Amazing Low Sodium Smoked Barbeque Chicken Breast

Its Saturday morning and instead of being out in the woods in the Jeep, on the hunt for treasure, or swimming with the fishes, I’m stuck at home doing the chores I’ve been putting off. Cutting the grass, cleaning the pool etc.

So, it’s the perfect time to cook some low sodium smoked barbeque chicken breast in the Masterbuilt electric smoker. Smoking the chicken should take about an hour which is just enough time to cut and trim the lawn.

Healthy Choice

There are so many health benefits to eating chicken breast such as being a great source of protein, low in fats, contains iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B12. It also contains tryptophan, which is known to help create serotonin, the feel good hormone. I mean, how could you not feel good eating some healthy, low sodium smoked barbeque chicken breast.

Making the Barbeque sauce

After preparing the chicken breast by cutting away the fat, it was time to make the low sodium barbeque sauce. You can use any barbeque sauce you prefer but I’m going for a slightly healthier alternative to the store bought brands. I say slightly because it still has sugar in the recipe but I’ve cut down the sodium for heart health.

In a large bowl mix the following:

  • 1 8oz can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup no salt ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons of molasses
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. You can use sugar substitutes, like Truvia or even Splenda, if you would like to limit the added sugar. Adjust to taste.
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice. I used Tropicana Light
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

You can cook down the ingredients in a sauce pan on low heat if you would like a thicker sauce but I like to marinate the chicken overnight in the barbeque sauce for added moisture and flavor and a thinner sauce works better for marinade. The sauce will definitely be thick enough to baste with while smoking if you would like to do that as well.

Smoking Prep

I like to cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces to add more barbeques sauce but its your preference and shouldn’t make a difference on juiciness, which I’ll explain later. Place all of the chicken in a dish with a cover and add enough barbeque sauce to completely cover the chicken. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Low sodium smoked barbeque chicken breast ready for the smoker

Low sodium barbeque chicken ready for the smoker.

Set your smoker to 225 and allow it to heat up completely. Once the smoker is at temp, place the chicken directly on the racks/grills. If you have a rack style smoker like the Masterbuilt, you can bring the rack indoors to prep the chicken before placing them in the smoker. If you haven’t done so already, add your wood for smoking, I prefer a fruit wood for chicken but it’s up to you as to what you use.

Apple wood smoke.

The cook time will be around an hour but it’s a better idea to cook to a internal temperature of 160 degrees then bring the chicken in and tent in aluminum foil until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Use of a good internal thermometer is a must. This can make the difference between a juicy or dry chicken breast.

Low sodium smoked barbeque chicken breast after about an hour

About an hour in.


Snorkeling Sand Key Reef, Key West Florida

When Brittany and I first met, one of our first dates was going snorkeling on Sand Key Reef in Key West, Florida. I mean, who takes their first date on a snorkel cruise. Sand Key Reef is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The reef is located about 6 nautical miles to the southwest of Key West so it was a pretty quick ride to get there from the marina next to the cruise ship docks aboard the Fury Catamaran. Our captain just happened to be Captain Billy, a friend from work. He and his wife Irene, were part owners of Cowboy Bills, the only saloon and the largest entertainment complex on the island.

Captain Billy and Irene

Captain Billy and Irene, Cowboy Bills 2009

Once in the water, Brittany and I kind of went off by ourselves so we wouldn’t run into other snorkelers. If you’ve never snorkeled or scuba’d with others, its not the most enjoyable. Nothing like running head first in to someone else or having your mask knocked off by someone’s fin.

The fish and other wildlife on the reef where amazing but the highlight was this guy that decided to swim by. I tried to swim after it to get more pics, but was not able to keep up for long. The whole time I could hear Brittany screaming in her snorkel.

Shark at Sand Key Reef Key West Florida

Shark at Sand Key Reef, Key West Florida

We where only down about 10 feet and there wasn’t much other fauna around but I supposed it could be because it scared it all away. I’m not sure what kind of shark it was but if anyone knows, please comment. I’d love to finally learn which species it is.

