Pocket EDC update: January 2014


Back to Basics with the Victorinox Tinker


I once read an article in a knife book about a long time knife collector that had an epiphany while hunting. He all of a sudden realized that the custom knife he had in this occasion was worth more than twice the amount of his rifle and scope put together, and it wasn’t exactly a cheap rifle or scope that he was carrying. After that this older gentlemen went back to using a simple victorinox as his daily pocket knife instead of the fancy custom pieces he had grown used to. He soon noticed the pleasure of using a simple, time proven tool that just work.




The Tinker is very similar to the Victorinox Spartan, a staple Swiss Army knife that has large and small blade, can opener/small screwdriver, cap lifter/large screwdriver/wire stripper, corkscrew and reamerwith sewing eye. Inserted on the handles are the plastic toothpick and tweezers. The Spartan is my oldest Victorinox and I have used it for decades. The blade now well worn, tools still snap firmly into place and it is as serviceable as it ever was.



The Tinker is similar to the Spartan except for the corkscrew which is replaced for a large Phillips screwdriver.  No doubt, the screwdriver is more useful, even if it is a bit too large at times. Some people have used the corkscrew to untangle knots, I’ve done so on numerous occasions, but I still rather have the screwdriver instead.









 The Tinker is a great pocket knife. The large Victorinox blade is the most time proven pocket knife design currently available in the market. Its not the biggest or toughest but it just works well. The stainless steel means it wont rust that easily and the mirror polish allows for quick cleaning of the blade. This is especially important for a knife you will end up using cutting fruit or for preparing other kind of foods.  I am very fond of the small, scalpel-like blade. It comes in handy for delicate tasks where a very sharp blade is needed for detailed work. The large blade is used for general tasks while the small one is kept sharp for those specific jobs.



If you want a compact and light weight, no-frills pocket tool, you cant go wrong with a basic Victorinox such as the Tinker. 




Streamlight Year-End Deals



Pretty relevant given the recent problems with power outages  in USA, Canada, UK and South America, Streamlight has some nice discounts worth considering.
This is a no-nonsense EDC/Tactical light that uses a single CR123A battery. Hi (110 Lumens) , low (12 lumens) and strobe mode. Very solid construction which includes a crowned bezel and a pocket clip. This seems pretty standard for modern LED lights these days but there are a few things to notice. First, this is a Streamlight.  There’s a thousand different flashlight brands out there, some of very good quality, but most are just outsourced to China, a name-brand is added and that’s that. Most of the well-known LED flashlights we see are actually made in the same Chinese facility. Streamlight is a different creature. Don’t be surprised if this 110 lumen light is brighter than some “300” lumen LED flashlights floating around that simply don’t have the same tough standards to abide by. While some parts are made in China, Streamlight is a company with unquestionable quality control that has made flashlights for NASA and the US military.  The kind of research and development and quality control Streamlight does costs millions. Other than Surefire, most other companies just don’t have anything along those lines in terms of quality control and testing. So when you find a product like this that costs under USD 40 you’re getting a heck of a lot more light than what meets the eye. There’s a reason why Streamlight Protacs have over a thousand 5 star reviews in Amazon. 


Streamlight quality, these are made specifically as ballistic helmet lamps. It doesn’t get any tougher than that. The Streamlight 14512 Sidewinder Compact II Military Model Angle Head Flashlight also comes with a strap to use as an ordinary headlamp. The flashlight isn’t eye-burning bright, but it has various brightness settings including a high mode of 55 lumens with CR123 batteries. What makes this headlamp a winner besides being tough, is the ability to use both CR123 and AA batteries alike. Unofficially speaking, it also handles AAA if you are a bit careful, though it may not be as reliable as with the first two types of batteries. Besides the white C4 LED, it also has an IR, Blue and Red LED.  The wide variety of light options along with its toughness, plus the ability to just scrounge most common batteries around makes this an ideal survival light.


Pak-Lite: The mini flashlight that lasts for Months


Looking at your article for 12 Christmas gifts (survival related) I think you missed a good one.

I have about 10 of these now spread throughout the house and my car.

Please note – I have no other interest in the product other than I think it’s the most useful  EDC tasklight I’ve ever used.

It’s the Pak-lite.  I suggest you take a look.  The part I like best is that I’ve used one of these as a bedside light for about 3 months now and the low setting works really well for going around the house.
Since the low setting light is good for about 600 hours on one 9volt battery….  I think it’s got the potential to be the most useful light you can have in an emergency.

Their web site is at:    http://9voltlight.com/

I really suggest you go through the whole site – I found it very useful.  You can also find a few videos for these on you-tube.
 Pak-lite LED Flashlight, Basic Economy $10.95

Hi, thanks for your email.
The Pak-lite has been around for a long time and a lot of people do love it. At a time it was a bit of a classic among survivalists and it still is.

The concept is very interesting as a minimalitic light that uses the battery itself as the body. Glowing in the dark makes it easier to find and while not terribly bright it will last for several months, which is its greatest advantage.

I prefer a flashlight that has a body of its own. For a non tactical flashlight, I preffer cheap, easy to find AA and AAA batteries. The user interface is also a bit weird, given the small switch. A twist or clicky interface would be more handy in my opinion. For a few extra bucks I would go for a Fenix E05 in AAA or a E11 in AA. More power, more handy and easier to find batteries. The Eagletac D25C that I listed among the 12 gift ideas and my personal choice for EDC has a moonlight mode that would last several days on a fresh battery.

Having said that there’s something to be said of a light that lasts for months when in Low mode, even if that mode isnt very bright. During extended periods of time without power, it would be priceless.


BOB/GHB Gear Test: What works, what you Need & Gets Used


Lawrence of Arabia Pocket Multittool

This is very cool. Lawrence of Arabia’s pocket knife.
Looks like a solid and practical knife, so no wonder he went with such a model. The hook was used often back in the day for buttons, loops and such. Notice the very nice scissors for delicate cutting tasts. There’s one tool in the grip, looks like the tweezers found in modern Victorinox knives. It could be that or it could be some kind of metal pin or toothpick.

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