Arc’teryx Blade24 EDC Backpack Loadout
What you carry on your person everyday (or at least accessible close to you) may dictate the success or the failure of a difficult situation.
Whether it is a medical, practical or defensive scenario carrying basic or advance equipment is really important.
If you live in an urban environment and you are not always close to your vehicle it’s suggested to build an EDC kit in a backpack or a sling-bag.
In our opinion your self defense tools and equipment should be at all times on your person. We only use our backpack to store extra mags, but not our primary firearm. If the situation does not allow us to reach for our EDC backpack we sill have a concealed-carry handgun with mounted light and extra mag, a folding blade, a smartphone, a wallet, a tactical flashlight and a tourniquet. Keeping our EDC defensive tool in the same location will also provide efficiency and accuracy to the situation.
We like to divide by priority and importance our daily-carry equipment into different levels.
Level 1: the EDC items carried on your belt and pant’s pockets.
Level 2: items in your bag directly accessible from the outside.
Level 3: items organized in pouches and dividers inside the bag.
About the backpack:
One of the key features that we really like of the Blade’s design is its side-access. This allows us to open and extract the content without dropping the bag or revealing what’s inside. Arc’teryx has padded this bag like a tank, it is comfortable, light and extremely protective towards electronics or fragile items.
The Blade has many pockets, some visible and some hidden. On the top, next to the handle, there are two pockets: one specifically designed for eye wear and one for GP items. On the side there are three pockets: the admin pocket (with stitched organizers for admin tools), the main compartment and the laptop (or even ballistic plates) compartment. All the internal parts of the bag are made of hi-viz nylon for better efficiency. The hidden pocket is located on the lower back close to the body, and it is intended for documents, extra cash, copy of conceal carry permit or passport.
Even on the road this backpack is really handy, in case of an accident (especially at night) you can grab it, exit the vehicle and move towards a safe location without keeping any valuables in the car. In the admin pocket we have placed two S&S Precision V-Lites and a Manta strobe to mark our presence to other drivers or the authorities until we have access to roadside flares.
This backpack is efficient and feature-rich without screaming “tactical”. We like the adaptability of PALs webbing and we like Camo but in most urban environments it just stands out too much. The clean design of the Blade 24 allows to be “undetected” or just not to stand out too much.
Bag, Pouches and Cases:
Arc’teryx Blade 24
Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Maxpedition Mini Organizer
Salewa Med Pouch (With personal kit)
6×6 Pals Multicam Pouch
Thule 13″ Laptop Case
Items directly accessible:
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
Outdoor Research Halberd Sensor Tactical Gloves
Princeton Tec Remix MPLS Headlamp in Multicam
Boker VAT tool
Princeton Tec Switch light
S&S Precision V-lite Green
S&S Precision V-lite Blue
S&S Precision Manta Strobe
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Oakley SI Ballistic DetCord in Cerakote
Surefire E2D Defender Ultra
Pick Lock Kit with Tecnora and Kevlar Strings
Vapur 0.7 Water bottle
Items stored in pouches:
Pelican 1010 Case
Samsung 250gb T1 SDD
Storacell 123 Battery holder
Gerber MP1 Multiplier
Gerber Shard Multitool
Surefire EP-1 C Ear Pro
Steiner T824 Compact Binoculars
Altoids Tin with basic Survival kit
Inforce 6vx backup Flashlight
Rite in the Rain notepad
Cyalume 6″ green
Samsung 13000mAh Battery Bank
Chargers for electronics
1 x QuikClot Combat Gauze
2 x Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x Elastic Bandage
1 x Tourniquet
3 x Pharmaderm Antibiotic wipes
3 x BurnFree Gel
10 x Normal Band Aids
8 x Special Shape Band Aids
3 x 3M Steri-Strips
1 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (8″x 8″)
2 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x 3M Micropore Tape
1 x Surgical Tape
2 x Sterilized Gloves Nitrile
2 x Ketoprofen
10 x Ioperamide
2 x Paracetamole
2 x Amoxilline (antibiotics)
4 x Aspirin
4 x Iburofen
1 x Fine-Point Metal Tweezers
1 x Space Blaket
Inside Altoids Tin:
3 x 3M Steristrips
2 x Bandaids
2 x Iboprufen
4 x Antihistamine
4 x Water tabs
1 x 3M Ear Pro Backup
1 x Pencil w/ 1ft of tape and 20 ft of floss
4 x Stormproof matches
1 x Exotac firestarter
1 x Clip Compass
2 x BurnFree gel
1 x Alchool wipes
S&S Precision SlingClip
Shooting with a One-Point sling is certainly very comfortable, but when it’s time to sling the weapon system having a Two-Points really makes everything easier. This accessory allows to quickly change your configuration without having to handle any QD or clip interface. S&S Precision has had for a long time another similar product but this really seems slick and low-profile.
