Call me late to the party, but I first heard of Bug Out Bags a couple of years ago on the TV show Archer. (Sterling Archer’s bag is “full of fake passports and mustaches … And two hundred grand in cash!”) Archer is probably definitely not the greatest role model, but I could definitely see the appeal of having a pre-packed contingency plan. So I did a little Googling for information about Bug Out Bags.
And that was kind of the problem: There was TOO much info out there about Bug Out Bags. A lot of it was on forums dedicated to survivalism, military-style planning, and outdoors skills. Frankly, many of the dudes seemed like nutjobs. Everyone wanted to sell me their eBook. Everyone claimed to have the definitive list of stuff to pack, and much of the equipment was specialized and expensive. It was hard to know who to listen to, or where to begin. I sifted and sifted, and here’s what I learned after those long hours of reading and research: (more…)
In this blog post I will talk about the reason your flashlight has so many colored LED options, and what situation each color is useful for.
If your flashlight is going to have any extra colored LEDs, it is most likely going to be red. This color is useful for a couple reasons. Firstly, red is the universal color signal for caution. It also works well as an attention-getting color if you need to get help. Red LEDs also help to preserve your night vision. In a situation where your eyes are adjusted to darker surroundings the red LED will require less light adjustment than a white LED. This difference in color between white and red will help illuminate your surroundings while allowing your eyes to continue to see more clearly outside of the flashlight’s beam area.
Green LEDs are useful for hunters and fishers when they are outdoors. Fish, deer, and other animals have a harder time seeing green light than white or other colored lights. This advantage allows people who are in nature to illuminate their surroundings with a reduced risk of alerting nearby animals to their presence. Green LEDs also tend to have longer run times than other color LEDs which can be useful in a survival situation where saving battery power is important.
Blue LEDs are great for multiple applications ranging from nighttime map reading to easily identifying bodily fluids. They are often used for reading maps in dark conditions because they do not blend out the red colored lines on maps. Law enforcement and hunters use this light color because the LED illuminates blood and other bodily fluids. Blue LEDs accomplish this better than a red or white LED, but not as well as UV, which we will look at in a moment. Blue lights are also useful for low visibility situations because they cut through fog more effectively than other LEDs.
Infrared/Night Vision Green:
Infrared lights are used for seeing at night. The infrared beam will illuminate a relatively short distance ahead of the wearer in most situations, and is great for remaining undetected as it is invisible to the naked eye. The green color that you see through most night vision goggles is due to the fact that the human eye is more sensitive to green light. When images are converted through night vision goggles they appear in black and white, but a green filter is applied because human eyes can look at green for a longer amount of time. (This is one of the reasons that many early computer screens used green text.) The combination of the two is common and leads to the best visual results at night, here is an informative thread with pictures of the differences.
Ultraviolet lights are common and can be used for a variety of applications. One of the most common uses is the ability to authenticate IDs, money, and any official document that uses a UV-sensitive watermark. Ultraviolet lights are even better than blue LEDs at identifying blood and other bodily fluids, making them a favorite of law enforcement and crime scene investigation workers. In an odd but potentially life-saving usage, UV lights can be indispensable if you live in a climate where you need to watch out for scorpions. Believe it or not, scorpions’ shells react brightly under UV light, making a UV LED a piece of helpful safety equipment. UV lights are also good for quickly recharging watch faces, compass needles, or other glow-in-the-dark items when the sun is down.
Hopefully the information on the different LED colors and their individual uses can inform your next flashlight purchase, or introduce the potential you didn’t know your current flashlight possessed. And as always we have a large selection of LED flashlights at Battery Junction, so come by with your newfound knowledge and see what products we have to offer.
NiteIze is a great company that produces a countless number of handy products that you never knew existed but have the potential to change your life. In this post I will go through a couple of the best NiteIze has to offer.
The screen skate microfiber screen cleaner is the best alternative to your t-shirt that you can find for cleaning your cellphone or tablet screen. This microfiber cleaner helps remove dust, dirt, and fingerprints from your favorite electronic device with ease. The microfiber pad features a magnetic close to keep the elements from the cleaning side, is available in three colors, and includes a small s-biner allowing for easy attachment to key chains, belt loops, and zippers. At around $5 this microfiber pad is a no-brainer.
