Best Survival Watch under $200

Best Survival Watch under $200 – My Top 3 Picks

So there you are, lost, alone and surrounded by nothing but miles of wilderness. Harsh, rugged and challenging terrain separates you from the comforts of the modern world. Your only job… to survive.

Ok, so this is not a situation that many of us will ever find ourselves in, but if you did, wouldn’t you like to think that you could survive and make it out alive? What if I told you there was a tool that could help keep you sane in the face of confusion and focused on your objective and goals? Fortunately for you, this tool exists in the form of a survival or tactical watch.

Now I don’t need to tell you that watches have been around for a very long time and in their simplest form, the technology of watches has not changed much. However, the same cannot be said regarding the survival watch industry. Technological advancements combined with feature-rich platforms have developed over time enabling you to control and command a ton of information with that thing strapped to your wrist.

In this article, I’m going to look at three of the best survival watches for under $200. I’ll tell you what I like about them, what I don’t like about them and of course, what makes them at great buy at this price range.

1. Casio Men’s PRW-3500-1CR Atomic Resin Digital Watch

First up on my list of the best survival watch under $200, let’s take a look at the Casio PRW-3500-1CR Atomic Resin Digital Watch. This watch combines a sturdy and functional foundation with a ton of features.

Best Survival Watch under $200 - Casio Men's PRW-3500-1CR Atomic Resin Digital Watch

The watch is solar-powered meaning that the internal battery is charged via the sun or other light sources. This is perhaps one of the most critical elements to a survival watch. Think about it, if you’re truly lost and / or cut off from the rest of the world, aka power sources, a solar powered watch will keep on ticking simply as a result of exposure to the sun. Without power and a dead battery your watch would be rendered useless. That will not be the case with a solar powered watch. Amazingly, these watches can run for months on end without any exposure to light.

The PRW-3500-1CR is equipped with all of the major features you would expect on a tactical watch. These include low-temperature resistance, digital compass with bearing memory, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, sunrise and sunset data, world time, backlight with after-glow, alarms with snooze, stopwatch and a countdown timer.

Perhaps more importantly, this watch is also water resistant up to 200-meters. As these ratings can be somewhat misleading, I’ll help to clarify this one. This watch is good to go in rain or moisture-abundant environments and yes it can be submerged. Would I scuba-dive with it? No, but a quick dunk underwater should be no problem for this watch.

2. G-Shock Rangeman Master

Next up, we have another Casio watch, this time it’s the G-Shock Rangeman Master. For 25-plus years, the G-Shock watch series has been one of the toughest and most durable watches available. Time has treated them well and Casio continues to innovate within the lineup.

G-Shock Rangeman Master

The G-Shock Rangeman is both rugged and tough, combining a shock resistant triple-sensor with altitude, barometric pressure, temperature and direction readings. The Rangemaster also utilizes cylindrical buttons and audible tones for easy operation. Again the Rangeman is powered by Casio’s Tough Solar operation allowing this watch to run for months on a single charge.

With a dependable water resistant enclosure up to 200 meters, the G-Shock Rangeman is a survival watch that will not let you down when it matters most.

3. Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder

Last but not least, the the Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder rounds out the list of my top three favorite survival watches.

The Pathfinder is another solid and feature-rich beast of a watch from Casio. This watch lacks nothing in the major feature category providing you with a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, low temperature resistance, backlight, battery power indicator, and power-saving function.

Casio PAG240-1CR Pathfinder

While battery life is not an issue thanks to the solar-powered operation of the Pathfinder, it is a little bit lacking in the water resistance category. With a rating of only 100-meters this watch ranks below the other two watches I mentioned above. That is really the only knock on this watch and in most cases this watch is still perfectly functional. With 100-meter rating you can still swim and snorkel with this watch so for most people there should be no problems.

The Pathfinder is another great option in the survival watch category and at under $200 it’s a great value on a lot of technology.


So as you can tell after reading the above reviews, Casio has a strong position in the survival watch category, especially in this price range. They have multiple product offerings each tailored to a unique type of user. They continue to innovate and progress the technology of these watches which is why they are some of my favorites.

