I'm a longtime reader & fan of your blog. Just writing to let you know I recently bought two items you recommended & am very happy with them.
1) The Fenix 2xAA cell flashlight is a real winner. I tested it against a 2 AA cell Maglite I have & it was at least 1/3rd brighter, with more options for power settings, etc. The Maglite has a focusable beam & is bright chrome (easy to see in glove compartment), so I keep it in my car & the Fenix in an emergency bag I made. The bag started for hiking a few years ago (sprained ankles, weather, stuck in wilderness overnight, etc) but has grown for use in earthquakes (CA) or bugging out of town.
2) The Vaquero folding knife by Cold Steel is the other item, & it is also a winner. The medium was a little small, but the large is an excellent fit for my hand. It goes in the car and gets carried, also with a small can of teargas, when I inspect properties in bad parts of town. I do real estate appraisals in LA, CA and occasionally need to go to the worst areas of LA, like near Nickerson Gardens housing project. If I go early in the AM, like today, the good people are out taking kids to school or rushing to work, and problems with residents are few. The main hazard is stray dogs, which are common, and often aggressive. Sure enough, as soon as I exited my SUV with mace can in hand, a loose pit bull wanted to approach me. It kept its distance & I didn't use the mace, but having it made things less stressful. Dogs can smell fear on people, and then move in, so maybe the teargas kept me from nervous sweat? Pit Bulls are often bred in that area for fighting and then escape or are freed by owners trying to save money. These are NOT dogs to touch and befriend! The Vaquero is a backup to the mace, in case a stray pit bull or Doberman gets past the mace.
Will likely buy the water filter next, good for hiking, earthquakes and disruption of utility lines.
Hi GT, Glad you liked them. I own the Vaquero Grande and it is in fact a terrific knife, specially for a self defense blade.
I have a couple Fenix flashlights and they are highly recommended as well. They are well made and use the Cree LED emitter which I like the most.
Whenever I recommend something, I make sure it’s a product worthy of it. I also own most of the gear I recommend to others, or know the products quality is superb.
For me, the basic everyday carry gear supply revolves around the light-fire-tool triangle, so both items mentioned are of importance for anyone that wants to be prepared. Sometimes the “tool” can be subdivided into a multitool and a dedicated knife, but that’s very much the core of a basic tool setup: Something to see in the dark, something to start a fire, a knife and/or other basic tools.
Anyway, glad you liked them. You’ve bought quality and it will serve you well.