Unimi Professional Sharpening Water Stones (600/1,000 Grit and 2,000/6,000 Grit)
Keeping your knives and other blades sharp is critical since a sharp blade really reduces the effort you need to expend to cut something. In our experience, to really sharpen your blades correctly you need three sharpening stones - one to rough-grind, one to sharpen and one to hone. So, although we already have a file for when we’ve really nicked up our machete, hatchet or axe blades, a dedicated sharpening stone (325/750 grit) for normal sharpening, and a small sharpening stone (120/400 grit) for on the spot touchups, and backup in the outback, we decided to add some finer (e.g. higher grit number) sharpening stones to our gear – especially for our knives. To that end, for medium to fine sharpening and honing we purchased two different dual-sided Unimi Professional sharpening water stones; one with 600/1,000 grit and the other with 2,000/6,000 grit – both for use before we head out on any adventure.
You can find the details about the Unimi Professional Sharpening Water Stones on the Camping/Tools page.
Silky Ultra Accel Curved Blade Folding Saw, Large Teeth 240mm, 446-24
Like most of you we got some new gear for Christmas. One of the best items was a new Silky Ultra Accel Curved Blade folding saw. Although we normally use wood that either is deadfall, or is easily chopped with our hatchet or pack axe, sometimes we find that we need to saw something. If pack weight is not an overriding consideration the best option is a folding saw. As with all of the Silky curved blade outdoor saws, these are pure Japanese pull stroke saws with Silky's proprietary tooth design. While technically there is some cutting done on the push stroke, it is very minimal. The saw will easily cut through logs up to 6” in diameter, and larger logs if you can either rotate the log or vary your cutting position.
You can find the details about the Silky Ultra Accel Curved Blade Folding Saw on the Camping/Tools page.
Real Avid .30, .308, 7.62mm Bore Boss
Since all firearms need to be kept clean to operate efficiently we recently got around to purchasing a bore snake for our 7.62 x 39mm Norinco MAK-90. Although all of our other bore snakes are from Hoppe’s, when we were looking for the 7.62mm snake we ran across the Real Avid Bore Boss. Since we really like our Real Avid cleaning mat (because of the thought that they put into it) and the Bore Boss appeared to be a “reimagined” version of a bore snake, we decided to give it a shot. We’re glad we did.
The Bore Boss has a round case with an attached rubber cover that stores the cable/brush/mop and acts as an ergonomic grip that helps you pull the tight-fitting cable through your rifle. The snake stays in its container until needed with the cable wrapped neatly around the case to ensure that it doesn’t get tied into knots while it is stored. The case also keeps the cleaning brush from grabbing fabric or poking you, and keeps the dirty mop away from other items in your range bag.
You can find the details about the Real Avid Bore Boss on the Shooting/Cleaning Supplies page.
Decided Which #8 Shot Shells to Use
Back in July we posted a blog related to “Trying Out New #8 Shot Shells” for 3-Gun activities – and ended by saying that we would let you know what we figured out after we had completed our testing of the following 4 types of 12 Gauge 2 ¾” #8 shot shells:
1) Winchester Super X - Upland Game
2) Winchester Super Target - Light Target
3) Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target Loads
4) Federal Premium Gold Medal Grand™ Competition Clay Target Loads
Normally we use 2 ¾” 00 Buckshot shells in our shotguns since they are “tactical” in nature (as opposed to being used for skeet shooting or hunting). However, because we had been doing more 3-gun shooting, where 00 Buckshot is overkill when shooting at clay and paper targets, we decided that we needed to find a good #8 shot shell for the 3-gun range.
Well, after putting a lot of lead down range, we’ve decided to use the “Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target Loads” 2 ¾” #8 shot shells (Manufacturer #12SD1L8, UPC #762344705538) going forward for our 3-gun activities.
Although all 4 of the shells that we tested worked well, we decided to choose the Fiocchi shells for a variety of reasons.
1) Fiocchi is the world leader in shot shell manufacturing making more than 500 million
cases each year. Fiocchi also helped pioneer the lower recoil 1 oz load.
2) Good quality shotgun shells.
3) Gives a nice tight pattern due to the 1,170 fps velocity and lead pellet
4) Never had a FTF or FTE - always reliable.