If you’re in the market for a survival or tactical watch, you can’t go wrong purchasing any of the the above three watches. I’ll also try my best to keep updating this list that helps you choose the best survival watch under $200.

Best Backpacking Axe – My Top 3 Choices & Detailed Review

My Top 3 Choices for the Best Backpacking Axe

When I hear the word “Axe”, what comes to my mind is an implement or a tool with a heavy bladed head at the end of a long piece of wood called a handle. This tool is most commonly used to shape, split and cut wood, since centuries gone by.

There is a lot of information on the internet about Axes in general and the best backpacking axes that are multipurpose and can be used for varied jobs like cutting, chopping and splitting wood and cutting up and slicing hunted game just to name a couple. There’s even some backpackers and hikers who tramp the forests and wilderness, who use their axe to apparently shave their beards, I think that is quite creative, but also quite dangerous!

My Top 3 Candidates for a Backpacking Axe

After studying the qualities and features of a few axes myself, my top 3 choices would be as follows:

#1 – Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Camp Ax

I think that the avid backpacker in me is really looking for an axe like this heavy-duty camp axe. For me it was love at first sight and after examining its features, this is more precisely the backpacking axe I may have been looking for.

Just look at some of its cool features. This axe is ideal for tough cutting jobs as it is made from 5mm thick, 440 stainless steel. The bead blasted texture on the handle facilitates a firm grip for me to use this axe in adverse wet weather conditions and cold temperatures. The small dimensions and light weight of this axe makes it an excellent axe for both men and women to handle.

Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Camp Ax


  • Value for money product

  • Only 17” long and weighs only 1 lb

  • Black oxide finish prevents blade rust

  • Blade comes extremely sharp

  • Better leverage because of extended neck, when cutting

  • Pry bar head attached to the top of the handle

  • Comes with nylon sheath for blade protection

  • Lifetime Warranty


  • Cannot use this axe for heavy-duty cutting jobs as it is light weight

  • Is ok when I am cutting and splitting wood to create a small fire but probably a definite disadvantage if I need to split wood to build a larger fire.

  • The axe may not be durable if used to split larger pieces of wood

  • The sheath is too large for the blade and the blade moves around in the sheath – unsafe

#2 – Cold Steel 90PTH – Trench hawk axe

In the absence of my Top #1 choice, my next choice at #2 will be the Cold Steel 90PTH axe which is quite capable of cutting different types of wood easily. I believe that this is one of the best axes in 2017 from Cold Steel. It has an edge of 3-1/2 inch for cutting, and a solid wedge shaped spike.

Furthermore, its poly propylene handle is very resistant to impact and shock and protects your hands and wrists, from long term damage due to prolonged usage.

Cold Steel 90PTH - Trench hawk axe


  • This axe comes with special wedge shaped spike, ideal design for splitting wood, making fire wood or peeling trees

  • The comfortable handle allows users to perform clean cuts while cutting wood

  • Weighs 1.5 lbs and has a length of 19”

  • Exclusive Secure-Ex sheath which ensures durability


  • The axe handle lacks a textured layer so a good grip in wet and adverse weather may be an issue

  • No belt loop with the included sheath

#3 – Gerber 31-000917 Splitting Axe

I know the quality of Gerber axes and the fact that they are famous for their cutting precision. I would place this axe as my Top #3 as I can confidently use this axe to split any type of wood.

This axe’s head is created from durable forged steel which maintains the sharpness of the edge. Its fibre handle lets you cut in a variety of ways, as it is virtually indestructible. Due to its unique design, the axe has an ideal weight and balance that enables a user to effortlessly swing away to cut different types of wood.

Gerber 31-000917 Splitting Axe


  • This is the highest rated axe from Gerber and the carefully crafted steel head can handle sustained use on different types of wood.

