As most dedicated followers of the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Dual Survival” know, the program was forced to make some casting changes after it came to light one half of the team had “embellished” his military background a bit more than necessary. The SURV-TAC 7 features a 7-inch long, ?-inch thick blade of 1095 carbon steel Rockwelled to 56-58 on the C scale. I made a special point of watching all the recent episodes of Season 3 “Dual Survival” in rapid succession on the Discovery channel website. I have not tracked all the episodes Joe has been in, but there are several where he uses a knife that is smaller than the Anaconda although it has the general appearance of being a TOPS knife.
In the Norway Glacial Downfall episode he is using a knife that is the same basic shape as one used in some other episodes, but is a Damascus blade with a near full length sawtooth spine. The breeze is keeping me quite cool today, seems weird thinking it’s cool feeling even though it’s 107 degrees out. First things first I set up my temporary shelter by fortifying the open ends with some cat tail I found and lashed together with the paracord inner strands that came with the SURV-TAC. The night comes quick, even though it is Arizona and I spent the day in high temperatures the weather starts to turn. Special Thanks to Mike Fuller and TOPS Knives for making this story possible; for designing and building some of the best knives and tools available today. An excellent hard use steel, 1095 is a primary choice for camping and larger fixed blade knives for its extreme toughness and ability to hold an edge. Micarta is a compressed layered composite sealed within a thermosetting plastic which creates a strong, attractive material that is impervious to water. Barefoot Cody Lundin’s new partner is Joe Teti, a combat veteran of Marine Force Recon, Army Special Forces, and a government counter-terrorist unit (from what I was told, the Discovery Channel went to great lengths to actually verify Teti’s background this time around). From what I have observed on the TV program it is almost always some type of basic Scandinavian puukko-style utility knife. I’ve talked to Joe and, in the Hawaiian episode, he really did kill that wild boar with a Cold Steel spear point and the TOPS knife.
It forms an almost symmetrical double-edge spear tip, but with the extra vertical ridge on the primary edge common to American tanto style blades. In the episode where he and Matt are descending the Andes he is using a knife that looks to be the same size and shape as the Damascus blade and has some sort of black coating on the blade. The kit E-16 has the following items: RAZOR BLADE, 3 BARREL FIRE STARTER, P-38 CAN OPENER, STEEL SNAP LINK (carabineer), FRESNEL LENS , HD RUBBER BAND, SAIL NEEDLE, 2 SAFETY PINS, 25’ of FISHING LINE, 2 FISH HOOKS, SIGNAL WHISTLE (126 DECIBEL), LIQUID FILLED BUTTON COMPASS, 12’ of ORANGE MARKING TAPE, ACRYLIC SIGNAL MIRROR, METAL HINGED BOX, and a ID CARD. Next, I use the SURV-TAC to prepare the wood by batoning through it to make smaller pieces for tinder. I can feel it dropping, gradually at first but then all of the sudden it hits, the temperature is about 40 degrees. I awaken stiff and a little worse for wears, that fall and drop must have taken more out of me than I thought. On day 30 we will charge 50% of the remaining balance, followed by the final payment on day 60. Corrosion resistance is very limited with this steel, most blades come with a coating to prevent premature rusting. 06_phatchfinalEvery survival guide points out the many uses of cattails but most don’t mention how deep those roots can be in the bog muck. The black nylon sheath has a front accessory pouch and loops on the side for a magnesium fire starter and a SnapLight lightstick.


