Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sitka Gearslinger Maxpedition - Excellence in Every Day Carry

A few months ago I picked up a pack I have been eyeballing for a long time.  It is called the Sitka and is part of the Maxpedition Gearslinger Series.  I have found it to be perfect for my "every day carry" (EDC) needs.  I purchased it to use as a multifunction bag, with the main purpose to serve as a bag to get me to work and back home. 

My wife and I understand that the world is becoming more unpredictable We see more evidence on a daily basis that it is better to be ready for an emergency.  I have taken the motto of a former employer to heart, "Hope for the best, plan for the worst."

A fresh example of being unprepared is the tragedy witnessed in the aftermath of the storm Sandy that hit the New England states.  Unfortunately, much like Katrina, days into the disaster many people received no support.  No food.  No water.  No suitable shelter.  No clothes.  They were completely unprepared.

So, with that in mind, you can call me "paranoid" if that makes you feel better...but honestly I could care less.  If something ever happens, whether my vehicle breaks down, natural disaster, or any other crazy event, I want to have some level of preparedness to get back home.  That is where this bag comes in.  It is just another tool in the toolbox.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Big Home Defense Tool

The Misplaced Alaskan
punching holes at the range.
In regards to home defense, I have heard it said,
My friend slinging lead.
"Use your pistol to get to your shotgun."  The shotgun is arguably considered the best home defense weapon.  The ease of use, lack of dead-on-accuracy required, and the intimidation factor when pumped are all benefits of having a shotgun for home defense. 

I had decided it was time to add another tool to the weapon toolbox.  After researching my options, I decided to pursue the purchase of a Mossberg 500 Persuader 12 gauge pump-action shotgun.  I bought it from Academy Sports for $289.00 on sale. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Top Shot Competition Announcement

American Legion Post #48
P. O. Box 323
Chesnee, SC 29323

Amateur Handgun Competition

Date: September 29, 2012
Time: Registration starts at 9:00 AM; competition at 10:00 AM
Location: Post #48 Building, 820 South Alabama Street, Chesnee
Who: Amateur handgun shooters – female or male
What: Revolvers or semi-automatic pistols
Calibers: 22 short – 45 ACP
Entry Fee: $20
Top Prize: $100
Medals: 1st Place, 2nd Place, & 3rd Place


Competition rules are on the website – look for Small Bore Handgun Competition. Read the rules! If you would like, you can preregister by downloading the Competitor Registration Form, Eligibility Affidavit, and Liability Agreement forms, filling them in, and mailing them with your check or money order (no cash) to the post office box above. Last date for a registration to be received is Wednesday, September 26. If you have already signed a Liability Agreement, you need not fill out another one. Please note: the Liability Agreement is a 2 page document that should be printed on one sheet of paper. If you cannot do that, sign both pages. This form also requires another person as a witness and is invalid without the witness. Or, you can register on
the day of the competition, but you run the risk of having the competition cancelled from a lack of competitors.

Registration fees will be refunded in the event of cancellation for lack of interest or inclement weather.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Excellence in CWP Holsters

There are a number of ways to carry that lead-slinging-machine you are packing.  There are some excellent methods of carry, and some horrific ways as well.  I am really concerned when I hear of those who are legally carrying firearms, doing it in an unsafe manner.  With many holster options available today there really is no excuse to not carry safely. 

A few of the common carry options are OWB (Outside Waistband), IWB (Inside Waistband), pocket holster, clipdraw (which employs no holster, but a clip attached directly to the gun), pocket carry without a holster (stupid and extremely dangerous), and Mexican carry (carried in the front of your pants, tucked in with no holster...again, I'm not a fan). 

I think it is safest to use a holster to carry my firearm.  Now, which holster to use is of course up to great debate.  There are plenty of options such as leather, molded plastics such as Kydex, or nylon, and then you can consider what level of gun retention you want to have, if any.  There are three levels of retention, I, II, III and the higher the level of retention the more difficult it is for someone to remove your firearms from your holster. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don't Underestimate the Wild

Today's news reported on a tragic event that ended in a tourist losing his life to a grizzly bear attack.  Apparently, the tourist from San Diego was snapping pictures of the bear for some time before the unthinkable happened...the bear attacked.

