Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Survival Gear

Survival Gear Reviews

Video Review: Jaxman M8 Flashlight

Jaxman M8 Review

The Jaxman M8 is a handheld flashlight that uses a single 18650 battery. Like a lot of flashlights of this style, the on/off button is located in the tailcap. Push the on/off button to turn the flashlight in, then gently press the button to cycle through the brightness settings.

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

Lanyard is included with the Jaxman M8 flashlight.

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

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

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

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

Cutting Out Middle Man For Prepping Supplies

Pocket 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.

Military Surplus Three Day Assault Pack

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.

Three Day Assault Pack

The Three Day Assault pack is one of four backpacks in use by the United States Army:

  • Patrol Pack – Suited for day hikes, or lightweight overnight camping trips. No frame.
  • Three Day Assault pack – Large enough for a couple of days in warm weather camping. No frame.
  • Medium MOLLE – Slightly larger than the three day pack and has a frame.
  • Large MOLLE – Largest of the four packs. Suited for excursions lasting several days and has a frame.

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.

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.

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.

Going Through My Backpacks

Kevin Felts on a hiking trip

Got several backpacks out of the storage room and went through them. The issue with having a collection of packs is the gear gets spread through them. Depending on the length of the hike, and what I am doing, certain gear may be brought along. After awhile, gear is spread through all the packs. There might be a stove here and a stove there, and a knife here and a knife there.

Things get so disorganized the packs have to be pulled out, emptied, and everything rounded up.

For example, I have been using the Sawyer PointOne on a couple of outages. However, I still like to bring the Katadyn Vario from time to time. This means the Sawyer Pointone is in one pack, and the Katadyn Vario is in another pack. The problem starts when I forget which filter is in which pack. then I have to go digging through the packs until I find the gear I am looking for.

Military Surplus Patrol Pack First Impressions

Patrol Pack

Overall, I found the patrol pack to be a well rounded and perfect addition to my backpack collection.

Call me old fashioned, if I like something, then I hang onto it. For the longest time ,one of my go-to packs for day hikes and even warm weather overnight trips was a Jansport black book bag. That pack was retired when I migrated to a Maxpedition.

For several years my go-to pack was a Maxpedition Condor II. The Condor II is a great pack that is perfect for day long excursions.

As with everything else, after using the Condor II for several years, I decided it was time to try something new. So where did I go to find a new pack? I went to Ebay and looked through various military surplus packs.

After shopping and doing my research for a couple of weeks, I found a military surplus patrol pack for $29.95 + $9.19 shipping.

New Sawyer PointOne Water Filter

Sawyer PointOne water filter

Time to get a new water filter. I decided to shelf the Katadyn Vario and pick up a Sawyer PointOne.

The Katadyn Vario has had a number of issues, such as leaking around the head. The final straw was when the hinges on a pump piston broke loose when checking my gear.

I was getting ready for a hiking trip, going over my gear, picked up the Katady Vario, looked it over, worked the handle, and the plastic hinges that work one of the pistons snapped. The hinge did not break, they just came out of their notches.

Handguns For Bug Out Location

Handgun for bug out location

Part of my overall prepping plans is to have enough firearms for friends and family members who bug out to my location. I live in a rural area with privately owned that borders national forest and timber company land.

Hunting firearms is not a problem, the issue is handguns.

Let’s say some friends and/or family members bug out to my location. Not everyone will get a handgun. It is just impossible to stockpile enough handguns for everyone,

What is possible though, is to give out a couple of handguns for people doing security. These are the people scouting the bug out location for signs of trespassers. Someone who who is not supposed to engage the enemy.

What would be a good handgun to focus on?

Glock Handguns

Thrunite TC12 Flashlight Review

Thrunite TC12 Review

The Thrunite TC12 is unique in that it has a built in battery charger. Plug in a micro-USB cable to charge the flashlight. While charging the brightness selector button flashes.

Being USB rechargeable makes this is an excellent truck, car or nightstand flashlight design. Keep the Thrunite TC12 in the console or glove box of the truck. To charge, simply plug it into a USB charger. Most people have some kind of cell phone charger in their vehicle. Use the included cable to charge the light.

To review the Thrunite TC12 I did my typical battery of test. starting with the freeze test.

Water and Freeze Test

The bad news is the USB port is not sealed. The good news is the flashlight has an attached rubber flap that covers the USB port. During the freeze test I took the rubber flap off which exposed the USB port. Water leaked into the flashlight which caused it to malfunction.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018