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5/31/13

What have you been up to lately?

A couple projects that I'm working on...

Repacking the bug out bag into a smaller, more streamlined package. Swapped out a few things to reduce weight/bulk. Really happy with how things are sizing up - down to around 12 pounds, dry weight - 18ish with water. Cut some stuff, added some new capabilities, focused in on what was most important to me given the likely use scenarios. Related posts are incoming...it's a bit different than your typical bug out bag. Have a couple other items I need to acquire, T&E before I'm going to call it done, but its in a pretty good place now.

Also got a great eBay deal on a very nice solar panel - a 28 watt folding panel from PowerFilm. Paid less than half the usual retail...I've been watching PowerFilm auctions for a year or two now and finally won a good one. These things are amongst the best portable panels in the world at this point--totally weatherproof, you can shoot bullet holes in 'em and they continue to work fine. Very manageable size and weight for a 28 watt panel.

The panel will be used to charge a battery, and I need to decide what I want to do for a battery set up and charge controller--if I want to just go with out of the box or DIY something. The battery will then be used to charge 12v stuff - lights, radios and battery chargers. More detailed posts on the panel forthcoming, too.


Project 590A1 needs a little bit more love from me...a light is the last big thing I'm looking at, and I'm on the fence about going with a dedicated Surefire fore end or just slapping some rail on and using a pistol light. Will probably go for a pistol light. Anyone have any shotgun light mounts they particularly like? I wish MagPul had their Mossberg stuff out.

I am also doing some window shopping for nylon gear...chest rig, holsters, some BDUs, etc. Will probably wait until the army announces their newly selected camouflage scheme, which is rumored to be in the next couple weeks on the army's 6/14 b-day.

Got another subscription to Panteao Production's train online. Going to do some marathon training video watching. $20 a month, but access to their whole library. Not a bad deal, especially considering the videos run $40ish dollars on their own.

Eating less junk and doing more exercise has got me down about 15lbs. Have another 15-ish to go, but feeling pretty good about it.

I am also doing some shopping for a training class, probably this fall. May try for a survival class and a weapons course of some kind--pistol or carbine, likely. Need to figure out my work schedule, vacation time, moves and all that jazz and then pull the trigger.

Those are the highlights from our neck of the woods. What have you been up to?

12 comments :

  1. I have the smaller, R-600 panel panel and you're right, it can't be beat. Here's the charge controller I bought. It has 3 different connectors for set voltages of 3v, 6v and 12v.

    http://www.jameco.com/1/1/46853-sol4ucn2-solar-panel-charge-controller-use-sol8-sol5n-sol15.html

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  2. I'm getting into better shape, finishing up some classes at the local community college, and trying to find time to get some rides in on my new bicycle. I also picked up the .22 version of Ruger's SP101 and so far I'm completely digging it.

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  3. DiplomatMay 31, 2013

    As far as forend lights go, Inforce WML is a nice buy for a shotgun. 100+ lumens for about $100.

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  4. AnonymousJune 01, 2013

    Not a whole lot - bored pretty much. Did score a victory - found a source for canvas sail needles, a heavy duty tool that is very handy to have when you stitch heavy duty materials together. The few stores I've found them at price shipping cost way to high (they can easily be shipped for free in addressed envelope for Pete's sake. This and thin 'trip wire' is a great repair kit for emergency repairs.

    Going to score some range time tomorrow, that is needed. Haven't been out for quite a while - Ammo is crazy expensive.

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  5. For survival courses, I cannot recommend highly enough the Tracker School Standard class. You won't be sorry. I purchased Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder Phase 1 course. Even though it is way cheaper, not even close to what you will learn with Tom Brown Jr.

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  6. Re-thinking and Re-Packing my "Get Home" bag. I have started working on a project that will have me going out of town on occasion.

    I'll be 5 hours from home, crossing several major bridges, and going through several large cities.

    Has me thinking about what would happen if I was away and something happened, or if I was en route, and encountered a natural disaster of some sort that shut travel down, and made it difficult to get home.

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  7. Day TripperJune 03, 2013

    I picked up a couple of Grabber Outdoors all-weather blankets and updated my vehicle kits to include 2 reflective blankets, pre-cut paracord lengths to connect both of them at the grommets and a longer length to be used in setting up a shelter. I like the idea of creating a tent with them so that all the reflective material is on the inside to keep in warmth...you could also reverse it and reflect out heat if needed and it would be easier to spot in a rescue situation. Other than that I continued my quest for the "perfect" backpack.

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  8. I'm headed on a 1700 mile drive to Kirtland AFB, NM for 6 mths of training. Going to try and find some good camping/hiking spots. Anyone know of good spots? And any suggestions on a good 2 day hiking bag been looking hard at a 3400 Teton Sports internal frame bag.

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  9. AnonymousJune 03, 2013

    I'm not familiar with the area you are going but as far as a 2-3 day pack goes I've seen some deals lately on Kelty Redwing 50's priced in the $60-$70 range. It is a bit smaller than the Scout 3400 you are looking at but the Kelty suspension system is probably one of the most comfortable internal frame packs I've every used.

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    Replies
    1. I'll look into one, I liked the few I saw at Dick's but those were larger and out of my price range.

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  10. Enjoying your work! Thanks form: Afghanistan
    Checkout http://www.blackscoutsurvival.com/

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  11. Just came back from another swampland foray. Bout 2 weeks this time so kind of short. Got a nice conceled shelter almost finished and split enough cypress planks to try my hand at a stitch and glue pirouge sans the fiberglass. Gonna substitute pine pitch reinforced with sinew. Lol i might sink!
    Practiced plenty bushcraft and did some nice trapping.
    Now im loafing on the sofa in the ac with the wife =-)

    A note about your solar rig. Consider running 6v, gel would be best. 6v is made to be recharged and run deeper. You may find it's got a bigger kick with more longevity for your buck. Of course they do make hefty 12v batteries nowadays i reckon. Please let me know what you find. I'm always looking to upgrade my solar rig in any way that i can ;-)

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