Showing posts with label cold steel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cold steel. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

EDC Contest Entry #30 Brian N

Hey Folks, I am pleased to bring another entry for our EDC Contest. First we will quickly recap what is going on. The broad strokes are this. I want to share and discuss the stuff we carry around every day AKA EDC. Taking pictures of our stuff and talking about it is my goal.

The prizes will be as follows:
1st Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
2nd Place: 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by LuckyGunner.com ($50 value)
3rd Place:  1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)

Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value)

Check out the details and my example post here. 

 Onto Entry #30

Hi Ryan, this is Brian N. This is my EDC.  Pretty basic car keys/house key with the store cards and gym card.  These ride on my right front jeans clipped to my belt loop.  Wallet with no surprises goes in right rear pocket. The LED flashlight is usually clipped to my keys but I took it off for this picture. The Schrade knife and the Gerber Suspension multi-tool ride in the right front jeans pocket.  The Bic with a few ranger bands rides left front pocket with my iPhone (not pictured because it serves as my camera).  Glock 19 in a Fobus IWB are carried at 3 o'clock position.

The Cold Steel Roachbelly and extra mag are only carried in late fall, winter, and early spring because they ride in a jacket pocket. No jacket - no carry for these two items.  It's winter now so they are in the picture.  Really enjoy the blog and all the entries so far.  Congrats on the new ankle biter.

 -End-

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Solo Pot 900 Trial Run

The Solo Pot 900 and Solo Stove as packaged. The stove fits right inside of the pot. This is huge as it saves a whole lot of space in your bag. While the Solo Stove and Solo Pot 900 are both nice pieces of kit how they work together is what matters. The combination is far more valuable than the two parts are on their own.

It comes in this very nice little bag. The bag will be useful to keep the inevitable soot that will gather on the stove from getting on the other things in your bag. Just one of the many well thought out touches that exist in the Solo Stove and Solo Pot 900.

The pot handle.

The top of the pot, it has a lift tab to grab to open it. There is a little recess in the piece that attaches the tab to the lid that lets you keep it upright.

The Solo Pot 900 has a pour spout which is really nice. This is a huge advantage over the various competing products.

The pot has volume markings which are very useful for following recipes and such.

The lift tab set upright.

In assessing any product I think you have to look at other comparable products. Sitting beside the Solo Pot 900 is an MSR pot that is pretty representative of that size of light weight hiking type pots. As you can see the Solo Pot is much taller and looks significantly larger. The other pot is short and far more like a tuna can while the Solo Pot is taller and thinner like a Campbells soup can.

The Solo Pot 900 inside the MSR pot for a size comparison. The solo pot has a tiny bit larger capacity (like an ounce or two) but they are essentially the same size. Note the different handles.

The tools for the test. Solo Stove and Solo Pot 900, my Pathfinder Trade Knife and Cold Steel Pipe Hawk. The hawk was really handy for processing a larger piece of wood into the little finger sized pieces that seem to be the best way to feed the stove. The more I use this thing the more I like it. The trade knife and pipe hawk are looking like a very nice combo for realistic field and camp cutting tasks.

Getting the stove going. Used some fire starters I made back in boy scouts. They still work really well. After the stove got going I put the pot of water on. Tonight I am making a pot of tea because we already had dinner.

The stove cooking away. Not sure why this pic turned out so much better than the rest but here it is.

The flames from the stove engulfing the pot. The only weak spot here is that the handles get hot. You need to use a leather glove or folded up (not synthetic) piece of clothing to grab the pot handles. This is the only sad face that has jumped out about the Solo Pot.
The tea doing its thing. Not sure what is up with the yellow at the bottom of the pic.

My knife and the oven mitt used to grab the pot off the stove. It seemed like a nice picture so I included it.

Letting the fire die down.

The Solo Pot 900 after the cooking was done.
It is a touch early to do a full review on the Solo Pot 900 but from what I have seen it is a pretty neat piece of gear. Just the right size, nests with the stove and has a lot of well thought out useful features. A significant part of my BOB cooking plan for sure.

You would be well advised to consider purchasing a Solo Pot 900.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a pretty good amount of running and 2 rucks. For the second ruck I took a cue from John Mosby and put on a ruck for 3 miles as fast as I could go. I did not run (Running with weight is something that should IMO be seriously managed due to it's impact on your body) but went as fast as I could sustainably go. The split was a tiny bit over 13 minutes a mile and the weight was about 40 pounds. I enjoyed this ruck because it was quick and smoked me. I have gotten sucked into an brisk and long ruck pattern which has very different cardiovascular demands. Walking 8-12 miles with a ruck certainly has benefits but a fast 3 miler does also. This new trick will stay in my workout routine. Did a good lift today. No screwing around, just got in there for military press and dead lift then left. While it is not my long term plan lifting once a week seems to be working for me.

