Roast Them!

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So some of you are, like me and Farmgal, living primarily on stored foods. And that means root vegetables that are tucked into a root cellar or cool part of your house. In our case, we’re lucky that our bedroom maintains a steady 14C all winter. (Okay, maybe not so lucky if you happen to […]

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Personal Survival kit

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Personal Survival kits are designed to give you a better chance of survival in the wild until help arrives or you escape whatever predicament you get into. They aren’t designed to keep you alive indefinitely and should be small enough to be kept on your person or in your pack. Most of the items are small and can’t take a lot of abuse and should be supplemented with a fixed blade or multi-tool. I have chosen my kit based on years of personal experience and what may work for me may not work for you, so develop yours based on your needs and skill level. I encourage you to build your own and practice with the contents. Many $30 range pre-assembled kits are more of novelty items than actual survival tools. 


I’ll go over my list of contents and describe why I chose such items:

Contents

Case:
Pelican Micro case. These are beast and will protect your gear from being crushed or water. I don’t like tin’s very much because they can be crushed. Comes with carabiner clip

Water:
Standard MRE hot beverage bag. They are super strong and zip lock closed. You can toss them around and the seal wont break
6 Water purification Tablets

Fire:
Spark lite firestarter/Tinder tabs. The spark lite is one hand operated if I become injured and can only use one hand. Tinder tabs are excellent fire starters and have a long burn time
7 Wind and waterproof matches. Matches are easy
Small Ferro Rod. spits awesome sparks, great for natural tinder
Fresnal Magnifying lens. a good Plan B for sunny days

Fire starting

Signaling/Navigation/Illumination:
Photon II LED light. Can be used to signal and illuminate. has a switch for constant on
2 Mini Glowsticks. for tactical low light illumination
Nato dry button compass I prefer the dry button compass because I travel to very cold regions and this will not freeze or leak.
Marine Safety whistle I like orange because it can easily be seen if misplaced. this particular one can be clipped to you or worn on a lanyard.
Signal mirror. To signal or assess facial or head wounds

Signaling

Food gathering/Cooking:
Thompson small snare Brass wire snares do work, but can be broken. Thompson’s wont break and have a locking mechanism
Fishing kit I’ve included 5 small hooks, 2 flies, and 1 jig, 50 ft of 10lbs test fishing line, and assortment of small lead weights
Heavy duty aluminum foil for cooking or attempting to boil water

food gathering

Cutting Implements: 
Commando wire saw w/ handles I know wire saw’s have their shortcomings but for size you shouldn’t be without one
HardCaseSurvival Folding Razor Saw I have just recently added this to my kit. One of the best and smallest multi-cutting tool on the market. Saw and super sharp razor combined
Scalpel blade for detail work and back up blade

Medical group:
Band aids
Butterfly bandages
Alcohol swabs will ignite from spark from ferro rod, back up tinder

Miscellaneous group:
Sewing kit hotel grade…repairs and needles to remove thorns
Knot tying card to facilitate my memory
2 sheets write in the rain paper
Pencil
4 ft 550 cord I keep this attached to the outside but I use this to string whistle, photon light, etc.. when photon light is strung around neck it gives you hands free illumination
10 ft nylon cord shelter building
Heavy duty sewing thread
2 Heavy duty safety pins
3 ft electrical tape wrapped around spark lite


As I said before, this is a last ditch effort to keep yourself alive. This is the same kit I carried while in the Military. I’ve upgraded and changed items numerous times. Your PSK should be an evolving kit. 


I’d like to get feedback on any hit or misses….Thanks

Gerber Recon

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To finish up this weeks review of tactical flashlights. We are reviewing one of my personal favorites, The Gerber Recon. The Gerber Recon is a smaller task light, that has 4 filters (white, red, green, and blue) built into the head of the flashlight. With a simple twist you can choose what color filter you want to use. What I really like about this is the red filter has a notch, so that you can adjust to red without turning on the light. Hence protecting your night vision.


The body is a flat black anodized aluminum that measures 3 1/2″. The light is operated by a momentary push or twist for constant on. The light also comes with a rear lanyard hole that 550 cord fits perfectly. Another great feature is the clip, which can be clipped to a hat brim and be used as a headlamp. Using a single AA battery and weighing only 2.4oz its very lightweight. 


