Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:45 — 26.1MB)
Listen in as Rob Robideau and Marshall Hoots of Going Gear answer some emails from listeners and discuss inflatable lanterns, the hexbright, and dropins
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:45 — 26.1MB)
Listen in as Rob Robideau and Marshall Hoots of Going Gear answer some emails from listeners and discuss inflatable lanterns, the hexbright, and dropins
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:56 — 28.6MB)
Listen as Rob Robideau and Marshall Hoots of Going Gear discuss the Olight M10
I had heard that using a Li-Ion 10440 cell in a Preon 1 could get close to 200 lumens of output, but I was skeptical. I had to try it for myself. While I have no way to accurately measure lumens, I can say that the claim is absolutely believable and I offer you some beamshots as exhibits. (All photos were taken with a Canon T3i set at 1/320, f/4.0, ISO 400)
Each of the following animated gifs shows 2 side-by-side beams from 2 different 4Sevens Preons on low/med/high and the caption below indicates which beam is which:
1-AAA NiMH/2-AAA NiMH
This is to be expected. The 4Sevens website states that the Preon 2 more than doubles the lumen counts of the Preon 1(70 lumens to 160).
1-AAA NiMH/1-10440 Li-Ion
Again, this is to be expected. We are comparing a 3.7v battery to a 1.5v battery.
1-10440 Li-Ion/2-AAA NiMH
This is where I got excited. Not really surprised, but excited that a single cell could so obviously outperform the 2 AAA batteries.
My completely unscientific comparisons found the Preon 1 with the single 10440 Li-Ion battery to be brighter than even the Preon 2 with two AAA NiMH batteries. How much brighter should be measured with a scientific instrument, but I would definitely believe that the Li-Ion Preon 1 is 40+ lumens(25%) brighter than the NiMH Preon 2. It is pretty cool to have access to so many lumens in such a small package.
The batteries used in this comparison were AAA Samsung Eneloops and ICR 10440 350mAh batteries.
This is not an endorsement for Li-Ion in the Preon and this is not recommended for an EDC setup. The Preon head heats up very quickly and could cause damage to the circuits. Your light will no longer be under warranty.
Whe you have limited personnel to guard a given area, there are some tools that can act as extra eyes or ears for perimeter security.
Some may think that security systems are out of their price range, but there are simple tools that can aid in your personal security without breaking the bank.
The Skylink Long Range Motion Alert Kit lets you place motion detectors up to 800 feet from a base unit. Each of the individual motion detectors can detect motion up to 40 feet away. This system allows you to use up to 16 sensors that can be divded into 4 alert zones.
There are only 4 alert/indicator LEDs. The 4 sensors for each zone should be in relatively close proximity to each other so a zone’s LED indicator can allows you to identify a breach in a specific portion of your perimeter.
The base station and 1 sensor is going for just under $33 at Amazon.com
Each additional sensor costs $21.44
Warning: Be aware that range varies and manufacturers specify “up to X”. This means that you should not count on getting the full 800 feet of range. Give yourself a nice 20-30% buffer zone and you should be safe.
I grew up bargaining at yard sales, but fell out of practice over the years. When we moved to Nepal, I had to brush up on my skills or go broke. Everything is bargained for here in Nepal. Most shops have no posted prices. You have to ask and bargain. It is expected. Every trip in a taxi starts with bargaining(“moltol”).
Here are a few tips for bargaining:
- Always have small bills or exact change. Nothing throws off a deal or sours a seller more than finishing a hard fought bargaining session by pulling out a large-denomination bill and asking for change. Sure, the price has already been set, but don’t expect to get another, similar deal from the seller and some sellers may go back on their deal after seeing the extra cash.
- Split your cash into bundles. As a final bargaining tactic, you can pull out an exact amount of cash(slightly lower than their most recent offer) and show them the money. A true statement like, “I have XXXXX rupees to spend on this.” may bring them down that last little bit to your desired price. This definitely doesn’t work if you pull out a huge wad of cash(more than the currently agreed upon price).