I fiddled around with a solo stove a bit. It is a neat little piece of kit that I can definitely see living in my bug out bag. The thing is quality made and very light. A full review will be done as soon as I have experimented with it some more.

Started fiddling around with my new Cold Steel pipe hawk. It is pretty handy for cutting the odd limb here or there. While not up to ax work this type of smaller stuff is really what I use a wood cutting implement for while camping or whatnot. The handle is pretty long but it shows when you swing the thing. This sucker might find a place in kit somewhere too

Sold off my 1911.  It will let me fill in some shortcomings and simplified our logistics. Also it will fund the new AR project. I call that a win win situation.

Looking to go for the long haul? Keep secure with Nightgear Snugpak sleeping bags.
 
Anyway things have been pretty busy. Lots of catching up with friends and family. Kiddo has had a riot chasing all manner of animals 




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You Don't Have To Break The Bank To Get Gear

Today I got a knife in the mail. It is an Ontario RAT 1. About a week back one of my guys was showing one of these to another guy and I asked to look at it. It was a nice enough knife but I didn't pay much attention until he mentioned the price of around $30. (I paid $35 on Amazon) I was carrying a medium sized Cold Steel Voyager that, while a solidly decent product I just wasn't thrilled with. After some internet research I concluded that the RAT 1 was a heck of a deal and ordered the plain edged model in the satin finish. It is far too early for a review but so far I am not dissapointed.

I got to thinking. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get decent and totally functional gear. Often amply functional pieces of kit and weapons are available at reasonable prices provided you aren't married to the coolest names or the newest CDI (chicks dig it) set up's. Saving $40 here and $200 there adds up in a hurry.

It is important to be realistic. You can't break the cost curve. I do not expect the $35 RAT 1 to be on par with a hundred dollar Benchmade. There is going to be a shortfall someplace beside the name on the item. Maybe it will be design or materials or fit and finish or durability or warranty/ customer service. The question is if the shortfall is something you can live with.

While you can't break the cost curve you can definitely bend it a little bit in your favor. Some products and companies provide a lot of value for your dollar. Knives like the Ontario RAT 1 or just about anything by Cold Steel are a great value. Pistols like Glock or the Springfield XD are equally as capable as HK or SIG models when the goal is for a rugged duty/ service pistol. Savage Arms has really stepped up their game over the past few years and offers a lot of value in rifles. The good folks at Condor tactical seem to offer some very well thought out gear at great prices.

If you are willing to be flexible on some brands it is quite realistic to become properly equipped in a reasonable amount of time while staying on a budget. This is probably the way to go if you are on a tight budget or trying to get equipped in a hurry (like yesterday). Folks who have to have the right CDI brand names are going to pay for them. This approach is fine too but it costs a lot of money. Most people do not have a lot of money. Personally my sympathy for a brand whore that constantly complains about prices and won't have a decently functional setup of guns/ fighting/ camping gear for a decade is nonexistent.



Friday, June 8, 2012

Gun Porn Post

In my collection there are a couple guns (1911 and M1 Garand) that are marked for sale. One may be spoken for and the other I will have to put a bit of effort into. The two should get me at least a grand though $1,100ish would be better. For awhile I was thinking about different things I could get with that money. A little pocket pistol like a Keltech P3AT or the Ruger knock off would be nice. Then again the new takedown 10/22 is super cool and I have a total gun crush on it. Of course I can always use another AR or Glock 9mm. So many options. Then I got to really thinking.

What I actually need to do is take care of a bunch of little stuff to really get the guns I already have (admittedly not a bad battery) set up properly. Over my time here I have done most of the heavy lifting in this area by purchasing plenty of mags, spare parts and some ammo. Still there is some work left to be done.

About 3 guns need trijicon night sights. The Glock which lives in the bedroom should have a light attached to it. My Springfield '06 needs to get drilled into so I can put a scope on it. On the bright side I've got a 3x9 Leupold lying around so that should be a pretty affordable project. I am still looking at options but both a rifle and a shotgun could use lights too however that might not make this round of purchases. There are probably a few other little things I can use.

