How To: Burner Phone

Chances are, you've probably seen a TV or movie where a Jack Bauer-type character, on the run from big bad evil, uses cheap throw away phones to communicate unnoticed.

Commonly known as a burner phone, a backup, essentially disposable phone isn't only useful for secret agents and criminals. There are a long list of reasons why having a spare phone with a different phone number might come in handy -- lose/break your primary cell phone, selling something via Craig's List, traveling and don't want to risk your $900 smart phone, and so on.

Commo is your lifeline, so you want to do what you can to protect it.

So--how to set up a burner phone? It's actually very easy and 100% legitimate and legal.

Disclaimer: For lawful and responsible uses only While you can get a bit of anonymity and privacy with a 'burner' phone like this, don't do anything dumb, offensive or illegal.


Haley Strategic releases the FlatPack

This is a pretty slick little pack/back panel to integrate into the D3CR.

It is pretty small - 1 liter hydro capacity, 700 cubic inches when fully expanded - but is sized well to fit onto the back of a plate carrier. Tactical Tailor/Grey Ghost Gear and others have launched backpacks designed to integrate into the back of an armor carrier, but they mostly seem to end up a bit big, bulky and unwieldy.

A compressed FlatPack looks about as slick as you can hope to get for a hydration carrier, yet it gives you the ability to expand out and carrier more gear if needed.

This isn't for carrying a multi-day load for sure, but enough space to support a day at the range, a long hike or a short range patrol activity.

I have a D3CR, and the chest rig harness is a bit on the lame side. That makes the FlatPack all the more appealing to me, given that it's is intended to replace the harness and integrate in with the chest rig.

The price may be a bit rich for a small, fairly basic pack ($130), but it's got a unique set of capabilities that don't exist elsewhere.


INI-power: Electro-juice on mogas, propane, paint thinner and more

Targeted at spec ops units operating far away from reliable supply chains, ini-power's line of portable gennies may also appeal to those looking to have some of that good ol' fashion 'tricity if and when our usual supply chain self destructs.

From the spec sheet:

INI’s agnostic fuel architecture allows for the use of ANY FUEL, in ANY AOR, in ANY COMBINATION, thereby allowing War fighters to generate power from any military logistical fuel, in addition to any fuels available off of the local economy, including contaminated fuels typically found in remote AORs for a wide-ranging number of mission sets.

Listed fuels include JP-8, F-34 “NATO”, gasoline, propane, methanol, and isopropanol, but most anything combustible that you can pour in the tank has a good chance of working.

They've got 2 kw, 1 kw and 500w versions out there, and Soldier Systems just had a blurb up on a new 5 kw unit they are releasing.

Unfortunately, at time of publication, INI only sells directly to the .GOV.

For us regular schlubs in need of versatile fuel consumption, tinkering survival types have had good success with Harbor Freight's little 900w generator (this one on Amazon looks similar if you don't have an HF nearby. There's a long running thread over on ARFCOM about this little genny that could, including tales of dudes who have successfully run it on all variety of fuels - rubbing alcohol and nail polish was a winner, if I remember right.


Review: Mad Max: Fury Road - Worth the wait!

We've all had our hopes dashed by bad remakes and reboots of classic movies...this, my friends, is not one of them. This is genuine, bona fide Mad Max...in fact, it's Mad Max with a triple boost of nitro.


The Cars of Mad Max: Fury Road

The last of the Interceptors returns!

Preview and some fun behind the scenes talk about the mechanical monstrosities built for the upcoming Mad Max movie (yes, it's on Bloomberg and Bloomberg sucks).

All are badass, but this one was my favorite:



Max Velocity on Patrol Loads and Packs

Max dropped some truth bombs in a post today over at the MVT blog - check it out.

