Archive | Survival

Appalachian Training Steel Armor Trade-In Program

Appalachian Training is waging a campaign against substandard steel armor plates, many of which simply do not perform to the standard the standard that they say they do. Mike, the owner at Appalachian Training, had this to say about target grade steel armor plates:

Steel is applicable in very limited situations where a low vis specific rifle protection requirement is present. And that requires specific steel such as Velocity low vis or AMIs steel packages. Again, steel is for VERY specific PSD / agency requirements. The target type cheap steel armor has NO place in a modern plate carrier for professionals or citizens. It is a non-solution to a real problem set (much like a serpa holster).


You can now trade your steel plates into Appalachian Training for a significant discount on a proper set of plates. If you send your steel plates, you will receive a discount code to purchase a set of Velocity Systems Level IV Stand Alone Armor Plates for just $499.99 plus shipping (normal price is $659.90 plus shipping).

Get in touch with Appalachian Training to get your trade-in started.

Review: OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch

Everyone knows why they should carry a stocked IFAK in your range gear and yet, I rarely see med pouches mounted on the kitted out Tactical Tuxedos that I see at the range. There are many reasons people don’t carry them but chief among those reason are bulk and cost. The OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch can help mitigate both.


The OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch is just what it sounds like. It is a pouch that is designed to carry a trauma kit in an extremely compact form. The main body of the pouch has a unique, origami like, folding tray design that features various elastic straps and pockets to organize your life saving supplies. It can be mounted vertically or horizontally depending on which mount you choose. Like most OSOE gear, it is made from 1000D nylon and extremely overbuilt.

OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Unmounted OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Side OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch BackOSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Open

Observations from Use

The greatest strength of the OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch is in its folding design which makes the pouch extremely compact, protects the contents very well, and lays everything out where it can be easily accessed when open. OSOE thoughtfully provided plenty of Velcro surface area on the pouch to hold it closed when folded. This allows you to really bear down on it and actually compress the pouch on itself when folding it which is the secret to its compact size. When it is open, it can be laid down on the ground or any reasonably flat surface with all of its contents spread out and accessible. It is a tremendous design.

OSOE makes both vertical and horizontal mounts for the OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch. I find that the vertical mount is well suited to chest rig, plate carrier, and belt mounting. The horizontal mount works very well for use on a belt if you have the additional width required. The mounts are available to be purchased separately so you can purchase one pouch, fill it, and then pre-stage mounts on all your various gear. That way you can just move the same med pouch and its expensive contents to which ever gear you are using. That beats the heck out of having to purchase multiple med kits so you can have 1 on your belt, chest rig, plate carrier, etc.

The interior of the pouch is very well organized. There is more than enough room for a basic kit. The central elastic loops are large enough to handle anything from a fairly compact 4” Israeli Bandage to larger bandages like those from H&H. If you are using a 4” bandage in the center, there is room to tuck some extra guaze beneath the bandage. The pocket on the right side of the pouch can hold your hemostatic agent as well as a folded chest dressing. There are various elastic loops on the left side for organizing narrower items like an airway and decompression needle. You will be surprised how much you can jam into this pouch and then compress.

OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Vert Mounted OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Vert Open OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Vert Removed

The exterior of the pouch has a vertical column of PALS webbing on each side which can be used to mount a tourniquet though I think that somewhat defeats the purpose of a compact pouch and choose to mount my TQ elsewhere. OSOE makes a full line of TQ holders that can serve this purpose well.

The mounts hold the OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch very securely. The pouch is secured in place with Velcro and then compressed and retained further with a strap and side release buckle. To access the pouch, you simple pinch the buckle and pull the pouch free from its mount. It is quick and easy to access in a self-aid situation or to hand it off to someone if the need arises.

I have also found that the pouch makes a great med kit for used without the mount in the various loop Velcro lined backpacks and messenger bags on the market. You simply stick the pouch where ever you need it and its red pull tab makes it immediately apparent, even in a dark bag, that it contains first aid items.

OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Hori Mounted OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch Hori Unmounted

Wrap Up

The OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch’s compact size makes it easy to carry and its ability to be moved easily from gear to gear make it easy on your wallet. The folding design is inspired. This is a great med pouch.

Check out the OSOE Compact Tear-Off Med Pouch.

OSOE Compact Tear Off Med Pouch in Velcro Lined Bag

Behind the Scenes at Southern Grind

Southern Grind Bad Monkey JTTSouthern Grind is a knife manufacturer that is easy to like. They are owned by Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band, they funnel part of their profits into Zac’s charity Camp Southern Ground, and they make great looking knives. They recently released a video that gives a behind the scenes look at their operation.

You will see plenty of advanced machinery but no knife will ever be great without plenty of time in the practiced hands of a craftsman. This is the dichotomy that you will find at many modern knife makers. As advanced as we have become, it is hard to imagine craftsmen will ever truly be replaced by machines.

Check out Southern Grind and stay tuned for the full review of the Modified Tanto Bad Monkey knife.

Spool Tool at Vigilant Gear

Vigilant Gear is now carrying the Spool Tool. If you aren’t familiar, Spool Tool helps you keep your paracord organized and accessible for projects. It has an integral cutting blade and mini-Bic lighter holder for when it comes time to melt the ends of your paracord project.

Check out the Spool Tool at Vigilant Gear.


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