Lightweight Sleeping Bags for Your Next Backpacking Trip

In this week’s mailbag we cover…

The holster I use for everyday carry…

Security risks and hidden cameras at AirBnB’s…

Why I don’t recommend a biometric safe…

Which sleeping bags to consider for your next camping trip…

Steps to take when getting someone to quit contacting you…

And how to put a VPN on your phone.

Let’s dive in…

What kind of holster do you use for your everyday carry?

– Fred M

Answer: When I carry my Springfield 1911, Glock 19 or Sig Sauer P226, I carry outside the waistband at the 3 o’clock position and I use a cover garment. I use a kydex holster for these guns.

There are a million companies who make Kydex holsters, so just do an Internet search for the type of gun you have, plus the words “Kydex holster.” If I am carrying my Sig P365 in my front pocket, I also use a Kydex holster.

A friend of mine rents his house thru AirBnB and told me per their website guidelines, they actually permit ‘security’ cameras in many areas inside and outside the house but they’re disallowed in bedrooms and bathrooms. 

As we well know, this won’t stop some people from violating these guidelines for personal entertainment and spying on what goes on in the bedrooms and bathrooms. 

Is there a device available that can electronically sweep for hidden cameras and microphones in a vacation rental guest house, etc?

– Jeffrey N

Answer: This is a perfect example of why you want to avoid these types of places and stay at a real hotel. There are tons of products for sale online that market themselves as hidden camera detectors.

The problem is, these days, hidden cameras can be incredibly tiny and they can record over Wi-Fi, to a SD card or even to hard drive they are wired to.

My point is, there are so many types of cameras that it’s hard to find one device that will detect them all and most of the devices sold on the Internet are cheap junk that don’t work.

The only way to be 100% sure is to hire a professional with the right equipment and this would not be practical. (It costs thousands of dollars to perform a full house sweep.)

What biometric safe would you recommend?

– Sandy

Answer: None. I’ve never found one that worked 100% of the time. If your hands are dry, sweaty, or dirty, they sometimes don’t work. I don’t own any biometric safes and won’t buy them until the technology gets better.

Do you have a recommendation for a lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking? I live near the California desert, where it gets pretty hot during the day, but cools off significantly at night.  

– Mark W

Answer: Two bags that I would check out are the Western Mountaineering UltraLite and the Marmot Hydrogen. These bags are definitely not cheap, but I’m a believer in buying right the first time. Both of these bags would be good for hiking.

How do I stop someone from contacting me?

– Annie

Answer: Without knowing the exact situation, block their number in your phone, delete all your social media (or at least make them private accounts.) Let them know that they are no longer to contact you for any reason and keep a documented paper trail of this.

Finally, if the person has made threats or is harassing you, then you should contact your local police and speak to them about how you can seek a protective/restraining order against the person.

How do I put a VPN on my smartphone?

– Maurice T

Answer: Depending on the smartphone you have, you can go to the app store and download a VPN for your phone. For example, on the iPhone, you simply go to the app store and search VPN and you will see many reputable companies that offer a downloadable version for your smartphone.

Once you have a VPN downloaded, just log in and you will be able to use it when using the internet on your phone. Typically, if you have a VPN on your computer, many companies will give you the option to use your same account on your mobile devices.

So, if you already have one, I would download the version for your smartphone.

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