30 October 2010

Land Navigation...IS SO HARD!!!

To some people it is! To be perfectly honest, land nav is one of the toughest skills to master if you arent doing it often. Our friends over at ITS Tactical  have been running a really nice land nav series, which starts with the basics and works up from there. Running parallel to ITS's land nav series, is the new hand-dandy, cargo-pocket sized, waterproof, The North Seeking Arrow LANDNAV QRG (Quick Reference Guide).

Right now the QRG is in first run prototype. The point of this is not to be a new field manual, but literally a quick reference guide. The guide contains several land nav items that are often forgotten, or are tough to remember. This wasn't made for the SERE instructor in WA state...it was made for his students.

Here are a couple of shots of the QRG next to a couple of items to illustrate size. Once we finalize this thing, we will do a full review.

23 October 2010

Messenger Bags

The Tac Rev crew calls their bags "Messenger Bags", but I've heard a number of names out there; "fag bags", "man bags", "man purses", etc. Regardless of what they're called, they do fill quite a role for me and my guys.

We've been making messenger bags for a few years now. Since we first started, they've evolved quite a bit. Thus far, we've brought 3 different designs to market, or ...almost to market. Version 1.0 came first and had some design flaws. It works great for a mini briefcase if hand carried.

Version 2.0 never actually came to market. There was only 1 ever made and now it is in the hands of someone I wish it wasn't...but thats a story for another time. Version 2.0 corrected the low shoulder strap points and the lack of a hand carry handle on the actual flap or Version 1.0.

The latest version is Version 2.5. Since 2.0 never actually came to market, we took the basics of 2.0 and added a couple finer adjustments and called it Version 2.5. We also toyed around with doing some of them in canvas. Right now, two Version 2.5's exist in canvas.

So lets hear it folks, what are you running for your "man bags"?

13 October 2010

Boots...There Are So Many Options

So today we're talking about boots. Boots are an ever evolving piece of "equipment" that one is constantly looking to improve. Well...just like us, the boot companies are constantly trying to improve design, comfort, durability, etc.

What do I know? I know that boots manufactured overseas are readily available and are ALWAYS easier on the wallet. Why do American companies manufacture overseas? Margins baby...margins! Not to mention, this offers the customer affordability in order to compete with whatever else is in that market. This isn't specific to boots, this is business across the board, but it definitely applies here.

Over the course of the last year and a half, we have learned a lot about the boot industry, but more so about the production process. Some high points from the last year and a half:
-It takes a long time to bring a design to market
-China is the quickest and most cost effective place to do rapid prototyping
-Berry Compliant = MUCH greater expense, thus MUCH greater price tag
-I now know what a "last" is and that it is very costly to make new designs of them
-Superfabric is AWESOME
-Vibram soles are expensive to use
-Footwear people are smart

Thats a lot of giberish...however, if you think about everything you love and hate about your boots, the giberish may help shed some light onto what you have on your feet.

I wear Wellco. There are a number of reasons why I wear Wellco but the most important reason is because I know what I like in a pair of boots. Thats obvious to us all, but it pertains to me because I have had a lot of input on design and features over the last year and a half. This is also another reason I like Wellco as a company...they listen. They care about the end user and his feedback from the battlefield.

Check out some of their new stuff!

03 October 2010

Issued Kit...Who Needs It?

Issued kit has come a long way since I first joined the US Military. The first thing I was ever issued was the OD LBE setup; and I ran the heck out of that rig for a lot of years. About a year ago I finally had to turn it back into the supply warehouse and accept my new DFLCS kit. Lot of memories headed to DRMO.

So, the new DFLCS kit. The first one I was issued was ACU and made by Eagle Industries. What can I say about the Eagle kit, its been the standard in the gear industry for a lot of years. Good mag pouches, FB pistol mag pouches, the works. Good quality and there were a lot of little features in the different pouches that I liked a lot. The harness...a piece of crap! Not the quality or the construction, the design! The design is absolute garbage, and I will get into that more in a bit.

Fast forward a year. I am called to supply again, this time to turn in my ACU Eagle made DFLCS kit for our new ABU Garrett Container made DFLCS kit. First of all, Garrett Container Systems doesn't make anything; London Bridge Trading makes it. The quality is not in question, just the fact that there are a number of things in the old kit that were simply better. The pistol mag pouches, hydro carrier, and the harness to name a few. The Eagle harness was a cleaner looking construction, and seemed to be made with a bit different quality of materials. I know material, and the new Garrett harness really feels cheap! The design is not very practical and Im not really sure what the thought process was when designing it. There is actually a good amount of real estate on the harness, but seemingly in the wrong areas. I will post photos in the next few days.

So, issued kit. It has evolved a lot in the last 10 years. It will continue to evolve over the next 10 years. The invention and popularity of MOLLE gear has actually made some issued kit cool again.

To be continued...

Washington DC bound

Im heading to Arlington for a weapons, equipment, etc working group. As many of you know, I continue my service in the National Guard component so this happens to be an official trip. Im looking forward to possibly affecting change on some very important equipment areas; especially body armor!

Lots of details when I return!


Good afternoon folks! Welcome to The North Seeking Arrow!

We've started this Blog to review the latest and greatest kit available. Stay tuned, we will be posting all kinds of fun stuff. See you all soon!