Monday, November 30, 2020

Catoma Responds - End of an Era - Military Tents


Recently I have been testing out some military tent shelters from a company known as Catoma and today, I am sharing with you some very interesting information which they shared with me.

I was contacted by Catoma and it's the end of an Era!

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Flooded Trails - Truck Camping in Cold Rain, Thick Fog and Strong Winds


In this adventure episode, TOGR takes you all to a remote section of Virginia to take advantage of a break in the weather....while it lasts!

Within hours of arriving, thick fog engulfs the area, strong winds begin to blow, rain begins to fall and Luke and Susie have to utilize their gear to make it through the night.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How Bad Can It Be? MSR Zoic 2P Tent - Before You Buy


Today Luke is setting up the MSR Zoic 2P Tent and as you know, the Setup process is very important when it comes to the purchasing of a tent; 

how easy or how complex will it be?

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...
MSR Zoic 2P Tent - Before You Buy

Monday, November 23, 2020

LiteFighter Military Tent 4 Season Conversion Kit


Have you ever wanted to convert your 3 season summer tent into a 4 season winter tent?
This is a product that I have been waiting to show off all year and finally it is beginning to get cold enough to use and to begin testing it out. The purpose of this product is to act as an add-on for the LiteFighter military tents as it converts their 3 season tent to a 4 season tent by adding a layer of rip-stop nylon over the top of the existing mesh fabric which holds in warmth and blocks wind from circulating inside of your tent.

This is the LiteFighter 1 – Cold Weather Kit (Windbreaker) and it is going into testing now. 
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LiteFighter 1 – Cold Weather Kit (Windbreaker)

While I can’t comment on how effective it is yet I can tell you that if this works as it is meant to, it could be a game changer as far as 3 season tent use within the 4th season.

In the warmer months, you run the tent as-is but when the temps drop, you grab the cold weather kit and you can stay far warmer by holding in some warmer air and by blocking the wind.

At the same time, you still retain all of the ventilation performance of the original tent design.

Agenda Free Link : http://litefighter.com/product/litefighter-1-cold-weather-kit/

Price : $102.15

Weight : 14.6oz

Materials : 30 Denier water resistant nylon.

From the Company :

The LiteFighter 1 Cold Weather Kit adds a custom windbreaker layer and snow/sand anchors to the LiteFighter 1 Individual tent. This windbreaker is made out of a lightweight 30 Denier water resistant nylon.

It is compatible with all LiteFighter one-man tents and attaches onto the inner tent. The windbreaker covers all of the exposed mesh on the inner tent and allows the system to retain body heat while decreasing the amount of wind that circulates through the tent. Since the system sits directly on the mesh it still allows air to pass in between the windbreaker and rainfly, and eliminates condensation inside of the inner tent. Four included snow/sand Rip-Stop tent anchors offer more holding power than similar-sized aluminum anchors, but at half the weight.
Included with the LiteFighter 1 Cold Weather Kit

Wind breaker cold weather inner tent cover.
4 snow/sand anchors designed for filling with snow or sand.

Going into testing now and my review will be coming up into the future.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Remote Wilderness Camp Adventure with a Tarp and Bug Bivy Shelter


Luke is off trail in this Overnight Adventure and this time, he is in a boreal forest just like those found in Canada. 

Tarp...
Bug Bivy...
Off Trail....
Middle of Nowhere...
Lots of Mystery...
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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Real Review - Small, Bright and Compact - Fenix E28R Flashlight


This is the Agenda Free Real World Review of the Fenix E28R rechargeable flashlight!

Small. Powerful. 
1500 Lumens. 
18650 Battery.
Almost perfect....almost!

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Fenix E28R Flashlight 


Price : $65

Weight including Battery : 4oz

Measurements : L 4.2” Head D 1.04” Body D .88”

Battery Type : 3400mah 18650 or 2x CR123A batteries

Materials : premium anodized aluminum

Button : Side Switch on and off and mode selection

Lens : Lightly frosted

LED : SST40 Cool White

Modes : 6 Modes – ECO, Low, Medium, High, Turbo, Strobe

Tail Stand Non Magnetic base Electronic lockout Indicator LED

USB – C Fast Charging port Rotatable pocket clip that doesn’t offer deep pocket carry
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Usage :

Fenix E28R features single button UI with a multicolor LED indicator at the center of the button/switch. The LED indicator shows the battery status:

Green light ON: 85% - 100%

Green light Blinking: 50% - 85%

Red light ON: 25% - 50%

Red light Blinking: 1% - 25%

and can only be activated at flashlight OFF state.

