Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: camping gear

Igloo 25 Qt Marine Contour Review

Igloo Marine Contour Cooler Review

Review of the Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour ice chest. A few weeks ago my favorite Igloo ice chest was stolen from Mill Creek Park, Brookeland, Texas. It was a 36 quart Igloo Marine ice chest that was close to a decade old. I was cooking for a fishing tournament, went home to take a nap, went back, and someone had stolen the ice chest. Not only did someone steal the ice chest, it was loaded with uncooked meat.

I got online and started looking at various Igloo Marine ice chest. The 36 quart was a little large for a day trip, so I decided one something just a tad smaller.

Some of the things I was looking for:

  1. Large enough for several bottles of water, and soft drinks.
  2. Big enough for one bag of ice.

The 36 quart would take two bags of ice to cover the drinks. Rather than going larger, I wanted something that was just big enough for one bag of ice.

Eventually the Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour ice chest was picked.

Igloo Marine Contour First Impressions

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

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.

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.

ThruNite C2 Mini 3400 Charger Review

ThruNite C2 Mini 3400 Charger

If there is one thing Thrunite does, they manufacturer a quality product. So far I have reviewed four Thrunite flashlights and all of them are top notch. Thrunite continues their reputation for quality with the ThruNite C2 mini-charger.

Full Disclosure: I received the charger at no cost to myself. This will not influence my opinion and hopefully will not influence your opinion either.

Specs from Amazon:

  • Weight 5 ounces
  • Dimensions 3.6 x 0.9 x 1 inches
  • Item model number C2
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Item Package Quantity 1
  • Batteries Included? Yes
  • Battery Cell Type Lithium Ion

Why Review A Phone Charger

Thrunite Archer Flashlight Ultimate Review

Thurnite Archer 1A V3

This is a review of the Thurnite Archer 1A V3 flashlight. Awhile back I did a review of the ThruNite TN12. The TN12 took everything I threw at it and kept working. With this review of the Thrunite Archer I decided up up the game and add some different test.

Disclosure: The Thurnite Archer was sent to me at no cost to myself. This will not affect my opinion of the flashlight and hopefully will not affect your opinion.

The Archer comes with a lanyard and a heavy duty clip. I removed the clip for the test. To get the clip off I had to use a screw driver and pry it off the flashlight housing.

The name of the Thrunite Archer is a little misleading. Rather than 1A, maybe it should be called 1 AA, as it holds a single AA battery.

Specifications

Loadout for river camping trip

As the river trip inches closer, its time to start thinking about the loadout I want to bring. There are going to be 4 people spread out over 2 boats. Due to the distance we are traveling, over 10 miles, weight is going to be a factor. The heavier the boats are loaded down, the worse the gas mileage.

This is going to be a warm weather trip, so the heavy sleeping bag can be left at home. There will be no need for coats, gloves, cold weather head gear, cold weather boots,,, nothing like that.

For this river camping trip I am going to try to keep the gear down to a minimum. Not a “bare” minimum, just not carry a lot of excess gear.

Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack

Maxpedition Condor-II BackpackPlease Rate This Article Product Features Dramatically improved second generation of our military-style daypack Y-shaped top compression strap and 4 lateral compression straps Upper front pocket approx. 9 x 5.5 x 2 Lower front pocket approx. 9 x 8 x 2 with pen organizer Breathable ergonomic shoulder straps From my review at Amazon […]

Camping Trip Load Out

Water bottle, Vargo stove and MSR pot

To get ready for an upcoming camping trip I decided to do a load out list. List like this help you see what your pack contains, and hopefully spot missing items.

For those of you looking at this list and wondering how I am going to pack off of this gear, the easy answer is “I am not going to pack it”. The camping trip is going to be on the banks of the Angelina River. This means the boat is going to be carrying the gear for me; all I have to do is load the boat up and go.

Backpack – Large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, 2 sustainment pouches on the MOLLE pack. I was going to take my large ALICE pack, but my sleeping bag, food, fleece liner and poncho liner filled up the pack. This means I am having to store a lot of my gear in the sustainment pouches on the MOLLE.

Tent – Wenzel Lone Tree Hiker Tent, this item is hit and miss and might be difficult to find

Tarp – 6×8 foot for tent ground cloth.

Sleeping bag – Coleman Exponent Tasman X 32-Degree Hybrid Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bag liner – GI poncho liner and fleece sleeping bag

Sleeping pad – Coleman Max

Camping Trip Food

Lets talk about multitools

Survival Forum Dam B Southeast TexasMultitools are one of my favorite tools to keep around the house, bug out bag, gun cleaning kit and tackle box. The thing about multitools, they have a great service to weight ratio. They weigh almost nothing, but are cram-packed full of useful tools – knife, file, scissors, saw, screwdrivers,,,,, just all kinds of useful stuff. Another thing that I like about multitools, is that they come in a wide range of sizes and prices.