It is designed to fit most standard 1” slings and it effectively turns your single point sling into a two point sling with a simple flick of your thumb.
Specs and Features:
-New low-profile design
-Skeletonized design with fewer components
-Integrated hand stop/finger groove design
-Works in cojunction with single point sling systems (1” width) to secure weapon
-KeyMod & M-LOK versions available
Outdoor Research | Helium II
The Outdoor Research Helium II is a light-weight waterproof jacket ideal for many outdoor applications. This product was originally designed for climbers and runners to be worn for a short period of time during a storm. The main concept behind this product is to always carry it with you.
Due to the extremely light-weight we have kept the jacket stored in our EDC backpack every single day for the whole season. With an astonishing weight of 180 grams you literally forget about it. The jacket is so compact that can fit even in a small cargo pocket. If you actually compress it with a vacuum machine it reaches the size of an energy bar.
We have already seen some very small and lightweight jackets on the market. What makes the Helium II unique is not just the weight but the waterproofness of the fabric. We have use this jacket in many unpleasant weather conditions and it has always kept us dry. To reach this kind of excellence Outdoor Research has utilized a 30D ripstop fabric with a Pertex Shield+ 2.5L coating. At first we were quite skeptical about the longevity of the waterproof shell due to the way the fabric compresses when the jacket is stored, but even after some pretty rough use it hasn’t showed any sign of weakness.
For example if you compress some other waterproof shells on the market like Gore-Tex the layers of the PU film could break, making the fabric permeable. Gore-Tex works with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane with a hydrophobic PU film; in some cases if the fabric is folded too much there could be a loss of waterproofness.
One of the greatest features of this garment is its breathability. Keep in mind that this product was not actually designed for prolonged use, this is why OR focused more on the weight than on the features. This is a jacket to always have in a backpack or just keep stored in a bag. Even if it does not have armpit zippers (like the bigger brother Helium HD) it still offers enough breathability to get the job done.
If you plan to wear this jacket for a longer period of time please take a look at the Outdoor Research Helium HD, it features a more complete type of hoodie and pockets, for a slightly larger size and weight.
Outdoor Research has done a great job designing the hood. It features a bungee cord that runs from the forehead to the back of the head, and if pulled tight it really secures the hood and the visor, offering a very smooth and “noise-free” motion. The visor is made of a much stiffer material allowing a very comfortable wear during storms. This feature really comes handy when shooting (both handguns and rifles) under bad weather.
We have chosen the black/hydro version of this jacket because it does not scream “tactical” while still offering some decent concealability. The blue OR logo and zipper don’t really stand out too much but are keen to make the user appear as a civilian. On the range this jacket is fantastic, due to the lightweight it can always be packed in a range-bag, and as soon as it starts raining you have backup. The elastic on the wrist allows to keep a clean motion during weapon manipulation, without risking of getting the garment in the way.
The choice between Helium II and Helium HD is only driven by the application of the user. Both offer lightweight, waterproofness and breathability. So because we like to carry this shell 24/7 in our backpacks we decided to go with the more lightweight/small version rather than the feature-richer one.
For more details about the Helium II please visit the Outdoor Research website: OutdoorResearch.com
SureFire E2D Defender Ultra
SureFire is the leader in military-grade illumination tools. One of their most versatile products is the E2D Defender Ultra flashlight. This light is made in the United States and is designed to meet the standards of the military professionals.
The E2D Defender Ultra is a 500 Lumen compact multipurpose light designed both for everyday carry and tactical operations.
Like most other SureFire lights it also feature a lockout tail cap, which prevents accidental activation during storage or transport.
With a maximum output of 500 Lumens, the virtually indestructible high-performance LED and the Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens provide a level of light than can be effectively utilized to overwhelm an aggressor or identify a threat. In an outdoor environment this light can be effective for hundreds of yards. The TIR Lenses are designed to with versatility in mind. The 500 lumens LED combined with the lenses allow this flashlight to be effective both during tactical operations (for example entering a dark room) and for long-range urban/rural tasks or engagements. The light has both a very good throw and spill; the central hot beam has a very good range while still maintaining an optimal peripheral vision. 500 Lumens seem also a very good compromise between close quarters and long range engagements. You really don’t want to have more than that for CQB operations while still maintaining a punch for the great outdoors.
The flashlight has two output levels: 500 lumens high for maximum light and 5 lumens low for extended runtime and for admin tasks. This allows the E2D Ultra to be effective even in everyday outdoor applications. The low output setting is just enough to be able to see in the close proximity without interfering with our night vision.
