Showing posts with label Hillpeoplegear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hillpeoplegear. Show all posts

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I was pretty late with this last week so not much this week. Also we had guests which was big fun but didn't lend itself to getting preparedness oriented things done. Anyway since I want to get back onto the more regular schedule you get this post again today.

Filled up some gas cans in the ever continuous struggle to ensure all our stored fuel is reasonably fresh.

Restocked some disposables.

When getting some admin stuff done I realized there was some unexpected cash in my Paypal account. Probably going to get a poncho and a Mountain Serappe like Alexander Wolfe's. Also looking at making a substantial food storage purchase. So not much happening this week but lots coming down the pipe. Also we'll have the last few posts from the Fighting Load contest to wrap it up.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Concealed Carry While Running

I received a question about carrying a gun while running today.

Carrying while running is reasonable and prudent but you have got to be realistic about what it will be.  A compact or subcompact pistol of a fairly light flavor like the various aluminum/ titanium/ whatever or polymer gun will carry pretty well. A full sized steel pistol, specially a big N frame is not going to carry well for running. Also a lethargic 2 miler around the neighborhood/ lake is different from 5 or 10k or even longer, especially if you are concerned about speed.

There are lots of options out there and I have not bought then tried them all. I immediately discounted anything on the waist or in the crotch. Also a shirt which the gun is held with Velcro into does not seem like a good option. Suppose a light gun in a fanny pack might work but haven't tried it.

I have carried running in two ways: a camel back and a hill people gear kit bag. Can talk about each of them.

The camel back I used is one of the ones with a couple pouches on top of the bladder compartment. I think it is the MULE but am not sure. The gun I carried was a little lightweight .38. It carried very well. I like to have water for longer runs and I didn't notice the bit of extra weight from the gun. The downside is that it is not at all close to a quick draw. You would have to take it off 1 shoulder, pull it around to the front then unzip the pouch.

The Hill People Gear kit bag is another option I have tried. It's review is overdue but basically it is a chest rig that instead of having a mag pouches has a bag with a main compartment, a smaller front pouch and a dedicated pouch to carry a handgun. I like this option a lot. Packed properly for running (pretty light) and adjusted properly it is pretty comfortable, especially if you are used to wearing chest rigs. Not as comfortable as slipping it into a pouch on the camel back but still quite acceptable. The up side is that the weapon is safely on your torso and the draw is pretty decent. Far better than fumbling around with something on your back. Personally I hook the kit bag (they call it docking) to my camel back for I go trail running. In the kit bag there is a pistol (either an airweight .38 or Glock 19), a reload, a knife, a lighter and some other similar items.

Anyway that is what I have tried and how it has worked. If you carry a gun while running, especially one of the non uuber tiny .22/ .25/ Kel Tech .32/ .380 type variety please share how you do it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lifestraw Initial Impressions

Camping Survival was nice enough to send me a lifestraw to check out. It is a pretty neat little product. Very simple and priced around $20 so you can have one in the car, another in a kit, a third in your EDC type bag or whatever. Also they weigh like 2 ounces which makes carrying one an easy decision. They are a bit long but they are thin enough to easily fit just about anywhere. 

The Lifestraw was designed for disasters and such in the third world so they are simple and easy to use. There is really nothing to break unless you crush the thing or light it on fire. They are said to be good to filter a thousand gallons of water.

My concept of use for this item is for outdoor trips, short term emergencies or as a backup to another system. I will fiddle with it some more and do a full review in due time. As of right now it's place is in my HPG Kit Bag.

If you are looking for a light and affordable filter the Lifestraw seems like a solid option.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Niche Gear

Do you have something that isn't used often but sometimes it is just right?

