Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Riverwalker's Gear - Cell Corp Coolvent Sleepcell Sleeping Bag

One of several different styles of sleeping bags that I use is the Sleep Cell Cool Vent. It’s available at Wal-mart or Academy Surplus and has a special climate control system. It’s a large size sleeping bag at 40” x 90” and comes with different temperature ratings. I currently have two Sleep Cell bags which are rated at 30 degrees (other temperature ratings are available) which pretty much makes it an all-season sleeping bag for my usual area.

It has a removable air pillow, a drawstring hood, three pounds of Litron Hollowfill (a 7 hole polyester filling), and a compression sack. The price for these sleeping bags is generally under $40 which makes them very affordable. It’s a mummy-style bag and has a hood which can be tightly secured with the drawstring and its size allows storage of gear at the foot of the bag. The special climate control system, called Cool Vent, consists of mesh vents on each side with zippered controls that allow you to regulate the air flow through the outer portion of the bag. The system actually works quite well and I’ve had no problems at varying temperatures with over-heating while using it.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Riverwalker's Gear - Safety Cross 6-in-1 Safety Flashlight

I use the Safety Cross 6-in-1 Safety Light. I keep one in each of my two main vehicles in my EDC fanny pack. It requires no batteries (crank the handle for power) and includes a cell phone charger, an FM radio, a compass, an emergency flasher and a 130 decibel siren. The LED flashlight provides a very reliable source of light. The cell phone charger feature comes with a free adapter for most cell phones. The cranking handle for power can be either turned clockwise or counter-clockwise for either left or right-handed users and can be used to generate power when and where it’s needed. It has a reasonably high-quality FM radio that provides access for emergency purposes or to just have a little music available. It also has a directional compass in the crank handle and a siren for emergency signaling (the siren has a rating of 130 decibels). The flashlight also has a flashing strobe light feature for night-time signaling.

One minute of cranking yields about 1 hour of running time for the flashlight and an even longer time for the radio feature. It is relatively lightweight (less than a pound) and compact enough that it fits easily in my fanny pack that has my EDC items.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Riverwalker's Gear - Rubbermaid ActionPacker 8-Gallon Storage Tote

I use the Rubbermaid Actionpacker 8 gallon storage totes to handle a lot of my storage needs. They are weather resistant which adds to their durability and reliability. The weather resistant plastic they are made of keeps moisture out and they resist cracking when exposed to sunlight or cold temperatures. They also have really good latches to hold the lid down and can be locked or fastened down with a bungee cord. I currently use a 10 inch bungee strap connected to the handles to keep the lid secure. They stack easily (including the lids) which make them really good for storage. They have double-walled construction which gives them additional strength. This is a really nice feature if you like to cram a bunch of stuff in the totes. Rubbermaid covers the purchase of these totes with a full 6-year warranty.

If you want a really nice tote for tools, camping or fishing gear, or other miscellaneous items, these are excellent containers. The totes are even sturdy enough to use as a seat. You can also use those little adhesive labels to identify the items that are in the tote if you use it for long term storage.

These Rubbermaid storage totes are very useful and are quite durable storage containers. They are fairly expensive online but can usually be found at your local “big box store”. They are also available in larger sizes. The larger sizes are hard to find in stores but are usually available online.


Riverwalker's Gear - Rbbermaid Two Gallon Cooler

I use the Rubbermaid two gallon water coolers (they are available in larger sizes but can be difficult to carry without help) that many workers (carpenters, construction workers, electricians, etc.) have on their job sites. Remember, water weighs approximately 8.6 pounds per gallon and a five gallon water cooler when full will weigh over 40 pounds and take additional space for storage. I have a two gallon cooler for each of my vehicles and use these as a source for cooking purposes. They offer an easy method of transporting water should a temporary evacuation become necessary, are fairly inexpensive and can be obtained at most of the big box stores.