Kaito Ka700 Radio Review

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When it comes to receiving critical news about the world around you nothing quite beats radio communications. Radio is highly resistant to disruptions unlike the global network of cell towers which can go easily go down. Radio communication is like email, it’s never going to die despite new technologies seemingly coming out everyday.

Kaito has a number of emergency radios on the market with the KA700 being their top product. I have discussed in a previous blog post the differences between the various models but in this post I will focus specifically on the KA700 model.

Specs and features

  • 5 methods of power (hand crank, solar, batteries, USB, AC)
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH internal battery
  • 3 x 5.4 x 10.5 inches
  • 2 pounds
  • Multiple Signals (AM, FM, NOAA, Short Wave)
  • LED Flashlight
  • Red Flashing LED for emergency signaling
  • Low level Red LED for reading
  • Cell phone charger
  • Bluetooth capable
  • MP3 player and voice recorder
  • txt reader
  • Alarm clock
  • SD card storage

Full review

The Kaito KA700 includes all the features of the previous models plus Bluetooth capability and MP3 and voice recording. There’s a slot for an SD card where the Kaito can read through preloaded songs, recordings, and even display txt files on the digital screen. You can actually program the KA700 to record radio broadcasts directly to the SD card for later listening. Pretty cool stuff.

But perhaps the defining feature of all Kaito radios is the quality of radio signal and the number of frequencies you can tap into at a moments notice. The Kaito has excellent programming capabilities to access certain frequencies at the touch of a button. The Kaito can receive AM/FM signals as well as short wave and all 7 NOAA emergency broadcast frequencies. One thing to note is that the Kaito has been certified by the NOAA as an approved device. Sure, you can go and skimp out on a cheap radio that claims NOAA compatible but not all of them truly are. The Kaito KA700 is full fledged certified and you’re going to be surprised at how crystal clear the signal is.

Other features are the 5 way powering system allowing multiple ways to recharge the device. Even without power the Kaito KA700 can be charged via the solar panel or the hand crank. There are also options to charge via AC, USB, and batteries. You never see this type of versatility in other radios and that’s why Kaito is at the forefront of emergency radio systems.

As soon as you pick it up you feel the ruggedness. I wouldn’t have an ounce of worry if this thing happened to take a tumble off the table or even a roll down a steep hillside. Durability was baked straight into this thing so you can take it anywhere without worrying about something breaking.

The built in flashlight is surprisingly bright and doesn’t drain the battery as much as you’d think it would. On a full charge the radio will go on for roughly 30 hours before requiring a recharge. Of course, this will drain much faster if you’re also using the flashlight. I recommend if receiving critical radio broadcasts is your main goal then let the Kaito do its job and use a regular flashlight!

Lastly, there’s a USB charging port you can use to charge your smartphone or any other USB powered device. If your battery is dead on your phone this could be a true life saver.

Conclusion

Kaito makes the best emergency radios hand down. The Kaito KA700 is their top of the line model with features not found in any other radio. If you want solid radio and emergency reception AND all the bells and whistles, the Kaito KA700 is the perfect radio to invest in. Thanks for reading!

ESEE Laser Strike Review | Best Knife In The History of Ape Tool Making

esee-laser-strike-review

In this review I’m taking you up close to one of my favorite survival and bush knives. The ESEE Laser Strike is a knife that’s been around the block and time tested by many people. The Laser Strike simply gets a lot of things right while other knives fall short in either quality or functionality. Previously designed and made by TOPS knives, ESEE now manufactures the knife and reforged the knife with their own time tested qualities.

Let’s take a look at the specs…

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 10.00″
  • Blade Length: 4.75″
  • Blade Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Blade Thickness:
  • Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
  • Spear Point
  • Powdered coating to protect blade
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Sheath: Kydex

Full review

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The ESEE Laser Strike With Sheath

 

When I choose a knife I need it to do a number of things. I first want the blade to come out of the box sharp as a razors edge. Looking at the thickness of the blade before hand I was concerned about how well the ESEE Laser Strike would take an edge. Out of the box I can say this blade came out dangerously sharp and cleaned the hairs straight off my arm. Smoothing the blade across your arm you can see the hair build up into a nice nest leaving a trail of bareness in its path. Even MORE importantly than the out of box sharpness is how long it retains and edge and easy it is to sharpen back to former glory. I can tell you the Laser Strike blade will hold an edge for a considerable amount of time before it requires a resharpening. I spent weeks batoning wood and abusing this knife like a red headed step child before it required edge work.