Another thing to do when I get home is get my M4agery set up properly. I have the gun and an ACOG to go on top of it. Prior to putting that on I need to get a backup iron sight and zero it. (Previously it had a detachable carry handle) Still toying with the idea of putting a light on it. The thing doesn't have rails and at this time I don't plan to mount anything else so buying them just to make a light slightly easier would be a waste and I don't really want a rail anyway. That means either one of those hose clamp type setups or using a novel little piece of rail that hooks into the A looking hole in the front sight. The rail setup looks like the way to go as it lets me use all manner of lights and is in about the right location. For about 8 bucks it is worth fiddling with anyway. I don't think it would be stable enough to hold a zero on a laser but for a light as long as it points straitish that is good enough.

On another front I have recently switched from carrying a Buck 110 back to the clip in your pocket one hand folder type knife. It is so convenient to just slip a knife into my pocket and have it vanish. Also the Buck is way more knife than I need the vast majority of the time and I have one handy in the car anyway. Currently I am carrying a medium sized Cold Steel Voyager. I am not totally thrilled with the thing but it was already in my pile of knifes. One of my guys had an Ontario Rat 1 which looked pretty nice (and got good review online) and for about $35 it it is worth rolling the dice. I am not totally opposed to paying more for a knife but would want to be able to handle one before doing so which is problematic here.

On yet another front you can get the new 2012 15th Anniversary Edition of the LDS Preparedness Manual for free download from www.ldsavow.com. You may or may not agree with their theology but Mormon's have their stuff together when it comes to preparedness. It would be foolish not to take advantage of the free resources they offer to the public.

Anyway I am going to wrap this up. Hopefully you all have a great weekend.

I have received some interest in the two guns I plan to sell which is suprising and cool. The 1911 is a Springfield Mil Spec .45 and the M1 Garand is well, an M1 Garand. The 1911 may go to a buddy who I always offer right of first refusal (and he does the same) on gun sales. As to pricing I am pretty out of touch and will have to do some research to get a final solution.

The complication that spawns this post is that I am in Germany and my guns are at home in the PNW. Not going to inconvenience a family member that has been doing me a favor with taking detailed pics, let alone shipping through an FFL or a personal sale. In the early fall I will be headed back to the US. Any action would have to take place at this time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Fun

Well I can't say kido knows anything about Easter but he has sure figured out that plastic colored eggs have candy inside. We did the egg hunt thing and dyed some eggs and that is was about it. Kiddo was pretty good considering his sugar consumption was way above the norm. Tomorrow we will have egg salad which I am excited for.

On an unrelated note I saw a cool video over at Zombie hunters. I am over there with my same name theotherryan.

I also saw an interesting thread over on another blog. It is (and you know how these internet things where a guy knew a guy who wrote something and then another person posted it, evaluate the accuracy and merit for yourself) about a guy's experiences during the LA Riots. I am linking to the series of posts. One nuance of the way they published a series of post one after the other is that you have to start at the bottom, go up to the top of the first post, read it all the way down and then scroll up to the beginning of the second one and read it scrolling down then repeat. Anyway while I can't vouch for it's authenticity or lessons learned but it was interesting to read. Anyway those are a couple things you might want to check out. I hope you all have a very nice Easter.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What If- Knives

I was doing some knife preventative maintenance and had a bit of inspiration. While looking at a stack of knives I wondered what if I had to chooose? We talked about what we would choose if we could only have five guns awhile back and talking about knives seems fun.

Anyway you get five. To define it we will say you get five knives to suit every normal cutting need. No need to get sidetracked into strictly kitchen culinary stuff, herilooms or industrial things like razor knives, I am thinking more general purpose, survival, defense type stuff. These knives could fill most of those other roles anyway. In no particular order here we go.

First I thought about a good all around edc knife. For this I would choose a Buck 110. A great knife to carry around. It won't cause any awkward looks in a sheath on your belt but it handles and cuts like crazy. If I found myself stuck in the woods with one I would not feel at a serious disadvantage.

Next I considered something I could carry concealed and use effectively as a weapon. Without a doubt this would be a cold steel push knife. I have a bit of experience in knife fighting but a decent background in striking and knifepunching people seems rather intuitive to me.

A relatively large sheath knife for general purposes or fighting came next. I would have to go with a Ka Bar for this. Ergonomic as can be with a big solid blade, not much to argue with here. They are just a darn good knife and I cannot imagine not owning one.

A multi tool is just a darn useful thing to have. I do not carry one as I do not use them that frequently but I keep them at home and in my ruck. I like the original leatherman. (Pictured is a SOG multi tool because my leatherman is MIA.)

Lastly I would want a solid camping/ survival kind of blade. Without a doubt I choose the cold steel kukuri. A few years ago I was watching Lost and thought "what knife would I want if I was stuck on a jungle island?" and ended up buying one of these. They are definitely pricey and it would be genuinely hard to argue they are worth the price when you can get a good machete for 30 bucks or so but I happy that I own one.

