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Life in Rural America

Category: Survival Gear

Survival Gear Reviews

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet Review

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet Review

Review of the Mountain House breakfast skillet freeze dried pouch. While working around the farm, and new fence line cleared out, I decided to have a Mountain House breakfast skillet for lunch.

For whatever reason, Mountain House freeze dried pouches have always come across as bland, very bland. There seems to be very little flavor was added at the factory. Maybe this was so people can add the spices they want?

I wish Mountain House would treat the sodium content like they do the flavoring, and leave some out. Why leave something as simple as black pepper out, but have an excessive amount of sodium?

Let’s move onto the review.

Nutrition Information

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Stockpiling Freeze Dried Pouches

Mountain House freeze dried pouches

A question to the reader, “Are you stockpiling Mountain House freeze dried pouches?” Let’s be honest, there are a number of reasons that can be debated for and against stockpiling Mountain House freeze dried pouches.

One of my main issues with the pouches is the sodium content. When I eat a meal, a few minutes later I can feel the sodium hitting my system. Sometimes the sodium is so bad I feel sick all over.

Some people may say Mountain House freeze dried pouches are too expensive, and they are. There is no denying the freeze dried pouches cost a pretty penny.

Let’s talk about sodium content first. A couple of pouches were picked from my personal stockpile so we could look at the sodium content.

Sodium Content

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Sawyer PointONE As A Gravity Filter

Sawyer PointONE gravity filter

The Sawyer PointONE is my new favorite water filter. Depending on water conditions, it can filter up to one millions gallons, and the flow rate beats the Sawyer Mini water filter hands down.

However wonderful the Sawyer PointONE water filter is, the user still has to either fill up a bag or water bottle, then attach the bag or bottle to the filter. Filling a water bottle with a small opening can be a pain, and sometimes an act in frustration. Rather than using the bag that was included with the Sawyer PointONE water filter, I bought a two liter platypus bag. One end of the platypus bag opens, and water is simply scooped up from the water source.

Think of the platypus bag as large heavy duty ziplock bag with a hose attachment. The bag can then be hung from a tree limb, or from the side of a tree. From there a plastic hose is attached, with the Sawyer PointONE water filter inline between the platypus bag and the water bottle.

Sawyer PointONE Specifications

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How Good Does A LifeStraw Work?

LifeStraw Water Filter

Surely everyone has heard of a LifeStraw? It is a simple tube that is a water filter. Place the inlet into the water, then suck the water through the tube. Seems simple enough right? Almost too good to be true?

If something seems to god to be true it usually is, except for the LifeStraw.

Back in March of 2017 I decided to take the plunge and ordered a LifeStraw from Amazon. In April I took the LifeStraw on a hiking trip and gave it a test run.

First impressions were very good. It was just like pulling water through a straw. The water took a few seconds to get through the filter, but when it did, the flow was excellent.

LifeStraw Specifications

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Watch:ThruNite Neutron 2C Flashlight Review

ThruNite Neutron 2C

The ThruNite Neutron flashlight is probably the most flexible flashlight in my collection. Not flexible as being able to bend, but flexible as in offering the greatest number of lumen options.

The ThruNite Neutron flashlight, unlike other flashlights on the market, does not have preset brightness settings. Holding the on/off button fades, or increases the brightness. This allows the user to adjust the ThruNite Neutron to exactly the lumens needed for a certain job.

Specifications

From the ThruNite Neutron Amazon store page.

  • Item Weight: 3.04 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1 inches
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Type of Bulb: led
  • Included Components: Holster, Spare O-rings, Lanyard, Pocket Clip, 18650 3400mAh Battery, USB Charging Cord
  • Batteries Included: Yes
  • Batteries Required: Yes

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Video Review: Jaxman M8 Flashlight

Jaxman M8 Review

The Jaxman M8 is a handheld flashlight that uses a single 18650 battery. After using the Jaxman M8 flashlight for several months, it has become on my my favorite “go to” flashlights.

Description From Amazon:

  • XPL Hi LED/Max 700LM/Max 150 meters
  • Battery anti-reverse protection,low voltage slow flashing,over discharge protection
  • High: 700 lumens
  • Medium: 275 lumens
  • Low: 40 lumens
  • A small and far shoot flashlight!Powered by 1 x18650 rechargeable flat top (65mm Length) Battery(NOT INCLUDED),Max. 4.2V
  • Suitable for Camping, hiking, Hunting,Cycling, Fishing, Auto Emergencies, and Home Repair

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Beretta APX: Biggest Disappointment of SHOW Show 2018

Beretta APX at SHOT Show 2018

SHOT Show 2018 was an amazing event. Estimates put around 60,000 people attending the show. I arrived on Sunday, January 21st, and flew back home on Thursday, January 25th. Monday was Industry Day at the Range, then Tuesday and Wednesday were spent attending SHOT Show.

Read about my trip to SHOT Show here – Trip To The 2018 SHOT Show.

Out of everything I saw, looked at, held, shot, took pictures of, observed… etc, the biggest letdown was the Beretta APX.

While handling and shooting the APX during Industry Day at the Range, the handgun felt cheap. From a distance of 25 yards the APX seemed to hitting in a circle, and was not very accurate. No other handgun I shot that day (dozens of them), had that issue.