And when I say I abuse my knives I truly do. I want a knife that can take the abuse and keep doing good work. When I baton wood I come down hard over the spine with a sizable log hammer. My intentions are to break the knife and test its fortitude and reliability. I found myself exhausted from hours of batoning while the ESEE Laser Strike stood its ground and came back for more. I quickly surrendered and offered a deep bow of respect to my new companion and life long bush friend. There’s something about this knife that looks damn good in the bush and fits comfortably on your belt. Almost like years of ape tool making coming to a concentrated LASER focus in the best blade possible.

There’s also something about this knife that’s just downright comfortable in your hand. The handle is of course made of ESEE’s signature Micarta material. Micarta has an interesting rugged grip that feels natural and earthy unlike rubber or hard plastic materials that feel fake and manufactured. The jimping on the ESEE laser strike is a welcome friend allowing you to get a good grip and leverage for a variety of cuts and styles. The Choil sinks deep into your fingers for a powerful grip. Grip the Laser Strike and then grip any other knife and you’ll quickly feel the difference in comfort. Other knives? Awkward as you stumble and bumble your way to a clean grip. The ESEE Laser Strike? A perfect match made in the woodland heavens.

The tang is full and you wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t know understand how you could ever purchase a knife without a full tang. If anything ever happens to the handle you still have a usable knife because the metal runs all the way through to the blade. Also notice on the handle there are screws that secure the blade to tang. Unfastening these screws reveals a hidden treasure trove consisting of a ferrocerium rod with tinder tabs. In all honesty it’s a strange thing to include because it’s impossible to strike the rod with the knife due to the powdered coating protecting the carbon steel. You can use the knifes edge to make a strike but this compromises the blade and rounds the edge. Some people grind down a portion of the spine in order to use the knife with a ferro rod. This is my recommendation as well.

The ESEE Laser Strike also comes with one of the best sheaths in the business. The Sheath is Kydex and the blade is happy to snap right into place. There’s no fear of the knife ever slipping out of the sheath. There’s a sliding retention screw letting you adjust how tight of a grip the sheath puts on the knife. Even at its loosest its got a solid hold on the blade. The more I use Kydex the more I enjoy the material and functionality.

Conclusion

For $100 bucks this is one of the best knives you can get. Most people will look at this knife and then go and cheap out on something that’s 20 or 30 bucks. There’s a good reason those knives are cheap. They quickly discover why when they take the knife out into the bush and attempt to do any real work. The ESEE Laser Strike is a serious knife for those who demand quality and performance over all else.

 

Snugpak Bunker Review | A True Tactical Tent

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The Snugpak BUNKER. This is the tent you need to go full blown tactical mode with 2 – 3 people. Snugpak does it again with their ingenious tent designs and drop dead simple setups. Not to mention, the olive green allows anyone to blend in to most wilderness surroundings without being spotted. Gone are the days when you’re forced to use those horrendous brightly colored flys that don’t even keep the rain out! This 4 season tent keeps you high and dry in even the most narliest storms. Let’s dig into this tent and talk about why this bad boy is MILITARY grade.

Specifications and features

  • 2 door
  • 3 man tent
  • 4 Seasons
  • 6.75 lbs trail weight
  • 7.74 lbs pack weight
  • Olive green
  • Easy setup
  • Fly first
  • Alloy stakes
  • DAC Featherlite color coded poles
  • Compression sack included
  • Repair Kit included

Full Review

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The Snugpak Bunker in full glory mode

 

Snugpak has once again drawn me into another one of their top notch products. This tent is very similar to the Scorpion 3 I have previously reviewed except with a different design. The bunker sits lower to the ground and shaped in its own unique way. I like the low profile of the bunker and the low height makes this thing damn near impervious to wind and other environmental elements. It is a true 4 season tent able to withstand strong storms. Especially if you have everything staked down with the guy lines firmly in place.

Setup

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Setup is very similar to both the Snugpak Scorpion 3 and the Ionosphere tents. The tent comes with 3 DAC Featherlite snap poles color coded for each sleeve on the fly. This is a fly first tent meaning you setup the outer layer first before the inner layer. It’s versatile enough you don’t even need the inner layer if it’s warm. Each pole slides through a sleeve and snaps into a heavy duty nylon grommit hole on each end. Once the fly is setup the inner layer attaches to the inside via toggle sticks.

Space

There’s plenty of space in the Snugpak bunker as it’s designed for 3 people. 2 people can live like kings and queens while 3 can work but will be tight. Better for those cold nights when you all can snuggle for warmth. It kind of has a hectagon shape which can make for some interesting sleeping arrangements with a bit of though and experimenting.