The light is built with heavy duty in mind. The E2D is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminium which feels solid and tough as soon as you grab it. Because of its aggressive design, the bezel can be used as a striking tool or even to brake glass, in case things go very south. The light is also provided with a built in two-way clip, for easier carry when a sheath is not available.
For the pure tactical application (CQB, even weapon mounted) we prefer to have a momentary only switch. But this product still does a very good job for personal defense scenarios. In all these months that we have been using this product (and we didn’t treat is very well) we have never experienced a failure of any kind. We have accidentally dropped this light for quite some distance and everything was fine, and even underwater it worked magnificently.
We recommend this light for its adaptability, and as soon as the sun goes down this light is in our pockets. The E2D Defender Ultra’s adaptability and versatility make it a tool you must have. The fact that you can utilize this light for personal defense, search and rescue and general outdoor/tactical applications definitely make this flashlight probably the best we have ever owned.
We really think that if you are a professional or an enthusiast of the defense/tactical industry you must own at least one SureFire, and we think this could be the one. In the past years we have owned many SureFire flashlights; they are just the toughest! But even if they break don’t worry they are covered by a lifetime warranty.
This flashlight is made in the USA, MSRP $265. This is probably the best multiple-purpose illumination tool you can find on the market, but if you don’t want to pay this amount for a flashlight Surefire also makes some really interesting less expensive simpler models .
For more information please visit the SureFire website: surefire.com/
Gear Review | Gerber MP1
The multi-tool is the most versatile and useful piece of equipment that can be carried, whether you’re in a urban area or out in the country you should never leave the house without one. The multiplier is the updated and more complex version of this tool and it’s usually equipped with a set of wire cutters and needle nose pliers.
Haley Strategic Partners | One Pack to Rule Them All
For more information about the Haley Strategic FlatPack:
FlatPack Release article: urbansurvivorblog.com/2015/05/22/haley-strategic-releases-flatpack/
Haley Strategic Partners website: haleystrategic.com/flatpack/
Bushnell Equinox Z Night Vision
It’s always hard to get the job done when the sun goes down. Powerful lights have been helping us in many of these situations, but unfortunately we can’t always use such devices: in some situations we need to be able to see while not being seen. This is why, in the outdoors, we want use our eyes to adapt to the darkens and navigate through the environment using the surrounding natural light. However we don’t always have the possibility to utilize the light from moon or the glare of a nearby city reflecting off the humidity in the clouds to get the job done. Sometimes ambient light is just not enough. This is why, sometimes, is nice to have a device that is able to help us boost-up our night vision. To do this we had a chance to field test for about 6 months a night vision device: the Bushnell Equinox Z. Bushnell is well known for its quality product at an affordable price. Its well placed mid range product line was just the perfect fit for our needs. Yes, Gen2+Night Vision Devices are cool but they are so damn expensive! It is close to impossible for a non professional user to buy a decent quality gen2+ device. Since only a few years ago, if you didn’t want to buy one of those really expensive ones, you had to move on to an old Soviet built analog device. Luckily there are companies like Bushnell that in the last few yeas have been producing good quality DIGITAL night vision system that are affordable and well-made. Unlike first generation NVG units, the Equinox is totally digital, mounting a CMOS digital sensor this device is capable of delivering a good crisp image to the user. While doing so the device is also able to record both still and moving pictures. The behavior of this sensor is similar to the one of a digital camera, but in this case it is optimized for infrared light. While it’s night vision, these units can’t see in total darkness without help up to 200-300 yards. In this video the device’s IR illuminator is switched off so the only light source is the moon (1/4).
The Equinox Z monocle comes in three different variants: 3 x 30 mm, 4.5 x 40mm and 6 x 50 mm. Of these we had the chance to try out the mid version, the 4.5 x 40mm. The main difference between the three variants, apart from the dimensions, is the quality of the image: a bigger diameter of the lens will provide a more detailed image, especially at distance. Only measuring 164mm x 98mm x 62mm this device seems very compact and discreet and when not in use it can be easily stored in a cargo pocket. The weight is around 600 grams and considering it carries 4 AA batteries and it is IPX4 it isn’t bad at all!
The 4.5 x 40 mm version has quite some features and buttons, in fact it took us a while to get familiar with the device, especially at night time. The top side of the Equinox has 6 buttons well protected by a rubber armor: ON-OFF, Zoom In – Zoom Out, IR settings, illuminator settings and Record. On the lower side of the device is the tripod attachment point, with the traditional screw system. Next to it, under a protective cover, are three ports (TV Out, Mini USB, Micro-SD slot) and a switch (for still or moving pictures). t also features a Picatinny rail is on the side for mounting a more powerful infrared illuminator.
