EDC/MT use

Cheap Sunglasses

So, a little gear report from last week’s hunting trip.

More of a gear casualty report than a performance report. The item in question has worked great for about three years, up until we crushed them last Saturday(16th) night.

My most recent, and favorite sunglasses. Dragon Cinch, that I got from user FACE in the 2014 EDCF secret santa. 

REALLY amazing they’ve lasted this long with me already, actually! 

We had an issue with the boat on Saturday evening, suddenly taking on water, so Brian dropped us to just off idle, headed to thensure back where the trouble was, and had me drive. (Turned out a heat exchanger line that pumps river water into the cooler to cool the engine coolant had come off… we were literally pumping water into the boat! Fun. ) 

So, for a few miles of driving I took my shades off as we turned around out of the sun headed back toward the dock… Laid them on the drivers dash. 

Later when he took over, I forgot them there, and to not have anything loose on the dash at speed, he pocketed them thinking they were his. 

I didn’t need them anymore, it was partly overcast and dusk the rest of that day… 

That night we wedged the boat on a sandbar at sundown… in a shallow unreadable section of river. Got it off the sand but couldn’t go anywhere in the dark. 

Slept on the boat that night, tied off to a mud bank. Sleeping pad, bag, and tarp strung over head. (THAT was interesting. I ended up on the river side of the forward deck, a 2″ rail the only thing between me and rolling into the river. Amazingly I got a few hours sleep. Good test of my sleeping bag, there was ice on our gear in the boat the next morning… I was comfortable in my 20Β° bag, and it was at least down to freezing. )

Anyway, next morning we got going, moving good, into the sun… cant find my glasses. 

Hmm. 

He digs out his shades… but they’re not his. They’re mine. And he slept in his jacket. 

Yup. 

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I dug around and found his in the passenger console, so we didn’t hit anything, and atleast the guy driving could see to navigate… 

I did wear mine the rest of the day, and then again the full day on the river coming home a week later. Found that worn under my headband/hat, that one ear piece wasenough, and the spring hing tension and frame flex held the other side in place fine. Little close to me on that broKen side, fog up fast not in the wind, but it worked, so I didn’t complain!

No fault to anyone in their getting crushed, just one of those things that happens, especially when things get tossed around in an emergency(after all, the boat was sinking! when we both took our glasses off and they got mixed up).

So, first things first after getting home, looked at the brand/model/numbers. Go googling, figure they are so nice I’ll just get another pair. 

No wonder they were so nice, and survived so long with me…New price, $180. 

So much for my usual preference of cheap sunglasses (for this very reason- cheap to replace when they get broke or lost… and it’s a cool song πŸ˜‰ 

Serriously, people pay this for shades? Really? They’re nice, but… I dunno about $200 nice! 

Sorry, just surprised to find out I’ve been wearing fairly expensive shades, I guess.

Ok, so I found some for as low as $75. Not sure I can justify that either. Maybe. Not now anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I like good gear, andheaven knows I have expensive tastes… 
But.. for sunglasses…

Time will tell I guess. 

So anyway, I think I can fix them, a little super glue, and if I can find the packet of blackSugru (that ironically I got in the 2015 EDCFsecret santa!) they should be fine for a while.  πŸ™‚

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Categories: Adventures, Backcountry, Damages, EDC, EDC/MT use, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Hunting, No-pain-no-gain, Sunglasses | 1 Comment

First time for everything…

First time I’ve ever UN hot wired a vehicle! πŸ˜‰ 

Back story is as follows; A buddy had his ATV stolen out of his yard in May. Insurance payed off and he got a new one… 3 weeks later, the troopers said “hey, we got your wheeler back”.

He’s run out of time for projects this summer, but would like to sell it to cover the difference between the cost of the new one and the insurance paid. 

So, I’m putting it back together and selling it for him.

If it was a horse I’d say rode hard, put up wet… They didn’t baby it, but I wouldn’t say they thrashed it. 

 Needs a few things cleaned up, and put back together since they had started to strip it.  

First up was fixing the hacked hot wire job. Then test ridding to make sure they didn’t screw the driveline etc.. It all works great!  

Wiring like this isn’t too hard when you have a full wiring diagram to start with (free download of full factory service manual!) 