Weight

The entire packing weight of the Snugpak Bunker is 7.74 lbs. Trail weight comes in at 6.75. Trail weight is usually the weight of the tent without the compression sack, repair kit, or stakes. Overall this would be a difficult tent to pack for a 10 mile hike unless you have a pack mule or enjoy the extra weight. That’s not to say you can’t shove it in a decent 65L backpack or attach it to the externals. It’s just going to be heavier. Don’t let me deter you from a good workout though.

Design elements

A tent with good design is fundamental to experiencing a comfortable night camping. Cheap tents lack the quality and design to provide anything like the Snugpak Bunker. For starters, the bunker includes multiple vents to allow for a proper flow of ventilation. Without good airflow the tent will gather a lot of wet condensation especially with 3 people inside. It can also become very hard to breathe. I absolutely love the fly first design allowing you to quickly establish a dry shelter for your gear before setting up the inner layer.The Fly does a fantastic job keeping out the rain and other natural elements. The inner layer has a reinforced bathtub floor to keep you dry from any water that gets under you. All the seems and stitching are ultra fortified and I have no doubt this puppy is going to last for the long haul even with continued abuse. Finally, the 2 door system makes getting in and out very easy for 3 people – no crawling over one another to get to an exit for a late night bathroom break.

$$Price$$

At the time of this writing the Snugpak Bunker is roughly $244 bucks. This is a steal of a deal in my opinion. In fact, I would pay much more for this tent having been through the ringer sleeping other inferior designs. It’s money well spent especially if you’re going to be using it a lot outdoors. I put my gear to the ultimate test and make sure to squeeze every ounce of value out of it I can.

Conclusion

Is the Snugpak Bunker right for you? You can check out the other reviews to see what others have to say. As far as tents go there really isn’t anything else where you’ll find as many raving fans. The Bunker is a top quality tent that will stand the test of time for years to come. Here is to Snugpak for once again releasing an awesome outdoor product.

 

 

Snugpak Jungle Bag Review

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Today I’m excited to review possibly my new favorite sleeping bag system. This is the Snugpak Jungle bag and it introduces a number of features to serve you well out in the deep bush or jungle. I’ve spent years in the great outdoors and have become very familiar with other sleep systems. While the Jungle bug may not be practical in colder environments, it’s hard to beat in any weather 40 degrees and up.

Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Features and full review

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The first thing I like about the bag is the coyote brown. Going to REI you’ll notice many sleeping bag companies like to use super bright colors. I can see the aesthetic appeal of these bags but if I’m going grey man or incognito mode I don’t want a color that will give away my position. The coyote brown allows you to blend in to many environments.

The outer layer of the Jungle Bag is made of a synthetic material called Paratex. The material is comprised of a micro diamond shell and introduces antimicrobial properties. The outer shell prevents your bag from stinking due to the inevitable build up of mold and bacteria. In wet weather environments like the Jungle this adds a layer of protection from the moisture. Even in dry climates microbes will gather on your pack over time. The outer layer will also wick away moisture and act as a water repellent. One more layer of defense against wet weather elements is never a bad thing. Pair the jungle bag with a tarp or tent and you have yourself a formidable shelter of protection.

Moving to the inner layer you see and feel plush material. It’s very soft and the space between the outer and inner layers has a light layer of insulation called Travel Soft. This material keeps you warm even when wet and does a good job keeping you warm while remaining lightweight.

Where this bag separates itself from the pack is the ingenious mosquito net. Simply crawl into the bag and zip up. The mosquito net is easily zipped from the inside and provides protection from bugs and mosquitoes. In fact, the bag could be used all by itself with no other form of shelter and you’d still be totally protected. The net is a meshed material so of course you can still breathe.

The zippers are designed to be unzipped fully in case you want to use the Jungle Bag as a blanket or an extra layer beneath you. You can even zip 2 Jungle bags together and create one giant sleeping bag for 2 people. I Love how the zippers rarely get caught in the material when you go to get in and out of the bag. Inside the bag is also a zipper pocket you can use as a stash spot for a headlamp or whatever else you can stuff in there.

But what about comfort level? I would say you could use the Jungle bag in 40 degree plus weather. Anything below that and you’ll probably be miserable without ample clothing. However, throw on a couple long johns and you’re good to go. The bag also easily accommodates tall individuals while retaining comfort. I’m 5’10 and have plenty of room left to wiggle around in.

The included stuff sack is also extremely high quality and durable.

