Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

I get the most interesting stuff in the mail. Todays trip to the post office landed me this:


Normally an unsolicited package like this makes me think I should a) cut the blue wire! and b) wonder if there’s a buncha guys with earpieces and badges standing in the parking lot waiting to see who walks out the door with the obvious-looking package. But..I had a bit of a heads-up about this and although I was not informed of the contents, I was told to expect it. Yes, I am amassing a fabulous collection of Hardigg products. My house is starting to look like their showroom. But, as cool as the box is (and it was pretty cool..what with “PROPERTY US GOVERNMENT” stamped on it and all) I’m deadly curious to see whats inside. Lets undo the annyoing wire twisted through the locks and see what we have:

IMG_0572Ahh, yummy. SEA-brand first-responder emergency masks, filters, pre-filters, and voiceboxes. Just the thing for when the SWAT team thinks a couple tear-gas rounds will send you running out the door crying. Actually, as an aside, the masks used by our local department are surplus US military masks from the 80′s and 90′s..even a few of the old Porky Pig style. Tragic, but heartwarming to know I’m outgearing the SWAT team on this one. Well, this one and several other levels…but I digress……..

Where’d these come from? My brother picked up a couple gaylords of these things and apparently has some left. (Yes, I used the words ‘fabulous’ and ‘gaylord’ together in one post. Big deal.) The story behind these masks is kind of interesting and while I can’t say how true it is, I can tell you what I heard.

DHS sent the various NYC agencies a couple zillion of these things. They came in a hard plastic case with mask, prefilter, voicebox and a filter that was vacuum-sealed in foil. The powers that be figured everyone would carry one of these in their rig and in an emergency they’d take the filter out of its vacuum-sealed pouch, thread it onto the mask, put on the mask and go fight evil. The unions said “Uhm…that would take about thirty seconds to unwrap the filter and put it on the the mask. We want the filter to be on the mask at all times.” Problem was, once the filter was out of its vacuum-sealed foil pouch, it was rated for only a few months and then would need to be replaced. Kept in the foil pouch, it was good for years. NYC was faced with having to replace zillions of filters every year if they did it that way. So…no one got any of them and they were surplussed out.

These things were issued during a time when there was no real uniform standard on mask/filters for these sorts of things. You know how body armour basically uses the NIJ criteria for it’s metrics? Well, there was not such thing for masks/filters at the time. They made one up after the fact and these things didn’t quite meet the new standard…but thats okay because even then they still do exactly what you and I would want…”Used against particles, dust, smoke, fume, bacteria, viruses, biological warfare agents, and a wide range of organic, inorganic and acid gases and ammonia. Examples: Sarin, nerve gas, mustard gas, cyanogen, phosgene, radioactive dust, toxic particles, aerosols, tear gas, bacteria, viruses, anthrax, smallpox etc. — Also provides protection against industrial gases such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, acid gases, chlorine, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and many more.”

032I had a few of these socked away because, well, what kinda survivalist doesn’t have creepy-scary stuff like this? Now, is something like this really necessary? Good grief, I hope not. I hope that I never need something like this. But…it’s an interesting world we’re living in (and descending into). Besides, while Montana doesn’t exactly have much of a history of being a favored target of terrorists, (With one notable exception.) we do travel to larger metropolitan centers every so often.

Anyway, a cool package in the mail, another Hardigg case for the collection, and fodder for a blog post….seems like a good day so far. (Knock on wood.)


ETA: Some folks were wanting to know if I had plans to sell any of these. I wasn’t planning to but let me check and see if maybe there are more to be had. Gimme a couple days.

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