The ThruNite Catapult has been a favorite big and bright light since it was originally released. ThruNite recently updated the light, adding quite a few improvements in addition to increasing the output to 1000 lumens. They added a stainless steel bezel to protect the head of the light, a simplified interface, support for CR123 batteries, an improved circuit, and a few other tweaks.
The Catapult can be used with or without the included extender piece. Without the extender, you have a more compact light, but the output is not as high due to the lower voltage from fewer batteries. The output on the smaller size is still far, far brighter than what most people are used to, so I usually recommend that customers try both and see which setup works best for them.
The Defender Infinity and Extreme from Nitecore are both some very cool lights. They both have the same interface, but feature different battery (Defender is AA, Extreme is CR123) and body types. Strobe is accessed by quickly loosening and tightening the head and the head loosened position is an adjustable brightness that you can set to exactly what you want. The Defender Infinity was my EDC for about a year, so I can personally vouch for its usefulness.
Discovery is apparently seeing solid viewership with their survival shows since they recently premiered yet another survival show, this time titled Man, Woman, Wild. The premier episode was last week and was filmed in the Amazon, while this week’s episode was based in Africa. I just caught both episodes and the show, like every other survival show they have, is pretty entertaining but not exactly chock full of really useful info. The show features a married couple, Mykel and Ruth Hawke.
It took me about 15 minutes to get over Mykel Hawke’s (real name) voice, which sounds like it should be voicing over an action movie’s trailer. His constantly furrowed brow matches his always serious tone quite well. He does seems to know his stuff, has a respectable background, and is not a complete drama queen like Monsieur Grylls. The show paints his wife as clueless, but her background indicates that she has been in some pretty crappy places in her life as a journalist, so she is no slouch either.
I have seen several people on the Intarwebs comment that the wife cries too much and is overacting. My response to that is that those guys are obviously not married. As a married man, I can 100% say that my wife would negatively react to my wanting to slaughter a cute puttering turtle, having animals infiltrate our shelter in the pitch black night, hacking the leg off of a freshly killed wildebeest while a lion is prowling about, seeing her husband wrestle a boa constrictor, etc. Most dudes I know would cry just as fast. She is not a survival expert, so I will have to throw some respect her way for doing all of that in the first place, even if there is a camera and support crew out there with them. After watching the behind the scenes episode for Man vs Wild, the camera crew is not really any better off than the people on camera.
I will keep on watching, even if just for the sheer entertainment value. I will say that if you decided to have a drinking game based on how many times Mykel says “baby,” you would be passed out drunk in about 10 seconds.
Thanks to Going Gear, I haven’t overnighted in the woods in over a year.Â The last trip we did was last January to Cumberland Island, and calling that roughing it is a stretch.Â Now that I have lackeys employees, I finally have the ability to take a couple of days off to get outside.Â The wife and I are going to head up to North Georgia in the middle of the week next week and wander around in the woods for a bit.Â We might even take our mutt, which would be his first overnight trip ever.Â I’m sure he is drooling with anticipation.
We are able to go on hikes every now and then, but that’s just not the same.Â Having a store full of all this new and high tech gear that I never really get to use has been driving me insane, so I am highly anticipating dragging way too much stuff through the woods, eating freeze dried meals, wishing swift deaths upon Georgia’s insect population, wondering if the bear on the trail is going to get in a fight with our dog, and all that other fun stuff.Â Hopefully I do not keel over due to my lack of exercise.
Anyone else been out of the outdoors for too long?Â Discuss in the comments or in the forum.
We stopped running photo contests in the forums about a year ago, which was 100% my fault.Â I’m making an effort to get the forums active again, so we’re going to start things off with a new photo contest.Â The topic is heat and the prize is a way to help combat the heat, a tricked out bottle set up with the bottle (your choice of stainless or Tritan), space saver cup, CapCap, bottle carrier, and whatever else I can find.
Camelbak Better Bottles are my preferred delivery method for hydration, with their high durability, ease of use, and no spilling.Â I talked about them a while back and my enthusiasm has not diminished.
I always go overboard with the tipping of the wide mouth bottles and end up with a shirt (and chin) dribbled in water, so finding a high quality bottle that eliminates that problem was refreshing. I’ve been using the Better Bottles daily for several years now for work, home, and outdoor use, so I am excited to finally have some in stock. Recommending my favorite product that I didn’t even carry in the store made my inner capitalist cry.
The bottles come in quite a few different BPA free Tritan plastic colors and a few different sizes. I personally prefer the .75L one, but they also have .5L and 1L as well. Starting this year, they even have a stainless steel version.
George over at Modern Combative Systems has posted a nice article about the 10 Essentials that he carries on a daily basis in his self described “Bag of Evil.”Â He works as a self defense and tactical trainer, so the list is a good look at what a professional carries with him at all times.Â The list is not necessarily for camping, hiking, or anything outdoors, but it is a good look at some key items to carry when your regular life takes you to some sketchy areas.
Suunto compasses are widely regarded as the finest in the world, so I made a special effort to pick them up a while back when customers asked for some compasses that could be used for real orienteering as opposed to the tiny button compasses we had been stocking at the time. The Suunto models have sapphire bearings to make their movement fast and accurate, sturdy construction that can handle being tossed around in your pack, and other features that make them easy to use and reliable.
We just picked up several new compass models and started dabbling in their watches as well. Hopefully nobody from Suunto is reading this, since lumping their products in with other watches on the market is kind of insulting. Suunto calls them wrist-top computers, outdoor sports instruments, and other multiple word names which are probably more accurate monikers. Some models feature triple sensors to give you an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and compass within easy reach on a hike. Their heart rate monitors are incredibly accurate and several of them have a mode called Training Effect which will show you a number that tells you how effective your workout is at that exact time. The Training Effect incorporates quite a bit more than just your current heart rate, so you can use the number to see how beneficial your hard work is to not only burning calories but also your long term fitness goals.
I have been wearing a Suunto Observer for a few years now, and love the thing. It is compact compared to most triple sensor models on the market, meaning that my girly wrist was not completely dwarfed like with most of the competing products. The body and design are stylish, so it did not look completely out of place with business attire back when I had to dress like an adult.
Go with Suunto and you won’t be disappointed. I’ll work on getting some product videos up soon.