It is estimated that a grizzly bear can run about 30-35 miles per hour.  This means that a grizzly bear, running at 30 miles an hour can run 50 yards in about 3.5 seconds.  Based on the news report, the photographer closed in to about that distance, which was closer than the park allows, which is 1/4 mile. 

You can read more about the article here: Bear Attack - Fox News

Here's a few basic tips regarding bear attacks:
1.) NEVER run from a bear.  Your first instinct will be to run.  You won't outrun a bear.

2.) Play dead.  Yes you are going to get hurt.  Probably a lot.  However, if you want to survive, cover your head, play dead and pray.

3.) Once you are laying in the fetal position trying to protect your vital areas, be as quiet as you can and DON'T MOVE.

4.)  If the bear has left you alone and walked patient.  Bears will often look back to check. 

The best thing to remember is this...don't purposely put yourself in the position that a bear can attack you within seconds.  If you are in the wilderness and believe you could potentially spook a bear, or other wild animal that could kill or gravely hurt you, carry a gun in the appropriate caliber.  Many people don't realize that federal law now permits you to conceal carry a firearm into national parks, however you still must obey your specific state carry laws.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pyramex Safety Shooting Eyewear Giveaway winner is...

The winner of the Pyramex shooting eyewear giveaway is Kurt Conway from Columbus, Ohio!  Congratulations to Kurt who will be receiving a pair of PMX5050 photo-chromatic glasses!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  I am very grateful to Pyramex for sponsoring this giveaway!
The next giveaway will be coming up shortly so check back soon!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pyramex Safety Shooting Eyewear GIVEAWAY!

Alright, it's time for another great giveaway opportunity!  Pyramex has generously provided The Misplaced Alaskan with a pair of PMX-5050 safety glasses for a giveaway.

You can read about these awesome glasses in my review post here

This is your opportunity to get a pair of these photo-chromatic shooting safety glasses for FREE!

To enter follow these 3 easy steps!
1.) "Like" The Misplaced Alaskan's Facebook page here.
(Skip #1 if you already "Like".)
2.) Post on The Misplaced Alaskan's Facebook page, telling readers what firearm you shoot while wearing these glasses!

3.) Share The Misplaced Alaskan's giveaway link on your Facebook page!

Winner to be selected on May 25, 2012!

Using, a random number generator, one winner will be selected based the number of entries.  For example, the first comment will be entry #1, second comment entry #2, etc.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All Eyes on Safety

A few months ago I had resolved to enter my first shooting contest, which I blogged about recently.  I wanted to go and compete, not just enter for the fun of it, and I really wanted to do well.  I had broken my safety glasses I would take to the gun range with me, but they were just a pair of cheap $4 off the shelf shooting glasses.  They got me by, but for about a year before they snapped in half.  So I began a search for a new pair of glasses.

 Now, living in South Carolina, one thing I have learned is you must own sunglasses or you will suffer greatly for it because it is so sunny here for so much of the year!  So I figured if I was going to compete in an outdoor venue, then I might as well be prepared for the South Carolina sunshine and take my shooting eye-wear to the next level.

As seen without bright sunlight
I began my search.  I found a company called Pyramex and found the pair of glasses I really wanted to try out.  Pyramex is located in Colliersville, TN, and makes safety products, focusing primarily on protection from the neck up.  All of their products are independently tested and meet the necessary safety
As seen in bright sunlight
requirements.  I contacted Pyramex and asked if they would be willing to send a pair of PMX-5050 safety glasses that I could use for an upcoming competition, which I would also review on my blog.  They were very willing to accommodate my request and shipped out a set immediately! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Competition

The Range
The American Legion in Chesnee, SC held their first Top Shot competition recently, and I decided to take upon the challenge and enter my first shooting event.  The contest was set up as a bulls-eye competition with 3 separate stages.

