Field gear

Field Notes Covered!

Been trying to post this for a week or two. For a while now I’ve wanted to make a leather cover for the Field Notes I carry. Like, a year… or more.

But every now and then I stop carrying thrm for a while. Like this sum

mer I stopped because it was one less item that I would be touching in stores, out and about, that I couldn’t really disinfect in any way. I went to using my phone for to do lists and time cards at work(covid free zone cause no one else is there.. well, mostly), and memorizing shopping lists.
At work its been ok, except where I need to take fast notes, measurements, and layout diagrams.
And it never worked for lists.
So I’ve gone back to carrying the notebooks. And to wanting a cover to help keep them from disintegrating.
I had a cover before, got in late 2011 but it was made for a thicker Moleskine book, which I used it with for a couple years off and on. But to not be too floppy when I transitioned to field notes in 2014, it had to have at least 2, 3 better, in it. Too thick to carry easilly. Which I did do for a while.
But it became too cumbersome, and I went to naked single notebooks. And then found that the naked notebooks get torn up a lot.
After a while I went to wrapping all new Field Notes in a layer of heavy duty packing tape, to keep them more colorfast, and less fragile. But even then they can still get pretty beat up before I get through one. Especially if there is a lot of carry and little use, like this summer.
So anyway. I don’t have time to make anything. Or really to think about making anything. The old rule rings true, you can have time to do things OR money to do things. Not both.
I love the job I have, ain’t complaining. Just missing having time for other things… 😉
So anyway, I broke down and started shopping/browsing. And after A LOT of narrowing it down, I bought a couple things that normally I’d prefer to make.
I wanted simple thin leather, 3 to 4oz flexible but abrasive resistant… And real leather.
And the front and back pockets that slip over the cover on the book. Thats really hard to narrow down, so many makers do the Midori/travelers style with the elastic bands in the spine, no hold for the covers. I want to open the leather, and the notebook as one, not have to open each separate.
And Just those pockets. No credit card slot, no pen holder, no hold shut strap. And hug the notebook like second skin, not a arctic parka 3 sizes too big.
And not $100 freaking bucks…
So.. I found what I liked, then what I REALLY liked, and at a bit more than I wanted to spend (figured about $25 was good for paying a craftsman, where they profit but I don’t get gouged) I figured what the hell and did it. Was About $35.
Super glad I did!!
So it turned out to be thicker leather than I wanted. And it doesn’t hug the edges of the book as close as I’d have liked.
Its actually bigger in footprint in both thickness and area, as the old cover I had. The old cover I stopped trying to use because it was too big in pocket, and uncomfortable.
This amazingly disappears, I can’t feel it at all!!
Yeah, anyway, shut up and show pics AK, I know…
Old and new

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Inside (came with a single graph craft notebook, a pleasant surprise)

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And the outside showing why I splurged and got this. Some of you will remember a slight obsession I have with compass rose designs… Just couldn’t pass this up! Its laser engraved, and surprisingly deeply.

Here is a link to the nakers shop, if anyone is interested.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LostSkeletonsBrandCo

The only disadvantage to using this is any of the Field Notes quarterly eddition I get, I don’t get to see the fancy covers. And since I just got several packs of special editions, I’m feeling this loss. But just because I have the cover doesn’t mean I ALWAYS have to use it.
So I think I can find a happy medium where I will still get to see the more special notebooks.

Categories: Compass Rose, EDC, Field gear, Field Notes, Journal, Leather, New Gear, Notebooks, Soft Goods, Traditional | 1 Comment

Snack knife to Hunting knife.

Little post a few days ago mentioned getting this knife back into my travel kit.
Good thing I did!
Its actually not been in the truck, but in my lunch/snack box. One day a little while ago, transfering gear to a friends truck to go shooting(target) I grabbed the snack box for a light lunch.

That meant that later I had a sharp single blade thats easier to clean than the twin blade I was pocket carying, when an impromptu bunny hunt came up..

:D

Little fur ball kept getting curious about the sound or something and running out into the range (gravel pit) we were using.

He knew I’ve been wanting to rabbit hunt a while, so my buddy said go for it if I wanted. 3rd appearance of the critter, 2nd active stalk I managed to connect before he completely disappeared again.

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Great knife for the task, thin point was easy to control, handle comfortable, good reach, and laser sharp.

