I sent Jason Klass from Gear Talk a box crammed full of stuff from my store, and the first thing he dug out was a Cord Lock Light from Black Crater Gear.Ã‚ Jason has a ton of great reviews and videos to his name, and he gives a in-depth review of the little LED light.Ã‚ He even spends some time in a closet with his camcorder with the night vision going full speed.Ã‚ Check it out and then peruse his many other videos if you like learning about gear.
Boulders and logs just don’t do it for me in my ripe old age.Ã‚ I like to be off the ground, which means Crazy Creeks and Therm-a-Rest chairs aren’t adequate either unless I get all Bear Grylls and built a platform out of downed redwoods and jungle vines or whatever he uses.Ã‚ Tripod camping stools have been around for a while, but the ones I have seen or owned were not exactly featherweight compact backpacking seats.Ã‚ Coleman came out with their Exponent Trekking Stool a little while back that looked to be both light and compact, so I picked up a couple direct from Coleman to see how they fared.
The stool comes in a nice nylon carrying bag that can be left at home if you don’t want the extra weight.Ã‚ I keep mine in the bag mostly to stop at least a little of the dirt from the ground that winds up coating the stool’s legs from coating the rest of the gear in my pack.Ã‚ I was glad to have the bag on our recent Cumberland Island trip, thanks to the wet sand that coated the legs.Ã‚ Not having a bag would have meant that I either needed to figure out a way to get all the sand out of every nook and cranny of the stool or live with sand all over the rest of the gear in my pack.
The stool’s four legs fold in half, a feature which gives the unit its nice and compact size.Ã‚ The legs are made out of aluminum and are rated to hold up to 200 lbs, according to Coleman.Ã‚ The seat is nylon and is held in place for carry by a Velcro strap.
Unfold the legs, undo the Velcro strap holding the seat tight, fold out the stool, and you have a surprisingly comfortable seat.Ã‚ I tend to be leaning forward cooking food or playing with fire when I am sitting in a camp, so the lack of a backrest does not bother me.Ã‚ Despite the small sitting surface, I find the stool to be much more comfortable than most other folding chairs on the market.
One note about sitting on the stool:Ã‚ You position one of the corners to go
betwen your legs instead of on either side like a regular chair or stool.Ã‚ I have seen a couple of friends try to sit with the corners on either side, which means that the metal corners of the stool are jabbing you in the thighs or butt, which is not exactly a comfortable way to relax in your campsite.Ã‚ Well, maybe it is for some of you freaky kids out there, but not for me.
My wife and I have had our Coleman Trekking Stools for about six months so far and have been pleased with how comfortable they are and how well they perform.Ã‚ Ã‚ The going rate for the stools looks to be $20, a very reasonable price for a versatile piece of gear.
I wasn’t feeling all that fantastic earlier today, with a nice little fever from an infected sinus or two and vertigo as a result.Ã‚ Walking around or even just standing up resulted in masticated Costco hot dog (damn I love those things when they are still inside my belly) being sprayed all over the place, so I just stayed in bed all day.Ã‚ I have had sinus and allergy problems for most of my life and spent several years in a row with chronic sinus infections, and as a result, episodes like the one today are not an unknown occurrence.Ã‚ Ã‚ I have had three sinus surgeries and quite a few procedures over the years that have surely helped, but I still take medication twice a day, get shots once a week, and do all the other fun stuff that comes with being allergic to dust, pollen, pets, air, water, food, etc.
Lying awake in bed for several hours gives one time to think, so I started thinking about what I would do if I felt like this on the trail.Ã‚ I’ve had the occasional headache on a hike, maybe a rumbly tummy or two, but nothing that stopped me from being mobile.Ã‚ Even a sprained ankle will just make me favor my other foot while I hop along in a gimpy fashion, cursing every pebble and twig on the trail.Ã‚ What happens when you are so completely sick that simple acts like standing up and walking are not possible, unless your desired result is falling down after a couple steps?Ã‚ My wife will be astounded if she reads this next part, since I always at least have a smart ass answer, but I really do not know what I would do.Ã‚ Today, I just popped a bunch of pills and stayed in bed until a little while ago, when the pressure subsided to only feeling like someone pressing their thumbs on the inside of my skull.
What happens when that lasts for days and you are not within a quick walk of your car or help?Ã‚ What if what happened to me today happens to someone that has never gone through it, does not have medication, and does not know how to deal with it?Ã‚ What if I had heart problems instead?Ã‚ What if I were with my wife and something struck the both of us?Ã‚ I would love to be able to carry every product a modern pharmacy stocks, just in case, but we all know that is not feasible.Ã‚ I am not a worrier, but I do like to be prepared for foreseeable outcomes, especially since that is the whole point of this site and all.Ã‚ Ã‚ Do I carry a PLB and set it off when sitting in a tent for a day or two has not helped?Ã‚ Do I set the PLB off immediately?Ã‚ Do I ditch my gear and crawl the 20 miles back to the car, 1/10th mile per hour?Ã‚ Do I wait for SAR to show up when my family has not heard back from me by the appointed time?
I hate relying on others to get me out of my own messes, but I realize that there is a point where that thought process becomes stupidity.Ã‚ I would like to think that I would know what to do in any situation, but anyone who does not live in a bubble knows that life always finds a way to surprise you.Ã‚ What would you do?Ã‚ Let me know in the comments.
