Bedliner on your Flashlight

I just finished watching a Mythbusters show involving a lot of the Line-X spray on bedliner.  They sprayed it on vehicles, clothing, and walls and had dogs bite it and c4 explosions try to break through it.  I was impressed with it’s resilience.  A few minutes later, I happened to glance at the scratched and scraped bezel of my EDC flashlight and a thought popped into my head.  What if you could use spray-on bed-liner to protect the edges of your light?

Anyone try this yet?

Titanium Tactical Tomahawk

I have seen that several inquiries about “titanium tomahawks” have led to this site, but unfortunately, I had no information to offer these people.  After doing a bit of research myself, I came across a tomahawk that did have a Titanium shaft combined with a steel head.  It is made by Jesper Voxnaes in Denmark.  You can see more of his work at voxknives.com

 

According to Jesper:

It has become somewhat of a tradition that Jena Anso and I make a couple of Axes for a show each year.  This year, like last year, we made them for the Bladeshow coming up in June.
We start out with the excact same materials and then design our axes..and yes, we are far apart when it comes to designing axes.
I ended up with a TomaHawk type design. This year it´s a smaller lighter axe with a hollow v-grind.
The Materials are; shaft in .278″ titanium, Head in N690BO steel, also in .278″ (7mm) stock. Slabs in Green Canvas Micarta…..
Well, hope you like it, we had a blast building these..
Took the cutter to the Harbour for some pictures….

Here are some of his excellent photos for you to drool over:

What is a Crenelated Bezel?

Let’s look at definitions of the two words:

Crenelation: A crenelation (from Latin crena, “notch”) is a series of indentations or loopholes around the top of a castle, battlement, or wall—with each indentation being a crenelle (or crenel).

Here are a few crude examples of different types of crenelation:

BezelA bezel is a retaining outer rim

Here is a crenelated watch bezel:

 

When we combine the two terms and apply them to lights or flashlights, we come up with some pretty cool crenelated bezels:

These are often referred to as strike bezels for obvious reasons.  Later, we’ll address the uses for and practicality of crenelated bezels.

For now, just marvel at the aesthetically pleasing engineering work!

Best Flashlight Safety Warning Ever!

I saw this awesome warning recently few days ago:

This flashlight poses a risk of personal injury and property damage if not handled and operated with great caution. This light is not a toy and should not be used by or entrusted to anyone other than a knowledgeable and cautious individual. Heat: The very high current from the battery and to the LED generates a great deal of heat very quickly, and the relatively low mass in this very small flashlight prevents heat dissipation at a rate that would permit extended operation of the light at a high output level. When driven to its output capacity, heat reaches a level making the light too hot to hold within minutes or less. Either the light should be turned off or Peak™s proprietary QTC system should be used to reduce the output before this happens. If left unattended, build-up of heat could reach the point of ignition of nearby flammable objects. This light should never be operated at high output unless in the hand of an alert operator prepared to quickly reduce current and output. Batteries: All batteries are affected by heat and current draw, and if either becomes too great, a battery can be damaged. At a minimum, battery life can be significantly reduced. At worst, failure could be explosive. BATTERY FAILURE CAN OCCUR DURING USE, OR DURING ANY SUBSEQUENT RECHARGING OR USE. A protected battery is no guarantee against this. Regularly check batteries after use for signs of excessive heat. Always closely monitor the recharging process and follow safe practice procedures: use a quality charger; charge in a safe location, check status frequently; terminate the charge timely; inspect and test the battery after charging. IMR (LiMn) batteries are believed to safely handle currents much greater than any other battery chemistry and are therefore the preferred battery for this light. Other Li-Ion 10440 batteries are not designed for high current applications and when used in this light can be driven to the very limits of their design. Only new batteries of good quality should be used in this light. Battery voltage should also be checked regularly. At the first sing of reduced capacity or other problem the battery should be retired. Under no circumstances should this light be operated before the user has studied the important materials readily available on the subject. We suggest that users follow the advice and instruction posted throughout the CPF Forum and in the CPF Marketplace by respected dealers.