Guy that was with me gave a couple ideas and left me to it, so I just basically taught myself to clean/skin a rabbit. He said I did great especially when he found out I’d never cleaned anything but fish before!

:D

Was too hot and tired that night to do the grilling we’d planned, but roast bunny is on the menu soon. Will take pics!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Case Knives, Cowboy, EDC, EDC/MT use, Field gear, Food, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Hunting, knives, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Preparedness, Summertime, Traditional, Truck EDC, Truck gear, Wildlife

About that Muskrat.

Yeah, backup blades of the same type aren’t my thing. I’m more for multiple blades in different styles, for different tasks.
I can see how it would be, as these were originally meant as a skinning blade. Use it till dull, swap blades and keep going without having to change your way of doing things to compensate for a different blade. But I don’t do that kind of repetitive work that warrants a direct replacement blade.
So, yeah.

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Ended up with a nice lambsfoot profile. And just about the same length of edge as is on the sheepsfoot in the stockman.

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Usually I do the back or pile side blade for this, but the curve of the frame leaves more access to the nail nick on the front/mark side blade, than if does the other. So I did the front. The main blade used will be the straight edge anyway… Might as well make it the mark side blade, usually considered the “main” blade side.

Slight swedging and blend of spine edges.

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Might touch the “peak” on the spine a bit to straighten the overall look of the blade. Then again I might forget. It doesn’t really need it.

Categories: Case Knives, Cowboy, Customized, EDC, Field gear, Grail Item, knives, Life-Philosophy, Modifications, Pocket knives, Re-purpose, Theory/Thoughts, tool mods, Traditional

Snack knife.

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Just a little thought from several weeks ago. Finally got this one back to its proper place, as snack knife in the truck. Its been my favorite for summer saidage and cheese for a few years now! That blade is like a laser. Case Stainless and Yellow Delrin 4.125″ Slimline single blade Trapper.

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Camping, Case Knives, Cowboy, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field gear, Food, Food Gear, GetOutdoors, Good Times, knives, Pocket knives, truck, Truck EDC, Truck gear

New Summer Boots.

My Justin safety toe work boots got to be too hot and heavy for summer, especially with the heavier socks to pad the safety toe(why on earth the safetty toe edge can be felt as a hard 1/8″ step inside the boot is beyond me!! )

So I sprung for a pair of the 5″ Warthogs from Duluth Trading.
I have to be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed at first.

Felt cheap. Like, felt like $10 walmart shoes type cheap. Super light and stiff materials.

But I reminded myself that lighter build, and thinner material’s don’t automatically mean junk. The stitching itself looked good, and the leather does feel good, like real, nice leather.

Remembering that i wanted light and cool, I ignored first impression and wore them.

(Also reminded myself that my $10 Walmart shoes actually hold up really well to hard work wear, regardless of how cheap they feel!)

The insoles sucked. Super hard, less than 1/4″ thick, like stiff styrofoam, no cushion at all… not sure what is up in their thinking there. So I stuck in a set of aftermarket SoftSole(I think) thin memory foam instead.

Anyway, after 2 days in the boots, I loved them! They are light and easy to wear. There was like 1 day of break in on the leather, and 3 days to loosen the outsoles a little..

Super comfortable, they wear like an old favorite sneaker, but are durable like a boot.

Good traction. Only a little mud so far, but they grip it. Its a softer rubber not like concrete so I have high hopes for wet concrete/rocks/light ice this fall.
They are waterproof like advertised. In the rain, wet grass, puddles etc. Haven’t stood in more than 2″ of water for more than a couple minutes yet, but I’m sure they’d take it ok.

Going on about a month and a half now of all day every day wear. I spend a lot of time on my knees sitting on my feet, they’re flexible and don’t gouge me. They haven’t got a frey or tear, no noticeable wear from it.

Underfoot support is good. Could be better but they make up for it in flexibility. Lots of time crouching/squatting is hard on your feet, and these leave me with very little aching. The same as or better than the $250 Justins!

Side to side ankle support is almost nill at 5″ and soft leather… but I prefer the range of motion anyway.

At first I thought $60 was too much. Now I’m sure I’d pay the full $130 regular price for another pair. If they come back in stock, I will!