A single click will light up the indicator LED for 3 seconds to show the battery status. The UI of Fenix E28R follows its usual press-and-hold for 0.5 seconds for ON/OFF, single click to cycle the modes of Eco-Low-Medium-High-Turbo. Strobe must be activated explicitly by holding the switch for 1.2 seconds (just hold it down until your flashlight flashes) in either ON/OFF state.

There are mode memory in all modes except strobe.

Electronic lockout can be engaged by double-clicking the switch button from OFF state, Fenix E28R will flashes twice to indicate the flashlight is in locked state. When in electronic lockout state, Fenix E28R will just flashes twice to indicate its electronic lockout is engaged. There are several ways to unlock Fenix E28R:

Method 1. Double-clicking the switch button again, Fenix E28R will flashes twice, Fenix E28R will turned-On in Eco mode.

Method 2. Connect the USB-C fast charging port to a power source via USB-C cable, this will disengage the electronic lockout.

Method 3. Loosen the body quarter turn, this will effectively cut-off/open the current flow. This is also an effective method to mechanically/physically lockout Fenix E28R.

Review Pros :
Excellent fit and finish – looks good Feels good in the hand good size for those who like a smaller flash light – compact lightweight lightweight good performance all around with good stepping adequate switch detection which means that you can find the button within a reasonable amount of time even in the dark. Good battery life Button gives good feedback when clicked USB-C port is a great….if there has to be a physical port I like for it to be USB C. - flip-over the cover will reveal the USB-C fast charging port, in my charging test, the port pulls ~1.8A for charging and the whole flashlight feels warm during charging. Fenix claims to feature an inner waterproofing treatment to the USB-C port, thus, it should be safe even if the cover was broken or the charging port was subject to water immersion. The beam is particularly wide and well defined.

When charging - During charging, the status indicator will light up constant Red and turned into Green when E28R is fully charged. You can still use Fenix E28R during charging, however, there is only single Eco mode brightness available for use during charging.

Interesting : Interestingly, Fenix E28R can also be use without the body tube when connecting the USB-C fast charging port to a power source as seen from above picture. However, you only have access to Low mode (not Eco mode) when used in this manner.

Review Cons :
Rubber covered charging port; it is 2020 and it is time to move passed charging ports as they are a weak point for the light. Magnetic charging is the future and it would be easy to develop a magnetic charger that features a detachable usb – c base.

As for other cons, I don’t have any. In the end it is a good quality flashlight that is small, light, compact and performs very well. While I would like to see magnetic charging USB C is a definite plus for myself and my personal preferences.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Sierra Designs Responds - Making Better Tents for Target


Thanks to The Outdoor Gear Review some big changes are taking place at Sierra Designs as some major improvements are being made to their products that are exclusively offered at Target.

This is an episode of Company's Respond and Luke will be sharing with you all that was discussed with his conversation with the company!
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Friday, November 13, 2020

Good Grief This Tent is Terrible - Catoma Combat II Tent - Test Night


As Luke was testing out the Catoma Stealth 1 Person Military Tent in Hurricane Zeta, he was also testing out the Catoma Combat II Tent which has proven to be even worse in some ways.

Will it leak?

How good or bad is the ventilation?

How bad will the condensation be?

Are there quality issues?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Helikon-Tex Pilgrim Anorak Jacket - Real Review


This is the Helikon-Tex Pilgrim Anorak and today with The Outdoor Gear Review Luke is passing on his 100% Agenda Free Review of this excellent mission ready jacket!

Helikon Tough!

Bushcraft Ready!
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Sizes : 2X Small to 2X Large
Colors : Black, Coyote and Taiga Green
Price : Retail $114
Weight of the Size : 2lbs 1oz for small size
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Materials :
Duracanvas - 63% Polyester, 34% Cotton, 3% Elastane
YKK Zippers 

Benefits :
Can be impregnated with wax
Dries faster than cotton
Fire/spark resistant 

From the Company :
We’ve designed the Pilgrim® jacket for demanding outdoor activities in dynamically changing weather. Based on the zipped "kangaroo" construction proven for decades, it has been clearly refined to meet the expectations of modern travelers, while still hitting the aesthetics of the "old guard". Numerous pockets will allow for convenient placement of equipment, while their characteristic arrangement will make them constantly available, even when working in a sitting position or kneeling. We have elongated the whole construction of the jacket, thanks to which it protects our body regardless of the equipment we carry. By lowering the "kangaroo" pocket, we were also able to extend the front zipper of the jacket, which allows the user to better ventilate his body during strenuous approaches or work

Features :
Insulated Kangaroo Pocket Zippered Bicep Pockets Adjustable Hood Zipper Chin Guard Zippered Front pockets with internal organizer Internal Loops Zippered Hip Pockets Adjustable bottom via Shock Cord Adjusters Button Chest pockets with internal loops Pit Zips Adjustable cuffs Duracanvas 

Review Pros
I have been running with this anorak or jacket, whatever you wish to call it for over half a year and here are my thoughts and observations concerning it; Awesome quality which Helikon-Tex is becoming known for. The company makes awesome products and this is one which I can easily recommend for any outdoor adventure. It’s comfortable enough for a hike in the woods after work and is tough enough for a bushcraft trip. Built tough; as soon as you get this in your hands it is going to impress most people; it’s feel like it is going to last and with my experiences it certainly has.

