Monday, December 30, 2013

Recent Score : Trangia Alcohol Stove and Cookset -

Here's a sweet little score that I picked up the other day.  $30!!!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Outdoor Fitness - Nothing But Pullups

Episode 2 of the Outdoor Fitness Series.  Nothing but Pullups.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Viewer Sent Items - Unboxing 1 -

Merry Christmas Folks!  Today we are doing an unboxing of some awesome items that a viewer has sent in.  Thanks for joining me.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Moisture / Condensation Build Up : Questions and Answers


Yo Luke how do you handle moisture build up in a bivy? Condensation seems to be a big issue maybe you can address this issue. Even in a tent during winter. How do you avoid frost an moisture build up while inside asleep

My Response (Answer):

In the winter moisture is always an issue but there are things you can do to limit it. With a bivy it's all about keeping your breath out of the bag if at all possible. A synthetic fill sleeping bag will be key if you can't because you will stay warm even with the moisture build up. But, with the sleeping bag make sure it isn't too warm for the conditions you are in. If you sweat some condensation will form on the walls. Can't really avoid that. Also make sure that your clothes are absolutely dry before you get in the bag. Dry socks are important to. Make sure you have a barrier separating you from the ground. More than just the material of the bivy. 

Vent at the top of the bivy as well as the bottom if at all possible. 

Some build is likely no matter what.

End of December : Overnight Adventure Gear Loadout

Our next Overnight Adventure is coming up...Here's the Gear Loadout.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Military Surplus Score - Swedish Military 35L Rucksack with Steel Frame

Today we're taking a look at the Swedish Military 35L Rucksack with Steel Frame.  This is another awesome Military Surplus item that's perfect for backpacking and bushcraft.

Link :

Friday, December 20, 2013

Deal Hunting Series : Site 3 -

We're seeking out deals and in this new series we are heading to

Thanks for watching.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Military Surplus Giveaway II -

It's time for another giveaway so make sure to subscribe, comment and enter for a chance to win. I promise, it will be a good one!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thrunite T10 LED Flashlight Review

We've been testing this little flashlight out for over a month now and it's time for the ThruNite T10 FlashLight Review.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pant Material and Shoes : Questions Asked, Answers Given

The other day I had an individual write in and this is what he had to say;

"Hi Luke. I really enjoy your youtube vids. I would like to ask your opinion on hiking pants. I am just getting into hiking, so I don't plan on spending a bundle on most of the gear (just yet), but I certainly want the right boots/pants. The boots I can handle, but I am clueless on what kind of pants will not chafe me raw. Any insight would be appreciated."


My answer to him is this;

"Hey there XXXXX,
How are you brother?  Thanks for the kind words.

As for hiking pants, well there are a lot of different types and lots of different fabrics.  It goes without saying that Cotton is a bad choice.  "Cotton Kills" & "Cotton: Fabric of Death."  Plus, hike ten miles in jeans and you'll never walk the same....ever again!!!

For the average pant I would say go with something nylon.  Lightweight, fast drying and fairly cheap.  You may come across a nylon blend and that is fine too.  Normally it's a blend with spandex.  Can't go wrong there.  That will cover you during the 3 seasons.

When it comes to the 4th season, nylon is still a good choice but layering becomes important.  You can look for a softshell pant or even a heavy material such as the G1000 from Fjallraven.  In other words, you need the right tool for the job.

When it comes to boots, there are a lot of options.  Some lighter than others, some with waterproof liners, some more breathable.  I typically say that there isn't a one pair fits all solution when it comes to shoes and boots.  On dry days I want something lightweight and breathable.  If it's going to be a wet one, I want something with a gore-tex (etc) liner.  If it's going to be really cold, I want something insulated.  If it's cold and wet, insulated and waterproof.  See what I mean?

I hope this helps my friend.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Action Cam and Gear Test

Today we're testing out the Drift HD Ghost Cam as well as the Howies Airman Wool Wadded Ventile Jacket. Thanks for watching.

LINK for the Jacket :

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Howies Airman Wool Wadded Ventile Jacket - Preview

Today we're taking a look at the Howies Airman Wool Wadded Ventile Jacket. Going into testing now!

