Mini SERE Compasses from True North Concepts

Not all button compasses are created equal. In fact, most of them are nearly worthless thanks to them being fragile or inaccurate. The dry (no liquid fill), metal body SERE compasses have always been one of the gold standards for “button” compasses. They are tough and they work… but they can be hard to find in genuine form.

Enter True North Concepts. They are working with an original military contract manufacturer to produce their own Mini SERE Compass. It features a solid brass housing with cord loop and OD green finish. The dry compass ensures quick readings and that the bubbles that plague most cheap button compasses won’t be an issue. The indicator markings are painted with lume for low light.

Each compass comes with a length of cord and a customer waterproof case. The back is etched with the True North Concepts logo which allows the brass to show through the OD green paint finish.

TrueNorth-USA.com

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BCS AR 3 FINGER ELASTIC 3 CELL TUBES KIT – Cummerbund for JPC/AVS/LVS, Spiritus M119, and Velocity Scarab

Beez Combat Systems (BCS) has released their AR 3 FINGER ELASTIC 3 CELL TUBES KIT. This cummerbund upgrade is designed to fit a number of popular plate carriers including the JPC/AVS/LVS, Spiritus M119, and Velocity Systems Scarab.

The AR 3 FINGER ELASTIC 3 CELL TUBES KIT features 3 bungee retention compatible elastic cells on each side for holding magazines or similarly sized items. It features laser cut PALS so MOLLE compatible pouches may be attached. The kit includes everything the end user needs to adapt their carrier to the FirstSpear TUBES closure system and the cummerbund.

As with everything BCS sells, this is made in the USA and available in a wide selection of colors.

BeezCombatSystems.com

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Review: Crazy Creek Products Hex Original Chair

I am not exactly an ultralight hiker but I do try to keep weight a minimum. This is extremely important in North Idaho where we are either carrying a bunch of extra weight in insulation layers during the cold months or a bunch of extra weight in water in the dry months. There is one item that I carry that might be considered extra weight or a luxury item by some but it has been indispensable for me – a Crazy Creek Products Hex Original Chair.

Overview

The Hex Original Chair (now sold as an improved Hex 2.0 Original Chair) is a lightweight, easily packable, multipurpose chair. It weighs in at about 22 ounces and rolls up to a tube shape that is about 15.5″ long and 4″ in diameter. The chair is essentially a single long piece with ends that are joined with adjustable straps making the back angle adjustable.

Observations from Use

To call this a chair is doing it a disservice. It can be used in a multitude of ways, some of which have become absolutely integral to how I camp. Here are a few of the important ways I use it:

  • It is a great chair. It is actually extremely comfortable and I can usually find a small ledge, rock, or log if I don’t want to sit directly on the ground.
  • It is an auxiliary or backup sleeping mat. I use it to add padding and insulation to my sleeping mat. It also protects my inflatable pads from puncture. If I do have an issue with my pad, the Hex Original Chair can stand in for my sleeping pad (or be used for a quick trailside nap). This is a very important redundancy.
  • It is also useful for keeping things off snow or wet ground – I use it to hold fire-making materials off the ground when necessary or even tucked inside to protect them from rain. It’s also nice to stand on when you are changing clothes.

Hopefully, the above does a good enough job of justifying the extra weight. It is not one of those items that you pack and then never use. It is so useful, that I generally store it on the outside of my pack because it is one of the few items that I am likely to access along the way to camp as well as in camp. If I could fit it in a pants pocket, I would probably carry it there.

There are a variety of similar camp chairs on the market. As far as I can tell, Crazy Creek Products makes the original and they are certainly not the cheapest. I have found their chairs to be extremely durable and well worth the money. The Hex or Hex 2.0 versions are especially well suited to backpacking thanks to their lighter weight and how much smaller they pack.

There are a few things that seem to set their chairs apart. They use carbon stays to keep the weight down which is very nice. I appreciate that they use tightly weaved materials for the outer surfaces which, at least, slows moisture from getting through.Finally and probably most crucially, they reinforce the ends of the stay pockets with multiple layers of very durable material which is absolutely key for these chairs. I can’t make you spend the extra money on a Crazy Creek Products chair but at least make sure the chair you chose has heavily reinforced stay pockets or it will fail you.

I should make it clear that the chair shown here is the earlier version of the Hex. It has open mesh inside that takes some care to prevent debris and dirt from getting down into the insulation. The newer Hex 2.0 chairs are greatly improved with the addition of a tighter weaved material for the inside.

Wrap Up

The Crazy Creek Product Hex Original Chair is probably one of my all time favorite pieces of outdoor gear. I don’t hit the trail without one.

