UltraFire WF-501B

WF-501B

If you’re looking for an inexpensive (around $10) rifle torch/flashlight then the UltraFire WF-501B is worth considering.

I have both the red and the white emitter versions. The red one only reaches out to about 20-30 metres, but because of the colour it means you can generally get pretty close to whatever you’re after. 30 metres is about the maximum distance you can get a solid ID on anything, but you can clearly see eye reflections out to 100 metres. I use the red one on my low powered air rifle for rats in the machinery shed, and on the 22 for rabbits that come too close to the house. It’s also good for just walking around at night while retaining your night vision.

The white version has significantly further throw, out to 50-75 metres. I use it on the 12 gauge for rabbits and foxes out in the paddocks.
All the WF-501B’s are single mode, so you’re not going to accidentally go into strobe mode. You press the button it turns on, press it again and it turns off. You can buy them with or without a pressure switch, but since the pressure switch only costs a couple of dollars extra it’s worth paying for, even if you never end up using it.

The WF-501B takes 1×18650 battery, and the tube diameter in 1″, so it will fit in most scope mounts or dedicated flashlight mounts. They’re also available in green, UV, and IR. You can buy the different emitters individually if you want to swap them out, but the whole torch is so cheap you may as well just buy a complete assembled version of whichever ones you want.

Sunshade for Hawke scopes

Scope sunshade

The price of a Hawke scope sunshade in Australia is $35. For what is essentially a tube of Chinese aluminium, the price is insulting.
I rolled the dice and ordered a sunshade on eBay for $3.99 including delivery. The ad said that it fits “most 40mm objective lens”, and I’m very happy to say that it does. It threads perfectly into my 3-9×40 Hawke scope (Model #14225), so I assume it will also work with all other 40mm Hawkes.

Fox Blaster / GUFO fox whistles

GUFO Fox Blaster

The Fox Blaster whistle sells for about 1/4 the price of another very similar brand name fox whistle. The Fox Blaster has GUFO stamped in the plastic, and is otherwise pretty much identical to the more expensive whistle. Unlike Tenterfield style fox whistles, there is absolutely no skill or learning curve required to get these plastic whistles to work, and you can easily use it “no hands” which is a huge plus. I got TWO of them for $4.99 delivered. which is ridiculously good value.

I’ve been using the Fox Blaster for a couple of months now and can’t find anything to complain about. Other than a few teeth marks, and even after an accidental trip through the washing machine, it’s holding up very well.

Pen Rod fishing pole

I purchased this cute little fishing rod a few weeks ago to take with me on my motorbike. The Pen Rod easily into my topbox or backpack, and is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive thing. I’ve also got a larger collapsable Shimano rod, but it’s just a little bit too big to fit in the top box. There are two models of the Chinese pen rod available. Make sure you get the one with the spinning reel like in the image below, and NOT the baitcaster. The baitcaster is absolutely useless. The spinning reel is usually about $1-2 more and worth every cent. The fishing line that comes with the pen rod is quite nasty, and is well worth replacing with some quality line for an extra couple of dollars.

Vango Banshee vs Vango Blade

The Vango Banshee 200 and the Vango Blade 200 are very similar tents. They’re both 2 man (in reality 1 man + some gear), both have 5000mm hydroscopic head flysheets and 6000mm rated waterproof groundsheets, and both have roughly the same amount of room inside – which isn’t much. They’re usually around the same price too.

Pack weight
The Banshee and Blade both weigh 2.1kg, which isn’t too bad for what you get. This obviously isn’t ultra light territory, but it’s manageable.
One main difference between the two tents is the pack size. The Banshee packs down to 44cm x 12cm, while the Blade comes in at the slightly larger 48cm x 14cm. Not a big deal, but depending on how you plan to carry your tent, it could be a decision maker.

Internal size
The Banshee is 230x120x90cm, vs the Blade at 220x160x95cm. The Blade made appear larger on paper, but once you factor in the space lost by the Blade’s sloped roof, they’re both quite similar.

Which one to buy?
The only real way you can know which Vango to buy is to sit in them both and find out which one is right for you. This isn’t going to be easy as many stores don’t stock Vango, and even less have them setup. They both have similar amounts of usable space, but the Blade might have a slight advantage as its vestibule/porch is larger – which gives you a little more room for cooking and to store you pack and boots.