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Old 05-08-2013, 13:57   #1
Deputydave
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Product Review Thread

I thought that maybe a product review thread would be of interest to the members here. My thoughts are for anyone that has or would like to review a product can put down their comments here in this thread. That way it is an easy source of information to check on. You can include pics, videos or whatever if you'd like.

I'll start off with a few reviews I've put on Amazon and some other boards:

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife - Coyote Brown - Review


Survival/Preparedness Forum

I reviewed this knife here on Amazon, Youtube, discussion boards and other websites prior to purchasing. After evaluating these reviews and opinions I was expecting an excellent knife and I was not disappointed. Shipping was very quick to begin with. Secondly, this is a substantial knife that will give one years of service.

Starting with the knife itself, it has weight to it. Some don't like that aspect whereas I was hoping for it to have some heft. I don't want to give the impression that it is a brick, rather that when you hold it you KNOW you are holding a knife with enough steel to chop, baton or break something with the pommel end. In otherwords, this isn't a cheap flea market special. The blade came 'scary' sharp. The finish on the blade was excellent as was the fit of the handle. It felt well balanced in the hand for normal bush craft duties.

The sheath is well made. The only way to lose the knife out of the sheath is if you lose the sheath as well. The knife 'clicks' into the sheath like the Bear Grylls knive do and it also has two straps that fasten with a snap. The nylon part of the sheath can be completely removed from the ballistic nylon part if you wish (this is the part with the belt loops). The nylon part houses the sharper and this type of sharpener in this location is brilliant on the part of Gerber. Better than a sharpening stone with requires a bit more skill as well as more refined motor skills to accomplish. The type of sharpener on this sheath is simple and efficient i.e. simply insert blade, provide a bit of downward pressure and pull. Additionally, if you look closely at the sheath you'll notice cut out holes and slots on the outside of the sheath where 550 paracord or velcro straps can be attached. This provides the the ability to 'pimp' out the sheath with added items if desired such as a ferro rod, whistle, mag bar or whistle. I'm not talking adding the kitchen sink to the sheath, but the ability to secure something as simple as a ferro rod can go a long way in a pinch.

This sheath can be worn horizontal, vertical or attached to any pack with ease.

The thigh bands are high quality and heavy duty. This feature was a selling point for my on this knife. My last trip to the woods I had a quality knife on my hip, but no bands to secure it to my thigh. Not a big deal really when your walking/hiking. But sitting down in a chair or log tends to have the longer sheaths get in the way or snagged as they stick out a bit when your bending/leaning over.

The seat belt tool and sheath was icing on the cake and has now found a home in my glove box. I've responded to auto accidents and this is a very useful tool to have. It is one of those tools that if you don't have it but need it you're going to wish you did.

I recommend this knife highly and expect it will provide years of service. It is worth more than the asking price imo.

As a note: If anyone has a link or video of a pimped out sheath let me know. I'd like to see ideas for adding things to the sheath without being silly.
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:59   #2
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Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife - Review

Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife - Review

Survival/Preparedness Forum

For the price point (less than $40), this is a great knife. I've purchased two and both have come very sharp out of the package. The fit and finish were excellent. Now this knife does not compare to something along the lines of a Gerber LMF II in terms of strength, however, the LMF is at a price point that is nearly double (and well worth the money, I have one as my primary knife). The point is that at the price point it is offered at it it a great knife.

The sheath is well made, durable and should be long lasting with hard use. The ferro rod is an EXCELLENT idea. As a tip, I've taken the whistle off the knife handle and put in on the ferro rod. I then wrapped the excess cordage the whistle is on around and through the sheath in the location where the knife sharpener is in. Thus when the sheath is in the closed position (normal position) the whistle will not flop around and the ferro rod will not be lost in the unlikely event it comes out of the slot. Just a little extra insurance. Additionally, having the whistle attached to the knife handle is a bad idea if you're trying to hammer something with the pommel (the whistle flops around and gets in the way and could be broken). The knife sharpener is a good idea providing you have a little experience with a sharpening stone. Only draw back is the pocket on the back is pretty tight for the survival guide...but at least it shouldn't fall out.