For me a shoulder holster is a great example of this. I generally do not like them as a way to carry. To conceal it you have to wear a pretty heavy over garment so you could pack OWB on the belt anyway. However for long car trips a shoulder holster is the ticket. Far more comfortable and accessible than any other on the body option. The one I am using these days is a Galco Miami Classic which was previously reviewed. A great holster but pretty spendy which drives a lot of folks away from them. Once upon a time I had a Blackhawk Shoulder Holster. You will not mistake it for a Miami Classic however it worked just fine at a cost I could afford at the time.

Another nitch item I have is a Hill People Gear Kit Bag. I haven't really reviewed it but TEOTWAWKI Blog did a solid review awhile back. This piece of gear is the answer for concealed carry with a heavy pack. However that isn't something I do much. Probably shouldn't have bought it when I did but oh well. They are a cool company and it is a good product. In coming years as the kids get older and we are more active in the outdoors it will earn it's keep. Still really want a Mountain Sarape. It seems like a woobie on steroids that can do a lot of things.

What is a niche piece of gear for one person might be a key EDC item for another. A longtime co conspirator carries his High Power in a Miami Classic every day. On the other hand a leather IWB holster like I use all the time is rarely in his rotation. Different lifestyles and situations make some items more important and others less so.

Common sense says you should not put much energy or money into nitche items until the more everyday ones are addressed. However at some point it makes sense to get a few useful items even if they are not useful all the time. While I do not like throwing money at problems sometimes there is just a right tool for the job and it makes sense to have that tool.

What nitche items do you own and use?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I ran a lot this week. Something like 15 or 16 miles. Also hit the gym once. Lifting once a week seems to be how things often come out for me. I am going to experiment with it some but doing 2 big lifts (mil press and deadlift (I work cleans in here sometimes) or Bench and Squat) once a week might be the ticket for me. Especially since I am more interested in endurance these days anyway.

Pulled the trigger on the PMAG order. 10 of those wonderful magazines will no longer suffer the fate of being owned by somebody other than me. This pretty much rounds me out for AR mags. Really I was fine before just a bit lighter on PMAGs than I wanted to be.

After taking everybody's advice into consideration I made a decision about what to get for gun stuff/ gear this month. I realized that a Hill People Gear kit bag is probably the best option out there to carry while running which is a good thing. In the past I have either not bothered or stuck a pistol in the big pouch of my camelback which probably isn't the best option. Also I saw a video of a one of the Evans Brothers from HPG running with a kit bag 'docked' to a camelback. This option appeals to me because it would be sufficient for a long trail run or a light hike. Also more to the point it would let me do what I want to do for no additional cost (aside from the kit bag). Down the road a runners harness and a tarahumara would be great but that is about another 200 bones I don't want to spend right now. Even if I had another $200 (I wanted) to spend on camping/ outdoor gear it would go to a Mountain Serape anyway.

I went with the full sized kit bag instead of the runners kit bag. I can always just load it light (G 19, spare mag, keys wallet, small knife, lighter) for runs but want to be able to have my personal survival kit but with the substitution of a small fixed blade knife, as well as headlamp and maybe a GPS in the outdoors which the runners kit bag probably wouldn't support. Also picked up the running stabilizer strap which is basically an elastic band.

My remaining cash will go towards a Safariland holster for the Glock. Likely this will be purchased in a couple weeks or a month. I thought about getting a leather OWB holster (I do have an OWB kydez holster anyway) but they don't really conceal well anyway and it would be another holster I don't use often. Also a Safariland, probably the 1.5 inch drop model, would do anything a leather belt holster could but not visa versa.

We are a little bit closer to getting out of here which is cool. Most of my time and energy has been put towards getting out of here, walking around and doing stuff with the kid and running.
Also we decided to put more money into food storage albeit at the expense of PM's. All in all not a bad week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gun/ Gear Buying Time- An Informal Poll

Finally got my computer back today which is pretty cool. Well except it took almost 2 weeks and cost a couple hundred bucks. On the bright side they were able to save everything important.