The Knotbone is a revolutionary rubber shoelace replacement from NiteIze that will make sure you never go back to traditional shoelaces. The Knotbone eliminates the need for tying shoelaces by expanding and contracting to fit the contour of your foot. With a simple trim/size adjustment these laces will last through all types of weather and will give you a tight grip when running, but will expand when putting on the shoes. No more shoelaces coming untied, no more tripping on loose laces, no more bad friends tying your laces together! All of your problems are solved – pick up a pair of Knotbone laces now!
This handy device will help you avoid the unbelievable annoyance of tangled cords. The Gear Tie Cord Organizer is a mountable rubber coated metal wire device which is meant for organizing and keeping ugly wires out of sight. Simply attach the acrylic backing tape to any surface, shape the gear tie to your preferences and you’re good to organize your electronic cords as you please. This product is ideal for organizing TV/cable/HDMI/power cords, and is perfect for keeping your phone charger at hand on your bedside stand or desk. You won’t realize how much you needed this cord organizer until you experience if for yourself.
Have you ever wondered how headphone cords become tangled so easily? I do, all the time. Three minutes in a pocket or backpack and your headphones go from normal to having more knots than is physically possible – good luck untangling those for the next ten minutes. Ever wonder if there is a better way? I don’t, ever since I found the NiteIze Curvyman Cord Supervisor. This funny looking device will solve all your headphone problems by anchoring both ends of the headphones and providing a curved middle surface for winding the remaining length of the cord. The Curvyman comes with a small S-Biner for attaching the belt loops or keychains and is the perfect travel companion for avoiding the annoying headphone tangle.
The DoohicKey is the best keychain multi-tool you can get your hands on. This pint-sized tool comes has a bottle opener, scraper/tape cutter, flat-head screwdriver, pry tool, ruler, and a wrench. The DoohicKey is made of durable stainless steel and features a carabiner clip for easy attachment to key rings and belt loops. Airport friendly with a goofy name and great design, why isn’t this a part of your key ring already?
These are just a couple of the dozens of goofy, handy, and ingenious NiteIze we have here at Battery Junction. Come find a hidden gem today!
As time goes on things become old and dull, and your jewelry is no exception. Luckily you can do something about it! That expensive ring may not shine like it used to, but you can bring back its luster with the right tools.
Ultrasonic Jewelry Bath:
Cleaning jewelry with ultrasonic waves is a common practice that produces great results. The GemOro Spa Pro Cleaner utilizes this technology by combining the look and performance of a high-end jewelry store cleaner, and the price point of a personal use machine. The GemOro cleans jewelry by producing 42,000 ultrasonic waves per second, which places intense pressure on contaminants such as dust, rust, grease, bacteria, fungus, and general slime. The piece of jewelry being cleaned must be suspended in water or a cleaning solvent for the process to work at full potential. This method of jewelry cleaning is particularly effective because it is able to clean blind holes and cracks that would normally be unreachable, and most times requires nothing but the machine and some tap water to effectively work.
Vapor Steam Cleaning:
Vapor Steam Cleaning is another commonly used cleaning method, and in some cases is used in conjunction with ultrasonic cleaning to get the best possible clean. This method of cleaning involves placing the jewelry in the vapor stream of pressurized water. It’s great for tarnish removal. The combination of the water’s temperature and the pressurized method of delivery is the main cleaning agent. The GemOro Ultraspa 50 PSI Ultrasonic & Steam Cleaner is a 2 in 1 cleaning system that uses both the ultrasonic and vapor cleaning methods. The vapor cleaning method is cited as being an environmentally conscious cleaning option due to its lower amount of water usage, and lack of chemical cleaning solutions.
Many people often opt to use a magnifier to clean their treasures, whether in combination with an ultrasonic/steam cleaner, or on its own for a spot clean. Magnifiers allow you to focus on a specific spot that may be dirty, or make adjustments with screws or placement. For a nice, higher end magnifying tool take a look at the GemOro Magnifier Light which comes with a bench clamp and a 22 watt light. For a cheaper magnifier look no further than the GemOro iView LED Magnifier, which is a handheld magnifying glass with built-in white and UV LEDs. Both magnifiers will give you at least 2.5x zoom, and the LEDs help spot imperfections or blemishes in your jewelry.