LINK for USA :

- 100% L24 Ventile® Cotton outer
- 100% Wool Wadding inner
- Naturally wind and showerproof
- Breathable
- YKK AquaGuard® water repellant zip
- Velcro adjustable cuffs
- Bungee adjusters at hood and hem
- External zipped chest pocket
- 2 zippered side pockets
- Articulated arms
- Made in Portugal

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Next Outdoor Fitness Video...

The next video inline for our Outdoor Fitness series focuses on nothing but pullups. Simple.  Powerful.  Here's a special move that I learned a while back. Definitely DON'T TRY IT unless you have the right setup and you're strong enough to do it (seriously!!!!!)

Outdoor Fitness : Episode 1 : Pushups

Episode 1 in the Outdoor Fitness Series. Nothing but Pushups.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Deal Hunting Series : Site 2 -

We're seeking out deals and in this new series we are heading to

Thanks for watching. ...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Viewer's Choice December 2013

Alright folks, it is time to vote on the gear for our next Overnight Adventure and we have more than a few options;

We'll start with Bivys first;

Black Diamond Tripod

Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy

USMC Gore-Tex 

USMC Improved Bivy

And of course, no Bivy at all is an option.  


Here are the Tarps if you don't want to vote on a Bivy;


USMC Field Tarp

Granite Gear White Lightning

British Military BASHA

There is an option for no Tarp if you wish for us to use a Bivy.

Lastly we have the backpacks;

Black Diamond Infinity 60L

Gregory Z45L

Osprey ATMOS 65L


I will select the location and sleeping pad/bag based on weather conditions at the time.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

After the Camp : Freezing Rain Overnight Adventure II -

Thank you for joining us for After the Camp : Freezing Rain Overnight Adventure II. We'll discuss the trip, the gear and share some bloopers.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Updated Review of the Optimus Crux Stove with Terra Cook Set.

An Updated Review of the Optimus Crux Stove withTerra Cook Set.


Optimus Crux Stove With Terra Cook Set $79.95 Amazon -UPDATED

Set includes: Crux stove, pot, lid that doubles as a fry pan, mesh storage bag, and neoprene sleeve for on-trail storage.

 Perfect cook system when ultralight and small size are critical Total kit weight = 238g / 8.1oz Smallest cook system available UItra Light -

Total kit weight = 238 g / 8.1 oz [stove] 2.54 oz; [cookset] 5.6 oz Ultra Compact - Smallest Cook System available

Ultra Versatile - Each piece can be used independently 10,200 BTU Crux Lite Burn time: Up to 60 minutes at high maximum output, using 8 oz canister Crux Premium blend of 70% butane, 30% propane. 4oz canisters run around $8. 8oz around $11.

Boil time (1 L / 34 fl. oz of water):
Down to 3 minutes depending on climate, altitude, etc Used countless times for all types of trips. Multi-day hiking trips in high elevations. All day hiking trips and even cycling trips. Used in single digit temps. Posts are aluminum. Easy to clean. They are not nonstick. Review: This is a great addition to your pack and with it's light weight and small form factor you won't even notice that it's there. Highly dependable. Good price. I prefer this over alcohol stoves that I have used for years.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Freezing Rain Overnight Adventure II

This is the actual Overnight Adventure. Join me in Damascus VA as we venture out on the Appalachian Trail for an Overnight Adventure. It promises to be wet, cold and amazing as a winter storm barrels down upon us.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Freezing Rain Overnight Adventure II : INTRO

Join me in Damascus VA as we venture out on the Appalachian Trail for an Overnight Adventure. It promises to be wet, cold and amazing as a winter storm barrels down upon us. This is JUST THE INTRO! The actual video will be posted shortly following this one.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Deal Hunting Series : Site 1

We're seeking out deals and in this new series we are heading to Thanks for watching.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Eureka Solitaire Tent : Review -

We're reviewing the Eureka Solitaire Tent!


