Saturday, October 12, 2019

Woman in the Backcountry Alone - Susie's First Solo Adventure




This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Join Susie in the Mountains of North Carolina for a night in the backcountry for her very first Solo Adventure.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Japanese Cassette Stove - Soto G Stove ST-320




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Different, definitely different!

In this episode you are going to see a Japanese backpacking stove which is known as the Soto G Stove ST-320.

It's a 'Cassette' stove and you likely haven't seen anything like it before.



Link : Find on eBay

Price : $80 - $300

Weight : Stove with case : 15.6oz

Stove with Gas full Canister : 1lb 11.5oz

Material: Body = Aluminum / Stainless, Tinder = Aluminum die-casting, Valve = Brass

Measurement of the stove folded  : approx. 1” deep – 3 “ wide – 5.5” long

Measurements of the Stove attached with gas can : 14.” long

BTU:  Every source that I have looked at states a different figure in regards to performance.  Some say its 8,000 BTUS while others state 9,900.

Canvas case

Book stove – which you may know as a cassette stove.  90% of you have likely never heard that term before.

Butane canisters are CHEAP; 12 of these for $25

Brand Soto, which is owned by the Japanese company Shinfuji Burner Co., specializing mainly in the design and manufacturing of outdoor gear, has recently introduced a new gas burner stove G-Stove ST-320, which inherits the previous version Soto STG-10. The new burner stove stands out for its original design, which combines a relatively compact size, a good protection from the wind and a high level of stability on different surfaces and for its ability of adapting to the size of any pots and dishes.

The case of G-Stove ST-320 is designed as a book, in it is placed directly with the burner control, and Heat Reflector with gas ignition and a curved stand under the cookware. To fix the burner on the open box special grooves are fixed with clips. Two folding aluminum frames support the canister from the outer side of a gas stove.

At this point, the burner Soto G-Stove ST-320 is officially available only for the Japanese market. The cost of the burner stove starts from $100 depending on the choice of retailers.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with butane gas canisters, that notch is important, and needs to be facing up when in use.  The reason is that the notch is aligned with a tube inside the gas canister, and that tube ends up along the inside edge wall.  When the notch is facing up, the intake for the tube is also at the top.  Why does this matter?  Because the gas canister needs to send out vaporized gas, not liquid.  So the tube alignment facing up ensures that only vaporize gas is released through the fuel exit point.]

Since I learned of this stove and got one of them in, I have learned from a viewer that in Japan at least they are very common stove but there are stoves much are much cheaper than this which work just as well.

Pezo ignitor doesn’t always work and from what I heard have a high failure rate.

Popular with motorcycle riders because of the slim form factor

Connecting to Butane cans can be troublesome if you are not experience.

There is another version of this stove which is called the STG-10: 2.9kW – offers more btus


Monday, October 7, 2019

The Outdoor Community is Like No Other! - Viewer Mail Episode #65




This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/theoutdoorgearreview/

It is mail time and look at what was sent in by some very generous viewers!

We are speechless and thankful!


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Foldable Kayak? - ORU Bay St Kayak Review




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Is a foldable Kayak the right boat for you?
What are the pros?
What are the cons?

Is it worth $1,600?

This is my Agenda Free review of the ORU Bay St Kayak.

...

Price : $1,600
Weight : 28lbs 
To be honest, I haven’t heard of this company but I have been impressed by how many people have! 
ORU offers multiple styles of foldable kayak, each with a specific area of use; this is the Bay ST which is perfect for fishing, river, lake, etc us. Best Use Flatwater Kayaking
12ft long, 25” wide
Packed Dimensions33 x 12 x 29 inches
300 lb weight capacity, allowing room for 1 adult + plenty of gear
Made in USA.

  • Half Deck Rigging
  • Floor Board
  • Adjustable Footrests
  • Bow and Stern Bulkheads
  • Skirt Ready Concept
  • Six Zipper Channels for Installation
  • Back Rest and Seat Pad
  • Maintenance Kit
  • Made of 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene (double walled plastic)
  • Manufacturer-rated for 20,000 fold cycles
  • 10-year UV treatment
  • Withstands sliding over rocks or bumping into obstacles under the water
  • One-year warranty
  • Seat Type Padded / Foam

Who is this for? :
Because of the lightweight nature of this kayak I would recommend this for relatively smooth water; hit the lake on a nice day, launch into a slow flow creek.  Oru rates this for handling class I and II rapids.  Personally my comfort level with this kayak would be class a and class 1.
Class A; - Lake water. Still. No perceptible movement. Calm
Class I - Easy. Smooth water; light riffles; clear passages, occasional sand banks and gentle curves. The most difficult problems might arise when paddling around bridges and other obvious obstructions. Classification

The Bay ST wouldn’t be my first choice for Class II or higher rapids; it’s simply to light and is easily affected by the elements which you are facing.