Good wind resistance

Good breathablity especially as you open the zippered pockets - that helps with ventilation

Hip pockets are low enough to be accessible with a backpack waist-belt

Quick drying

Price is very much fair for what you are getting; I’ve mentioned this before with other Helikon Anoraks; the prices of similar products can be absolutely insane. The Fjallraven Anorak no 8 which is similar to this is $450!

Large center zip which makes putting on and taking off the Anorak easy. Not all designs are like this and some can be difficult unless you go with a much larger size.
Sizing is on the larger than side which I like as it provides enough space for additional layering but you need to be prepared for this before you make a purchase. 

Review Cons :

Picking up from the last pro, Sizing is on the larger than side and for myself, I had to go down in one size for a good fit; I’m a medium to large and I had to go with a small and fits fine.
No Velcro on the shoulders or chest for patches - 

Pro Tip :
While you can wax it for added waterproof protection, you can treat this with a nikwax dwr and it does an awesome job and it’s a hell of a lot easier. Waxing will offer overall better water resistance but limits breathability and don’t think for a second that even with wax that this will become a rain jacket.

With a Nikwax Cotton Proof treatment, you add Durable Water Repellency; add virtually no weight while maintaining the breathability of the polycotton in wet weather. Also, it will dry faster with a Nikwax treatment

Monday, November 9, 2020

Inexpensive British Military Fire Dragon Solid Fuel Stove - Real World R...


This is the British Military Fire Dragon Stove which is a NATO / Military approved product from across the pond that utilizes Solid Fuels.

In this Agenda Free Review, Luke goes over the Pros, the Cons and why this may be the right stove for you.

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British Military Solid Fuel Stove Fuel Cooker

Agenda Free Link : https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Unisex-Foldable-Burner-Silver/dp/B01CJZWBPK

Cost : $8 at the time of filming and that is only for the stove – no fuel – in the UK, these are even less expensive with common pricing being around 2 euros

Weight without fuel cubes : 3.8oz

Weight with 5 .5oz (14g) fuel cubes : 6.4oz

Dimensions : 3" X 1" X 4.5"

Features : Retractable side walls and removable windshield. Integrated fuel receiver channels heat from fuel to mess tin, cup or pot. Can store fuel blocks within closed cooker.

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Made by BCB International, the FireDragon Stove is a British military product; even though the name of the product is the BCB FireDragon Multi-Fuel Cooker it doesn’t come with any fuel even though the packaging states FireDragon which is weird.

Fuel : Can be used with any type of solid fuel including Hexamine and Trioxane and some liquid fuels.

Use : With 14g/.5oz Hexamine tablets; each tablet burns approximately 12 minutes and one tablet boils 500 ml (2 cups) of water in about 8 minutes – Results will vary greatly with such a fuel and stove

Benefits of Hexamine :

✔ Clean - very little soot 
✔ Renewable 
✔ Burns even when wet 
✔ Suitable for extreme conditions 
✔ Easy to light 
✔ Lightweight 
✔ Cost Efficient 
✔ Low luminosity 
✔ Easy storage

FireDragon Fuel : This company has their own fuel which you can purchase separately which is like hexamine but is reportedly nontoxic and is alcohol based. I haven’t tried the fuel myself but I will get some in to test out and to compare.

Hexamine Fuel Cost : 40 tablets cost around $30 – burn up 1300F degrees

About the BCB Company :

Since its creation in 1854, BCB International has been developing pioneering innovations that have helped generations of armed forces personnel, seafarers, aid workers and adventurers operate and survive in some of the world’s harshest environments.

Review Pros :

Very simple designed

Good quality

Light weight

Hold multiple fuel Tablets

Features a windscreen

Lightweight

Inexpensive

Easy & Quick To Use

Retractable Side Walls which allow for multiple angles of use which allows for many sizes of cup or pot to be used

Fuel Channels allow for multiple tablets to be used at once; 1 – 3 at a time for faster use and for larger pots and longer cooking events.

Can be used with multiple fuel types and fuel sizes; hexamine can be found in multiple sizes.

Hexamine is excellent for high altitudes and sub-zero temperatures

Review Cons :

With the BCB FireDragon stove, it doesn’t actually include any FireDragon Fuel

There isn’t much to complain about; it’s inexpensive, fuel is inexpensive and it doesn’t weigh much.