The biggest letdown of the Beretta APX came when I was talking to a company representative.

Disconnect Between Beretta And The Consumer

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Gun Safety At SHOT Show 2018

SHOT Show Gun Safety

When dealing with firearms the most important issue is gun safety. Being able to hit the target is nice, but gun safety is paramount. With thousands of people, and hundreds of booths set up at Industry Day At The Range, this could have been a recipe for disaster.

Industry Day At The Range was Monday, January 22, 2018. It was an amazing day that brought all types of shooters to the range. What was Industry Day At The Range like? It was like a shooting range a quarter of a mile long. Rather than bringing your own firearms, manufacturers had booths set up for people to shoot at.

There were all types of shooters at Industry Day At The Range – casual, professionals, three gun competitors, target shooters… etc. I consider a casual shooter.

For the most part, just about everyone was professional and displayed a degree of professionalism. That is not to say I did not see some questionable behavior.

Pointing The Muzzle Up

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Top Five People At SHOT Show 2018

Primary Arms Optic

It is estimated 60,000 people were going to visit SHOT Show 2018 in Vegas. Does that number count company employees, or just public attendance? Either way, that is a big number.

For the sake of discussion, let’s stick with 60,000.

On my trip to SHOT Show in 2018, I met a number of people. Well, you could say I ran into several thousands people. Out of those people, who left the lasting impression?

To respect their privacy, pictures of their faces will not be posted. While interviewing one lady I asked her about doing video. She politely asked that her face not be put on the Internet. Her request was fully respected and neither her face or full name will be posted.

Primary Arms

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Trip To The 2018 SHOT Show

SHOT Show 2018 media day at the range

The 2018 SHOT Show has come and gone. I had a great time, there was a lot to see, and there were also a number of disappointments. For those of you who do not know what the SHOT Show is, it is the largest Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in the world. It is hosted every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendance is estimated to be at least 60,000 people.

For 2018, the show started with Range Day on Monday, January 22nd. To attend range day, you had to be invited, and/or had to be part of an established media organization. I am not sure of the exact details, but people could not walk off the street and attend range day.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Cutting Out Middle Man For Prepping Supplies

Compass

One nice thing about Ebay and international shipping, it lets you cut out the middle man. Rather than going to a store, or even ordering from Amazon, get on Ebay and go straight to the source.

Believe it or not, there was once a time when the internet did not exist. If you wanted something, you either went to a store and bought it, or you ordered it our of a magazine.

In the stores there are these displays where paper magazines are sold. Yes, I know it is difficult to believe, but people use to read stuff printed on paper. Continue Reading….

Three Day Assault Pack First Impressions

Three Day Assault pack

The Three Day Assault pack is a military surplus backpack that was designed for excursions lasting more than one day. It has a capacity of around of 1,850 cubic inches, which is enough room for the essentials.

The Three Day Assault pack has three compartments, large main compartment and an outer compartment. The outer compartment has a small storage pouch inside, and outside of it.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the United States military phased out the ALICE pack in favor of the MOLLE.

The Three Day Assault pack is one of four backpacks in use by the United States Army. It fills the gap between the patrol pack, and the medium MOLLE, which has a frame: Continue Reading….

Adding Chemlights To Emergency Preps

Chemlights

Question to all the preppers / survivalist out there, do chemlights have a place in your preps? I have a few chemlights, but just a few. Once those are used, I honestly do not know if I will buy anymore. As a tree hugger, it bothers me that chemlights are use once, then throw away. Where do all the used chemlights end up? In the landfill. Why use chemlights when there are so many rechargeable options on the market?

Let’s take a rechargeable LED lantern for example. Once the battery is run down, it can be charged by solar, or by USB, then it is ready to go again.

To me, chemlights are “almost” the same as throwing your money away. You get a few hours of light, and then it is thrown away. Why not get a flashlight or lantern? Both of them are reusable, while a chemlight isn’t.

Are there chemlights in my preps? Sure there are. I just have a difficult time spending money on something that is disposable. Continue Reading….

Unglorified Survival Gear Preps

Srockpiling survival gear preps

Go to YouTube and watch some videos on survival gear, and all the stuff that goes bang or is bright and shiny gets all the views. Why is that? Why do videos about chicken feeders, fencing, and other long term survival preps get so little attention?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say there is a collapse of society. This could be from nuclear war, pandemic flu, some kind of new viral plague.. etc. Which would serve you better, livestock and homesteading resources, or some cute cutting tool?

To me, my seed stockpile, chickens, livestock fence… are all just as important as something that goes bang. Continue Reading….

Is Two Step Water Purification Needed?

Maxpedition Condor II backpack next to creek

Is two step water purification needed? This could be in the event of a collapse of society, or on a hiking / camping trip.

There is a common misconception about filtration and purification. Filtration removes bacteria, protozoa and cyst, but does nothing to viruses. Purification affects bacteria, protozoa, cyst and viruses. Purification can be by any means – UV light, filters that remove a virus, chemical treatment.. etc.

Most water filters on the market have a pore size of 0.1 microns. The CDC recommends a maximum pore size of 0.01 microns for viruses. If a purifier says it has a pore size of .1 or .2 microns, it is only a filter. A virus will slip through a .1 or .2 micron filter. Continue Reading….

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