Narrowly missing selection was the Buck 119 special which is just a darn good knife. Great as a hunting knife or for all manner of tasks. In all honesty sentimentality is probably the reason the Kabar beat it out for the general purpose sheath knife spot.

Noteably absent is the modern one hand opening "tactical" folder with a pocket clip. I am just really soured on them due to a slew of bad experiences with a variety of big name models. I fiddled with a small belt knife to do everything. It worked OK but carrying one all the time is problematic. A buck 110 to do stuff and a push knife as needed just in case is what I am trying right now.
What would your five be?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thoughts on Knives

As I noted awhile back recently my EDC Cold Steel folder was a field loss of sorts. I didn't lose it but it is gone. Anyway I think that is a good reminder of a point about knives. Don't buy one that is so expensive it will be a real loss if it is lost/ broken/ stolen/ whatever. I hesitate to say an exact dollar figure that everyone should use because it depends so much on your situation. Being able to readily replace a lost knife is probably a good test. For me that is somewhere in the $50-65 range. For other folks it might be more like $25 or 400.

Like any tool you carry and use sometimes knives are casualties of some kind of event. The same could be said about a lot of other stuff including guns. Another benefit of carrying affordable knives is that you can, if so inclined, just keep a couple spares lying around in a box somewhere. Getting a couple of the folder I like to carry every day as backups is on my long list. A lifetime of outdoors activities has left me with a decent collection of random knives and a recent Cold Steel purchase gave us some intentional redundancy. It would however be nice to have spares of the exact knife I like to carry in my pocket. Maybe next year.

Anyway before getting sucked into the coolest new $342 tactical urban ninja SPECOPS elite fighting knife you really should think twice. Affordable knives have the benefit that it isn't a huge hit if they are lost or damages. Also it is a lot easier to keep a few extras around which never hurts.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a few things this week. Replaced my worn out sleeping mat with a new one. Seeing as I got it surplus at 13 or so and have used it regularly since I would say I got my dad's money's worth. Also had to replace my EDC knife. Through no fault of my own my Cold Steel folder left my presence during the last field rotation. Still fuming about it. Anyway I bit the bullet and replaced it.

Also took delivery of a nice new ACOG which I am really excited about. We went through our car bag and made sure it has what we want it to have. Got to make sure the stuff is current and fits your goals. Been plugging away on The Long Emergency and should finish it this week.

We got to watch Suze Orman yesterday which was pretty nice. Talking and thinking about money together in a relaxing setting is a positive way for us to air any issues we may have and  get rejuvenated about meeting our goals. Things are going well along those lines. Another paycheck and another principal payment closer to being debt free.

Got all caught up on email as well as reading and various other blog stuff. If you sent me an email and haven't heard something by now it was probably lost in the sauce so you might want to send it again. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a pretty good week here. Somehow I seem to have a cycle where I save then buy. This is kind of a buy week. I ordered some more ingredients so I can do a couple more batches of beer. This time it is going to be a good strong Belgian beer. I will be able to stop spending bunches of money on Chimay and be able to enjoy great beer more often. Not that there is anything wrong with a generic American light beer but I want to be able to drink good beer more often.

I also ordered some one ounce silver bars. I think silver is still sanely priced. Plan to keep buying it for at least the rest of the year. One nice thing about silver is that you get a far more gratifying amount of stuff than with gold. Spend a couple hundred bucks on silver and you get a nice handful of coins. Spend a couple hundred bucks on gold and you get a little coin.

I ordered a cold steel push knife. Those things are just nasty. I have done some thinking on it and any real use I would have for a fighting knife is going to be up close and very physical. These things are really intuitive which helps a lot.

I am sticking with the weight room which is good. It is a nice transition between work and home. Also I just feel better when I life.

Lastly I am finally happy with where my MOLLE chest rig is. I feel like I finally got that piece of gear to how it really should be. I will probably write specifically about what I did at some point. However to do that I will need to take pictures and such so it will be awhile. I replaced a pair of triple mag panels with 3 two mag pouches. The panels do not flex and just felt like a big thick board on my off side. The 3 two mag pouches hold the same ammo in the same place but since they aren't connected have a lot more flex and give. I can toss another one on down the road which I would want for Afghanistan but don't need for here. Also I replaced a random pouch that was holding my MBTR radio with a legit radio pouch. At some point I can use a random little pouch to hold stuff but that is a back burner priority.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a few things. A few days ago I noticed a couple little tarnish/ rust spots on my Cold Steel Voyager. Nothing against the knife it just lives in my pocket which over the last couple weeks has been soaked in sweat almost constantly. I rubbed a little bit of oil on the blade and let it soak in for a couple days. The spots came off easily with an SOS pad. Also I started breaking in my new Altima Exospeeds. They have been sitting in the box for awhile because breaking in new boots is kinda annoying and the old ones, though showing their age a bit too much for work, are just so comfortable. I've been looking at gear lately to get ready for my upcoming deployment. Need to pick up a holster and a chest rig at a minimum. Also likely a few other small odds and ends.