Final Thoughts

I’ll wrap this up this review by saying the Snugpak Jungle Bag is a great bag with plenty of unique features that make it easy to bust out the wallet. It’s lightweight but packed with solid thermal technology to keep you warm. The mosquito net is a no brainer as well. I love the Jungle Bag and I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

 

Snugpak Scorpion 3 Tent Review

Rarely do I come across a decent 3 man SHTF tent that can withstand all 4 seasons. If I do the tents are unreasonably heavy and nearly impossible to take in a backpack or easily transport. I’ve had experience with the Snugpak Ionosphere 1 man tent and looked forward to testing the Scorpion 3 in rougher conditions. I needed something high quality to serve as long term shelter solution out in the wild. The Scorpion 3 fits the bill.

Features and Specs

  • 3 man tent
  • Fly first design
  • Olive green
  • 5000mm polyurethane rain fly
  • 190t Nylon with polyester mesh for inner layer
  • Well vented (3 vents total)
  • Reinforced bathtub flooring so you don’t get wet
  • 17 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • 6.44 lbs (trail weight)
  • Repair kit included

Full review

snugpak-scorpion-3-review

What first drew me to this tent was the fact that it’s a 4 season tent for well under $400 dollars. In fact, $400 dollars for a 4 season tent is considered getting a very good deal. From there I began looking at the features and other reviews of what other people thought. So far it’s received nothing but great praise from other people who have put the Scorpion 3 to the test. My second favorite element about the Scorpion 3 is the versatile design. Both the fly and the inner element of the tent can be used together or separate. In the summer months you can opt to simply use the fly if bugs are not an issue. In the winter using the 2 elements together provides ample protection against the environment even in the stormiest conditions.

Setup

scorpion-3-poles-attachement

Setup is quite easy. As I’ve mentioned,this is a fly first design so you can setup the fly and then have a dry place to connect the inner mesh layer if you want. The fly is setup with traditional aluminum poles that snap together quite easily. There are 3 poles in total which slide into their corresponding color coded sleeves on the fly. Once the fly is setup there are hooks where the inner mesh layer attaches. Overall setup time ranges from 5 – 15 minutes. You can save time by simply leaving the inner mesh attached when you break down the Scorpion 2.

Space

As far as space goes I will say that what holds true for other tents holds true here. While advertised as a 3 man tent you will probably only fit 2 comfortably. You can theoretically fit 3 people inside but it’s going to be cramped especially if you require room for everyone’s gear. 2 people however will have zero problems with space and there will be plenty of room for everything.

Weight

The trail weight of the Scorpion 3 is 6.44 lbs. Trail weight refers to the weight of the raw materials needed to setup the tent. Trail weight only takes into account the total weight of the fly, inner mesh, and poles. Essentially just the bare essentials to make the shelter not including the stuff sack, repair kit, and other accessories that might come with the tent. 6.44 lbs is a bit on the heavy side if you plan on trucking this thing on your back for 10 miles but well worth it considering the quality and space.

Design elements

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Attaching the inner mesh to the fly

 

There’s a lot of great design features of the Scorpion 3. As I mentioned, the versatility of being able to set the tent up with either the rain fly or the inner mesh is fantastic. This feature boasts a number of practical benefits when you consider the environment your setting up at. The “fly first” design makes setting up in the rain an easy and comfortable thing to do. The front door and vestibule provides a large space to crawl through with a subtle tapering that narrows towards the back. Very easy to get in and out of. The vestibule flaps also conveniently fold up and can be tucked away in their own little pocket. All the materials appear to be very high quality and I have no doubt will last many many seasons even with heavy use.

Price

At the time of this writing the Scorpion 3 is retailing at $250 bucks on Amazon. Once again this is a steal of a deal for a 4 season tent for this much space. Considering the quality of design and the many other features this is an investment that will last a very long time even if you frequently camp. I put my gear through the ringer and I have no doubt this is one piece of gear I will own for a while.

Conclusion

The Scorpion 3 is a fantastic tent for the value and Snugpak is quickly becoming the leading heavyweight for high quality tents. I can’t wait to test out more of their products in the future.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the Scorpion 3.

Snugpak Ionosphere Tent Review

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In my recent post I wrote about what to look for in a decent SHTF TENT. The Snugpak Ionosphere tent fits the bill for a tent that’s low profile yet provides enough space for you and your pack. This tent is easy to setup and break down and fits into a compact compression pack for easy stowing away inside a backpack.

Let’s take a look at the features and specifications.