Like I said, they were on clearance. I took a couple weeks to make sure they’d work out, and missed getting a pair for when these wear out; the way I wear boots into the ground, and as durable as these are so far, a spare pair could mean a decade covered for summer boots…


Thinking about getting a pair of their slip on boots… styled like the popular Aussie boot, with the elastic only at the sides/top.

But I have a hard time laceing and tieing boots comfortably every day… The perfect tension is hard to get, and important to keep my feet from hurting a lot from the start… No control with elastic so I’m not sure about that yet.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Boots, Clothes, Field gear, New Gear, New Work Tools, Outdoors, Reviews, Uncategorized

Dressy? Black? Orange? Fancy? Expensive? YES!

Got a new watch a couple months ago. Another Citizen Eco-drive. (Thats 3 in the stable so far!)

I had been wanting to splurge after my first check @ the new job. And get a new knife. I hadn’t done that for ages, and there was something I’d been looking at for a few months.

Buf I just couldn’t do it. I gave a lot of knives and another is hard to justify (not just in $ cost) unless im 100% sure of it. I couldn’t get past a 60% “yeah… but…” on that one. More on that in a future post though.

So anyway, I then went through bookmarks, and my Ebay watch list from the then previous few weeks, for anything else I Really wanted. Settled on a watch I’d seen.

I refuse to have batteries in watches, or at least ones that need changing, so I tend to browse through the current Citizen Eco-Drive solar models from time to time. I have two, my Chrony, and a Divers model that a friend gave me before he passed away. They’re solid, reliable and bombproof (literally. That Dive watch survived an incident with some poorly fused C4 once!)

I Hadn’t actually bought a wrist watch since 2012 or 13(a fancy Timex expedition with compass, that I could never make work right). And hadn’t gotten one at all since the the Seiko 5 another good friend gave me, around the same time…

What I’d found was a dealer offering factory refurbished watches. Not necessarily used, but ones that had needed going over. Figure New Old Stock (NOS) thay hadnr sold in a retail setying. Damn good prices!

Unfortunately what I’d liked was now sold out. So I then spent 2 days going through models and re-picking… Man, that was hard! I’ve got a short list of about 6 that I want now! Lol

I ended up really wanting to get the first one I saw, so shopping around other dealers, I found one not refurbished, but actually new, for a decent price.

Here’s the thing. They do this watch in two models, same watch, on different bands. The one I’d picked was on brown leather. The other is on a metal link/deployant style.
I’d liked the one on metal, but wrote it off initally as a bit too spendy. But the best price I could find on the New leather model, was now $5 from the refurbished metal banded one.

So yeah, I went for the metal banded one, since leather is cheaper/easier to fit aftermarket if if turns out I don’t want the metal. And the metal band model was still well below retail, or other going prices online.

I hate to brag on cost, but I’d just bought a $300 retail watch that goes for around $150 average new online, for $85 shipped. The first leather band model was $56, when the refurbished one was available… So I did spend more than initially planned, but it was still a fantastic deal, and a better option on bands in the long run.
Anyway, yes I know, shut up AK and show us the damn watch. 😉

And in case you wonder where one wears a watch this shiny and fancy… I wear it everywhere and anywhere!

Thus shown by the spray expanding foam residue i got on it at work a couple weeks ago (couple months it might wear off). 😀

Categories: Citizen, EDC, Field gear, New Gear, Spring, Traditional, Watches

Another couple months of EDC pics.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Custom, Customized, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field gear

Same moose, different antlers?

So…. is it bad that I had it 3 days, carrying it 2 days, and already modded it? Lol..
Thats better!


But then, I knew I would when I bought it. my usual, favorite blade preferences, applied to my favorite blade arrangement. (Yeah, you should have seen this coming when I first posted the knife!)

Clip into sheeps foot, clipped shorter and narrowed, then re-edged. Also dropped the kick, to sit lower in the frame when closed, as far as I could.

The spey I made into a clip/skinner, taking some of the swedge out, and removing the raised tip.

With its bigger cousin, the same mods on a Case Muskrat. The moose isn’t actually any narrower, and its thicker. But is shorter.

Its enough of a difference though, its smaller in pocket, which was what I was after in a mini muskrat/moose frame. But it still grips nice in hand, a great bonus.

😀

Categories: Custom, Customized, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field gear, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Pocket knives

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