And, your supplied with a new switch, and the proper plug for it.  Got wire extension colors close on a couple… 

Scrounged and shortened the harness wires for an aftermarket switch pod I’d bought for mine. 

The harness wires to the switch had been cut so short I had to add something, but having them all one color would be a pain. 

The next guy is going to wonder what the heck, but at least he won’t be fighting to track a wire in a bundle of all red or all black wires..  

Voila;

πŸ˜†

Couple days work on a few little cosmetic details and rewiring a winch, and then you should see it on Craigslist Fairbanks.  πŸ™‚

Categories: ATV, ATVing, Automotive Work, Damages, EDC/MT use, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

ATV Turn Signals.

This has been a long time in the works.  I started ordering parts in early to mid June. Took about 3, 3.5 weeks for everything to come.  Then I had to find time to start it… 

Then decided I had to do the fuse block first, which took several days over last week. Now I’ve finally got the turn signals wired in, which also too a few days spread out over several total. 

Covering the fuse block install and the turn signals, I believe I have about 50 hours in this wiring and mounting. 

 Yes, I’m epically slow at wiring! 

Why turn signals? I dunno, just seemed like it’d be cool . 😎 Why not?  (No, unlike in some states I can’t make a quad street legal in Alaska.)

When I get the second flasher hooked up and have hazard lights, that could have a practical use, for emergencies, or simply visibility. But, these I don’t really need–but who cares? πŸ˜‰

I bought two styles of small cheap motorcycle turn signals, off ebay. Serriously, these things were about $5 a pair!  

I originally intended the round ones for the rear, and the pointed ones for the front, to match a bumper bar angle.

But in the interim while waiting for them to come, I mounted the front bull bar,  and changed the bar angles and openings.. 

Tuned out great though, I really think the look fits better this way. 

I did the rears first, designed mounts, and spacing, working off the right side… Then got ready to mount the left side and realized it didn’t clear the rear winch motor. Oops. 

Slight rearrangement, flipped the brackets side to side, and turned over, and a small angle, and it’s perfect!

The brackets are a simple angle iron, but at least 3″ on one leg… Not common, and especially not in my scrap bin..  

I remembered some 2″x4″  rectangular tube I got from scrapping a BowFlex.  Slightly bigger than what I wanted. Then again I remembered some other older tube I had, that is 1.75″X3″. Used that. 

Cut off 1″ long, then split into two “L”s.  

Worked great, being tubing made by  forming then welding it up one side; It has a crease halfway along one long side. 

That gave me a perfect locator to drill mount holes exactly the same distance from the end on both. The crease also worked as a centering locator on the front bumper tube, keeps it from twisting as easy.   For the rears I used the other side Ls, that were flat and straight. 

 The rears mounted;

Bracket is on the lower bumper mount bolts, sandwiched between frame and bumper. Since these lights had ground wires, I ran them to the upper bumper bolts.

The fronts turned out to be really easy, using the exact same brackets, bolted to the bull bar, and angle trimmed to match it for looks. 

And amazingly they ground! Even though that bar isn’t directly bolted on, it has great continuity! I didn’t have to use the ground wires I first installed.  (These lights came setup to ground off their mount studs,  I was adding wires.)

Yes, I’m an electronics techs’ nightmare lol. πŸ˜‰ Looks worse than it is actually, it’s all cleanly routed together(as clean as possible without a bare frame to start with anyway), down each side of the wheeler, and zip tied off. 

If I was installing everything at once it would get wire loom/covering… but I don’t have that luxury(kinda glad actually –that stuff is expensive!)

Hot wired test half way through;

Finally had to pull all the front plastic half way through… really wanted to do it with it on, but my hands are just too big.. lol. 

Getting the wires from the switch pod tail run..

More progress;

Yeah, I even did indicator lamps. getting fancy here, I know! The custom dash in my truck doesn’t even have the indicators installed and it’s been 4 years since I put that in! Lol. 

Finished, front;

And back(hard to see, but they’re there); 

And dash/switches; 

The other two switches on that pod are designed as a 2 position low/high light switch, and a momentary horn button. 

When I get the hazard flasher wired in, I’m going to use the light switch for them. Simply leaving nothing on the “low” circuit for “off”,  and “on” on the “high” beam position/circuit. 