Class II - Moderate. Medium-quick water; rapids with regular waves; clear and open passages between rocks and ledges. Maneuvering required. Best handled by intermediates who can maneuver canoes and read water.
Review Pros :
Folding and unfolding is going to take some learning but once you have done it a few times it can go quickly. 5 minutes is about the norm for both setup and breakdown; that is me though and it should be said that everyone is going to have different levels of difficulty with this; I’ve spoken with people who it took hours to put together to begin with and after years of use it can still take them 30 minutes.  Everyone is different.
It folds and that is amazing - Stash it pretty much anywhere: your trunk, closet, boat, garage, van, even under your bed – Easy to put inside of your vehicle, easy to maneuver it.  That’s huge! 
Because of the design, you don’t have to worry about putting your kayak on top of your vehicle.  Forget having to strap your yak to the top of your SUV or truck
Size when folded is impressive – 
Weight is impressive –
Easy to clean
Skirt is available
Great acceleration due to it’s light weight
Performance is very good, slices through the water smoothly.
The turning radius on this kayak is also quite good for a 12 foot boat!
Sitting is comfortable; I broke my back when I was in high school and my back generally beings to hurt after roughly 2 hours in any kayak and the Bay ST is no different.  With that being said, I find the sitting to comfortable.
Can hold a surprising amount of gear – multiple smaller bags work better than larger ones.
Speed isn’t bad; you won’t set any records but its not bad.  At the highest I would estimate 5mph going all out.
Plastic is strong enough to handle average use with beaching, grounding and so on.
Review Cons :
Depending on the design of kayak which you are accustomed to, you may find that this boat handles differently and that is due to the sharp lines of the boat and the light weight.  
Not the straightest of traveler because of the light weight of the boat.  In other words, it’s not the straightest in terms of tracking.
Water can gather inside of the channels of the boat material which you will have to drain.  This translate to time and even potential water inside of your vehicle
While I haven’t had a roll, the boat doesn’t feel as stable as more rounder, heavier kayaks.  Make sure to clip everything in just in case of a rollover.
I’ve found that a good bit of water will get inside of the kayak due to the openings in the front and back; they are cover with neoprene but water still makes its way in.  You will need to make sure to use dry bags.
Price – It is pricey and there is no way around that but what you are paying for is size and convenience.  With that being said, there are other foldable kayaks on the market which are much more expensive.
Instructions can be a bit confusing; luckily there are plenty of videos online to take care of you.
No knee braces but you could come up with something fairly easily
Get ready to talk to people about this boat; this may actually be a good thing depending on who you are.  But if you don’t like having lots of conversations, this isn’t the kayak for you as people are going to notice it and are going to ask questions.
Company claims the kayak folds down to roughly the size of a suitcase….yeah, the biggest suitcase I have ever seen!
I have noticed a fairly high amount of negativity online concerning this company, the quality of their boats and their customer service.  I have to mention this due to my allegiance being with my viewers.  I have had an issue in terms of quality as well as a bulkhead channel ripped off after my first use.  With that being said, this boat is a used one which the company sent me and with the bulkhead channel becoming detached I can see that this was previously repaired by the company and yet again it has failed.
The issue with the bulkheads is a common one and there are reports of failures that I have bound online which are very recent.
Seat isn’t really comfortable; after an hour I start becoming uncomfortable.
There is only a 1 year warranty and because this kayak is so expensive and there are known issues, I would like to see a lifetime limited warranty. If I smash it into a rock, it’s my fault but if the bulkheads rip off then they should replace it; you have to keep in mind, this kayak costs $1,600.  
Summary :
When it comes to kayaks, this one falls in the middle in terms of use.  In my opinion, it’s better and more robust than an inflatable but not as durable as a hardshell. With that being said, it is way way way more convenient to store, to load and unload.  For people who have cars, apartments, condos, etc this is an option for them to consider so that they can get into kayaking.  Considering that, one has to keep the cost of this boat in mind as the price is certainly high; my first car was less expensive that this kayak.
The slimmer design of the kayak may make you feel less stable; you have to use 
An inexpensive kayak can be had for a couple hundred dollars; my personal kayak is an old emotion which cost around $450; I purchased it from Amazon and that price included free shipping to my home.   
Yes it is heavy, it’s a pain to get it to the water at times but again, it only cost $450 and while it takes up a lot of space in my back yard, I can store outside no matter the weather and it’s always ready to go when I am.  It should be mentioned that my hardshell kayak weighs in around 45lbs.
With the Bay St, it has many advantages but they do come at a cost and even still there are disadvantages with this boat.
Do I recommend it? 
I like where the company is going with this kayak but the one question that comes to mind is durability.  As mentioned I have had an issue right off the bat and there are plenty of reported issues online.  With my old Emotion kayak, I’ve had it 8 years and it will last another 20 easily.  There is nothing to break where as with the Bay ST; there is plenty which can fail you.
The Bay ST solves a lot of problems and the question becomes, does it solve enough of the common kayak issues to justify the price?  Only you can make that decision.  
With TOGR the channel is 100% agenda free; Susie and I present our thoughts and feelings on a product so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our Favorite Waterproof Jacket - Outdoor Research Interstellar Review



This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Today Luke and Susie are reviewing the award winning Outdoor Research Interstellar jacket.  Is it as good as everyone says that it is?  Find out now with our year-long review.



Link Mens : https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/en/mens-interstellar-jacket/p/2644190189007

Link Womens : https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/en/womens-interstellar-jacket/p/2644290189008

Price : Retail is $299 but will vary; at the time of filming, I saw the black version for $200

Versions : Men's and Women's

Colors : Will vary depending on refresh but at the time of filming there is Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, and I have seen Orange still in stock from a previous OR refresh on amazon. The women's version has their own colors as well such as black, purple, a teal color and a red which they call garnet

Sizes : S, M, L, XL, XXL (women sizes XS-XL)

Fit : Trim Fit – meant more for being active – low bulk – still enough room for a mid insulation layer

Weight : Large is 11.6oz; lighter is smaller size, heavier if larger.

Material : 3  layer nylon shell Hardshell with an AscentShell ; 20D nylon stretch ripstop front with 100% polyester 12D backer; material feels very soft, not plasticky or silky.

There is a lot of geeky talk that I could go into when it comes to this material but to sum it up; what makes it so impressive is how much moisture can transmit through it

Ykk aqua-guard zippers with a storm flap behind it

Who is this For : This is a high-end waterproof jacket for those want a very lightweight jacket that also performs at a high end level.  There are plenty of excellent low-end waterproof jackets but with lower level materials you breathability suffers.  For an example, the Marmot Precip is one that I often recommend when asked about a budget friendly waterproof jacket.  The con is breathability and the amount of moisture which can collect on the inside of the jacket.

Pros :

Price – This is a pro and con; pricey but yet cheaper than a good quality goretex jacket.  Much, much cheaper than some brands.

Superlight weight; lighter than any Gore-Tex jacket that I have ever owned. In fact, this is the lightest hardshell I have seen.

Excellent waterproofing performance. – If you are going to be in an environment which features nonstop flooding downpours, a much more expensive gore-tex pro jacket would be recommended.  For most people though, that level of protection and weighty jacket isn’t needed.

Excellent breathability – better than any high end goretex jacket that I have ever owned and I have many; Mountain hardware, Marmot and so on.

The jacket will flex and stretch with you allowing you to move and do what you need to.

Packable – you can pack this super, super small and it will stuff into its own hand pocket!

Can be used with a helmet for climbing as an example – but the brim doesn’t cover your face

Performances excellently with snow-

Sizing is right on; it is a trim fit though so you may need to size up depending on what you want to wear underneath it.

Very comfortable – it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a waterproof jacket -

Stylish – I really like the orange color but couldn’t find it in that color at the time of ordering.  I do like the yellow; it’s banana yellow, sticks out like a sore thumb….and I still like it a lot.

Font pockets sit a bit low for use with a backpack; the waist belt will cover up at least some of the pockets but luckily you can still use them even with a harness.

…..

Cons :

This is without a doubt one of the most breathable of waterproof jackets that I have used and still, I wish that there were pitzips.  Not to release moisture but for the simple fact of airflow.  In the air, hot summer day, hiking on the trail…some air here would be oh so nice!

When wearing this jacket with a backpack, the friction will wear off the DWR coating on the back and shoulders; luckily this is easy to reapply when needed.

While not a con for me, this jacket has not media port.  Might be important to you.

Chest pocket has a cellphone sleeve….which I have found hard to use….so I don’t use it.

location of the drawcords on the hood: they reside deep inside the collar against the cheek, a location that is not convenient or easy to access for fine-tuning a hood fit.  Not sure hard to adjust by any means but it may take some extra fiddling.

Additionally, the drawcord buckles used on the hood, as well as the single hem drawcord, are small and very difficult to release if wearing thick warm gloves.


Monday, September 30, 2019

Small + Powerful But Not Perfect - Olight Baton Pro Review - EDC - 2,000...



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Luke is here with a review of the newly released Olight Baton Pro flashlight and will be going over his pros and cons and even an odd glitch which he experienced with this EDC light.

Agenda Free Link : https://www.olightstore.com/baton-pro-bk.html


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Overnight Mountain Camp Out - Skillet Cooking - Tarp Camping





This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Join Luke in the Mountains of North Carolina for a night in the woods featuring a skillet, some bushcraft skills, a tarp and sleeping on the ground!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Corpsman Assault Add-on Pack - Interesting Design!




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Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Like military surplus?  If so, you are going to like this as this is an awesome system which can be used for any purpose.  This is the Corpsman Assault System and in this video I am focusing on the Corpsman Add-On pack.