– One of the easiest ways to do this properly is by sorting your money into different pockets beforehand. You should have an idea of what you want to pay. Cut that number by 10%-20% and place that amount in one bundle in a certain pocket. In other pockets place combinations of bills that will bring you to different price points around the original number. Maybe 50 rupees in one pocket, 100 rupees in another pocket and 75 rupees in another. The amounts depend on the value of the item you are bargaining for. Don’t forget which pocket is which. At the right time, pull out the contents of 2 pockets: the large bundle with 80%-90% of the sale price and the appropriate smaller bundle that brings the amount up to your offer price.
- Be willing to walk away. Be willing to miss out on the deal. Remember there are other sellers. Also, you can always come back.
- Be willing to come back. Don’t let your pride get in the way. If you just walked away from a deal, then went to other shopkeepers and found much higher prices, simply go back to the original shopkeeper and tell him that you found out that he had a good price.
- Keep others away. Unless it is a coordinated effort planned in advance, bargaining should be done alone. One person should have both the cash and the authority to spend it. Glancing at your “bargaining partner” for guidance tells the seller that you are unsure or don’t have the authority. Sellers pick up on this quickly, especially if one person looks ready to pay and the other wants to keep looking for a lower price. Before bargaining for a taxi, I generally have my wife stand about 20 feet away while I go talk to the drivers. Yesterday, I had to talk to/bargain with three drivers before I found a taxi driver who gave us an acceptable price. I didn’t actually end up bargaining, but by trying 3 drivers, I paid 45% of the price offered by the first taxi driver. This way, my wife doesn’t have to keep walking away with me if the price is not good enough.
- Don’t get excited. When you find something you like, don’t show excitement or express too much joy. This simply tells the seller that you have a vested interest in this product and he has more hooks into you. When my wife calls me over to show me a piece of clothing she found that she wants to buy, the shopkeeper is watching. I generally looks at it disapprovingly, bob my head sideways as if determining if it’s worth purchasing, then put it back. When we move on, the shopkeeper loses some interest and we discuss the merits of the item. If we want to purchase it, we come back later and pick it up. This way the seller feels that he has to sell us. It gives us the advantage.
- Know when not to bargain. If somebody offers you a good price, don’t nickel and dime them. Sometimes paying a little more now will save you money in the long run. You may think that you can get a crate of eggs for 5 rupees less by bargaining, but by paying those extra 5 rupees, you may be developing a relationship that will allow you to get a very good price every time without bargaining. The problem with bargaining is that there are no guarantees. You may get a good price today and a terrible one tomorrow. You never know. Always be on the lookout for ways to establish a long-term relationship so you can get a good deal every time.
What tactics have you used successfully?
Almost everyone knows the value and importance of medical training, but very few take the time to sit through a class and actually get the training. Sometimes it’s because your schedule never lines up with locally offered classes. Sometimes it is because finances preclude you from taking classes(although there are often free classes available).
In today’s internet age, I decided to see what kind of medical training you can find online. Books are great and everyone should have a section of their library dedicated to medical skills, but shouldn’t we be able to find something more visual in our multimedia centered Web 2.0(or is it 3.0?)?
It can actually be quite difficult to find said videos. This is very surprising in an era where you can often find hundreds of detailed educational videos dedicated to such esoteric subjects as underwater basket weaving. Why aren’t there more people making this information avialable?
Liability issues weigh heavily on many educators in the medical training arena, so most teachers want to be able to watch the student and make sure that they are comprehending and properly executing the skills. A teacher doesn’t want you to make a mistake and seriously injure or kill someone, then tell everyone that you learned the technique from Dr. XXXXXX on their YouTube channel.
There is no complete replacement for hands-on training, but online videos can definitely fill in some knowledge gaps and are often better than just reading about lifesaving procedures.
Here are a few sets of videos that I have found on YouTube:
Emergency First Aid – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9D21EEC2E3052414&feature=plcp
Basic First Aid Tips – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCBC01282068B16E8&feature=plcp
Medical Emergencies and First Aid – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD2DD288E9C8B1DE1&feature=plcp
Emergency Medical Care – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC62A682EF09DC044&feature=plcp
First Aid – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL393E7F4DF76FF733&feature=plcp
What else have you all seen?
