For warm dry knees! 

Got a new item recently. Well, 3 items actually. 

After my moose hunting trip this fall, a sleeping pad I’d borrowed to take was misplaced. Wasn’t in my gear, and when the boat was unpacked, it wasn’t found. We figured it blew out of the boat on the long drive back, and hoped someone found it on that winding mountain road– If I lose something, I at least hope someone gets some use fromy it, that it’s not wasted.

And I’d just obviously get a new one for the guy I borrowed it from. 

I did go buy a new one. 
Couple weeks went by before I got to take stuff back to him. 

In that time, my buddy cleaned Everything out of the boat. 

He found the padd, said literally it was stuffed so far up under the front deck a hurricane wouldn’t have budged it! 

None the worse for wear, I returned that pad to my friend, intending to return the new one, get my much needed $45 back. I did think about trying to still give my friend the new one, but he wouldn’t have accepted it if the old one wasn’t lost.. 

After using the first padd in an emergency, sleeping on it on Cold front deck on the boat on the river one night, I was sold on it, figured I’d get myself one like it before next season. 

Just didn’t really want to spend the money now… Didn’t get around to trying to return it till after the return period had ended. Oops.

In that time period I’d been also looking at small foam pads, after seeing someone at BCUSA carrying a sitting pad in their day bag. Found something I never knew anyone made; kneeling pads! Some for camping, some for gardening, work etc. 

My dad used to cut sections from the old 1/4″ closed cell foam sleep pads for kneeling to work, but I’d never seen anything sold for that. 

I’d started carrying chunks of cardboard in my truck box for roadside, job site etc kneeling, sitting, laying etc on cold or wet ground. Realized I should have had a foam one like dad used to make in the truck years ago, just never thought of it! 


You can see where this is headed, right? 

Since I have it, but don’t need the padd for sleeping till next summer, and can pick up another one then if I need it (I actually use a Klymit V-luxe air pad the most); In the mean time I can save myself the cost of keeler pads. 

I’d also found another great use for that pad on the hunting trip, as a chair pad. Took my folding canvas camp chair along, and it was great. But as id found before, sitting too long in one of those in cool wet weather, especially with a breeze can freeze your back and butt; its just cold canvas your sitting on, stays cool and bleeds heat fast.. I laid the pad in the chair and with a light sleeping bag over my legs was very comfy for early and late river vigils waiting for bulwinkle. :)

I did this last week a few days before ice fishing… I use the same chair for that activity, and sitting in that chair even with winter gear on can royally freeze your ass in a wind on a lake @ 10F or colder… 

So 30 seconds laying the new one in a chair to measure length needed for seat and back, then another 30 seconds with a pocket knife, cutting along the thin fold line. One chair pad made! 

Then what was left I cut into two equal sections, also cutting on the folds. Go two kneeling/sitting pads, one for my hunting/camping/hiking gear, and one for the truck. 

It was so warm last week for ice fishing I didn’t bother to take the big chair pad along, just took a small one. Never needed it, it was so warm, and the fishing was so good I spent a lot of time standing anyway. 

Anyway, it was still in the cab of my truck last night, got home late, 40F out (!) light wind, clear sky, stars out and Lots of northern lights. 

I killed the yard lights, grabbed the pad and sat on the tailgate of my truck to watch the show. 40F ambient is great, but a metal tailgate will still be 0F or colder after a week if that and freeze yer ass off! But with the pad I was dry and toasty. Size was good too, enough to sit on comfortably, but not huge to store. 

Gonna need two more pads now… One to keep as a sleep pad, and another to make more kneelers, for other uses/places/vehicles. 

It is/was a Therm-a-rest Z-Lite pad BTW. 

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Thermarest does make a sitting pad, shorter than the sleep pads, and cheaper at $15. Same design, same materials. It would have been too small for the chair pad I wanted, but I might get a couple of those for making more kneelers. Think I can get two of this size kneeler from one of those. 2 for about $15 ain’t bad!
As it is now, two sit/kneel pads and a chair pad that could be used as a short sleep pad isn’t bad at all for $45! 🙂 

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Categories: Backcountry, Camping gear, Custom, Customized, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Preparedness, Truck gear | 1 Comment

Three knives, and some hot plastic.

Been sorta sick, no energy at all since Tuesday. Doing nothing was about to drive me nuts. Figured what the heck I’d head to the shop and try something that’s been on my mind all week. 


Finally got around to doing a sheath for that Vic paring knife. Made at an angle, for neck carry, left hand draw. As seen as if wearing;

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The back;

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Not perfect, the tension could use adjusted a little, it’s super tight to draw. But snaps home good, and ain’t going anywhere. Will see how it does in actual carry before I try to loosen it up any.

Also, an idea I had while sitting around killing time this week, with two items that were on the table at the time.

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My second JW Knives Bandicoot 2.5 and a cool little file karidashi made by a friend being about the same size seemed like they’d make a nice minimalistic carry paired together. Started out with opposing angles for individual grips for draw, but having to add a tension screw ruined that; ran out of room.

Had to re-heat and repress this sucker about 5 or 6 times to get it to work. Lol.

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It is 3 layers of kydex, and I’m glad it was the thin stuff, the eyelets I have were almost too short as it was!

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I’d planned it with the three, but tried it with just two outer layers once I had them formed, when I started with two different opposite angles for thetools… It Almost had enough support and tension to leave out the center layer, but not quite.

Tension isn’t perfect, you have to finagle aroundwith the Bandicoot to get it back in right, but itholds and works. 

As a side note, since I had it close by for all evening in the shop, that ‘dashi got used as kydex deburing and scrapping tool for all holes, melted foam(whoops), etc. Great little scraping edge!