 

To some people, this warning makes the light in question even more attractive!  The light can be used as a fire-starter in a survival situation and keep you cold in winter.

I understand that these warnings are to limit liability and are a byproduct of our litigious society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them!

Here’s where it came from…

4Sevens Preon Clicky Tailcap Modification by Zodiac Engineering

I saw a photo of a modified Titanium tailcap on the Zodiac Engineering website back in November and e-mailed Ken about doing the modification for me.  I shipped him a Ti clicky tailcap directly from 4Sevens and 7 days from his receipt, it was out the door and on the way to me.  He was also kind enough to take some Work-in-progress photos for us all to drool over.  The white background photos are his.

I’ve been using it for several days now and I love it so far. The switch is completely recessed and it’s nice not having to worry about accidentally activating the light when I sit down.

The modification does widen the contact/resting surface and shorten the flashlight a little.  Both characteristics make the light more stable during tailstanding.

The pictures may make it look a little bulky, but the clicky tailcap actually only adds ~10% extra length(Preon 1).

  • Regular static tailcap – 76mm
  • With modified clicky tailcap – 83.5mm

The tailcap width is the exact same as the head(no extra width) and the extra weight is negligible(it’s Ti).

Obviously, every flashlight is a personal decision, but for me, the clicky tailcap is worth the small increase in size.

I can honestly say that I can’t notice a difference when carrying it, even when I’m trying.

In my opinion, it was totally worth the $16+shipping.  It made my favorite little light even better.

So what do you think?

Click on any of the images for a better view:

How Much Do People Usually Spend for EDC?

Somebody made it to our website after googling this phrase:

So, how much?

That’s a loaded question.

Let’s look at what decent quality EDC gear costs:

  • Watch $50-1000
  • Knife $50-500
  • Flashlight $20-300
  • Wallet $10-300
  • Firearm $300-$2000
  • Pen $1-100
  • Phone $50-600
  • MP3 Player $40-300

Please bear in mind that these are very rough numbers and these ranges are by no means exact.  Custom gear can be far more expensive than what I listed and deals can be found on quality gear below the prices I listed.  These numbers should give you an idea of what people spend on their EDC gear.  Also remember that not everybody carries all these pieces of gear and different people can choose to spend different amounts on different pieces of gear depending on their priorities.

When you consider how much people usually spend for EDC, you should also factor in the cost of the gear that people may not be currently carrying.  EDC enthusiasts probably have several examples of their favorite pieces of gear.  It may be the same knife in different colors or configurations.  It may be different watches for different occasions.  It could be different holsters that go with different clothing.

Another factor is the cost of gear that led them to their current gear.  It normally takes people some time to find the gear that they are comfortable with.  For some people, the process of gear evolution and upgrading never stops.  What did all the previous gear cost?  Some of that is sold, but if you are a sentimentalist or pack rat, you will never recoup those costs.

So, what do I spend on EDC?  I can’t say.  My wife reads this blog! 😉

Selecting A Handgun for Everyday Carry – with Massad Ayoob

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Massad Ayoob comes on the show to discuss selecting a handgun for everyday carry.  We also talk about the gear that goes with it.

Rick Hinderer Knives – Behind the Scenes Photos

Brady of MonkeysEdge.com went behind the scenes to get some photos of Rick Hinderer knives being made.

Check them out here.

Here is a small sample of the goodness that comes from following the link above:

Sniper Bladeworks Knives on Man, Woman, Wild

Be sure to check out the most recent episode of Discovery Channel’s Man, Woman, Wild and keep an eye out for some amazing knives from Sniper Bladeworks:

 

These knives are featured in Season 2, Episode 9 entitled “Bear’s Kitchen” set in Alaska.

Here are a few screenshots of the knives in use during the show:

Check out the Sniper Bladeworks website

Thank You and The Importance of Simple Training

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This week I take a few minutes to say thank you to all of you that stuck with me through my long break and talk about where the podcast is headed from here.

