Survival Hax Tactical LED Pen with Glass Breaker and Fire Starter Review

I was sent this Survival Hax Tactical LED Pen for review and I can say that I was pleasantly surprised at the quality.

For starters, it came well protected in a foam case:

And here’s the pen outside the package for a better view:

I can say that when I first grabbed the pen it felt a bit heavy and bulky (as compared to a regular pen) but, honestly, it only took a minute or two and I actually preferred the tactical pen. Here it is as compared to a regular Bic pen:

The first thing I tried was the light. It’s a simple twist on / twist off deal, similar to a pen light or maybe a keychain light:

I took it into a dark bathroom and was able to use the light to see around quite well. Granted, it’s no Maglite but definitely as good as my LED keychain light, plus the Survival Hax light doesn’t have a focal point which I like quite well. Overall, the light will work great in confined quarters.

Next, I looked at the “business end” of the tool where the glass breaking tip is:

Granted, I didn’t try it as I didn’t have any glass I wanted broken, lol, but I can say that the tip comes to a nice point and I’m fairly confident that it would crack glass fairly quickly. Besides that, this tactical pen would double as a nice Kubotan for self-defense if needed. In fact, I occasionally carry one (a Kubotan) but I’ll just carry this instead.

To actually use this as a pen you would need to unscrew the glass breaking tip which is a bit annoying but understandable since if there’s anything you’d want quick access to in an emergency situation it would be the tip and not the pen:

Regardless, the pen writes well and as expected. If you further unscrew the pen by gripping the threads above the pen tip you will expose the pen cartridge which can apparently be refilled, though, I don’t know where to find refills (I’ll have to look into that):

After putting it all back together, if you instead unscrew the tactical pen from the middle you will expose the fire starter as shown here:

I did try it (but don’t have a photo) and, though not a Sweedish Firesteel, it worked well enough and certainly better than other fire starters I’ve used in the past.

Ultimately, I’m pleased with the Survival Hax Tactical Pen for the price. It’s fairly well put together, works as expected, and will make a decent addition to your EDC… I know I’m adding it to mine.

Survival Hax Tactical Pen

WARNING: We Are Not Ready For The Next Pandemic

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“WARNING: We Are Not Ready For The Next Pandemic,” this was the cover title on a recent Time magazine article I read while waiting at my kid’s orthodontics appointment the other day. I was intrigued. What did Time magazine know that I didn’t?

Well, a few things, in fact. For example, I did learn that “the number of new diseases per decade has increased nearly fourfold over the past 60 years, and since 1980, the number of outbreaks per year has more than tripled.” That doesn’t sound reassuring, not at all.

I also learned that there are nearly half a million viruses with the potential to spill over, that is, to spontaneously jump from animals to humans like HIV did with chimps, SARS with bats, and influenza with birds and pigs, to name a few they cite in the article. This statistic alone startled me as I had no idea there were so many potential threats looming out there!

I also found out that budgets to those departments which are at the forefront of the battle to keep us safe are being cut (or proposed to be), that there are efforts to both catalog and rapidly develop vaccines but they’re still a long ways off at best, and that there’s approximately zero incentive for drug companies to invest in anything which could help us stop the next pandemic because there’s literally no money in it… until there’s money in it due to a pandemic which is already in full-swing and killing us in droves.

What should scare you the most, however, is the fact that one of the deadliest of flu outbreaks was the Spanish flu of 1918 which infected about 500 million (about a third of the population) and killed an estimated 50-100 million people (more than WWI and WWII combined) that’s a good 10-20% who contracted the flu and died! Can you imagine one or two out of every ten people who get the flu… die? For most of us that would mean at least one family member which is just shocking to me.

Things just get worse. It should go as no surprise that there are a few more people on Earth now than there was then and in closer interaction with each other than in 1918 due to migration from rural lifestyles to cities. I believe I read elsewhere recently that more people now live in or near cities than not for the first time in human population. That’s scary in and of itself, lol.

Travel is unquestionably easier (with the ubiquitous use of planes, trains, and automobiles) and thus disease spread is easier too. This is, no doubt, how disease will spread around the world in a matter of days. Just how bad and out of hand will the next major pandemic be? I shutter to imagine.

Climate change apparently plays a part too by making it easier for disease-carrying critters and insects to travel farther than they normally would and interact with us more often which only increases the chance for disease to spill over.

Moreover, our general belief that science and medicine will “keep us safe” tends to lead to complacency by both the public and authorities. And since any effective reaction by the authorities to combat the flu with a vaccine, for example, would likely take several months at best (assuming we react to it from the very start which hasn’t been our track record) it will likely be too late for the majority of folks who come down with the next deadly bird- or swine-flu.

Click here to watch a video on a medical “crash course” for dealing with such scenarios

All isn’t without hope, however. There are some interesting efforts by scientists and various agencies to better sequence pathogens and to track their spread or potential of doing so (read the Time magazine article). One interesting application is genetic sequencing of viruses which according to the article “…can mean the difference between an outbreak that kills hundreds instead of millions. The hope is that scientists will be able to use genetic information to predict how a pathogen will behave–before a single person ever falls ill.” That’s very promising but still a long way off it seems.

The article goes on to state that: “For all the advances in finding dangerous pathogens, the simple truth is that neither the world as a whole nor the U.S. in particular is at all prepared to handle a major infectious-disease pandemic–and a significant reason for that is a failure to invest in things now that can keep us safe later.”

Ok, I’m back to being depressed.

