I have tried to remember the last time it was warm in Ohio, in January, with a clear sky and a nice breeze. I am not able to. Today though, it was warm with a clear sky and a nice breeze... and it's January. I love this place.
One of my new favorite things when out in the trees is Starbucks instant coffee. The Cinnamon one is just wonderful. Mixed with a touch of smoke and ash.... just perfect.
I managed to get the day started without burning myself or spilling anything hot on my pants. This was a good thing. Then I just leaned back and enjoyed the coffee and the breeze a while. Whoever came up with these little kettles for backpackers deserves an award of some kind...
I had a couple of new bits out with me today. I ordered a second Bravo Necker from Bark River because I really do like them and I wanted one for the field pack and one of the EDC bag. This one was, oddly enough, for the EDC. As they always do, this one came out of the package shaving sharp.
I grabbed a few down dead things and feathered them up. I do just really like these little guys. They are really tough and pretty small and do most of the work I need a knife to do. Sadly, I seem to have lost this little guy on the way back. I was sure I had him in the side pocket of one of my canteen pouches but no joy when we reached the car. I'll look for it again when I go back out in a week or two.
Another great new bit of gear I had out was this Alpine Stowaway pot. If you haven't looked at these yet, you probably should. It packs easier than the Zebra pot and the handle clamps over the lid for packing so all contents are sealed in.
I cooked up a couple of bricks of Ramen in it and no harm done sitting it straight on the fire. It got to a vigorous, rattle the lid boil in < 5 minutes and cleaned up well after I was done cooking.
Chicken Noodle Ramen... Mmmmm.... (Nuff said)
The other two things, new to me, that I had out today were this Maxpedition Falcon II pack and the Wetterlings hatchet you see attached to the front of the pack there. I have read lots of pros and cons on these packs but did really like the look of them. I was surprised by how small they are in terms of how much space they take up. It also turns out, by adding a couple of GI canteen pouches, you can make this little guy really heavy... :) I also have a 64 oz Kleen Kanteen bottle in there along with my other gear... and that's just the back compartment. The others are holding tarps and line, fire, and first aid kits. As a day pack, I do like it. I will add, it is short. For long torsos this is not a good choice for big hikes. Mine was fairly short today so, no harm.
When the day wrapped up I headed down the hill and managed to fall and slide a ways. You know it's a good day when there's mud caked to the outside of a pack-attached hatchet and the camera pocket right next to it...