This month's purchases will be gear/ defensive stuff. Not specifically related to this discussion but along these general lines it looks like rifle plates and some additional PMAGs should be sufficiently funded. Just waiting for me to figure out a few things and pull the trigger on both. Of course I will be happy when both are finalized and delivered. Also I had previously planned to get some more Glock mags and after reviewing my mental inventory I could pick up another gun and still stay under my mag ratio which is good enough for now.   So that can go down a few notches on the list.

I  have been kicking around a few ideas but really need to think about it. I need some  various small gun stuff, a couple random mags, another Glock holster, 2-3 sets of night sights, a pistol light and a rifle light. Also another nice pack to act as a special use/ get home bag would be sweet. Additionally I have just plain been gear lusting after almost everything Hill People Gear make. Particularly the Highlander pack, Mountain Serape and runners kit bag catch my eye. The kit bags are on sale right now but that is more something I will need down the road when the kid(s) grow up some and I start spending time under a ruck as a civilian.  As to the other two items they are on the short side of my gear list.

Part of me says I should get a good OC type (for outdoor activity, etc) holster for the Glock, night sights and some other little odds and ends. That fairly reasonable idea is solid but there are enough things moving around that I might just be able to take care of all that little stuff in one shot a little bit down the road. Along the gun line of effort I am jonesing to upgrade a bunch of parts on my all around AR. Pretty much I plan to get everything except a new lower from either BCM or Spikes Tactical (the old stuff may get sold but will probably go into inventory). The practical side says to finish up a bunch of this little gun stuff, get a .22 conversion kit, pick up some more gear and then upgrade. (On the other hand project upgrade AR is the last part of my now pretty short list of realistic things I want to get done before election time. I don't believe in going crazy because something might happen with a ban or whatever but filling whatever gaps happen to be present is just smart. Holsters and high end nylon gear aren't going anywhere for awhile.)

Also the warbelt project is still in the pipeline awaiting funding.

So there are 3 options:

A) Buy various small gun stuff now. Deal with additional revenue from gun sales (if anything pans out) later, probably towards project upgrade AR.

B) Get something cool from Hill People Gear or otherwise put money into gear.

C) Build a warbelt. I have a perfectly serviceable setup now, just not exactly what I would like.

There is always D) Do something else.

Before somebody asks the usual (relevant) questions about various other stuff like food or whatever please remember that the purchasing plan I am using allocates given amounts of money to different categories. It is not like I am shorting food to buy gear or medical to buy something else or whatever. Also what might be the biggest benefit of this plan is that I am no longer worried about if I should be spending money elsewhere. It is fairly easy for me to know what are the next logical options in a given category while it is pretty hard to compare totally unlike items. When it is time to buy gear I buy gear, ditto for food/ water or medical/ communications. I will revisit the categories maybe 1-2x a year to reshuffle if needed. This just takes out all that worry (and my tendency to gravitate to the tactical side which I know best) out of the equation.

I am still working through my own thoughts on this. Honestly I hadn't planned to write this post, it just sort of came together spontaneously. Anyway please let me know what you think. Cannot guarantee I will go with the consensus/ or most compelling point but I will sure take it into consideration.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Get Home Bag, Walking and Life Update

I am not sure if it has been mentioned explicitly yet but our time in Europe is almost done. We are very happy to be headed back to the US. Travel and some experiences here have been great but a lot of everyday stuff is a hassle. Also the level of regulations, rules and such here does not mesh with my nature at all. We saw a lot of places and missed some good ones. Particularly we are bummed about not getting to Ireland but that is how things worked out. There is more travel here than we could have done even if time and money were not concerns. In any case it is about time to move on to the next chapter in our lives. We will be spending about a month catching up with folks in the PNW. After that we are headed to the Southwest. More on that later.