Where to Buy : eBay is your Best bet

Price : These generally go for around $120 on the open market but they are rare and sellers will often exploit that.  For an example, there is one for sale on eBay right now with the corpsman pack and they asking $550

Weight : 3lbs 12oz

Rarity : This are fairly uncommon when it comes to the civilian/military surplus market.

……..

Overview :

The Corpsman Assault System (CAS) is an SL-3 component of the Pack, Assemblage Medical, TAMCN C53322E, which includes Class VIII supplies and is managed by Program Manager, Supply and Maintenance Systems. The CAS design is government-owned and replaces the Corpsman Assault Pack (CAP) of the Individual Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) Pack System. The CAS is part of the Family of ILBE.

Features :

The CAS is a modular/scalable medical first responder bag system tailorable to casualty expectations and mission duration.Components:The CAS consists of four bags: the medical assault pack, a medical sustainment bag, a medical thigh rig, and a modular medical pouch. It also includes reconfigurable internal components: a narcotics pouch, two medium pouches, two large pouches, two small reversible pouches, two medium reversible pouches, two elastic panels, a double pocket panel, a stacked pocket panel, and a triple pocket panel.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Fenix LR40R USB-C Rechargeable 12000 Lumen Flashlight



This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Today Luke is reviewing a POWERHOUSE of a Flashlight;

12,000 Lumens of Power!

This is the Fenix LR40R USB-C Rechargeable Flashlight



Link : https://www.fenixlighting.com/product/fenix-lr40r-flashlight-12000-lumens/

Price : $356.00 – At the time of filming on sale for $269.95

Weight : 1lbs 8.6oz

Power : 12,000 Combined Lumens

Purpose : The Fenix LR40R is a high-performance rechargeable flashlight that combines a spotlight and floodlight to blast a max 12000 lumens 2100 feet (700 yards). Quickly charge this flashlight’s battery pack in as little as 3.3 hours via the USB Type-C port, or use the discharge function to charge your other devices. A battery level indicator lets you know the status of your batteries. Extremely small for a flashlight with this much power, only 6.1” long, this flashlight is the perfect tool for exploring and search and rescue.


What about night hiking?  For night hiking, this is the ultimate flashlight; when the level of flood that this light provides, it’s like hiking with headlights; I’ve never experienced anything like what this flashlight provides in that regards.

Battery : Fenix ARB-L37-12000 rechargeable Li-ion battery pack,

Length: 6.1” (154mm)

Width: 3.2” (80mm)

Height: 2.0” (51mm)

Four blue lights on: 100% – 80% - Three blue lights on: 80% – 60%

Two blue lights on: 60% – 40% - One blue light on: 40% – 20% - One blue light flashes: 20% – 0

The broad beam contains 18 Cree XP-G3-S4 LED lights. The spotlight mode contains 1 Cree XP-L-HI V3 LED light. The flashlight works with the included Fenix ARB-L37-12000 rechargeable Li-ion battery. The battery has a capacity of 12000mAh and works up to 92 hours / 4 days.

Flood light

Turbo: 11000 lumens (45 minutes) - High II: 6000 lumens (2 hours) - High I: 3000 lumens (2 hours and 50 minutes)

Medium: 1000 lumens (7 hours and 15 minutes) - Low: 350 lumens (22 hours and 44 minutes)

Strobe: 3000 lumens - SOS: 350 lumens

Spotlight

High: 1000 lumens (7 hours) - Medium: 350 lumens (22 hours and 30 minutes)

Low: 150 lumens (44 hours and 31 minutes) - Eco: 60 lumens (92 hours and 18 minutes

Pros : 

Second level flood adequate for walking and seeing the ground. It's like hiking with headlights in front of you.

Distance of flood light is excellent. You can see close and far.

Throw is going to be the less used of the modes for most people and situations

Highest level of flood is extremely hot even after down shift.

Doesn't create much heat for lower levels which one would use most of the time

Entire flashlight will get hot with the head being too hot to touch

Throw mode is only useable for long distance illumination.

Can use both modes at the same time.

Excellent search and rescue tools

Stainless steel side switches - excellent

12000 combined lumens, not 12000 per mode which is disappointing. When you read the package and see those figures and turn it on for the first time it is a bit of a let down and that's because it is only 6000 per mode.

Definitely heavy for backpacking but when handheld it’s not bad at all.  It doesn’t wear you out or anything like that.

Excellent battery life

Can run on one or more 18650 batteries in an emergency situation

Battery level indictor

USB discharging function, backup for digital devices as you like. When discharging, you can still use this light in Eco and Low levels on Spotlight mode.

Lockable by holding both buttons

If you want to do night hiking and want to see all of the trail; 100% of it this is the light for the you as the output is amazing

USB-C Charging - The Type-C USB fast charging system only takes 3.3 hours to get a complete charge.

CONS :

Throw isn’t all that impressive in terms of brightness.  Yes it throws a long distance, far further and brighter than your average flashlight but I would like to see it being even stronger.  That is in my opinion the only real con other than the flashlight features a total of 12,000 lumens but that is combined and there isn’t a single mode which will over you true 12,000 lumens

With gloves on you are going to do some fiddling around searching for the buttons

Initial versions of this light featured incorrect SOS flashes but this has been addressed

With flood on, you will barely notice the throw beam.


Monday, September 23, 2019

3+ Years Late - Q & A - Ask Me Anything - Part 8



Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

This is Part 8 of the Question and Answer Series....
it might be almost 4 years late but later is better than never!
Haha




Friday, September 20, 2019

You Can't Burn That Susie! �� Viewer Mail Episode #64





This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.

Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Today Luke and Susan are having some fun as it is mail time and look at what was sent in by some very generous viewers!

We are speechless and thankful!


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Before You Buy - Zpacks Duplex with Flex Freestanding Kit and Trekking P...




This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.
Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

Today Luke is setting up the Zpacks Duplex Tent which is one of the lightest tents that he has ever used and he is doing so with the Flex Freestanding Kit; the Setup process is very important when it comes to the purchasing a tent; how easy or how complex is it?

Link Zpacks Duplex : https://zpacks.com/products/duplex-tent

Link Zpacks Flex Flex Freestanding Kit : https://zpacks.com/products/duplex-freestanding-flex-kit


Monday, September 16, 2019

Budget Hot Tent Challenge - Black Orca Smokey Hut - Part 1





This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.

Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR

This is the Hot Tent Challenge!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a number of viewers writing in and asking about Hot Tents and this got to me to thinking about doing a budget challenge to see what we could come up with.  With this series, there is going to be multiple parts as we go through the creation of our setup.

Part 1 involves a setup, overview and initial impressions of the tent which I decided to base the challenge around.

This is a budget friendly hot tent made by BLACK ORCA and it is called the Smokey HUT Tent.

Part two will be to test out its waterproof abilities to learn if anything needs to be addressed before moving on to the next step.

Part 3 will be the installation of a stove jack.

With Part 4 we will locate and install a stove.

Part  5 Lastly it will be the adventure with the stove itself.

...

Tent Link : https://www.onetigris.com/smokey-hut-chimney-tent.html




Friday, September 13, 2019

Worth $265? - Maxpedition Ironstorm Adventure Travel Bag 62L - Review





This channel is Agenda Free and is fully supported by the viewers.

Support TOGR with Patreon : https://www.patreon.com/TOGR



What does a high quality travel bag look like?  Find out now with the Maxpedition Ironstorm Adventure Travel Bag 62L!



