Archive for the ‘How To’ Category
Sustainability and going green aren’t just ideas for environmentalists. These are concepts that everyone needs to be concerned about, including us here at Harry’s. Among other things, we have started recycling and switched to using energy efficient bulbs within the building, something that all of you can do at home. Going green can sometimes take some creative thinking so we have put together some tips and some products to help you!
One of the most basic ways to promote recycling is to go to thrift stores for clothing or footwear. We offer a variety of military surplus clothing, available in-store only, from all branches of the military. The BDU’s we get in can be used to go hunting, play paintball, Halloween costumes, or some people just wear them as a fashion statement. Sometimes we get surplus jackets, coats, and even footwear that has not even been worn before or just lightly worn, which is a great way to recycle clothing (also cheaper).
Another super easy way to go green is to invest in a reusable water bottle. Whether it be a filtered water bottle or a non filtered water bottle, you are saving the the planet from all of the plastic from bottled water. Our pick is the NDur Filtered Water Bottle. This 28 oz. water bottle is made with BPA-free plastic and the filter is good for 100 gallons or water or more depending on the water source being used. This filter removes up to 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, micro-organisms, heavy metals, and chemicals from your water, so not only are you being green, you are also getting purer water.
Probably the most creative way we came up with was re-purposing ammo cans. We sell them in-store only, but you can view them on our website. We’ve heard many stories about motorcycle riders using them as saddle bags, but a simple way to use them if you’ve got one handy is as an herb garden container. Now you may be thinking “Having an herb garden isn’t manly”, but we think it can be. Just take off the lid, get some top soil, buy some herb plants or seeds, and plant them! Herbs make your food taste way better and keeping plants indoors help improve air quality. If you’re a manly guy, housing your herbs in an ammo can is definitely cooler than having it in some random pot. Another tip: You may want to drill a hole in the bottom of the ammo can so that water can drain through.
So, if you’re local stop in the store to check out our “going green” goods. If you’re not local, take a look at our website for items like the NDur water bottle. For military surplus clothing or ammo cans, look for a surplus store close to you, we are sure you will find something awesome!
Warm weather means spending more time outdoors and we’re all ready for that! One of our favorite things to do during the spring and summer is go hiking. Here’s a great list of what to look for if you’re in the market for some new hiking boots!
1) Comfort: Make sure you take the time to test out different boots in the store, walking around to see how the boots feel. Make sure the boots have enough support, while still having enough cushion for your feet. You also want to make sure that your feet are comfortable, yet secure in the boot. If the boots are too loose, then your feet will slip around in the boot. If you are walking downhill this means your toes will slide to the top of the shoe or boot causing great discomfort. The same can also be said if the boot is too small. We have known plenty of hikers that have lost toenails from getting the wrong size boot!!!
2) Water Resistance: Hiking on outdoor trails brings lots of different types of weather and terrain. You definitely don’t want rain that you encounter halfway through the hike to make your boots squishy, wet, cold, and uncomfortable. Buying a waterproof boot will keep your feet dry and warm if you encounter some sudden showers or if you’re hiking through puddles, creeks, or streams.
3) Weight: Although there is some contradictions on whether lightweight boots are best for hiking or heavy duty boots that provide good support. In this case, it’s probably going to be best to go with what you find most comfortable! Just keep in mind that a heavy-duty boot, although providing good support, will add weight as you are hiking long distances.
4) Sole: The sole of your boot is one of the main characteristics that will tell you how long a boot will last. The deeper the grooves on the sole, the longer the tread will last. If the treads are thin, they will likely wear out quicker and need to be replaced more frequently.
5) Lastly, the material of the boot is something to take into consideration. Leather hiking boots tend to last longer, but are generally heavier than their nylon or canvas hiking boots.
Tomorrow is the first day of winter and it’s starting with a bang. Winter Storm Draco is currently pounding the Midwest and heading Michigan’s way, so we thought putting together some tips to help make it through the upcoming winter storm season would be helpful!
The first step in being prepared for winter is making sure your winter wardrobe is up to par. The clothing and footwear industry has made significant strides in developing new technologies and designs to help improve warm and performance in the winter. Columbia Sportswear is one of our favorite winter brands and with everything from electric boots that heat your feet with rechargeable batteries, great layering pieces like hoodies and fleece pullovers, to winter coats featuring insulation and silver linings that reflect body heat, you are sure to stay warm. Other brands such as, Carhartt , also offers top notch winter wear that is durable enough for a construction site and can last for years.
