Journal

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

A Sunday EDC, after 5 years.

Was looking through some old pics of mine, and realized that May of 2015 and 2020 are identical for dates/day of week.

The 17th was a Sunday in both years.
So, Sunday carry Exactly 5 years apart;

’15;

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This would be one of my last pocket dumps with the flip phone, since within the month, and as I recall not long after my birthday, I went and got the Galaxy S5.

Also one of my last photos taken with a “real” camera, not a phone.

Looks like no watch since I think I had converted that pocket watch to a pill case by then, but maybe not. Nook as E-Bible.

No ring since that fall is when I made my moonglow and acrylic rings.

Didn’t start carrying hanks till the next year I think, or at least winter of 15/16.

IIRC I hadn’t started consistent Sunday CCW then.

Before I started color coordinating.

’20;

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This one is a bit odd, since this last year I had started a distinctively lighter/minimal carry for Sundays… Which this isn’t. Its kinda 1/2 and half.

This sunday was the first church since Convid19/pandemic/shutdown. (Alaska is now on “reopen” orders, with gatherings, events etc allowed again.) I couldnt find my go to church bible, so used my phone. Phone is now an S8 as of this month so these pics skip the S5 entirely, even though it lasted almost the entire 5 years.

No notebook or pen since I stopped them a couple months ago. Haven’t worn my dog tags for a while either since weekdays I have the neck knife.

Metal ring I made before or ironically in 2015(from an AK quarter), since I have recently broke the acrylics.

New watch, and a general blue theme which matched my wardrobe for the day, blue denim, T and Hawaii-ish/islands shirt.

Haven’t used the buffalo money clip for about a year, although I still have it. Got these light weight card case wallets especially for light church carry, and they became every day use.

Same style of knife, traditional. One a stockman, one a muskrat which is a stockman frame.

Same exact flashlight, and the multitool too!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Flashlights, Good Times, Journal, Just Plain Fun, Life-Philosophy, Modifications, Pocket knives, Sentimental, Summertime, Theory/Thoughts

A little tweak to a litle carry.

Normally unless I’m in the basement shop working, I don’t carry(EDC) at home, in the house. Theres too much stuff lying within reach if I need anything, and my loafing pants tend to be uncomfortable with anything in the pockets.

But here lately I’ve been loafing in jeans, and thus had better pockets, so I’ve been dropping this into one.

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My modded Olight i3S EOS, an OLD (the store disappeared locally when I was like 5) micro utility knife and my RLSA lightsaber just in case 😉

Today I realized I had one too many S biners on it. I haven’t yet taken any one item off of the others for use.

Doubt I’ll take them apart often, so why waste the second S biner? The gripability and dangling/balance/feel didn’t change enough to matter.

Before;

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And after;

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Simple yes, and almost pointless to post it. But sometimes life is just that; simple. So why not post it. 🙂

Categories: Customized, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Journal, Just Plain Fun

Multiple tools use?

A friend on an EDC forum asked me an interesting question today;

Hey AK-A, You’ve had that Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit for quite some time.
Which three of its tools have you used the most? TIA

It’s funny that he should ask me that; A couple nights before when putting things up for the night, I was looking at it and thinking about what I use and don’t use.

My answer is as follows;
Top 2 are easy, pliers, phillips driver, in that order.

But I had to add a footnote, that I’m not sure that #2 counts as Vic specific since I hated the Vic driver. I cut it off and welded a Leatherman flat style 1/4″ bit holder onto it several years ago. 🙂
#3 is hard to tell what I use more, but I *think* its the large flat head driver/bottle opener as leverage/a pry bar.

Honorable mention/#4, #5 goes to the other two that tied with that big driver, the awl and the wire cutters.


Use the awl as a pick, scraper, small pry tool a lot. And the wire cutters get alot of use when I’m running the wire feed welder.
Honestly, out of those last three its really, really, really hard to tell what I use more.
I can tell you what I Never use; the knife blade.

I started out hating the style(which is ironically now my favorite to use on any other knife, a sheepsfoot), and now I just prefer the ergonomics of a dedicated pocket knife.
Rarely, almost never used, is the chisel/scraper. Like maybe 15 times in the ~12 years I’ve had the tool.

That thing I’d probably use more if I remembered it was there… for some reason, maybe because I carried a Leatherman for so long and they don’t have one, I never think of it being there.

I tend to see it when opening another tool and think “dang that woulda been handy 10 minutes ago…”

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Field gear, Improviser, Journal, MacGyver, Modifications, Multitools, Preparedness, Reviews, SAKs, Theory/Thoughts, Usage Reviews

What does 2019 hold for you?

Someone asked me that recently.

Someone also said the time to set goals is now, not January 1st.

