I have a true love of gadgetry, especially where it's some type of multi-function device that allows usage on its own, but also transports your information to a home computer as well, or has some extended versatility in some other way. That's what led me to my acquisition of the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. A primary example of what I'm talking about with regard to a multi-function device is my almost three year old Verizon Wireless XV6700 Windows Mobile Phone. First, and foremost, it's a phone. Then it's a phone that's really a computer with cool programs to listen to and watch media, manage your contacts, and host your personal calendar of appointments and events. Beyond that, you can get a data plan and that's where it really gets interesting. You can not only surf the internet, you can hook the phone up to your laptop and use it as a broadband modem sucking down EVDO packets at a very quick clip. Pretty good so far, right?
Making A Billy Can--Reloaded
No, this is not a repost of Luke Causey's "How To Make A Billy Can" article. Yes, I am absolutely ripping off Luke's Billy Can idea, but I'll give credit where it's due. Actually, I was inspired by Luke's article for a number of reasons. The first being that a couple of weeks ago a couple of friends and I had an emergency "dry run" weekend. We just took our emergency packs and headed out in the woods to shake out our gear. Over the weekend, we discussed several topics, one having to do with whether or not to shape your pack around the short-term thought, or pack it with a long-term scenario in mind. One friend, Terrill, has his pack set with more items for a short-term basis while I like to have gear that's more oriented to a long-term living basis. The funny thing, though, is that while our gear is different in that regard, we both use the MercWorx Sniper Pack as our platform. So, as we discussed these opposing thoughts, I pointed out that for my pack, a cook stove that takes gas (like my JetBoil that I love so much) would be pointless after you run out of gas in a couple of weeks...
Swiss Army Farmer
In today's world, we have at our disposal a plethora of tools and technology that allows our pursuit into just about every adventure we can envision. Take, for instance, a BIC lighter. No one out there would point to that and call it "High Tech", however think what our ancestors from 150 years ago would have thought about it. For that matter, imagine living a thousand years ago and having something as handy as a BIC lighter for your every day use. It would have been revered as a marvel, and your status in the tribe would be highly elevated. Something so simple as a BIC lighter would allow our ancestors to not worry about life-preserving activities that had to be done each day, and would allow for their efforts to be focused on other pursuits. And so it goes, with each new step and with the development of new tools, more and more tasks can be made easier and consume less time each day. Can you imagine what the soldiers of the Roman empire two thousand years ago would think of the types of steel and designs we have for knives and swords today? That's why I'm so impressed with a simple tool that still exists in its basic form today over 100 years after its introduction.
Integral Designs' Siltarp2
Three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. That's the basic rule of thumb when you find your self in a hostile enviornment in the great outdoors. Whether it's a summer thunderstorm, a cold autumn rain, or even a winter snow storm, one your first priorities has to be setting up an adequate shelter when faced with an emergency. Now, most of the time, an individual is able to plan their outings and that plan can include a 1-2 man tent built for 3 or 4 seasons. That works well when gearing up for a week long expedition and there's a 6500 cubic inch pack available. No problem. But, the perspective I'm writing this article from is having an emergency shelter that's compact and that will fit into my emergency pack with other essential gear. One thing to keep in mind about my emergency pack is that it's only about 3800 cubic inches. So, it's not an expedition pack that you can stock with all the luxury gear you want to last you for ten days. Instead, it's a smaller, more portable pack that forces me to focus on the necessary gear I'll need if a true emergency comes down the pike. My focus on the gear in this bag is to have items that can provide for my needs for a long-term situation, even if the gear takes a little more skill. For instance, instead of a gas stove that will last about a week, I'll use a stainless steel can to hang over a fire to boil my water and cook my food. You get the idea.
Water is the only drink for a wise man---Henry David Thoreau
On the grand scheme of things, no matter the enviornment, water has to be the primary concern for man's survival. I've done extensive research in the past years about survival in the outdoors. There's a rule of thumb dealing with the "3's". It goes something like, "You can survive without shelter for three hours, without water for three days, and without food for about three weeks." That's a generalization and dependent on the survivor's surroundings. For instance, if a person were caught in a blizzard, their primary concern would be to find shelter from the storm. However, that concern would not be as great if it was a balmy eighty-three degrees outside. But, no matter the temperature or conditions, man must have water. Period. Full end stop. The general wisdom is that at least one gallon of water should be available for each person for each each day. In hot conditions, even more might be required. So, having the means to acquire and filter/purify water must be a component for the savvy outdoors person. This topic came up recently in a group discussion while a few of us were having a weekend in the woods "roughing it". The conversation encompassed short-term and long-term scenarios, the types of filters/purifiers that are available, and it covered the strengths and weaknesses of each system. We talked about pre-filters, filters, purifiers, tablets, and even the newer ultra-violet devices. One of the most prevailant of these is the Steri-Pen from Hydro-Photon, Inc. and it's a system that we tried while up in the hills of North Carolina this past weekend.
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- Helko Vario 2000 Axe Review
- Adventures in East Africa, Volume 3: The Hunt
- Kershaw Camp 10 Review
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One of the premiere communities for people to gather and communicate about all types of blades.
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Another premiere site for users to communicate about and trade information and goods related to knives.
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