….



Link : https://www.lyonstactical.com/collections/maxpedition-travel-bags/products/maxpedition-ironstorm-adventure-travel-bag-62l-gray



Price : $265 retail; Less than $200 at Lyonstactical at the time of filming.



Weight : 5.4 lbs.



Colors : Black, Grey, Coyote



From : LyonsTactical.com



-Former Dallas area police officer



-Lyons Tactical & Survival stocks over 50k tactical & Survival items (you could mention a few general categories such as bags, footgear, bushcraft, etc.)



……………………………



The Ironstorm is a comfortable pack designed for adventure travel. It can be carried in three different orientations depending on the user's preference: by the side handle, by the shoulder strap or by the backpack straps. The main compartment is lockable and has an internal compression bib inside for securing contents during travel. Dividers are also located in the main compartment and can be zipped up or down for additional gear organization. The Ironstorm has a padded compartment dedicated for a 15" laptop or tablet on the exterior of the pack, making it easy for the user to access while on-the-go.



……………………………



Volume: 3780 cu. in. | 62L    Overall size: 15 (L) x 11 (W) x 26 (H) in | 38.1 x 27.9 x 66.0 cm



Top slip pocket: 5.5 (L) x 0.5 (W) x 11 (H) in | 14.0 x 1.3 x 27.9 cm   Tech compartment: 13.5 (L) x 2 (W) x 24 (H) in | 34.3 x 5.1 x 61.0 cm



Laptop pocket: 10 (L) x 1.5 (W) x 15 (H) in | 25.4 x 3.8 x 38.1 cm   Tablet pocket: 10 (L) x 0.5 (W) x 10 (H) in | 25.4 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm



Main compartment: 13.5 (L) x 9.5 (W) x 25.5 (H) in | 34.3 x 24.1 x 64.8 cm   Sternum strap maximum length: 8 in | 20.3 cm





………………….



Pros :



When you receive this bag is flat and compressed for shipping purposes and is deceptively small. Once you open it up, I found it to be impressively spacious.



Lots of Space  Excellent organization options  Extremely well thought-out  Excellent quality.  



Can be worn as a backpack which is excellent for traveling; at the airport, you pick up your bag, put it on your back and get to your vehicle.  It works very well.  It’s not the most comfortable backpacker and it wasn’t designed to be but for the purpose of hauling for short durations, it’s excellent.



Offers a large amount of space



Very tough bag; stronger and more durable than your average civilian pack. Also much better quality than you run of the military tactical style travel bags that are out on the market.



I wouldn’t say that it is military grade but if it was, it would weight at least 10lbs and would be overkill for most people. Without a doubt, strong enough for outdoor use, travel use, law enforcement and so on.



Footlocker design is very handy.



Lots of storage options, pockets and so on.                 Lots of ways to carry



Light weight compared to many packs of this size                Excellent option for traveling use as long as the size fit your needs.



Excellent clam shell design – opens up and you are presented with all of you gear/clothing and so on.



I like the zipper pulls and the internal compartments, they come in handy for separating clean and dirty laundry for the trip home. Also like that the shoulder straps removed



Believe it or not, this pack is also hydration bladder compatible!             Excellent should harness system 



Review Cons :



Can be a bit pricey-but you pay for quality so scratch that from the con list!



There are many zippered access points on this pack and only the main portion of the pack is lockable.  I mention that for those who find that to be an important feature; I personally do not.



While technically the pack is the dimensions stated by the company, I have found that it is only to the measurements which absolutely stuff to the point where the zippers are stressed. Maxpedition states a width of 11” but it’s actually a few inches shy of that unless crammed and stretched full.



Summary :



This pack is ready to serve whatever needs that you have; may it be travel, photography/filming trip, hunting trip, etc



It’s an excellent quality pack and features some truly excellent designs/features. Can easily hold a weeks’ worth of clothing and other gear including my laptop and so on. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Rarest Military Tent in the World - Nemo Coda 1.5 SE





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What you are about to see is the rarest military tent in the world and also, it is one of the most expensive.

The design of the tent alone is different than anything that you have ever seen before and this is the Nemo CODA 1.5 SE Military Tent and after 5 years, I finally have one to share with you all!



Product : Nemo CODA 1.5 SE

Government Price : $1300

Market Price : $2000



In 2006 Nemo began adapting their shelter technologies for military appilications which went on to be adopted by specific branches of the military such as the special forces.  This line of products was known as Shield and is a sum of over 10 years worth of development with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center and the U.S. Special Operations community.

With the gear and products which they ultimately released and have been adopted, they have taken on very specific and also very limited roles with the US military;

Numerous tents and shelters were released and I have been shown and demonstrated the use of many of these products including the;

Advanced Linking Combat System which is a highly advanced shelter featuring cutting edge gore-tex material.

·       Switch Blade 1P SE
·       Tanto SE
·       And so on.

All of which are truly next generations shelter systems especially when you compare them to what has been used and is currently being use by the military.  This is especially true with the Advanced Linking Combat System which officially holds the crown for being the most expensive military tent ever made!

This tent and all of the Shield products were never for sale to civilians; only to the government.

With that tent, while being both VERY RARE and also the most expensive military tent for the US government to purchase, there is the CUDA 1.5 SE tent which is the focus of this video.

It is WAY rarer than the already extremely rare ALCS tent and on the open market can fetch prices higher than that of the ALCS.

The Coda 1.5P SE from NEMO Equipment’s Shield line is currently a component of the NSW issue PEPSE (Personal Environmental Protective Survival Equipment) kit. - Naval Special Warfare



Where does Shield stand today?  That is a good question as all Shield products have been removed from the Nemo web site but there remains a Shield page which is still which states More Info Coming Soon.

All three doors feature an additional zipper track that allows vestibules to be attached or removed. An optional Linking Panel connects using the zipper track over the side doors to complex two or more Coda™ tents together, either facing the same direction, or 180 degrees opposed for better security.

The thing I love about this shelter is its versatility. That 1.5P in the name denotes one man plus his equipment. It features three doors, one on each side and one in front as well two vestibules, a side vestibule and a front vestibule. You take as much shelter as you need along for the haul, whether its just you, or you and your equipment, or you, your buddy and equipment.

…..

Price : The ALCS tent cost the government over $2000 and the CODA was a fair bit less expensive and that is due to the fact that it does not incorporate the specialized gore-tex material but rather, common nylon.


Friday, September 6, 2019

�� Backpacking the Never Summer Wilderness - Backpacking Adventure




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This is Susan and I's big adventure for the year and what an incredible trip it was!  3 days in the Never Summer Wilderness in Colorado with nothing but the high elevation mountains and the Moose to keep us company!

2 mountain passes.
3 alpine lakes.
Solitude!

Also, this makes for an incredible Four Pass Loop Alternative.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

�� How to Repair a Leaking Tent - Fixing a Military Tent ��



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Luke has a problem with a leaking military tent and he is going to show you all how to go about fixing it using the easiest of methods for seam sealing!

There is no process which is as easy as this!

...

What you will need;

Seam Grip
12ml curved syringe
Acid Brush
Paper towels




Monday, September 2, 2019

Klymit Maxfield 2 Tent First Look Preview





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There has been so much interest in the new Maxfield tents from Klymit that I am doing a preview which isn't something that I do for many products.



