Mike over at County-Comm sent me another batch of Four awesome pieces of Prepper gear I wanted to share with you guys.
For those of you that been around this blog for some time, you know how much I absolutely love County-Comm and Maratac Gear, specifically, their flashlights. One of the things I love about them is their ability to use standard Alkaline batteries, like AA and AAA and combined with a Cree emitter, produce a flashlight that is as bright, versatile and durable as any brand name “Tactical” flashlight on the market that cost 3 times as much, which in my humble opinion, makes Maratac Lights one of the best lights for the prepper’s money, hands down.
This is my first AAA Maratac (My previous ones have all been AA varieties) and my first impressions are awesome.
First things first, this thing is made out of titanium and it feels amazing. The weight is like a feather (16 grams w/o a Battery and 27.8 grams with one AAA Battery. We are talking GRAMS here folks!!) but the contour of the stipling on the surface combined with the excellent hand polishing makes it very easy to hold in the hand. This being a very small light, the way you are going to hold it was thought out very well by the designers. The front of the light where the emitter is located is larger than the back of the light where you are going to hold it. This creates a very nice tapered design which flows into a natural “choke” point in the middle. Overall for being a very small light, it is extremely ergonomic and comfortable.
The Pocket clip is sturdy and has snap so it actually is functional, meaning you could clip this to your pant, shirt or backpack and expect it to stay put. The good folks at County Comm were also thoughtful enough to also include a Glow in the Dark diffuser so you can make this little powerhouse into a handy lamp in the event you needed one, which is pretty forward thinking if you ask me.
Operation is simple. 3 Settings: Low/Medium/High. Twist the head counter-clockwise to turn on. The switch is set so that the default setting is always going to be Medium (40 Lumens) when turned on. Twist again and you get Low (1.5 Lumens) Twist Again and you get High (145 Lumens).
Something very cool I discovered that is not even mentioned on the website is the ability for MOMENTARY operation by simply pushing back on the head of the light. You can also cycle through the light modes the same way as twisting the head. A Very slick feature if you ask me.
I really like that the designers set the switch default memory at Medium and not Low, 40 Lumens is bright enough for most average flashlight task where Low (1.5 Lumens) might be OK for looking for the keyhole when you forgot to turn on the porch light but that is about it. As with all their lights, the designers installed a Glow in the Dark front O-Ring around the Reflector, so after you have it on for a bit, the O-Ring will glow when turned off so you can find it in the dark if need be.
Performance was far beyond what I was expecting for a single AAA Alkaline Duracell battery.
Inside the house looking for keys, this is the default medium setting (40 Lumens) which is more than enough to do this job and pretty much anything else you would need a flashlight for. Very nice hot spot with a subtle corona.
I will go ahead and admit it to you guys: I am a Flashlight Nut. I absolutely cannot get enough of them. Ever since I was a little boy I was either playing with one or taking one apart. That being said, I have “accumulated” quite a collection since my youth, but this new Peanut LED from County Comm tops them all in terms of being unique. This is a USB CHARGED Light meaning you can charge it right from your USB port on your Laptop, Tablet or other device. For those of you thinking about the “why” of a piece of gear like this, think of any device which still has a charge after the power has gone out..mainly your laptop or tablet; as long as it has power, you have a light source. And for those of you that want to maintain a permanent way of charging that phone/tablet (and USB Peanut Light) check out the Tetra. (Which hopefully I will be reviewing for you guys in August).
For those of you out there that have actually lived through a Natural Disaster where the power has been out for long periods (one month was the longest for us and that was with Hurricane Ike in 2008) having portable light sources besides candles is NICE. This small little powerhouse has many uses, the most obvious ones right off the bat for me being that this is a USB charged light is a portable laptop/reading light and also since the designers were nice enough to install a lanyard loop, with some Emergency Orange Paracord (also sold at County-Comm) and a Dual Slider Button I made a very simple “Peanut LED Necklace”for those times when I might need a small portable light source.
This light is small enough to go anywhere but Powerful enough to do most any task you can dream up. With a Low setting of 12 Lumens and a High Setting of 145 Lumens you are basically packing the quintessential “All in One Handy” Flashlight in the Palm of your hand.
OK, I already caught some flak from a family member for wanting to sport a “man purse” or God forbid, the dreaded “Fanny Pack”, but this nifty little “Vault” (notice the terminology shift there?) splits the difference between those two dreaded pieces of attire often associated with clueless Tourist asking to be robbed.
Just coming off vacation I can tell you right now how nifty a pack like this really is. First off, it is non-descript and does not draw un-needed attention. It is what I like to call “Grey Man Compatible”. Black with red-stitching is something you would find more on a technician/handyman rather than a tourist, so you can definitely check that box. It is also big enough to fit EVERYTHING you would need for a day’s outing to include ID, Credit Cards, Money Clip and all your EDC items too. The bottom of the pack is made of a Maragrip Texture, so you don’t have to worry about your things getting wet if you happen to set it down someplace damp, plus it will stay put wherever you sit it.
It has two heavy-duty zippers, which if you are a bag junkie like me, you know is a handy perk to have. The belt loops are double stitched and are big enough to accommodate belts up to 1 3/4″. I tried out my EDC belt, a Spec-Ops Brand Better BDU Belt and it fit perfect. The designers also were thoughtful enough to include a small loop on it in the event you want to attach a carabiner and attach to your BOB or Suitcase.
Last on the list is another version of County-Comm’s illustrious Peanut Lighter. I must admit, I have become addicted to collecting these handy little things like I have their flashlights. This version is their Anodized XL in a very snazzy Clear Green.
Fire is always something you need to have available, so it makes sense to have more than a few of these around. This version, the XL, is much larger than the Sntandard, has a square base so you can use it like a candle, provides up to 15 minutes of burn time and holds 5x more fuel than the standard Peanut Lighter, so it is perfect for those camping and hunting trips where you might need to start more than a couple of fires.
This thing burns like a small torch and Since County-Comm makes these right here in the U.S.A. out of Aerospace Grade Aluminum, you can remove the Brass made lighter insert and use the Aluminum Case as a Waterproof Pill Vial, EDC Storage case, Micro-Caching or if you are really in a bind, a quick field cup for a swig of water.
One of the nice features on these XL Lighters is the lanyard hole so you can tie a hank of paracord through it to keep up with it. Here I used some of the Emergency Orange and a dual slider button to make a quick, simple wrist or neck lanyard.
So there it is guys, 4 Pieces of Very Cool Prepper Gear to add to your BOB. Visit Mike and Company over at County-Comm today and be sure and tell them you saw their stuff at HCS!
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!