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John

Survival gear suggestions

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SC Enthusiasts: Here is our opportunity to provide fellow interested SC members with critical reviews of gear we find useful, of high quality, cost effective, and has practical applications. I have done product reviews for the hunting and shooting industry for 30+ years and will from time to time post recommended products here and on the home page. One thing I require of any supplier or manufacturer is to put the product in my hands so I can use it live or have other friends pace it. I do not write reviews based on press releases or articles in fluff outdoor magazines.

 

The thing is you can do the same thing and it provides valuable information and insights for all of us. If you run across a really good product, buy it, use it, break it, or throw it away, then let us know. We'll all benefit from everyone's experience and maybe waste a little less money and time, which come to think of it is the same thing these days. Look to hear from you.

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Shake Lights. Great Idea in theory, but don't depend on it. after 6 months of being my go to flashlight, the wires to the switch get loose and eventually quit working. I thought it would be the end all to battery fed flashlights but the constant beating internally of a steal bearing against the stops in the housing, knock all the wires loose from the coil itself to the switch.

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Rebel - thanks for the feedback. I am probably the most flashlight poor person I know. The irony so far is the cheap ones work about as long as the expensive ones, though I admit I have a tough time paying $100-300 for a light. I can buy a lot of toss aways for that. I trash about one light a hunting season on average. I have an older Pelican flashlight that uses "c" batteries and it is still going with over 10 years of use, but then these are not lights I use all that much in balance.

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Rebel - thanks for the feedback. I am probably the most flashlight poor person I know. The irony so far is the cheap ones work about as long as the expensive ones, though I admit I have a tough time paying $100-300 for a light. I can buy a lot of toss aways for that. I trash about one light a hunting season on average. I have an older Pelican flashlight that uses "c" batteries and it is still going with over 10 years of use, but then these are not lights I use all that much in balance.

 

Come on, get a Surefire. You know you want to :-)

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I have a LED flashlight powered by a build in hand crank. I forget the brand name, but I've been using it now for 3 years and it works just as well as the day I got it. I'll edit this post when I get back home and can look at the brand name and I'll add a link to a picture or one for sale on Amazon.

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Josh- Surefire, that is the brand I was trying to think of. As soon as I get real flush maybe I can afford one. Then I wonder if it is a long lasting as they tout?

Edited by Josh_Survivalcache

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had one for several years. no prolems. been in the rain, cold, and left in my car every day of summer through AL heat (probably 125 inside car during July and AUg).

 

set back on them is the batteries die quickly and without warning.

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Surefire has been battle tested. I dunno if its false advertising or not, theres a cop that submitted his story about a surefire light on one of their pages, random in the night pull over, SOP, walking up to the car with his light by his head, beaming into the car, a bullet came at him, which the light took, saved his life. you get about an hour run time on the xenon light bulb and batteries, dunno how much run time you get with LED conversion, midwayusa, have a G2, 50% off sale. $29.99

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Canteen. I LOVE my canteen. I say this on almost every thread I've been on here, but I'll say it again. I have a canteen with a canteen cup and a canteen stove all nested together. With the canteen pouch, I have a firesteel, water purifier tabs, G.I. can opener, a folding spork, a way to boil water and cook food. Yeah a canteen can't hold as much water as a hydration bladder, but with all the space you save and its modular ability, I don't know why everyone doesn't have a canteen.

 

***Shameless Plug****

http://canteenshop.com/

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I highly agree with delta7. Even if you don't own a canteen (WHICH YOU SHOULD!!!!! lol) get a metal canteen cup. It serves the purpose of giving you the capability to boil water for very cheap and very little weight/space consumption, it's a redundancy to my water filter. My favorite item is the camouflage poncho with liner. In less challenging weather it can substitute a sleeping bag and be a decent substitute for a jacket. The poncho could be used to collect rain water, and create a camouflage lean-to with you curled up underneath in the liner.

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Surefire lights have been shot and blown off weapons in Iraq and A'stan and still worked. One guys rifle was blown out of a vehicle several hundred yards by an IED, Surefire still worked. They take a beating and keep on ticking...really the only light I will use, though I do have 2 Inforce lights which are very durable and very light (weight wise, though they are bright)

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Getting off the light subject, I have used a blackhawk patrol pack from 2003-2010. The thing has taken a considerable beating, being thrown around during deployments, taken through airports, even hit by a frag grenade in combat, and it is still a BA pack. Its a top loading pack, with a drawstring top under the flap (sort of like an overgrown buttpack, which I also had good experiences with, more on that piece of kit later). It has plastic fastex buckles, and some webbing on the outside for attaching pouches via the BTS system. My only complaints on the pack, are that the BTS straps are sewn on funny, and it makes them almost entirely useless. I say almost, because you can strap an etool carrier on the pack, and have the etool extend down between the two pouches on the back side, and a machete on either side, going down under the side pouches (they have the gaps like an ALICE pack). There are also some points to attach things to the bottom via straps that you may have lying around (the ones for securing thins in Humvees work awesome). the pack is almost overbuilt, and almost too spacious for an assault pack, but it is tits with regards to usefulness. One other small complaint, the top flap originally came with sides, so it extended down over the top of the pack, which prohibited using the top flap as a built in cargo strap. removed these, and it was then pretty much perfect. There was also a divider I didn't want in it at the time, so I cut that out too.

The next kit piece, is a blackhawk buttpack. i have had this thing almost as long as the pack. It is made of the same materials as the patrolpack, and is again, slightly overbuilt ;). It has two strap point on the top and on the bottom that can be used to attached rolled up items via straps to the pack. It also has attachment points for things like canteens and firstaid kits on the sides, just like every other buttpack out there. And these have the BTS system in mind. For attaching to a belt, you can use ALICE clips, or the attached BTS system (basically a velcro flap that wraps around the belt). I have used and abused this as well, and it has laughed at my every attempt to wreck it. Both of these items are ones I would recommend to a friend. you can get the pack on ebay for anywhere from $20-100 (I paid $275 brand new, and it was worth every freakin penny, and the one that they still make, the commo version which I would love to get my hands on, goes for almost $400) and the buttpack you can find used for around $30 ($50 originally).

Recently I bought a Rush 12 produced by 5.11. And I must say, that for being a pack with zippers (I hate zippers, unreliable little things) it is a pack after my heart. i got the sandstone colored one, for about $85 from http://www.antarespro.com/. This was the cheapest place I could find it. I got it for carrying my school stuff, and it is doing such a nice job distributing the weight (almost forty pounds worth, damn textbooks) that I am starting to think it would be good enough for a BOB. I am not a fan of zippers, which it has, but the ability to stuff this thing is what is turning my head. i will let you all know how it fairs through the harsh winter months ahead, but I think it will do as well as my patrol pack. Hope this helps.

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For folding knives I have used a gerber parafram and have never had a lick of trouble with it. The lock up has stayed tight for years and I love the openig and closing of it with one hand.

Flashlights-I have had great luck with rayovacs-they are decent price for the lumens and durability.

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Source Hydration products.

 

http://source-military.com/

 

http://sourceoutdoor.com/

 

Top quality right here. 100x better than Camelbak, although Camelbak is decent. Currently Source Hydration bladders are standard issue for the Marines, and men and women of all the other branches of the military are using them in place of Camelbak's. I currently own 1 and regret ever wasting my money on Camelbak.

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