weather and seasons

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… πŸ˜‰ )

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. πŸ™‚

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

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

A bit of spring.

Snows almost gone, been 40Fs to 50Fs days, 20Fs nights for a while now; A FAST spring, we’re smack dab in the middle of break-up, otherwise known as mud season.

Upper 50s, low 60s in the sun yesterday, so I blew off the homestead chores and made my yearly spring run up to a favorite river spot. Odd since it’s about exactly one month earlier than usual…

Mom went along, we made a day of it looking at river access roads, seeing what was open what wasn’t, planning a picnic day in the next couple weeks. Fun times, semi-off roading.

Bit icier that it usually is when I’m there, good ice shelf (10″ ish thick) left on the sand bar, and in the river. River much lower than it should be, this low snow year showing itself.

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons, Winter

This week, April to May 2017 transition, EDC, and Alaska outdoors.

(No, I haven’t taken up snus. Needed a tin for my gum, got tired of the cardboard packages getting mangled, crushed, wet, etc. These tins are durable and have a rubber seal; water tight.)
Alaska state bird is out in full force;

Went boondocking, checking out some river roads one day, grabbed my 380 for just in case… Should have had something bigger since it’s late enough I know the bears are out, but this was handy. Thankful I had it on hand when I had an… let’s say odd, encounter with a two legged animal… Not threatening or dangerous, but, disconcerting, and.. odd. The gun was reassuring. 

Yes Very few of these EDC pics are different,  or not much different… If it works, it works, and I don’t change it often.

Mr. Peter Cottontail, showing a start to his summer clothes.

Bloody Big moose track on a sand bar

Along the Middle Fork of the Chena. 

And along the North Fork (also the Chena)

Look close, you’ll see three swans in this slough;

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Guns, knives, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons, Wildlife, Winter

New boots for spring?

New water boots for spring? 

Hell yeah! And free ones too. 

Amazing what you can get at “the free store”! That’s the name a friend has for the dumpster site / trash transfer site. 

At most of these there’s a platform where you can leave out useful items, instead of just throwing them in the dumpsters..  A buddy picked these up there. Too big for him, gave them to me. 

Solid rubber outers, neoprene insulated and arctic fleece lined. 

Just a little big on me, but that’ll be great for heavier socks in fall/hunting. And interesting, I wear a 12 Wide usually, these are an 11 regular (they figure on stretch for widths). And still a bit big on me. Muck has generous sizing. 

And I can’t find a thing wrong with them! Look hardly ever worn in fact. There is one tiny spot on one that looks like it has been silicone or epoxy sealed, but otherwise they really do look new.  I’ve had them on in water over the ankle, and nary a leak yet!

Ice traction ain’t great for now, but they’re water proof, and warmer than my regular rubber boots, a superb win/win! 

And yeah, I just had to go look it up…I cant get an exact match on the model, it’s an older style than whats on the Muck website. But, these are about $150 minimum to $200 boots when bought new. Eeek! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Clothes, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons

A good spring day.Β 

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Was another outside work and play day yesterday. Got the snowmachine unstuck.  Snowshoed a trail (over it twice, double wide)to pack snow for the machine through deep powder,  so I can haul firewood tomorrow(a buddy and I dropped and bucked trees yesterday). 

Carried the .22 rifle(Marlin model 39, made in 1951) while on the snowshoes in preparation for a bird hunting trip with a friend this Saturday. 

Did some bushcraft firecraft, and had a cookfire. Dinner was my last caribou steak grilled with some fried tater slices and hot tea at the fire.  Plus regular chores of getting firewood split and in for the house. In the 20s all day. Last few days have been 20s and 30s, but Monday night/Tuesday morning was the first night to stay at or above 0F. We’ve turned the corner, spring really is here I think!

Backwoods Knives sheath knife, Lee Reeves nessmuk hatchet, Plumb cruiser axe. The prep work tools for my little warming and cooking fire this afternoon. 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Axes, Guns, hatchets, knives, Outdoors, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

Spring time catch up.

Been a while. It’s either been a lot going on with no time to post, or I’ve been sick as hell(flu, twice through, laid out for 3 weeks, then almost gone, got too cold working, relapsed, and now running into 6 weeks total) and literally Nothing going on to post about. 

Anyway, here is a random slew of pics from the last couple months.

Moon and Venus.


My first day out snowshoeing.



Recent knives used and the books I was reading that week.(for a forum thread)


Dads stainless handle Sabre jack knife that lives in the den, which is currently the reloading room.