I also offer up a few thoughts and observations on the importance of keeping things simple in training.

Why Do People Care So Much About EDC Gear?

Because people realize what a difference it can make –

When people realize how helpful EDC really can be and how much easier it can make your life it’s hard to keep quiet about it.  They want to share with others so they can experience the same benefits that they have experienced.  It’s like talking about any other positive experience.(losing weight, quitting smoking, etc)

Because people express themselves through their EDC gear –

For many people their EDC gear is a way to express themselves.  It tells people what their priorities are.  It tells people what they care about.  It tells people what styles they enjoy.  They are passionate about their gear, because it’s almost like talking about themselves. 😉  Telling someone about the flashlight they selected and why they selected is sharing a little bit themselves.

Because people invest so much in their EDC gear –

When people invest the time and effort in proper research and a decent amount of money into their EDC gear, it’s only natural that they want to tell others about it.  Many people have spent more time researching their EDC gear than they spent researching their last vehicle purchase.  Like a new vehicle, people want to discuss the reasoning behind their purchasing decision.  In many cases they want to see validation.

Where Should I Start(EDC Gear)?

Work on one piece of gear at a time –

You can research and buy everything all at once, but it will be inefficient and there is a good chance you may have to go back and make some changes.  Working on one piece of gear at a time allows you to focus completely on one piece of gear.  You would be surprise at how intricate and detailed the decision making process can be for something as simple as a flashlight or knife.  Take your time, focus, and you won’t regret it.

Make a master list –

Break out the gear list that you ranked by your PVR(Personal Value Rating) and adjusted for discrepancies.  Look at the first several items on the list.  That is where you should start.  You can pick any of those top few pieces of gear, but follow the guidelines below to see the best results sooner.

Start with the gear you already carry and use –

Do you have gear you already carry that isn’t doing the job?  An unreliable watch?  An under-powered keychain light?  A cell-phone that never has a signal?  Work on improving or replacing these items.  I would start with the piece of gear that you find to be the most lacking or most annoying.  Your gear should help you, not annoy you.  Get that fixed right away!

Take breaks –

This goes along with the first point, but you will find that with each new piece of gear, your habits and use cases may change ever so slightly.  Don’t throw too many changes into the mix all at once.  Take some time to see how you use the new tool and you may find that you no longer need something else on your list.  Constantly re-evaluate.

How Do I Select Individual Pieces of EDC Gear?

List Your Use Cases:

This is applicable to any piece of gear or kit.  Think about how it will be used.  What tasks will in need to perform well?  Will your knife be used as a defensive tool or for slicing apples?  Or both?  Will your flashlight be used for close up work or spotlighting distant areas?  Knowing your use cases will help you narrow down your search in a big way!

Find Features that Match your Use Cases:

Find out which features help you in your given use cases.  Do you really care about whether your flashlight is Titanium if you are just storing it in the glove compartment?  Do you really want 500 lumens if you are using the flashlight for close-up reading in bed?  Should you go with the liner-lock or do your use cases call for a frame-lock?   Sometimes this is easier said than done.  Proprietary feature names often make it difficult to know what a feature does or how it would help your use cases.

Get Advice From Several Sources –

This could be from coworkers, a friend who knows a lot about XXXX, fellow EDC enthusiasts, people on a forum, someone who sells XXXX for a living, etc.   So long as you know how to process the information, more advice is better.  Whenever you get advice, be sure to take the source into account and don’t be afraid to dismiss it if it doesn’t apply to you or doesn’t help you.  If you don’t know many people who know much about the gear you are looking for, call or send and email to a reputable online vendor.  There are also active forums full of enthusiasts dedicated to nearly any piece of gear.(google: XXXX forums)  Don’t be afraid to tap into their knowledge.