Only thing I would add is a thigh strap like the LMF to keep it flush with the thigh when moving or sitting. But that is a want and not a need.

In short, again for the price point this is a great knife and value. It will likely give years of service as long as you're not stupidly abusing it (goes for any knife really regardless of price). Look around though, especially if you belong to a wholesale club. I bought both of mine at BJ's Wholesale Club in a package that also included the emergency survival kit (the orange one). Normal price for the package was $49 which is a fair deal. I bought both on sale, one for $39 and the other for $34 which is a fantastic deal for the knife and emergency kit together.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:01   #3
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Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Survival Knife - Review

Survival/Preparedness Forum

I own two of the Bear Grylls Ultimate knives. As I posted in that particular review, they are great knives and I gave them 5 stars based upon the quality of the product, what the product included and the price point. And as I mentioned in that review, check the wholesale clubs. I bought both of mine at BJ's Wholesale Club. Regular price was $49 which included the BG's Ultimate and the orange basic survival kit. $49 is a fair price but I hit two separate sales and got the knife/emergency kit for $39 and $34 respectively. So this made a good deal into a great deal!

Same with the Ultimate Pro. I see prices normally around $79 which is a fair price, however, on a tip from a couple of posters I know I went to Rocky National which had a sale of $59. The sale was over but they honored the $59 price anyway so a big thumbs up for customer service at Rocky National. So like the Ultimate, the Ultimate Pro went from a good deal to a great deal!

So here are my thoughts on the Ultimate Pro. It is a definite step up from the Ultimate. The steel is stronger. It has full tang construction which is always a huge plus for knife strength especially if doing tasks such as batoning. As YT reviews show, the pommel will easily break through auto side glass (so does the Ultimate). The whistle is of a slightly different design and is suppose to be louder. If haven't compared them side by side but I'll trust them on that point. At any rate, having a whistle is just a very good idea. The addition of the ferro rod is a HUGE addition (as mentioned with the Ultimate) for a survival knife. If you've seen both the Ultimate and the Ultimate Pro you'll see the ferro rod is now right side up instead of upside down. It locks into place firmly and you'd be hard pressed to have this come out accidentally. As a note, I don't mind the upside down ferro rod on the Ultimate as I've taken the whistle off the knife itself and attached it to the ferro rod. I then wrap the excess cordage through the inside of the sheath where the sharpening stone is so that when the knife is in the normal closed position the whistle cord and ferro rod are 'locked' in and again, you'd be hard pressed to lose it. The grip is well designed and grippy even if/when wet.

The draw-through sharpener is a big improvement. Whereas the Ultimate has a sharpening stone (which is fine if you know how to use one), the draw-through is pretty much idiot proof. It has a three line guide to show you how to put the blade in and can be reversed for left hand users. Additionally Gerber did a nice job of putting rubber grips on the side of the sheath to help when using the sharpener i.e. a sure grip on the sheath if it is wet.

The sheath as a hole in the bottom to allow water to run out of the sheath if you're caught in a downpour, a very nice addition. The sheath itself seems to be of sturdy construction and should provide years of use. About my only negative on the sheath itself would be that it only has vertical carry with no other options such as horizontal or a quick means to attach to a pack.

I compared the Ultimate Pro to my Gerber LMF II and they are fairly the same weight. I personally like a knife with a little bit of heft to it. If feels substantial in the hand and not like a cheap toy. The LMF blade is the same length and width but is slightly broader. The Ultimate Pro compares favorably with the LMF especially with the added features of the ferro rod and whistle. If I could change anything about the LMF it would be the addition of a ferro rod and whistle (and perhaps a small LED light). Of course you can always pimp a sheath out if you like

Very good knife. It is offered at a fair price and if you can find it cheaper like I did then it is simply icing on the cake.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:27   #4
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Great idea for product reviews in a thread. I enjoyed reading yours.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:07   #5
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Thank you, I appreciate it. Thread is open to anyone that would like to review a product.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:13   #6
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Bear Grylls Survival Torch

Bear Grylls Survival Torch

Survival/Preparedness Forum

To begin with, I have several Bear Grylls products. All of them I have given a high rating based on quality/function/price. I can not rate this torch as high. Here's why;

Cons:
1. It isn't nearly as bright as most LED flashlights of its size and price point. It is only around 24 lumens. I have multiple LED torches from Ebay/Amazon of the CREE LED variety such as the SIPIK. Many of them cost less than half of what this product costs. Go to Amazon/Ebay and type in CREE LED and see the plethora of offerings that come up. For example, the 7W 300 lumen SIPIK (and clones) operate on a single AA battery, have a long run time, offer 300 lumens (on a 14500 battery, a AA probably delivers 80-100 which is still four to five times what this light delivers), have flood to focus and many have low and strobe settings. The difference in brightness is day and night.

