Gear

O2 Tactical TR2 Tactical Mask Respirator Review

Before wearing “masks” was cool and going out in public without one was considered rebellious, there were plenty of professions that required protecting one’s lungs from the operating environment. While mask wearing used to suggest catastrophic disasters like nuclear fallout, or chemical warfare, things like mold, lead, and more every-day hazards have long persisted as mankind remains breathing. Just as some are interested in tactical theater, so others choose to take their training and development seriously, and where both meet might be respirators. Recent short films like SCP: Overlord or full features such as Tenet have used tactical masks as both a plot point, and a narrative tool, and for years there has been a challenge regarding wearing a mask: how are you supposed to shoulder a rifle with something attached to your face? The O2 Tactical TR2 answers the question of the tactical mask problem. Above: Don’t be mistaken, …

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Best AK47 for Prepared Citizens

There are a nearly infinite number of opinions on what makes the best weapon for the worst-case scenario. While it could be argued that the AR is one of the most common weapons owned by citizens in the United States, the AK platform has a not-unsubstantial following as well. At the end of the day, everyone wants a rifle that’s easy to manipulate, maintain, and use effectively. All of these points are intrinsic to the AK platform. While there are some things left to be desired by the Soviet Union’s greatest export, the Kalashnikov is a proven platform that has seen combat the world over. It’s simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. The controls are very easy to use. It can be stripped down and reassembled in a flash, and it’s accurate enough to hit a man-size target reliably out to 300 yards while not being excessively large or heavy. …

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Review: Pro Eagle Jack (Off Road)

In my job as a firefighter and rescue technician, there are times when I need to venture off the beaten path to suppress forest fires or rescue injured hikers. While my crew and I can certainly hike, carrying loads of 50 pounds, it’s faster, safer, and more efficient if we can drive ourselves and our equipment up the mountains and through the hiking trails. But rough unpaved terrain has its challenges, and flat tires happen far more often than we’d like. When the inevitable flat tire happens, having the right tools available can not only make life easier, it can literally save the day. One great device I’ve added to my arsenal of professional tools is a Pro Eagle Jack, specifically the Big Wheel Off Road model. At first glance, this jack looks like an ordinary mechanic’s tool with a simple pump mechanism that slides easily under a car. I’m …

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CPR Mask: Pocket Preps

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is now being taught in schools and offered readily in even the most rural areas. Most people don’t have an issue doing chest compressions; however, when it came to mouth-to-mouth breathing, that was always going to be “somebody else’s job.” Beyond the uncomfortable idea of putting your lips against a stranger’s, there’s always a risk of that stranger coughing up fluids or vomiting while you’re performing the task. Fortunately, two things have made that less of a hindrance for people. First, in 2008, the American Heart Association approved Hands Only CPR (cpr.heart.org/en/cpr-courses-and-kits/hands-only-cpr) to increase involvement of bystanders who might be unwilling to provide rescue breathing. The Second Option is to use a CPR mask when performing rescue breathing.  Most shields or CPR masks are lightweight, but can be difficult to keep track of on scene. Most people found the pocket masks to be cumbersome, and they weren’t …

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Gear Up: New Survival Gear for December 2020

Walls Outdoor Goods | Angus Worn-In Stretch Light Work Jacket SIZING: Medium through XXL MSRP: $90 URL: www.walls.com With the temperature dropping in most of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to keep an outer layer nearby. Aside from its unnecessarily long and overly descriptive name, we’re quite fond of the Angus Worn-In Stretch Light Work Jacket because … well, it’s worn in, it’s stretchy, and it’s a light jacket that you can wear while doing field work. The exterior’s 9-ounce cotton-spandex blend is flexible enough to provide mobility but tough enough for daily duty on a ranch or worksite, thanks to double and triple needle stitching. Plus, it has two snap-closed chest pockets, two handwarmer pockets, one discreet zipper pocket, and one internal zipper pocket. Just note, medium is the smallest size, and it runs kinda large. The Angus straddles the line between workweek attire and weekend relaxing, and we …

