Review of Energizer 7 LED Trailfinder Headlight

I recently purchased the Energizer 7 LED Trailfinder Headlight off a recommendation of Steven Harris of Solar1234.com because I was in the market for a new headlamp.

After removing it from the package there was some basic assembly required, including attaching the headband and installing the batteries. One thing I noticed was that the battery compartment door was initially a bit difficult to remove but after first removal was no problem. I should point out that the battery door is secured in place with nice and secure clips but, once removed, is very precariously attached to the unit with a flimsy pieces of plastic (I guess it’s plastic) and seems to me to be something that could easily break. This is not a huge deal to me because the flimsly plastic serves no purpose other than to keep you from losing the battery compartment door but I would have preferred something a bit better.

I would also like to mention one more slight detraction, and that is the fact that the on/off (and change light mode) button is somewhat difficult to push. As a result, if you’re just trying to cycle through the light setting to turn if off then that could be an annoyance. I think I would have preferred a single on/off button and other button (or method) to switch between light settings.

I immediately started using the headlamp and found that it has four lighting modes: night vision (uses red color to keep from ruining your vision in the dark), spot light (uses three white lights), flood light (uses two different lights), and full power (uses all five lights). I’m not sure why they felt the need to include so many lighting options but I guess it lets me tailor my lighting needs a bit better and to conserve battery power. Personally, I would have preferred maybe three settings at most, but I’m really just nit-picking here.

On to more positive things…

As for function, the until can certainly light up a small room quite well and I was easily able to see what I was doing wherever I wandered while testing it. The package says the unit outputs 58 lumens but I only care if I can see what in the world I’m doing and that I was able to do.

Another good feature that I liked is the pivoting capability of the light; you can get two distinct angles when using the pivot (not including straight ahead, or no pivot at all). In fact, I found myself using the pivot feature most of the time.

I ended up wearing it for about an hour as I unpacked a few other things and eventually forget that I was even wearing it. However, once I realized I was still wearing it and later removed the headlamp I was glad to have it off my head as it is a bit bigger than other headlamps that I have used. Of course, it does include a nice foam pad that keeps the headlamp from pressing hard against my forehead, which was nice.

Another big plus is that this particular headlamp utilizes 3 AAA batteries, which means that so long as you have the capability to recharge AAA batteries then you can use it for a LONG time. The batteries used is something to pay close attention to. I have purchased headlamps in the past that utilize watch-sized batteries which makes them lighter-weight but also means you cannot recharge them. The package says it can run on a set of batteries for up to 14 hours on maximum setting. So, if you use a lower setting then that means a longer run time. In my opinion, 14 hours on max from a single set of batteries is a good deal for a headlamp.

Despite a few minor annoyances, all-in-all I would say that for the price (less than $17 shipped at the time of this post) this Energizer 7 LED Trailfinder Headlight is a good deal given light output, battery capacity, and overall capability. In fact, I should have ordered two. 🙂

Review of RazorPit Men’s Razor Blade Sharpener

A reader comment in my So, I’ve Been Saving My Disposable Razors Lately post pointed out that I could extend the life of the razor blades I’ve been saving using a product I hadn’t heard of before: the RazorPit. This sounded like something I NEEDED to try so I bought one immediately, even without reading reviews!

According to the Amazon product description:

  • RazorPit Saves You Money up to 90% on Razor Blades
  • RazorPit Increases Shaves per Blade from 10 Shaves to 100 Shaves
  • RazorPit features a Patented Friction Razor Sharpening and Cleaning Technology
  • RazorPit Sharpener Works on All Razors and Razors Blades
  • RazorPit is Made from Recyclable Materials and Reduces the Waste of Disposable Blades

Those are some bold claims. So, I tried it myself and what I found was encouraging. First, the RazorPit seems to be a very smooth piece of molded rubber and honestly nothing more. To use, apply shaving cream to the disposable razor head and then, with firm pressure, push the blade along the RazorPit in the opposite direction of normal use four times, rinse, dry. That’s it.