Eureka! Solitaire - Tent (sleeps 1)
-          $69 on amazon
-          Two-hoop bivy-style tent for one sleeper (21.33 square foot area)
-          Ventilated with a large mesh roof; attached full coverage fly
-          Zipper in roof cloth for easy entry/exit
-          Includes two storage pockets and one flashlight loop
-          Center height of 28 inches; weighs 2 pounds, 9 ounces
Perfect for singular trekking and walkabouts, the Eureka Solitaire is lightest, most compact three-season solo tent made by Eureka. It's also extremely well ventilated with a large mesh roof--great for stargazing during summer trips--and the zippered roof provides an extra exit in nice weather. This two-hoop bivy design offers an efficient tunnel design, with a durable 6.3 mm fiberglass frame is shockcorded for fast set up. The full coverage fly is attached, so it can be rolled back or put in place very quickly. Other features include nylon pole sleeves for easy setup, three storm guyouts on the fly, two storage pockets, and one flashlight loop.
  • Area: 21.33 square feet
  • Floor size: 2 feet, 8 inches by 8 feet
  • Center height: 2 feet, 4 inches
  • Wall fabrics: 40D no-see-um mesh
  • Floor fabrics: 70D nylon taffeta
  • Fly fabrics: 70D nylon taffeta
  • Pack size: 4 by 17.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds, 9 ounces
  • 2 hoop bivy-style tent
  • Durable 6.3 mm fiberglass frame is shockcorded for fast set up
  • Pole pockets on one end; ring and pin on the other speed set up
  • Nylon pole sleeves aid in set up and stability
  • 3 storm guyouts on fly
  • Includes 2 storage pockets and 1 flashlight loop
  • Zipper in roof cloth for easy entry/exit

I’ve had this tent for many years (2007, 2008) and it has always worked well for me.  It is more of a bivy than a tent in my eyes but it is a very cheap and economical shelter from the elements.  It does a great job of keeping rain out.  Used it many times in some heavy downpours and had no leaks.
Easy to set up, easy to break down.  While I wouldn’t recommend it for winter use, I have used it in a snow storm and I was fine.  This tent will not handle snowloading and for that I would say 3 seasons only.
·         Wall
40D no-see-um mesh
·         Fly
70D nylon taffeta, 1200mm
·         Floor
70D nylon taffeta, 1200mm
·         Mesh
40D No-see-um

: My Review :
For a beginning to backpacking this is a great option.  It’s inexpensive, offers just enough space, protection from the elements too.  The entire package weights about 3lbs which isn’t bad, especially for the price. 

Condensation is an issue with this tent but with some practice and experience you will learn how to set it up to minimize this as much as possible.  Set up is fast; roughly 2 minutes. 

Stake it down, 1st pole in.  2nd pole in.  4 stakes and you’re good to go.
Easier than many tents to set up in the dark as well. 

If you live in a dry climate you can keep the fly off and enjoy the night sky. 
Personally I like this tent but I would go with the Snugpack Ionosphere just because of the space factor.  Yes it’s a bit heavier about a pound more but that added space is so nice.  It’s also most expensive at $170 on amazon.

It is NOT freestanding so you will have to stake it out.  Think of that before you make a purchase.
Eurake makes in general budget friendly gear and that is what this is.  It’s a good shelter but not the strongest.  Be careful with the fiberglass poles as they do have a tendency to break. 

Overall it’s a good tent.  Not a great tent in my mind.  For a bit more money you can get something that is a bit more substantial such as the Euraka Spitfire. The Spitfire is more of a tent and the Solitaire is more of a bivy.  The spitfire runs around $110.

n  If you are on a tight budget or testing the waters for backbacking, this is a good economical options.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Leatherman Skeletool Review -

Leatherman Skeletool – 830846

There are a number of different models available.  CS, CX, etc.  This is the plan and simple Skeletool.  Nothing additional to add to the end of the name.  

The model number is 830846

$34 on Amazon at the time of this video

5 oz.

25 year warranty.

This is pocket-sized multitool even though it is often referred to as full size.
Roughly 4 inches in length and an inch a quarter wide.


There is a pocket clip that is removable.
Stainless steel body.
420 high carbon stainless steel blade – partially serrated
Holds an edge very well.  Chisel ground. 2.5 inches in length
Needlenose pliers – not the finest point but certainly good enough.
Regular pliers
Hardwire cutters
Wire cutters
Knife combo
Carabiner and bottle opener
Large bit driver
Handle bit storage
Locking blade
Philips head and straight heads.  Easy to access. 

