Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Building a Military Tent

Every person who wants to be equipped for any situation needs a rudimentary shelter that can be easily transported and set up with minimal equipment. A tent has all these characteristics and is the perfect candidate. I was strolling around in my favourite and biggest military surplus warehouse in my area and I was deceived to see that I couldn't find any tent that was small and light enough yet very durable that met my needs. I was passing in front of some rolls of fabric and I though, what if I made my own tent. I went to see the warehouse's military tailor, and she told me that it was a lot of work but it was possible.

I wanted to build a house shaped 5 feet wide, 8 feet deep and 7 feet tall tent with very very tough material and that could be mounted without the use of any poles whatsoever. For this I needed:

  • Around 26 feet of digital camouflage fabric (5 feet wide) for 51.28$CAN
  • Around 15 feet of digital camouflage heavy-duty fabric (5 feet wide)  for 56.98$CAN
  • A piece of screening material for 22.79$CAN
  • Around 42 feet of 2 inch velcro for 55.88$CAN
  • Around 45 feet of 2 inch strap for 38.11$CAN
  • Around 99 feet of rope for 9.31$CAN
  • 3 cans of waterproofing coating for 37.23$CAN
  • Miscellaneous pegs, sewing supplies and others for about 40.00$CAN
  • A military transport box for 85.46$CAN
The parts add up to a total cost of 397.04$CAN. However with labor costs running at approximately 20$CAN an hour, there is around 1600.00$CAN in labour. So the tent's final value run's in the 2000$CAN range. Believe me, it is really worth it, there is nothing on the market that is even close to that quality and durability.

There is no real how-to for this build as building this goes with basic logic and acquired skills. You should not start a big project like this if you cannot keep focused for tens of hours on a project which is very demanding mentally and physically. It took me about 80 hours to fabricate the tent and all I can say is that it really hard but once you finish it is very very rewarding. I have included numerous pictures of me putting the tent up using only 2 pieces of rope around 100 feet long each. If you have any questions on this build feel free to write them down in the comments and I will answer shortly. I can also take special orders if any one wants me to build them a tent, I sell this model for 1500$CAN. I can send samples of the fabrics used and alternatively use any other fabric or camouflage pattern. Just ask and I'm sure we can figure something out.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Everything About Ballistic Goggles

I'm sure you've lived the moment where you're doing something and you just can't leave you eyes open because you have snow, sand, wind, sun, or any other annoying material hitting you in the face and you just wished you had goggles. You can if you want have a bag full of utility specific protectors such as sunglasses, laboratory safety glasses, snowboard goggles, etc. In the event of a disaster or in everyday life, it would just be better if you could replace all of those glasses/goggles with one simple object. Well, I sincerely think that ballistic glasses can do exactly that. Back in winter 2009-10 I was tired of always having snow in the face while walking in snow storms and blizzards and my snowboard glasses were just too brittle to be carried around all the time. I was finding myself with those same broken snowboard glasses working in my workshop, cutting, grinding and sanding. I though what protection those glasses were bringing me, well they don't protect anything whatsoever. Snowboard glasses are just good for protecting against the cold, wind and snow. I went into looking for an alternative which would actually provide some protection and I found ballistic glasses.

The specifications I was looking for were:

  • Light.
  • Small.
  • Simple.
  • Rugged.
  • Resistance to the elements.
  • Resistance to moderate direct impacts (rocks, slow projectiles, shrapnel, etc.)
  • Shatter proof.

After looking into numerous brands at different prices I found the perfect goggles for my application at a reasonable price tag. Smith Optics Elite Division Outside the Wire Ballistic Goggles. They are a snowboard style type goggle made for military applications. They provide all the specifications I was looking for and include 3 different lens so in the case that the lens does not meet my application or it is broken I can switch it in less than 20 seconds! It also includes a pouch for the glasses and lens that will mount on pretty any belt, military vest or bag. I bought mine at a local army surplus in Beloeil, Qu├ębec, Canada but you can find them everywhere online. For those interested in its accreditations, it has passed the MIL-DTL-43511D, ANSI Z87.1-2003 and CE EN166 standards.