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Survival / July 23, 2017

This belt could save your life

Written by: Kevin Linderman

I’ll admit it—I’m that guy.

You can spot me if you have the eye. Knife clip exposed in the front pocket, paracord survival bracelet, a multi-function survival watch, multi-tool on my organized key chain, trucker hat, beard. You get the picture.

So the survival belt from Slidebelts is right up my alley. With a knife, firestarter, flashlight and bottle opener stashed inside the buckle, the belt is basically a one-item EDC kit. But I already carry a lot of stuff every day. So before I added this belt to the list, I put it through some tests.

The first test was the same test I give every new belt: can it hold my pants up? Unlike traditional belts, Slidebelts use a sort of ratcheting system to cinch the belt down. The teeth in the system are strong (they’ve been strengthened in the new belts), so the belt holds its shape in any setting. It’s sturdy and efficient, and it makes it possible to use the belt as a strap or as a tourniquet.

Wearing the belt is comfortable and secure. Even with a knife and firestarter in the buckle, there’s no real additional weight or awkwardness with this belt simply acting as its original intent. 

The light, which is located at the tip of the enclosed farro rod (I’ll get to that later), is really more of a pen light. It can illuminate a small area, but it won’t serve as a replacement for a flashlight. The light on my iPhone is far more powerful.

The knife folds out from the buckle, allowing the buckle to serve as a knife handle (the buckle can be removed from the belt strap). It’s about as sturdy as any folding pocket knife, but isn’t meant to be used for serious tasks like splitting wood.

Raking the knife across the farro rod generates a healthy spark to get that fire started. Like all farro rod firestarters, it will take some effort to get the fire going. There are many firstarter tinder products that will catch a spark and not take up too much space in your pack so you can start warming your feet by the fire sooner than later.

Lastly, since I do carry a firearm, I found that the belt’s thickness affords a smooth draw and a comfortable, reliable carry position.

So, functionally, does it keep my pants up? Definitely. I’ve started wearing my belt on a regular basis. From heading out to the woods to heading out to a nice dinner, the belt looks and operates as intended.

Secondly, is it useful? The knife and farro rod work well and are hidden comfortably in the belt buckle.

Finally, is there room for this in my EDC kit? Let’s be honest—I’m going to wear a belt anyway, so it might as well serve a functional purpose outside of simply keeping my pants up.

We sell the Slidebelts survival belt for $150 in our online shop.

Do you have questions or comments about this feature? Email them to [email protected]


about the author

Kevin Linderman

Kevin Linderman is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer for Shoulders of Giants. Kevin has spent his entire professional career in and around the field of information technology, but has always been an avid outdoor enthusiast and a seeker of knowledge.

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