I have always heard that in order to get a true feel and assessment of a restaurant that you should give it at least two dining experiences at the establishment. Why shouldn’t the same be true for gear?
I thought about the first experience I had with the Fieldline Tactical Alpha OPS Internal Frame Pack. Perhaps I just bought a bad one, though I dislike the thought of that. To me, when it comes to a quality item, every one of the lot should be the cat’s ass when you pull it off of a store’s shelf. But there were so many positive reviews that I read about this pack, so many super-duper videos about it on YouTube. Maybe it was the proverbial crap item of the lot. Maybe I had too much weight in it. Maybe it was made on a Monday or a Friday. Maybe this is what was foretold in the Mayan Calendar. Maybe it came into contact with Kryptonite. I finally talked myself into giving it yet another try. Continue reading
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One thing that I learned early on in my adult life is that Yetis hurt people. They are mean and uncaring as they go from village to village destroying igloos and ruining birthday parties and then slip away into the blizzard that conceals their every move. Another thing that I learned is that ounces = pounds. This is something that was beaten into my head on every forced march or military maneuver I have ever had to partake in. That really comes into play when you look at your gear. When you ponder if that particular piece of gear is a “need to have” or a “want to take.” And needs always trump wants. Many times a particular item that is a “need” is bulky, awkward, or heavier than you would like. The question is, at times, can I make a particular “need” lighter? Can I make it more easily manageable? Make it more convenient? Food will always be a need.
When I went on my initial bug out I chose to take MREs as my source of nutrition. They are familiar to me, having spent 21 years in the military; they were a main staple of field life. That and I had them on hand so that was a bonus as I did not have to purchase anything. That was an absolute bonus as after doing some research I discovered that they have gone up in price considerably over the years (going from about $6.00 in 1994 to $17.00 a week ago for a complete MRE). I grabbed 3 days’ worth of MREs off of a shelf (9 total – by today’s prices on MREs I am sitting on a gold mine), sat down, and without thinking about it I immediately started field stripping them, something that I have done numerous times. As I was tearing through them, throwing things to and fro, Jackie asked me to take pause and explain to her what I was doing and why. I looked at her as though she asked me how babies were made. Continue reading
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