I consider this a dual purpose multi-tool.  In other words it has two main uses in the way that I use it.  You have the pliers aspect and then you have the knife aspect.  Sure it has a bit driver but that isn’t of any concern for me 99.9% of the time.

Heave duty basic multi-tool.  Has some good features but lacks the kitchen sink.

Awesome finish and quality.  Very tight movements and I like that. I don’t care for a loose tension.

I personally care this for backpacking but honestly there are some multitools that I would consider better for the job.  I do prefer having a saw, a can opener, file, etc.  Biking yes.  EDC, yes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

After the Hike Discussion - 6,000ft Day Hike

This is After the Hike. Today we are going discussing the hike, the gear and the experience; 6,000ft Day Hike.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fjallraven Barents Trousers - Review

It's time to review the Fjallraven Barents Trousers. The Best of the Best!

Fjallraven trousers as they have a great reputation Worldwide for being tough, durable and weatherproof. 

The classic, tried and true Barents trousers were launched in 2003 and are the most popular (for good reason) trousers that Fjallraven make.

Fjallraven Barents are trousers for tough trekking and active outdoor use in both summer and winter. Barents are made of hardwearing and super tough G-1000® fabric and have extra reinforcements over the rear and knees to handle tough treatment.

The trousers are really versatile as they have seven pockets, including a map pocket, axe pocket and inner safety pocket. High waist and comfort fit.

Barents have raw length, which allows you to adjust the length of the legs exactly as you wish. If you are looking for similar trousers but with fixed leg endings, have a look at Vidda trousers

After years of putting their Forester Trousers to the test, Woodlore are excited to now stock the Barents Trousers, part of Fjällraven’s 'Classical Trekking' range. A durable trouser with multiple pockets, the Barents feature reinforced rear and knee panels for extra durability. The legs are provided in raw length, meaning that they can be cut and adjusted to your exact requirements. The Fjällraven logo is sewn onto the right leg pocket.

As with the Forester Trousers, the Barents are made from Fjällraven's classic G-1000 material. This densely woven fabric is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, making the material windproof and outstandingly hardwearing. It is also water-resistant thanks to a Greenland Wax impregnation. This high-strength fabric also wicks moisture away from the body.

The Fjällraven company had its humble beginnings back in 1960, running from a small basement in the town of Örnsköldsvik. Equipped with little more than his mother's sewing machine, founder Åke Nordin began producing garments tough enough to withstand the long, demanding winters of Northern Sweden. Ever since, Fjällraven have continued with this quest, earning the reputation of a company reliable for making functional, hard-wearing outdoor clothing.

  • Material: G-1000
  • Colour: Dark Olive with Black inserts
  • Fit: Comfort, high-waist
  • Weight: 1.2lbs
  • Raw length legs
  • Hidden, inner security pocket with zip fastening
  • 2 x standard hip pockets
  • 1 x large pocket on right leg with stud fastener
  • 1 x medium pocket on left leg with stud fastener
  • 1 x tall pocket on left leg with stud fastener
  • 1 x saw/knife pocket on left leg with stud fastener at top and bottom

Tough, fast-drying, very comfortable. These trousers have been through some pretty tough conditions since I bought them (rocks/thick brush/etc). They show no signs of wear. In rain they resist water for a while, but soon succumb and get wet through (as expected). They dry quickly and remain comfortable while wet.

simply fantastic! Very comfortable fit and they are certainly hard wearing and have the ability to be waxed which is great as you can wax certain areas to keep them breathable. You will not regret buying them.  Speaking of which, this is an aspect that I have never done.  You can order the Fjallraven Greenland Wax and impregnate them yourself which will make them waterproof.

I must say I was impressed by their weight! I thought they would be heavy and on the contrary, they're so light, you hardly feel them.

The cut gives plenty of freedom of movement when walking, hiking, running and climbing.
Built tough as nails yet very comfortable.


The Review : If you can find them, buy them.  Fjallraven is still fairly uncommon here in the USA but are beginning to make a presence.  After years of wear they are still going strong.  I have 4 pairs  and have only worn this pair that I have on.  You never have to worry about ripping this paint or a spark burning a hole in them.  Super tough.  Super strong.  Bullet Proof quality.

When you have to have the best and you will accept no substitutes, these are it.  Yes they are expensive.  Yes they can be hard to find but they are absolutely worth it. 