I would not suggest using this light to navigate through jungles, but when map reading in a tactical environment its one of the best. Costing around $24 its definitely worth the money when using it in the appropriate capacity.

Mini Maglite AA LED

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How could I do flashlight reviews without talking about the original tactical flashlight? The Mini Maglite AA, now comes in a super bright LED version. Maglite’s have proven themselves for their durability and reliability. The other thing that makes them great is they take super cheap AA batteries.

With a twist of the head it has 4 Selectable Modes:

  • High Power
  • Low Power (25%)
  • Blink Mode – Blinks approx. once a sec.
  • SOS
It can also be used in a candle mode, when the head is removed and placed at the tail cap.

Specifications:
Length: 6.607″ (167.8 mm)
Barrel Diameter: .709″ (18 mm)
Head Diameter: 1″ (25.4 mm)
Weight with batteries: 4.15 oz. (117.75 g)
Brightness: 77 lumens w/ 10h 45min run time
MSRP: $30.00

If you want to go the less expensive route you can get the standard bulb Mini Maglite for around $12.00 and buy the Nite Ize upgrade kit and it cost around $10.00

Much can be said about the Mini Maglite. Accessories and batteries are cheap for the Maglite. Cody Lundin uses one. And even though I own Surefires and plenty of other tactical flashlights I always have a Mini Maglite.

SureFire G2 Nitrolon Flashlight

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Following up with our review of flashlights, Next is the Surefire G2. This flashlight has been around for awhile and is the most affordable of the Surefire line up. I carry one in a vehicle and another attached to my M4 carbine. I can attest they are built for abuse. 


Details:


Brightness/Run time: 65 lumens w/ a 60 minute run time
Length: 5.10″
Weight: 4.1oz
Batteries: CR123A
MSRP: $59.00
Colors: Hi-vis yellow, Black, OD green, Desert Tan

The G2® is a high-output flashlight featuring a tough, corrosion-proof Nitrolon® body and bezel. It uses a precision micro-textured reflector and a SureFire incandescent lamp to produce a smooth, brilliant beam with enough power to temporarily blind and disorient an aggressor by impairing his night-adapted vision. With a push button momentary on and twist constant on tail cap.


Overall a nice product especially when you cant justify spending $100 or more on a flashlight

Surefire G2X PRO

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For the next few days we are going to go over a few different flashlights on the market. Surefire by far is one of the best tactical brand flashlights on the market. They are used by FBI, Special Operations, and Search and Rescue teams worldwide.

The body is the Nitrolon Body with an Aluminum bezel. The Nitrolon is has a great feel and provides a secure grip.
Weight: 4.4oz
Length: 5.2″
Power: CR123A Lithium
MSRP: $95.00
LED bulb virtually indestructible

It has two modes….Mode 1 has a 200 lumens brightness setting (super bright) w/ a run time of 2.5 hours
                              Mode 2 has a 15 lumens brightness setting w/ a 45 hour run time

The grip is awesome and I like the aluminum bezel, as well as that its an LED. The dual brightness feature will definitely save on battery life. Also having a low light option will benefit in tactical environments. It’s one of Surefire’s mid range flashlights so it wont hurt you wallet too bad, but I think its definitely worth it with Surefire’s no hassle guarantee.

Bogota Entry Toolset

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Bogota Entry toolset….Best lock pick set on the market

Another pretty sick item from Hard Case Survival is the Bogota Entry Toolset. They offer a few different versions Stainless and a Titanium Version. The Stainless version is obviously corrosion resistant and the Titanium version being nearly weightless.

The niche about these picks is that each pick has a tension wrench on the handle side. So this eliminates carrying an extra tension wrench. Ergonomically they feel great in your hand. They measure 3 1/4″-3 1/2″ which makes them easily concealable.

Size in comparison to house key

I’ll go over lock picking techniques in future articles, but using a jiggling motion with the rake produces awesome results. These won’t make you an instant professional but once you know the basics of lock picking; I feel that I pick faster and have a better “feel” for the pins in the tumblers.

In comparison to a standard pick set. The Bogota Entry toolset
 is smaller than a standard tension wrench

I’m a huge fan of Hard Case Survival and all but threw my old pick sets away. If your in the market for a pick set I highly recommend the Bogota Entry toolset