Monday, January 18, 2016

Out in the January Cold... New Year, New Cutters, New Packs



One of my favorite summertime hangouts, all frozen up...

With MLK day looming large, I hit a spot where I had room to try to shake off the residual holiday season thing and to make an attempt to try to get back to normal. Long weekends and Federal holidays are a welcome thing in my line of work and I decided to make the most of it. Snow and cold were the order of the day. The woods was pretty quiet... seemingly anything with a brain was smarter than me and huddled up out of the cold. Go figure...



Santa Claus was pretty good to me this  year.  His timing was impeccable and coincided with the completion of a batch of RMJ Shrike S13's...  This was my first time using it away from an edge test in the basement.  I was impressed.  I cut that little pile of wood in 6 swings.  Now, you might be thinking, as I did, it was just sort of breaking them but no...


She's a cutter, through and through.  This thing came out of the box ready to shave and stayed that way during this little trip.  Just a solid tool, worth every dime thus far.  I am looking forward to spending the year putting this one through its paces. 

Tracker Packer Guys, eat your hearts out...  :)



One of the ideas that took hold in my head a while ago and has sort of hung on is that, while much is made of the role of the knife in bushcraft, it's been emphasized to the point that it has become an overpriced status symbol and a social proxy for actual skill in many cases.  Summary:  Having a great knife doesn't mean you know how to use it and a great knife isn't really the only thing you need. (Seems funny to talk about expensive knives after that tomahawk thing...  :) ) A good pack that can handle weight and oddball shaped objects comfortably is pretty important.  Having a really warm sleep set up is pretty important.  Good water and cook kit is more significant that you might imagine at first blush.  The list is long.  My goal in all of this rambling in my head and now here was to find a legit knife option for woodcraft that did cost more than my -20 degree bag.  Then I remembered this guy and this video...


So... I picked one of these up from Amazon for about $70 and went to work on it.  2 minutes on the sander to square the spine and 45 minutes on the stones of clear up that factory edge a bit and viola...  bush knife...  and so far, I like it. 

Outing#1 - BK17

I'll run this one for a few months and try to make it go for a year.  In earnest, I am tired of making them and I want to spend my energy elsewhere.  I need an exit strategy and I think this is it.

Anyhow, as with all cold days and new gear, I put things to work finding a place to idle for the afternoon and managed to drop through a little ice and get my boots and pants wet and cold.  It turns out the new stuff was up to the job just fine...


After my pants quit steaming and my feet had come back from the blue side, I figured I would make some lunch. Canteen Cup Chicken Fried Rice was the answer...


Knorr's mixes are Godsend on days like this one.  They are easy to cook, cook fast, fit in my canteen cup to cook, and warm this innards well.  The Titanium canteen cups are some of the best cookers I have ever used... ever...

After lunch a did a little bit of exploring and captured a couple of good shots... mostly just interesting textures or fungi...



As like all days out in the trees, eventually the light started getting a little bit long and the temp started down a little and I decided it was time to depart...


Heading home to the wife and young'uns is always fun after being away in the woods.  I am really looking forward to the day when they are both big enough to handle the cold without worrying me and I can hand them a knife to do a job and not feel like I need to watch them all the time.  Things can only get better up on my hill if the people I car about that much are along with me...

Thanks for reading. 

Oh crap.  Forgot...  Santa brought Kifaru  too...  :)  I'll talk more about it when I have had a chance to get to know it a little better.  It's a different approach to things for me and I want to be completely sure about what I am saying... Later.


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