Tomorrow looks to be a really good day. Here is what I have laid out.
We are looking at .223 and 9mm goodness. Yes I use steel case ammo to practice with I know some rifle makers do not like it but Hornady is making steel case ammo, CCI has been making aluminum pistol ammo for a long time and when I can get it I buy it up. I use the good stuff for hunting. Currently for hunting I am using 69 grn hollow point but I bought a bunch of Bitter Root Valley 64 grain power point we will see how that works this fall. I can testify though that the 69 grain does the trick. I bought a box of 20 still have 19 and that was a real nice 8 point Whitetail.
Here is my carry rig. I have a Blackhawk chest holds AR 30 rnd mags plus two pouches for items the size of a pistol magazine, a Brownells AR mag holder, a Blackhawk double stack mag holder for my Taurus Pro 9mm, if you think the knife is over the top sue me. It is a Cold Steel Recon Scout. For the record I am not a range commando, I do not have 8 different things hanging off of rails of my rifle. As a matter of fact my rail (1) is currently empty. The one thing I do need to improve is my sling but I am waiting on Magpul's new rifle stock to come out. I am torn between VTAC's padded two point and Blackhawks three point sling.
Anyway here I am kitted out. These are casual pictures just having a bit of fun and yes the queen was laughing at me. Kind of brings one down to earth.
Silat teaches to use the knive with the first finger in the loop for slashing cuts. The curve on this knife perfectly aligns it with the bones in the arm and would be a powerful stabber as well when used with a punching motion. In saying this am I a master knife fighter or even anygood? No, but I can sing a tune.
I just like knives.
Anyway a customer knows that I like them as much as he does but he hates shiny blades so he brings me a couple of very nice Bowies with bone handles and tells me make the blades disappear.
Yes that blade is as big as it looks. I am using a spray matte black finish that I am also going to use on my Matte AR project. Oh and yes I did tape off the handles so none of the finish got on the handles.
My queen and I went on a kayaking / hiking adventure and the weeks leading up to it I was prepping well now time for a gear review. My queen actually agreed to do a sit down after action review after a rita or two. This is from my notes so bear with me.
Tents: We took two one for the first night after kayaking so we could stretch out it is a four person Ozark Trails tent from Wal Mart - $40.00 it suited out purpose just fine we were nice an comfy as we had beautiful weather.
No Limits King's Peak: Two person backpacking tent. There is room for two plus some gear but you can put your rucks in non-bear country under the rain fly which we always put up because you never know.
Packs: We both have Outdoor Products entry level exterior framed packs. These plastic framed packs have been great and they are both light. Main complaints is that my Queen's shoulder straps will not stay in place. I had to tie a knot in them to keep them in place. Also the slots for attaching extra gear to the bottom of my pack have all broken so instead I just attach directly through the frame. This is a small quibble. These packs are good for the short two day hikes we take but could be stretched to four days as we both had an empty pouch and better packing. My weight wet in the pack was right around 45lbs hers 35lbs. Finally took advantage of the water bladder compartment however they were not made for the 100oz I bought but we made it work. We spent $75 a piece for these from Campmor
Cooking Gear: The new Stanley cook set was fantastic holds 32 oz of water for boiling and comes with two little cups for drinking or food division (this is what we used them for). The attached handle does not get hot which is great. Also is very light and was a well spent $20.00. Our rocket stoves work great they can boil 20oz of water in about five minutes. My only complaint is the fuel which is heavy and takes up a lot of space however I am not about to give up on these yet and switch to alcohol or fuel tabs. Mountain house make some descent food the breakfast leaves something to be desired and you have to dump in a bunch of pepper and salt. We are probably just going to eat main course meals next time for breakfast. The two person meals are rather bulky but light, Mountain House did a good job with with individual meals in making them smaller. I bought a cereal that we are going to try before we head out next time to make sure is palatable. Also we have a double chocolate cheesecake desert we did not get around to eating but I will for sure to make sure is worth the money to take. I am also thinking about dried milk and cereal. It would not add that much weight and since we have to carry the water anyway. I am thinking a zip lock with cereal and dried milk will experiment with the amount and pre-make them. I will bring my biscuits next time no matter how much fun the queen makes of me I think they are tasty. I got dehydrated on the hike I forgot my Gatorade much to my dismay.
First aid / Survival: My homemade kits did just fine I still want professional made ones or a more accurate copy that I put together. I want two small (the small ones double as mine and the queens get home kits) and a larger trauma one and a large general one. They do not weight that much and I am absolutely paranoid about first aid. I need to add a small water purification straw to the queen's survival kit. It would suite her better than the tabs.
Trekking poles: We have Mountainsmith poles from Academy sadly one of mine did not open and I lost my patience with the other so we set out with just one each. I have that rectified as of today so we have two each. The ones we used were really good and for some of the terrain really needed.
Boots: She uses LL Bean lightweight waterproof hikers and I use Magnum Boots 8" Cobra waterproof. Well the both failed on the water proof side. The second day was a pure monsoon but neither boot was immersed in water and just subjected to wet undergrowth and the rain. By the time we reached the trail head both of our feet were soaked. As I am an official tester for Magnum they will be getting a critique on these shortly. The good news is neither on of us had foot problems with blisters. She has some callous problems not related to the boots and I got one warm spot on my pinkie toe.
All in all a good base of gear and everything for the most part worked as advertised.