Shark at Sand Key Reef Key West Florida

Shark at Sand Key Reef, Key West Florida

Recently, Brittany and I got the opportunity to shoot back down to Key West, after several years of being away, for a weekend vacation. One of the first things we did was book a snorkel excursion with Fury back out to Sand Key Reef. Although we loved living in Key West when we first met, this short trip was especially enjoyable as we got to reminisce about that time and relive some of the memories.

As we were waiting for our time to board the Fury Cat, the captain came walking up the dock and who do we see? Yep, Captain Billy. This was the icing on the cake for the trip.

Key West Fury Snorkel Cruise

Key West Fury Snorkel Cruise

Unfortunately the GoPro was in a mood and decided to have an issue so I wasn’t able to get any good underwater video. Just means we will need to go back again soon.

The beautiful, brilliant and talented, Brittany Bower

Minelab x-terra pro treasure detector, worth its weight in gold.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid has been metal detecting. The excitement of not knowing what you’ll find next. My first metal detector was a Bounty Hunter III with the analog gauge, given to me by my father. For being such old technology by todays standards, it worked quite well.

Treasure hunting with the Minelab X-terra Pro Treasure Detector

It’s been some time since owning a metal detector and after first purchasing the DR-OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector and the SAKOBS 11” Professional Pinpoint Metal Detector and having a not so great experience with either, I settled on the Minelab X-terra Pro Treasure Detector.

Right out of the box, I could tell I stepped up to a much better quality metal detector than the DR-OTEK or the SAKOBS before I even turned it on. No need to install the batteries as they are built in rechargeables by the use of the supplied USB cable, and assembly was quick and painless as there are only a handful of pieces.

Minelab x-terra pro treasure detector
Treasure hunting with the Minelab X-terra Pro Treasure Detector

There is a quick start guide that gives the very basics, but you will need to go online to see the actual manual. I think this is becoming more popular with electronics, so you might be used to this already.

Once the metal detector is turned on, the operation is very simple. Just select your search mode and go. There are 6 different search modes available: 2 each for park, field, and beach, and the unit is fully waterproof and compatible with both fresh and salt water making it perfect for all surfaces. For those who are no stranger to metal detecting and have more experience, you can tailor your search modes to your taste and depth due to the adjustable frequencies of 5, 8, 10, and 15, as well as the option to block out certain metals.

Minelab x-terra pro treasure detector
The Minelab X-terra Pro Treasure Detector collapses down to 25 inches

The unit is only 2.9 lbs. and can collapse down to only 25 inches long to make it easy to take it with you anywhere. And with the wireless audio feature, you won’t disturb those around or have to be tethered to the metal detector the whole time.

In all, this is a great metal detector for both new and experienced enthusiast alike!

Big Cypress National Preserve

A few shots of Brittany Bower and I touring the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Jeep. It was quite the drive to get there but well worth the time.

To be able to drive in the Big Cypress, You need to have Pass to get in, the combination to the lock at the gate, and a vehicle inspection certificate stating your vehicle meets the minimum requirements. The inspection is pretty basic. Things like working headlights and tail lights, four wheel drive, and wide enough tires so you don’t get stuck and tear up the trails.

 at Big Cypress National  Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve map

The area we toured was on the north side I-75 but is only accessible from Highway 41. It’s currently the only area open to four-wheel drive road vehicles which makes it quite a long drive on the access road which is a dirt road with lots of pot holes.

Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio review

The WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio from Whistler is a small, portable scanner that can run on household electrical power when stationary or AA batteries when on the go. It allows you to listen to police, fire, EMS, public service, marine, HAM, and weather. The ability to monitor my surroundings is essential to mine and my family’s safety. Even if I don’t keep it turned on, I can activate the scanner during a possible emergency.

Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio

With today’s current political environment, declining economy, crime, inflation, slowing housing market and a bit of unrest, keeping tabs on what’s going on around me is critical. Whether you want to know of criminal activity in your area or keep up-to-date on weather emergencies, a digital scanner radio is essential.

For being such a small radio, the Whistler WS1040 scanner is a feature-rich piece of equipment that allows for the storage of over 38,000 scannable objects that can be divided in to 21 scanning configurations. This allows you to group and organize the objects and scan them according to your needs. For example, you might be interested in a weather report but don’t need to be interrupted by what the county parks are doing.

This might see a bit overwhelming and honestly, I feel if you tried to do that much programming by hand, it would be. Fortunately, there is software that can be downloaded that allows quick and easy programming from your PC or laptop. For me, this is the only practical way to program the scanner efficiently. Another option on the WS1040 is its search capability. The scanner can be set to find any active frequencies in whatever range you preset, up to 1800.

Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio

The scanner was easy to set up. Just install the 4 AA batteries and attach the antenna and it was ready for programming. You can program the scanner as it is, but I found this slow and cumbersome so I purchased the patch cord that allowed me to connect the scanner to my laptop and program that way. It was far easier and faster.

Whistler WS1040 Handheld Digital Scanner Radio

The Whistler WS1040 handheld digital scanner radio was just what I was looking for for emergencies and knowing what’s going on in my neighborhood. The WS1040 scanner can be purchased here on Amazon.

Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault; Rear Lockable Storage Box

Storing valuables in your vehicle always involves risk. And if you own a Jeep like I do, it’s almost impossible to keep it secure. The main reason people own Jeeps is to drive with the tops off. I first began looking at small, under seat safes or lock boxes but quickly realized they weren’t anywhere near the size I needed. It didn’t take long to come across the Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault – Rear Lockable Storage Box, or The Vault as Brittany and I call it.

Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault; Rear Lockable Storage Box
Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault – Rear Lockable Storage Box

As always, I had a very specific idea of what I was looking for, or at least specific features I needed. Most importantly was security of course. It needs to be very difficult to break in to, which then leads to the next requirement, durability. Not only did I want it to be hard to break open but the fact it will be riding around in the back of an off-road vehicle full of gear meant it needed to be tough and high quality in regards to the slides and locking mechanism. The Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault – Rear Lockable Storage Box fit the bill perfectly.

The Security storage vault measures roughly 35″x28″x13″ and was a perfect fit for my 2010 Wrangler JK. The 16 gauge cold rolled steel makes the vault both strong and keeps it from rattling. I had a feeling the gear stored inside the vault could possible rattle and make noise so I added a couple pieces of gym flooring, cut to size, to the bottom of the drawer. It truly doesn’t make a sound, not even off-road.

BalanceFrom foam tile gym flooring used in the bottom of the drawer

Another great feature is the 4 ratchet strap tiedown anchor points. This allows additional gear to be securely stored on top of the Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault – Rear Lockable Storage Box using owner supplied ratchet straps. I use them to secure our cooler. Even though the vault comes with a durable signature series two stage black powder coat, to prevent scratching the top of the vault when the cooler is in place, I again used the BalanceFrom foam tile gym flooring. For the price, you just can’t beat it.

Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault; Rear Lockable Storage Box
Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault – Rear Lockable Storage Box

The drawer opens and closes extremely smooth due to the high grade steel sliders and you can actually feel the durability in the drawer and slides. You can pack a whopping 350 pounds in to the vault without any problems not even counting what you can put on top. However, I’m currently only running with about 150 pounds on a daily basis. The locking mechanism is also top notch, high quality, with a weather resistant dust cap making it a very secure storage box. For additional security, I mounted the vault about one inch from the rear gate. Anyone trying to break in to the the vault would need to open the rear gate to even have a chance.

Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault; Rear Lockable Storage Box
Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault

When it came to picking the secure storage for the JK, this was a no brainer. It fit perfect, was made of high quality, durable parts, looks good, and is very secure. I feel 100 percent confident leaving the tops off while I’m away from the vehicle with this vault in the back of the Jeep. Normally I can come up with a few cons on everything I use, but this one is the exception.

Smittybuilt Security Storage Vault; Rear Lockable Storage Box
Smittybuilt Rear Lockable Storage Box
  • Manufactured out of 16 gauge cold rolled steel
  • Finished in signature series two stage black powder coat
  • Drawer supports up to 350 pounds
  • High grade steel sliders offer smooth operation
  • Lockable storage system
  • Ergonomically designed aluminum handle

Genuine Blackhawk Sportster tactical gun case review

A gun case is not just for transporting a firearm – many people use it for storage and for protection from scratches or other damage. Therefore, a gun case with multiple features would be desirable. The most desirable features for the gun case would be: that it is legal to use for transporting in a vehicle or otherwise, it breathes enough not to trap moisture and stays dry, and has enough padding so that the firearm is protected from drops, bangs, and other damage that can occur – and the Blackhawk Sportster Tactical Carbine Gun Case seems to be just that!

blackhawk sportster tactical carbine gun case
Blackhawk Sportster tactical carbine gun case

Tactical Carbine Gun Case Features

I’m not someone that stores firearms in their respective gun case, but rather use it solely for transporting to and from the range or the field. However, when I found the Blackhawk Sportster it came with what I needed and more. The first thing I noticed was the magazine pouches. Each pouch can easily carry 2 30-round AR magazines and is held closed by a very strong hook and loop closure. There are 2 additional pouches for storage. One in the middle section of the case and a larg er pouch on the barrel end of the gun case. The large pouch is protected by a large flap with a very robust hook and loop closure. The first drawback I found is that the middle pouch does not come with any sort of closer making the smaller pouch basically useless.

BLACKHAWK Sport Tact Carbine Gun Case, 36-Inch

The construction seems very well built and durable, and according to Blackhawk, “is constructed of tight-weave, heavyweight 600 denier polyester with thick PVC Laminate for stability” The inside of the gun case is made with a very soft but seemingly durable fabric rapped around one layer of soft open-cell foam to protect the firearm and then a layer of closed-cell foam for shock protection.

blackhawk sportster tactical carbine gun case
Blackhawk Sportster tactical carbine gun case

The Blackhawk Sportster gun case zips shut with a medium to heavy duty zipper with a metal D-ring at the closed end for a lock. One issue I found with the zipper is if I unzipped it all the way to the very end then it was a little stubborn to get it moving again. A simple work around was to stop just short of the end and no more problem. There is a shoulder strap attached to the gun case in what many people seem to think is in an odd place. The attachment points are in the middle of the ends of the case rather than the top or bottom of the ends. The reason for this is the case is designed to be slung over the shoulder and not carried under the arm.. This is a much more practical approach than under the arm.

blackhawk sportster tactical carbine gun case
Blackhawk Sportster tactical carbine gun case

Lastly, the size of the case makes it perfect for a firearm with an RMR or scope. For my purpose, I did need to collapse the stock, so keep that in mind if your firearm stock does not collapse. Blackhawk does make a longer Sportster in that event – located Conclusion

Other than the small, middle storage pouch being not very useful due to no sort of closer, and the workaround for the zipper, I’m very happy with the Blackhawk Sportster Tactical gun case, especially given the price of $35-$40. If I was in need of another carbine size tactical gun case I would defiantly purchase this one again. If you would like more information or would like to purchase the Blackhawk Sportster gun case, you can find it BLACKHAWK Sportster Tactical Rifle Case” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Amazon

To find more great reviews and other information on outdoor gear, sporting goods and shooting gear go to

REEBOW-GEAR Tactical Backpack with genuine molle

With the shear volume of bags and backpacks on the market today it can be overwhelming to find the right one for you, and with everyone attaching the words like tactical and military to everything they sell, it can be very frustrating. Originally, the backpacks used by the military were very different than they are today. Most people probably wouldn’t have wanted to use them for civilian use, however, the civilian type of tactical backpack and bags have come a long way towards serving in the same capacity as the ones used by the military – specifically the amount that the bag can carry, the specific pockets and compartments, water proof or resistance, durability, and the modular system or ability to add accessories.