During the first stage, shooters lined up at the 10 yard line.  Each contestant had two magazines loaded with 5 rounds each.  We loaded our firearm with the first 5 round mag, held our pistols at the ready, then we had 45 seconds to shoot 10 rounds.  This meant after 5 rounds, we released our mags, reloaded our next, and continued firing.  We shot at 10, 15, and 25 yards, repeating the 10 rounds at each stage.  At the 15 yard stage, we were given 90 seconds to shoot, and at the 25 yard stage were were allotted 3 minutes.  The targets were replaced at each stage using different size targets for the changes in distance.

Mike Sexton skills demo
Setting out the targets
I brought my new PMX 5050 photochromatic safety glasses to the competition.  They were provided to me by Pyramex a safety equipment supplier, and I offered to review them.  I will be writing a separate review, however I must say that I absolutely love these glasses.  The tint is perfect for shooting!  I also have a pair to giveaway after my review is finished!

After the first round of shooting we waited for the results that would determine who advanced to the finals.  Mike Sexton, a CWP instructor, retired US Marine, and IDPA/tactical pistol and rifle instructor spent 30 minutes reviewing firearm fundamentals that covered grip, weapon handling, movement and stance.  His instruction was very valuable, and I have made a few changes to my shooting based on his recommendations and I have improved my shooting considerably since!

Shooting during the first round
After Mike ended his instruction, the results were posted.  I was very pleased to see that I was in 2nd place after the first round, and would be allowed to enter the championship round.  The top five shooters from the first round advanced.  The championship round was conducted just like the first round, at the 10, 15 and 25 yard stages.  I knew I was performing much better during the championship round and at the end of the 15 yard stage a safety officer approached me from behind and said, "It's yours to lose!"  I agreed, I was doing well, but I knew the 25 yard stage was next and that was the distance I was struggling with most. 

Receiving my 2nd place Medal
At the end of the competition the scores were tallied and the winners were announced.  I ended the competition in 2nd place and lost 1st place by 8 points.  I was extremely pleased with how I performed especially for my first ever competition.  I am now considering competing in IDPA, but first I will probably seek further instruction from Mike Sexton to improve my shooting skills.

I am very grateful to the American Legion for hosting an awesome event that was completely professional, and extremely safe.  I hope they continue these events which promote marksmanship and safe gun handling, and I will be sure to enter the next competition, and hopefully place even better!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Skout Trailbar Giveaway winner is...

The winner of the Skout Trailbar giveaway is Andrew Tronrud from Skagway, Alaska!  Congratulations to Andrew who will be receiving a sample pack of trailbars! 

When asked in the giveaway where he would eat them, he responded, "I would eat those Skout bars on top of an unnamed mountain peak in the Dyea valley.  I'm planning several hikes this summer and am so excited to go trail blazing again." 

Thanks to everyone who participated!  I am very grateful to Skout Natural Foods for sponsoring this giveaway!  If you didn't win, you can order from Skout through the advertisement at the top of this post and receive FREE shipping! 

The next giveaway will be coming up shortly so check back soon!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Skout Trailbar Giveaway

Hurry and enter the giveaway for your chance to win a Skout Trailbar Sampler, including 5 different trailbar flavors!

 To enter follow these easy steps!
1.) "Like" The Misplaced Alaskan's Facebook page here.
(Skip #1 if you already "Like".)
2.) Post on The Misplaced Alaskan's Facebook page, telling readers where you would take your Skout Trailbars to eat!

3.) Share The Misplaced Alaskan's giveaway link on your Facebook page!

Winner to be selected on April 23, 2012!

Using, a random number generator, one winner will be selected based the number of entries.  For example, the first comment will be entry #1, second comment entry #2, etc. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Skout"ing Falls Creek Waterfall

I hit a new trail located close to Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina.  I had read about an awesome waterfall at Falls Creek, however the pictures didn't show much.  I needed to get out though for a good stress reliever, hit the trails, burn some calories and break a sweat.  So I packed up my gear and headed out, albeit, without The Misplaced Alaskan's dog Juneau.  Juneau was diagnosed with an ACL pull/tear months ago and was ordered to have pretty strict rest to allow his knee to heal.  He has improved greatly, but I don't want his first hike back on the trails to have a lot of incline, so I went solo.