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A Pelican Case for Rescue Operations: The iM2950 Pelican Storm Case

My introduction to Pelican cases came decades ago when I first started doing rescue work. I was arriving to a training class and spotted a pile of black, hard-sided boxes sitting outside, but there was a problem — it was starting to rain. Thinking that whatever was inside the cases must be valuable and could possibly be damaged by the rain, I quickly found one of the instructors and proclaimed that we needed to get the boxes moved to a dry location. The instructor came outside and chuckled a little, realizing the equipment I was concerned about was already stored inside Pelican cases. He calmly explained that they were waterproof. When I asked if he was sure the contents would be OK, the instructor said that everything would be fine. He proceeded to grab one of the cases, and deliberately threw it on the ground from chest height, very roughly. …

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Dark Angel Medical: No Excuse for Ignorance

As you cruise along the highway listening to your favorite podcast, you watch in disbelief and horror as a car a few lengths in front of you swerves violently, knocking a biker clear across three lanes of traffic. You pull over immediately and feel that natural desire to help. But what are you going to do? Do you have the knowledge and willingness to become part of the scene? Are you a bystander or a “by-doer?” Never at a loss for a smile or a Southern phrase that will keep you grinning from ear-to-ear like a mule eatin’ saw briars, Kerry Davis of Dark Angel Medical wants to create a vast army of “by-doers” — regular people with the ability and willingness to help save a human life. Effortlessly blending complex medical information with an easy to understand trauma care curriculum, Davis provides training for everyone, as well as a …

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Boot Laces: Pocket Preps

Let’s face it — the quality and versatility of shoe and boot laces tends to get overlooked. We’re wondering why footwear companies tend not to put as much effort into this component as they do sole construction, padding, and breathability. It has created a misconception that all laces are the same. When the laces on your sneakers or boots break, you usually replace them with some store-bought boot laces of questionable composition, or a generic piece of cord, right? That being said, we felt this oft-neglected product deserves closer inspection. Here, we’ll show you some options you probably never knew existed before. We discovered some brands out there that’ve put the time and research into creating laces far superior to what you’re used to seeing. Whether it’s using your boot laces as a SERE tool or survival cordage, we decided to take a look at some brands offering laces that …

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Cold Weather Hunting Gear You Absolutely Need

Oh, when the weather outside is frightful, but the tree stand is so delightful… For almost all of us, it doesn’t really matter what the weather is doing, we’re going to go hunting regardless. This includes when the temperature drops down into frigid levels. What do we do? We gear up and go! Sometimes the weather catches us off guard and we have to regroup a little. No worries, just remember these five cold-weather hunting gear pieces every hunter absolutely needs to enjoy the hunting season to its fullest. Editor’s Pick – Baselayers It’s kind of funny. Before the hunting community got all technical, base layers were just referred to as long underwear. The thing is, base layers have become far more technical than your plain, old long underwear. Comfort levels have increased, as have warmth and scent prevention. After all, your layer of clothing closest to your skin is …

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How to Safely Close a Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a popular outdoor tool. These multifunctional knives can be used nearly every day whether you’re camping or working. Caring for your pocket knife is as important as knowing how to effectively use it. Part of that care is being able to close it. Knowing how to properly and safely close your pocket knife can help maintain the quality of the knife and ensure it lasts a long time. Plus, closing the knife and storing it safely is important for your safety and to avoid any potential accidents. There are several different types of pocket knives, and each one requires a slightly different process to close it. The four different types of pocket knives we focus on here are the slip joint, frame lock, liner lock, and lockback. Read on for our how-to guide for closing a pocket knife! How to Close a Pocket Knife Slip Joint …

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Trijicon Rolls Out New Concealed Carry Reflex Optic

