Friday, April 23, 2010

Something New

This week we have a new Austere Provisions Company Exclusive product to announce as well as some new off the shelf items.

Onto the exclusive...

The Austere Provisions Company 72 Hour Individual Sick Call Kit.

I started this project last year and had moved it to the back burner due to a couple other projects I am working on until I got an email from a good friend traveling in Europe. The jist of the email was that he had woken up after a night of socializing with some industry friends and colleagues to much more than a relatively minor hangover. Symptoms included fever, chills, fatigue, and cough among others. My buddy's complaint was that while he had a fairly comprehensive individual trauma kit in his luggage he did not have any basic meds to control symptoms or treat everyday issues such as a cold, headache, congestion, stomach upset, or any other of a host of issues that are common when traveling or in the field.

Compounding this was the fact that he was traveling and while he had been to this European city numerous times before he did not know of a local pharmacy to source meds from and wasnt in much of a condition to be going out anyway, turns out it was snowing outside as he was having his own personal summer courtesy of his immune system inside.

In the end, after a number of conversations I was convinced that this kit needed to be on the shelf and available to active travelers and adventurers today and not sitting on the back burner. Now some of you may be thinking to yourself: "self, havent these kits been made by numerous others before, why does this guy think his is so special?" Well, what I think makes this kit superior is that each content and the kit itself is the distillation of the most useful meds on the market packaged in a durable and water safe package with a large enough quantity of items to cover most issues for a solid 3 days.

The content list comes from the most common meds used during numerous deployments around the globe as well as carried in my personal kit. Each med is individually packaged for easy dosing and organization. So what is in this thing? Contents as follows:

-Acetaminophen 500mg 12 Packets of 2
-Aspirin 325mg 18 Packets of 2
-Ibuprofen 200mg 18 Packets of 2
-Phenylephrene HCL 5mg 18 Packets of 2
-Diphenhydramine 25mg 18 Packets of 1
-Loratadine 10mg 3 Packets of 1
-Alamag Plus 24 Packets of 2
-Loperamide HCL 2mg 12 Packets of 1
-Meclizine Hydrochloride 25mg 3 Packets of 1
-Cold Relief Multi-Component Tablet 12 Packets of 2
-Zantac 75 6 Packets of 1
-NoDoz 200mg 9 Packets of 2
-Talnaftate 1% 12 Packets of cream
-Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement Solution (Assorted Flavors) 6 Stick Packs

All that in a 12x12 LOKSAK bag leaving plenty of space for the end user to add personally prescribed meds or extras for extended trips. As the kit comes when ordered the bag is roughly half full and folds to 6x12, easily fitting in an assault pack, carry on, or brief case.

A few quick pics:

From Product Releases

From Product Releases

So if you are looking for a good sick call kit to keep you in tip top shape no matter where your travels take you consider the Austere Provisions Company 72 Hour Individual Sick Call Kit

72 Hour Individual Sick Call Kit available exclusively at Austere Provisions Company

A few honorable mentions added this week:

We are very happy to add Littmann Stethoscopes to our line up. While we feel that all of Littmann's products are top of the line we have been particularly happy with the Classic II SE. I personally carried one of these for a number of years and continue to keep it in a sick call diagnostic bag. The Classic II SE combines a capable design with a compact and lightweight footprint. And of course we had to go with the Black Edition so it is tacticool in that late 80's early 90's way.

From Product Releases

Littmann Classic II SE Black Edition available at Austere Provisions Company

Next up is a tool I have been carrying for quite some time in my diagnostic kit which serves a number of purposes including basic auditory tests, but more useful in the field is the ability to help identify long bone fractures. If a question mark just popped into your head take a minute and do an internet search for "tuning fork" and "fracture diagnosis" and you will find a myriad of sources about the accuracy of such a technique as well as various ways to perform this test. Through my research and use 128mhz seems to be the most accurate and multipurpose.

From Product Releases

128 mhz Tuning For now available at Austere Provisions Company

Next up is a very common tool, EMS Shears. We are currently offering three options in our line of EMS Shears. Two sizes in an all black, fluoride coated model and a single size in the standard stainless steel version trusted for years.

