Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oufitting for a National Parks Vacation

If you're planning a National Park vacation this year, here are some things you ought to know:

Body armor

Most police departments use protective clothing made of aramind fabric, first and foremost among which is DuPont's Kevlar.  Kevlar vests can be made to custom sizes and usually cost between $390 and $700. Specially engineered women's vests cost $430 to $630 and are not available in the ultra-light, ultra-thin but extremely effective version of Kevlar called GoldFlex, made by Honeywell.  Aramind protective clothing called Twaron, made by a Japanese firm, is popular in Europe and priced about the same.  Very tall or very large people may have to pay $1,000 or more for proper coverage.

Automobile touring 

Steel armor plating has been used for years to bullet-proof cars, trucks and limos.  But steel is soooo yesterday. Check out "Microtruss." a vehicle armoring material that is "lightweight, strong and environmentally rugged," according to its manufacturer.  This is billed as  a periodic cellular material offering protection "without compromising vehicle weight."  For prices, contact:

International Armoring Corp. claims to have invented the "lightest armoring in the industry" back in 1993, a synthetic fiber laminate called "Armormax."  IAC also sells "a revolutionary all curved 1" to 3" thick rebated transparent ballistic glass" and a material called Elitus, whose curved overlap function "provides even greater passenger protection." For prices:

Or you might want to consider ceramic protection.  A company called CoorsTek produces "ceramic armor components used as the ballistic armor strikeface of lightweight composite armor systems."  The company advertises that its "CeraShield" ceramics, with "an appropriate backing system, can defeat various threats including armor-piercing rounds and IEDs."  Ceramic armor is said to be half the weight of comparable steel systems.  Pricing:


Check the above manufacturers to find out if their armor is suitable for travel trailers and RVs, and for cost estimates.  You might also consider rigid, bullet-resistant fiberglass panels.  It comes in three levels of protection, ranging in weight from 2.6 to 4.9 pounds per square foot.  It can be cut to size.  It's about the thickness of plywood -- 1/4" to 7/16".  Pricing:

Tent campers don't have many options.  Working with the military, Zumro Inc. of Hatboro, PA, came up with a thing consisting of an inner and outer Kevlar tent, which can be placed over an explosive device.  When the device detonates, the two-tent gizmo prevents shrapnel and gas from escaping into the atmosphere.  To find out if the material could be used for ballistic protection in recreational tents, contact Zumro at 401 Jacksonville Rd, Hatboro, PA, 19040-4605. Phone: (215) 957-6502 .  Or perhaps you could build a cubicle of bullet resistant fiberglass over your tent. 

The federal law that allows loaded guns, of any type, in national parks took effect Feb. 22.  In the House, 105 Democrats and 174 Republicans voted for passage.  In the Senate,  27 Democrats joined 39 Republicans voting "aye."

God Bless America.

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