  • The length of the axe is 28.46 inch, weight is a bit heavy at 3.4 lbs but

ideal for heavy duty cutting jobs

The fibre combed handle feels safe while cutting branches, twigs, logs, and other wood material


  • The sheath that comes with the axe is a little hard to put over the axe head, as per some owners


If it is entirely up to me to make a choice between these three multipurpose axes, then my choice for the best backpacking axe would clearly and doubtlessly be the light and versatile Ultimate Survival Technologies SaberCut Camp Ax.

Best Hunting Rangefinder for the Money

Top 5 Rangefinders for Hunting

Rangefinders are an exciting new technology that have now become an essential part of any hunters (bow or gun) kitty so if you’re here looking for the best hunting rangefinder for the money, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve had the good fortune of working and testing out various laser rangefinders over the course of my hunting career and I thought it would be of great help to my readers if I listed out some of the best hunting rangefinders along with their detailed reviews.

I cover all sorts of all purpose hunting rangefinders across all budgets – be it less than $100 to even those that cost more than $300. The main focus is on quality which is why I’ve narrowed down this list to the Top 5 Rangefinders for Hunting.

1. Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

#1 on my list of finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. This special edition is especially designed for hunters and with a single button operation system, this will appeal to all the hunters out there.

It comes equipped with an in-view LCD display that shows you the exact distance with an accuracy of +- 1 yard, and that too with the single tap of a button! The magnification is great at 4X and will appeal to both, gun and bow hunters and even those carrying a simple hunting knife with them.


It comes included with a case and is rain proof as well which makes the under $200 price tag seem all the more appealing. I expected it to be quite heavy but was pleasantly surprised to find out that it weighed less than 10 ounces. Now this is great because when you are in the wilderness, you want to carry a really low weight with you to ensure you don’t slow down.

The rangefinder housing is rugged and tough and rainproof so you don’t need to worry about those wet conditions. However, I would advise you to keep it out of water as much as possible so that the life remains long.

This one is designed for a vertical configuration and which is why you’re able to use the single button operation system. You just need to tap the button with your index finger. It uses a 9 volt battery which you can find at any local store incase your current battery runs out.

Coming onto the range, which is the main part about any rangefinder and you wont’ be disappointed with the Bushnell Michael Waddell 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. The maximum range is 600 yards but ideally the range is closer to 400 yards – 600 works when you have reflective surfaces. I’ve used it to get accurate readings of deers for even 350 yards so that’s a great range for this price. It comes with a 20mm objective lens and a 4X magnification system.

The best part is the LCD panel which uses illuminated indicators which is a great plus in low light conditions. It also shows you the targeting reticule, battery life indicator and unit of measure. It also comes with a handy carrying case but to be honest, I really did not find the need to put it in that thanks to the already great compact size of the rangefinder. All in all, a great buy and if you buy it from Amazon, you also get the option to take a 3 or 4 year protection as well.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Yards

Increment Reading – 0.1 yards

Magnification – 4x

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 5.5 in. x 5 in. x 2.8 in.

Device Weight – 8.8 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

2. Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

Another popular sub $100 laser rangefinder is the Simmons 801600 which has a 10-600 yard range and is a 20mm vertical rangefinder. Again you have the option of changing the measure to yards or meters based on your preference and is a one touch operation system.

For those on a budget, this is an excellent choice that gets the job done without any frills. It  does not have a scan feature but rather focuses on the one important task – giving you an instantaneous distance of the target with a very good response time.


Even though the claimed range is 10-600 yards, I’ve had the best response in the 300 yard range. The body is slightly larger compared to the Bushnell Mitchell but the device has great contours which are great if you’re using gloves. The only con I’ve found with this device is that the battery compartment needs to be opened with a dime or similar tool since it is secured by a flathead screw.

It uses a 9 volt alkaline battery which does not come included with the original package so you need to purchase it separately. Yes, there is also a 4X magnification feature but do remember, that with increased magnification, the precision does suffer.

The Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder has a black LCD display and the best part I liked about this budget rangefinder is that it comes with an angle compensation feature.