I thought, it couldn’t be THAT easy, could it?

Well, I choose to use the RazorPit on all of the disposable blades that I had been saving and then randomly selected one blade from the baggie I keep them in. I choose to wait four or five days before shaving for very good reason: it’s just long enough for a dull blade to pull whiskers quite a bit yet not long enough for a brand new razor to not work good; if I had waited a week, for example, even a brand new blade would pull a bit.

What did I find?

Well, it’s better than I honestly expected but not quite what the manufacturer claims. The “cleaned” yet dull blade worked much better than it would have if I had not used the RazorPit but wasn’t quite like it was brand new because I could tell that it pulled whiskers a bit. That said, I was still pleased with the results.

Why does it work?

Apparently, this simple cleaning action removes microscopic hairs and skin cells that cause the blades to “feel” dull. I would say that the blades still dull a bit from use and over time this cleaning won’t do much good. That said, if I can extend the use of even a single blade to double it’s normal use that’s awesome.

Am I happy with the purchase?

Considering that I spend seven or eight dollars on a set of just five Mach 3 razor blades, the RazorPit could well pay for itself in just a few months. So, yes, I’m generally happy with my purchase.

Review of PRI-G Fuel Stabilizer (Hands-Down the Best Available)

I had an opportunity this week to get my hands on a bottle of PRI-G fuel stabilizer, something I had been meaning to do for quite some time. For many, many years I’ve always used Stabil as my fuel stabilizer because it’s what’s been available locally. Sadly, PRI-G is difficult to find at times but you can certainly buy it online (such as on Amazon).

For a long time I’ve heard nothing but good things about PRI-G (or PRI-D for diesel fuel). From various reviews to expert opinions, I had to try it! Honestly, the only way I know to review it is to compare PRI-G to what I currently use, that being Stabil. The *best* way to review them would be to treat fuel and wait for years on end but I didn’t want to wait THAT long so following is the next best thing…

Let’s start with cost. An 16-ounce bottle of Stabil on Amazon costs a little over $11, while a 16-ounce bottle of PRI-G on Amazon costs almost $26. A little math says that a bottle of PRI-G is over 2x as costly as a bottle of Stabil… so why in the world should I buy it?

By far the biggest reason is the simple fact that a single 16-ounce bottle of Stabil can treat 40 gallons of gasoline whereas a similar bottle of PRI-G can treat 256 gallons of gasoline, over 6x as much gasoline! On a cost-to-gallons basis, a bottle of PRI-G treats almost 3x as much gasoline as a similar bottle of Stabil! For the cost conscious among us, that’s a big reason why.

Of course, PRI-G makes a variety of claims that I cannot vouch for but have no reason not to believe, including:

  • ideal for e-10 gasoline
  • provides greater power
  • improves fuel efficiency
  • prevents damaging deposits
  • contains no alcohol

As for me, they had me at “treats almost 3x as much gasoline” as compared to Stabil. I’ve also heard (I believe) from Steven Harris of Solar1234.com that PRI-G can be used to restore gasoline that has “gone bad” though I haven’t tried to verify that claim either.

I can say that I’m ready to give it a shot. In fact, I’ve decided to use my current gasoline storage up over the next week or two and treat it exclusively with PRI-G instead from now on… and suggest you do as well.

Review of Gerber Gator Machete Jr

I figured this review would be a nice way to bring in the new year… with something big and sharp! 😉 Although, I do not own this particular machete, I did enjoy this review from StealthSurvival. And considering the price is under $20 all day long, you can’t go wrong.