Features and specs

  • Low profile
  • Single entry
  • Taped seams
  • 5000mm Polyurethane fly
  • 94.5 x 35.4 x 102.4 inches
  • 3.3 pounds
  • Single man tent
  • Aluminum poles
  • Dome shaped
  • Olive green or coyote tan colors available

Full review

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent

I must say this tent impresses me in many ways having taken it out in many conditions. With the staked design it manages to resist even heavy winds. Note that this is NOT a free standing tent meaning you’ll need to use the stakes. The stakes are high quality and included along with a complete repair kit for the tent. One thing that always concerns me is how much space is inside the tent. I’m 5 foot 11 and this sometimes mean I’m forced to keep my pack outside the tent. Not so with the Snugpak Ionosphere. I was able to comfortably fit me, my sleeping bag, and my backpack all inside.

This tent even stands up to a light rain. While I’m not sure about a full blown down pour, this tent will certainly see you through 3 seasons in light to moderate conditions. Possibly even 4 with a little tarp rigging. One thing that’s nice is the bathtub floor which appears to be ultra reinforced to protect you from wet ground. One thing to note is this is a 2 layer tent. This means there’s an inner mesh layer along with an outer layer that acts as a rain fly. The mesh makes it real nice to use without the rain fly in warmer weather while the fly does a great job at protecting you from rain and wind during storm season.

The inner layer of the tent is complete mesh allowing for a nice flow of ventilation. This means no more waking up covered in a wet pool of your own condensation. This is one of the fundamental problems with a bivvy sack. In fact, the Ionosphere tent is almost like a hybrid bivvy/tent combo which I find great. It’s larger than a bivvy yet smaller than a full size tent which is important when you’re considering weight and how much space there is in your pack. The best of both worlds.

Setup and take down of this tent is drop dead simple. The tent comes with 2 aluminum poles which slide into reinforced sleeves double stitched into the inner layer meshing. The tent is so low profile you don’t have to fuss in the morning when it comes time to tear everything down. Everything fits comfortably in the storage sack which contains straps for really cinching things down. From here you can easily attach the sack to the bottom of your backpack or even shove it down to the bottom of the main compartment. It really is ultra low footprint and unobtrusive considering the ample space it provides.

Overall the pricing on this tent is very reasonable. At the time of this writing you can pick up the Snugpak for about $145 bucks. Check Amazon to get the most up to date prices.

Conclusion

The Snugpak Ionosphere is a great multi purpose tent for many occasions. Perfect for the 3 day backpacking trip, the 1 day backyard bonanza, or even an extensive trip through the PCT or Appalachian Mountains. It’s got great reviews from other people who have used it too. Lot’s of military guys seem to gravitate towards this thing and for good reasons, it’s a solid tent at a good price and will certainly stand the test of time if you take care of it. Pick one up today and test for yourself!

Thanks for reading.

 

Core Principles and Gear Inside The Preppers Kit

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So you want to put together a preppers kit in case SHTF? You’ve seen the madness this world is capable of. You’ve seen first hand the man made and natural disasters of the world. When you go to the store you observe the human zoo knowing full well any one of these chimps can break down at a moments notice. An EMP blast can send us straight back to the stone age. How do you prepare for these things?

Putting together a basic preppers kit is a good start. But how does one go about putting together a kit capable of blasting through the madness and seeing yourself through to survival?

First, it helps to understand the core principles of what goes into the kit.

The blueprint of survival…

The human body needs food, water, and shelter to survive. Without these elements in place the body begins to atrophy and death quickly follows.

Water is of course an essential element in any kit. You should be stocking 5 gallon drums of water in your home. On top of this you need something in your kit to purify water should you run out of your stockpile. A water filter like the Sawyer Squeeze can purify 100,000 gallons of water. This is great for a single person. Do you have a family? A larger water filter like the Big Berkey provides clean water from any source to your entire family. Go ahead and use that pond or river water. Even if you live in the City you can find dubious sources of water easily made clean by water filtering products.

Food is the next on the list. Now, when focusing on long term food storage think about foods that keep a long shelf life. You can get long term food storage kits for fairly cheap and they last up to 25 years. Cheaper options include rice, beans, and grains. These are staple foods providing your body with the carbs and proteins required to sustain your survival. Make sure you have a good stock pile of food because chances are you’re a lousy hunter. Luckily, most SHTF scenarios will be over fairly quickly.

Shelter. Chances are you have a home. This home is your first line of defense against the chimps. You know, the apes who will take to the streets and plunder and pillage anything in sight. Even in safe times there’s the off chance of getting burgled. Learn about cheap ways to fortify your home. In a bug out situation consider packing a solid SHTF tent.