2. The inside of the cone is orange and not reflective. While orange is great for a survival product, not on the inside of the cone where the little 24 lumen LED needs all the help it can get.

3. LED is not protected by a cover/lens.

4. No flood to focus feature.

Pros:
1. It is orange on the outside which is a good idea.

2. It has a rubberized handle for positive grip.

3. The tinder compartment is a GREAT idea and has plenty of room for a good amount of 000 steel wool or cotton balls and vasaline.

If the 'cons' could be addressed, this would be an excellent flashlight. As it is, it can only be considered a child's toy or a back up to the back up torch. The price is way too much for a toy. If they could address the 'cons' and make it at least around 100 lumens with flood to focus and keep it the same price point then it would be a great torch/value.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:22   #7
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I prefer 1/3 serration for my blades.I have a few BKT blades non serrated blades.They are thick and solid.I also have Kabars of all types.If it works for you use it.'08.
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:40   #8
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more Gerber I guess:

Gerber Military De Facto knife
Survival/Preparedness Forum

a cool 4" blade small dagger

Pros: stabby, rubberized comfortable grip, neato sheath with Malice clip, made in the USA and in s30v for now
Cons: a little stabby on the other end too, neato sheath retains a bit too well and can be noisy, it can be a bit of work to get out for a last ditch knife depending on how it is mounted (which can be awkward on a single malice clip).

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:32   #9
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The Ultimate Bottle Cooking Set GEN2

The Ultimate Bottle Cooking Set GEN2

Survival/Preparedness Forum

http://www.thepathfinderstore.com/th...king-set-gen2/

First impression is that it is a good buy. The bottle bag has plenty of option on it for carry/mounting to a pack or even a belt if you really wanted to. Seems rugged enough to last a good long while. Zippers seemed solid. The zippered pocket on the front is big enough to fit the package of micro inferno, ferro rod, spork utensil and a flat, square grill top for the pack stove. Taking the micro inferno out of the package would give you room for other stuff as well i.e. some drink mix, spices, hand wipes etc.

The bottle, cup, pack stove and wire hanger fit snuggly in the bottle bag. No rattling around when you walk. I was pleased to see that the wire hanger will work with both the bottle and the cup which has pre-drilled holes opposite of each other.

Both the bottle and cup are steel and should last for years. Dave's video presentation has him boiling water in them without issue. As mentioned, the wire hanger is a nice touch and could come in handy if you don't want to use the pack stove. The pack stove would work fine right in the fire itself (also shown in video) or with a fuel tab like an Esbit tab.

The ferro rod is good quality and had no problems throwing a lot of sparks with it, especially from the back of a good knife blade where you can really get some bite. I haven't used the micro-inferno yet but have seen Dave's video on it as well. Pretty much a no-brainer. Like cotton balls and vasaline with wax added I should imagine. Water proof and have a 5+ minute burn time. I like that feature.

Overall I'm very pleased with this set up.
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Old 05-11-2013, 15:00   #10
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Maxpedition Lunada

Maxpedition Lunada

Survival/Preparedness Forum

These come in multiple colors like black, khaki, OD green and foliage green. I got mine in black.

What can I say, it's a Maxpedition and lives up to the name. Got it used but practically new on Ebay for quite a bit less than new. Go to the website and you'll see multiple views:

Website

To begin with, it is rugged and well made. It has the Y2K zippers all around and I haven't had any issue with opening/closing. It has multiple pockets inside and out as you'll see in the various photos.