You might also enjoy this video review (by a different person) as well:

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Sealskinz Waterproof Socks by T.R., Editor-at-Large

Hello Guys/and gals, When planning what clothing to take with you, when space is limited. I found an item called Sealskinz, they are basically waterproof socks, the manufacturer also makes other items, but I have not tried them and in all honesty, am not going to order them, so if anybody has something other than the socks, feel free to chime in here. I live in AZ, not the best place to try out cold or wet weather gear, but I did live in Maine for a few years and remember the conditions there, that is what prompted me to buy a pair. You never know where you will end up in your travels. These socks have a strange feel to them and seem to be multi layered in different fabrics sewn together………I’m not a scuba diver, but that is what it reminds me of. They are thick and not at all like regular fabric socks we are used to. The only ” field test ” I have done is to fill the bathtub up part way and get in with the socks. I walked around in the tub for good amount of time, and my feet were dry as a bone. The manufacturer claimed that your feet will be able to breath wearing them, so I kept them on all day…….they do indeed wick moisture. they do stretch to a limited degree, but not a whole lot, so its important to order the right size. The only thing that is a downer is that these are on the pricey side. That’s why I only own one pair………………why only one ? because I’m cheap! that and I intended them to be packed in my BOB, along with 1 pair of winter socks and two pairs of regular socks.

Comparison of Lanterns: Propane vs. Kerosene vs. Battery-Powered

Since I’m into lighting options these days, I figured I would compare the three most commonly used lanterns: propane, kerosene, and battery-powered to see how they stack up to each other. In this case, I’m comparing a Coleman Two-Mantle Propane Lantern, Stansport Kerosene Lantern, Rayovac Sportsman LED Lantern, and I threw in another small battery-powered the Dorcy Mini Brite Lantern as it’s been a camping favorite with the kids for quite some time. Pricing ranges from under $10 for the Dorcy to about $35 for the Coleman propane lantern.

I figured the easiest way to compare them is to put them in a table and list the following attributes: costs (for unit and others besides fuel), anticipated working times (according to manufacturer estimates or my best guess), fuel to working time cost (comparing cost of fuel to estimated burn time as cost/hour of use), relative brightness (via my own pictures), and my comments at the end.

Image / Brightness (click to enlarge) Costs Working Time Fuel/Time Cost
($/hour)
Unit = $34.99

 

OTHER COSTS:

Additional Mantles=$6.99

Safety Post=$39.99 (used to connect and raise lantern to 20 pound tank)

  • Using one pound canister:
    -7 hours on high
    -14 hours on low
  • Using 20 pound *tank:
    ~130 hours on high
    ~260 hours on low

*assumed tank is never 100% full

Prices vary by geographic location and more:

  • One pound canister ($3 per assumed):
    -$0.42/hour on high
    -$0.22/hour on low
  • 20 pound tank ($50 assumed*):
    -$0.38/hour on high
    -$0.19/hour on low

*if you already own a tank then cost should be less than half those stated above

Unit = $16.48

 

OTHER COSTS:

Additional Wicks=$7.99

Can’t find data but from my experience using 32oz. bottle of kerosene I found:
~5-6 hours on med/high per one 8 oz. fill
~10-12 hours on real low per one 8 oz. fill
  • If using lamp oil ($10 per 32 oz. bottle assumed per Amazon price):
    ~0.50/hour on med/high
    ~$0.25/hour on low
  • If using kerosene* ($6 per 32 oz. bottle assumed):
    ~0.30/hour on med/high
    ~0.15/hour on low

*price can be significantly less if buying kerosene in larger quantities/bulk

Unit = $29.19

 

OTHER COSTS:

NONE

Using 3 D-cell batteries:
-40 hours on high
-90 hours on low
Using 12 pack of *Rayovac ($12.59 per pack or $3.14 per 3 batteries):
-0.07/hour on high
-0.04/hour on low

*Using Duracell or Energizer will cost more but not too much

Unit = $8.99

 

OTHER COSTS:

NONE

Using 4 AA-cell batteries:
-4 hours (only one setting)
Using 24 pack of Rayovac ($11.20 per pack or $1.86 per 4 batteries):
-$0.46/hour

I would say the two biggest concerns would be cost to use and brightness. Granted, there are other potential costs but these are the biggest. In the cost to use category the Rayovac battery-powered lantern wins quite easily, though, a close second could be the kerosene lantern if you can buy lamp oil or kerosene in larger quantities. The other concern, brightness, is obviously relative in the pictures provided but I would say that the Coleman propane lantern is the winner followed by the Rayovac. All-in-all, therefore, I would say that the Rayovac is the clear winner, in my opinion. To be fair, however, I do not own a good quality kerosene lantern so it could still turn out to be a close second.