A few quotes, but the whole write up is worth a read:

You have to figure out what you think it is sensible to carry, and what you can carry, and how it applies to your task. I tell people to pack smart. You need what you need, but you should try and cut down. Prepper mindset can lead you to try and pack a whole bunch of stuff, ‘just in case.’ Well, unless it is absolutely essential, like your weapon, then don’t take it! Be smart about it. Concentrate on ammo, water and food, shelter (as applicable) with items to support that WITHIN REASON.

You have to get away from the idea that you can operate in some sort of self contained way indefinitely. So you pack a weeks’ worth of rations and all your camping gear. Now you can hardly move, and are no longer alert on patrolling. After a week you run out of rations. Perhaps pack 2 weeks? NO. You need a base and you need logistics. If you are operating out there for an extended period, you need a team and a logistics plan. You cannot operate on your own indefinitely. How about someone resupplies a cache by some means? ATV, vehicle, whatever? Use your brain to figure it out so you can move lighter and smarter. If you are planning on some sort of extended forward patrol base operation, see what means you can use to get supplies in there without having to hump them, or at least cache them close?

If you are conducting security patrolling, you may be patrolling light at relatively close range to your base, in your standard loadout, like my light battle belt/ CUTT chest rig configuration as an example. Ballistic plates or not, pick your poison. I recommend a light hydration pack so you have water and the ability to carry a small amount of other gear, such as night vision, some food , extra mags etc. Camelbak MULE type item. That loadout will probably have at least 8 or 9 x 5.56 magazines on it (including your rifle). If you are going on an extended patrol and need to take the patrol pack, then you need that ‘second line ammo scale’ on the patrol pack, which would be another 8 mags. See how this is never going to be light anyway, so you need to cut it down where you can.

I will carry the least amount of gear that I can get away with, but there are basics that will always be present. Here are some examples, not an ultimate list, just what pops to mind mentally going through gear:

First Line: Light Battle belt / CUTT Chest Rig / hydration pack:

  • Rifle
  • Rifle magazines (9)
  • Handgun
  • Handgun magazines (3)
  • Small IFAK
  • 2 x TQ
  • Radio – if using.
  • Leatherman Tool
  • Knife
  • FLIR Scout
  • PVS-14 / Crye Nightcap
  • Map/Compass
  • Basic rations – energy bars
  • Water bladder
  • Water purification tablets / straw
  • Lighters
  • Smoke
  • Batteries for all above.
  • (Ballistic Plate carrier – if applicable)
Add Patrol Pack:
  • Magazines (8)
  • Water (either stow the hydration pack as a mini ‘grab bag’ or carry a separate bladder in the patrol pack)
  • Rations (3 days stripped down)
  • Light jungle sleeping bag / blanket (upgraded for winter)
  • Goretex bivvy bag
  • Thermal sleeping mat
  • MVT SHIELD (use as tarp shelter)
  • Spare socks
  • Spare clothing / cold weather gear
  • Foot care kit / first aid / medications
  • Lightweight rocket /solid fuel stove with pot
  • Helmet – if applicable / night vision
  • Folding saw
  • Paracord
  • Add misc. items such as batteries and misc. gear.
  • Add special to task gear as appropriate.
From Alex: Again, read the whole write up, it's good advice.

I've been writing about keeping bug out bag/patrol packs/go to hell bags (I prefer the latter term personally, but whatevs) as light as possible for a while. That doesn't mean ditching the essentials, it means packing what you need and trimming weight where you can. Your pack might not be an ultralight one, especially if you're conducting some variety of post apocalyptic patrol/operation, but it shouldn't be heavier than it needs to be.

Example - you don't need a stove, but you might want to have one for convenience/comfort. But if you are going to pack one around on foot, it'd better be pretty lightweight.

My personal pack lists is fairly similar to what Max details above -- certainly some nuances; I don't have a stove or a bivvy bag, have 5 mags versus 8, I do have a weapons cleaning kit, that kind of thing. Max didn't intend his lists to be exhaustive and all encompassing, just a starting point for a total collapse, armed citizen's patrol pack.