Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Strap Cutters

A good strap cutter is actually an invaluable bit of kit that is normally overlooked by a lot of people when they are putting together their kit list but is really an invaluable addition to your load out.  A standard "decent" strap cutter from a reputable company like Gerber, specifically designed for cutting seat belt straps, is going to set you back around £35 and will normally come with a window breaker or punch facility.  This will be a good investment for many years of reliable service and provide a product that is truly fit for purpose.

As a budget alternative you can use "industrial" strap cutters designed for cutting box strapping but surprisingly effective at cutting through seat belt webbing! These are going to cost you a lot less than £35, more like £5-£10, but will probably not last that long so by the time you have had to replace it 3 or 4 times you would have been better off investing in something a bit more suitable.

As an alternative to a single purpose strap cutter Gerber have also released a version of their standard Crucial Multi-Tool that comes with a strap cutter instead of the bottle-opener/carabiner.  Specifically designed for the tactical market, this version of the crucial also comes in Gucci black!  For just under forty notes the Crucial Multitool has a fully functioning strap cutter that is fit for purpose and also packs the usual knife, screw drivers (flat and philips head), can opener and pliers.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Traffic Wands and Hazard lights

Now traffic wands and hazard lights are not really anything I thought I would be blogging about in my tactical careerer, they are hardly the most fascinating of topic subjects, but I recently saw quite a cool set of hazard lights in action and thought they warranted a mention.

The set in question was a kit of 6 "Hockey Puck" sized discs that were a clear plastic inner coated by toughened rubber ribs that sat in a plastic carry case that you plugged into your car cigarette lighter.  Within each puck was a rechargeable battery cell and the 16 LED heads, and on the centre of each puck was a magnetic contact to allow you to stick it to a vehicle or the hull of a ship, or any metal surface really and the two contact points for re charging when put in the carry case.

Each hazard light had 9 different options that you could cycle through:
Solid-On High - 8 hours
Rotate - 15 hours
Alternate - 10 hours
Quad-Blink - 15 hours
Double-Blink - 30 hours
FastBlink - 12 hours
Slow-Blink - 100 hours
Solid-On Low - 60 hours
S-O-S - 24 hours
Flashlight - 15 hours

The cool thing about the lights is each one was virtually indistructable! You can run them over with a 4*4, submerge them for prolonged periods (though they float naturally) and they will work at temps from -40C to +100C.

Traffic Wands are not so cool but seemed like quite a handy little gadget.  Basically a big red plastic ice cream cone that you put upside down on your torch to convert the white beam into a glowing red beacon which you can use for directing traffic, pedestrians or just making yourself visible without blinding anyone you catch in the eye with a 100lumen white beam!  If you are working Roads Policing then it is definitely worth investing a couple of quid in a traffic wand to keep in the back of your car....the Hazard light system runs to about £120 quid so I would push for stores to kit you out with one of these!!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bivvy Poles - WTF

Just a very quick post to rant about the state of basic issue kit.....Why are Royal Marines Reserves (not sure about Regs) expected to buy their own Bivvy Poles?  Ludicrous, you get issued a bivvy but no poles! This is pretty standard issue and given that maybe 10% of recruits make it to getting a green lid for 90% of new recruits forking out ~£15 for two bivvy poles seems a bit steep!

Polish, trouser twists, razors, folding toothbrush, shaving soap etc. I can accept, they are personal use items and you would have to buy a civvie equivalent anyway even if you weren't in... but the bivvy pole seemed a bit cheeky!

Anyway rant over.