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Bag Backpacks
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack, Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack with Molle

Take the tactical backpack from REEBOW GEAR. It measures about 13″ x 11″ x 20″, is double-stitched with heavy duty zippers and utility-style cord pulls. It also comes with side load compression straps that allow you to compress the contents in the backpack for a more stable load, meaning that what’s inside won’t shift or move around when donning, doffing, walking or running.

The backpack has 4 main compartments plus one rear compartment for a hydration bladder. Several of the main compartments have additional pockets on the inside for additional organization plus an admin pocket for paperwork, maps, pens, pencils, etc.

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Bag Backpacks camo
Reebow Gear Camo Tactical Backpack

The strap system has several adjustment points including the top and bottom of the main straps, plus the chest and cummerbund that also have quick disconnects. The main straps are well padded and have a mesh covering on the inner side of the strap for breathability and have 2 D-rings for attaching accessories. The lift handle at the top seems to be sewn in strong enough to be used as a drag handle should the emergency arrive. The back pad is also covered with mesh.

As for waterproof/water resistance, it’s not waterproof but does have good resistance to water. The small drain hole in the bottom of the main compartment seems like it would let water in if it were submerged in water and no sort of seal at the zippers.

REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Backpack
REEBOW GEAR Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle Backpack

One of the best features of the Reebow Gear tactical backpack is the Molle system which is a must for any tactical backpack. This is a system of straps sewn on to the backpack to create loops to be able to attach additional bags, holders, hook and loop fasteners, flashlights, first aid kits, holsters etc. The backpack has them on both the front and sides as well as Molle with hook and loop on the front top pocket. As a little bonus, the top pocket comes with a hook and loop American flag patch which can be removed if needed.

In all, it’s a great budget tactical backpack for those not wanting to spend hundreds for a name brand or for features they don’t need. It’s durable, functional, expandable due to the Molle, and comfortable. The hydration compartment is the icing on the cake. Definitely worth the $40-50 I spent!

To find more information or to purchase the backpack on Amazon, click here.

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The official laser pistol for dry-fire training from NLT

I’m a firm believer in dry-fire training. It’s something I do on a regular basis while using my Laser Ammo’s Smokeless Range 2.0 Simulator which you can checkout here. But the purpose of this post is to talk about the SIRT laser pistol for dryfire training from Next Level Training.

SIRT Laser Training Pistol
SIRT Laser Training Pistol by Next Level Training

Dry-Fire training has been around for quite awhile from simply pulling the trigger on an empty, unloaded firearm to using snapcaps to the most popular choice, SIRT’s and laser bullets like the Pink Rhino 9mm Lase Bullet. Check it out here. Dry-fire training has many benefits, such as learning to handle a firearm safely, learning to correct trigger issues, get faster at drawing from a holster, accuracy, and to eliminate anticipating recoil to name a few, and let’s not forget the savings on ammunition.

The SIRT or Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger pistol that I will be discussing is the Model 110 which has the features, look, and feel of the Glock Model 17 such as the same grip, mag release, sights and weight. The weight is contributed to the removable magazine being close to the same weight as a loaded Glock 17 magazine holding 17 rounds. I have not weighed the SIRT laser trainer or real Glock 17 to compare but going just by feel, they are about the same. But, according to Glock, the G17 fully loaded weighs in at 31.93 ounces and according to Next Lever Training, the Model 110 weighs about 32 ounces.