Check them out on Amazon (affiliate link): Crazy Creek Hex 2.0

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2 New Tools from TOPS Knives: Mini Tanimboca Puukko and Ucon Hawk

TOPS Knives just released two new cutting tools at two different ends of the size spectrum. Both are additions to two lines for which TOPS is becoming very well known. The Mini Tanimboca Puuko fits well into the bushcraft lineup and the Ucon Hawk is a great addition to their line of hatchets.

Mini Tanimboca Puukko

TOPS Tanimboca Puukko has been a big success since it was made available in 2017. So, it was only fitting that when Goran approached TOPS about making a mini version, we were interested. The Mini Tanimboca Puukko is a great tool for making bushcraft items (utensils, kuksa, baskets, blow guns, etc. are all things that Goran had in mind with this), whittling around the fire, and even accomplishing some EDC uses.

This knife is smaller than most and has no guard (so use caution). The knife can be held close to the cutting edge and in multiple grips. If you like making things with your hands especially in the woods, this knife is going to be a must-have. It has the classic Puukko look, but in a much, much smaller package. The spine is ground to 90 degrees for scraping tasks. Well-rounded Black Canvas Micarta handles make the handle comfortable despite its size. The brown leather sheath is set up for a tip-down neck carry, but also has a loop that will fit most belts.

The Mini Tanimboca Puukko was designed by Goran Mihajlovic, who also designed the original one made by TOPS. Goran is originally from Serbia but grew up in Germany. He has lived in Colombia now for many years. He owns a nature reserve called Tanimboca that houses hundreds if not thousands of species of plant, animal, and insect. Throughout his entire life, he has been a knife user and enthusiast. In recent years he has begun making knives at his forge in the Amazon jungle. He prefers Puukkos for their ability to perform well at large variety of cutting tasks.

Overall Length4.00″
Blade Length1.63″
Cutting Edge1.63″
Blade Thickness0.090″
Blade Steel1095 RC 56-58
Blade FinishTumble Finish
Handle MaterialBlack Canvas Micarta
Knife Weight1.4oz
Weight w/ Sheath2.6oz
Sheath IncludedYes
Sheath MaterialBrown Leather
Sheath ClipNeck – none
DesignerGoran Mihajlovic

Mini Tanimboca Puuko at TOPSKnives.com

Ucon Hawk

Hatchets have proven their usefulness over the years, time and time again. They are great for splitting smaller pieces of wood, chopping branches, limbs, and even small trees when necessary. They’re helpful when you need to clear a country road of debris and you forgot your chainsaw again. Some people even prefer them to large chopping knives. That’s why the Ucon Hawk was made.

This tool is similar in dimension to the Hammer Hawk, but it is a little lighter and made with 1095 instead of 1075. TOPS famous differential heat treat gives a tool that will be strong and hold its edge very well. The handles are made from a new material that mixes layers of G10 and rubber to provide maximum grip. The portion of the tang between the handle and the bit is rounded allowing the user to choke up for detailed cuts. So this can do all of the jobs of a hatchet and some of the jobs of a knife. It comes with a 2-piece leather sheath so that it can be carried multiple ways with safety in mind. It’s sure to become the go-to hatchet in your collection.

Overall Length15.00″
Blade Length4.87″
Cutting Edge4.87″
Blade Thickness0.250″
Blade Steel1095 RC 56-58
Blade FinishTumble Finish
Handle MaterialOrange/Black SureTouch G10
Knife Weight31.1oz
Weight w/ Sheath35.6oz
Sheath IncludedYes
Sheath MaterialBlack Leather
Sheath ClipBelt Loop
DesignerLeo Espinoza

Ucon Hawk at TOPSKnives.com

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KNS Precision AK Adjustable Rear Sight

KNS Precision has released their new AK Adjustable Rear Sight. The new peep sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. It also comes with replaceable diopter inserts to customize your sight picture.

Crooked or canted AK front sight post got you down? No worries, we’ve got your fix! Our AK Adjustable Rear sight is FULLY adjustable for windage and elevation, allowing you to center your front sight post between the ears of the front sight post mount and make ALL of your zeroing adjustments with our rear sight!

Additionally, our rear peep sight allows for fast, precise target acquisition & engagement. We include 6 different interchangeable peep diopters that seal up snugly to the rear sight aperture via rubber o-ring. Simply select the diopter size that best suits your needs and you’re good to go!

Adjustments are consistent and smooth with positive-clicking detent adjustments for continuous, repeatable, accurate windage & elevation tracking.

KNSPrecisionInc.com

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