From Product Releases

Fluoride Coated EMS Shears now available at Austere Provisions Company

From Product Releases

Stainless EMS Shears now available at Austere Provisions Company

Alright, I know we didnt destroy any gear this week but trust me when I say that each item we have featured in this post is a tried and true item that I keep in my own gear bag. That includes the Sick Call Kit which I happen to build a couple for myself to stash in various locations.

That is all for this week, I look forward to bringing you more next week. Until then, stay sharp and stay safe.


P.S. I wanted to take a minute and apologize for no post last week. My wife and I headed out to do a little camping on Thursday and came back on Friday to find a flooded house due to a broken water line in our kitchen. We have spent much of the week cleaning and coordinating with insurance and construction resources. Thanks to everyone who has offered assistance, it is much appreciated.

Friday, April 9, 2010

We got a bleeder...

We got a solution...

We have been carrying hemostatic agents for some time now but we have a few adjustments to make to our line up. Recently Z-Medica, the parent company of QuikClot, decided to release the same packaging and design features previously only available to the military to the general public. What am I talking about? The QuikClot Gauze originally came as a rolled gauze in a pillow pack. The military made a request that it be produced in a folded format for ease of packing in to a wound, with an x-ray detectable marker to ease identification of foreign materials in large wounds, and vacuum sealed to reduce bulk. Initially all attempts to obtain this for the retail market were met with the response of "this is only for official military use". I am not sure if there was some sort of contractual agreement where X number of units must be delivered before being released or what but recently we were notified by our distributor that this new form was now available to us.

This is good for you in two ways:

1. You can now get the new packaging which saves some space particularly in reducing the bulk of individual medical kits and the like.
2. We are running a clearance sale on the remaining stock of the original pillow packaging.

As well as the change in packaging to the QuikClot Gauze we were notified that the QuickClot ACS is no longer being supported and we will no longer be able to source it. In order to help anyone who particularly likes the QuikClot ACS pick up a few extras or to add hemostatics on the cheap we will also be running a clearance sale on the remaining stock of QuikClot ACS.

Here's the links:
From Product Releases

QuikClot Gauze original packaging on clearance at Austere Provisions Company for $35.00/ea

From Product Releases

QuikClot ACS on clearance at Austere Provisions Company for $26.00/ea

From Product Releases

QuikClot Gauze new packaging (shown on left) now available at Austere Provisions Company

So, this weeks product of the weeks comes with a little sale that we hope you will take advantage of. I know its no cool test or video but it is an important piece of gear we believe in.

Thanks and we will see you next week, stay sharp,


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Before I kick off this weeks review I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. It is days like today that I like to stop and reflect on all that we have and all that has been sacrificed by others for us. As well, I would like to take a moment to say thanks to those serving both at home and abroad to make sure that we at home are safe.

This week has been another busy week of working on projects and creating unique solutions for our customers. Look some more APC exclusives in the near future. As well as keeping busy at work, I was happy to welcome my lovely wife home from her 30 day medical rotation in Honduras and get her feedback on "all that stuff you made me pack". After a week of relaxation I convinced her and some friends to head out for some camping as the weather was just perfect for some time outdoors and so we packed up and headed out. This leads us to this weeks product of the week...

The UCO Candle Lantern:

I have been using these for years with great success. They provide a nice warm light source in a compact package. In the picture shown below you will see my wonderful hot pink model which I picked up in 1993 and have been using since. I would like to say that my memory is good enough to remember when I picked it up but I was lucky enough that it still has a sticker on it where it was produced for a major outdoors chain anniversary celebration.

From Blog album

A little hard info on this things from the manufacturer:

The classic, long-burning collapsible candle lantern that has provided warm, natural light to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts since 1982, the Original Candle Lantern is still our most popular model. Lightweight and compact, the patented Candle Lantern provides 9 hours of warm light from a single candle. It is perfectly suited to backpacking, mountaineering, snow camping and similar outdoor pursuits and simple to maintain and operate. Our unique, spring loaded candle tube insures a constant flame height and minimal wax spillage. This lantern works exceptionally well inside a tent on winter hiking and camping trips.