It is true that in extreme conditions a lack of shelter will kill you faster than a lack of food and water. Shelter not only protects you from the elements but protects you against the shit slinging chimps who have reverted back to their primal modes of being.

A list of goodies…

  • A good knife
  • fire kit (matches, lighters, ferrocerium rod)
  • Spices (salt, pepper, etc)
  • Water filter
  • Water containers
  • Cooking supplies (pots, pans, basic stuff)
  • Paracord
  • Bug out bag
  • IFAK (individual first aid kit)
  • Generator
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, games (Why not have a little fun?)
  • Propane powered stove top
  • Propane
  • Emergency radio
  • Essential oils
  • Hygiene kits (Shampoo, toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, feminine products, etc)
  • Duct tape
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing
  • Good attitude

With these basic provisions in place you now have yourself a solid preppers kit to work with. Beyond the kit itself it’s crucial to assess your skills and hone anything that needs sharpening. It’s one thing to have all of this stuff and another to know how to use everything and why. I recommend picking up books on both survival and bushcrafting. Work on your skills everyday knowing you just might have to use them one day.

How To Choose A SOLID Tent for SHTF

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent

While I don’t consider a tent to be “up there” on the list of SHTF priorities, It’s certainly worth considering. I would first make sure you have a decent bug out bag first and a few provisions for long term food storage. However, in extreme climates getting proper shelter from the elements can be a matter of life or death. For the average person, a tent can provide additional shelter for extended members of the family who were forced to bug out of their homes. A lightweight tent can also be a crucial piece of gear in a bug out bag.

Choosing an SHTF tent comes down to your objectives. Are you using the tent as part of a bug out bag system? Will it be to provide additional shelter for your home? Will it need to blend in? The answers to these questions will determine the kind of tent you purchase.

While I can’t answer these questions for you let’s cover a few features I think are absolutely necessary when buying an SHTF tent.

SHTF tent features…

  • Sturdy (guy lines and sturdy poles)
  • Waterproof or at least water resistant
  • Rain fly
  • Camouflaged (optional)
  • Bathtub floor
  • Quality reinforced seams
  • Fast setup and breakdown
  • Good ventilation

With those basic features in mind you can now begin to flesh out your objectives. For example, If I was to include a tent as part of my SHTF bug out protocol I would want something lightweight in case I find myself on foot. The tent is perhaps the heaviest and bulkiest item you’ll have in your bug out pack unless you select the right one. I’ve had personal experience with this single man tent from ALPS Mountaineering. The whole thing weighs just under 4 pounds so it’s a fairly lightweight yet durable enough to withstand multiple years of continued abuse. The seams on this tent are super reinforced and the bottom is damn near waterproof. The walls are mostly mesh which allows for a good flow of air throughout. This tent can certainly withstand some light to medium rain but you’d be in trouble in a massive downpour. Adding a tarp and some paracord to your rig would certainly make this setup invincible in many weather conditions.

For the same type of bug out situation but for 2 people there’s this 2 man tent from Kelty. Roomy enough for 2 people and the 40d nylon material will keep you dry in most conditions except a brutal downpour. Once again, a good tarp and some paracord is enough to make a decent dry homestead in any environment. This tent weighs 4 lbs 8oz so a little heavier than the one man I mentioned above. The thing is, if you consider a tent a bug out priority then you better be in shape! Toting these things around will eventually wear you down if you aren’t conditioned to backpacking long distances.

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The Snugpack Ionosphere 1 man dome tent

 

Now, if you want to go extremely low profile and lightweight but you still want all the great features of a tent, take a look at the Snugpak Ionosphere dome tent. This is a hybrid tent/bivvy that can easily blend in to a woodland or natural environment and keep you well protected from the elements. Best of all, this tent weighs in at a mere 2 pounds. This makes it the lightest SHTF tent on this list. It is NOT freestanding which means it needs to be staked out. This will add to the time it takes to setup and breakdown but overall you can get very fast at it over time with practice. This tent has great reviews and a lot of military guys love this thing. Certainly the most stealthy and lightweight tent you can buy for a single person. In fact, 2 people MIGHT be able to fit in this thing if you don’t mind spooning the whole night (giggity.) Simply throw this thing in the perfect bug out backpack and call it a day.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an SHTF tent can be difficult especially if you’ve never even been in a tent! If you go to an outdoor place like REI you can actually practice setting a few of them up and experimenting with the various designs. Remember the features I mentioned above and don’t be afraid to spend a few extra bucks on quality. I remember a good mate of mine cheaped out on a 26 dollar tent online and proceeded to be confused when the darn thing collapsed on him every night!