In this episode, I will discuss my initial impressions now that the tent is in testing and will go over the tent; inside and out.





Link : https://www.klymit.com/maxfield-2-tent.html


Friday, August 30, 2019

Before You Buy - Setting up the Klymit Maxfield 2 Tent




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This is a special episode of Before You Buy as it features the very first tent made by Klymit who is well known for their sleeping pad products.

Today Luke is setting up the Klymit Maxfield 2 Tent; the Setup process is very important when it comes to the purchasing a tent; how easy or how complex is it?

Link : https://www.klymit.com/maxfield-2-tent.html


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Modern Deployment Bag - Force Protector Gear Deployer 75 Bag - Review




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This is one of modern day Deployment Bags being used by the Marines - Force Protector Gear Deployer 75 – FOAMTEC FOR75.



Link : https://www.forceprotector.com/fpg-online-store/Deployer%C2%AE-FOAMTEC%C2%AE-Loadout-Bag-p94857273

Price : $512

Used Price : While new these can be rather pricey, when purchased used surplus you can get these for around $150 or less.  In fact, I have three of these for overland use and not only do they work perfectly but I paid around $100 each for them.  Also, FPG has sells all the time on their web site and you can on occasion find some excellent prices.  For an example, at the time of filming I saw a version of this in a camo pattern for a little over $140 new.

Weight : 12lbs., (5.17kg) empty

Colors : Black Coyote Multicam and others

Versions : There are many versions of his pack including various sizes.  Some are collapsible and some are not!

Dimensions: 30” L x 14” W x 14” D, (76cm L x 35cm W x 35cm D)

Capacity: Over 5,880 Cubic Inches, (96) liters

PRODUCT SPECS:

1000D Cordura -  400D Cordura – Hypalon - Ballistic Nylon

360° FPG FOAMTECH Padding System

Polyester Mesh - High density Polymer

YKK Zippers - Military grade: Hardware, Binding Tapes, Hook and Loop, and Thread.

PRODUCT FEATURES:

Patented 360° FPG FOAMTECH® Padding System

Stainless Steel Wheel Housings with replaceable ball bearing wheels

Wheel Housings and Extruded Rubber Runners are replaceable in the field with a Phillips Screwdriver and 3/8" wrench

Ballistic Nylon bottom

Hypalon wear patches on all corners and high wear areas

Re-enforced heavy duty handles on all sides

Mesh pockets in the lid

General pouch in main compartment

Integrated and removable backpack straps

All zippers have 550 Para Cord pulls

One row of webbing anchors for attaching items to bag or lashing things down

This bag requires Extender Straps (SP15) to make an “Ultimate Loadout System”

Berry Amendment Compliant

Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty

The Forceprotector Gear “Deployer” is the official standard issue deployment bag for the United States Marine Corps. The Deployer is an innovative design using today’s technology to combine the form and functionality of the standard issue military “footlocker” and the standard issue military “duffel bag”. Neither of these two legacy items had seen much change over the past three centuries of combined use except for the transition from wood to metal to plastic for the footlocker, and the transition from wool to cotton duck to nylon for the duffel bag.

Designed to be lived out of while taking away all of the hassle of dumping it out to find something. multifunctional and keeps your clothes and gear organized.

Review Pros :

Tons of space

Military tough

When purchase used, awesome value for the money

Footlocker design is very handy.

Lots of storage options, pockets and so on.

Lots of ways to carry

Review Cons :

Not light….but it’s military surplus….so I’m not going to count this as a con.

If purchased new, this can be a very expensive bag.

Summary :

FPG isn’t a company which most have heard of but they do make excellent gear which stands out from the crowded military/tactical market.  Their designs are smart, their gear is tough and as used military surplus, you can find some excellent deals.

Plenty of size options for you to consider depending on your needs. When it comes to needs, these are awesome bags which can be used for a wide range of applications.  I’m not military but I have had my hands one some of the rarest, most advanced and rarest of military products and I can easily see why these bags are so highly regarded.  For myself, I use these for travel; for example, when heading to Colorado I can throw my entire backpack system into this bag along with everything else that I need for a full week out west including shoes, boots, etc and there is room left over. When I touch down, I know exactly which bag is mine and I can roll it out, carry by hand or put it on my back.

For overland use, these are excellent; tons of room for any level of kit bag that you wish to make; one for cooking, one for bedding and so on.

If you purchase one of these used; make sure to pay attention to quality as some of these can be in rough shape considering where they may have been.


Monday, August 26, 2019

My Personal Favorite - SmartWool Merino 150 Beanie Review



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Today Luke is reviewing the unisex SmartWool Merino 150 Beanie which just so happens to be his favorite beanie!



Link : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LFNX4TL

Price : $22

Weight : 60 g = 2.12 oz

Colors : Blue, Pink, Black

:: back in 2014 I reviewed the SmartWool NTS Micro 150 which up until recently was my goto beanie but it was a product which was basically discontinued some years back with only one version being available today which is in an ugly white color; viewers would see me wearing my old blue one, write in and ask about where they can get one but it was no longer available.  The NTS version is 100% wool. It is possible to find other colors of the NTS Beanie online as there could be stock still available.

Back in the winter I stumbled upon the Merino 150 from Smartwool which is an updated version of the old NTS Micro!

Knit in Vietnam: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon Core

Flatlock seam construction eliminates chafing

The Merino 150 beanie is a lightweight, year-round essential. Run in it, skate ski in it, put it under a helmet for a chilly morning bike commute. Clean seams for a no-bulk fit. Now more durable than ever with new Merino 150 fabric.

UPF 20+

Naturally protects against the sun's rays

Merino fibers wrapped around a nylon core for added durability while still keeping the comfort of Merino next to skin

Breathable, soft, lightweight fabric for ultimate performance next-to-skin in cool to cold conditions

-          Review –

Pros :

Super comfortable. – flat seams

Very thin.

Durable so far; no issues after the entire fall and winter months

Warm for how thin it is.

Attractive looks.

Not scratchy

Good price – competitive to everything else out there

Cuts wind – not wind proof.

Not too hot but warm enough – this is really important for me as I tend to be a very hot natured individual and anything thicker than this tends to be too hot.  For you, your mileage will vary of course depending on your specific needs but I have worn this down to the single digits (F) and have been perfectly comfortable.  For an average person, you are going to be just fine with temps down into the upper 20’s when being active.  Sitting around I would say upper 30’s for most people but ultimate it deeps on your internal furnace.

Fits inside of a bike helmet

Cons :

Depending on your head size, these may not completely cover your ears.

For my large headed peeps, you may want to look for a different beanie.

Not a con for the product but some sellers will list this as the NTS Beanie which is incorrect; REI does this! The NTS Beanie is in fact, a different product.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Made for the Outdoors - Ombraz Armless Sunglasses Review




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Outdoor Sunglasses.....that are 'armless?'

Susie and I today have a review of the Ombraz Armless Sunglasses which are truly made for outdoor use!

Link : https://ombraz.com


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Before You Buy - LiteFighter 1 Combat Tent - Setup





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The Setup process is very important when it comes to the purchasing a tent; how easy or how complex is it?