We have been walking a lot lately. The weather is good now and it is a solid way to get out of the house and doing something. I do not recommend walking as a form of exercise unless you are A) elderly, B) recovering from a serious injury/ illness, C) crippled or D) seriously overweight and or out of shape and working towards running a la couch to 5k or a similar program. However that does not mean walking is not without benefits. Most of the benefits are not really physical. Getting outside and spending time with your family in the area you live in is a good thing. If somebody told me they walk as a form of exercise who did not fit the above categories I would try to coach them towards a better path, potentially with some mocking involved. If somebody told me they walk regularly to get outside and for active recovery from more strenuous workouts like running or rucking or for some additional low impact/ intensity cardio I would say that was a great plan.

My get home bag setup needs some work. The primary issue is that I really like my Tactical Tailor bag and use it regularly. I like that bag for the task but it can't be in two places at once. This makes having it in the car with a variety of stuff loaded into it problematic. I have a couple of ideas. First a couple side pouches to hold 1 quart water bottles will help free up space in the main compartment for normal life stuff. (Regardless of what I do the bag needs this MOD anyway.) Second sooner or later I need to swap out that bag or get a replacement for normal everyday carry use. Something I have considered is putting most of the stuff that is in my GHB into something else like a wet weather bag or trash bag and then putting it into my TT pack if needed. Mostly this stuff is a full set of clothes with boots, socks, gloves and a hat. I keep this stuff in there because regularly I go on short trips in less than fully ideal clothing and the option to change into suitable clothes for walking is a good thing. I mulled this a lot but despite being an easy and ideal solution it came up short because while I carry the TT bag around a lot while using it as a normal bag it doesn't ALWAYS MAKE IT INTO THE CAR. Inevitably the day I needed it is the day it would be in the hall closet. So the question is what to do. The short term answer is pretty much covered. I ordered a used medium ALICE pack awhile back for $10. It will be a very inexpensive solution and such will likely fit for awhile. Not as nice or comfortable but for $10 instead of $150 that is to be expected. Still a rugged bomb proof pack. Down the road a nice high end bag like the TT or something from Hill People Gear would be great in this role but I will not be able to justify the expense for awhile. Likely I  would use the TT for a GHB and something a bit smaller for typical every day type use. Since I don't see any traction on this for at least 6 months or more likely 12 there is some time to think about it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Randomness

Today was a pretty good day. Our weather finally snapped out of early spring nastiness if just for the day. We went out to a you pick field which was pretty fun. Kiddo had a good time. He didn't quite get putting them into the bucket but ate it all instead. The fruit we picked was pretty cheap which was cool. Far cheaper (healthier and fresher) than we could get in a store. This was definitely a reminder that we want to be close to our food. Producing some of our food would be ideal but with my job that can be problematic. Certainly we can buy from farmers markets (did it in the South) and if possible look into coop and group buy type stuff.

Went through and layed out my purchasing priorities for the next few months using my Intentional Purchasing Plan. Using this as a forcing function to put more money into medical stuff, alternative energy and food will probably make things much better balanced. Incidentally I planned to buy a bunch of medical stuff to put together a few IFAK's tonight but the Chinook Medical website, or at least my connection to it, is on the fritz. Sure it will be up tomorrow or the next day.

I stumbled onto the Hillpeoplegear site. Their recon kit bags are probably the best way to carry concealed on your body with a ruck on your back that I have seen. The stuff isn't cheap but I have heard good things about it. Don't need anything they make but some of their stuff would be aweful nice and make the outdoors more comfortable. In a couple years when, having squared up more basic stuff, I can afford some luxuries they will get some money from me.

A big highlight in our recent lives is getting hulu plus running through the Wii. We get a lot of TV for $7 a month which is pretty cool. We are enjoying watching Lost. As we have been over here for almost 3 years we are pretty behind the TV power curve. Some new entertainment opportunities are surely enjoyed in our house.

We had a pretty good Saturday here. Tomorrow will be a pretty quiet day as we take care of a lot of household stuff like grocery shopping and laundry on Sunday's. Anyway I hope you all are having a good weekend.

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