Field gear

Darning leather gloves?

Have a pair of nice heavy deer skin work gloves that I wore almost all summer. They started developing holes about a month and a half ago.

Since I was welding that day, it meant finger burns (yes we had dedicated welding gloves, but generally I don’t bother with them, they’re a heavy leather gauntlet that allows no dexterity at all.)

My jobsite fix that day was a quick wrap (double layer glue to glue on the holes so it didn’t stick to me!) of gorilla tape over the finger tips.
I gotta say I’m impressed, after a month of work, and you have to remember I’ve been working in a crawl space most of the time so its not just work wear, but crawling wear too, that tape was scuffed and a bit softer, but still stuck, solid, holeless… I HATE duct tape with a passion because it never stays on anything even duct work, but this stuff was great!
But anyway, 3 more holes later and I grabbed a new pair of gloves. I have no idea what the old ones cost, they were a gift, the second pair out of a two pack a friend got. And I can’t shop where they came from(costco) so a direct replacement is impossible.
But the replacement I got at Home Depot was $25 a pair.
I’m sure the Costco ones probably cost less than that, and about 6 months on a pair before they wear out isn’t bad for good quality, real leather, all leather gloves.
But at prices like that I’d still like to prolong their life if possible. And besides, they’re broken in, already stained– don’t have to worry what I get on them, they fit me, and are comfortable as all get out now… I’ve been missing them!
With socks its called darning. Maybe only on knit socks. Ive been saying I’m darning gloves. But they’re not knit, and darning might not apply even to knit gloves… lol.
So, thus, I sat down with some scrap leather, needle and thread, and have been slowly fixing them in my spare time the last few days.
This has worked well so far, a couple seams resewn, and one finger tip I cut out the holed area and patched. Some of it I’ve just whip stiched on the outside, some thing I’ve turned them inside out to have the seams on the inside like original.
It has ironically been kinda hard on my hands. For a while now any hand sewing I do, or similar work that takes a good grip on small tools, and fine motor skills, has made my hands go numb while doing it.

Add to that some muscle damage and inflammation that I have right now in my shoulders/arm pits and lower arms that has been doing a carpal tunnel like effect of a piched nerve or restrictions in blood flow; making my hands tingling or numb over most of the past week anyway;

It makes this extremely slow, somewhat frustrating, and sort of painful to do.

But at any rate, I’m enjoying it, it improves my sewing, saves some gloves, and fills some time.

I still have one big hole and one small one to patch, and two seams to re-close.

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Categories: Alaska-Life, Clothes, Cowboy, Damages, EDC, Field gear, Leather, MacGyver, Modifications, Recycle, Repairs, Sentimental, Sewing, Soft Goods, Summertime, Welding | 1 Comment

Not just hydration, but COLD hydration!

All summer, it was HOT here. As in record breaking hot at times. Hot and dry. So dry we broke the state record of acres burning in wildfires, a record set in 2004.

If I had 3 words to describe this summer, they’d be hot, dry, and smokey.

Its ironic that I only finally get this new item now, in the cool fall after the heat and actually after a Long record breaking wet season as well.

Thus is the irony of life!

I’d been wanting a vacuum insulated water bottle for a long time after a buddy got one early this summer. It’s been really annoying going out all day and my water gets warm, when his stayed cold and iced. I can put ice in the bottles I usually carry, but the sweating and condensation is epically annoying.

Unfortunately a lot of these bottles are Really expensive… Took me a while to find something I liked, that I can afford.

Stumbled upon this at wally world this week. Tal Hydration Ranger Pro;

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It is stainless steel, vacuum insulated, copper lined in the vacuum area, (I wondered what good that does, turns out according to another brands advertising literature, that its supposed to conduct heat transfer more efficiently.).

Large top opening for filling/ice, and a nice caped drinking opening that is amazingly similar to my CamelBak Chute, my favorite water bottle.

Not sure if its paint or powder coat, but it seems thick, time will tell how durable it is.

Also similar to the Chute is the carry loop, but this one is bigger(great) and fantastically, its hinged, and folds out of the way making it much narrower when not hanging it. Also allows it to hang fully vertical not angled.

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My only complaint so far is how tall this sucker is… I wanted a liter/32oz. bottle. Astoundingly They don’t make one!