Interestingly, I’ve known for a while that I don’t really care about “new years” stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever put my thoughts on this topic into a solid form before either…
Here is the outcome, my answer, or as close as I can get, to answering the question above.

Which isn’t really an answer to it at all, really. More of an answer to why I can’t answer it.

They’re right, the time to set goals is now. But its true of Any time, not just now on the calendar.

Just because a number on a paper changes, doesn’t make the way it works any different.

Life is what it is regaurdless of the date.

I’ve never understood the idea of new years resolutions and changes.

Whatever it(the next year) brings is what it brings.

Dates and calendar changes don’t mean a whole hell of a lot to me. If something happens, or I want to do something , change my life or not, etc, a number on a paper doesn’t mean anything, I can make plans any time, and fulfill them any time possible.
All associating it with a year change does is either makes you pressured to rush, or disappointed that you missed… Neither one is encouraging nor helpful.

Dont get me wrong, I’m surely not meaning to criticize the concept for others, not at all. More power to you if it works for you. 🙂

Just doesn’t make sense for me.

Categories: Journal, Life-Philosophy, Theory/Thoughts

Moose,  2017.

So, the moose story. 

finally. (Some of you have been asking for this post for a week) 🙂

The morning of the day of the wolf adventure above, we’d gone up one ridge before day light (Fun.)  I couldn’t so the last climb to the very top, about 60 yards of what at that time I deemed “death slope”. 

This area is a little U shaped valley along a ridge, sitting between prongs, or points off the ridge. Ridge and river sit paralell, prongs point at the river, so open top of the U faces the river.  It’s about 0.4 miles from river to the bottom center of the U, 0.35 miles from one point to the other across the U.   Not a big area. 

From river to about .25 miles in, it used to be boreal tundra spruce… 90% no bigger than 8″ in diameter. Several years ago it burned. So it’s now a mess of 3″ Dia 8′ tall new birch, alder, and willow, with its floor covered in down, dead spruce… High stepping nightmare to hike in. But it’s dry and flat. 

At that .25 mile mark is a line, and small grove of larger older spruce forest.  It goes maybe 50 yards in depth. Behind it, the rest of the flat into the bottom of the ridge, of the U is moss covered tundra. Moss a good 1.5′ to 4′ deep in places, wet, spongy. And permafrost grown spruce, all about head height and 2″ in dia..   Thankfully that area isn’t muskeg tussoks, but the moss isn’t any picnic to hike in. 

From the right hand watch spot, on the first ridge point we climbed, from about half way up, looking across the U at an angle, to the next point, and the base of the 2nd point. 

So, anyway. 

That first day, they’d gone up the first ridge mid afternoon, to scout. Didn’t see any moose. That evening at dusk they went up again, and I hunted watching a sand bar along the river, couple hundred yards from camp. I didn’t see anything but a Huge beaver. 

All they saw was two other hunters on the next point, that hiked in from the river!

That next morning, (wolf day), we all went up before daylight,  and watched. That pic there ^^ is from my vantage point later in the morning. They were a bit higher than me furthet up on my right. 

We would have gone over and up the second point at that time, but figured the other two guys would be back that morning. They never showed.

Around 9 am, they saw a moose,  good sized one, a loooonnnnggg ways out on the burn flat past the second point, about 700 yards,  headed our way. 

I never saw him that day. You have to know what your looking for at that range, it’s amazing the one guy saw it to begin with,  but he has eagle eyes for that stuff… saw it at first with bare eyes, No Glass!! 

Anyway, about 10, they decended into the U and crossed the valley behind the trees, in the mossy mess, to the other point, and climbed it.   By 11, the moose had bedded down, off that point a few hundred yards out.   

I headed back to camp (mid way between points, on the river). They went off the other side of that second point and into the valley there, and scouted around, back to camp, around 1 pm. 

If we’d known that morning that the other two guys weren’t coming back, we’d have gone up that second ridge then, and could have shot that bull that morning, he came well within range before bedding. As it was, he bedded before we got anyone on that ridge.

Fast lunch, then we napped to 3pm, early dinner, then hiked in and climbed the second left hand point around 4pm.  I could only get up about 50 yards, and it was from this point I took this pic shown in the wolf post;

center U trees on left, big trees on right are on the far bank of the river, looking toward camp, other point on the left/center… 

3 hour watch, around 730pm was when he shot the wolf, and I went down to help. 

The big bull never showed again that evening.  Around 8 after we got back to camp with the wolf, our 3rd guy that had stayed up top(Ole eagle eyes) saw another pair of bulls headed in along the same line the other had taken into the area, these two a good 900 yards out. Younger smaller bulls, spike forks both of them, a medium sized one and a smaller one trailing him by a ways. 