5) Good combination of economy and performance – cost per shell ~$0.25
6) One-piece shot cup
7) Clean-burning powder
8) Reliable Fiocchi primers
9) Cushioned wads
10) First-run chilled shot. High-antimony (5%) lead pellets with nearly perfect
You can find the details about the #8 Shot Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target Loads on the Shooting/Ammunition page.
Seirus Innovation 1171 Mens Xtreme Waterproof All Weather Form Fit Glove with Soundtouch Touch Screen Technology
If you’re outdoors, and the weather is both cold and wet, one invaluable piece of gear that you need is a good pair of waterproof gloves – especially here in New England. The only problem is that many waterproof gloves don’t breathe, don’t allow you to have good dexterity and aren’t sturdy enough for actually doing real work - like chopping wood.
Recently we’ve spent a fair amount of time looking for a good pair of waterproof gloves and finally found a pair that we liked; the Seirus Innovation 1171 Mens Xtreme Waterproof gloves. We like the fact that they provide a tight fit and have a tall wrist cuff that keeps out the cold air and snow – while allowing us the dexterity to use tools in the cold.
You can find the details about the Seirus Mens Xtreme Waterproof gloves on the Camping/Tools page.
Trying Out New #8 Shot Shells
Normally we use 2 ¾” 00 Buckshot shells in our shotguns since they are “tactical” in nature (as opposed to being used for skeet shooting or hunting). However, recently we have been doing more 3-gun shooting, where 00 Buckshot is overkill when shooting at clay and paper targets.
Because of this we decided to try a few different types of #8 shot shells. The four types of #8 shells that we are trying out are:
If you want to read more about why #8 shot is better than 00 Buckshot for 3-gun shooting you might want to check out the detailed blog post about shotgun shells last November.
Stay tuned. We’ll let you know what we figure out after we’ve run a bunch of them through our shotguns.
Bought New BluCollarTactical 2 Point Rifle Sling
If you are planning to carry your carbine or rifle any distance, or need to support your firearm for longer than 30 minutes, then you need a sling. We have lots of different types of slings since each firearm, and how you use it, is a little different. Recently we purchased a pair of new slings for our Colt AR-15 carbine (R6430) and rifle (R6550). For our AR platforms we don’t really need anything too sophisticated, so we just went with a standard sling; the BluCollarTactical Patriot Model 2 Point Rifle Sling.
You can find the details about the BluCollarTactical 2 Point Rifle Sling on the Shooting/Slings page.
Bought New Buck 110 Auto
Many times in the outback we find that we need to cut something - but have our hands full because they are holding other items – normally the items that we are trying to cut. In situations like this you need a knife that has the ability to flip open or open automatically. Because of this, although we have several other knives in our gear, we recently purchased a Buck 110 Auto.
You can find the details about the Buck 110 Auto on the Camping/Tools page.
Bought New Best Glide ASE Adventurer Survival Gill Net
Any of you that have watched the TV Series “Alone” know how handy a gill net can be. For our normal fishing adventures in the outback we carry Uncle Flint’s Survival Fishing Kit II and 220 yards of 30 lb Berkley Trilene clear fishing line. But line fishing, with either a pole or by hand, takes time since you have to be present at all times to be effective. In a real survival situation this is not practical. So “just in case” we recently bought a gill net to keep with our other “deep” survival gear since it can be set up and left unattended while your time is devoted to building survival shelter, providing medical attention, signaling or other survival activities. Please note that gill nets should only be used for survival applications since they are outlawed in most states for sport fishing.
You can find the details about the Best Glide Gill Net on the Camping/Tools page.
Bought New ZODI Outback Gear Battery Powered Shower
If you are camping in the outback sometimes it’s nice to wash more than just your hands. If there’s a pond or deep stream nearby, and you don’t mind the brace of cold water, then you can just jump in. However, since you probably don’t want to use soap when you do this (even biodegradable soap like Campsuds), a better solution is to take a shower – especially a warm shower. To solve this problem we just bought a Zodi Outback Gear Battery Powered Shower.
You can find the details about the Zodi Shower on the Camping/Tools page.
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