The wide range of prices, sizes and features is what makes multitools so cool. If you want to buy a cheap multitool for your gun cleaning kit, there is probably one out there for you, if you want a small multitool for your tackle box, there is one out that will probably fit your needs.

While I was looking through my multitool setup, I realized that I had them arranged in 3 levels – primary, secondary, and tertiary.

My primary multitool is a Gerber – I dont even remeber what model it is, its about 10 years old, has a knife, file, saw, scissors, and has a good pair of pliers built in. This this the tool that I bring on my hiking, camping and backpacking trips. When I need a multitool, this is the one that I usually go to.

Secondary multitool is one that I keep around, somewhere close at hand. Lets say that my gerber is in a backpack, this is the tool that I go to. Its some generic no real brand name multitool and probably cost less the $20. Regardless of the low cost, it still has some tools that can be handy when in a pinch.

Recent Survival Gear Additions

The Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

The summer of 2010 was not only a great summer that will never be forgotten (at least by me anyway), it was also the summer that a lot of new survival gear was added to my inventory.

1. Large MOLLE pack – after much debate, I figured it was time to jump on the MOLLE pack bandwagon. Instead of hauling my large ALICE pack around on camping trips, I have switched to a 4,000 cubic inch Large MOLLE. I miss the outside pockets of the ALICE pack, but that has been fixed by adding a Maxpedition clam pouch and a couple of sustainment pouches. The only thing I need now is an internal radio pouch, and everything will be good to go.

I have a lot of backpacks, but only 3 in the 4,000 cubic range – a Kelty, large ALICE pack and now the new large MOLLE pack.

2. Magellan sleeping pad – after sleeping on the ground for almost 30 years, its about time that I got a sleeping pad. The Magellan sleeping pad I got folds in half, and then rolls up about the size of a cantaloupe.

Back around 1995 or 1996 I bought a rather cheap
sleeping pad, but it was big and bulky. Even though I have owned it for 14 – 15 years, its only been on maybe 6 camping trips. I wanted something that was small enough to fit inside my pack folded in half, or outside my pack not folded in half.

Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove Review

Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove

Looking for a lightweight alcohol stove solution? Look no further than the Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove. Weighing in at just one ounce, the Vargo Triad is lightweight and portable.

Back in my teenage years (1982 – 1986), when I was camping in the woods and marshes of Southeast Texas, a typical meal on a camping trip was some Wolf brand chili, vienna sausages,,,,, canned goods which were bulky and heavy. This was mostly because the cans were opened, then warmed up over the coals of the camp fire.

In the 1990s I was getting a little tired of packing cans in and out of the woods – and so were my camping buddies. One of the guys in the group bought a single burner stove that used a 1 pound propane cylinder. It was a trade off, the weight of the propane bottle replaced the weight of the cans. But now we could carry dried foods, such as noodles.

To be honest, the weight of the propane cylinders got a little “too” heavy and have certain disadvantages – such as the 1 pound not being able to be refilled. Once the propane has been used, most of the time it has to be thrown away. Some people refill their own bottles,,, but not everyone has the ability to do so.

The single burner propane stove might be fine for short hikes, or at a park. But on those 6+ mile hiking/camping trips we need something lighter. Over the past few years the single burner stove has been replaced with military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). The MRE heater is a nice lightweight option, but it only works with MRE entrees, and only works once.

We need an option that is lightweight, reusable, and can heat up different types of food – unlike the MRE. This is where the Vargo Triad Titanium alcohol stove comes into play.

Vargo Triad Alcohol Stove Specifications

Setting Up a Wenzel Starlite One Person Tent

Wenzel one person tent

The Wenzel Starlite is a low cost backpacking tent which should fit most needs in the one person low cost tent market. I bought my Wenzel Starlite sometime around 1994, or maybe 1993. During the past two plus decades, the tent has bee on numerous camping trips from the piney woods of East Texas, the the marshy saltwater coastal regions of Texas.

One man tents allow backpackers and campers to carry a shelter without weighing them down too much. Even though this tent does not offer a lot of protection from the elements, it does offer good protection from insects.

One of the drawbacks to the Wenzel Starlite, it is not a free standing tent. There is one pole in the rear of the tent and two poles in at the entrance. The two poles at the entrance form an A-frame, and you enter the tent through this A-frame.

Wenzel Starlite

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