Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cool new gear reviews..

Over the past few years I have purchased some new preps that I want to share with all of you, and discuss what I think about them, and how they can benefit you later. 

First, let me briefly state my views on what I am preparing for. I prep mainly for the possibility of Economic Collapse. But, as with most preppers, we know that anything can happen and we try and prepare for anything. But, a "grid-down" (long term state of no electricity) and "without rule of law" situation is what most all preppers prepare for, regardless of circumstance. So most of my equipment is based on the idea that there will be no power, running water, or outside aid of any kind.

Anyway, back to the new gear reviews!

Coleman Dual-Fuel Premium Lantern : When I first started prepping, I purchased 3 Oil Lamps, a ton of extra wicks, and gallons of lamp oil. I mainly got them due to their simplicity and low rate of fuel consumption. After lots of testing and use, I found that they do not put off as much light as I may need at times. So I began looking for a reliable alternative, and much to my delight, found this new version of the classic Coleman Lantern. This lantern uses the standard #21 mantles (about $2.50 for a pack of four) used by most all coleman lanterns, and it can burn coleman fuel (expensive, about $9 a gallon at wallyworld.) OR gasoline! I've found it runs for around 7 hours on one tank on low, which isnt bad at all. It puts out a lot of light, it is alot quieter than the old coleman's, and at around $50, it is a great purchase! Gasoline will be much easier to find than other specific fuels in a dire situation. I highly recommend it!

Gerber Infinity Ultra LED Light : This is a very small, low-lumen output, task light. I've been using one for over a year now, and it seems to be nearly indestructable. It is built on a single LED platform, using only one AA battery with nearly 300 hours runtime on one battery! As I said before, it does not put out alot of light, but for most tasks, it does just fine. After about a year of having one, I bought three more just to have one in every bag. This is a fantastic light, I cannot say enough good things about it. It is waterproof, and for around $14, it is a bargain as well!

Aquamira Emergency Water Filter Straw : Let me say first, this is not a replacement for a good water filtration system. This is just a nice back-up. But, for the price, this thing rocks. It takes up little to no room, weighs less than 1oz., and can filter up to 20 gallons of water. So if you want something you can throw in a pack "just in case" for water filtration, you cant beat this. And unlike the Potable Aqua tablets, there is very little taste change, and no wait time. They cost around $10 each depending on the vendor.

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife : I recieved this knife a few years ago after one of my USMC buddies told me about his "badass new military-issued combat knife". And let me tell you what, Gerber knows their stuff. I've been a fan of knives my entire life, and this has to be by far, my favorite. It is made of durable 420 HC stainless steel, which holds its edge very well. Built into the sheath is a knife sharpener, so you will never have a dull knife when you need it the most. It comes with leg and waist retention straps, all built out of very sturdy nylon. It has a serrated section on the first 2 inches of the blade for sawing and rope cutting. The handle is made to be non-conductive, so you can touch a live electrical surface without being shocked (I still wouldnt try this). And on the rear of the handle is a glass punch. It also has holes built into the handle so you can attach it via paracord to make a spear. When you buy this it also comes with a "seat belt cutter" in its own sheath as well. Both the knife and cutter are MOLLE capable. All in all, I personally believe this is one of, if not the best survival knife on the market today. (Note: This is a large and heavy knife, if you do not like large fixed-blade knives, this may not be the knife for you.) It comes in other colors as well. This knife typically goes for around $60, which I think is a great deal for the quality you are getting.

Mechanix Gloves : It seems like forever that I have been looking for a good fitting, tough, "tactical" glove that I can use when working, hiking, shooting at the range, or anything in between. I have purchased super expensive gloves with high end manufacturers like BLACKHAWK or SpecOps, and while they make a great glove, I still felt very ripped off. After alot of trial and error, and research, I found that these Mechanix Gloves work the best for the value. They make a great fitting, tough, long lasting glove that I feel I can use for just about anything. And for the price, about $15 you cannot beat it. Never again will I pay outrageous prices for a pair of gloves when I can just get 7 pairs of these for the same money.

Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter : I wont beat around the bush, this is an expensive water filter (around $300). But, after tons of testing and reading I dont know how many positive reviews, this is the longest lasting per filter, and best working backpacking water filtration system. Without replacing the filter, you can filter up to 13,000 gallons of water! Most people will never even have to replace the filter in their lifetime! (The cheapest place to get this product is at Camping Survival.)If you dont have the money to get this one, I suggest the Katadyn Vario as an alternative. 