The unit we have reviewed has a lot of magnification for night vision. The more magnification you get, the narrower the field of view and this cuts into situational awareness. If you are scanning a large area, it is harder to spot something. On the other hand, if you do spot it, the higher magnification makes it easier to figure out what it is. To show you what the magnification on this system can do we have recorded with a tripod an S&S Precision Manta Strobe (IR beacon) moving out to 1300 yards from one hill to another. The light conditions were not even the best, there was about 1/4 moon and it was cloudy. To raise the bar for the Equinox we also recorded the same video in the same light conditions at the same distance with two green S&S Precision V-light blinking. What we really liked about this night vision device is the crispness of the details in very low light conditions at a not so-close distance with the IR illuminator ON, to show you here is a video of a car moving from 50 yards to about 130 yards. (This video was recorded on a tripod) This is a still image shot at about 40 yards to show you how, even with the 3 x magnification, you can shoot a crisp image while standing and with no light other than the IR illuminator. As you can see this device is capable of great results for a very affordable price, by the end of Q2 2015 it should be around $ 300. The many features of this device make it really adaptable and versatile for many conditions, whether you are a tactical shooter, hunter or just outdoors enthusiast the Bushnell Equinox Z is perfect for you. Because we didn’t treat it well at all we can actually saw that this device is pretty of tough, so maybe it wouldn’t be bad also for some semi-professional uses (nothing too risky, we wouldn’t rely on this in a life or death situation but it still gets the job done).
We have used the Equinox Z mainly in rural environments and we feel that this is its playground, it could be used also in a urban area provided that the IR illuminator is switched OFF (even with naked eye you can see a little red glare coming from it) or you can mount a third party IR flashlight on the Picatinny rail on the side. Other than that, we loved playing with it and we feel that from now on we aren’t going anywhere without it.
Urban Survivor Blog
SHOT2015 | New Products from MAGPUL
This year at SHOT Show Magpul has released some very interesting products. The first segment is dedicated to the “marriage” between Uncle Sam and Mother Russia with the release of some new rifle furniture for AKs.
Magpul ZHUKOV-S Stock
The Magpul Zhukov-S Stock is a no-compromise folding stock for the modern AK. The Zhukov-S Stock casts aside traditional AK stock shortcomings and offers a folding, collapsible stock with QD sling mounts, modular Cheek Risers, and a shock-absorbing rubber butt-pad for superior traction. The Zhukov has right-side folding for compatibility with side-mounted optics. Designed to fit most common stamped AK receivers without modification via a unique wedge block, the durable injection molded polymer Zhukov-S Stock redefines the human interface with the AK platform.
Magpul MOE AK Stock
Providing Magpul construction and ingenuity to the venerable AK platform, the Magpul MOE AK Stock is an optimized fixed stock for most stamped-receiver rifles. Featuring the unique wedge block fitment of the Zhukov-S Stock, the MOE AK Stock provides internal storage, optimized QD sling swivel placement, a shock absorbing rubber butt-pad for positive placement, and user-selectable snap on Cheek Risers.
Magpul PMAG D-60 AR/M4
The PMAG D-60 is a durable, lightweight, highly reliable 60-round 5.56×45 NATO/.223 Remington polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible weapons. With a larger capacity than previous PMAGs, the PMAG D-60 gives the shooter 60 rounds of ammunition, effectively allowing the same round count as two standard capacity 30-round magazines without requiring a critical reload. The unique drum configuration keeps the height of the magazine manageable as well, allowing prone firing and easier storage. Features a paint pen dot matrix for easy marking and a rear window for instant capacity indication. Compatible with a wide range of NATO firearms such as the M4, M16, SCAR MK16/16S, HK416, MR556, M27 IAR, and others.
Magpul PMAG GL9 – Glock 17
The PMAG 17 GL9 is a 17-round magazine featuring durable polymer construction, paint pen dot-matrix for labeling, tool-less floor plate removal for ease of maintenance, and a visible capacity indicator hole on the body. The PMAG 17 GL9 is compatible with all full-size 9mm Glock handguns, as well as compact and sub-compact variants with some protrusion below the grip.
Magpul HUNTER 700 Stock
Made from reinforced polymer and a machine finished, anodized A380 cast aluminum bedding block, the Magpul Remington 700 Hunter Stock offers users a fully adjustable length of pull, comb height, and enhanced ergonomics. Compatible with all Remington 700 Short Actions, this stock requires no bedding and is a true “drop-in” solution for the end user. This stock is also M-LOK compatible to accept a broad range of accessories. Also available is our Bolt Action Magazine Well, which allows the rifle to be used with detachable box magazines without the need for custom inletting.