If you decide to purchase, make sure you get the right size.  I have a 30 inch waist and I had to order a size 46.  There should be some guides for the conversion if and when you decide to purchase.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kershaw Ken Onion Folding Knife - Review

Kershaw Ken Onion Folding Knife
$51 on Amazon.
Multiple Colors available.
4.8 oz

This is what I call Fast and Furious…Why you may ask?

·  Folding knife for outdoor adventures with partially serrated blade
·  Blade made of premium 13C26 stainless steel for strength and corrosion resistance
·  Anodized aluminum handle with rough Trac-Tec material for a non-slip grip
·  SpeedSafe assisted opening system for smooth, one-handed opening

This blade may not be for sale in all areas because of that spring assisted action

Constructed of 13C26 stainless steel for strength and corrosion resistance, Kershaw's Ken Onion Blur folding knife features a 3-3/8-inch smooth or serrated blade. Ideal for extreme or everyday situations, the Blur series offers power and performance. A lightweight anodized aluminum handle offers Trac-Tec inserts which provide a non-slip grip even in wet and slippery conditions.

Kershaw's SpeedSafe assisted opening system helps you to smoothly open the knife with a manual push on the blade's thumb stud or Index-Open system. SpeedSafe's torsion bar helps keep the knife closed, preventing it from being opened by accident. In order to open the knife, apply manual pressure to the thumb stud to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. After the blade is out of the handle, the torsion bar moves along its track and takes over. The blade opens
Review Assault


Razor Sharp out of the box.

Holds it edge very, very well.

Perfect for daily needs and with the fast action of this blade, perfect for self defense as well.
It's build quality is outstanding, opens quickly and easily, quality of the steel is adequate, the blade shape is attractive and useful, the grip is comfortable and much improved over earlier version (they had sand paper, current version has thin rubber inserts), and Kershaw's service and support is perfect.

This blade is highly used in the military and by law enforcement officers.

Microtech and protech will cost you three times as much.

1.      Fastest assisted opener I've seen. A little thumb pressure on the really well crafted thumb studs and "smack". Opens in a "blur".
2. Blade stregth is superb. Arrives sharp, stays sharp, and cuts with ease.
3. Perfect size. Extremely comfertable in the hand.
4. The grip is very good. An almost soft rubbery silicone grip tape along the outside will not allow you to let go.
5. Pre drilled holes for tip up or tip down carry.
6. If you get the Blur with the partially serrated edges, the serrations are wicked sharp.
7. Well built, put it through abuse fella's just don't get stupid with it.
2.      One amazon it’s a 5 star rated item and it absolutely deserves those glowing reviews.
3.      This is typically one of the blades that I carry every single day and I carry this on my night hikes on the back roads.

4.      Note: Don’t use the blade to pry with.  This isn’t the right type of blade for such activity.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

VOTE : Viewer’s Choice for November 2013

Viewer’s Choice for November 2013

Multiple Options to vote on.

Location and Gear.


Locations :

Appalachian Trail: Towards Tennessee (like our previous trip)
Appalachian Trail: Towards Grayson Highlands
Grandfather Mountain (6,000ft Day Hike)


Shelter Options

Golite Shangri-La 3

Black diamond Tripod Bivy

REI Cirque 

Sleeping Bag Options

Mountain Hardwear Tioga

Mammut Ajungilak 

Big Agnes Crater



The North Face Zelot

The Black Diamond Infinity

Gregory Baltoro

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Improved Combat Shelter - ICS - Preview

Today we are taking a first look at the ORC ICS (Improved Combat Shelter) Tent. The review will be in the future after testing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Day Hike Clothing and Gear Loadout

We're getting ready to go on a COLD Day Hike and this is our Gear Loadout. Thanks for joining me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

ThruNite T10 FlashLight Open Box and Preview

Today we are doing an open box and preview of the ThruNite T10 Flashlight. Links below:

Cree XP-G LED (R5) with lifespan of 50,000 hours Three modes of output:High (115 lumens, 1.5hrs) - Low (9 lumens, 39hrs ) - firefly 0.09lumens 147hours with memory Tested with Ni-mh battery with actual capacity 2500mAh Stable current regulated circuit, stable brightness Uses one 1.5V AA battery ni-mh, alkaline . 14500 batteries are not recommeded, because they heat up quickly. 17-gram weight excluding batteries Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard Toughened double ultra-clear glass lens Reliable twist switch Candle mode Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle Accessories: key ring. Size: 81x17mm