They do a 26oz and a 40oz . This is the 40. They are all bigger than equal volume uninsulated bottles, obviously, but these things are overly tall for their diameter…

I’m actually guessing this is on purpose, so that they fit, for diameter, in water bottle pouches, and automotive(etc) cup holders..

The 26 was already taller than I’d want, but less capacity than I need (want)… So I bit the bullet and I opted for the 40. Will probably get used to it fast but so far its a little intimidating to pack/carry.

One nice thing about 40oz, and maybe this was their idea, is that you can get a full 32oz drink in it, and have room for ice.

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The claim is 24 hours cold, 12 hours hot… we shall see.

Honestly I’ll be Happy if I get half those times. But some somewhat scientific(timed anyway) tests will be done. (eventually… 😉 )

So far I’ve used it a grand total of once, and it had my tea as icy as it started, more or less, for 4 or 5 hours.

So far, I’m extremely happy. Especially since it only cost me $17. 🙂

Will try to do a usage review after a week of two, we’ll see how its holding up.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Bottles, Camping gear, EDC, Field gear, Food, Food Gear, Hydration, New Gear, Summertime, weather and seasons | 1 Comment

EDC Update Summer 2019

Been a LOT going on this summer, and I do have things to post, but no time to do it. Lots of catch up posts this fall probably.

Until then, a few pocket dump pics to catch up that archive, and a few pics of other things thrown in, sort of a teaser. 🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field gear, knives, Lighters, Multitools, New Gear, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Summertime

Old Timer spa treatment.

Schrade USA Old Timer knives that is!

Have had both of these a while, the 8OT Stockman a couple years, and have carried it off and on. The 94OT Trapper almost as long, but hadn’t used it.

The Stockman came from a close friend, a knife he used to carry/use. We were cleaning out a tool box in one of his old trucks. The box had gotten full of water… Yup, knife was solid orange rust. He said if I thought I could do something with it I could have it.

90% of it was loose rust and came off in a WD-40 bath, I sharpened if and left it at that, and used it.

The trapper came from another friend, as I recall by way of a passaround box on a forum, was one he snagged at a flea market. It was badically clean, just hard rust in the joints and on the areas where the blades were exposed. I intended to give it a good cleaning, but it always got put on a back burner.

Anyway, time to kill, and lots of elbow grease, and I got them both cleaned up.

1st round is WD-40 and a cloth for any soft/new rust, and loose dirt.

2nd round is light oil on a Scotch Brite pad for blades and back of springs.

3rd round is Flitz polish on the scotch brite pad for blades, springs, and bolsters.

4th round is the Flitz on a soft cloth, for everything, delrin included.

Not perfect, and I wouldn’t want that. There is still some set-in hard rust, and some patina too. Shows they’ve had a life already, and an interesting one too.

Categories: Damages, EDC, Field gear, Good Friends, knives, old tools, Pocket knives, Repairs

Custom ice auger adaptor for cordless drill.

These things are popular right now, with the high torque long battery life of modern cordless drills, its verry easy to drill ice holes with them.

Several companies make dedicated augers for this(a friend just got a 6″ K-Drill, works great!).

Also popular are these adaptors to run augers off of hand augers.

I figured the large 8″ auger off my new gas unit was probably heavier than the 8″ hand units, and definitely heavier than the 6″ hand units. But I also figured it should still work, maybe as fast as the others, but if the drill had the torqe to turn it, I’d still have holes!

Adaptors for the hand augers run around $25. But as far as I could tell, the shaft size was different than the gas augers.

And besides that, $25 for something I could turn myself on the lathe? Yup 😉

So, auger in hand, in the shop, and a couple hours later I had this;

Before and after, it’s turned from solid 1.5″ aluminum.

And then I decided it needed a side handle for stability. 1st version with a roller bearing between ring and shaft failed… Accidentally ended up too narrow to drill and tap for thd handle stud. Oops!

Second try I left out the bearing to save time and work, I figured if the whole concept works, I can do it later.

Opposing stud is for an added safety catch, the works can’t drop through the ice… Technically if the drill comes off though, the auger itself can– Considering the drill can’t got through a 8″ hole when on the auger, I kinda missed the boat on thst feature. Lol.