Ask Specific Questions –

Don’t ask: “What is the best X?”  You will receive unqualified answers that probably won’t be helpful. A better question would be:
“I work the night shift doing security for a local business and I need a light that can help me XXXXXXX and XXXXXXX and be carried in a holster on my belt. I would prefer that it use XXXXX type of batteries that are readily available at decent prices. I also prefer a XXXXX interface for instant on/off.  What would you recommend?”

The answers to the detailed, qualified inquiry will be much more usable than answers to the first inquiry.  Adapt the qualifications to fit your personal use case, and you will get advice .

Start General, Then Get More Specific –

Since you don’t know before you start searching how many products will fit your needs, you should start general.  Start with one or two general qualifications and make sure you are headed in right direction.  As you get deeper into the search, you will get better idea of how many options are available.  At that point, you should adjust your qualifications to expand your options or add qualifications to narrow down the search.

If you follow these guidelines, you should come up with gear that will make you happy and satisfy your needs!

How to Achieve Your EDC(Everyday Carry) Goals

Now that we have found out what our EDC gear goals are and we have taken the time to list, prioritize, and weight them, it’s time to apply them to the gear itself.  It’s time to go from theory to practice.

Make a list –

List any gear that you think would be helpful in any way.  Even if it is slight.  Forget the goals for now.  Do not exclude gear just because you think it would be unpleasant or impossible to carry.  To get started, look at the first lesson and see if any of the gear listed there would be helpful.   Check out websites like everyday-carry.com and see what gear other people are using.  Talk with people who know you well or work with you and see if they have any ideas.  Check out forums.

Take a few days for this exercise.  Put the list down and come back to it later.  You will spot things you missed before.  After you feel that you have a fairly complete list, we’ll do some organizing.

Start Organizing –

Grab a blank sheet of paper and make a column for each of your EDC gear goals.  Look at each piece of gear on your list and place it in at least one column.  If it aids in accomplishing several goals, put it in multiple columns.  If it doesn’t seem to fit in any of your columns, create a new column that explains why you added it to the list.  Even if the column is titled “It Looks Cool” or “My Favorite Celeb Uses It”, just be honest and categorize it.  When you create a new column, go back and start at the top of the list to see if any other gear should also go in that column.

Prioritize –

Now it’s time to prioritize the gear within each column.  Reorder the gear in each column so that the first piece of gear in the column is the piece of gear that contributes the most toward achieving that specific goal or priority.  Don’t take into account how it helps with other goals.  Just take it column by column.  When you are finished prioritizing, it’s time to go even further and weight them.  This will be similar to when we weighted your goals with a total of 100 points, except each column can have an unlimited number of points.  Rate each piece of gear on a scale of 1 to 100 according to how much it contributes toward the goal it is listed under. If a given piece of gear would make you feel twice as secure, stylish, etc. as the next piece of gear in the column, it should be awarded twice as many points.  Take your time, be consistent, and tweak the numbers until you think they fit the way you feel about the individual pieces of gear.

Do the math –

Now let’s go back to the weighting that we gave each of the goals.  Multiply the weighting that we gave the goal/column times the rating that you gave the individual piece of gear.  The result should be a strong indicator of how valuable a given piece of gear is to you specifically.   We will call this the “Personal Value Rating”(PVR).

Goal Weighting x Gear Contribution Rating = Personal Value Rating

 If certain pieces of gear showed up in multiple columns, total their PVR from each column to come up with a total PVR for that piece of gear.  Once you figure out the PVR for each piece of gear, make a new list of the gear starting with the highest PVR and ending with the lowest.

Look for Discrepancies –

When you look at the final list in order of PVR, you may spot a few discrepancies.  Maybe your car keys ended up at the bottom of the list, but you know you can’t leave them behind.  This may be because they were listed in the wrong column(s) or rated too low.  Whatever the case, be sure to look for any problems and correct the equation as needed.

Use your PVR ranked list as a starting point to start researching and choosing your specific pieces of EDC gear!

How Can EDC(Everyday Carry) Optimization Help Me?

How Can EDC(Everyday Carry) Optimization Help Me?