The entire hike is 1.7 miles round trip, which isn't that long of a hike, but it does start off uphill right away.  It is listed as strenuous and I thought it only got challenging just at the last 10 or 15 minutes towards the falls.  The elevation gain is 1063 feet, and the trail was in really good condition.  I would avoid this trail if I was going to hike it shortly after rainfall.  You can tell the trail gets pretty washed out during a hard rain.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

And the Givaway Winner is....

Kadi Dauphinee from Idaho Falls, Idaho!  Congratulations Kadi, and I hope you enjoy using the Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter which you will receive next week! 

Thanks to everyone that participated in The Misplaced Alaskan's first giveaway, and keep checking the blog as there will be a new giveaway starting next week!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springfield XD Sub Contact 9mm Review

I had been dying to get my hands on a Springfield XD Sub Compact 9mm for years.  I had the opportunity to hold one in my hands years ago when I was looking for my first concealed carry firearm.  Unfortunately at that time funds were too tight and I was too impatient to save for what I really wanted and settled for a Taurus PT 111 Millinium Pro.  I kept that pistol for a year and moved up to a Glock 30 .45 ACP.  Time passed but I still longed to get a Springfield XDSC.

Now, I have the opportunity to review the gun I have been wanting for so long.  It will not be for me ultimately, but for my wife who has decided to take the step to be a concealed weapons permit holder.  So, I took the pistol out to give it a try and make sure that it would work well for my wife (at least that was my excuse!).  I headed to the local range I shoot at often, and slung some lead.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The First Giveaway!!

Well, it is time for a giveaway contest, and up for grabs is a new Katadyn MyBottle Microfilter.  It comes with one filter, and removes bacteria, reduces chemicals and improves the taste of water.  It is even effective in dirty water!  It meets EPA standards for removal of cysts like Giardia and waterborne bacteria. The MyBottle includes a straw to use instead of a microfilter cartridge if the water source has been treated and is safe for drinking.

This bottle is PERFECT for hiking, camping or for your bug-out-bag. 

It is worth $49.95, and it can be yours completely free by completing these 3 EASY steps!

Here are the rules of the contest:

1.) You must be a follower of this blog, The Misplaced Alaskan.  Go here to become a follower.  Once you are a follower, MAKE SURE you are logged in, then...

2.)  You must post on this giveaway, stating your #1 favorite thing to do outdoors.

3.)  You need to go to The Misplaced Alaskan Facebook page and become a follower.  You can follow here: The Misplaced Alaskan - Facebook Link

After The Misplaced Alaskan blog hits 100 followers, or on April 12, whichever comes first, a random drawing will be held.  A number will be drawn using  Your number will be based on your response to the post.  First post is #1, second post is #2, etc.

So, get your family and friends to follow the blog and see if you might be the lucky winner of this awesome microfilter bottle and see how fast it takes us to get to 100!  If this proves to be successful, there will be many more contests coming up in the future!

(Available to US Residents ONLY, posts made by The Misplaced Alaskan will not count as a comment when determining winner)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Windham Weaponry AR-15 Review

First AR-15

This week is my 36th birthday and for my gift from my wife I set my sights on getting a new rifle.  For years I have been dreaming of an AR-15 platform rifle.  As with any firearm, I did my research in order to make an informed purchase.  I had a price range that I needed to stay in, which placed some limitation on the selection, but in the mid-range prices there are still plenty to choose from.  Many of the folks within the on-line community suggest that you buy the parts and build your own.  Being completely new to the AR world, I preferred to buy an complete AR, learn all that I can about it, then as a future endeavor piece one together myself.  So at the end of my research, I ended up buying an AR-15 MPC .223/5.56, with a lifetime, transferable warranty made by Windham Weaponry.