First Look! Review of The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns and Guide to Wounds

I was given the privilege of reviewing two new interactive eBooks: The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns and The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. (a.k.a. “The Survival Doctor”) who is also the owner of TheSurvivalDoctor.com, a site that I recommend.

I should point out that I have no medical training whatsoever. In fact, I’m notorious for telling my kids to “go see your mother” anytime they mention a potential health problem, unless I have no other choice!

Since I was planning on purchasing these books  anyway, I was ready to dig in. Because I have the attention span of a gnat most of the time (especially with respect to medical issues) I decided to start with the shorter eBook, The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns

The book starts out as I would have expected–with some added benefits–in that it explains how to treat burns, the types of burns, and complications; generally what you would get from most burn treatment resources.

Unfortunately, most publicly-consumable medical texts stop right there. The Survival Doctor knows that’s not what we, as preppers, are looking for. We need something that goes a bit further because we understand that medical attention may not be readily available when needed the most.

As such, the book discusses a variety of additional topics such as wound debridement, making burn dressings, using natural resources such as aloe vera and honey, sterilizing instruments, and more. I actually feel like I learned something!

I do also appreciate The Survival Doctor’s ability to share his thought processes on burn treatment. In particular, he makes it plain as day what you should do, step-by-step, to properly treat and assess any burn. In my opinion, a calm and direct approach goes a long way to proper treatment from a layman such as myself.

Now, for The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds

This book is laid out similarly to the Guide to Burns book. As you would expect, it starts with an easy to follow outline for proper wound care, including stopping the bleeding, determining if it’s life threatening, assessing damage, and cut treatment.

Additional critical topics are also covered, such as bite wounds, punctures, and stab wounds. The Survival Doctor discusses exactly what should be done in each of these situations. Other topics covered include pressure dressings, tourniquets, and special situations (e.g., mouth cuts, scalp wounds, etc). He also explains the differences between blood from arteries and veins, why it’s important, and what to do.

One thing that is a bit different from the Guide to Burns is that this book includes a “Quick Overview for Emergencies” that can be used as an easily referenced decision making tool; I would have preferred this page to be at or near the beginning of the book for faster access but I understand the need for some education before being able to use the quick reference sheet.

I have yet to cover the interactive aspect of these books. The Survival Doctor intentionally included many dozens of links (both internal and to his website) that allow the reader to immediately jump directly to another location in the book that expands on the topic without interrupting the flow of thought. Oftentimes online videos are also referenced in the book where pertinent. I must say that at first I did not think I would like the interactive features at all; after working through each book they have started to grow on me.

Overall, I particularly enjoyed his candid speak, something that is desperately missing from the medical community. The Survival Doctor does a good job of relaying his train of thought to these issues and the books are easy to follow. I did notice, however, that the Guide to Wounds book tends to include the “get medical help ASAP” statement more often than I would have preferred. The concern, of course, would be what to do if I simply can’t? I guess I was hoping for a bit more of the austerity knowledge, but I understand that the book is about dealing with wounds and not about dealing with the aftermath of serious infections from some wounds.

Anyway, I also liked the idea of referencing his videos (there are even a few that exclusive to book readers) but I’m concerned that these references may not be available if/when they are really needed due to internet outages. It’s a nice plus but they aren’t going to do me any good when the Net is down. Instead, it would have been nice to include a few pictures or diagrams directly within the book that illustrated critical actions such as would debridement, for example.

The last consideration is the cost. Are the books worth it? I would say so. At $3.99 each, you gain a wealth of information that can be accessed on your computer, smart phone, and even printed for later reference. Heck, that’s about the cost of a cafe latte at Starbucks. 🙂 You can’t go wrong for the price.

Again, it’s really the decision making steps and candid speak that are the true benefits of the books. Find out more about his survival books here and let me know what you think after reading them.