Really, it isn’t going to be a vaccine that saves us. It’s going to be the efforts of healthcare workers on the ground, mandated quarantines (yes, I said it), and ultimately it will be up to YOU to both recognize the threat and to be prepared to outlast it.

This won’t be your average power outage, or even a deadly tornado or Hurricane Katrina… it will be on a scale like nothing we’ve experienced. This isn’t local or even nationwide… it’s global. And it isn’t a few week ordeal… it’s several months at best.

Can you outlast a several month pandemic? One where healthcare services are overwhelmed at best, non-functional at worst? One where very little goods aren’t being traded and services (like electricity and water) are being kept going because nobody wants to go to work for fear of being exposed? One where food can’t be found because everyone is hoarding it? One where desperate mobs and looters ransack nearby businesses and neighborhoods in search of anything they can get their hands on?

I sure hope so, but the honest truth is that most of us won’t be able to. Most don’t do a single thing to prepare now for the worst later. I guess that’s just human nature.

I’d like to think I’m prepared to outlast such an ordeal but maybe not. Who knows what my family and I would be subject to over several months of a pandemic. I don’t know… but I can prepare as best as I can… and you can too. Now’s the time because tomorrow may be too late.

How Easily Ebola Turns Into A Pandemic (link)

How Ebola Turns Into A Pandemic, Source

Funny, I just recently read an article in Time magazine discussing how we’re not ready for a pandemic, go figure.

The author in this particular article is quite right… it only takes one person (or in this case a family) to potentially infect dozens of others who then go on to infect the rest of the world, including you and I.

Preparing for a pandemic is, in my opinion, very much like preparing to “bug in” for most any SHTF situation with the added problem of a deadly contagion lurking at every turn, lol. The time to get yourself and your family prepared is always NOW… not when the authorities beg you to…

Remember the soothing words of the World Health Organization about the Ebola outbreak in the Congo?

Don’t worry, they said. It’s in a remote village that doesn’t even have real roads, they said.

Except, the problem is, now people are fleeing from that village in fear of the virus.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo – Ebola drove Kevin Balenge, his wife and three children to get to this capital city as fast as they could to try to outrun a suspected new outbreak.

“We can’t stay here because there are no hospitals, and once you get the virus you simply die,” said Balenge, from Bas-Uele province in the north of the country, about 51 hours away from Kinshasa.

“Residents are still not aware of the virus and they do not know the precautions (to take),” he added. “Very many people are going to die here.”

“Staying here is like trying to play with death,” he said. “Ebola gives no second chance and I can’t risk it. If I can save myself, I will try to do so.”

Read the full article here

5 Best 9mm Single Stack Pistols for CCW (link)

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Looking for a concealed carry 9mm? Try these options…

“While there is no such thing as the ‘perfect carry gun,’ there’s also no denying that some guns are better for concealed carry than others. When searching for a concealed carry gun, you obviously want to look for a pistol that is small and slim enough to keep hidden. But you also want to have a pistol that is comfortable to shoot and offers enough power for self-defense. The wide variety of 9mm single stack pistol on the market now is slim and compact enough to conceal, while also offering more power than a .32 or a .380.

That’s not to say that a 9mm single stack doesn’t come without limitations. While they are slim, the trade off is less ammunition in the magazine. And while a 9mm is certainly more powerful than a .380, it lacks the extra punch of the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP…”

Read the full article here

One Shotgun Fires 10 Different Rounds (video)

I must really be into conversion kits lately but this one has to take the cake, it’s the Chiappa M6 Combination Folding Shotgun With X-Caliber 12-Gauge Adapter Set which can be found for between $600-700 online. About the only problem I see with it is that it’s a single shot, but apparently this guy’s review found a few more problems after testing. Regardless, it’s still a nice idea…

16 Remedies for Radiation Exposure (link)

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I didn’t realize there were so many potential helpful “remedies” for exposure to radiation. That said, they shouldn’t be considered equals either and, of course, it depends on what radioisotope you’ve been exposed to.

Regardless, radiation safety seems to boil down to (1) NOT being deficient in vitamins and minerals in order to avoid unwanted radioactive uptake and (2) prevention being the best medicine, in that, the less exposure to radioactive materials the better.

Last, while there are 16 potential remedies, I’d say only about half of them would be readily available to most folks. At the very least it’s good to know what may be useful to you…

“Some nuclear events are survivable.

Much depends on the type of event and your proximity to ground zero. Event possibilities range from dirty bombs that may distribute radiation over a small area, to nuclear accidents and nuclear weapon detonation that create large amounts of destruction and contamination. Your first goal is to avoid nuclear fallout, so you should take shelter immediately following a nuclear event. Then, you must mitigate the exposure that you do receive. Stay informed of local recommendations for your area, but be aware that your local news reporting may be designed to prevent mass panic, rather than give the best advice…”

Read the full article here

Self Defense: Wood vs. Metal. vs. Cold Steel Bat (video)

This just looks like fun. After all, getting to smash things in the name of survival and self defense makes for a fun day I’d say. 🙂

And, while I agree that bats–wood or metal–can get rather expensive new, try looking for these at your local Goodwill or garage sale as they can often be had for a fraction of the price you would pay for one new.

Besides testing a wooden and a metal bat, he also tests a Cold Steel Bat of which there are several choices on Amazon.

Which do you think will be the winner? Personally, I disagree with his final assessment a bit as I would have chosen the metal bat as my first choice or perhaps the wooden bat so long as I could drive a dozen long nails through the meat of the bat, lol…