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Preparing Camp - Processing Firewood

The Outdoor Gear Review presents an afternoon in the woods with some of our favorite gear. The SP50, the Fiskars Axe, and the Sven Saw. We spend an afternoon processing firewood in preparation of an upcoming overnight adventure. Sawing and chopping...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FILBE Hydration Carrier - Review

It's time to finally review the FILBE Hydration carrier after month and months worth of use and literally hundreds of miles and hours of trail time.

FILBE Hydration Carrier Review
-          Literally used for hundreds of miles worth of hiking.
-          Easily attaches with the use of D-rings to other packs.
-          3 (100oz) liter USMC version of the Camelbak Milspec Antidote Hydration Reservoir.
-          Hose is long, 46 inches and the tube is insulated. Has a bite valve cover to keep dirt out and off it.  Quick release for the tube and the bite valve.  Clip to attack to pack for keeping it in place.  Has shut off valve
-          Some pals webbing on the front to attack a small pouch
-          Two zippered pockets
-          Buckle in the front, I will put my sweater or hat in there to carry it.
-           Velco placement at the top
-          Drag handle
-          Divided mesh pocket
-          Side zip to access bladder
-          Back pocket where I keep a lightweight poncho
-          Has shoulder straps with sternum strap
Made by Eagle Industries and it part of the larger FILBE system.
Can be found sold separately time to time for $70.  Price will vary of course.
Cordura fabric.
Highly water resistant, not waterproof.  I’ve carried this during rocking thunderstorms and nothing was soaked on the inside, it was damp.

Finally we move to the review; Guys it’s a buy.  It’s fairly lightweight, very versatile.  Offers enough room for a good day hike.  Comfortable.  Certainly one of my favorite pieces of gear and certainly worth $70.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Vaultz Mesh Bags - Review - Organizing Gear - The Outdoor Gear Review

Amazon Link :

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Movember Invitation - Cancer Awareness - The Outdoor Gear Review

Movember Month – The Outdoor Gear Review
November is almost here folks so that means it’s almost Movember! 
In 2003, a group of friends in Australia were inspired by what the women in their lives were doing for breast cancer and came up with the idea to grow moustaches to raise money for charity. That year, they got 30 friends to participate. Although they didn’t raise any money, they realized how much conversations their moustaches generated, and kept going.
Ten years later, with the Mo (that’s Australian for moustache) as their “hairy ribbon“ and November as their designated awareness month, Movember is one of the largest non-governmental donors to prostate cancer research in the world, funding over 577 projects to date. Last year alone, 1.1 million people from 21 countries participated in raising $147 million. About a fifth of participants were from the US.
n  November is all about means health and spreading the word.  In my family the males have all gotten prostate cancer so I’m getting checked out…even thought I don’t funking want to…but I am. 
The air is getting colder, the layers are getting thicker – that can only mean one thing: it’s almost “no-shave-November” time. More commonly known, as “Movember” is the one time of the year that you can actually get away with not shaving at all. During this time, men everywhere unite to in an all-time laziness marathon to see who can go the longest without shaving. As the fall season kicks into high gear and beards become braidable, the month-long event is essentially a fun way to raise awareness for prostate cancer, as well as other cancers associated with men.
The men who participate, referred to as “Mo-Bros”, aim to change the face of men’s health. “Movember” encourages men to go get checked out in order to achieve early detection that may possibly save many lives. The “Movember” Foundation has been spreading the trend since 2004, and the phenomenon has since become a worldwide event. In 2012, the Global Journal listed “Movember” as one of the top 100 non-government organizations in the world.
As the popularity of “Movember” grows, so do the beards. Men have become highly creative with their clippers in order to achieve no shave November looks. Some go for the Salvatore Dali look, while others free beard it and let the whiskers fall where they may. Whatever you choose to do, “The International Man of November” award is the ultimate achievement for any man who participates. The aware is given to the winner chosen from 21 winners all over the world. That man wears the coveted “Movember” crown all year round.
However, in order to receive the award, and to just be an all-around awesome member of the “Movember” club, there are several rules that need to be followed. Here are the guidelines to a successful “Movember”:
Rule #1: Get rid of everything
On November 1st, all razors are to be disposed of, never to be seen for an entire month. At first this is an extremely liberating process, after all, who wants to waste time shaving? Sure enough, though, the difficulty of this challenge will eventually become apparent.
Rule #2: Withstand the uncomfortable feeling
The first week in the itchiness of the mission commences. Your face will probably be on fire from scratching, but you have to power through, don’t take no for an answer.
Rule #3: Get used to looking cool
By the end of the first week, your 5 o’clock shadow may look like its 10 o’clock, but don’t worry, just tell everyone you’re going for the Clooney look. The silver lining is that grown men with full beards will not look ridiculous.
Rule #4: Don’t take criticism
Around Thanksgiving, your beard will be in full swing and your family simply won’t understand. As you’re sitting at the dinner table over a together, your grandmother will probably give you the why-aren’t-you-shaving look but try to ignore it. Understand that this is for the greater good, something parents and grandparents just don’t get. 
Rule #5: Take pictures
Towards the end of your bearded journey, it’s time to start taking pictures and showing off your coolness. This can also be considered a contest between you and all the other men to see whose beard came in best.
Rule #6: Have some fun
This is the stage where you’re just about to shave, so you can certainly take a few days to have some fun with how far you’ve come. Take some clippers to that manly beard and give yourself a cool look, maybe even a goatee.
So this is what I’m going to do.  On November 1st I’m shaving the face and going with the allstar mustache.  I will rock it all month long!  I’d like for all of your guys to do the same and join me and at the end of the month, send me a photo of your stash and I’ll throw together a video.
Enjoying the outdoors is only possible if you feel good.  You’ve got to take care of yourself before you can take care anyone else or enjoy anything else.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Condor Summit Softshell Jacket Preview - The Outdoor Gear Review

