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High-tech for hard- and happy-times.

For about half my time spent as a "contracted representative of US and Western interests," my specialty was what I called Cave-Tech, or, "Low-Tech Solutions to High-Tech Problems." While industrialized troops were learning to operate GPS and laser rangefinders, I was instructing illiterate ex-goat-ropers how to use pace-counting beads and make maps using sketched natural symbols. It was interesting and challenging, teaching "primitives" things like, You don't have to fight and stop a column of Soviet tanks. If you got the right terrain, angle, rocks, levers and gravity, you can easily stop the first one--and tail-end-Ivan. Then drop the mountains on 'em. Insteada armored war-pigs, you got tin cans--crunched/Yeah; stuff like that.

But meantime, a lot of technology development whizzed past me. I'm catching up, and so can you--and you should! Our Pluperfect Publishing Potentate, Roy-Boy, told me to select items which are both cool toys and tactical necessities; widgets to enhance your happy times, and gizmos to save your bacon in bad times. Easy, says I.

Are they worth your time and money? All the guns and ammo in the world won't help you overcome killer-diarrhea from contaminated water; tell you where you are or how to get back when you're lost in The Big Lonely; call for help when you're lying leg-busted on a nameless mountainside--or warn you there's a nasty storm sneakin' in when the skies are blue dotted with cottontail clouds ... These widgets will, and I want all of you around for Christmas--of 2025, at least.

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Bushnell's BackTrack is "GPS made easy"--a digital compass and 'way-back machine. Punch a button to log your starling point and up to two changes of direction, any distance. Punch another, and it gives you a return compass heading, North reference, and the distance between points--See? Easy!

Bad water sickens and kills, and it can happen in Bangladesh, the Great Basin, or the best hotel in Baltimore. Using UV--ultraviolet light--SteriPen effectively neutralizes 99.9999-percent of bacteria. 99.99-percent of viruses, and 99.9-percent of protozoa in water (including crypto and giardia), light, cheap and fast. Worth your life? Oh, yeah.

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Performance like 90-second charging time and 2-hour runtime, with 270 lumens of power is pretty impressive, right? Now, how 'bout the fact it's done with no batteries and no parts to replace, ever? Advanced capacitors and computer circuitry make 5.11 Tactical's UC3.400 Light for Life flashlight high-tech and hardy, good for a daily charge/discharge cycle for 135 years!

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Below: You don't have to be a deer hunter to use and appreciate Bushnell's compact Trophy Cam digital night vision camera--just someone who wants to know and photograph what or who is prowling the night ... Triggered by movement and lit up by 24 IR night vision LED's, the 5-megapixel camera takes stills or video, with a whole menu of function modes. When you can't be there, the Trophy Cam can!

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Gun parts--high-tech? No, but the Fail Zero EXO Technology coating on 'em is.

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Harder than the steel under it, EXO creates a greaseless permanent lubricity so slick it never needs oil or grease, and will not rub off, thin out, spall, gall or pick up crud--ever! High-tech? More like Star Wars!

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Interested in night vision but don't have $5K layin' around? The Night Cougar NVG binocular-goggle combo by ATN gives good performance for about one-tenth of that. Simple to learn and use, an onboard IR illuminator makes it a true see-in-pitch-dark device.

If you're ready for full-on GPS, why shouldn't it include a powerful two-way radio as well? The Rino 530 HCx gives you cutting-edge global positioning, maps, communications, and the ability to easily transmit your precise position to other Rino users. Cool, huh?

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The size of a fat cell phone, the SPOT Satellite Messenger can, with a press of a button, record your position virtually anywhere on earth, let you track and plot waypoints on Google maps, and send messages saying, "I'm okay and I'm right here!" to calls for emergency rescue--even where cell phones won't work. Don't get outta Dodge without it ...

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This little disk may not look too techno, but it is, and you need it! Daubrite VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor) Emitters by KPR Adcor Inc. very effectively fill airspace with rust-preventing fumes--without strong odor or combustibility problems. Perfect for storing weapons and amino!

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You need a rugged timepiece too, and the Suunto X-Lander gives all the usual options, chrono-meters and timers, plus an altimeter, barometer, and digital compass. Just knowing the barometer's dropping can save your life--and the X-Lander even gives you a four-day barometric record!

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For more info: www.americanhandgunner. com/productindex
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Publication:American Handgunner
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:793
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