Gear Tasting 43: Bryan’s "Bolt?" Bag, Med Kit Comparisons and Welding as a Skill-Set - ITS Tactical

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June 16, 2016Gear Tasting

Gear Tasting 43: Bryan’s “Bolt?” Bag, Med Kit Comparisons and Welding as a Skill-Set

Gear Tasting 43: Bryan’s “Bolt?” Bag, Med Kit Comparisons and Welding as a Skill-Set


In this episode, Bryan poses a question to the audience on replacement FitBit bands and provides a 100MPH tape update.

For Questions Over Coffee, he answers questions on the differences in our med kits and offers a look into this Emergency Bag and its contents. In addition, he also discusses welding as a skill-set and a question on preparing for an active shooter situation.

Pick up your Official Gear Tasting Coffee Mug in the ITS Store!

If you’re enjoying Gear Tasting each week, please consider supporting ITS by joining our Crew Leader Membership and allow us to give you something back in return.


Rifle Dynamics “I Smash” T-Shirt –
ITS Medical Kits –
Wilderness Wash –
Light My Fire Tinder –
Magnesium Fire Starter –
ITS Brass Fire Starter –
Photon Micro Lights –
Petzl e+Lite –
Chem Lights –
Silva Ranger Compass –
ITS Land Navigation Starter Pack –
ITS MGRS Navigation Article –
Sillcock Key –
Survival Resources –
Chicken Bouillon –
ITS Field Stripping MREs Article –
Battle Systems –
KINeSYS Sunscreen –
ITS Jute Paracord –
MSR Titan Tool –
Katadyn Hiker Microfilter –
SOL Bivvy –
Mora Fire Knives –
Leatherman Wave –
Gerber Handsaw –
Snow Peak Titanium Cook Set –
ITS Bolt Bag Article –
ITS Rigging a Tarp Shelter Part 1 –
ITS Rigging a Tarp Shelter Part 2 –
ITS Rigging a Tarp Shelter Part 3 –

In each episode of Gear Tasting, Imminent Threat Solutions Editor-in-Chief Bryan Black answers your gear-related questions and shares his insight into what we’re currently evaluating at ITS HQ.

For more on the gear we review, check out our GEARCOM category here on ITS.

To have your gear related question answered on an upcoming episode, tweet us using the poundtag #GearTasting on Twitter.


  • HuggyBearUno

    Not to be rude or a grammar Nazi, but, Dude, LOSE the “um’s” and the “sucking your teeth,” as it is very annoying and your message is lost in the peculiar quirks.
    I WAS interested in seeing the video to the end as I am always learning from other people’s experiences and ideas, but, sadly, the quirks are relentless and not unlike a mild case of nervous blinking and I shut it off.
    I’ll watch another video or more to see if it decreases. If not, I’m outta here, which you won’t .is anyway, right?

  • Strych9

    As someone who did a stint of welding as actual work and actually went to school for it after college (long story) I’m going to warn you about what you’re getting into here. 

    Welding is expensive. A quality welder doesn’t come from Harbor Freight and it will cost you a boatload of money, like thousands even if it’s used. Unless it’s a mobile unit with it’s own engine/generator you will also need an appropriate power source for it. 110V will allow you to lay down some welds with 1/6th rod but nothing bigger. 240V is pretty much the minimum if you actually want to make anything serious and get good penetration. Wire welding is for pussies and it’s, IMHO, the least useful form of welding. Don’t pick up a wire-feed welder if you can avoid it. If you can’t do NOT get a flux core only system. Solid wire works much better. Honestly, stay away from MIG, the gasses are a pain and they’re expensive. When you start mixing gasses for better penetration it gets a bit complicated and now you have multiple large high pressure gas bottles around.  

    On top of that the quality machines that are for stick welding also let you run TIG in most cases, but like MIG you’re going to need a gas bottle. I’d rather have stick and TIG with 1 bottle of Argon rather than MIG where I might need Carbon Dioxide as well.  