Using any of these cleaning products with a brush or buffer will help get your jewelry’s shine back and will keep new rings or necklaces looking great for the future. Come by Battery Junction and get all you’ll need to keep your valuables looking shiny and clean!
Guns require a ton of maintenance to keep working in top shape, and can become dangerous when they do not function properly. Luckily we have a number of ideal cleaning and maintenance items for your gun here at Battery Junction!
The Leatherman MUT is a top of the line multi-tool used both by civilians and in a more tactical capacity by members of law enforcement and the military. The MUT is designed to be the one-and-done tool for anyone who owns a firearm. It comes with 16 different tools including brushes and threading tools for keeping barrels clean, and screwdriver components that are made to fit standard military and civilian gun sight adjustment. And with standard attachments such as a 420HC steel knife and wire cutters, this multi-tool will cover your gun maintenance needs and more.
Gun Butter is a top of the line firearm lubricant manufacturer from the USA with a wide range of products. Gun Butter’s products can help keep your guns from jamming in harsh conditions such as snow, rain, or even dust clouds. It’s built to work in temperatures anywhere from -20 to 400 Fahrenheit and will provide 2 years of rust protection for your metal to metal, metal to plastic, or plastic to plastic mechanisms. This lubricant is a must have for extending the useful life of your firearm.
Maxpedition cases go a long way to ensuring that your gun keeps working by providing quality protection for your firearm while you are not using it. Maxpedition bags are made from high strength 1000 Denier Nylon, reinforced at pressure points with composite thread, use YKK zippers and slides, and finally given a triple coat of polyurethane for water protection from the elements. Maxpedition makes bags specifically suited to carrying and storing guns, and produce some of the best carrying holsters for tactical weapon use. A big part of taking care of your gun is how you store it and Maxpedition offers some of the best protective bags money can buy.
If taking care of your weapons is a top priority for you, or if you are just trying to keep your guns in working condition, stop by Battery Junction and look at our selection of high quality products.
Going into the woods for a camping weekend without the correct gear can have disastrous results. Thankfully that is where UST (Ultimate Survival Technologies) products come in. UST provides quality, inexpensive survival products for everyone from beginners to experienced survivalists.
Find Your Way
First up is the UST Lensatic Compass, probably the most basic and commonly used survival tool. It’s perfect for finding your bearings after you’ve lost them.
This tough, pint-sized compass features a compact design, adjustable lens, shock resistant casing, and even includes glow in the dark directional letters for compass use at night. If you don’t already own a compass this is a dependable choice and an absolute must-have instrument for nature excursions.
Start a Fire
Next on the list of survival must-haves is the UST Trekker Stormproof Lighter, which is built to provide fire even in the most testing conditions. The Trekker contains an extra-large fuel tank that will provide over 1,000 ignitions on a single fill, and a catalyzer coil which provides flames that can withstand winds of up to 70-80 miles per hour.
If you find yourself in wet conditions where wood will not light, then you will be happy that you brought along the UST WetFire Firestarting Tinder. This handy tinder will help you get a fire going in wet weather, and will even burn longer when the material is wet or moist. The tinder packs come wrapped individually and only require a small amount of shaving to start the fire, which can be a lifesaver when you’re stuck in cold wet weather without the proper gear.
Next up is the UST SaberCut Para Knife which is a great cutting tool to have with you for your next camping trip. The SaberCut has a partially serrated blade which is useful for stabbing and cutting, and includes a handle wrapped in 5 feet of glow-in-the-dark paracord which can be unwound for a number of uses. With a titanium coated 440C steel blade and an included nylon sheath, this is the perfect companion knife for your survival needs.
Surviving nature is difficult enough during the day, but when night comes around you will want to have some long-lasting quality light sources with you. Luckily UST has you covered. The UST 30-Day LED Lantern just what you need for long-lasting light. This lantern features a high mode of 700 lumens for 30 hours or a low/dim mode that will last up to 30 days off of three D cell batteries! This lantern is durable with impact resistance up to 1 meter and an IPX4 water resistance rating which allows lighting in conditions that are normally hazardous for other lights.
These are just a few of the great survival items by UST that we offer. Come over to Battery Junction and gear up for your next nature expedition!
