Deciding on bug out bag must-haves is one of those brutal games of compromise. A bit like musical chairs or a horrific multiple-choice exam. The prepper's dilemma, as I like to call it, never ends, and today we mull over the importance of survival smoke grenades.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy as we engage this rather explosive topic. No stone will be left unturned as we explore everything you need to know about smoke grenades. We also pinpoint a few of the best cloud makers available today.
Survival smoke grenades are smoke emitting canisters that are deployed in different survivalist pursuits. They can be used as a signaling device for rescue parties, or they can be used as a shield or distraction for enemies or animals. Smoke grenades vary in size, color, and smoke capacity. Their use is legal under the international law of war.
The items you include in your bug out bag must be of the utmost importance. We’re talking life-and-death levels of importance here, so how do smoke grenades fit in?
It may be a surprise to some, but smoke grenades aren’t just great for shooting epic music videos. Survivalists can also find many uses for these awesome little smoke cans. Some of these functions could really be the difference between life and death, so think twice before underestimating them.
When SHTF, communication systems may be compromised or even destroyed. In such a scenario, alternative forms of communication will be needed for you to link up with other survivalists or rescue parties.
Smoke grenades can be used as a signal device that indicates your position. Rescue parties in the distance or up in an aircraft would be able to see the smoke and come to your aid.
There is a chance that the post-apocalyptic world will be a hostile or, otherwise, anarchist free-for-all. Whether it’s bandits or wild animals on the prowl, smoke grenades can help. The smokescreens they offer could buy you enough time to escape tricky situations. Just hope that your pursuers won’t be sporting infrared imaging goggles!
When SHTF, finding food will be of the utmost importance if you want to keep your strength up. You have to be prepared to play dirty, and smoke bombs can help. You could throw them in burrows to flush out rabbits or groundhogs. If you’re brave enough, you could even use them to target hibernating bears!
Smoke grenades are available in many different colors, which facilitates color-coded signaling. You can use colored smoke to communicate different messages to other survivalists. Red, for example, could represent danger while blue is used to represent a water source.
Now that we’ve touched on how smoke grenades can help you claw your way through a crisis, let’s take a look at some of the best ones available today.
The Ring Pull Green Smoke Grenade from Black Cat Fireworks is an excellent choice for any bug out bag. Although they are intended for parties and photography, the sheer amount of smoke it produces would be perfect for survivalists. Simple to use and long-lasting (70-90 seconds). A solid choice.
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Inevitable Party is another awesome brand that makes high-quality smoke grenades. Check out their Ring Pull Smoke Grenade 4-Pack. You can choose packs with one color or packs with various colors.
Whatever you pick, you can expect reliable performance from these non-toxic smoke grenades. Each grenade lasts for about 75 seconds.
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Enola Gaye (EG) is one name that is almost synonymous with smoke grenades in the U.S., with several types and colors available. One of the coolest ones available is the Twin Vent: Burst Wire Pull Smoke Grenade.
This special grenade (available in nine colors) has one unique feature: it discharges smoke from both ends of the can. Just pull the ring and enjoy the spectacular 20-second show…or, you know, escape.
Another EG smoke grenade you should definitely check out is the monstrous SD75, which comes in eight colors. In the space of 90 seconds, the SD75 produces a gargantuan cloud of smoke that could easily alert any rescue pilot.
The smoke can also provide enough cover for a whole group of people. In fact, the SD75 produces the biggest smoke cloud of any EG smoke grenade.
As a prepper, you want to always pack as lightly as possible for optimum mobility. EG can help you with this too. Take a gander at the tiny, but powerful EG25 Smoke Grenade, the smallest smoke grenade the company makes.
Available in 9 colors, the EG25 produces a fairly large cloud within 25 seconds. Ideal for evading enemies in confined spaces…or killing rabbits.
Having a few smoke grenades as part of your gear is not very useful if you do not know when to deploy them. Not only are smoke grenades single-use items, but they also work for a pretty short time. Therefore, timing is key.
