostly near rivers, and bodies of water. They usually do not congregate in groups, they are known to be loners.
    rattlesnake
  2. Rattlesnakes: One obvious sign is the rattle!!! you can’t miss it. Some harmless snakes try to imitate a Rattlesnake by brushing their tails through leaves, but only Rattlesnakes have a button like rattle at the end of their tails. They look and sound like a babies rattle but are much more deadly. Rattlesnakes also have a big, heavy triangle shape head, and elliptical eyes. So if you can’t see their tails look for those two distinguishing factors.
    Copperhead
  3. Copperheads: Copperheads are a fascinating species, they are gorgeous snakes but don’t let the beauty fool you. Their bodies are very similar to Cottonmouths but their color is much brighter, which ranges from a coppery brown to a bright beautiful orange, or a silver-pink and peach color. The young ones have a bright yellow tail just like Cottonmouths .
    coral snake
  4. Coral Snakes: This is another beautiful snake but don’t under estimate it cause its pretty. It is very dangerous. Coral Snakes have a very distinctive color pattern. They have a black, yellow, and red bands, a yellow head, and a black bank over their nose. One rhyme to help you remember how to distinguish a Coral Snake from a King Snake cause they are very similar is “Red Touch yellow, kill a fellow. Red touch black, friend to jack”. Another one is “Red on black, lucky jack; red on yellow, he’s one deadly fellow”. Coral Snakes are very shy and will usually run from you then attack you but that doesn’t mean you should try to approach one. Currently their are no known deaths by the Arizona Coral and only a few from the Eastern Coral.
  5. Color Patterns: Venomous Snakes in the U.S. tend to be different colors. If you see a snake that is a solid color in the U.S. it will most likely be non-venomous, but this is not the rule of thumb, some Cottonmouths are venomous and they can almost one solid color.
  6. head shape

  7. Head Shape: Non-Venomous snakes usually have a spoon-shaped rounded heads and venomous snakes will usually have a more triangular shaped head. The reason their heads are triangular is because of the venom glands.
  8. rattles

  9. Look for a Rattle: If you come across and snake and hear the distinctive rattle then you should stop, locate the snake and if you are a good distance away slowly back away from the snake but make no quikck moves.
  10. Pit

  11. Heat Sensor: Some venomous snakes have a depression between their eyes and thir nostrils. This is called a pit, this is used by the snake to sense heat in their prey.
  12. Watch out for Mimics: Some non-venomous snakes will mimic the patterns and behaviors of venomous snakes as a self defense tactic. Eastern milk snakes can look like Copperheads, Rat snakes can look like Rattlers, and a harmless King snake can look like a Coral snake. When you first come across a snake always assume that it is a venomous snake, until you can verify weather it is or is not. Even though you will want to kill a snake when you come across it be careful cause it could be against the law and another reason is because snakes control rodent populations, and also control snake populations as well.
  13. Swimming Snakes

  14. Watch how the snake swims: Another interesting way to tell the difference between a venomous water moccasin/cottonmouth and a harmless water snake is to watch the way it swims, if it swims with only its head above the water, or weather most of its body is floating too. If you only see the snakes head above the water then it is most likely a non-venomous snake, most of the time all venomous snakes will inflate their lungs so that they bodies float while they swim. EIther way it is a good idea to leave the snake alone and let it go about its merry way.
  15. ellptical eyes

  16. Eyes: One of the easiest and best way to tell if a snake is venomous or non-venomous. If the snake is venomous it will have elliptical eyes like a cat, like the little devils that they are and if it is non-venomous it will have round eyes like a human.

I hope you paid very close attention to this article cause it could save your life sometime. This was not an in-depth post on venomous snakes but it is enough so you can tell the difference between the two and make an educated descision on what to do. One rule of thumb that you should live by is if you see a snake don’t mess with it, just leave it alone and it will most likely leave you alone. Even though snakes are scary, and nasty they are an important part of our ecosystem and they honestly do more good then they do harm. If you have an questions or comments please leave them below. Also don’t forget to click on the button at the bottom of the page and become a follower so you don’t miss out on any new posts.

Thank you for reading

NW Tactical

Survival Tips – First Aid Part IV

Welcome back to First Aid Part IV. This is the last part of the first aid survival tips. So make sure to pay attention. Remember that this tips are to be used only in an emergency situation and you should always call 911 first if you are near a hospital. Alright lets see what kind of tips I have in store for you tonight.
Poison