When people think of self-defense tools items like pepper spray, whistles, or weapons come to mind, but not flashlights. This blog post will explain the possible benefits that a flashlight can give you in a situation where self-defense is required.
The bezel is usually found in the front area of a flashlight in a ring around the lens. Some bezels are more specialized for striking would-be attackers. These are known as crenelated bezels with the word “crenel” coming from the rocky outcrops seen on the top of the battlements of old castles. Bezels come in varying sizes and shapes with the more weaponized bezels being larger and sharper. Crenelated bezels are good for smaller tactical flashlights because they’re discreet and portable. The majority of flashlights make removing and replacing bezels simple, with most simply screwing on to the lens cap.
Using the Light:
There are a multitude of ways that you can use your flashlight’s standard functions to help ward off attackers.
The majority of muggings and assaults occur at night, so simply having the ability to expose an assailant before they get close enough to attack you may be
all you need to defend yourself. Using the light to properly identify your attacker should also double as an attention grabber for others to help you if you’re in a populated area.
Another function that can be used for effective self-defense is the strobe or high mode on your flashlight. Shining a strobe or high-powered beam into an attackers eyes is a great way to stun or blind the assailant. Stunning your attacker can give you the crucial few seconds needed to either escape, or fight back while they are unable to defend themselves. Low kicks or jabs are effective as the attacker will most likely raise their hands to cover their eyes leaving the lower half of their body exposed. Also, if your flashlight has a crenelated bezel attachment, this is the perfect opportunity for you to use it. Your flashlight should be sufficiently bright (over 100 lumens) in order for it to be truly effective in disorienting an attacker.
Use with a Gun:
Many people exercise their right to carry a firearm to defend themselves, but in dark situations, gun use may be dangerous or ineffective. Having a small tactical flashlight on your person is an easy fix to this problem because it allows you to light up your surroundings with one hand and use the gun with the other. It is important to note that you will not want to have your flashlight and gun pointing together, like on TV, or you may accidentally fire your gun if you are startled by something that your light beam uncovers.
Take it with you Anywhere:
Another big advantage to carrying a flashlight for self-defense is that you can take it with you almost anywhere, which cannot be said for other forms of defense like firearms and knives. The only situation that might cause you trouble is if the flashlight is fitted with a bezel that is deemed too dangerous, but this rarely happens if the bezel teeth are within reason. Most flashlights are small enough to be carried on your belt or in your purse and if you never end up needing to use it for defense, you will always have a high quality light source when you need it. Come visit our tactical flashlight section at Battery Junction and see what flashlights interest you!
This blog will introduce you to the variety of high performance protective cases that we have at Battery Junction and why they are a great way to keep your valuables safe. Both Pelican and Underwater Kinetics offer top of the line protection for your valuables and will keep your equipment safe in most any circumstances. These cases are wonderful for everybody from divers and extreme sports enthusiast who will be enduring some of the harshest conditions, to bands looking to keep their sound equipment and instruments safe, to regular consumers who just want to keep their firearm from rusting or getting clogged. These cases provide the highest quality protection for your most valuable possessions.
Pelican protective cases, like UK cases, are produced and tested under the toughest conditions in order to make sure your equipment stays safe no matter the situation. Pelican Protector Cases are airtight, watertight, dustproof, and constructed from the highest quality plastic and stainless steel materials. From micro cases for your smallest gear, to long cases for keeping your guns dust and moisture free, chances are Pelican has your storage needs covered.
Pelican also offers arguably the most high quality coolers on the market from 20 quart to 250 quart sizes covering all your
refrigeration needs. Pelican claims to have the thickest wall insulation in the industry which allows the coolers to keep ice for up to 10 days. As with the other cases, the cooler includes locking latches, handles, and wheels for easy transportation.
Underwater Kinetics is a premier brand in the protective case market because of the high quality materials and design that goes into the company’s dry cases. The cases are constructed using high strength ABS plastic that can operate effectively anywhere within the temperature range of -20°C and 80°C. UK cases come with silicone O-rings for waterproofing and provide the option for foam inserts, custom coloring, or electrical instrument panel installation for in the field use of equipment.
UK’s transit protective cases are great for safely transporting larger fragile gear, making them a favorite traveling case for band equipment, medical supplies, photography equipment and more. Transit cases are dust proof, waterproof up to 1 meter and have 3 inch wheels with an extendable handle for easy transportation. The transit case is a great option when you need to transport large and fragile materials to their destination damage free.
