In the Wild

Z-ManSoldiers could soon ditch ropes and climbing gear to scale that next wall in exchange for hand held pads designed after a gecko’s feet.

The Pentagon’s top research arm has started a program called Z-Man that allows a soldier to scale vertical walls constructed from typical building materials while carrying a full load. Scientists have developed the climbing aids based on the feet of animals like geckos that are prolific climbers.

In the most recent test, a 218-pound climber carrying a 50-pound load scaled a 25-foot glass wall using only the climbing devices the engineers designed mimicking gecko’s feet. [click to continue…]

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Since I’m the father of two young boys, this is one of the coolest things I saw at SHOT Show 2014. Leatherman rolled out its new Leap – a multi-tool with extra safety features for junior outdoor enthusiasts.

“It’s designed for the younger crowd, probably 8, 10, 12-year-old range,” said Scott Boatman, demand planning manager for Leatherman Tool Group Inc.

I think I was 9 when I got my first Swiss Army Knife, but I think I would have been just as happy with a Leap. It’s lightweight and smaller than traditional multi-tools. It has the classic tools such as pliers, scissors, flathead bits and one phillips-head screwdriver bit, tweezers and a not-too-aggressive saw blade.

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LAS VEGAS — Smith & Wesson on Monday touted its new .460-caliber revolver as an ideal firearm for your backpack in the backcountry.

Officials with the Springfield, Mass.-based company let selected members of the media fire the Performance Center Model .460 at a range in Boulder City, Nev., as part of the opening day of the annual SHOT Show. The country’s largest gun show is taking place this week in Las Vegas and is expected to draw some 60,000 attendees. [click to continue…]

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Israel Female Soldiers 4Four Israeli female soldiers have been punished for posting a set of racy photos on Facebook with the women wearing a few pieces of kit, holding rifles and not much else.

The four women were punished for posting one photo on Facebook last month. The four then subsequently posted three more photos after receiving a reprimand for “unbecoming behavior.” It’s unclear if they have received further disciplinary actions. [click to continue…]

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Drawing down on a tusker from the bow of a swamp buggy.

The feral hogs running around the swamps of Florida received a rude introduction to some of the best rifles, suppressors and weapon accessories in existence last Friday.

The hunt was the 6th Annual “Silence of the Hams”. It occurs every year on the day after the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference. Industry professionals along with current and former “professional shooters” get the chance to hunt hogs with numerous rifles of various makes, models and calibers, most with some breed of suppressor attached. And lets not forget about the boar spears.  The spears got some use too.

White Raven Communications mounted the operation and despite the obvious inequity of including me in a group of such caliber I was afforded the privilege of coming along. [click to continue…]

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S13-Stealth LT-GRY-OTriple Aught Design has advised they are getting a restock on their Stealth Hoodie LT and Ranger Hoodie LT as of today. Like most Triple Aught Design (often colloquially referred to as TAD Gear) apparel, the hoodies typically sell out quickly and I’m sure these will be no different.

The Ranger Hoodie is made of Polartec Wind Pro, which is described as blocking the wind approximately 4x as well as typical fleece. I don’t know precisely how they quantify that, but I can attest to how well my own Ranger withstands the wind (and precipitation for that matter). The restocked Rangers will have the standard TAD hoodie features – 6 pockets, a media port, a guide wire for headphones, lie-flat aero hood, etc.

The Stealth Hoodie LT is described as providing the “…perfect balance between weight, durability and capability…”, making it a good all-around garment. It’s a seam-taped softshell made of Schoeller’s c_change™ membrane. It features Nanosphere™ conditioning and both “3XDRY” and “coldblack” treatments. The former is used to give it better moisture regulation and breathability (as I understand it) while the later reflects UV rays to keep the jacket cooler for longer no matter the color. The softshell is waterproof and the hood, which lays flat, can be converted into a collar.

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Valentine’s Day gift idea. Send this link to HH6 or your girlfriend.

Various Kit Up! authors have discussed RE Factor gear before – here’s a quick look at the Operator Band in operation, used to start a fire. Presumably the Survival Band would function similarly.

The Tactical Operator Band was developed by a Green Beret SERE Level C graduate and is made in the USA by a US Army combat veteran. It has a removable P51 can opener and flint rod (which can be used without damaging the remainder of the band); the flint can be used as a sink weight for the hook and line, The bracelet is built of 12′ of 550 (Para-) cord and features 30′ of 80lb fishing line, a #8 fishing hook and a handcuff key.

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