Case hobo and an Alaskan cookbook

225 grain LWN (long wide nose) hard cast .41 caliber bullets I ordered from GTBullets.  100 lubed and sized for $13, even with $6 shipping, it’s almost cheaper than I could cast my own.. And is considering I can’t afford the mould right now! πŸ˜‰  


Cleaning up an old Schrade USA stockman, a 8OT , that a friend gave me last summer.



Knives and guns, notable pairs, (for a forum thread )

My Beretta. 45, that I’ve now amazingly had for 10.5 years! And the custom Andy Sharpe coffin fighter that it’s come to live with. I rarely ever carry one without the other.


My Mom’s Liberty Mustang .22 and Dad’s Case peanut.


Most sentimental pairing; my Ruger Security Six 357 mag. Which has belonged to both my older brothers,  and my Dad before me. With Dad’s Western brand hunting knife. 

New stuff, second week of March, my takes from the EDCC (edccommunity.com) passaround box.


Old style finned bomb shaped beads are a fad right now, had some shop time so I tried one. LOTS of work to get the rounded nose, and fins. Had to freehand the cutters on the curve, and lots of file work off the lathe. Too time intensive to make many of them, but I might still..


A slew of pocket dumps, in mostly cronological order, late Jan. to now. 



On my knees in a sniw bank digging out firewood at 0F or 10F. Something like that. Proof that I wear my guns working, they’re not babied. (Much.. πŸ˜‰ )




Simple day last week, hour or two after dark working on firewood. Headlamp and the bluetooth speaker did constant duty… I zip the speaker into a mid layer pocket, hit Google Play, usually Springsteen,  and have music wherever I am while working. 

Yesterday’s carry, 3-15-17, an outside day. been cooped up sick, wanted to get out and work for a while, puttered around with a few projects (most of which involved shoveling snow!). 


Cousins. Both old used and worn, but great Schrade USA stockmans. Large 8OT, and medium 34OT. 


My Titanium Eng1nerd Prangler  (mash up of key dangler and pry bar) is getting some great coppery brass colored wear stripes in its anodizing. The things that swing and rub on it are brass and it sort of burnished onto the area as it rubs. 

And, more of 3-15-17… got the sled out for a bit.And found out how out of practice I am… Was stuck a total of three times! Oi.  Thankfully all within ~100 yards max from the house! God is good to me!


Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Clothes, Custom, custom-made-tools, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field Notes, Flashlights, Guns, Hanks, key-chains, knives, Leather, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, No-pain-no-gain, old tools, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Reloading, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, titanium, truck, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

Some recents pocket dumps. ( Jan 23-29 2017)

​ A sloooow Monday(1-23-17) trying desperately to swap from being up nights to a daytime schedule, I was up 30 plus hours that Friday into Saturday, then 22.5 hours Saturday through Sunday… Sunday night I crashed, and other than about 4 hours, spread over 3 different times, I slept 30 hours until 6am Tuesday.  Lol. One of those hours I was up around 1am, I went and got Monday’s mail… thus this pocket dump. ☺

The week 23rd to 28th was Extremely busy, outside working everyday in some amazing weather- the week prior was a few days at -30F, -40F, -45F here, a friend had -66F. -So this week’s amazingness was 20sF ABOVE 0! It got up to 28F one day. I hate to say it but it was too warm for me to work, I kept over heating. (I was out in the -45 every day of it, and apparently got acclimatized.) 

Having said all that to say this… I was apparently too busy to take any pics. Lol. 

Sunday, the 29th, 

My older Eco Drive pilots chronograph that I don’t wear much anymore..

The ever trusty peanut.

My only actual Every day carry, or as close to it as I get, my copper tags. 

πŸ™‚

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Daily-cary-log, EDC, knives, Outdoors, Watches, weather and seasons, Winter

Full EDC, 1-21-17

​Yesterday’s full edc pocket dump. Just average saturday adventure stuffs from a day out to a men’s prayer breakfast at church, and then running errands in town. Pretty nice day out, it’s warmed up to -20F 

  • Case cutlery Carhartt peanut
  • Jetbeam BC10 
  • Zippo lighter and hand warmer
  • Leatherman Wingman  mod (saw replacing knife)
  • HeartHanks, now PheonixHanx Zelda hank.
  • Field Notes Shanendoah redwood edition with added patch
  •   Blue bullet Space pen 
  • Vintage Marlboro money clip
  • Sparky tags, Aslan, and AMW copper tags. 
Categories: Alaska-Life, copper, Daily-cary-log, EDC, weather and seasons, Winter

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