Today Luke is setting up the LiteFighter 1 Combat Tent  in multiple ways and this is an episode of Before You Buy!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Alone in the Wild - Bushcraft Adventure - One With Nature




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Join Luke as he goes into the forest for his next adventure which is all about Bushcraft, Real Bushcraft!

Crafting!
Cooking!
Building!
Animals!
Weather.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Budget Camping Cot - Alps Mountaineering Cot - Review



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Today Luke is reviewing the Alps Mountaineering Cot which is a budget friendly, good quality option for your outdoor/overland needs.



Link : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LF3G7M

Cost : $64 at the time of filming on Amazon – Retail $80

Color : One Color – Gree

Weight : 11.5lbs

Features :

Lightweight and compactible
Green 600D polyester fabric
34" x 9" x 2" carry bag
Durable steel frame
Dimensions: 30" w x 74" l x 7.5" t
Weight: 9 lbs. 5 oz.
Weight capacity: 250 lb.

….

Review Pros

Rather simple to setup
Good quality
Has held up well for with my use
Lot profile means that it can be used in side of some tents.
Excellent for car/truck/overland camping
Carry bag is plenty big so you won’t have any frustrations there
The material has held up well to the last 3 months of use.  I weight 155 – 160 by the way and I can’t comment on heavier individuals and how the material will hold up.


Review Cons :

Support bars don’t lock into place solidly

Support bars can be a pain to remove

Not the quickest to put together; there are faster to setup options on the market such as the Go-Kot

Those with weak muscles may have issues with putting this cot together as you will have to use strength to  get the legs into place. Using your body weight to push the legs into place works nicely

While the quality is good, it’s not to the same level as the Go-kot for an example but it is far less expensive.

The legs don’t have any feet to protect your tent or whatever surface that you put it on; this is a feature that you will find in some higher end cots.

While the quality of mine is good, I have seen plenty of reports of poor quality when it comes to this product.  When you have something that is of a budget nature, it is often common for there to be some problems which may require you to send it back and get a replacement.  Defects are possible with anything but with budget gear, that will happen at a higher rate so keep that in mind.

….

All in all I like this Cot, the price is good, the one that I purchased and receive is of a good quality.  The design isn’t flat out terrible but it isn’t the best. It is heavy and I wouldn’t personally use it for backpacking.




Monday, August 12, 2019

That's a lot of Power! - Anker PowerHouse 200 - Review




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This is the Anker Powerhouse 200 and the question is, what do you need it for?

200 watt hour capacity!

2 - USB / 1- USB- C
1 -12 volt car output
1 - 110v AC output

Our review starts now!



Link : https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Powerhouse-Rechargeable-Generator-Emergencies/dp/B07DDHC5MV

Price : $350
Weight : 6lbs 1.5oz
Size : Roughly 7”L x 5.5”W X 4.7”T
This a battery bank / generator which is perfect for all sorts of situations.



200 watt hour capacity / which is 57,600 milliamps hours

3 input options :

·       USB / USB- C (60 total watts of power from the usb ports)
·       12 volt car output
·       110v AC output

Carry handle – Is excellent, comfortable and allows for you to easily grab and move the device when you need to

Grippy feet on the bottom
….

Issues :

We’ve had no issues with our testing of this device over the last 3 months.

Cold weather does have an impact upon this bank;

For an example, one morning with temps around 45F, the battery bank read 71% charger left. But a few hours later when the temps were in the 70’s, it stated that the remaining charge was 84%.



Time Usage :

Floor Fan : 6.5 hours

Charge my laptop : 3 times

Camera Batteries : one fully charged Powerhouse will charge my camera batteries 52 times!

My Samsung Phone : 14 times



Uses :

Emergency use
Overland use
Camping use
Tailgating
Cross country driving
Photography and video shoots
...

Review Pros :

Lots of power

Very portal – not all that heavy

Easy to use – right out of the box, it makes sense and you can use it.

Shows which ports are being used and battery percentage

Quick to charge

Some ports can be used at the same time; AC and USB or 12V and USB

Can charge the powerhouse while using the ports as long as you aren’t consuming more power than what it is getting from the wall.

Countless protection systems built-in including protection from overloading your gear, temp control, high-voltage, etc.


Review Cons :

Pricey – Compared to other similar products on the market, this one is more expensive.  On the flip side, you are getting a product from a company which has a strong background with quality and customer service and that alone is enough to justify the price.

AC and 12V can’t be used at the same time; I mention this as there may be a situation where you wish that you could run them at the same time but I haven’t been in that situation with my use.



Summary :

I have been looking for a product like this for a long time as I am one who happens to film a great deal of video and one of the biggest hurdles for me especially on week long road trips is power.  Power for my laptop so I can get work done and a way to charge my camera batteries.

Talking about filming, I rarely film indoors but when I do, I plug my studio light into this the powerhouse and I can easily move my light source and the battery bank as I move around without having to look for a plug; this saves me time.

Then of course, comes the overland aspect and this is an awesome option for that as well as you can charge a phone, run a fan, run lighting and so on all at the same time.

Not talking about youtube for a moment but with my full time job, I never get a day off so if I go on a trip, I still have to work and this allows for me to have the power to do just that.  With my cross country trips what you all don’t see in those is having to stop to powerup my laptop or the time that I had to work; this for me is a game changer and it really works well in that regards.

Another side to this product is emergency use and again, it works very well in that regards and Susan and I recently got to test this product out for that exact purpose.  There was an outage in our area which lasted roughly 12 hours and the Powerhouse kept us going throughout the night with lights, charging our devices and so on.

Anker is a leader when it comes to mobile power solutions and I have countless battery banks from them which are over 4 years old and continue to work flawlessly.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Giveaway - Fenix E30R Flashlight - Enter Now





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This is the Fenix E30R Flashlight and I have been 'running' with one of these for the last couple of months; it's an excellent flashlight and in fact, it is so good that I want to give one away to a lucky viewer!

ENTER NOW!




Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Next Generation - Force Protector Gear FOR76 - Review




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This is one of my favorite pieces of military gear currently;
Force Protector Gear FOR76 Deployment Duffle Bag!

It is AWESOME!

Link : https://www.forceprotector.com/fpg-online-store/SmartPack-Loadout-Bag-p94857825

NSN for coyote color is: 8465-01-665-0773
NSN for multicam color is: 8465-01-664-7547
NSN for black color is: 8465-01-664-7499


Monday, August 5, 2019

Well, Well, Well What is This? Viewer Mail Episode #63




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It is mail time and look at what was sent in by some very generous viewers!

I'm speechless and thankful!


Friday, August 2, 2019

Perfect Summer Blanket? - Nemo Puffin Blanket Review




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This is my review of the Nemo Puffin Insulated Blanket!
Very light, very warm and also, versatile!



Link : https://www.amazon.com/Puffin-Blanket-Person-Mossy-Fiddlehead/dp/B07MTS31HF

Price : $99 for the regular size ($150 for the luxury 2 p version)

Weight of Blanket : 2lbs 3oz

Weight with Storage bag : 2lbs 6z

I did notice a discrepancy when it comes to the weight of the Blanket when it comes to Nemo’s website and the information card which came attached to the storage bag.  The card states that it weighs 1lb 14oz and the site states 2lbs 3oz.  2lbs 3oz being accurate.

Colors : Numerous color options can be found depending on what year it was made.  Speaking of which, it was released around the end of 2014.