And one more. Found this knife in the house a few days ago, was one my Dad had. IIRC he got it at a yard sale a neighbor had about a decade ago, because of the ship scrimshaw(dad loved the big sailing ships) never really used it for anything. 


Not my preferred style of knife except the wicked trailing point clip blade.. Never have seen much practical use for thus style/grip. Then again, it’s pretty comfortable, and damned sharp, figured why not? I’ll try it for a edc utility knife, and maybe put it in my hunting gear to try ad a skinner… What have I got to lose? 🙂

Doubt it’ll be any super knife, it’s a Frost Cutlery, and marked “surgical steel japan”, meaning probably 440A… or 440B.. but like I said, it was sharp, and I got an even more wicked edge on it now, can’t hurt to use it. 

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I remember it having a cheap sheath but couldn’t find it. So… it got added to the docket for kydex work tonight. 

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Will make a backing piece from leather later, planning on a simple belt loop for horizontal carry. 

This one took about 4 pressings too. And a second back piece; pressing both to fit the blade didn’t work out. 

I no longer Hate working with kydex, and it’sgetting easier… Sort of… But I won’t say I’m too fond of it either. 😉

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Categories: Custom, Customized, EDC, knives, Kydex, Modifications, New Gear, Sheaths | 1 Comment

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 
My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  😀 This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter | Leave a comment

Single Cell CR123 Flashlights

Put this together last week for a thread at EDCC about single cell CR123 lights, just realized I should put it here too. 🙂 

My most used(also oldest) and favorite of my three single cr123 lights, has to be my Jetbeam BC10. Simple two modes, (no freaking strobes) perfect for averages spaces on low, and while its a moderately low turbo mode for these days, it’s eye shattering enough for pitch black times. 

This light is just bombproof, and comes back for more! 

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Next up is the Rofis JR10, with what has to be oneof the coolest light features this decade, the infinite angle head, which I love for hands free lighting. 4 modes from comfortable in small spaces, to eye splitting in almost any space, almost always plenty of light. Love the mode memory, No strobes, and fast easy side switch to change modes. 

It loses a couple points for its length to carry, and weight– both from the longer rotating head. (And maybe the custom brass body 😉 ) But all three of these get carbine red more than pocket clipped anyway, this one being the only one I pocket carry, and it is OK that way. 

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The third is my custom built Solarforce L2M withthe 1xCell body tube. 3 modes, reverse cycle orderis hard to remember after other lights, h-m-l, but it’s a good range. Once again, love no strobes! This is my extreme cold, big and easy to grip with heavy gloves light, doesn’t get carried many other times, it’s just so Huge for the average day, and forget pocket clip carry! Wider floody beam probablyhelps make up for it, but I never notice…

Also love caribiner carry, with that sith like evilchrome bezel on it, I always feel like I’m packing a lightsaber around!

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Categories: Uncategorized, Usage Reviews | 1 Comment

Time in my pocket…

New watch arrived this week. Have wanted this one for a while, but always put off getting it for something else. 


It’s a pocket watch, but it’s a bit different than the norm. 

Closed;

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Partially open;

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Open;

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The release is a pull button, not a push. Pull to in latch, and the inner watch swings out. Mechanical movement,the back of the inner case is windowed to see it run. 

I’m just a bit underwhelmed…. I figured it was the size of an average watch, the movement/inner part smaller to compensate for any increase in the case. 

And honestly I didn’t think it would be any bigger, just assembled different… But it is bigger. 

The diameter is about the same as an average watch, even smaller than my open faced one. 

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But the thickness is substantially more. And it’s HEAVY. That outer case is a Super solid casting! Not quite sure if it’s going to comfortably carry, but I’ll give it a fair go! 

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Otherwise it’s great though!  🙂 

Categories: EDC, mechanical, New Gear, Pocket Watches, Watches | 1 Comment

EDC, Several years in review.

I tend to do these comparisons about this time every year or so and for a while I was doing them every 3 and 6 months.. I tend to try for a pocket dump from the same date, a year off, or same day of the month… 

I could post a lot of older comparisons, but for simplicinty, I’ll do Mid november, closest date possible, last few years.. 

For fun though;
Summer 2007;

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January 2008;

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Ok, so, Thanksgiving week, more or less;

Closest I can get for 2012 is in September, the 27th. Didn’t get into pocket dumps till after that, the next summer.. Ironically I think my most progression was in late 2012 and mid to late 2013… so doing a comparison for this time of year misses some progression. 

Anyway;

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Nov 23rd 2013;

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Nov 23rd 2017

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November 20th, 2014;

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Nov 20th 2015;

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Nov 21st 2015;

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Nov 21st 2017;

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Nov 22nd 2017;

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Nov 24th 2014;

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Nov 24th 2015;

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Nov 24th 2017;

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Nov 28th 2015;

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Nov 27th 2016;

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Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

EDC mid October to mid November 2017

Pocket dumps and knife pocs taken in the last month. Oldest to newest… 

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, Hanks, knives | Leave a comment

A new idea; cord or zipper pull ends. 

Had this thought while turning beads last night, I’ve seen others do this,  and I used to do a few when my beads included modified cartridge cases.  Bored one end of a pair of my medium sized aluminum beads out larger.  Forms a snug fit over a knot tied in a single strand of u-gutted 550 cord.  

(Yes I know I need to re-trim the flash on those holes… I somehow missed it before polishing them.)

I need to play with the hole size. See if I can get one big enough in this metal stock, to fit over a knot of two strands of gutted 550. So that they could be put on loops of 550 cord.

  I know I can fit that into my magnum beads, but I’m not sure it can fit in this “large” size and leave material for much of an outer design. 
 Also need to try it in my “small” sized beads, a hole size combo that will fit micro cord knots. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Aluminum, Beads, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals, New Products, Products, Prototypes | 1 Comment

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