SAS Survival Guide : In my opinion, this is the most comprehensive, useful, easy-to-read survival guide out there. I keep one in every BOB/GHB/BOV I own. Nothing beats knowledge.

Fenix HP11 Headlamp : In my preps, I try to standardize all of my equipment with the same types of batteries, so that is what led me to this headlamp. After immense use in some very rough and harsh climates and situations, it has come out strong. It runs on 4 AA batteries, and on its highest output level, is VERY bright. It is a little on the heavy side, so if you are going to be wearing this for a long period of time, you may want to look elsewhere if that bothers you. But otherwise, this waterproof headlamp has been a great buy for me. It typically sells for around $60. (Note: the headband is quite tough to install when you first try to put it together, since the instructions are heavily lacking in detail. This review helped me visualize things better to get it put together correctly.)

C.A.T. - Combat Application Tourniquet : These were designed for the US Military due to a demand for one handed, self useable tourniquet. They do not recommend reusing them for sterilization reasons, but I believe it would be fine after a nice bleach bath. This design has come a long way, and makes it possible for anyone to be able to stop arterial blood loss on a victim, possibly even the victim himself. I have seen knock-offs at gun shows and such, and while they have the same design, the materials are poorly made. If this is something I am going to trust my, or a friends life to, I am going to spend the extra money and get the real deal. They run about $25 each normally.

Trijicon ACOG TA01NSN : Ever since this came out, I have wanted one. But with such a high price tag, until I found one for a really good deal used, I couldnt bring myself to buy it. ($1000 new) Trijicon makes some of the finest battle optics on the planet. This optic has been put through many layers of hell in testing. It is currently the optic used by US Special Forces branches. In the middle of the crosshairs they place tritrium, which is a radioactive (not harmful in such a small dose) material that glows for about a dozen years, so you have an illuminated optic without batteries for night time engagement. It also has a back-up iron sight on top of the scope that also has a tritrium dot. It was built for the 16 to 18 inch barrel AR platform, and features 4x magnification. After using this on my AR, it will never be removed. I love it! If you are an AR fan, and want a beat-all optic, this is one of the best choices out there. If you see one for sale used, snatch it up, because it wont be seen for sale used often! (Note: make sure to inquire as per proof of its production date, as you do not want to get one that is very old and nearing the end of its tritrium life.)

Viatek Crank/Battery Powered LED Lantern : These small crank powered lanterns come in handy when you're camping or have a power outage. After having it for about a year, and using it somewhat often, with 1-2 minutes of crank power I still get over an hour's worth of light! It is not a lot of light, but enough to read or see your way to the bathroom or such. Keep in mind with these, they are not made of the 'highest quality' and are not meant to get wet or see serious abuse, but for the price ($25 for THREE) its a great deal! I plan to eventually get another 3 pack of them. Get them while you can!

Maglula Magazine Loader/Unloader : Whenever I look at speedloaders I am always skeptical. Most of them dont really help that much and end up getting thrown in a drawer never to be used again. The Maglula brand speedloaders are a completely different breed, they make loading and unloading your magazines a breeze, (no more sore/cut fingers!) and they are made for most all rifle/pistol applications. I'm severely jaded now on loading my magazines, this thing stays in my range bag all the time. Best speedloader on the market! (runs $25-$30 depending on model)

Beans, Bullets, and Band-aids! And in that order!

NCPrepper10 out.


  1. Hey Prepper,
    I have seen those crank LED lanterns and saw some iffy reviews about their quality. How have yours faired? I know they aren't the best quality but will they stand up to some bangs and bumps along the way-general wear and tear kind of stuff.

  2. I have not had them in very harsh conditions yet, just used them for camping and power outages, but thus far they have done superbly well. For the price, I think they are a great deal. At the last prepping conference I went to they had a single 'cheap' crank lantern for more than I paid for three of these. When I prep, I use the idea of "Two is one, one is none", because chances are no matter how good a product you buy, eventually it is going to break. Better to have more than one as a backup! If two of these eventually break, I may be able to combine them to make one functioning unit again.

    Best of luck to you AlasMyLove, and thanks for commenting!