Also, the performance of this device does suffer slightly during low light conditions because it does not come equipped with fully multicoated optics but all said and done, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a great rangefinder under 100 dollars.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Yards or meters

Increment Reading – 0.1 yards

Magnification – 4x

Batteries – 9V

Size – 6.5 in. x 3 in. x 5 in

Device Weight – 9.6 ounce

Waterproof – No

3. Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder

#3 on my list of the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder which is again very popular with a lot of hunting and survival enthusiasts.

Priced at just over $150, this compact rangefinder is 3.6”x2.9″x1.5 inches in size and is extremely easy to carry along. The display range is in a 1 meter/yard format and features a single button operation. It is also extremely popular among golfers but can be used by hunters as well.


It’s not very heavy either and without the battery, just weighs in at 4.4 ounces while with batteries, the weight increases to 5.6 ounces. It has a solid feel and grip to it which makes it easier to hold during slippery conditions.

For those who love a great magnification, the Nikon 8397 ACULON will not disappoint with its 6X magnification capability. Although, the measurement range is between 10-550 yards, you’ll see the best results within the 100-400 yard range. An interesting feature is the multilayer coating which Nikon claims helps in transmittance of light leading to a clearer picture. While I can’t vouch for that, the clarity is pretty good of the 20mm lens.

It doesn’t have a lot of fancy features but for the price, it’s definitely worth the money. I, in particular, liked the distance target priority mode which displays the measurements of the farthest target and this comes in handy when you have deer or any other target that is hiding behind some bush or grass.

The rangefinder also automatically powers down if left unused for more than 8 seconds but sometimes it does irritate having to press the button again. That said and done, I would definitely recommend this from my end if someone is looking for the best laser rangefinder under $200.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10-550 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 1 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – N/A

Size – 3.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.5 in

Device Weight – 5.6 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

4. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Rangefinder RRF-101

Now this one is a slightly expensive rangefinder that I’ve included in this list of the Top 5 laser rangefinders and is packed with more features keeping in mind expert huntsman. With a rubber armour coating, the Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 comes with fully coated multi-lenses that are anti-reflective and result in superior performance.

This has a much higher range of 600-1000 yards and if the conditions are right, you’ll be surprised to get readings that are even higher! The ranging is pretty fast and the rubber coating provides a great grip. It comes with an O-ring seal to protect it against dirt, grime & debris.


There are 3 operating modes to choose from – the Horizontal Compensating Distance (HCD) function to compensate for angle, the Scan Mode that shows real time readings and the LOS or Line of Sight mode. You have the option of displaying ranges in yards or meters and the device also comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 is pretty lightweight and comfortably fits in your hand and there is also a lanyard cable that comes along with it. The 6×22 mm lens has an accuracy of upto 3 yards and a 315 feet field of view and is perfect for bow hunting.

I’d definitely give it 4 stars out of 5 from my end with the only con being the slightly higher price.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 300 – 1000 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 3 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 8 in. x 6 in. x 12 in

Device Weight – 8 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

Carrying Case – Yes

Lanyard – Yes

Battery Included – Yes

5. Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder

And, finally completing my roundup in the hunt to finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder. Priced at slightly over $100, the Halo XRT6 has a 600 yard range and a 6X magnification feature along with a scan mode that allows for constant ranging.

The Halo XRT6 is targeted towards both golfers and hunters and comes with a carrying case as well. A lot of people claim that this even ranges through a window pane although I’ve never tested it out myself but in the outdoors, this works like a charm. The anti fog lens is a good addition and being waterproof will keep you less worried during wet conditions.


While it claims to have a 600 yard range, I’ve tested it out and seen that it works perfectly till about 400-450 yards after which the accuracy becomes a little less. It also ranges objects in the dark which is a very handy feature specially when you’re out for those early morning or late evening hunts.

It comes with a one year warranty and you can purchase additional protection if you want from Amazon. There is no OFF button so don’t get worried if you don’t find one; instead the rangefinder auto shuts off after 20 seconds. It’s simple to use with a 6X magnification and the optics are very good performance wise.

All in all, a great laser rangefinder to add to your collection.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10-600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 1 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 8.6 in. x 6.4 in. x 2.5 in

Device Weight – 10.2 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

Carrying Case – Yes