Category Archives: Gear & Equipment

All 1st Generation iPod Touch Owners Need This

If you want to get the update from iOS 2.x to 3.1.3 then follow this link. It will cost you 4.95 from the App Store™

If you have a minute more, here’s why. I knew from looking at “Mac Tracker” that the highest possible iOS for the 1st Generation iPod is 3.1.3 but could not find any way to get it. I looked high and low; on forums, websites and youtube. Then! Quite by accident I stumbled onto a link that led me to Apple’s support site and the link above. On that page is a link that will take you directly to the App Store™ and the ability to download the 3.1.3 software for 4.95.

If you don’t know why you should do this, it’s quite simple. There are tons more apps available with the new software and will breathe new life into your 1st Generation iPod.

Leave us a comment if you have a minute or at least email this to all your friends. 🙂


The rise of the bag movie

I recently posted a little piece about bags and how they play a role in our “everyday carry”. If you don’t know the term “everyday carry”, I would refer you to your favorite search engine. Nowadays just about everyone has some sort of bag, waist pack, satchel or piece of clothing etc. that serves as a way to carry our “tools”.

Since I come from the Boy Scout “be prepared” camp I think it’s kinda cool to be ready for whatever. Also I’ve noticed that a lot of movies are, for lack of a better term, “bag heavy”. Many character’s carry something and I’m not sure if this is simply a tech prop or a case of art imitating life.

What do you think? Are the movies more “bag heavy” or am I dreaming. One example of “bag heavy” would be the Bourne Trilogy.

Papa’s Bag News, What Kind and Why

Everybody carries some sort of bag these days. Kids have backpacks, ladies have purses of all sizes and men carry everything from tool buckets to high end briefcases and for the travel set there is the latest invention; the maximum carry on bag.

With so many options, types and sizes it’s a bit dizzying to figure out; how can I get the right bag for “me”. While this won’t be an encyclopedic review of the bag industry I can offer a few signposts for your consideration.

The first things to establish in your bag selection are: What are you putting in the bag, how will you carry it and for how long, what environment will you be in, and of course budget.

Some possible answers: The bag contents will determine the size and type of bag needed. List the contents and consider the environment. Are you heading to the woods or is it more for an urban/corporate setting. Some categories are; heading out to the woods or outdoor work, school/urban, business or simply your everyday carry. The budget can vary widely depending on the task. I’ve purchased bags for a dollar at the thrift store but never more than 50.00. Although you can spend two or three hundred for some bags a good budget to start with is about a hundred dollars, you can adjust up or down depending on the need.

What I’ve discovered is that you may need several bags. One for emergency situations, one for everyday carry and another for travel. As you can imagine it is easy to tie up a lot of money in “equipment” and so I recommend listing everything and it’s cost to put the whole “gear” thing in perspective. This is a good way to establish priorities and needs.

The inspiration for this post came from the realization that I was carrying things in my everyday bag that should have been in the emergency kit. The advantage of all of this bag stuff is to focus on what the essentials are and become more productive but equipped for any situation. If you found this useful or have a question, please drop a note in the comments. Thanks for reading.

and for your entertainment, another bag consideration… right here.

Now “this” is a Knife

The DPx H•E•S•T folder


They start taking orders Aug. 6, only 250 available. 175.00

Prepping at the dollar store

Like you, I love the dollar store; after all it’s just a dollar. Of course we rarely spend only a dollar; I can usually scoop up ten or so “bargains” while I’m there. The key is spotting things of quality versus those things that were so cheap they couldn’t make it in even in the big box stores.

Recent finds: Small semi hard case for camera, ten small plastic containers, first aid kit, Blistex and Band-Aids. I will repurpose the camera case for other small items. The plastic containers can hold spices, vitamins etc. short term carry. I buy the known brand names when I can and the first aid kit will get new contents in the handy plastic box.

You call that a knife?

If there was one tool that would symbolize the whole subject of survival it would be the knife. Even before John Rambo wielded his large Bowie style knife in “First Blood ” The knife has been the symbol of pioneers everywhere. Suffice it to say, you need a knife, probably more than one but at least, one good knife. To quote “Gibbs” rules on NCIS; Rule No. 9 “never go anywhere without a knife” A good pocket folder should be in every person’s “everday carry” kit.

The knife is a tool and the rule for tools is that it must fit the task. The first task of knife selection is to determine what you will be using it for; opening a blister pack from Wal-Mart, cutting wood for fire or butchering an animal to eat. Once you know how you will use the knife then the issues of Brand, quality, type and size can be assessed. Although any knife can be pressed into service when necessary it makes life much easier if you have the right tool for the job.

The right equipment for the job generally applies to ALL gear.

You will need to assess your own needs based on type of terrain, weather and other factors however I would recommend at least three knives if you will be out in the open for any length of time. A minimum of a pocket knife or “folder”, a larger fixed blade for cutting wood or hacking through something and a smaller fixed blade for more precision tasks.

A few brands worthy of your consideration: Kershaw, SOG, Mora, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Ka-Bar, Spyderco, Gerber, and Cold Steel to name just a few. There are many other great brands for your consideration. If you can test these knives in person so much the better, since you will get a good feel for the knife’s size and weight. While shopping don’t forget a good sharpening stone and sheath for carrying. You may be surprised by the cost of a good knife; although some have an economy price tag it is not uncommon to find these knives running in the one to two hundred dollar range. Considering a knife could save your life the high price may not be that out of line. (Note: some times knives are discontinued or are bought up by other companies and re branded so shop around)

Here’s a cutting tip: Don’t forget a good pair of scissors. I carry these on my belt wherever I go. Bonus tip: Always carry fingernail clippers; getting rid of that annoying hangnail can really ease your stress level. There is not really a good substitute for this tool.

When doing gear research; look for reviews and demonstrations on blogs, and youtube. I have learned how to avoid many pitfalls by simply listening to the experience of others.

If you want a little knife entertainment, click on the link below. I am sure many will remember this scene from Crocodile Dundee.

You call that a knife

A tin won’t be enough

While the Altoids™ tin survival kit might be useful and better than nothing, you probably need a bag. Most people don’t have well honed survival skills and will need a bigger kit if they plan to last long in the out of doors. To determine the bags contents; do your own research and then imagine how you will stay alive, find food, water and stay dry. The only way you will survive is if you invest yourself in the process. The resources are all over the internet. Gear is the easiest thing to look at but knowledge and practice are essential to insure success.

UPDATE: While we’re at it; don’t limit yourself to the Altoids™ tin size. There are lots of other sizes that can be found at craft stores etc. Try to keep it pocket size. With a slightly larger size you could round out your kit a bit more and have room for that all important tool or supply. If this whole topic is foreign to you; simply “google” Altoids survival and you will quickly catch up.