Now lighting the candle lantern is easier than ever with our easy lighting system. The chimney quickly and easily slides down inside the lantern to give the user instant access to the candle area. Once lit, the chimney slides back up into its original position - providing wind protection for the candle flame. We sell it by itself or in a value pack. Value Pack: Includes the Original candle lantern, 3 candles, and a fleece bag.

The Original UCO Candle Lantern has these additional features:

  • Collapsible - our patented design allows the lantern to telescope closed, protecting the glass chimney while traveling or hiking.
  • Convenient Handle - Stainless steel handle makes the Candle Lantern easy to hang and carry.
  • Constant Flame Height - our unique spring loaded candle tube keeps the flame height constant while a small viewing window shows how much candle remains. Each candle burns for up to 9 hours.
  • Economical - the Candle Lantern is affordable to purchase and economical to use. Other lanterns can cost up to $2.00 per hour to operate, the Candle Lantern costs only about 9 cents per hour.
  • Efficient - lightweight aluminum or brass frame holds the glass chimney securely in place, creating a windproof environment for the flame.
  • Safe - No combustible fuels, no complicated starting procedures.
  • Reliable - no batteries to fail and replace, no mantles or bulbs to break.
  • Environmentally Friendly - no batteries or fuel cartridges to dispose.
  • Lifetime Parts Guarantee - see below
  • Made in U.S.A. with top quality materials and workmanship.
A little info from my use:

As I mentioned before I have been carrying and using these for years and for a number of good reasons. They are fairly durable considering they do contain a glass globe, I have yet to have to replace a globe in any of the ones I have used including the "pinky" from 1993. Keeping them in the case and careful packing during travel helps with this. Outside of durability the actual function of the lantern is of course primarily light and these lanterns provide a nice comfortable and quiet light. If you need something brighter you may consider a fuel or electric lantern but you will be trading off the quiet (liquid and compressed gas lanterns) or the soft comfortable light (electric lanterns), something to think about. Along with offering a soft quiet light these lanterns are a great source of heat if used with care. A perfect example was our trip afield this weekend. I am pretty tolerable of cool temps but even I like to warm up the tent before heading to the sleeping bag on cool and cold nights. One technique I have found useful is to rig up a section or two of 550 cord from loops inside my primary tent so that I can hang one or more of these lanterns inside and keep them a safe distance from the tent and occupants during use. This weekend I set this up while we were bedding down for the evening and was nice and warm even in a light summerweight bag with outside temps in the mid to high 40s and a pretty solid breeze.

One other place I have used this concept successfully has been in caving. It is quite common to get quite cool when underground, particularly when wet. On a number of occasions I have used one or two candles under an improvised shelter (a large trashcan liner) to create a microclimate capable of warming up a cold team mate.

NOTE: Caution should be used in both of these techniques as you can very easily burn yourself, your team/tent mate and even light your shelter/tent on fire. Very close attention should be paid to making sure that nothing comes in contact or even close to the heat source.

So what about that other item in the picture above? That is the UCO Candlelier which contains 3 of the standard candles for even more light and heat. The Candlelier is a rigid non-collapsing body design which allows you to place a mug on the heatshield to warm liquids. During my testing I was not able to get it water to a rolling boil but it did start bubbling and was more than warm enough be uncomfortable on the fingers or the tongue without letting it cool.

So if you need a good source of warm heat in your travels I would encourage you to look at some of the options we have available at Austere Provisions Company:

From Blog album

UCO Candle Lantern Value Pack available at Austere Provisions Company
Includes a complete lantern with candle installed, 3 replacement candles, and a soft fleece bag.

From Blog album

UCO Candlelier Deluxe Kit available at Austere Provisions Company
Includes the complete Candlelier with 3 candles installed, 3 replacement candles, and a padded case.

From Blog album

UCO Regular Candle 3 Pack available at Austere Provisions Company

That is all for this one, thanks for checking in and have a great week.

Stay sharp,