Category Archives: Outdoor Gear

What I use in the field for outdoor gear and equipment

Practical Not Tactical: War-Belts Outside of War

This post is looking at two different load-bearing setups I’ve experimented with over the course of a year, using the same kit in two very different applications.

At the core of this is the war-belt, also known as a battle-belt. This padded belt traditionally integrated into a soldier’s load bearing system. It carries rifle magazines, first aid kits, and all manner of necessary equipment when on patrol overseas or in any number of dangerous environments. However, the war-belt has found a life independent from the drop-loads, chest-rigs, plate-carriers, and assault-packs involved in a complete system.

I have two distinct setups built from Tasmanian Tiger’s Warrior Belt: one for the specific applications of 3-Gun, and one built to maximize flexibility outdoors between all kinds of firearms.
Continue reading Practical Not Tactical: War-Belts Outside of War

Tavor CTAR21 Bullpup Rifle

Slings for Bullpups: Revisiting the Tavor

It’s been more than a year since my last post on slings for the Tavor, and I feel a good deal smarter now than I did then.

As part of the CTAR-21 build I decided to change to a simpler, more flexible sling system.

Essentially, it is a quiet, easily adjustable 2 point sling that still allows for off-shoulder firing. Continue reading Slings for Bullpups: Revisiting the Tavor

Remington 700 AAC-SD

Coming Back to Precision: Remington 700 AAC 16.5″ .308

After years of shooting .223 rifles almost exclusively, I’ve purchased a new .308 bolt-gun for 2014 and am excited about getting back into the precision game.

My core concept is a compact rifle for carrying through the bush, capable of a first round hit out to 600 yards. I really want an AR-10 SBR, but in Canada that means never shooting outside. With that in mind, I’ve settled on one of the new Rem700s, the AAC variant with a 16.5″ barrel on it.

In order to have it “shoot-able” I’ve put an S&J Hardware picatinny base on there to hold my Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10×44 and its precision rings. I figured I’d take advantage of the factory-threaded barrel by adding an Alberta Tactical Rifle Brake. Those little 5.56 guns have spoiled me, and I’m looking to tame a little of the recoil. A compact bipod rounds out the package.

The Rem700 AAC in the office

I’m excited to pickup a sling from 3HGR, as their forest focussed design seems to match my goals for the gun.

I’ve always had a good rangefinder, spotting scope, windmeter, rifle rest, and ballistics calculator in the gear-bag, but haven’t had a long distance rifle to shoot with since I sold my old 6.5×55 Swede.

I’m looking forward to Shot Show in late January and trying to pick a setup that will bring me closer to that AR-10 dream.

Currently I’m envisioning a chassis for this gun. Possibly one from Ashbury, or Cadex, or MDT, but we’ll have to see how they stack up side by side.

After my first range trip I’ll post some initial groups! I’m looking forward to distance shooting again.

Vortex Razor HD GenII 1-6x Rifle Scope Review

I’ve used a lot of different powered optics, and spent some serious time with different low-power tactical-focused scopes. When Vortex announced the Razor HD Gen II 1-6x rifle-scope using Jerry Miculek’s JM-1 reticle, I was very interested. Having loved the Viper PST 1-4 scope on my Tavor, I was excited by the chance to upgrade my glass and power.

Tatonka Lastenkraxe Pack River-side Video Review

Tatonka’s Lastenkraxe is one of the most robust and well built frame packs currently on the market. I’ve taken my Lastenkraxe pack on several trips, both for short hikes and multi-day trips. This is the video review I put together on my last trip out:

The Lastenkraxe is substantially more robust than some of the other frame packs I’ve handled, using a fixed step at the base of the pack. There are many mounting points to attach either the Tatonka pack, or any oddly shaped or oversized gear that necessitates the frame system.

I found the carry system to be really solid on this pack. As a lightly built person I will always choose a more adjustable pack over one that “fits most.” Tatonka uses the V2 system, which fits similarly to an eberlestock, but without the weight those packs are notorious for.

Tatonka V2 Carrying system on the Lastenkraxe

One of the major advantages of the Lastenkraxe that I go through in the video is the ability to stand the pack upright on its frame. Unlike many packs that lie flat or slump, the Lastenkraxe can be firmly planted and won’t topple over. I find this especially useful in the camp when I am often looking for something like a bin I can take things in and out of. I like to keep a tidy site, and gear spread all over is gear that could easily get left behind, so the lastenkraxe offers an almost laundry bin like ability to keep things easily organized.

Rather than having to unzip and delve into pockets, the Lastenkraxe has a simple fold down top that covers the pack, but keeps it easy to get into and out.

If there is a short-coming of this pack, its that same lack of organizational pockets. There is one large bucket, and then three midsized flaps on the outside of the pack. But those exterior pockets don’t fasten shut, and there’s very little organization for smaller things.

Personally I use those external pockets to carry long items like axes or tripods that are good to have accessible and would be awkward to store inside, but I can see why some people might want more options when it comes to small compartments.

The Lastenkraxe will definitely stay on as my go-to heavy pack for years to come.

TAR-21 Sling Configurations: IWI Factory Sling, Urban E.R.T. and Single Point Slings

The newest version of this article is about updated slings on my CTAR-21 Tavor SBR.

This video is exclusively about slings on the TAR-21 and other bull-pups. Because the Tavor is non-restricted, I like to take it places beyond the case-car-range travel plan that handguns and ARs are largely stuck with. I examine three different options for retaining a Tavor on your body . . .  Continue reading TAR-21 Sling Configurations: IWI Factory Sling, Urban E.R.T. and Single Point Slings

Tasmanian Tiger MKII Chest Rig in Multicam

In under 2 minutes I review the Tasmanian Tiger Chest Rig, one of the german designed setups that definitely overshadows some of the other brands I’ve used.

I still own a tactical tailor rig, but it stays in the closet. The price, quality, and thought behind the Tasmanian Tiger unit is enough to make me go back to them with more money for more kit.

I say it in the video, but as the only rig which lets me wear a pack, the TT setup is the most comfortable of any chest rig I’ve tried.

Camping With Tatonka: Testing the Lastenkraxe and G82 Backpacks

My lovely girlfriend Jessica is not an outdoorsy person. But she is interested, willing to learn, and has already proven herself as a capable shot with my handguns and rifles.

I on the other-hand consider myself a dedicated outdoors person. Its not uncommon for me to camp alone, earlier and later in the season than most people, and with only the necessities of equipment.

Drumheller Badlands with Tasmanian Tiger Pack and Vortex Razors
Drumheller Badlands

At the end of August we went into the badlands of Drumheller to hike and spend the night. I thought I’d ease her into the experience by staying in a structured camp-ground where we could park the car and would have a fire pit. I have to confess that I have always considered this sort of camping cheating: where 90% of your home comforts come with you and there’s a convenience store 20 minutes down the road to cover that last 10%.


So I was pleased when afterwards she suggested: “Next time lets go somewhere with less dogs and kids. A little further out?” Continue reading Camping With Tatonka: Testing the Lastenkraxe and G82 Backpacks