Packed Size
14 x 12 x 5”

Fill Weight
1 lb , 5 oz

Dimensions
57 x 85 in – Some sites such as amazon state the size being
Color
Mossy / Fiddlehead and others

Fabric
40D Nylon Micro-Ripstop with DWR

Stratofiber Synthetic Insulation

………………

Review :

Temp Rating?  A product like this is going to be very hard to gage when it comes to a temp rating and that because it is a blanket.  With such a design it is difficult to trap heat and get an accurate rating.  With myself, I have used this blanket many times down to 40F by itself and was perfectly comfortable.  I sleep hot so keep that in mind; your mileage is going to vary!

Pros :

This is a summer time blanket, perfect for those nights where you want on leg out and one leg in.  Perfect for warm nights that turn into cool mornings.

You can even use it to add additional warmth to your winter time bag and the integrated footbox makes that especially easy to do.

Not constrictive!

Easy to wash

Good around moisture thanks to the synthetic insulation

Easy to vent

The foot box is awesome and if you don’t need it, undo it.

Good quality

Works very well inside of a hammock thanks to the foot pocket

Cons :

Pricey – not when compared to similar products like the Tech Blanket from Thermarest but very expensive when comparing it to other options like the military poncho liner…woobie blanket as they are also known as.  A woobie costs around $20 and are awesome for summer time use.

As far as cons go, that’s about it; it is pricey for what you are getting otherwise it is a good product for those whom don’t want a sleeping bag or traditional down quilt for summer use.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

How To Care for Your Backpacking Gear When the Trip is Over



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The adventure is over and you return home with some dirty gear and some work to do.

When I come home from a backpacking trip, these are the steps which I go through every single time to ensure that my gear continues to work properly and lasts me long into the future.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Military Gear and Storms! - Military Surplus Solo Overnight Adventure




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Within nature, it isn't just men and women who are susceptible to the conditions as life and death are very much an active part of the entire process which makes this world possible.

In this adventure, I stumbled upon an animal which was hurt and dying and I did my best to care for it until it passed away; it was an intense adventure for many reasons.

Additionally, the brutality of nature is presented with a series of high elevation storms with some VERY close lightning strikes.

Military Gear; LiteFighter Combat Tent, FPG MarPack, 'Woobie,' Swiss Stove and More!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Worth $19? - �� TOMSHOO Budget Gasifier Wood Stove - Review




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Remember the Canway Wood Stove?
This is its competition which features a very similar design but there are some important differences.

Is it Better or is it Worse?

This is my review of the TOMSHOO Wood Stove!

..

Link : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078RK5MJ2

Weight : 14.1oz for the stove and legs; the entire stove and all components is 1.06lbs

Price : $20

Recently I reviewed the Canway Wood Stove and this stove from Tomshoo is very similar.  In fact, it shares in essentially the same design but with some minor changes.

First off it is lighter weight than the Canway stove as it features thinner metal. The pot support system is different as well.

Wood and Alcohol Stove

There is two versions of this stove, this one and a version which has a handle on the bottom support.  That version is $30 and isn’t worth the money in my opinion.


From the Company : 
·  Sturdy & Stable: This camping stove made of durable stainless steel. The windproof serrated cross stand offers a stable platform for your cookware and increases heat contact.

·  Unique Design, Efficient Burning: The wood stove has the double wall inside makes cold air to be heated fast when entering the chamber, thus significantly improve burning efficiency.

·  Unlimited Fuel: Use the twigs, leaves, branches, wood as fuel to cook a meal on your hike, and the stove includes a tray to hold solid alcohol fuel.

·  Foldable & Lightweight: Easily collapsible into a compact size (5.4" x 2.8") and packed in the mesh carrying sack for convenient storage. At only 1 pound.

·  What You Get:1*TOMSHOO Camping Stove,1*Alcohol Tray, 1*BBQ Grill Net 1*Mesh Storage Sack, 12-month worry-free warranty and friendly customer service.

….

Pros :

Good quality gasifer stove.

Good design, simple to put together

Stable!

Very good quality – no flex at all- impressive for $20

With good materials, it takes roughly 3 minutes for the gasification process to start and the stove is ready to go.

Wind resistant.

Thanks to the size, it can burn for a very long time and it is easier to simmer with than some wood stoves.

Coals will stay hot very a very long time
Good quality mesh bag.

Centralized flame

Legs are solid into place, stable

Comes with the grill cover

You don’t have to use the included alcohol plate, you can uses a different stove if you want to. If you were going to, I would leave all of this at home and built a pot stand out of sticks or rocks

Compatible with any cup or pot – this can’t be said with all wood burning stoves.

Cons :

Doesn’t feel as substantial as other wood stoves, which is especially true with the Canway stove in mind.

Summary :

You all know that I like wood stoves like this and with the Tomshoo stove, the trend continues.  The design isn’t unique but it is different than some of the other stoves on the market.  It is lighter weight and for some, that will be important.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Fjallraven's Newest Backpack - Fjallraven Keb 52L - First Look




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For the Summer of 2019, Fjallraven has released the Keb Backpack which features a new version of the G-1000 Material which they are calling Bergshell!

This is the first look at the Fjallraven Keb 52L backpack with Wooden Stays!
...

Price : $275

Weight : Almost 5lbs (4lb 15.7oz)

Colors : Men, Blue and black

Women : Black, red navy blue

Versions : 52L (3173cu in) and a 72L

Sexes : The Keb is available in men and womens makes.

Sizes : One fits all

New for 2019 Fjallraven has released the Keb 52 backpack and what makes it very interesting is for me at least, the wood frame which I have only seen on one other of their pacts, the Kaija!

Designed to be a year round backpack, it can be easily adjusted for most users.

The pack features a narrow profile

Made from new Bergshell fabric and well-proven G -1000 HeavyDuty Eco S  – it offers outstanding performance in challenging terrain.

trekking backpack with ski touring functionality.

Made from G-1000® HeavyDuty Eco S with base and side sections in Bergshell, a waterproof 400D ripstop fabric made from 31% recycled nylon.

Wooden frame made from FSC-certified birch.

Narrow profile gives freedom of movement on technical treks/ski trips.

Ergonomic carrying system with snow-repellent stretch fabric.

Carrying system can easily be adapted to fit a wide range of back lengths.

Supportive hip belt and shaped shoulder straps.

All features designed for easy handling with winter gloves on.

Large main compartment with snowlock closure.

Top lid with two zippered pockets.

The hip belt has two pockets plus loops for pulling a toboggan.

Side compression straps.

Hydration system compatible.

Rain cover included.

Bergshell, Fjällräven’s very own waterproof and sustainable fabric, is made from 100% recycled nylon. It is developed specifically for backpacks and has a very high tear and tensile strength. But what makes it unique is a new flat ripstop construction combining airtextured yarn with filament yarn in a balanced weave that gives exceptional abrasion-resistance while also increasing tear strength.

This means that the lifespan of the backpack is considerably increased.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Exploring Mountain Trails - Hiking Adventure



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It is the First Day of Summer (when filmed) and Susie and I are out exploring a portion of the Tanawha Trail!  In this episode we discuss how everyone has limitations and that we have to work with them!

Enjoy everyone, thank you for joining us!



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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wow, My Mind is Blown! Viewer Mail Episode #62



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Wow is all that I have to say!
Hat
Clothes
Weird Headlamp
Food

I'm speechless and thankful!