Most survivalists will primarily use smoke grenades as signaling devices. If you ever get lost somewhere, a smoke grenade could be your saving grace. Deploying one could alert any nearby Good Samaritans to your position. Please note that to maximize your chances of being seen, you must deploy the grenade during day time.
In a crumbled society with scant resources, people might switch to a hostile form of survival mode. You will have to be able to defend yourself or evade danger. Smoke grenades could help you do that by distracting and obstructing your enemies’ view, which would buy you enough time to escape or fight back.
Bugging out in the wilderness can also leave you vulnerable to wild animals. Wolves, bears, mountain lions…heck, even escaped captive tigers are on the prowl for a meal as easy as an unsuspecting prepper. The timely deployment of a smoke grenade could scare the animal away or create an avenue of escape for you.
There is no wrong or correct answer to this question for a number of reasons. Firstly, survival smoke grenades are somewhat of an emergency item, and no one can anticipate the number of emergency scenarios they will be in. Secondly, they tend to be single-use items, which makes a decision even more difficult.
The best thing you can do is pack smoke grenades for different scenarios. For example, small ones for close-quarter enemy evasion, and larger ones for emergency rescue.
Assess your needs and environment for clues on how many grenades you will need if SHTF. If you are in a heavily forested area, you may require grenades that can produce larger clouds than someone in an open country.
If you DO run out of smoke grenades, do not worry too much. You can implement some quick DIY and make one yourself.
Generally speaking, smoke grenades are safe to use near and around people. A lot of modern manufacturers have abandoned the use of toxic chemicals like Sulphur.
However, some people may experience throat or eye irritation if directly exposed to the smoke, so be careful where you point them. You should also hold them towards the bottom to avoid burning your hand. EG, in particular, recommends eyewear and safety gloves before handling their products.
Also, try not to deploy smoke grenades near flammable items, as that could lead to disaster. Remember these are pyrotechnic items with a spark and burning debris.
Smoke grenades should also be stored in cool dry places because exposure to moisture can lead to malfunction or even unprompted explosions.
Smoke grenades are legal under the international law of war, which stems from the Geneva Convention. They are permitted so long as they only serve the purposes of concealment and signaling.
In the U.S., smoke grenades are legal in all states. However, some professional smoke grenades, like the Enola Gaye SD75, require permits or a pyrotechnics license. Some local governments have varying by-laws and regulations governing the use of smoke grenades.
All National Parks in the U.S. are strictly against the use of smoke grenades due to the threat of fire.
The time it takes for a grenade to empty its contents depends on factors like size and function. Smaller grenades tend not to last long, while larger ones can keep spewing smoke for well over a minute.
You can expect commercial smoke grenades to last anywhere from 20 to 90 seconds.
Survival flares are another item that preppers can make use of but how do they differ from smoke grenades?
Firstly, while smoke grenades have several survivalist applications, flares are entirely dedicated to signaling. Another major difference between the two is that flares have an externally visible spark. A smoke grenade’s sparks, on the other hand, are barely visible.
Flares are also used for maritime emergencies and, as a result, are intentionally made to be hard to put out, even with water. Meanwhile, it is much easier to put out a smoke grenade.
While both can be effective signaling devices, smoke grenades are much more useful during the day time, especially for long-distance signaling. Flares are effective at any time of the day, but they are especially visible at night.
Burn time for flares is regulated by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Aerial flares from a flare gun are required to burn for at least 40 seconds at a brightness of 30,000 candelas, while handheld flares are required to last for at least a minute at 15,000 candelas. The emission of smoke from smoke grenades is not regulated.
Wrapping things up, we can say that smoke grenades definitely have plenty of uses for preppers. They are, however, one extra thing you need to carry in your bug out bag!
As such, assess you potential SHTF scenarios and determine if a smoke grenade makes sense for your situation. Extra weight is never something you want to be carrying around, but one more way to signal dangers or deter attackers could literally save your life!