Did some reading on FerFal's book which I am really enjoying.

Also I have been forcing myself to put more time into the blog on the development side. I certainly have the interest it is just about forcing myself to take time from someplace to do it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cold Steel Order Arrived

My Cold Steel order arrived in the mail today. I got 4 "Long Hunter" knives and 4 18" spear point machetes. Needless to say I have been fiddling with one of each.

I am happy with both purchases. The machetes are very nice with a slightly blade heavy balance. I don't have any brush or trees to destroy but imagine they would make short work of either, or zombies.

After some use with the Long Hunter maybe I will write a product review but for now we've got initial impressions. First of all I think it is probably important to evaluate these knives against their competitors, not far more expensive blades. Is one going to replace the Cold Steel folder that lives in my pocket or the Ka-Bar I prefer as a fighting blade, no. However for less than the price of either of those knives I got 4 quality knives.  In time I would like to pick up a couple spare Ka-Bar's and Cold Steel folders but those aren't cheap.

The Long Hunter is described as a "common French peasant/kitchen knife". I imagine it would be a pretty good knife to have on your belt for a days worth of varied tasks. I got them for the sake of redundancy. Hadn't planned to pick up a bunch of extra cutlery right now but at that price it was too good to pass up.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

quote of the day

Background: I am carrying a big box of new Cold Steel products.

Me "Does it make me crazy that holding a big box of knives and machetes makes me really happy?

Wifey- Yes, but can we put a machete under my side of the bed?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a good week for us. We got a great deal on a bunch of knives and machetes. Also we went and finished the New Years Resolutions in terms of Glock and M1A mags. Finally feeling pretty good about the overall magazine situation. Also reading books on Afghanistan which is a prep of sorts. Doing some workouts in my spare time which if not a perfect program is better than nothing.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Great Sale on Cold Steel Knives

Cold Steel has an awesome July 4th sale going on right now! I ordered 4 "long hunter" knives and 18" spear point machetes. To be honest we don't really need these for anything in particular as our cutlery situation is pretty solid. However for the sake of redundancy (and I suppose potential charity or barter) I have been wanting to pick up some extras. Hadn't planned on doing it now but for these amazing prices it seems like the perfect time. Seriously for a C note we got a bunch of quality machetes and belt knives to just put away.

Too often when it comes to knives people get the impression that to stock up on knives they have to buy some Pakistani or China made junk. While these knives might not be the worlds fanciest they are high quality and very functional tools. 

I don't get anything out of this. Just wanted to give you all a heads up about the great sale.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Knife!

I work ridiculously long days (11.5-12 is the norm) but one nice thing is that slipping out for a few minutes to do something is fine. I had left work to do something and decided to swing by the mail room. We had a small package and I had a pretty good idea what it was.

One of the brutal ironies of life is that in order to open a package with a knife you need to have a knife. Seriously it is just sort of rediculous. Thankfully I had been carrying a random Gerber knife in my pocket so the package did get opened. It was a large tanto style 50/50 serated Cold Steel Voyager. I have been sort of checking it out today and to be honest I am impressed. It seems to be a really sturdy very high quality knife, basically what you expect from Cold Steel. Don't remember exactly what I paid but it was pretty reasonable for a quality knife. It is pretty big and probably up to every task I will realistically use it for. Heaven forbid I have to play who can kill who with a knife first with somebody this wouldn't be a bad one to have. It is bulkier than the comparably sized Spyderco because instead of having a slim handle that is tiny at the end this one had a nice real full handle.

Some folks use really cheap knives. I think they are generally junk though some knives are just simple and a really good value. Also some other folks carry super expensive knives. I just can't see dropping hundreds of dollars on a knife. After all it is a pocket knife and occasionally they can get lost or whatever. I just can't see spending so much on a knife that I would hesitate to use it. I use knives mostly for increadibly mundane stuff but occasionally circumstances dictate that I am rough on them. Thinking that I don't want to scratch the glossy Navy SEAL tested, super optimized finish on a knife will not do. If I must I will use a knife to cut stuff it is not intended to cut or pry or as a screwdriver and would not want to hesitate in a time of need.

Anyway I have a new knife which is cool.
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