Michigan-based Trijicon chose September 01 to announce a long-awaited product. It’s a concealed carry optic, which they call the RMRcc. The company’s landmark RMR product line is so popular, the model name is often conflated with any brand’s reflex optic. Despite that, the company lagged behind many competitors in rolling out a compact edition appropriate for concealment-size guns. Tough and Durable Lightweight and low-profile aims were met with the new optic. It weighs just an ounce, battery included, with its 7075-T6 aluminum frame. Its dimensions come in at just under one inch in height and width. It’s also thinner overall than the original RMR. This new release has a black finish; the finish treatment is not yet disclosed. Recoil is not an issue Though the construction is lightweight, Trijicon says the RMRcc will stand up to the stoutest recoil from even 45 ACP and 10mm. With one of the available …

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Buying a New Compound Bow? Make It Custom

Planning on buying a new bow? Try your custom ideas on a myriad of bows with the Mathews Custom Compound Bow Builder and explore the possibilities. For 30 years, Mathews has been building, innovating, and bettering the bow. Couple that with education and conservation efforts, and you’ve got a group of passionate archers involved in the hunt from top to bottom. Alongside their holistic effort to better archery, they’re also making custom bows that lend themselves to the personalities of the folks who shoot them. I built my TX-5 using Mathews’ Bow Builder, and even as a novice archer, the process was simple, fun, and intuitive. With nine customizable areas and deep dives into smaller custom notes — like choosing the color of your harmonic damper or center and end serving — the Bow Builder creates a bow that’s entirely unique to you. The author’s customized Mathews TX-5 Once you’ve created a …

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How to Easily Make a Blackout Survival Kit

Cities of steel and concrete are testaments to mankind’s ingenuity. Are you prepared for a disaster? We take a lot for granted today, including the internet, our motor vehicles, indoor plumbing, and sewage, running water, and more. Learn how to easily make a blackout survival kit now! These are far more than niceties; these public utilities and advanced technologies are what make modern life so luxurious and indeed possible. What you have probably taken for granted even more than that is the one utility that makes them all possible- electricity. Without electricity, all these modern marvels grind to a halt. No more freshwater. No more sewer service. Definitely no more internet, and no more light that comes on at the flick of a switch. All of those and a host of other lesser technologies will be rendered useless, almost instantly, if we lose power. I hate to break it to …

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Integral Folding Knife Design: Pros & Cons

Folding knife construction has largely gone unchanged since the late 18th century. But recent advances have changed this mainstay — sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Here’s how integral folding knives stack up. A basic folding knife has a pivot, a blade, a blade channel, and two handle pieces on either side of the blade, all held together by fasteners. Knifemakers have made only some small modifications to this basic folding knife design over the years. They include different locks, different opening mechanisms, and standoffs (pillars that allow dirt and debris to flow through the blade channel instead of getting lodged against a solid backspacer). But that’s about it. That is, until about 15 years ago when things began to change. Machining abilities expanded, and the public’s willingness to pay high prices for both custom and production knives increased. We have witnessed a fundamentally different way of making a folding knife: …

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The New Ol’Man Assassin Tree Stand

The new Ol’Man Assasin tree stand is ready to accompany you on your next deer hunt. The new lightweight and durable line of a tree stand, ladders, and accessories come in many configurations to suit your specific hunting needs. The New Ol’Man Assassin Tree Stand – Ready for Hunting Season The Ol’Man Assassin is an entirely new system of the tree stand and can be adapted for different situations. The Hang On Tree stand is a lightweight and mobile system. Which is able to accompany hunters who are constantly moving. The Millennium style ComfortMax seat makes the stand comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. The entire package weighs only 19lbs. The Assassin folds up easily so you can make standing shots and the powder-coated finish ensures lasting durability without rusting.   The Ol’Man Assassin Speed Rail Hang On Ladder is the perfect accompaniment. With innovative design features …

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How Strong is 550 Cord (Paracord)?

