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Yesterday at 01:23 PM A SAR Travestry by hikermor


A local hiker is "lost," whips out his cell phone, and is heloed out. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, his friend goes searching for him, and gets lost as well.

So many things wrong here. I am sure there will be comments. Have at it....

At least everyone got out in good shape - everyone safe.

87 Views · 4 Comments
08/10/18 07:44 PM Barricades are there for a reason! by dougwalkabout

This gentleman miraculously survived a 150 ft. drop into a waterfall -- largely unscathed! As I understand it, he climbed over the safety fencing to get the perfect shot and slipped on moss-covered rocks. Yes, those barricades are there for a reason. First rule of survival: don't put yourself in survival situations!


390 Views · 7 Comments
08/09/18 06:14 PM 1944 AF Manual 21: Survival, now downloadable by rafowell

In the USA, at least, you can now read/search online and download as a pdf:

July 1944 Air Forces Manual 21: Survival On Land, At Sea

Nothing earthshaking here, but since Google Books went to the trouble, I thought I'd advertise it.[1][2]

One still-pertinent item is this tutorial diagram: Sighting a double-sided signal mirror

(The aimers in the signal mirrors stocked in oceangoing lifeboat kits are overwhelmingly
the inexpensive double-sided or foresight aimer (aka heliograph) type, rather than
the more effective retroreflective aimer type, so it is good to know all three signal mirror aiming methods.[3]
(All are more accurate than the improvised "vee-finger" method, which is a particularly iffy variant of the foresight method).

The bibliography entry for this item is:

Survival on land, at sea ; prepared by Arctic, Desert, and Tropic Information Center.
[James Gray, Inc., New York, N. Y., July 1944.]
[2] +78 p. il. narrow 12 (Air Forces manual 21.)
[Pages 75-77 are left blank to be used for log.] W 108.19:21

The downloadable pdf is "image-style" (non-searchable) version, but you can search the online version.

[1] I had noticed that Google Books had this set for "snippet view only", so I requested they review it for unrestricted viewing in the USA (may still be blocked outside),
and they did. Since I put them to that trouble, I wanted more folks than me to benefit, and it seemed like something of interest to this forum.

[2] Other copies on Google Books:

[3] Training videos for the three types of signal mirror aimer:

Double-Sided Signal Mirror Aimer:
(fancy version here, but simple steel plate with hole is aimed the same way):
The Signaling Mirror: WWII US Government Training Film

Foresight/Heliograph Signal Mirror Aimer:
Using a foresight signal mirror aimer

Retroreflective Signal Mirror Aimer:
Using a retroreflective signal mirror aimer, red-dot subtype

247 Views · 2 Comments
07/27/18 05:51 PM Fenix HL10 Headlamp/key chain light by hikermor

I mentioned acquiring this model a bit ago and Montanero, I believe, was interested in how it would work for me. I am very happy with this light and it is a slight improvement over my previous key chain light, a Fenix LD02.

The HL10 is a separate light assembly which sits in a headband holder which fits on one's head or hat. The light can easily be tilted through a wide range. the light inserts or removes from the holder with a bit of effort, but it is doable. The total volume of the HL10 is about the same as the LD02, slightly thicker in the head, but shorter overall.

I have used mine as a key chain light and I am happy. It has not turned on inadvertently, something the LD02 did occasionally. I keep the headlamp assembly handy and will probably throw it in my pack on trips - weight and bulk are trivial compared to the increased utility.

The light has three brightness levels - the highest of which is said to be 70 lumens. It is useful for getting around ordinary terrain in the dark. AAA's don't last forever, so I usually have a spare handy in a separate container. Fenix doesn't recommend using lithium primaries in the hL10, a minor inconvenience - I am quite happy with Eneloops.

All in all, thumbs up! The price ($27) is reasonable

358 Views · 1 Comments
07/26/18 08:42 PM Flashlights, bit of a rant/need recommendations. by amper

Hello, everyone! I used to be something of a regular here, but haven't even logged on in several years. If you remember me, I've gotten divorced and changed my name, and I first moved to the West Coast, and am now back on the East Coast. I'm working on updating my gear, and writing gear articles for my blog, and a subject has come up that tends to make me a little crazy: LED flashlights.

I'm looking for recommendations for new single AA flashlights, but I'll come back to this, because I want to rant a little about the differences between "tactical" flashlights and "utility" flashlights.