Is a stove actually needed?

There are lighter weight solid fuel stoves but they aren’t expandable for larger pots and cooksets.

Summary :
These little stoves are great for those who want to go out on adventures with a lightweight, small form factor stove and fuel solution. Inexpensive, simple to use, compact and fuel is easily available.
If you are looking for an alternative to this brand, one that comes with some fuel, Esbit has a version which is very similar;

It is very similar in size, weight and design. Cost is around $13

Saturday, November 7, 2020

I Didn't Expect it to be this Bad - Catoma Stealth 1 - Test Night


Hurricane Zeta approaches and Luke the Lone Wolf is out to weather the storm in the Catoma Stealth 1 Person Military Tent.

Will it leak?

How good or bad is the ventilation?

How bad will the condensation be?

....
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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Lightest in the World - NITECORE 10,000mAh Power Bank - Real Review


Luke is back for another Agenda Free Review and this time he has the NITECORE 10000mAh Power Bank which is the lightest 10,000mAh battery bank in the world today!

In this action packed (hehe) review, Luke goes over the pros, the cons and his experiences while testing out this product for numerous months.
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...
NITECORE NB10000 Quick-Charge USB/USB-C Dual Port 10000mAh Power Bank

Agenda Free Link : https://www.nitecorestore.com/NITECORE-NB10000-QC-Dual-Port-10000mAh-Power-Bank-p/bat-nite-nb10000.htm

Price : $60

Capacity : 10000mAh
- There is also a 5000MAH version

Input Port : USB-C: 5V-2.4A / 9V-2A

Output Ports :
- USB-C: 5V @3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A - USB-A: 5V @3A / 9V-2A / 12V-1.5A

PowerCap : 38.5Wh

Features :

- NB10k is IPX5 rated water resistant, and comes with a slew of safeguards against short-circuit, overcharge, over discharge, or overheat.
- Dual Charge from both ports
- When quick charge is not needed, the NB10000 has a one-touch low current mode for delicate devices such as Bluetooth headphones and smart watches.

- It can charge and discharge at the same time
- Features a low current charging mode for Bluetooth headphones and smartwatches – Hold mode button until white light turns on. Hold mode button again to turn off.
- Has a LED indicator which shows power level : *** 100% Remaining ** 70% * 30%
- Supports quick charge 3.0 for fast charging
- Blinking LED indicator lets you know when it is charging

Materials : Carbon Fiber Case and a Carbon Fiber Frame

Weight : 5.4oz

Dimensions : L-4.8" x W-2.32" x H-0.42"

Includes : Power Bank, USB charging cable

Testing :

My testing has involved roughly 3 months of use throughout the summer; in the colder months if I have any notable issues, I will do a followup video but as of the time of this video, with temps down into the upper 30’s F, I’ve had no issues.

As it, my typical charging habits tend to involve charging my phone, headlamp, and camera batteries and I have had no issues with my use.

My Note 9 charges two full times with an estimated 30% of power remaining...I say estimated because the bar indicator isn’t accurate.
…..
Review Pros :

- Extremely light weight – one of the lightest on the market - Very small power bank - Excellent quality - No issues with charging : no glitches experienced - Excellent waterproofing : IPX5 rated water resistant – there are other channels completely submerging these are they keep working - Looks great, feels great, feels very sturdy even though it is so lightweight - It recharges quickly too; from one bar flashing to full charge in just under 3.5 hrs. - Can dual charge – charge two devices or charge a single device while charging the power bank

Review Cons :

- Power remaining indicator is very hard to see – it’s small and blue in color - only 3 bats on the remaining power indicator which is odd and make it difficult to know exactly how much power remains. - No USB C adapter cables were included so if you wish to use the USB C port to charge a second device, you will have to get your own adapter cable so that it can work with what type of port that you are connecting to.

Would like to See with Future Models :

- Improved power indicator which is easier to read and that depicts more accurately how much power is remaining. - Would love to see a larger size of power bank; 20,000mAH is what I am interested in myself. - With larger models, I would like to see 2 USB A ports and one USB C

Summary :

As it is, this has become my go to battery bank for single overnight trips. It’s incredibly lightweight, performs extremely well and I can easily recommend it. The Carbon Fiber material makes a true difference in terms of weight and also assist with being shock resistant to drops and bumps.

At 5.4oz, this power bank is impressively lightweight and features a very small form factor and in fact, it is smaller and lighter weight than any powerbank that I personally own.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Inexpensive Military Tent - Catoma Stealth 1 Tent - First Look


In this episode, Luke is discussing the Catoma Stealth 1 Person Military Tent as it is going into testing now and in fact, the Test Night Episode will be coming up on Thursday as the Stealth 1 will be enduring Hurricane Zeta as it comes into the area!

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