While it might be considered inconsistent with the rest of their survival scenarios, it seems their personal choice in cutlery is the one piece of equipment they always start the problem with. The exact knife has varied from episode to episode, but Cody is famous for his minimalist view of equipment, so this has not been important to the scenario. The same goes for sticking that nasty looking tigerfish while paddling a dugout canoe down an African river.
OK I have my medium hydration pack so I think; just a blade and a couple items should do me. This is what I live for; the sounds, smells, and feel of nature and how everything big or small affects everything it meets. I also have the SURV-TAC, a full 120 ounce bladder full of water, 4 power bars, and a 12-ounce bag of beef jerky (spicy teriyaki flavor). This was worked into a very fine tinder and it works very well for a huge range of fire starting tasks. Close observers of the show will probably notice that in a couple of scenarios this year, Teti was using a TOPS Anaconda rather than the SURV-TAC.
It looks to be a production knife, but I do not see anything on the TOPS page which matches it.
Utilizing the 3-barrel fire starter I scrape magnesium slivers into my tinder bundle, I created a spark by positioning my SURV-TAC at an angle and in a sliding motion pulled the ferro rod portion up against the steel. I bundle up inside of my clothes and take comfort that because of the work I did earlier on the shelter it is holding in heat fairly well. Both Mike Fuller of TOPS and Joe Teti have told me this was because the new model wasn’t ready at the time of filming those shows. I would guess the length of the blade to be in the 6 inch range though it is difficult to judge. Ah yeah the TOPS Knives SURV-TAC 7 been waiting to try this one out, oh and the TOPS kit E-16 this looks promising for sure.
I imagine several ways to get it up there but in my head, I also imagine most of them failing or having just the right circumstances in order for it to work. These are full of many essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy in an emergency situation.04_phatchfinalWhile the knife won’t take the place of a good axe, it did lop off this hazel sapling with no problem. I believe it was the Anaconda that was used to butcher what I think was a “paca” (a medium size jungle rodent) in Nicaragua. Now that the two biggest tasks are taken care of I decided to check out this natural stream, I figure if all else fails this is my life source right here. I cascade the baited line into the water and within mere seconds, I have a crayfish on my line. A coyote howling in the distance, crickets chirping, and many unknown creatures slithering and scurrying near me. Flashing light in the direction of the orange signal tape, I begin to pray in my head; Lord please let whoever is out there seeing this light.
Comes with black survival whistle, Lansky Pocket® Sharpener with keychain, fire starter, and 12 hour green SnapLight®. Along the way there are numerous saplings cut for shelters, vines lopped off for rope, bamboo poles chopped off for the water inside and fire struck from the spine of the knife.
It is unbelievable to see such skill with only stone tools, to depict a hint in great detail.


My body settles in and I fall asleep, unbeknownst to me Amanda has notified local authorities that I have not yet came home from my hike and she has passed on the information I left her. Seconds feel like minutes and minutes feel like days, I feel defeated but I know that is just my mind playing tricks on me. With the fishing that was done and the testing of the the fire steel, Fresnel lens, and the signal mirror this kit get a good rap from both me and Jake. Designed by Joseph Teti, a veteran of both US military and US government special operations units. I’m as restless as a kid on Christmas waiting for the day to come to a close, finally I drift off and fall asleep.As I creep slowly to my truck I leave a map of the area I plan to hike and time frame, I should be back, just in case. As I am amazed by what I am seeing carved into the side of the cliff face, I fail to notice the 20 foot deep crevice below my feet.
I gather some pieces of dead and downed Palo Verde and mesquite that the wind has blown over the side of the edge.
I make short work of cutting through a couple saplings with my SURV-TAC.  Notching both ends of the thickest piece, I then string it with a remaining paracord strand.
02_phatchfinalOne trick for using a sawback survival knife is to cut a circle completely around the log and then break it off with a strong blow against a hard object. Once that is set up and functioning I notch one end of a smaller, straighter piece for my arrow. I can hear the sand separating between the tread as each step gets closer to my signal tape. Le tranchant epais est le plus gros probleme de cette marque, mais les lames sont tres droites, ce qui n'est pas souvent le cas des Becker and Tool (en particulier le Bk-9). 01_phatchfinalOne trick for using a sawback survival knife is to cut a circle completely around the log and then break it off with a strong blow against a hard object. Attaching the marking tape to my arrow, I fire it up trying to land it in a shrub near the edge. John comforts Amanda and lets her know that he is confident with the training, equipment and being able to think straight in a stressful situation that I will be just fine. It’s been a fairly relaxing drive up, think I’ll stop off at Cordes Junction and grab a couple power bars.
Once I have the layout of my area I decide I best check my pack for supplies, there is no telling how long I will be out here.
Going to see if I can’t finish this video I’ve been working on and try to grab some pictures while I’m out” John replies back. I stare down to where I was and in the back of my mind I know that I will somewhat miss being in there. I tell John what happened, how I fell and how I used what I have learned as well as the tools, I brought with me in order to make it through the night.
Maybe I’ll run into you on my hike?” “That’d be cool, alright bro take it easy” we shake hands as we part. He looks at me and says, “I’m glad you came out of it OK bro, be glad you had the tools you had or it would have been a lot harder for me to find you”.



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