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Badlands 2800 Split Design Backpack

For those who don’t know Badlands BackPacks is a new line just 7 years old but not a new company. The parent Corp is Vortex packs, if your climbing Kilimanjaro you wear a Vortex pack, in fact I believe their pack has been to the summit more than any other. So the company has a solid reputation of making top of the line gear.

Good thing for us we don’t hunt Elk and Deer at 20,000 feet so we just don’t need to pack in so much on our backs. The Badlands brand is targeted toward hunters specifically and the 2800 Badlands pack is a prime example of that thinking in practice. I approached this review with caution, as I get tired of companies slapping Camouflage on products and calling it hunting gear. I don’t like to replace my gear every year. When I buy a piece of gear I will pay extra for it,but only if I truly believe I can get 10 years of service out of that gear. My gear always have to pull double and triple duty as Spring Camping gear, Summer cook outs, vacations, plus be in top shape for the hunts when I will beat on it the hardest. I currently use a Madden Mountaineering 4500 (The numbers are the number of ci, cubic inches) That backpack has been doing its job since the late 80’s and I can say its never had a single problem, but it is designed more toward Sherpa duty than general hunting gear. It’s really a big duffel bag with extra pockets. Russi Mountaineering has bought Madden and it doesn’t even appear that they currently make the pack I use.

badlands 2800 openSo how are the Badlands 2800 different? First of all I must honestly say that when I first saw this pack I was a bit confused. My empty pack didn’t look anything like the pictures I swore there was something missing. That’s because the backpack is a Split Pack and I just hadn’t ever seen anything like it before. The pack takes a normal 2800 cc back pack and breaks it into 4 compartments with a total of 7 pockets. Then it adds in a tension and weight dispersing strap design that allows you to carry heavy material centered on your back for balance: I.E. Elk Quarters. A design obviously thought up by someone who has lost their gear stashing it under a tree while they packed out meat. As most know losing a good backpack is terrible but ALL YOUR GEAR in that pack is a hunt ruining experience.

The two side compartments have two pocket each and inside and outside pocket. The Outside pocket was not only the perfect shape but size for a full size pistol. The zippers were covered with a large molded rubber grip making it easy to open the pockets quickly even with thick gloves on. They used a yellow Aramid thread on all the seams and stress points of the pack. Aramid thread is normally used for bedding down fire barriers or high end upholstery, Aramid is a 110 lb test thread, this allows them to build stronger seams without having to build huge anchor points which make a pack look bad with stitch seams running all over hell and back.

kx032 fabricThe entire pack is made from a material Badlands calls KX032, its more of blend of materials to get a designed effect. There are 3 layers of material that make up KX032 The first is a Waterproof Urethane shell. This breathable material so if you stick something in there that is damp moisture gets out but it doesn’t get in, helps prevent mold from developing in your pack during the off-season. As some readers may of experienced pulling their backpacks out of the closet in the southern states where we use swamp coolers, the basements of midwestern states, or even the garage just about anywhere. Urethane is great for this but its just not tough so they combined it with the second layer, which is a Nylon. The Nylon has been around forever, it seems and when you want something to be strong Nylon is the way to go but the problem for hunters is Nylon sounds like your wearing a pair of corduroy pants on the hunt. Every preformed belts for backpacksmovement, every branch all attempts to snag and makes a scratching noise as you pass by. So Badlands added a third material that is wind proof, waterproof and feels like a soft felt. It absorbs noise well and is hard to making a scratching sound on. I raked a blade across the fabric several times the fabric fairly smooth and very hard to get traction to begin to slice into the top layer. The first 4 –5 rakes didn’t even damage the Real Tree Hardwood camouflage print on the outer layer. Satisfied that the pack wasn’t going to get ripped to shreds amongst the rocks and trees we moved on to a comfort and function test.

comfortable backpackThe size of this pack is perfect for strapping to the front of the 4-wheeler while I head up the mountain for a day or two walk. It didn’t hang over the edge and strapped nicely to our Kawasaki 4-wheeler’s both big and small. The top of the pack has a huge over sown handle built in for to make packing the pack easier or if your dragging it through an Airport it doesn’t have to be on your back to carry it comfortably. The Badlands backpacks have a built in back brace and a preformed back arch support that has not only thick but comfortable padding. The padding is not soft which means the nylon winds up cutting into you anyway on other backpacks, nor is it hard its just a nice shock absorbing pad that holds the shape of your body, which according to them allows better blood flow. Supposedly that is important I will just have to take their word on it as we have no way of proving that fact. I found the pack to be very comfortable even when heavily loaded. We stuck 200 lbs of steel in the pack and I strapped it on and could easily move my arms and didn’t have a feeling of being pulled back or toppling. I believe its rated at 80lbs in case you were wondering.