Some points of interest; for those carry concealed and want to use this as an EDC/carry platform you have two choices. The first is on the outside and back of the bag. It is a pocket that would ride against you and away from others. It has a snap that is secure but easily opens if in a hurry to draw. It is a pretty simple matter, with practice, to pull the bag around to your side (if on your back) and pull the firearm from this compartment. No, you won't win a quick draw competition with it, but it is quick enough to draw from concealment if needed. It easily fits a G19/23 sized weapon. Any bigger and it will stick out a bit but may still be manageable. This pocket has hook & loop throughout so if you have a universal holster you can fit it in at your desire. I bought one off ebay for about $7 and it fits the pocket and my off-duty just fine.

It also has in internal hidden CCW pocket as well if you desire.

The back of the bag and the straps are very comfortably and can be worn all day without issue. This bag is big enough to carry a lot of EDC stuff without feeling like you're carrying the kitchen sink if you're smart about it. In the various compartments I carry several firestarters i.e. lighter/matches/ferro rod/mag bar. Various types of tinder, couple of knives including my Gerber LMF II, signal mirror, whistle, several mylar space blankets, ziplock gallon bags, first aid kit, flashlight(s), bandanna, a few food bars, disinfection methods for water, spare magazine, couple of rain ponchos and some other usual EDC/GHB stuff. Again, it usually rides in the car as a GHB but I've used it as an all day EDC as well with no issue (if gone some distance from the house and I feel I need a bit more than my usual around town EDC which is smaller and lighter).

There are multiple YT videos that will give a good feel for the bag and if you stay on Amazon or Ebay you can occassionally pick up really good deals like I did. I don't remember off hand but I think it was in the $60 range which is much less than new.

I thought it was well worth it and just what I was looking for in a combo GHB/EDC. I still have plenty of room in it if I really need to pack it up. Also comes with a strap that connects to the main strap to allow you to move fast without it flopping around on your back. Another feature I like is the padded handle on top if you want to carry it like a suitcase which I do back and forth to the car. Makes it handy if you don't want to put it on your back for short trips.
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Old 05-13-2013, 19:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputydave View Post
I thought that maybe a product review thread would be of interest to the members here. My thoughts are for anyone that has or would like to review a product can put down their comments here in this thread. That way it is an easy source of information to check on. You can include pics, videos or whatever if you'd like.

I'll start off with a few reviews I've put on Amazon and some other boards:

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife - Coyote Brown - Review


Survival/Preparedness Forum

I reviewed this knife here on Amazon, Youtube, discussion boards and other websites prior to purchasing. After evaluating these reviews and opinions I was expecting an excellent knife and I was not disappointed. Shipping was very quick to begin with. Secondly, this is a substantial knife that will give one years of service.

Starting with the knife itself, it has weight to it. Some don't like that aspect whereas I was hoping for it to have some heft. I don't want to give the impression that it is a brick, rather that when you hold it you KNOW you are holding a knife with enough steel to chop, baton or break something with the pommel end. In otherwords, this isn't a cheap flea market special. The blade came 'scary' sharp. The finish on the blade was excellent as was the fit of the handle. It felt well balanced in the hand for normal bush craft duties.

The sheath is well made. The only way to lose the knife out of the sheath is if you lose the sheath as well. The knife 'clicks' into the sheath like the Bear Grylls knive do and it also has two straps that fasten with a snap. The nylon part of the sheath can be completely removed from the ballistic nylon part if you wish (this is the part with the belt loops). The nylon part houses the sharper and this type of sharpener in this location is brilliant on the part of Gerber. Better than a sharpening stone with requires a bit more skill as well as more refined motor skills to accomplish. The type of sharpener on this sheath is simple and efficient i.e. simply insert blade, provide a bit of downward pressure and pull. Additionally, if you look closely at the sheath you'll notice cut out holes and slots on the outside of the sheath where 550 paracord or velcro straps can be attached. This provides the the ability to 'pimp' out the sheath with added items if desired such as a ferro rod, whistle, mag bar or whistle. I'm not talking adding the kitchen sink to the sheath, but the ability to secure something as simple as a ferro rod can go a long way in a pinch.

This sheath can be worn horizontal, vertical or attached to any pack with ease.