The UltraCase, similar to the Transit case is perfect for keeping medium-sized gear damage free wherever it needs to go. The UltraCase is made with the same strong ABS material as the other UK cases and is also dustproof/waterproof. The case is also outfitted with venting latches that equalize pressure from the exterior with pressure in the case when it is opened, while also keeping the case airtight while it is closed. The UltraCase is stackable with other cases of the same model providing a safe and efficient way of transporting your medium-sized gear.
The DryBox is very similar to the UltraCase in construction and materials used, but is meant for more of a protective carry as opposed to travel. The DryBox offers many of the same features including being watertight, dustproof, crushproof, and airtight in order to keep gas from entering the case. The DryBox has customization options including clear or solid colored lids and different foam inserts.
The UltraBox is the smallest option of the four protective cases and is meant for small electronics while providing the same protection that larger cases offer. The UltraBox is waterproof, airtight, dustproof, and boasts a lighter weight than its larger counterparts. The UltraBox gives the option of either a clear or solid lid, nylon mesh pouches, or shock-absorbent rubber liner. The UltraBox is the perfect high protection case for small electronics and gear that you need to bring with you on the go.
If you have sensitive equipment that needs transporting, or if you just need a quality cooler to bring to the tailgate then come by our protective storage cases section on Battery Junction and take a look at our selection. For further information about case materials, construction, or ratings visit either the Underwater Kinetics website or the Pelican site.
Knives come in three basic cutting edges: serrated, straight, and partially serrated. I personally like a straight edge because it has a more precise cut, almost like a surgical blade in its sharpness, and it’s the edge I have the most experience with. But there are definitely serrated and partially serrated enthusiasts out there who would probably argue that these types of edges are the best. Me, I can’t say — I don’t think I’ve ever used those kinds of blades.
For jagged, but deep cuts that will penetrate the material you’re cutting. Has a saw-like surface that might in some cases be more effective than a straight edge. This type of edge is used a lot in kitchen cutlery because it cuts food up beautifully, everything from meat to bread.
This type of edge is getting more popular with knife manufacturers, since it combines both the straight edge and serrated edge into one blade. This makes it extremely versatile, and able to take on a wide range of projects and tasks.
In this post, I’m going to talk about what style finishes and coatings are used on knives, from the popular, high quality types to the lesser quality kinds that perhaps you should avoid if you truly want a long-lasting, durable blade.
+ Bead Blasting —
A rather drab finish on knife blades that is achieved through striking the metal/steel of the blade with rough material, such as anything from beads to sand to even crushed walnut shells. While I don’t have a bead blasted knife, I do think its muted appearance is sort of attractive. Be forewarned, however, that it has a habit of rusting and being uneven in texture. If you like a duller look without the bumpy surface, you might want to try out a stonewash polish for your knife.
Very popular finish that is common on knife blades sold today; it gives a shiny surface that is reflective and stands up well to rust and corrosion, and general wear and tear. Hides dents and scratches pretty well.
This finish is being used more and more often to coat blades, because it is the ideal coating for steel, as it is one of the strongest coating materials; it makes the blade very tough, and has a great-looking appearance that will not scratch nor peel.
Extremely shiny finish, like its namesake. Not too common, because it can potentially cost a lot of money for the user/buyer, but there are some advantages to choosing this kind of finish, such as it being anti-corrosive and also very smooth. Unfortunately, the mirror polish is a magnet for fingerprints and scratches; so this fact should be taken into consideration as well when you select your finish or coating.
+ Powder coating/Black oxide–
A powder coating has the potential to wear off from the blade; it’s often used for cheaper knives that are not of great quality. Powder coating consists of black paint, which can be prone to flaking and accumulating nicks. Black oxide, on the other hand, can be applied to obtain a slight rust-resistant quality on the blade. I say slight because there are other finishes and coatings out there, including several listed in this article, that offer much better protection against rust and corrosion than black oxide does.
This is a finish that is produced from jostling the blade with small stones or pebbles. Sometimes people will attempt this method for themselves at home, with mixed results. Stonewashing a blade produces a darker, weather-beaten look that is smooth and will withstand corrosion, scratches, dents, and other possible damage nicely.