The second step for winter preparedness would be to make sure your home is prepped with some basic survival gear, in case you get snowed in or lose power. Having extra water one hand is a must. Cases of water bottles can often be hard to store so try out a case of emergency water rations. Each case contains 64 sachets, with 4.227 ounces in each packet. The water has been purified and has a 5 year shelf life. You’re sure to get hungry during a blizzard and if you’ve lost power, most of what you have in your fridge would spoil, so survival food bars or ready to eat meals would be a great thing to have in your cabinet. Flashlights and candles are also necessary to have as a light source.
The final step to be completely prepared for winter is to prep your car. I know from first hand experience driving in a blizzard is not fun and can be quite dangerous. In the unfortunate case that you get into an accident, your car breaks down, or you need to pull off the road because you can’t see, make sure you have everything you may need. A pre-made kit is a great option for your car or home because it can be easily stored in the backseat or in the trunk. One of our favorite picks is the Emergency Preparedness Survival Kit by Coghlan’s. This kit includes a variety of first aid materials, disposable hand warmers, emergency ponchos, survival candles, and more. Blankets are always handy to have in the car. You can chose between the reflective emergency blanket or go with a thick, heavy wool blanket….or go with both to be ultimately prepared.
Some of you may think being this prepared is extreme, but if you live in an area that has the potential for winter storms, then being this prepared will be beneficial in the long run. This was just a few tips and suggestions,so check out our whole selection of survival gear at Harry’s to create your very own emergency preparedness kit!
Tactical pants are cargo pants all grown up. More than just pockets, tactical pants are designed with functionality and durability in mind. Whether you are military, law enforcement, or a paramedic, you have probably had your eye on a pair of these amazing pants. What sets these pants apart from regular cargo pants? What features should you look for? Harry’s Army Surplus is here to give you the information you need!
The first thing most people notice are all the wonderful pockets. Tactical pants are designed with use in mind, so there are many different pockets in all sorts of configurations. There are places for your cell phone, wallet, knives, flashlights, tools, pretty much anything you need there is a pocket for it.
Tactical pants are constructed to take a beating. Reinforced stitching and bar tack stitches help ensure the pants don’t rip easily. Bar tack stitches are used to strengthen stress points, preventing tears and rips in pockets or seams. Gussets are triangular shaped pieces of material sewn into places like the crotch to improve fit and movement. Areas of heavy wear such as knees and seat are usually double reinforced to reduce wear and tear. A few pants come treated with Teflon™ to prevent staining from coffee, water, or even blood.
When shopping for a knife, the biggest question to consider is, “What will I be using the knife for?” Once you figure out the main purpose for the knife, it’s much easier to narrow down the specifics such as blade type and style. We’ll go over some knife basics and help you choose the right knife for the job.
- Drop-Point. This is a good all around blade suitable for many uses. Similar to a clip-point but with a more convex curve on the spine where it meets the tip of the blade. Stronger tip but not really good for piercing.
- Tanto. This blade has sharp straight angles and a strong tip. Good for piercing.
- Clip-Point. This blade is similar to a drop-point, but with a concave curve on the spine of the blade. One of the most popular styles for a reason, very versatile. Sharper tip makes for cutting in tight places or piercing.
- Normal. A straight back and curving edge. Good for thrusting, chopping and cutting.
Blade steels are usually different blends of stainless steel. Different alloys give benefits over plain stainless steel. Vanadium added to stainless steel improves strength and ease of sharpening. Carbon steel is stronger and tougher than stainless steel and easier to sharpen, however without the chromium of stainless steel it is more apt to rusting. Manufacturers like to use their own custom blends of steel, so it’s advisable to check the blade material on a knife you are considering to make sure it will hold up to the job. Remember, no matter the material, a blade will dull with use.
Fixed or Folder?
Should you choose a fixed blade knife or a folding blade? It again depends on the use. A fixed blade knife will be stronger due to the fact that the blade is one piece and there are no joints or moving pieces. A folding knife may be more convenient since the blade folds into the handle making it smaller and easier to carry.
Serrated or Plain Edge?