The thigh bands are high quality and heavy duty. This feature was a selling point for my on this knife. My last trip to the woods I had a quality knife on my hip, but no bands to secure it to my thigh. Not a big deal really when your walking/hiking. But sitting down in a chair or log tends to have the longer sheaths get in the way or snagged as they stick out a bit when your bending/leaning over.

The seat belt tool and sheath was icing on the cake and has now found a home in my glove box. I've responded to auto accidents and this is a very useful tool to have. It is one of those tools that if you don't have it but need it you're going to wish you did.

I recommend this knife highly and expect it will provide years of service. It is worth more than the asking price imo.

As a note: If anyone has a link or video of a pimped out sheath let me know. I'd like to see ideas for adding things to the sheath without being silly.

This IS a great knife, especially for $65...I will probably get a couple more.
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Old 05-16-2013, 20:21   #12
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eBay has a used but excellent condition LMF II for $39.99 + $7 shipping right now. A bunch of others like Amazon in the mid to upper $60's.
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Old 05-16-2013, 20:55   #13
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Great reviews, guys!! Keep em comin!
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:01   #14
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Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)

Survival/Preparedness Forum

Found these on Amazon while looking around for prep stuff. $6.75 for a pack of 10 at the time of purchase. As of right now, it is the same price. These are generic, mine came with the name of Dynarex but there may be other manufacturers as well from the supplier. At the moment there have been 435 ratings on this product of which 326 are five-star and 72 four-star with only 14 one-star. The reason for most of the one-stars was one of the suppliers was only sending 1 blanket instead of 10. This issue seems to have been resolved and I received my pack of 10 without issue.

The Dynarex brand I recieved (pictured above) are 84x52. The part I REALLY like about the individual packages are that they are only 3 inches by 2 1/4 inches in size. The weight is pretty much next to nothing. These are the smallest packed space blankets I've purchased which are great for packs, especially EDC's where space is really at a premium. I can toss two of these in my EDC without an issue. Each individual blanket comes in its own ziplock bag at well so you've got that after the blanket has been used.

All in all, for less than $7 for 10 of these I figure you can't really go wrong. They aren't the thicker space blankets that can be used for a shelter, but they are great for shtf-use. From reports they are tough enough is trying to stretch them to the breaking point but don't puncture them as then they tear easily. Useful and cheap and excellent for cold/heat/wind/rain protection.

Here is the link:


NOTE: Don't click the blue link above, it's not working for some reason. Instead click the link in the picture above.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:05   #15
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I wanted to bring this back to the top with some more reviews.

Survival/Preparedness Forum

These are offered from the Pathfinder school. They simply work fantastic. You get a waterproof tinder that will burn big and hot for well over 5 minutes and then give you char cloth at the end. The Mini Inferno disks also have an chemical in them that enhances ignition. Easy to use and light with a ferro rod.

They have a special right now for 18 discs, 1 tin and a PF ferro rod for $16. The PF ferro rod is excellent and throws good sparks.

I have found a DIY version on YT.

I've made them and they work amazing! Water proof and they have a hot burn time of 5+ minutes. Only difference from the video is that I dip each one instead of every other one. I think it works better personally. I got the cotton rounds at Dollar Tree for $1 and the candles to melt for $1 so each wafer is only pennies to make. And it was easy. This is now my standard tinder instead of cotton balls and vasaline (which work well...but this is quite a bit better).
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:34   #16
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Pathfinder Survival Steel

Survival/Preparedness Forum

Link to Pathfinder Survival Steel
  • Case embossed with the Pathfinder logo.
  • Case has a compartment for storing Micro Infernos, (already loaded with Micro Infernos), or tender of your choice.
  • An adjustable lanyard connecting the striker and ferro rod.
  • Striker is a tungsten carbide striker.
  • Case is 4 ˝” long by 1 ˝” wide
  • Ferro rod is ˝” in diameter


I recently purchased this item along with two of the regular ferro rods during the recent PF sale. I'd been looking at this item for months, debating on whether or not I really needed it (I've already got several ferro rods and mag bars). Well, a sale was all it took to tip the scales.