Are you still keeping track of your passwords using the built-in browser tools? If so, you are unnecessarily exposing yourself. Your passwords can be easily accessed by someone with very little know-how(like myself).
I would like to recommend the password tracking service, Lastpass. I have been using their service for more than three years now and I have no complaints whatsoever.
Lastpass allows you to create numerous high-quality, secure passwords for different websites and access them with a single master password. Lastpass is like a part of my brain now. I can have great, secure passwords and I don’t have remember each of them. Just the master password.
My lastpass “vault” of log-ins and passwords has grown over the years to the thousands and each of them can be autofilled whenever I access a website for which the database holds login information. It can also remember multiple logins for certain sites with which you may have multiple accounts.
All of this is available for free, but there are some perks that come with a paid upgrade. The paid upgrade allows you to use mobile apps that will perform the same functions as the browser plugins. If you browse the web on a smartphone or tablet, this service is a Godsend. The paid upgrade also allows me to share access to a website with someone without actually giving them the password. That person has to have a Lastpass account and the browser plugin, but Lastpass will autofill your login information and they never actually see it. This is great for emergency situations where you don’t want to have to change all your passwords after you share them. It also works great for Virtual Assistants. When the task or emergency is over, you can rescind your shared login permissions.
Lastpass is a simple, secure, convenient tool that make it inexcusable to continue using the same password across the web just so you can remember it in your head. Make a simple upgrade and vastly improve your operational security with Lastpass.
What do you use for a password manager?
P.S. If you do click on the link and sign up for Lastpass, you and I both will get a free month of premium Lastpass service, so get to it!
I haven’t listened to a podcast at regular speed in more than a month now. My iPod Nano has the ability to play podcasts at 2x speed and I have been taking advantage of that fantastic feature. It also automatically adjusts the pitch so that it doesn’t sound like the host has turned into a chipmunk. Because it still has a natural tone, my mind speeds up to go along with the spoken words. Only rarely do I even think about the fact that I am listening to a podcast at double speed. When you get used to it, it sounds very natural.
Why? Why do people want to speed read? So that they can consume more information. Some people listen to podcasts just to fill their time. If you are one of those people feel free to ignore this feature. Go ahead and enjoy your podcasts at the original speed. In fact, you can even slow them down to half speed if you have a lot of time to fill.
Personally, I can only listen to podcasts at certain times and I want to get as much information as possible. Double speed let’s me listen to podcasts that I would otherwise have to skip.
What! You only listen to one or two podcasts? Go find some more. There are lots of great informative shows out there if you have time to listen. Go browse iTunes and you will be amazed at what you can find.
I’ll try to put together a list of some of my current favorite podcasts, but in the meantime, speed your current podcasts up and make room for some more!
What podcasts are you listening to? Does anyone else listen at double speed?
We all know how easy it is to dehydrate your own food for storage, but there are better methods of preparing food for storage. Freeze-drying food will help it to retain more taste and nutritional value for a longer period of time than other preservation methods.
This is all great, but freeze-dried foods can be relatively expensive, especially compared to foods that you can prepare and preserve on your own at home. A 72-hour kit of freeze-dried food from Mountain House is going for $55.60.
The real question is whether or not you can freeze dry your own foods at home to prepare them for long-term storage. I am currently researching this, but unfortunately, I have not found any cost effective options for home freeze-dehydrators. It seems to be a very complicated and stringent process that would be difficult to reproduce at home.
Have any of you done this before? Is this possible? Any advice?
I read about this in Popular Science and thought it was downright innovative. With everyone on facebook posting photos of their car’s thermometers to complain about heat, there ought to be a few people who will purchase this.
According to the Columbia website:
The specifically shaped yarns, when woven or knit together, create Omni-Freeze. The flat yarns increase the surface area of the fabric that contacts your bare skin, which transmits heat faster and feels cooler to the touch.
Love it or hate it, Ebay auction sniping is the most efficient way to get good deals on Ebay. I love Ebay because there are numerous items that are shipped directly from China or other Asian countries. This saves me time and money since I am already here in Asia.