Whether you want a plain edge or serrated blade depends on the type of cutting you are going to be doing. A plain edge is great for smooth cuts, slicing and piercing. A serrated edge is good for rough cutting and sawing. An all around compromise is a partially serrated blade, which gives more versatility.
What kind of material the handle is made out of depends on preference. If you are going to be using your knife in damp environments, you might not want a stainless steel handle that is smooth. Handles are made in different types of plastic, metal, even bone or wood. The handle may be textured or smooth. Once again, it would depend on what you are using the knife for. If you are working around a lot of chemicals or blood borne pathogens, you would need something non-absorbent like metal, not wood. Metal handles can get colder than other materials, so if you are outdoors in the cold, a metal handle might not be the best option.
Harry’s Army Surplus has a huge selection of knives and tools fit for any job imaginable. Stop in or give us a call and speak with our highly knowledgeable staff, we’ll make sure you get the right knife for the task at hand.
Feet sweat. It’s a fact of life. It’s normal. Nevertheless, you want to try to keep your feet as dry as you can. Damp sweaty feet are not just uncomfortable, they can lead to problems such as Athlete’s Foot and painful sores. Excessive moisture in socks and boots combined with body heat creates the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria, bacteria that can cause nasty foot odors or even Athlete’s Foot. Too much dampness in socks can cause feet to slide around in boots, causing blisters and painful callouses to develop. Luckily, your team at Harry’s Army Surplus has scrounged up some good intel on quick, easy ways to combat the sweat!
- Wash Feet Daily. Give the dogs a good scrubbing every day with some antibacterial soap. Wash twice daily if sweat is excessive.
- Dry Feet Completely. Really get in there, dry in between those toes. Don’t skip this step! You don’t want to bring any moisture into your boots. Use a hairdryer on a cool setting if needed.
- Use Foot Powder. Sprinkle on the bottoms of feet and in between toes. There are a lot of choices out there, but we don’t recommend cornstarch based powders; when they get moist, they can gum up and leave a gross paste in your toes. Harry’s has military grade foot powder available in store. Drug stores have good options, such as Gold Bond or Dr. Scholl’s.
- Chose The Right Sock. Don’t go for cotton. Cotton will absorb sweat like a sponge and keep it trapped on your foot. You’ll want a good wool sock or synthetic moisture wicking material. Wigwam makes some wonderful socks that we love.
- Let Boots Dry. Boots and shoes need at least 24 hours to sufficiently dry out. Rotate your footwear and don’t wear the same boots 2 days in a row, if you do your boots will never dry and will get really funky fast.
With winter coming up fast, this information is just as valuable as in the hot summer. Dry feet are happy, warm feet. Wet feet trap cold, giving rise to cold weather injuries like frostbite. Come visit Harry’s Army Surplus and keep those feet dry and comfy!
Fall is here and winter is not too far behind. The time to break out all of your fall and winter gear has arrived! It may seem early to all of you, but it’s better to be prepared than be left in the cold. Here at Harry’s we have come up with a few helpful tips to ensure you stay warm and dry from September to March.
- Most people know to layer their clothing to get optimal warmth, but most people do not layer properly. You need to consider what your clothing is made of to get optimal warmth. The first layer you should put on should be a thermal. You may be thinking of the traditional long underwear, but times and technology has changed. One of our favorite thermal tops is the Terramar Two Layer Authentic Thermal Top. Made of 100% polyester, the two layer construction is optimal for insulation. An air pocket forms between the layers surrounding your body with warm air. This thermal top is also breathable and quick drying to get rid of any sweat. This black thermal is also anti-microbial, which helps prevent embarrassing odors from forming. All of the Terramar thermals are great options for cool and cold temps. Throw a sweatshirt on over top of the thermal and you are set for fall. For winter just throw on your favorite coat!
2. Add Insulation
- A coat or jacket with insulation is a great addition to your winter wardrobe. Having an insulated coat means you will definitely stay warm on the coldest winter days. The Carhartt Traditional Duck Arctic Quilt Lined Coat is a great option for winter. This winter coat comes with the traditional durability and reliability that Carhartt always provides. Available in brown or black, this Carhartt coat comes with arctic weight polyester insulation.