    This isn’t something you’re gonna teach yourself in a garage over a weekend. Get yourself the books on this. The Contren Learning Series on Welding is a good set of books from Pearson. Intro book here:

    Finally, a number of words about safety. 

    Welding is dangerous for numerous reasons. It can cause fires, burn the crap out of you and you can shock yourself with high voltage. PPE and and understanding of the risks is mandatory before you pick up a stinger, torch or gun. You need a proper work space because this throws sparks and molten metal.

    Do NOT cheap out on your welding hood. Get a Lincoln or a Miller and get one that is NOT digital. This way you can set your shade to points in between integers. (For example a digital hood will give you the choice between 9 shad and 10 shade where an analog hood can be set in between those numbers by twisting the dial. You’ll see what I mean when you pick one up.) 

    These processes also produce things you don’t want to breath in. Wear a respirator with appropriate filters! Do not weld metal you have not cleaned and do NOT use chemical cleaning methods! Use an angle grinder! Numerous hydrocarbon cleaning solvents will POISON you if you weld over them and inhale the vapors. Do not weld over galvanization unless you want what is known as “heavy metal flu”. Inhaling the vapors from galvanized metal will send you running for the restroom and you will not make it. You will have diarrhea for a few days afterwords. 

    Do NOT cut metal with an oxy-torch (yes oxy-acetylene welding does exist to answer your question) when the metal is on a concrete floor! EVER! Raise what you need to cut up off the floor. Heating a section of concrete with a torch causes it to expand but since the whole floor is not being heated only a portion is expanding, this can cause fractures that throw out hot, sharp bits of concrete at high velocities! 

    Always follow PPE instructions. For example, do not tuck in your shirt, if you get a spark down that shirt and it gets trapped it can and likely will LIGHT YOU ON FIRE. Do not wear synthetic fabrics. Always wear boots with a high ankle and make sure your pants are OVER the boots. The dance people do when a glob of molten steel gets in their boot seems funny until you see the injuries that molten steel causes, it can and will burn right THROUGH you. 

    My advice is this: Get the book and a cheapo stick welder from Harbor Freight. As I said, it’s not a gonna be a good welder by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re not a good welder either (no offense), so it’s a decent match. Hook this thing up to a 240V dryer outlet by making yourself an extension cord (I can explain that later if you’d like). Don’t buy a cord, you can make one much cheaper and in exactly the length you need. 

    Set yourself up in a garage or other work space well away from anything flammable and practice the various techniques the book teaches you. Once you’ve pretty well mastered welding flat objects you can then try horizontal, once you’ve got that down move to vertical. This isn’t going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, it will take time to learn this. 

    If you find that you enjoy welding and/or find it very useful, you now might consider getting a better welder. Again, try to stay away from wire/MIG welding. It’s fast, yes, and any idiot can do it. However the machine is doing all the work if it’s set correctly, so you’re not learning anything. Also, finding the right settings can be a time consuming and frustrating process because they varies from machine to machine and just because a weld looks nice doesn’t mean it holds. The rule here is that “when welds break, people die”.

    Good luck to you! Be safe!

  • randypb

    Fantastic Gear Tasting Bryan! I’m a bit overwhelmed, and I suggest you come out with an Official ITS Bolt Bag that’s already assembled. You have the expertise on all the components and where to find them. It would save a buyer a couple of weeks, or more, of assembling, and in my opinion would be well worth any cost. It may be an idea whose time has come as a future ITS product. It’s an expense that would be a necessary investment and I’d save up to get one for everyone in my family. I know that there may be other bags out there to buy, but you’ve gained my trust in any ITS products offerings and initiatives. Please consider it, even though it would be a pain in the ass to put together. Great info as always ITS. I checked your site daily and I’m a Life Member!

  • Guest

    hi. these links aren’t working for me.

  • Canadian LoneWolf

    Good show Bryan. You asked for suggestions on what to call you bag… I’ve always called it my HTC bag. HTF… Hit the Fan. Cause we there you dig in or bug out, you only need it when shit hits he fan.

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