Next Level Training Pistol

When you purchase the SIRT from Next Level Training, it comes with the pistol and magazine, a trigger adjustment tool, and a laser windage and elevation adjustment tool. In addition, the pistol does comes with several options: the slide can be either metal or polymer; a slide color of green, pink, purple, or red; and a laser color of green or red.

Laser pistol

Out of the box the first thing I noticed is how real it felt and how well balanced it is. I ordered the the red polymer slide with the red laser and was amazed at how bright the laser actually was. Far brighter than most lasers for an actual firearm. Very easy to see where it hits the target. A quick pull of the trigger and you are made aware of another feature built into the SIRT – you will notice a second laser dot when you begin to pull the trigger. The is an instructor feature known as the trigger up-take indicator. It allows a firearms instructor to be able to tell when you start to move the trigger. Useful for finger discipline training. This feature can be turned on and off by a toggle on the slide. The slide itself does not move as there is no recoil feature on this laser pistol. Really about the only negative feature I’ve found. As for the construction of the SIRT laser pistol for dryfire training , this is no kids toy, it feels just as solid as the real thing.

SIRT laser trainer pistol

The Model 110 SIRT fits any holster that the Glock 17 will fit making it ideal for many people as the Glock 17 is a rather popular firearm, so many people will already own a holster.

The SIRT from Next level Training is definitely worth the price. There are other laser training pistols out there with more features but also with a higher price tag, and aside from the stationary slide, this has everything you need to practice and improve your shooting.

Advocare spark energy drink Vitamin and Amino Acid Supplement

Advocare Spark Energy Drink
Advocare Spark Mandarin Orange Energy Drink

Like a lot of people like their coffee, I like my energy drink. Over the years, I’ve tried many different energy drinks, including Adrenaline, Amp, Reign, Redline, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Rockstar, and Monster, just to name a few of the most popular drinks I’ve tried. But it always seem like I end up back with Advocare Spark Energy.

I started enjoying Spark Energy around when it first came out in the 1990’s. At that time, there was only one flavor. Over the years, Advocare has added many additional flavors for a current total of 13:

Mandarin Orange
Fruit Punch
Mango Strawberry
Blue Raspberry
Pink Lemonade
Green Apple
Raspberry Lemonade (alternatively sweetened)
Morning Grapefruit (alternatively sweetened)

Advocare Spark Energy Drink
Advocare Spark Energy Drink

Advocare Spark Energy Drink comes as a powder and needs to be mixed with water or whatever juice, etc. you would like to use. I find that it has plenty of flavor with just water alone however, I’m also known for mixing it with my pre-workout powder to give it an extra kick 30 minutes prior to working out. Advocare Spark Energy is available in canister or individual serving tubes. Both have its advantages and disadvantages. I prefer the canister for the fact you get more servings for less money and I can control how much powder I use per serving where as with the tubes, the serving is predetermined. The benefit of the tube is its more convenient on the go or for storing in places such as a desk at work, but it also does cost more per serving this way.

Advocare Spark Energy Drink
Advocare Spark Energy Nutrition Guide

A quick look at the nutrition guide and you will see a huge difference between Spark and most other energy drinks. From the very low calorie count to the long list of vitamins and minerals and the added supplements, Spark definitely sets itself apart. Although many people use this as a fitness drink, and as I said earlier, I add it to my pre-workout, I would not consider this a stand alone drink, just simply for added energy and focus. As you can see, the caffeine content is in the same range as most other energy drinks on the market so if you are familiar with them, this won’t feel any different. In fact, I don’t get jittery or feel like I’m racing, but rather just feel like I got a great night’s sleep and and find it easier to focus during the day.

Advocare Spark Energy Drink

I’ve tried all the flavors and the ones I think are the best are the Mandarin Orange and Grape, but I haven’t found a flavor I didn’t like. I would suggest trying the variety pack for the first time available here on Amazon or you can use the select links below to go directly to the flavor of your choice.

Fruit Punch
Mango Strawberry
Blue Raspberry
Mandarin Orange

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