The auction format can be addictive and cost people lot’s of money if they don’t know what they are doing. Before you ever place a bid, you should know exactly what the item is worth to you. Be willing to let it go if the price exceeds that ammount. Don’t chase runaway auctions. You will regret it.
When it comes to used items, I examine past auctions to come up with an expected cost and base my bid on that if it seems worth it to me.
Don’t forget to factor in the shipping costs.
Now about the actual sniping. Auction sniping is placing a bid in the final seconds of an auction so that others don’t have time to chase it with bids of their own.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this method. If your bid is lower than the actual(unpublished) bid of the current high-bidder, you can’t adjust and rebid, but you shouldn’t be doing that anyway. If your bid is higher than that of the current high bidder, they don’t have time to rebid(they may have less self control than you).
I can’t say with certainty how much money I have saved with auction sniping(who knows how much other people were going to rebid?), but I am certain that it is substantial. I often end up winning auctions for substantially less than I was willing to pay.
Personally, I use Bidnip. They claim to be the number one sniping service on Ebay and their servers somehow integrate directly with Ebay itself. My favorite thing about this service is that if you don’t win, you don’t pay. Even if it is just your fault for bidding too low.
They also have a free trial program that give you 5 free snipes with no obligation or CC information required.
I have used bidnip for several years and can’t recommend them highly enough. Go check it out:
P.S. If you sign up for the 5 free snipes through this link, I also get 5 free snipes, so get to it!
When I travel or go camping, I obsess over how light I can make my pack. It seems that I always end up carrying a ton of clothes. I just can’t get around it. I get dirty, sweaty, muddy and I need at least a few changes of clothes for the trip.
Enter the Scrubba Wash Bag!
This thing is a miniscule, light weight waterproof bag with a “washboard” texture on the inside to help you wash your clothes on the go.
This sounds like just the ticket for limiting the ammount of clothing I have to bring on a long trip, but it retails for a steep $40-$105 depending on the size!
Worth it? It depends on how obsessive you are…
I have been looking at my preparations for an emergency that might last several days and I was examining the food options. Anyone that reads this blog or listens to my podcasts knows my penchant for all things small and lightweight. Cans are note even an option. Freeze-dried foods are relatively light weight, but what if you could live off pills? Wouldn’t that be cool?
According to Survival Food Tabs, you can.
They have been around for several years now, so I doubt they are ripping people off, but their claims sound more than a little fantastic. According to their website, 12 tabs per day will keep you going in a survival situation for 2 weeks with minimal weight loss.
The crazy thing is that each tab is only 20 Calories. In other words, the entire day’s worth of tabs is 240 Calories. They claim that with most food products, 30%-60% of the food is waste that your body can’t even use for energy, etc. If we go by the higher waste percentage number, we could inflate the 240 Calories and say it is equivalent to 600 Calories of wasteful food. This still seems pretty small to me. Efficient? Yes. Enough? Hmm…
I have heard very positive reviews from people that I trust and based on those reviews, I would be willing to try these out and do some test with weight changes, etc. Cope Reynolds of Southwest Shooting Authority and the Shooting Bench radio show used these exclusively for 2 weeks and had very positive things to say about them.
Here is the cheapest price I have found
Overall, these look like something that would be a good base survival food source if space is at a premium(read: go bag/ Bug out bag). I would recommend supplementing with either more tabs or other food sources.
I’m working on putting together a good, customized First Aid kits for emergencies and the little boo-boos. I don’t want to be lugging around a suitcase, so I am trying to keep it as small and light as possible. I plan to stash kits in several places and bags and I don’t want them to become too cumbersome or get in the way. One of the easiest ways to cut down the size of your kit is to get rid of bottles, tubes, and containers that are larger than you need. Three small individual packages of aspirin are much smaller than even the smallest plastic cannister.
These individual packages are convenient, but they will cost you. Most of the time, you can only get individual packages on the brand names that already cost twice as much as the generic store brands. Then you add the convenience surcharge for the packaging. Then they sell them in containers that will contain far more than you actually need.
