Friday, 31 October 2014

Propper Tactical Pants Mod



First off, I love, love,  LOVE these TDUs by Propper. They come in regular canvas, lightweight, and shorts, in a variety of colours and sizes. They are seriously the most comfortable ones I've found, and even come in very large sizes.

I've got a lot of Propper gear and so far, it's all been awesome.

Although these DO come in women's as well,
(and up to a size 24, ladies!), I always get men's ones, because I have very muscular legs/calves, and no butt or hips, so the men's ones fit me better. Thing is, men's pants are pretty much always too long, so I have to hem them. Not a big deal, and a lot of these style come un-hemmed anyway. 

So, since I already had to hem all of the long pants, I decided to go one better, and add some elastic cord in the cuffs. This way, I can blouse them, which is good for keeping water, bugs and other critters out, and also prevents flapping around and being in the way when barefoot or in sandals. 

Rather than just make them bloused all the time though, I used enough cord so that they will stay flat unless deliberately tightened, so they still will look sharp with boots or dress shoes.

Super simple! I just cut the hole, used a little fray check on the edges to keep it from fraying, and ran the cordage through. 



Thursday, 30 October 2014

EDC & Go bag updates

I've made several changes over the last few days to cut down more on weight and bulk in both my EDC and in my go bag, allowing for more useful items and less misused space.

The EDC updates were pretty minor, but make a really big difference!



I added the Smith's Pocket Pal X2 and a duct tape fob to my keys. The button compass was attached to the Smith's tool, but I prefer it on its own. Also added a waterproof notebook to my pockets.

Then, in my meds bag,  I switched out the tubes of foot cream and antibiotic ointment for several generous single use packs.


I've been carrying both those tubes in my bag for several years, using them regularly and they're both still about half full, so not going to run out any time soon! 
Each pack could be used for more than one application, unless the affected area is pretty huge, but they're small enough that it's ok if I have to throw out the remainder of one. 




Also in my meds bag, I switched out the entire tube of (generic) Airborne for a baggie with 4 tabs in it. 
I know the pic shows 3 tabs. That's cause I cheated and used the photo for the one in my go bag first aid kit, which brings me right to the next bit! 

In addition to that change in the GBFAK, I also switched out the antibiotic ointment and athletic tape there for single use packs and a separate little roll of the tape. There is more tape there and plenty of ointment to last way more than 3 days, with less bulk & weight.
Next step was to save space on the meds. I just assumed that the pill minder with different meds in each compartment would take up less space, but that turns out not to be the case after all! Not to mention the fact that everything is now well marked and individually packed, so even someone who wouldn't recognise each pill will know what they are for and how to use them in case I'm incapacitated. 

More changes to my go bag included eliminating several items altogether...
  • both sarongs 
  • swimsuit top
  • scarf 
  • robe 
  • sleeveless shirt 
  • long sleep shirt 
  • mini dictionary/thesaurus 
  • 1 Extension cord (down to 1) 
  • 2 Toothbrushes (down to 1)
  • Shoe brush
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • hair serum
  • mouth rinse
  • pit stick
Honestly - we're talking about survival here! I don't need all that extra crap!

I also switched several things out for more practical gear...
  • A pair of TDU shorts replaced the Swim Trunks - more versatile, heavier duty, more pockets, and if I'm going into the water, it's because I HAVE to for some reason, not for a swim. I can go nude or wear the TDUs, depending on reason.


  •  A backpacker's tarp replaced the shower curtain I was using for a tarp - far more compact, more attach points, specifically made for the purpose. Tarp + 4 mylar blankets & two 50' hanks of twine weighs about the same as the curtain.


  • A System Tee replaced the cotton t-shirt - It takes up far less space and is cooler alone, warmer as a layer, dries quickly, and wicks moisture away from the body.

  • TDU trousers replaced the jeans - again, more compact, cooler alone, warmer as a layer, dries quickly, and doesn't freeze you when wet like cotton (what jeans are made of).


  • Smith's Pocket Pal replaced the sharpening stones - more compact and lightweight for the same tasks, done faster and with less energy expended.


  • Tactical webbing belts replaced my old ALICE cartridge belt, which hasn't fit my waist since I was like 18 and is heavier and bulkier than the newer, Molle compatible, nylon ones. The nylon ones are also nearly waterproof, dry very quickly, and don't get noticeably heavier when wet unlike the old kind, which are made largely of cotton. 


  •  Two metal water bottles replaced my old, green, issue canteen. The old kind is heavier, bulkier, and adds a horrible, plastic taste within moments of filling it. Metal bottles are lighter, smaller, have no BPA or ick taste, and you can boil in them! I hung on to the old stuff for nostalgia reasons, which is fine for cool stuff in my house, but BAD for a go bag!


  • Multiple duct tape fobs replaced the entire roll of duct tape with all the cardboard. There's still close to a whole roll in there, but much less weight and space used.


  • 550 paracord replaced all the rope and then some - Almost as high load rating at a fraction of the space, and cord can be doubled over if higher load is really needed (not bloody likely!)

  • Sawyer Filtering System replaced the Lifestraw - About the same space and weight for much more versatile and longer lasting filter. I'll post a review with comparisons at some point in the near-ish future, unless I find someone else's review that sums up my thoughts well.. Then I'll just post a link.


  • The little bottle of lotion got switched out for a small tub of coconut oil. - The Coconut oil is far more versatile. It can be used for fire starter, lubricant, solvent, cooking, or quick calories, in addition to hair and skin moisture and protection. 


  • The new, bath-sized bar of soap got nixed in favour of an old one that is down to the size of a little hotel bar, and is in Ziplock, rather than a soap container - About 1/9th the previous space used!


  • My 0° sleeping bag that was "ready to be clipped on" is still in my vehicle, but now the go bag has it's own, backpacking 30° mummy bag attached - much lighter & more compact! It's not as roomy, comfy, or warm, but an added mylar blanket will make it a ton warmer, and in my area, it very rarely even gets below 30° anyway! Also, even my 40° sleeping bag usually keeps me too warm. I've had to unzip it some in 17° temps once initially warmed up, so I think I'm good!

Here's a picture of the difference between the 6'x6' shower curtain and the 5x7' tarp with 4 emergency blankets and two 50' hanks of mason line added to the pouch.