Increase productivity –

When you have the right tools to help you with your everyday tasks, you are able to accomplish much more in the same amount of time.  Carrying gear that isn’t tailored to your needs would be like a carpenter arbitrarily choosing tools without regard to his trade.  He doesn’t need that potentiometer or micro wrench set that his computer repairman friend has.  He needs woodworking tools.  Using inappropriate tools will cause him to

Save money –

Spending money on tools you won’t use is never a good idea.  Sure you can gift it to someone later or sell it on your favorite forum, but you still lose money on the deal.  Thinking about and optimizing your EDC gear before you buy can easily save you hundreds of dollars as you put your gear together.

Save Time –

Using the wrong tools will always cost you time.  It will cost you time while you work inefficiently.  It will cost you the time that it takes to learn to use that tool you will later get rid of.  Even a small amount of time taken beforehand to optimize, will save you many hours of wasted time.

Save effort –

Using inefficient or improper tools wastes effort.  You wouldn’t use a dull ax to cut down a tree and you shouldn’t expect EDC gear to be any different.

Make you safer –

Taking the time to think about and optimize your EDC gear forces you to consider situations that you don’t normally think about.  This allows you to see gaps in your security or safety procedures and adjust for them.

Putting Your EDC(Everyday Carry) Gear to Bed Each Night

When you take the time and effort to put together your perfect EDC kit, you need a nice place to store it each night while you sleep.  There are several considerations:

Protecting your gear –

Make sure that your gear won’t be damaged while off your person.  Don’t put it where you will step on it when you swing you feet out of bed in the morning.  Don’t put your gear where it will roll or slide off an edge and fall to the ground.  Don’t place your gear on a surface that will scratch or otherwise mar the finish.  Over time, small scratches will really build up.

Keeping defensive tools out of the wrong hands –

This can be as simple as making sure your knife is out of reach of small children or as involved as a large safe to store your firearms out of the reach of common thieves.  A happy medium might be a small handgun safe that can also hold blades you want to keep safe.  You can pick up a small plastic box secured with a mechanical lock for as little as $20 or a small electronic handgun safe with quick, bio-metric access for much more.  If you are looking to secure defensive tools in a vehicle, make sure there is a way to secure the safe to the vehicle itself.  Check out GunVault products.

Convenience –

Convenience covers a lot of ground:

Organization – Having a specific place for everything and making sure your gear is in it’s place makes it easier for you to notice misplaced gear and makes it less likely that you will leave something behind when gearing up at the beginning of the day.

Memory – Make sure your gear is stored in an easy-to-remember place.  If you are a forgetful person, the back of your sock drawer probably isn’t the best place to store your EDC gear.

Speed and ease of deployment – Particularly for flashlights and defensive tools, you might want to have them close by and easily accessible during the night.  On a nearby nightstand or in it’s drawer might be a good storage option.  It’s important to keep them in the same place every time, so you can feel for them in the dark.

Style –

Trays, valets, safes, etc. are available in numerous styles, colors, and patterns.  Pick what fits your gear, but also what fits your style.  Make sure your gear has a functional and good looking resting place.

 

 

How to Determine Your Personal Goals for EDC(Everyday Carry) Gear

We have talked about how everyone’s goals are different and it’s important that we make sure our gear corresponds to our goals, but how do we find our goals?  It’s easier said than done.  Here are three quick tips to get you started:

Look at other people’s gear –

The simplest way to get started is to look at the EDC gear that other people have.  Check out websites like everyday-carry.com and see how you think their gear would fit into your lifestyle.  When you see pieces you don’t think will fit, think about why.  What priority makes this piece of gear a bad fit for me?  Is it too bulky?  Do I place more priority on comfort than this person.  Is the knife not big enough?  Maybe you place more priority on security.  Is the flashlight too big or complicated?  Whatever the difference may be, you should attempt to articulate your reasoning and start to make a list of your personal EDC gear goals.