Too far out, too late to worry about, but maybe the next day they’d range in better. 

Late dinner that night after he came down around 9, then we were up till 12am,while he skinned out that wolf. In the dark, in the cold, in the rain (sleet, almost snow actually ).  

Next morning about 530, up and breakfast, and they headed back up the steep 2nd point. Wanted to be there when that first big bull started moving around. 

I’d had too much mountain goating around, and general hiking the first couple days, was starting to blow out a muscle in my right thigh… Figured if I was going to be of any use helping to butcher,  and pack out meat if we got one, I needed to stick to the flat land and stop trying to climb ridges. 

I stayed in camp till around 8, then went and tried to hike to the sand bar I’d been watching,  long the river. That was Fun. Had to head into a stand of old growth spruce along the river, some 4′ in diameter at the base. And more dead falls. But unlike in the burn area, these were 10″ in Dia and bigger. And the area had a drainage ditch/street bed. 

At 9:10 I’d managed 100 yards from camp, and decided the heck with it, started to head back. (The very fresh bright purple bear scat in places added to the ease of that decision 😉 , although we’d been seeing that scat,  most of it fresh within the week, purple (blueberry) or red (cranberry) all over the valley.  )

915am, 3 shots off the ridge above me. 

Headed for camp a little faster. 

About 10, my buddy got into camp. Eagle eyes had gone to start gutting it. 😀 

They were up there watching, nothing moving in the flat, when suddenly he saw movement out of the brush at the base of the ridge below them… That big bull had skirted the base of the slope, too close to the ridge to be seen till he got out 100 yards or so!  Walked right by under them. 

He also went right by the spot I’d sat the evening before, within about 50 to 70 yards!!  If I’d have been up there he would have crossed below me, in perfect range, at a slow walk, broadside! 

As it was, he heard my friends, gave a lot at them up the ridge, and broke into a trot toward the center U trees.. 

They fired two shots that missed him as he turned, and then God blessed my buddy on the 3rd shot, as the bull got to about 350 yards out, into the mossy area, he shot for the spine downhill, bull facing almost square away from him.  Missed the spine, but the shot went into the rib cage. 

Little later dressing him out, the shot broke 3 ribs going in on the left side, made hamburger of its liver, through that lung, destroyed the aorta,  and passed into the off side shoulder or brisked.  Hydrostatic show made jelly of the other lung, and blood shot some brisket,  neck. 

The bull took a few steps, about 20′ if that, and dropped in his tracks.  

When oppenened up,  the body cavity was Full of blood, and there was no blood in the meat as we butchered it.. The shot destroyed the aorta, but missed the heart, and under a run, and adrenaline,  the bull heart kept going and pumped himself dry, bled out Fast, and dropped. 

The only problem was, the side of that tree line that he ran to. Lol. 

So packing him out was 50 or 60 yards of mossy muck, 50 yards of (active use!)bear trail through the timber,  and 200, 250 yards of the burn area. FUN. 

But at just a little over 1/4 mile, it really wasn’t that bad.  But I now fully understand an old saying here; NEVER shot a moose further than 100 yards from a motorized vehicle. 😉 

The most entertaining was getting the head and hide out. Skinning went so fast with three guys, them two cutting and my pulling the hide, that he decided he wanted it in one piece, to keep. The fact that it’s a chocolate brown and deep black, I can’t blame him, it’s gorgeous!  

And the 4×5 52″ rack, he wanted for a full European mount (antlers on skull). 

So, hide folded around two 10′ poles laid shoulder width apart, poles on shoulders, and carry it out. Oi.  I did about a 40 yard stretch of that in the burn area. As the guy in back. Learned how easy it really is to hike in that otherwise;  you can see your footing. As the rail gut carrying the hide, you see hide, not the ground. Oi! 

The head we hung from one pole, and carried the same way.   Uhuh. Better visibility, but man… Not fun. I did 60 yards or so of that in the burn area too.  They’d carried the head out of the mossy swamp without the pole, antlers laid on their shoulders… I didn’t see it, but wish I had!! 😉 

Took us all that first day to butcher it all, bone out the quarters, and skin it, and pack out about 1/4 of it. Took all day the next day to pack out the rest of the meat, the head, and hide. 

Going into this I was worried that my back and hips wouldn’t take the packing. They said that’s fine, it’s a group effort for all of it, I wouldn’t have to pack meat if I couldn’t/didn’t want to. 

I figured I was gonna feel real guilty doing that and planned to do as much as I could, as safe as I could. After the amount of work I put in skinning and butchering, and only actually cutting for 5 minutes,  I understood. It really is a group effort, and takes a lot of work for an animal this size. 