I will compare this to the Bear Gryll's fire starter that I've already reviewed elsewhere as it is the closest comparison I own personally. I gave the BG's a high rating at the time. However, holding the BG's and the PF side-by-side there is simply no comparison. To begin with, the PF ferro rod is at least twice as thick as the BG's rod. That is a LOT of ferro rod! As a result the PF package is heavier in the hand and feels more substantial, like a tool for a man and not a toy for a child. The striker is tungsten carbide and sheds a good amount of sparks. The two halves fit together firmly and there is a lanyard that connects both halves securely. The entire case is orange which is another step above the BG's model which has only a bit of orange but is mostly grey. This helps in low light situations particularly if under stress which is a major consideration. Lastly, both models have a tail cap that comes off to store tinder. Unfortunately, you'd be hard pressed to get two full cotton balls in the BG's models compartment whereas the PF model is large enough to store three Micro Infernos and actually comes with three already loaded. This is a BIG deal to me as this gives you what DC calls 'sure fire'. A good ferro rod is a fantastic tool to have but if the tinder is compromised i.e. wet then it is much more difficult to light, particularly if you're under stress. Having the Micro Infernos already loaded in the unit takes the whole package to the next level and then some. They are water proof, light easy with the ferro rod and have a burn time of around 5 minutes. That is a good amount of time to get compromised tinder into a fire. Both these items together in my opinion is simply a must-have type of thing for an emergency situation.

This is now my go-to ferro rod package with the rest being placed as back ups.
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:50   #17
Deputydave
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Anker Astro E5 15000mah charger

Survival/Preparedness Forum

Got this item prior to SEP Gathering #3. Out of the box it gave about four recharges of the Samsung G3. The weather was in the upper 30's to the high 40's during the trip.

Came home and charged it up to 100% which took quite a long time. Longer than the 10-12 hours stated, but that really wasn't a big deal to me. I just plugged it in and set it to the side. I kept track of it in detail till it was empty. Here are the results using three different Samsung G3's for the test over a 3 day period:

Phone #1 started at 15% and 4 lights on the Anker.

Phone#2 started at 13% and 4 lights

Phone#3 started at 1% and 3 lights

Phone#2 started at 11% and 2 lights

Phone#1 started at 25% and 1 light

Phone#3 started at 54% and charged up to 81% when the Anker stopped charging.

So the result is that I can get a pretty solid five charges out of the Anker on a G3 which IIRC has a 2100mah battery. These charges were inside the house where the temp was around 70 pretty steady. In colder temperatures I may lose a bit unless I keep the unit and the phone in a pocket or something a bit insulated. All in all I'm very pleased with this purchase, much more so that the MyCharge Hub 6000 which was $35 more than the Anker and only charged about 1 1/2 times. The Anker was about $50 on Amazon.



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Old 01-13-2014, 15:44   #18
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Mini-review of a new (to me) .223 load; the PRVI 75-grain HP Match load. I picked up a case of this back in December just to try in a newish heavy-barrel AR with a faster 1:8 twist than my other guns have.
Survival/Preparedness Forum

So far, so good as they say. It's very accurate out of the 20" 1:8 extra-heavy bull barrel, and very consistent. It's not terribly expensive (in today's world), at $11 or so a box including shipping from Widener's. It's just barely sub-moa from my gun, but in all honesty that's likely due to the monkey pulling the trigger. "Just barely sub-moa" is as good as ANY load is going to be when I'm the one shooting. I've accepted that I'll never be Matthew Quigley...

Also, in this same gun I installed a CMC unitized trigger group and so far am very happy with it. The gun is one I pieced together with a Rock River varmint upper and a Del-Ton A2 lower, and the factory trigger was the typical long, rolling AR trigger.
Survival/Preparedness Forum

This CMC 3.5LB trigger installed in less than ten minutes and is a great improvement. Paid $169 and it's well worth it imo. This is the first time I've replaced the factory trigger on an AR, and I like it so well I'll likely put one on my main little carbine AR. Not for improved-accuracy reasons, but for improved trigger response. I'm betting it would let me really speed up target-transition times. It's still a 3.5lb trigger pull, but it's a whole bunch crisper, shorter and deliberate.
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Old 01-13-2014, 19:27   #19
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Nice.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:34   #20
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I've added some reviews and updates here:

Packs and Gear Review
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