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will get back to you.

 

 

 

Top 8 Quietest Portable Generators On The Market

pulsar-pg2000iS-portable-generator

By now you know the power and advantages of the almighty generator. The power goes out, what do you do? You rip on the pull start of your favorite generator and go back to business as usual. The thing about traditional generators is they are loud sons of beasts, best suited for construction sites and kept FAR away from house and home. Try firing up one of those bad boys at the house and count the seconds before the wife begins to complain – then kiss your back goodbye as you attempt to relocate the 10 ton monster to another location.

The solution here is quite simple. What you need is the quietest portable generator possible. Something lightweight. Something that kicks out a good amount of power without a hell fire of noise complaints lobbed from the Jones’s next door. Whether you’re out in the RV or at the house holding down the fort during a storm, you don’t want the excess noise on top of all the other crazy stuff that’s going on around you.

In this post we explore 8 of the quietest portable generators on the market today. Without further ado and in no particular order…

1.) Champion 3100 Watt Portable Generator

champion-3100-portable-generator

Ever heard of Champion? Me neither until I started digging deep into the reviews. They offer a plethora of great generators and their 3100 Watt portable generator is one of the best in the business. The thing is, this thing is light weight and nearly kicks off the same amount of power as a traditional generator. It comes 3 power ports, (2) 120 AC ports and (1) RV receptacle. It supplies enough power for a small fridge, an AC unit, and a couple lights. The best part is the almost complete silence as you listen to the inverter charge up all your electrical devices. This is thanks to inverter technology which provides clean efficient powder without sounding like you just bought a wood chipper.

2.) Westinghouse iGen2200

westinghouse-portable-generator

This generator is picked up by the portable handle and easily dragged to whatever remote corner of the house or campsite you need it at. Westinghouse has long provided some of the highest quality generators in the business and now they’re in the inverter market – making high tech portable generators that are silent but deliver the power you need at a moments notice. This gas powered portable generator is one of the quietest on the market and supplies a clean 2200 watts for all your electrical equipment. And if you don’t know your power requirements I recommend reading my post on the best generators for SHTF situations. 

3.) Generac IQ2000 Super Quiet Generator

generac-iq2000-portable-generator

This company has the balls to say their generator is even quieter than a Honda. If you don’t know, Hondas make the absolute quitest generators on the market and that goes for their traditional bulky generators as well. The Generac IQ2000 supplies a clean load of 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts. It’s gotten some decent feedback and it’s carb complian meaning even Californians can use this bad boy. Many generators will not ship to California because of the carb laws but this generator pass all the tests. It’s also very light and easily picked up by even a string bean school boy.

4.) Briggs and Stratton P2200 Power Smart Generator

briggs-stratton-p2200-portable-generator

Time to go beefy. Time to go TOTAL VALUE. This is perhaps the most bang for the buck portable generator on this list. And it just so happens to be one of the quietest despite the attractive price tag. Briggs and Stratton have been on the power tools game for a long time and have taken their time tested commitment to quality into the generator market. 1 gallon of fuel is enough to run the unit for an entire 8 hours on a 25% load. If you want to save a couple hundred bucks but still want quality this is the generator to spring for.

5.) Pulsar PG2000iS Portable Generator

pulsar-pg2000iS-portable-generator

This bad boy is even cheaper than anything I’ve listed above and product owners are absolutely raving about it. Granted, at 1600 running watts it’s also the weakest of anything on the list so far. You have to do the math and decide how much power you need. Once again, in this post I have a handy chart about how much each of your appliances will pull from the generator. This is certainly enough to run a fridge and some lights if that’s all you need. It’s also very lightweight and quiet as a church mouse. In fact, all these portable generators I’m talking about are pretty much on par with each for being the quietest out there.

6.) Powerbuilt 2000 Watt Portable Generator

powerbuilt-s2000iS-portable-generator

Not as many features as the other generators on the list but packs a punch. Pound for pound, the Powerbuilt portable generator delivers the most bang for the buck hands down. The thing is, at 61 decibels it’s also the loudest on the list. With that said, the difference is hardly negligible and you’d need a well trained ear to even notice the fluctuation in sound. An overall great generator for the price point.