3. Cover up you hands, head, and feet
- Sometimes we get caught up with layering our torso and legs for warmth and forget about other areas that lose heat quickly. Areas like the hands, feet, and ears need to be protected. Besides buying winter boots, wool socks are great for keeping your feet warm and dry. With natural moisture wicking capabilities, sweat will always be wicked away from your feet. Wigwam is our favorite brand. They offer wool socks in different thicknesses for different times of year. The quality is amazing and they are not itchy like the wool socks of the past. For hands and ears, the company Seirus provides many different options and styles in hats and gloves. They even offer different types of facial masks to keep you face protected.
All in all, everyone’s goal is to stay warm in dry in the fall and winter. By taking simple steps and purchasing the right gear, being cold should never be a worry. Harry’s Army Surplus has a huge selection of winter gear including coats, gloves, hats, and insulated boots offered in store and online. Check out our selection before it’s too late!
Paracord, 550 cord, whatever you want to call it is amazing! This survival cord is so versatile, you can use it for just about anything. You can use the cord whole, or pull the strands out of the sheath and use separately. There are dozens of uses for this military cord. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Gear lashing/tie down
- Tent/shelter building
- Boot laces
What are some of your favorite uses for paracord? Leave a comment and let us know! Harry’s Army Surplus has paracord in many different colors and patterns in both nylon and polyester. Come on in and check it out, or visit us online!
Contamination of oceans, rivers, lakes, and ground water is caused by a variety of different pollutants. Many of the pollutants that make their way into our water source are man made chemicals that are discharged into bodies of water, either directly or inadvertently. The majority of these chemicals are not only dangerous to the organisms living in these bodies of water, but also to surrounding nature, animals, and plants using these water sources for sustaining life.
Aside from the ecological threat chemicals in our water pose, we as a society have to be worried about drinking from such water sources unless we have taken the proper steps to purify and treat the water. Factories and industrial manufacturers are actually allowed by the government a certain amount of air and water pollution every year. This is why when you are hiking or camping, it is important to have some type of water filtration device on hand if you need to use water from a river, stream, or lake.
To remove the harmful effects of contaminated water for drinking, bathing, or cooking, the new AquaStar Plus water purifier is the way to go. This water decontaminator is a spectracidal treatment solution container that is ideal for any climate or setting. The UV-C portable water purifier by AquaStar uses a pair of standard CR-123 batteries, and UV light deactivation to significantly reduce the number of viruses and bacteria, quickly giving you safe drinking water, one liter at a time. The simple, lightweight, one-button water purifier can treat a liter of water in 80 seconds.
In addition to the AquaStar Plus purifier, the AquaStar AUX Power Kit provides you with an alternative running option using built-in batteries. The Aqua Star Plus water purifier comes with a wall adapter that fits North American outlets, and a cigarette lighter adapter for purifying on the go.
Pepper spray is an excellent non-lethal self defense item. You can find a variety of self defense sprays / pepper sprays at Harry’s Army Surplus. In order to maximize the effectiveness, you need to know how to use it properly. Don’t get caught off guard fumbling for your pepper spray during an attack. The best time to learn how to properly use pepper spray is before you find yourself becoming a potential victim. Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
- Shout “STOP” loudly as you aim and fire. Anything to disorient your attacker helps.
- Make sure you have the range in order to make the spray contact your attacker’s face.
- Spray in 2 to 3 second bursts. If needed, you can spray again.
- Sweep across the attacker’s face in a Z pattern, making sure to hit the eyes and nose.
- Pay attention to wind direction. You don’t want to end up with the spray blowing back into your own face.
- Shoot and back up. The goal is to give yourself the means to escape.
- Extend your arm all the way out to fire. Your attacker could grab your arm and try to pull or disarm you.
- Close your eyes. Keep your eyes on your attacker at all times. You may need to re-aim.
- Keep pepper spray in a hot car. The heat can damage the rubber seals causing the contents to leak.
- Expect pepper spray to completely incapacitate a person. It is designed to disorient so you have time to escape.
- Let your pepper spray expire. Keep an eye on that expiration date and replace it before it loses its effectiveness.
Get used to carrying and firing your pepper spray. Try to have it in an easily accessible location and keep it there so you are not searching for it in a time of need. Practice firing the spray so you are aware of the shot distance and whether the consistency is oily or foamy. It will take a few seconds for the burning and stinging to take effect, and the effect can last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes.
Harry’s Army Surplus has a wide selection of pepper spray to fit all needs. If you are in the Metro-Detroit area, stop on by and check us out or order online!