Not completely sure about the momentary button yet(working on an idea though!). 

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Automotive Work, Custom, EDC/MT use, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

EDC Early/Mid June 2017

Ya think I have a thing for blue? Ha! Unplanned color coordination… 

That’s what it’s been for this week, and most of last… Probably most of next too. 

Really thankful for my hanks lately, from greasy rusty hands, to mud, to bug splatters and road grime on my sunglasses–had to stop and clean them several times today.  

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Hanks

What’s missing here?

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What’s missing? 

Other than the fact that I broke my run of old school/traditional, with the pocket watch/match safe/small jack. ( that lasted about 2.5 weeks!) 


In changing knives, I left the house without one (gasp!) Intending to grab my Vic apprentice from where it’s been living in my ATV glove box.

3 or 4 hours later, when the ATV came up in conversation, I realized I’d forgoten to get the knife before leaving the property… 

(Bigger gasp! ;) ) 

Thankfully, and amazingly with the various things I helped a friend with, I never needed a blade all day! 

(Ok, technically there is a blade on the Spirit, a veritable laser… I just never use it, and rarely remember that it’s there. I did remember it when I realized I was knifeless, but if I’d needed to cut, I probably wouldn’t have remembered it! Lol) 

So this little beauty got carried for all of maybe 10 minutes after I got home.. ha!

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Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, knives

It ain’t much…

​All of yesterday’s edc 😁 πŸ˜€  My one and only Great Eastern Cutlery knife, a Tidioute brand beaver tail trapper from 2007.   

Oviously a light carry day, although, ironically compared to the average full load out day; it got used. (Unemployed right now, so I can honestly go two or three days of full carry without really using anything, other than maybe a flashlight or headlamp).

 It cut a mostly empty motor oil bottle in half to feed to the wood stove as sort of octane booster/firestarter /enricher. 😈;)😆:D  πŸ˜€

Categories: Custom, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, knives, Modifications

Christmas knife again..

​Little Christmas knife update… I’m not carrying or using the Christmas tree Case… ‘Cause I can’t find it! 

So Christmas eve carry was my Case ’46 pattern humpback half whittler.

And these for Christmas day;

’48 Trapper for dinner (roast duck was a little tough in spots but delish!)  And Dad’s old Saber jack knife for package duty. 

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC/MT use, knives, Pocket knives

Most carried, Β most used item.

​Most of you will remember that my most used carry item is a flashlight, far exceeding all others, even a knife. 


Not surprising since it’s dark a LOT here in the winter, which is basically 7 months of the year, (3 hours and 40 min of daylight yesterday!) And add to that my work always has datk, dim, shadowed, odd little nooks and cranies to see into… and my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I seem to need more light in general these days. 

Anyway, I need to fess up.
There is an item I religiously carry everyday in the fall through spring, basically once I gain a jacket to easily carry it, which coincides with Dark nights… 

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I’ve had that headlines for about 8 years now, and love it! I’d say it’s maybe 100 lumens on high with all three leds going. Not a lot, but it’s enough in the pitch black outside. 

I’ve worn it working construction, doing yard work, shoveling, plowing, daily my Dane tasks like hauling groceries in, or getting firewood in. (Every evening for the past two weeks in fact!) It’s been worn snowmobiling, atving, hiking. It’s been used when I’m broke down, stuck. Or when others are broke down or stuck… It’s even been a room light during power outages. From fall 60F to record setting -65F it’s taken it all


It really is a life saver, worth it’s weight in gold. 

One of the greatest Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. Mom got it for me that year after I asked for one. I wanted a Petzl, that’s what was available locally, so figured I’d get it… She ordered this from our favorite outfitter, Cabelas. I had deffinate reservations about the brand and led style, fjgured it a cheap off the wall item with a brand name slapped on it, would be dim and useless. Boy was I wrong! 

Before I got it that Christmas, I figured I wouldn’t be getting one, so bought myself the Petzl… 

I’ve used the Petzl maybe 4 times! The Browning is brighter, better modes. Ironically, mom ended up with the other one thus last winter when we had the big power outages.

It’s been basically bullet proof for the 8 years, still looks and works as new.

For most of the year, it’s, if not my most carried, most used item, it’s in the top two!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Cabelas, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Flashlights, Life-Philosophy, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, Winter

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