7.) WEN 56125i Portable Generator

WEN-survival-generator

Probably one of my favorite on this list for features and raw value. Lot’s of people really like this portable generator. Best of all, the noise it generates is comparable to the decibels measured in a regular conversation. That’s very quiet especially for something powerful enough to run many of your favorite appliances. This unit is perfect for tailgates, RV’s, or even good for your house for the occasional power outage. Plus it’s extremely portable so you can take it wherever power is needed with little hassle at all. It’s easy to win with WEN.

8.) Honda EU2000I Super Quiet 2000 Watt Portable Generator 

Honda-EU2000I

And last but certainly not least we have the top seller and THE hands down quietest portable generator on the market today. This is the Honda EU2000I. Honda has been the leader in generators since the dawn of the technology, providing the best most efficient power for homes, job sites, camping trips, and many other scenarios. Honda technology is the best in the business. Not only do you have the quietest unit possible but the most fuel efficient as well. It’s well known that Hondas make the best generators and while the EU2000I is expensive, it so for good reasons. Check out the reviews for yourself to see why other portable generators simply don’t compare.

Conclusion

There you have it. Some seriously quiet generators you can take a look at. Remember, it comes down to knowing your power output requirements and then choosing a portable generator that can handle the load. For the most part, many of these generators are about the same as far as sound levels go. That’s what you get with inverter style generators – good clean energy and low decibels of sound.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Champion 3100 Watt Inverter Generator Review

champion-3100-watt-generator

First we had the traditional generators which ran on standard gas. These beasts were heavy and cumbersome to transport especially if you own an RV or travel trailer. Standard generators also don’t produce a clean enough electrical output for use with modern electronics like your laptop, smartphone, tablets, and refrigerator.

Thankfully we now have inverter technology. The Champion 3100 watt inverter generator is the perfect unit to load into your RV, truck, or travel trailer. Perfect to take out into the boondocks and power many essential devices without having to be tapped into the precious grid.

Let’s take a look at the specs and features of this inverter generator

Specifications and Features

  • 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts
  • 3 outlets (2 standard 120AC and 1 RV receptacle)
  • 20.1 x 20.5 x 26 inches
  • 171cc single cylinder engine
  • 1.6 gallon tank
  • 8 hours run time on 25% load
  • 80 lbs
  • Quiet
  • Gasoline powered
  • Quick touch control panel
  • Clean electricity for all electronics

Full Review

champion-3100-watt-generator

My hunt for the best inverter generator led to many expensive models mainly from Honda and Yamaha. While these are reportedely the best in the business I figured I’d give the much cheaper Champion a try. I heard good things about this model and didn’t want to blow an entire months worth of income on a Honda or Yamaha.

You see, going out into the wilderness requires some precauation. You need to power all your goodies and you don’t want to create too much noise. The nice thing I noticed about this generator is the low volume of noise when you start the unit.

The Champion 3100 watt runs on regular unleaded gasoline. I thought this meant the unit was going to be a loud beast for sure. This wasn’t the case. Of course I unboxed the unit first. I did notice the box was banged up a little during the shipping process but no visible damage to the generator itself was observed. I added both the 10w-30 oil and the gasoline to the unit and fired it up.

I was surprised the generator started on the 2nd pull. Having had my fair share of problems with pull starts I was expecting a brutal battle on this front. This was not the case and I stood back for a while just watching it hum along quite silently.

I knew if I was to truly put it to the test I needed to plugin some components. The unit was happy to run a mini fridge, a couple small lights, and a small portable AC unit with zero problems. This was in fact all I needed it to while out on my camping excursions.

Even with a full a load the generator kept to it’s low hum, maybe getting only slightly louder as I tested the full load capacity.

It’s important to note there is a break in period. When your receive the unit you want to make sure to run the unit without any load for an hour. After the first hour bring the load to 25% and run for another hour. Do the same for the consecutive hours at both 50, 75, and 100% load capacities. This ensures the unit is not placed under maximum stress right away and allows both the oil and gasoline to cycle through the machine at an even pace.

Finally, the unit comes on wheels with a convenient handle to drag it around wherever you need to be. Even a small person could manage to wheel this thing to the back of a truck and throw it straight in.

Conclusion

Inverter generators are a great piece of gear to have on hand. In fact, they even work well in the home although many people use them for camping due to efficient portability. The Champion 3100 inverter generator is indeed a champion when it comes to providing you with excellent power. The unit is inexpensive compared to most other inverter generators and the reviews are actually quite good. In fact, I would say this is even comparable to the more expensive generators from Honda but Honda is well known for having the quietest inverters around. Is it worth the extra $1000 though? I don’t think so. For the most bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with a solid Champion.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.