Paracord is one of those items that you’ll never see a prepper without. 55o cord is incredibly versatile and known for rot resistance, flexibility, and tremendous strength. Paracord is useful for just about everything: you can easily pitch a tent with it, hang a hammock, use it for construction, and lashing if you know what you’re doing and your conscious you can even use it for climbing. It’s definitely useful, and it’s definitely strong but do you know how strong paracord really is? Genuine military spec paracord, Type-III, that adheres to the technical specification MIL-C-5040H and contains between seven and nine 3-fiber nylon strands surrounded by a 32-fiber nylon sheath is rated with a breaking strength of 550lbs. this is where the common nickname “550 cord” is derived from. While nearly all varieties of commonly encountered paracord are of the 550 variety, you should know that the term paracord could …

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Five Biggest Myths About the AR-15

There is no other firearm available today that has more misinformation about it floating around than the AR-15. The amount of information that is simply wrong, or flat-out lies regarding these sporting rifles is rather astounding. There are many on the 2nd Amendment side who feel this is due to political and media bias. Is that true? Maybe, but we don’t get into those types of discussions here. Let’s just take a good, hard look at five of the top myths about AR-15s, and the real truth about today’s modern sporting rifle. What does “AR” really stand for? This is one of Eugene Stoner’s prototype ArmaLite Rifle, Model 15s. We’ve all heard this one before, that “AR” stands for “Assault Rifle.” We all know full well that that is definitely false. “AR” stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the company founded by Eugene Stoner, the inventor of the rifle and the original …

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The Best Hunting Boots for Men in 2020

Whether you’re hunting moose in the Yukon or wing-shooting pheasants in South Dakota, we’ve done the research and rounded up the best men’s hunting boots of the year. Hunting boots are a particular kind of beast. Boots are generally individualistic and will depend on the wearer and the feet they’re packing. But some boots just stand above the rest, heeled or not. So, when looking for the best of the best, we doubled down on researching what hunters wear for various styles of hunting. And that specialization can mean the difference between an optimal day in the field or hoofing it back to the truck empty-handed because your feet are unhappy. From the best elk hunting boots to the warmest boots for the treestand, you’re bound to find something that’ll work in this list. Testing boots and gaiters in some of the nastiest mud we’ve ever experienced during a pack-in …

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How to Fish Without a Pole – Survival Skills

Do you know how to fish without a pole? Most emergency/survival kits include a small assortment of hooks, line, and perhaps a few swivels and weights – but no fishing pole. Quite understandable since it’s assumed you’ll simply cut a branch off and use it as a cane pole.  However,  there are several ways to catch fish without the need of a rod and reel. And doesn’t have to be only in survival situations, either. How to Fish Without a Pole There are several methods and techniques within the three main categories of fishing without a pole, each one requiring certain bait on certain size hooks attached to certain weights of main lines and drop lines – all in the quest for a certain fish, which in most cases is catfish. Three classic ways to fish are limb lines, trotlines, and jug fishing. Some consider a “throw line” as a …

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Cannon in B Minor: Beretta 1301 Tactical Refreshes the Defensive Shotgun

Street Howitzer. Room Broom. Scattergun. Gauge. Twelve Iron. Brixton Typewriter. These are just some of the slang terms for one of the most misunderstood defensive weapons of the 21st century — the self-defense shotgun. For many younger or newer shooters, this class of firearm has been almost entirely written off in favor of short-barreled rifles, rifle-caliber “pistols,” and pistol-caliber carbines. This phenomenon isn’t without good reason. Low recoil, high capacity, faster reloads, and a myriad of aftermarket accessories make these alternatives highly attractive to both the novice and aficionado alike. When measured against pump-action guns, the rate of fire also becomes a factor. And then there are the aggressive options like the Beretta 1301. But the shotgun isn’t without its own advantages. Firepower per trigger press is going to be hard to beat. There’s also the ability to run buckshot, birdshot, slugs, and almost anything in between depending on your needs …

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