(TIP: Split the cost of a box with someone else to cut down on waste)
I decided to see if I could individually package these things myself. Somebody has to have done this before. Somebody has to have written about it on the internet. It turns out that I was right! (I love it when that happens)
I found a cool little article about someone packaging up Triple Antibiotic Ointment in a plastic straw and sealing it with a lighter:
And I’m very sorry! I will definitely remedy this problem. I have been doing lots of research lately and I realized that it would be a shame not to be sharing the things I am learning. In the meanwhile, go check out my 4Sevens Preon Review posted over at ITSTactical.com:
I was very excited to receive a package in the mail recently from the folks at 4Sevens. This parcel contained a minuscule light with some interesting and innovative features. Let’s take a look at this new light from 4Sevens.
The first thing you notice about the Preon P0 is how tiny it is. I love small AAA lights, but this light takes it to a whole new level. Here it is beside a Spyderco Dragonfly, one of the smallest knives I own.
I’m not a huge fan of keychain lights because I don’t like having to pull out my keychain just to use my light. I know I’m picky, but I like to carry a light with a clip. If it doesn’t have a clip, I like to carry it in the change pocket of my jeans, but the Preon P0 can easily get lost in the depth of a typical change pocket.
After the size, you notice the unusual green reflector. I know it isn’t intended to be a reflector, but it still ends up reflecting a little and giving the light a slightly green tint, so I’ll call it a reflector. The green is actually glow in the dark material that… wait for it… glows in the dark!
Because the P0 has no true reflector, it has no hotspot. It’s a clean, even, floody circle of light.
Here you see it next to the reflector of a Preon Revo:
Since I brought up the 4Sevens Preon Revo, let’s compare it to the 4Sevens Preon P0.
I used to think the Preon Revo was pretty small before I got the Preon P0. Despite using the same battery and form factor, the P0 makes the Revo look like a giant.
When I first saw the finish and the small size, I immediately assumed that it wouldn’t have much grip for twisting, but it actually has better grip than the Revo. I think it has to do with a combination of factors. The P0 head is slightly longer than the Revo head and gives you more grip area. Also, the P0’s satin finish has noticeably more grip than the glossier Revo head finish. The ridges help to give the Revo head some grip, but my fingers always slide till they hit the ridges and I feel like I have to grip it pretty tight. In the end, the Preon P0 gives a more pleasant head turning experience.
The Preon P0 has some interesting features that the Revo is lacking. Let’s go backwards and look at the tail first.
You will notice that the P0 has the keyring hole on the side and has a flat tail that is suitable for tailstanding. This is something that the Revo lacked, but it gets even better. There is a magnet embedded in the tail.
This magnet allows you to mount the light in some pretty unusual and creative ways. The only limits are your creativity and the amount of steel in the room.
I literally walked around the room trying to attach it to all sorts of things. It’s pretty amazing. Here you can see that I attached it to my microphone arm and turned it into a creative desk lamp.
Here I hung it on a wall light fixture. This would be pretty handy during a power outage.
The magnet also helps to hold the battery securely. It won’t immediately fall out and roll under the refrigerator. You have to give it a shake to break the hold of the magnet.
At the other end of the light, we have the glow in the dark “reflector.” For me, it doesn’t add any real functionality, but it certainly raises the cool factor. If you were looking for the light in the dark and you didn’t have it standing on it’s head, it might help. Unfortunately, the material doesn’t hold a glow/charge for all that long, so you can’t count on it if you want to use it to find your light in a dark drawer or on the nightstand after some time.
So now let’s talk about the important part. How it actually functions. I already mentioned that I like the grip on the head for twisting, but unfortunately, the activation of the light leaves something to be desired. As you get close to the point of contact/activation, you are pressing up against a rubbery gasket in the head.
The washer causes the resistance to increase as you get close to the activation. It gets relatively difficult to twist that last little bit. I also found that when I twisted it to the on position, it occasionally backed off and lost contact. This is particularly annoying when you want to use the higher mode and have to do the double twist again. I have never had this problem with any of the other Preons and it was slightly off-setting.