I am currently using an Inova X1 as my EDC light, which replaced my Leatherman Serac S3, mainly because I wanted a single AA flashlight. However, I can't actually recommend this light (or even the latest version of it), because of one poor design decision that renders it problematic as a utility light: when you turn it on, it defaults to high power mode, and must be shut off briefly and re-activated, for it to go into low power mode. It also means you can't activate the light with one hand, and I wish I'd understood this before purchasing it.

Flashlight manufacturers (and reviewers) all seem to be caught up in the "tactical" hype. In reality, the features that one really wants in a tactical light make that light totally unsuitable as a utility flashlight.

A tactical light is a light that is designed to be used as a weapon or to illuminate a target, and therefore should have the following features:

- Maximum possible brightness
- only one brightness level
- a lock on and lock off feature to preserve runtime and to keep the light on in the event of an accidental drop or disarm
- single-handed operation
- waterproofness enough to withstand rain exposure and possible submersion
- sturdy construction to use as a blunt weapon, if necessary, and to survive a disarm or accidental drop

A utility light, one the other hand, should have the following features:

- maximum runtime/battery life
- lowest practical brightness to preserve night vision and battery life
- always turns on in lowest output mode to preserve night vision
- at least one higher power mode for when that is needed
- single-handed operation
- waterproofness enough to withstand rain exposure and possible submersion
- sturdy construction to withstand accidental drops from at least head (2 m) height.

For the most part a true "tactical" flashlight as I've defined it is completely unsuitable as a wilderness survival tool. And when you are out in the wilderness, the last thing you want to have, if you need to use a light at night, when you are most likely to actually need a flashlight, is for it to turn on in "blind me please" mode.

Not only is this bad for your night vision, it's wasteful of battery power, since the majority of the time I need a light, I need no more than about 5 lumens of light. Almost every time I need to turn my light on, I have to shut my eyes, and cycle through the power modes to get to the lowest power setting.

My 2008 Leatherman Serac S3 (long discontinued) was nearly ideal, with 7/43/100 lumen modes, *in that order*, with runtimes of 36 hrs/4 hrs/1 hr, respectively. It's compact, about the size of a lipstick, takes a single CR123A battery, and meets all other requirements, including being not terrible to hold in my mouth. But, as it's a decade old, its regulator and LED are several generations obsoleted, and Leatherman never made a AA version. Rumor has it these were actually made by Fenix, though I don't know if that's true.

I used to be able to get Rayovac CR123A batteries at a reasonable price from Wal-Mart, but they apparently don't carry them anymore.

My 2014 Inova X1, on the other hand, is the model from a few years ago that had 80 lumen and 11 lumen modes. Inova's marketing literature for this light grossly over-exaggerates its capabilities. It has no real momentary mode to speak of, no real lock-out mode, and their claim of 70 hours runtime on low mode is patently false. Most annoyingly, it always turns on in high power mode, when what I need 99% of the time is low power mode, and it requires two hands to operate. The current version is no better.

The X1 still lives in my handbag as my EDC primarily because it is a single AA light, and I no longer carry the S3, primarily because of the expense of the batteries.

Incidentally, on a whim a couple of years ago, I bought a Bushnell 325L at Wal-Mart on sale, which is nearly a good budget tactical light. It has 325 and 39 lumen output modes, plus a 325 lumen strobe mode with 2.5 hr/25 hr/4.5 hr runtime, a lock on/off, and always defaults to high power mode. What sucks about it is that the machining of the barrel makes it extremely uncomfortable, even dangerous, to use, and its many sharp angles catch on fabric. So, I rarely use it. Mostly, it stays in my truck as a backup.

My exemplar for the tactical type is the ASP Triad series, though later versions have extraneous feature sets. Their current Turbo DF model is their single-mode tactical light.

I have one other light that I commonly use, a first generation CMG Infinity Task Light with a green LED, which has a ridiculously long 150 hr battery life, as I recall. It's very dim, but it's perfect for use at night when you need just a little light and don't want to kill your night vision or attract too much attention. That one I only use when camping.

So, having said all that, I am in the market for a new EDC single AA flashlight and a single AA headlamp for backcountry use, BUT...

while the current Fenix E12 would seem to be perfect to replace my Inova X1, having the correct sequence of low/mid/high modes like the Serac S3, the AA headlamps from Fenix are exactly the reverse! They all go high/mid/low.

I would appreciate any recommendations of single AA headlamps that operate the way I need.

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