I found one thing that I would like to see improved on the pack that was the extra D rings sewn to the sides on the front of the backpack. I would of like to see these made out of aluminum or steel. For no other reason than I wanted to cinch a holster to it that requires me to twist the gun to draw and I was afraid eventually I was going to break them using them for something they were not designed for.

Frankly there was not one area design, technology, durability and usability that I didn’t find that this pack exceeded every competitor I have seen or heard of. The company kind of threw a slap of the glove to us to find something wrong with their product as they seem to take great pride in their business and it shows. They are the only company with a “No Fault” lifetime warranty. That means had a seam ripped out when we loaded it with 200lbs of metal. They still fix it for Free. The Pack just has to be fixable. There just isn’t much you can do to cloth that can’t be fixed. I picked on the D-rings for my own personal use but for what they were intended for they would last a lifetime. I know that this backpack will last guy who treats his gear terribly a lifetime, and those who don’t, never need to fear any type of problems. Truly an excellent hunting backpack I would recommend that Stores Call Badlands for Dealer prices. If you would like to just buy one of these great packs ask a local outdoor dealer why he doesn’t stock one for you. Just Click here to find a Badlands 2800 online dealer.

Love this morning outside love this cup of coffee

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Someone said let there be light and there was light

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A Coleman Rechargeable Flashlight is Handy in Campouts

The Coleman rechargeable flashlights has been a most useful item in your camping site in the boondocks that have been the favorite destination of your family in summer and even at other times of the year when your kids suggest that you try camping out also in the colder months.

Your family has become an outdoor type family ever since the kids have grown up from their toddler years and have become very energetic boys in their pre-teen years.

Your four children (all boys) are very rowdy kids, but since they are all boys, you are not surprised at all. You yourself come from a family of five kids with only one girl, so you are used to the company of boys. Your sister then even threatened that she will wear pants when she grows up since all her experience as a kid were all experiences of the boys – she did not know then how it was to be a girl. Like your family now, you used to go on many camping trips as your dad then was a duck hunter, always using his Coleman flashlight when seeing a flock of ducks and swiftly shooting them down with his shotgun.

Your four boys now keep teasing Mom to act as a young girl so they can start practicing on how to court a girl. The four have begun eyeing the more attractive lookers among their classmates in school, saying that they have developed the strange feeling now that they want the girls now for company, rather than the boys whom they preferred as playmates when they were younger. Even in the recent campout you had last month the eldest boy borrowed the rechargeable flashlight you brought because he wanted to visit a girl he met that day in her family’s tent, just a few hundred meters away from your own tent.

It was a very dark night so you hesitated in giving the Coleman rechargeable flashlight to him, advising him to visit her the following morning instead. But the boy insisted to go that night saying the girl’s smile was so sweet when he first met her in the morning. “Dad”, he reminds you, “you have always told us to strike when the iron is hot before, remember?”

You have to get some help from Mom on this one. You did not realize that the lesson you gave them before on the hot iron and the need to strike it when still hot could apply to a situation like this one now of your son wanting to visit a girl in a hurry. Mom was as confused; she had to raise her arms up in surrender.

You had to give the led flashlight to the kid, hoping he will not bring back a daughter-in-law for you and Mom when he comes back. You regret having told the kids that “strike when the iron is hot” lesson before. Now you do not really know what your eldest made out of it when he left to see the girl.

Super Subsonics

Slow down: For out-and-out accuracy, put away the high- and hyper-velocity ammo and load your favorite .22 with “below the speed of sound” stuff.

This blue grouse was taken with a Remington Subsonic HP. The bullet didn’t ruin a bite of meat.

Subsonic .22s are the loads to shoot for the best accuracy and meat-saving shots on small game. You might think high-velocity .22 Long Rifles, with a shorter time of flight, would drift less in the wind and be more accurate than subsonics. However, because subsonics are slightly slower than the speed of sound, they do not encounter a sharp increase in air resistance; that results in less wind drift and more stable flight.

