Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The USGI Survival Strobe...

ah...yes... The SDU-5/E Marker Distress Light. They have come out with a newer version that utilizes more commonly available AA-sized batteries, but this old boy is hard to beat.

(Comments on the picture - ancient USGI Survival Strobe Light with a couple accessories and one of the Vietnam-era pouches that lace up the back. Although it has two hollow rivets on the front to lace a lanyard through, I sewed a Fastex plastic D-ring onto it as well.)

You can find a page dedicated to this historic piece of gear by clicking on this link - right here.

Mine has a battery cover that has been custom made by a machinist so I can use two (2) CR123 Lithium batteries. The original battery was a Mercury battery and the rear of the battery was the "cover." The battery cover and battery were an integral unit. This little custom modification breathed new life into an old survival strobe light.

I had one when I was a teenager back in the 1980s but like many things, it slipped through my fingers. I had so much gear stolen, which is why I carry everything I can on my person when I am doing any outdoors activities like camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc., or...that I lost. Stolen through stupidity!

I lost my last "Firefly" in The Chesapeake Bay around 1989 or 1990, I don't remember which. I had it attached to a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and I was diving off the side of one of my brother's boats at the time with a Scuba Pro Mask, Snorkel and Fins, just screwing around and having fun in the water. I guess I didn't tie it off well enough. (More lesssons learned from loss...)

I had a friend back in the early 1990s and his mother was kind enough to let me swim in the in-ground swimming pool quite a bit and that strobe was always cool for such activities! Throw it in the pool and dive and retrieve it in the dark with the pool lights out. Fun-fun-fun!

I still had the green pouch with the lace up back and I used that on a Medium ALICE Pack for years on one of the shoulder straps to carry a Recta DP-2 and a waterproof instruction sheet for that compass that Recta used to produce but no longer does. Lost the sheet and traded the compass to Ken and then started feeling nostalgic about the compass and traded something back for it. 8-)

Still...have...the...POUCH! So, now I carry the survival strobe in it, the strobe and custom battery cover which makes it work with CR123 batteries was a gift from Ken as well.

This is a worthwhile piece of gear to have. Or, if you prefer to keep in the AA and AAA realm so you are not carrying so many different types of batteries, the newer version that uses AAs.

I think the newer version has a sliding lens for IR as well. I don't know, I don't own one! Perhaps I should purchase one of these next!

There are a couple other pieces of gear that I need to acquire in the near future, hopefully, from Tactical Tailor. I own a laptop sleeve from Tactical Tailor but I own no laptop! It's a good piece of gear, everyone that knows me knows that I am a Bag Whore. Tactical Tailor materials, designs and stitching is top notch. Terry Trahan over at Weaselcraft Blog gave me the Tactical Tailor Horizontal E & E Pouch for my birfday or Christmas some time ago and I then obtained the Vertical E & E Pouch. They do excellent work!

Anyway, Tactical Tailor also makes a nifty compass and strobe pouch designed to fit either a USGI Strobe or the USGI Lensatic Compass. I think I need one for each, actually.

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