Monday, July 15, 2019

Sierra Designs ClearWing 2




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This is the Sierra Designs ClearWing 2 tent, it is almost perfect and it is time for Luke to hand down his review!



Email SD's Parent Company : outdoor@exxel.com

Link SD : https://sierradesigns.com/clearwing-2/

Link Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Designs-Clearwing-Person-Backpacking/dp/B07NZ917GC

Price : $230
Minimum Weight : 3 lbs 15 oz / 1.78 kg
Packaged Weight : 4 lbs 10 oz / 2.1 kgVersions : 2 person and 3
Design : freestanding
Poles : 3
Doors : 2
Number of Vestibules : 2
Dimensions: 93” x 51.5” / 232cm x 131cm
Vestibule Area: 12.3 sq ft / 1.14 sq m
Floor Area: 33.3 ft2 / 23.09 m2
Peak Height: 40.5" / 103 cm
Design Type: Freestanding
Number of Guylines: 4
Stake Quantity: 10
Company Statement :

The Clearwing is a 2 door, 2 vestibule fully freestanding backpacking tent. Hoop poles over the doors provide vertical sidewalls and tons of interior space, and a full coverage, vented rainfly keeps the weather at bay. A hubless pole system allows the Clearwing to pack down small into its burrito bag.

Number of Poles: 3
Pole Material: DAC Pressfit Aluminum
Fly Fabric: 68D 190T Poly Taffeta 1800MM PU WR FR CPAI84
Floor Fabric: 68D 190T Poly Taffeta WR/1800MM PU, FR CPAI84
Body Fabric: 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh

Pros :
Easy to Setup / breakdown
Two doors
Excellent ventilation
Plenty of room for two individuals with regular size sleeping mats
Lots of headroom
No issues with leaking

No real issues with condensation; there has been some of course in humid and wet conditions but I’ve had no issues that are outside of what is to be expected.

Large overhand with the vestibule means that you can stay dry with the door open unless it is a driving rain.

Good price for the size and features.

Small pack size


Cons :

Larger size means that it is less stable in stronger winds; stake it out is my advice.

Ugly colors unless you like white, blue, yellow – seriously SD, if you want to excite more campers and backpackers, consider altering your color choices.  You can keep these colors for your logo but your products don’t have to be colored the same.

The white color will show dirt very easily; the first night out with this tent I had a huge dirt stain on the fly and it took a goo bit of work to get that out safely.

This is my biggest issue with SD products and I mention this every single time and 99% of the viewers agree with me.  Everyone watching this video should send SD a message and let them know, we light the design of your products but we want colors which match our tastes better; you will find their email address in the description box below;

outdoor@exxel.com

The email address is for their parent company as it says on the SD web site to send suggestions to them.

With the exception of one Tent, I have liked everything that I have tested out by Sierra designs with the exception of the Divine Light; remember water coming through the walls?

Besides that hiccup, they innovate which is rare when it comes to the tent segment of the outdoor industry as most companies simply copy the same design over and over again.  Anyone remember the MOJO UFO Tent?  That was next gen and nonsensically priced.

I like this tent and I do recommend it; the quality is there, the features and design are top notch. The weight is good.  The colors are bad…for my tastes and many of yours.  Not much to dislike other than those terrible colors.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Fenix E30R Flashlight - Rechargeable - EDC - Review



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This is the Fenix E30R Flashlight;
Small form factor
1600 max lumens
Rechargeable
What's not to like?

I'll answer that question in this review.



Link : https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-e30r-rechargeable-edc-flashlight/
Price : $80
Weight : 3.7oz with battery, lanyard and pocket clip
Battery : 18650
Max Power : 1600 Lumens Fenix ARB-L18-3500 included (two CR123A Lithium batteries can be used in emergency)
Form Factor : EDC
Measurements : 3.9 inches in length and 0.85 inches in diameter body. 1” diam. Head.
Charger Type : Magnetic
Max Run Time : 70.5 hrs on eco mode which is 30 lumens
Light Type : Cool White; I don’t believe there is a neutral version available, if there is I haven’t see it.

Specifications

Utilizes Luminus SST40 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours

5 Output Modes Plus Strobe (runtimes based on using a 18650 3500mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery)

Turbo: 1600 Lumens - 1 hr. 27 min.
High: 800 Lumens - 1 hr. 55 min.
Mid: 350 Lumens - 5 hr. 28 min.
Low: 150 Lumens - 17 hrs. 32 min.
Eco: 30 Lumens - 70 hrs. 30 min.
Strobe: 1600 Lumens

4-level Battery indicator

Soft and Balanced Beam

Extreme Output: 1600 Lumens with visibility distance of 666 ft.

Magnetic suction charging port in the neck

Ultra-thin Optical lens

Tailored magnetic charging cable also available in portable Micro USB devices

Lock-out function avoids accidental operation (Double Click within 0.5 seconds)

One switch for fast, convenient operation

Intelligent over-heat protection to avoid high temperature of the surface

Low-voltage warning reminds when battery replacement is needed

Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation

Digitally-regulated output maintains constant brightness – will downshift after roughly 1 minute 30 seconds from turbo to 900 lumens

Heat protection : The light will accumulate a lot of heat when used on Turbo or High output level for extended periods. When the light reaches a temperature of 65℃ or above, the light will automatically step down by 5% every 10 seconds to reduce the temperature, and until to 350 lumens.

When the temperature is reduced below 65℃, Turbo mode can be reselected; or only 900 lumens can be reached.

Review Pros :

Easy to use and understand battery indictor
Green constant on: saturated (100% – 86%)
Green flashes: sufficient (85% – 51%)
Red constant on: poor (50% – 26%)
Red flashes: critical (25% – 1%)

I love the magnetic charging port; usb sockets with rubber cover is old tech and I’m not personally interested in any flashlight which uses it.  With that being said, it would be nice if flashlight and headlight companies could come together and select a unified magnetic port so there was one to charge all.  But because that is unlikely to happen, it would be great if Fenix would make it so that the magnetic end was usb so individuals like myself don’t have to carry a bunch of cables.  Some will dislike that it is a property charging port.

Excellent quality – no issues in the last couple of months of use.

Excellent stepping between modes

Easy to use lock out mode.

Great beam balance; flood and throw

Super small flashlight; perfect for EDC use

Quick charging speed – 3 hours to fully charge

There is no memory settings with this light so every time that you turn it on, it goes back to low.  That maybe a con to some but for myself, it’s a pro as I can use it when I need to in the dark without completely destroying my natural night vision

Review Cons :

On/off switch can be hard to locate in the dark; I rotate the pocket clip over the charging port which means that the on/off switch is on the opposite side which makes it easy to locate.

Can get extremely hot and will do so very quickly.  That is to be expected with so much power though.

There is no true low mode as the lowest setting is 30 lumens.  For some people this is huge, for myself, I don’t mind it at all.

Summary :

For the money, this is in my opinion an excellent edc flashlight.  The performance is good, it doesn’t have any annoying characteristics for myself.  Everyone is different when it comes to flashlights and may want different features such as a memory mode; lower lumen count and so on.

For myself, the only issue to mention is the recessed on/off switch which can hard to locate and use with gloves.

I like the power and I like the size immensely.