A Not-So-Simple Explanation
The exact speed of sound depends on the temperature of the air. At sea level with a temperature of 70 degrees, sound travels at about 1,128 feet per second. As temperatures fall, air becomes denser and sound travels slower. When a bullet approaches and first passes this velocity, airflow severely buffets it. The outer edge of this transonic zone, if we go with the 1,128 fps at 70 degrees, is between about 902 and 1,466 fps.

Glen Weeks of Winchester Ammunition says a bullet that does not reach the speed of sound is much less affected by air turbulence. “A shadow graph of a subsonic bullet in flight shows a shock wave being pushed in front of the bullet and flowing around the bullet,” Weeks says. “But as a bullet transitions from subsonic to supersonic, the shadow graph shows the bullet piercing the shock wave and the shock wave actually adhering somewhat to the bullet.” Weeks says the shock wave created at these transonic velocities causes all sorts of turbulence. That turbulence can destabilize a bullet and throw it somewhat off course.

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Black is the color of my true love’s hair

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RZ Mask – Breathe Safe

The other week I was contacted by our new friends at RZ Mask to test one of their Breathe Safe filter sets. For those of you not familiar with RZ Mask (I was one of you until recently), they produce a multi-purpose mask used by motorcyclists, construction workers, hunters, soldiers, Baja racers, etc. These masks are made of a waterproof neoprene that protects the wearer from the elements (rain, cold, etc.) and is very similar to masks worn by snowboarders and cold-weather enthusiasts. The part that makes these masks different and very cool is the integrated filter technology that provides the user with additional protection from dust, pollens, and other air pollutants.

RZ Masks come in many different colors with a wide variety of graphics and themes. I was sent their Digital Camo Mask model, which is designed for hunters and soldiers in dusty desert terrain. When I first opened the package, I was very impressed by the ingenuity behind the product. At first impression it looks like a simple neoprene half-mask combined with a surgical mask; however, it is much more than that. The mask has two hard plastic exhaust vents integrated into the front of the mask that directs the air flow through internal filters that look similar to surgical masks. Unlike surgical masks, these interchangeable pieces are very soft and very thin carbon filters that remove 99.9% of dust and particulates from air directed in by the vents. There are also interchangeable Scentless RZ filters designed for hunting that filter not only the air inhaled, but also your exhaled breath so extra-sensitive prey do not smell you and get spooked.

After trying on and inspecting the mask and its components when it arrived, my next step was to figure out how to test this gear out. I don’t have any equipment that can test the quality of the air before, and after it had traveled through the mask, so I couldn’t check the claim that it filtered 99.9% of dust and particulates. I also didn’t have any dust storms or opportunities to subject it to heavy pollutants or particulates, so I settled for an extensive wear-test to judge it for comfort and fit. I also took the opportunity to use it while doing some heavy cleaning around the house, which subjected it to lots of pet dander (that I am allergic to) and some household chemicals.

The masks come in three sizes: Youth, Regular, and XL. The mask I tested was a Regular (“Fits Most”) and was very comfortable. I have an extra-large head (Size 7 ¾ in fitted baseball caps), and it fit perfectly, so someone in need of the XL would have to have a huge head. On several occasions, I wore the mask for more than a few hours, and I did not find myself sweating profusely or feeling strangled as I expected. When I used it while cleaning, I noticed a big difference in my reaction to all of the pet hair and dander I was exposed to. Normally I have a terrible reaction where my nose runs profusely, and I end up with irritated/clogged sinuses. I did not experience any discomfort or reaction while using the mask. When I exposed the cover to household chemicals fumes/vapors, I noticed a small difference, but still smelled and felt the chemicals in the air. It should be noted that these masks are not designed to meet OSHA requirements and are only suggested for individuals dealing with light pollution and dust/particulates, but I had to test it out to see how good they were.

Overall, I like this product and will keep it handy for the next time I know I’ll be riding ATVs or traveling to an area with the dusty terrain. If you are an avid motorcycle rider, dirt biker, or support one of our troops overseas, this is a great product to buy for yourself or as a gift for someone else. I know I’ll be looking for future situations where I can test this mask some more.

Please Note: This was given to me as a promotional item, and these are my views and opinions