Note what you take pride in –

Do you take great pride in your style?  In your preparedness for any task?  In your ability to quickly deploy your knife?  Areas in which you possess great personal pride normally indicate priority areas.  Don’t be ashamed.  Your priorities aren’t just needs.  Sometimes they are wants or even just the result of personal idiosyncrasy.  It’s important that we recognize these goals so that we can address them and achieve an end result that will truly satisfy you.

Note the situations where you are wishing you had helpful gear –

Sometimes this is just a guessing game.  No hard numbers or statistics.  Just a mental estimate.  What are some tasks during which you find yourself wishing for a tool that would make it easier?  When you think of something, jot it down.  Compile these ideas and review them after a given time.

These three ideas should help you make a list of your goals when it comes to EDC(Everyday Carry).

What is the goal of (EDC)Everyday Carry Gear?

What is the goal of EDC gear?

The goal of EDC gear is to increase your quality of life.

Every piece of EDC gear should work toward that end.  Using EDC to increase your quality of life is an ambitious goal, but there are a variety of ways to achieve that goal.  Your EDC gear can increase your quality of life by:

  • Increasing your self-reliance
  • Increasing your security
  • Increasing your comfort
  • Increasing your safety

Everyone has different goals –

People place varying amounts of emphasis on the different aspects that relate to quality of life.  What is important to one person could be trivial to another.

Some people are supremely concerned about safety. Because of this, an investment in a defensive tool would dramatically increase their quality of life.

Others aren’t that concerned about safety, but having something something on hand to listen to or read makes their life much more enjoyable.

Some people gain supreme enjoyment from not having to rely on others. They have their pen ready when the cashier rips the receipt from the register. They have their flashlight ready when the power unexpectedly dies in the restaurant.

Some people would go nuts if they didn’t have a pen and paper to write down an idea that popped into their head.

Some people are constantly worried about how they would cut a seat-belt if they were in a vehicle accident or how they would treat someone with a medical issue. Simple tools could help to aleviate those worries and dramatically increase their quality of life.

Maybe you plead guilty to all of the above. Maybe you are thinking of something totally different that I didn’t mention.  Perfect!  That’s the idea.  Think about YOUR priorities!

You will never be satisfied with EDC gear that caters to someone else’s needs, wants, and goals!

It’s easy to look at someone else’s gear and try to copy it for ourselves, but it’s not the right way to go about it.  You have an intricate combination of personal priorities that are different from anyone else in the world.  It takes some thought to arrange these priorities and properly apply them to your gear.  We’ll cover more on this later in the course.  For now, let’s figure out what your goals are!

 

Assignment:

You have 100 points to give away. List your goals when it comes to EDC gear and assign points according to how they rank.  More points for more important goals, less points for less important goals…

What is EDC?

What is EDC Gear?

A proper definition of EDC gear is critical as we start down the path of EDC gear optimization.

  • What are we referring to when we talk about EDC gear?
  • What are we working with?
  • What are we optimizing?

Here is the definition of EDC Gear that I’ll be using:

EDC Gear – The gear that is kept on your person or close at hand all the time. This normally includes gear in your pockets, backpack, briefcase, or even car or office.

When you see “EDC” or “Everyday Carry” referred to in these lessons, you can insert the above definition.

Note that this definition includes items that are not necessarily “carried.”

EDC is about readiness and preparation for the purpose of improving your quality of life.  It’s not about trying to see how much gear you can carry on your person.

Your pockets or bag will never be able to hold everything necessary to deal with every situation you will ever encounter. The important thing is to make sure that the gear you need is close and ready when you need it.

Leaving your desktop computer at the office is a good idea, because the office is where you will encounter the most use for that piece of gear. Yes, you may think of a task where it would be handy to have the office computer in your car or at home, but you can survive without it and leaving it at the office makes your life immeasurably easier.

Over this course, we will discuss a number of topics related to optimizing your EDC gear to make your life easier and better.

Assignment:

List your current EDC gear. Don’t lie to yourself.
Just list the things that are covered in the definition above.

Don’t lose this list. We’ll refer to it again later.