A fine fellow called Doc-Canada has been compiling lists of books related to all kinds of wonderful outdoors topics for a long while.Ã‚ He has 20 or so lists and was kind enough to send me several of them in Word documents so I could put them up in a more web-friendly format.Ã‚ The first one I worked on was wilderness survival books, so go take a peek at the wiki if you are looking for a good read on how to make a suit out of squirrel hides or how to light a fire using only human hair and a blade of grass.
I get questions from Going Gear customers on a pretty regular basis asking how to use the firesteels I sell.Ã‚ Typing out angles of strikers, pressure involved, wind speeds, tinder fluffiness, favorite color, etc. is kind of hard, so I made a video instead.Ã‚ This video is now on every firesteel product page to help answer those questions and I figured some of my blog readers might find some use in it:
I get e-mails on a regular basis asking when my store will have the Sparky knife back in stock.Ã‚ The original maker did a great job on the first batch, but got caught up with work at his day job, so I had to go off in search of a new maker.Ã‚ I started out with Bryan Breeden, a knifemaker with a great reputation on BladeForums, and he was as far as I had to go.
He made me a prototype that was a wonderful interpretation of the design.Ã‚ The blade and handle are similar to the original, but the firesteel has a threaded cap instead of the original cap with a set screw, which will make it more secure.Ã‚ We want to try and make another change or two to the design, but I should have them in stock on a more regular basis starting next month.Ã‚ I will also start offering other handle materials along with small and large versions of the design.
The original Sparky prototype is still the only fixed blade I ever use, which is saying something when I used to buy a new knife every week or two in seasrch of the perfect design.Ã‚ Bryan’s version of the Sparky is looking to be a worthy successor.
People laughed when I created my underground, completely self-sufficient bunker.Ã‚ They scoffed at my shotgun and shovel/axe collection.Ã‚ I was ridiculed when I made a titanium helmet to protect my delicious brains.Ã‚ Here is proof that my preparations were the right path to take!Ã‚ Who’s laughing NOW?!
Just for the record, I do not think the zombie apocalypse is impending, but it’s nice to know that the DOT has our best interests at heart.
Big credit to whoever hacked this sign, despite the public safety issues it might present.Ã‚ Yes, I know this is not exactly outdoor related, but who doesn’t appreciate zombie warnings?
I’ve long been a fan of the REI multitowel thanks to its light weight, comfort compared to other camping oriented towels, and great performance. REI claims that you can wring out something like 90% of the water, meaning that you can carry a smaller towel than you normally would have to thanks to its immediate reusability. REI likes to put the towels in its super clearance at around 30% of the original price, so I have accumulated quite a few over the years. I like adding to my vast piles of gear a la Scrooge McDuck and his gold, so I picked up a few more at this year’s at the recent super clearance, but was surprised to see that the towels have changed since my last purchases of them.
On the left is the old one, on the right is the new one.Ã‚ One of the big reasons that i liked the old version was that it didn’t feel like rubbing a wet suede jacket against your skin, unlike the REI Multitowel Lite or the MSR towel.Ã‚ The new Multitowel does not have the same textured surface that the old one did (you can see the checkered pattern that the old one had), so I was skeptical about its comfort and performance.Ã‚ I am happy to report that although it does not feel exactly the same, the new towel is still comfortable to use, even on the body of hairy beasts like myself.Ã‚ It also still wrings out an admirable amount of water, enabling you to wring it and then reuse it right after you have soaked it full of river water.Ã‚ It does take up a bit more room compared to the chamois type ones, but being lightweight cloth,Ã‚ you can stuff it in just about any crack in your pack.
The Multitowel appears to temporarily be unavailable on REI’s site, but i am sure that they will have the same or a new version up soon.Ã‚ Hopefully it will be as nice as their last two versions.
I was browsing REI today and noticed that they still have a good bit of nice clothing and gear as a part of their super clearance.Ã‚ I guess the outdoor industry is really hurting this year, because stuff this good would normally be long gone this far after the start of the sale.Ã‚ Take advantage of the sales slump and pick up some sweet gear.Ã‚ Here are a couple of the better ones:
REI Slickrock Pants -14.83
– I have a couple pairs of these and love them. I’ll post a more detailed review soon.
REI Peak UL Carbon Trekking Poles – Pair – 54.83
– I picked up a pair of these at the beginning of the sale and have been really happy with them so far. They weigh something like 12 oz. for the pair. I was initially concerned about how strong the they would be, but I have been abusing them as much as possible, with no hint of slippage or failure.
REI Summit Lake Jacket – $29.83 – I just saw this one, so I don’t know much about the jacket.Ã‚ It looks like a 3 layer jacket, which is crazy at a $30 price point.Ã‚ With REI’s fantastic return policy, this one is surely worth a try.
As a follow up to the previous post, here are a couple of pics of the shark teeth we gathered.Ã‚ Most are from the road, a few are from the dredgings.Ã‚ In case you are wondering, yes, we were allowed to take them.Ã‚ The rangers were the ones that actually told us where to look and what to look for.Ã‚ The island roads and piles of crap dredged from the ocean floor in a landfill looking area are not exactly protected areas, thankfully.