Need to re-mount this or similar below the connection to the auger…

But anyway, there she is!

Tried it yesterday, and it does work, it will crank it in the ice, and drill holes!

But its pretty slow.

Faster and easier than a hand auger, for sure. But the work needed isn’t something I’d want to subject this drill to very often.

We tried it on my buddies bigger drill, and it ate through pretty dang fast. Not as fast as the 6″ K-Drill, but very respectable!

Faster/more powerful drill than what I have, and it’d be perfectly fine.

So yeah, it works. But I won’t be using it. Bigger drill would be a couple hundred minimum. Smaller lighter auger bit, about $60. But since I have the nice 43cc gas motor for this one, I really can’t justify any of the cost.

I’ll shelf it. If I end up with a more powerful drill, or a hand auger, I’ll have the option to try it again.

If nothing else, it was a fun project for the lathe, I enjoyed it. 🙂

Categories: Aluminum, Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, Lathe, Modifications, Prototypes, tool mods

Custom ice fishing bucket seat.

When out last Saturday I wanted to travel lighter, leave my folding chair and fish cooler behind, go with a bucket seat. But there was no way in hell I was going shopping on black Friday!

Some old foam, a chunk of naugahide, and some scrap lumber in the shop, couple hours and I made me a hinged, padded, bucket seat, that doubles as a fish carrier.

It works! 😉

Only downside I’ve found is no backrest for 4 hours sucks 😉 and it sliddes a little on the ice. Second trip out with it yesterday and I put it in a milk crate, for traction. Works good, adds some stability and places to hang things.

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Re-purpose, Repurpose

Ice fishing report, November 24th, 2018

Got out to Birch Lake the first time this season last Saturday, I didn’t get anything but a buddy and his kids did great. I didn’t care I got skunked, I got all the fun I needed watching those kids(7 and 9)catch their first cold fish (and I think first fish ever)!!

Most of those are rainbow trout, a couple small silver salmon. They could have limited out, but put a lot of little ones back.

I had Something about twice that size on the line once, as did my buddy… Bugger got off just shy of the ice both times, stayed just long enough for us to see him each time! Bloody teaser!

Getting ready to hit another favorite spot this coming Saturday. About 13″ of ice according to F&G ice reports, up from the 8″ last week. Usually a lot more by this time of year but we’ve had the mildest fall/winter so far that I can remember in 25 years..

He got a new auger, one of those gear boxed suckers that goes on a cordless drill (works phenomenally! ).

They wanted to give me something as a thanks for helping out with some stuff last month, so they gave me his gas auger. Absolutely floored me!

8″auger, 43cc motor, Eskimo, came with an extension bar too.

I’ve been ice fishing 3 or 4 years now and have Never had an auger, even a hand one or even a ice chisel! Always go with someone that has gear, or use a hole already open that someone’s vacated, ask a favor of someone to drill me one etc.

Big game changer for me, really opens up where and when I can go now!

Sizing up to be a good season. Got a couple gear mods to make posts for soon, and some other new gear too.

Should be back with another trip report in a couple days, hopefully with at least one fish of my own this time!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, New Gear, Outdoors, Winter

Ice fishing tent fix 2.0

Some of you might remember fix 1.0 last year. A friend was given an Eskimo Quickfish 3, but he doesn’t (ice)fish, so gave it to me. It had 2 broken poles. The ends had snapped relatively clean off, so I made connectors to reattach the ends for the hubs to the poles.

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Done in brass because it was the only stock I had bigger diameter than the pole end pieces.

This year I had it set up before first snow to dry out (outside storage over the summer) and 8″ of snow load collapsed the top; I broke a pole getting it cleaned off...


This time it broke the pole mid length, and it exploded, long slivers of fiberglass everywhere… Couldn’t salvage it, and handling it to salvage the end/hinge piece was too hazzardoes.

So, I made a new pole, and the end this time. Machined the hinge end from aluminum, with a steel cross pin. And mounted on a fiberglass driveway marker rod. Works great!

(These poles are only $10 new, but shipping something 49” long to Alaska is rediculously expensive!)

Categories: Alaska-Life, Aluminum, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repairs, Repurpose, Winter

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