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#291545 - 01/03/19 07:14 PM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1131
Loc: Alaska
Listen to your elders! Hikermor nailed it!

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
Our gated community has a gun club. That gun club has a little more than a hundred members. I know who to turn to when we have a major disaster.

Jeanette Isabelle

Well, that depends on the disaster. Gun ownership and ability is irrelevant to many disasters, while undeniably useful in some. Capable medical expertise is probably a more generally useful skill.

Let me be clear. I have been a gun owner and user for all of my adolescent and adult life, currently in possession of several firearms and trained at various times by my father, the US Army, and federal law enforcement.

In my lifetime, there have been exactly two occasions where I was glad to have my 357 with me, though thankfully, I did not have to fire. On one occasion, I did indeed discharge a firearm, using a line gun to deploy a line across a flooded stream to rescue two ladies.

On the other hand, I have lost count of the occasions on which I have rendered significant first aid (not counting scratches and boo-boos) to total strangers, friends and colleagues, or close family members.

If you want to prepare for life's more stressful scenarios, firearms training is actually pretty far down the list, but not completely irrelevant. It is probably more important to know how to change a tire or check the oil on your vehicle.

We are social critters, and therein lies our strength. We typically band together and cooperate when faced with a problem - the recent Thai cave rescue comes to mind, along with many other more mundane examples.

I will begin a recent book on the Thai Cave Rescue as soon as Mrs. Hikermor is finished with it. It is a stunning example of community cooperation, overcoming obstacles of cultural and language differences, logistical problems, and mind boggling technical obstacles to achieve success.

Dealing with the typical fire and earthquake is pretty trivial, by comparison.

While one needs reliable equipment, cooperation, communication, and social skills are much more important that the light mounted on your firearm.

Edited by AKSAR (01/03/19 07:14 PM)
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#291546 - 01/03/19 07:22 PM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: hikermor]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2017
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
By being in a gun club, you get to network with people of a different caliber, pun intended. Most have practical skills that go beyond firearms such as, as you pointed out, first aid.

Jeanette Isabelle
"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

#291550 - 01/04/19 06:17 AM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Phaedrus Offline

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2244
Loc: Great Plains
I'm not a slave to brands but there a few companies that have earned my trust over the course of long years. A few of them are as follows:

Elzetta & Malkoff- Both of these companies make utterly bombproof lights. Heavy duty construction, solid switches and potted electronics are standard for them. They aren't the brightest on the market in absolute terms but they're incredibly well built.

HK- There is no firearm maker I have more confidence in than Heckler & Koch. Their guns are stolid, almost old-fashioned, but the end user will not be the Beta tester. Their stuff is overbuilt and extremely reliable.

Panasonic CR123a batteries- For critical applications I will consider no other battery. They're slightly more expensive but IMO the best CR123a battery available.

Spyderco- I've got a lot of knives and my collection is comprised of blades from dozens of makers. But I will always have a Spyderco in my pocket as the primary EDC. Their HT is reliably spot-on, the geometry is perfect (to me) and their designs are great for what I use a knife for. They also have the widest array of "super steels" of any maker I can name.

Aimpoint- My primary HD/zombie rifle will always be set up with an Aimpoint. I'll use lesser optics for plinking firearms but nothing that I have found is as trustworthy as an Aimpoint.

Federal HST- For handgun ammo I haven't found anything as good as HST. It's supremely accurate in every caliber and in every sidearm I've tried it in and very consistent. The nickel plated brass resists corrosion. About the only time I'll use anything else is if I'm toting a 9mm in areas with big bears; in that case I'll switch to 147gr hard cast Buffalo Bore and bear spray.

Suunto- I'm not an expert at LandNav nor compasses in general but in my experience Suunto compasses are well made and reliable.

ESBIT- I've tried other brands of Hexamine but nothing is as reliable as the original ESBIt.

ESEE- I really love ESEE fixed blade knives, especially their Izula & Izula 2. Great little blades that are big enough to do camp tasks but small enough not to be cumbersome.

Naniwa Water Stones- I'll use lots of stones to sharpen other folk's knives but always Naniwa Chocera stones to do my own!

Wiggy's- IIRC I have seven Wiggy's bags, a pair of booties, a pair of Pac Boots, a pair of Kodiak mittens and a ground pad. As long as I live or Wiggy's exists I will likely never buy a bag made by anyone else.

There are probably others I'm forgetting but those are some of the main ones.

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#291551 - 01/04/19 06:01 PM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6815
Loc: southern Cal
When i venture forth, I am actually "trusting my life on" a variety of items, some of which are very cheap and some of which are very costly. I will look or bargains in some areas, but in others, performance is supreme and cost is secondary.

The three critical items are boots (appropriate foot gear) bag (as in sleeping) and backpack - the three B's, if you will.

Some very cheap shoes work for some situations, but for demanding, vertical, rough terrain, you will spend serious money for workable boots. Research carefully and pay whatever it takes. Good fitting is absolutely critical.

I am generally doing a fair amount of hiking or backpacking, so a light, warm bag is critical. The two I currently use come from Marmot and REI, but there are many comparable brands, including some cottage industry stuff that gets good comments. If weight is not a concern, you can save a lot of money.

Backpacks are the third critical category. Again, careful fit is hugely important and there are many specialized features that may influence your decision. I like a bag with reasonable capacity - about 60 liters (4000+/-cu in).

Beyond this, you have a lot of options, although demanding environments will dictate some specialized equipment. You can cook over an open campfire or spend up to $300 on a stove. There are very costly (and very good) tents, but you can do a lot with a basic tarp if you know what you are doing.

One exception is technical climbing gear. Don't cut corners here. The hardware store rope will not work; you want a UIAA certified line, along with similarly vetted carabiners, helmets, and harnesses This stuff ain't cheap, but someday you will be hanging from your gear and it will be a long way to the bottom - that is why you get good stuff.

A word about military surplus. These items range from superb to total garbage, but the oldest still usable gear I have is a 1951 Army Mountain cook set - two nested two quart pots with a skillet/lid. Very lightweight and still functional after all these years. Not everything has to be glitsy and expensive...spend whatever it takes on critical, survival critical items, and save money on less significant stuff.
Geezer in Chief

#291553 - 01/05/19 03:33 AM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3088
Loc: USA
hikermor, that’s gold. Thank you.

#291554 - 01/05/19 05:59 AM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Phaedrus Offline

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2244
Loc: Great Plains
Very true, Hikermor! Backpacks are an important item for sure. I'm a fan of Mystery Ranch but I can't claim much expertise on packs. I use an old Dana Designs Terraframe; it's from before Dana started Mystery Ranch and is an external frame. I've got a couple of smaller, more modern Mystery Ranch packs but the old Terraframe just keeps on truckin'.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

#291555 - 01/05/19 03:57 PM Re: Brands We Trust Our Lives On [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6815
Loc: southern Cal
External frames are no longer fashionable, but they are still unexcelled for bulky, awkward loads. I used a Kelty external frame for years until it was eventually stolen - one of the best packs I have ever carried.

Today, there are many good brands available like Mystery Ranch - I like Mountainsmith and REI. Osprey has a good reputation, along with many others. It is good that there are many good quality back packs available - really fundamental outdoor gear.
Geezer in Chief

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