  1. Poisoning – Symptoms: Nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, sweating, breathing difficulties. You will experience chest or abdominal pain. You could also have seizures, headaches, dizziness, weakness, irregularpupil size. Your eyes might burn or tear up. You may experience burns on your lips, tongue, skin. You could have abnormal skin color, especially ashen or pale. Possible Condition: Poison ingested, inhaled, absorbed, or injected into your body. For example: snakes, spiders, jelly fish, etc. Course of Action: First you will want to remove the victim from the scene of the poisoning. Check the victim for life threatening conditions and treat the symptoms. If the victim has been poisoned from contact directly to the skin then wash the area with lots of water. Next you will want to apply baking soda or calamine lotion to dry up sores from poison on skin. If the victim ingested the poison then give them lots and lots of water. If the poison that was ingested is non-corosive then induce vomitting to expel from body then give them lots of water( do not induce vomitting if the poison is corrosive because it will damage the throat and stomach lining coming back up). If poison is corrosive (acid or alkaline) do not induce vomitting. Give victim water and then a mild acid or alkaline to neutralize the poison.
    rash

  2. Rashes – Symtoms: You will experience weeping, scaling, inflamed skin. Possible Condition: Skin will have rashes that are caused by infection or dirt clogging pores. Course of Action: You will want to treat the rash like you would an open wound-keep it clean and cover it with sterile bandages. If the rash is most it keep dry, if rash is dry then keep it moist. Make sure the apply antiseptics. Absolutely do not scratch the rash, it will only make it worse.
    seizure
  3. Seizures – Symptoms: Seizures will cause you to have blank stare on yours/the victims face. It will cause disorientation. You will also experience convulsions(uncontrolled muscle movements). Possible Condition: Reaction to extreme heat. It could also be caused by a diabetic reaction. They can also be cause by a traumatic injury to the brain. Course of Action: Absolutely do not try to hold the victim down this may cause injury to you or the victim. Absolutely do not put anything in the victim mouth, the victim may bite down and injury you or himself/herself worse. One thing that you can do to assist the victim is to support the head by using a pillow or a folded up piece of cloth(such as sweatshirt, blanket). If the victims mouth fills with any kind of fluid such as blood, saliva, or vomit, roll the victim on to his/her side to let the liquid drain. Once the seizure has subsided check the victim for breathing and injuries cause by convulsions also assure them that everything is ok and that help is on the way. You might also want to tell them where they are and that they are safe and that you are there to help them.
    shock
  4. Shock – Symptoms: You will become irritably, experience restlessness, nausea, vomitting, and excessive thirst. You may also experience an altered state of consciousness. You will also have a rapid breathing and pulse. You may also have skin that is cool, moist, pale, and ashen. Possible Condition: The flow of your blood is inadequate for body’s major organs and tissue (shock). Course of Action: Have the victim lay flat on their back and make sure they are as comfortable as possible. It is also a good idea to elevate the victims feet about 12 inches. It is important to keep the victims skin from getting too warm or cold. You will want to monitors the victims breathing and pulse. Do not give food or water if immediate hospitalization is an option. If hospitalization is not an option make sure to give the victim warm liquids to drink.
    snakebite
  5. Snakebite – Symptoms: You will have extreme pain around the bite marks in the victims skin. The victim will also experience swelling and strong pain around the bite(Pit Vipers). You may also have an allergic reaction. Some more reactions are blurring of vision, loss of reflexes, slurring of speech, nausea, and difficulty breathing(coral snakes). Condition: The venom of a snake bite has been injected into the bloodstream. Course of Action: To treat pit vipers, rattlesnakes, copperheads, or cottonmouths wash the wound; make sure to keep the bite site low and still and below your heart. For coral snakes, the treatment is similar as above but apply an elastic band starting farthest from the heart and rolling it around the wound. You will also want to keep the bite site still and lower then the heart. Make sure to keep the victim calm as possible to keep heart rate low. Absolutely do not apply ice to bite sites, you will want to cut the wound, and apply a tourniquet or apply suction.
    sprains
  6. Sprains – Symptoms: The sprained body part will swell and start bruising. You will also experience severe pain in the ankle, knee, wrist, and fingers. You will not be able to use the injured area normally, and you will experience weakness in that body part. Possible Condition: Tearing of ligament at joint. Course of Action: For mild sprains you will want to apply ice and elevate. You will also want to get lots of rest. You can also take a Tylenol regiment if not allergic, this will help control the swelling and help with the pain. For severe sprains treat as you would for broken bones.You will want to immobilize the body part as it was found. Do not apply a splint unless you need to move the victim, if you need to move the victim then you can apply a splint by attaching two pieces of wood/board on either side of the area and then wrap with tape or ace bandage. You will want to elevate and apply ice, unless elevating increases the pain.

Thanks for reading the last blog post on First Aid, I hope that over the course of the last 4 posts you have learned something new. I had a great time researching and explaining how to treat injuries, it is something that I have been interested in since I was young. I always wanted to become a sports therapist/physical therapist or sports trainer. I did some volunteer hours with my schools sports trainer and I had a blast helping the athletes when they were injured or wrapping the wrists and ankles with sports tapes to prevent injury. I enjoyed running out on to the field and assessing the situation on the fly and coming to a conclusion and applying my knowledge on how to fix the injury. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Also don’t forget to click the button at the bottom of the screen to follow my blog so you don’t miss out on new posts. Thank You!!!!