I have found the low setting to be adequate for walking in areas without streetlamps and for flashing at vehicles to make sure they know you are there.
The high setting gives a noticeable increase of light, but it is still a very spread out beam and doesn’t throw very far.
Here are the specs from 4Sevens:
Preon P0 Specifications
- LED: CREE XPE
- Max Output: 25 Out-the-front (OTF) lumens
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Lens: Optical-grade glass lens with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Water resistance: IPX-8
- Battery: One AAA, included. Please do not use lithium-ion cells in the Preon P0 as it will destroy the light (see voltage range to select acceptable batteries for this light).
- Operating voltage range: 1.0V – 1.5V
- Two Output Modes:
Low: .24 OTF Lumens, 120 hours
High: 25 OTF Lumens, 1.5 hours
Length: 2.2 inches
Diameter: 0.5 inches
Weight: 0.46 ounces
- Split-ring for keychain attachment
- One AAA battery
Operating your Preon P0 is simple. Insert the battery with the positive side (+) toward the head. To turn it on, tighten the bezel (head) fully. The Preon P0 will turn on when the bezel is tightened, and turn off when the bezel is loosened. To switch between High and Low output, turn the Preon P0 off and then on again within 1 second. If the Preon P0 is turned off for 2 seconds or longer, it will revert back to Low.
The Preon 0 is listed on the the 4Sevens website for $24.99. At that price, I’d say this nifty little gadget is worth it. Personally, it won’t make it into my EDC rotation, but it’s definitely a fun light. It would make a great gift for someone who would appreciate the more “gadgety” features and wouldn’t expect it to be a hard-use EDC light.
Quick side note about batteries! None of my NIMH rechargeable batteries worked with the Preon 0. I had to use the battery that came with the flashlight. The metal nub on the positive end of the rechargeable batteries is too large to fit through the washer. I probably could have forced it to work, but I definitely don’t recommend it as it could damage the electronics in the head. You can see the difference in the photo below:
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:39 — 54.9MB)
Michael Janich of Martial Blade Concepts comes on the show to discuss the process of selecting a knife for use as a defensive tool.
The Sigg Vintage water bottle is not the most practical water bottle. It doesn’t fit into most car cup holders, it can be a pain to clean, and it collects dents and scratches like they are going out of style. Thankfully, I don’t have a car and I don’t need to put it in cup holders. Thankfully, I’m not the one that cleans it, and I absolutely love the character that the dings and scratches add.
You might be able to find lighter, cheaper, and better insulated water bottles, but you would be hard pressed to find a cooler water bottle. Not because it has some special feature that keeps the temperature down, but because the design is fantastic. It just feels so right in your hand. I love the firm snap as the latching mechanism tightens down the cap and taps the neck of the bottle. I love the solid crunching scraping sound when you set the full water bottle on concrete. I love the fact that I have never seen anyone else with a water bottle like mine. I love not having to worry about punctures, cracks, or PCBs. I love not having to screw on the cap. I love not having to worry about losing the cap! I truly love using this water bottle!
I have used this water bottle for more than 2 years now and it has held up to my abuse quite admirably. The cap still holds a great seal. The rubber hasn’t dried out or warped and the cap is pulled nice and tight. I have no problem setting it on it’s side in a backpack full of papers. The latching mechanism is still secure enough that I don’t mind letting it bounce around in the seat of my scooter. Even after I use it for tea or juice, it still doesn’t end up flavoring my water. .4 liters may not be enough for some people, but I have found that it keeps me from carrying around too much weight in fluids.
I opted for the model with only a simple logo on one side. There are other options with trendy patterns that I think detract a little from the design itself. At first, I even wanted to get rid of the logo, but over time, it grew on me. You can see that the printing is slightly distressed, but it has held up fairly well for two years of hard use.
This water bottle was a gift and I can’t say whether or not I would have purchased it on my own, but I am most certainly glad that it found it’s way to me. Now that I have gotten to know this water bottle, I hope it never wears out!
How can you not appreciate a tool that makes you smile every time you take it out?