I wouldn’t have felt guilty not packing meat. 

But I did.  Some of that was entertaining,  we only had one pack frame. So you grab a meat bag, 30 to 40 lbs of meat,  sling it over one shoulder, and hike. Ugh. 

I did one trip with the pack frame, 55 or 65 pounds of meat..  That was easier since it balanced in one place on your back, and you had your hands free in the brush… But damn that was heavy. 

Moose down;

Me, Brian, the shooter, and Bullwinkle;

(I’m the fat one in plaid, Not the fat one with antlers!) 

Funny thing about that shot… he’s holding the other guys bolt action rifle, not his gun he used… lol. (He used his AR, in .308! Weird to be hunting with a black rifle, for me, but it works!)

Butchering(warning, slightly graphic);

Brian and Robert getting ready to haul the hide in the mossy area;

Them hauling the head in the burn area;

This next pic is pretty graphic, but I’m proud of it, so I’m posting it.   Shows what the carcass you leave Should look like… ALL meat harvested. Law requires all usable meat be taken, but a lot of guys leave a great deal… We did the legal, and ethical thing and stripped everything. 

All we left was a gut pile, a pile of feet, and that carcass. 

Anyway, great experience,  wonderful time with a good friend,  and a new friend (one of these guys I’d never met till the morning we headed out!) Wouldn’t trade any of it for the world! 

And, he called Friday night, went in to pick up my share of the meat from the processing place yesterday. (more expensive,  but I didn’t have time or the space to butcher and grind that much meat. Costing me abut $1/lb, not bad really), I got 200(!) pounds of meat, plus some tenderloin and heart that didn’t go to the processor. 🙂 😀 😀

We pulled a little over 600 lbs of meat total off the animal. 

After what I’m giving away to friends, and folks I know that had a bad year, that need it more than we do, I’ll end with more than enough for us, will easily last us till next season, at more than two moose meals a week.  

 At this point, I know of 7 families that will be eating from this harvest, and I’m sure the other two guys are giving more away.. GOD IS GOOD!!!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, Journal, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors, Wildlife

Patches anyone? 

 For a while now I’ve been adding non velcro backed patches to things,  but without sewing, or ironing on with the usually included adheasive.. One, I don’t like permanent,  and some things you either can’t sew to or heat.. 

My solution was a roll of industrial strength adheasive backed velcro that I originally bought to apply a holster to the side of a snowmobile gas tank.. think pomelo bag holsters on horse saddles. 

It didn’t work for that, the tank being too rough of a surface, and my trying to stick it on at probably 10°F  I’m sure if I redid it now on a warm tank it’d work… 

 As I recall the roll was originally like 15′ long, about 2″ wide. Comes in black or white. I’ve had this roll for about 8 or 9 years now… takes a while to use it up at 3″ to 6″ at a time.. 😉

 I just cut to shape with a sharp knife (scissors don’t work well at all on it), peel, stick, press with my hands for 30 seconds or so, and use.

 I’m carefull about removal of stuff using it for the first 24 hours, just to let the glue set good.. it does take a little time for full strength grab but the instant tack really is pretty darned good.

Patch here is “life of adventure” by @asildastore on Instagram or Etsy.  It’s headed to being on the front of my journal for a while. 🙂

I’ve had strips of this stuff holding patches onto my Nook case since late 2012. That sucker has been anywhere and everywhere with me, unprotected by any other case or bag 99% of the time, and I have yet to lose or even loosen a patch, or any of the velcro strips. 

I’ve also had it on the front of my pocket notebook cover for at least a year, (actually two I think…) Same deal, it’s stayed stuck the whole time. 

Yesterday I improved a bare Field Notes with a packing tape wrap and a place for a patch. 

And I also extended the velcro area on my leather notebook cover to take my little Alaska flag like wayfinder patch from @fieldandforestco (on etsy).

  I really need to get the rest of these little badges that they make, they’re some cool designs!

The Tolkien wanderer patch is from ShopRedArrow  (also etsy).
 I’ve had all of these patches just laying around since February.  Finally remembered to do something with them. ☺😎

 Leather notebook cover was made by ArtisanGraham on etsy. (Apparently no longer selling there, and I haven’t been able to find him Anywhere else online… )I’ve had it since Oct. 2011 and it’s held up superbly! Really, really well made! 

 It was made for a Moleskine brand notebook, so to fill it I have to stack at least two, (three is a better fill, but too stiff to be comfortable in pocket) Field Notes. The edges also hang over a bit farther with them, but that’s just more protection IMO. 😉

  I’ve been running it with two Field Notes in it off and on for almost two years now. Love it! 

Categories: Custom, EDC, Field Notes, Journal, Leather, Modifications, Notebooks

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