Condor Summit Soft Shell Tactical Jacket
-Please note that this is not a review, this is a preview- Big Difference folks.
Roughly $90 but the price will vary with size and color.
Speaking of colors, there are six colors;
Navy blue,
Coyote Brown,
Olive Drab
There is two different versions to this jacket, a regular summit model and a lighter summit zero model which is for warmer climates.
Lined stand-up collar
- Stow-away hoodie
- Two shoulder pockets
- Two 4" x 4" shoulder patch panels
- Two internal pockets
- Two highrise slash chest pockets
- Forearm pocket
- Double zipper back pocket
- Underarm vent zipper
- Double layer reinforced forearm
- Drawstring waistband and hood
- Adjustable wrist cuff
- Full front YKK zipper with double zipper pull
- Import
The Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket is designed with a three layer integrated shell fabric technology with reinforcement on the forearms. The breathable shell wicks moisture from the body, prevents water penetration, while maintaining body heat. Underarm vent zipper to control temp, and multiple pockets are provided for utility and storage. Also available in a lighter version, the Summit ZERO, for warmer climates. 
This durable, waterproof, lightweight, breathable fabric contains billions of microscopic pores smaller than a raindrop, but hundred times larger than a molecule of water. The triple layer combination wicks moisture, stops water from passing through, and circulates body heat.
- Outer Layer: 100% polyester, 4-way elastic, high density fabric with Teflon Coating.
- Mid Layer: breathable film membrane.
- Inner Layer: 150 g/m² 100%  fleece.
Care Instruction
- NO Bleach, NO Iron, NO Dry Clean
- Wash inside out in low temperature
- Tumble dry in low heat
NTOA Approved - National Tactical Officers Association …. Honestly that means very little.  I’ve seen this same ‘approval’ on questionable gear before.
Observations : This type of jacket is for cold weather when used with layering but it’s not meant for bad weather.  It’s highly water resistant but not waterproof.  Fine for a light rain or snow but The seams are not taped or sealed so in a good rain, you may get wet. 
its a softshell, which means it blocks wind and has very little insulation properties. typically you would wear a wicking base layer and a medium weight fleece under it. size up if you want to wear thicker layers and not look like a sausage roll.
BUT for 80 bucks, its bomber bomber enough. the material is stretchy and it'll block some wind. its a soft shell, not a rain jacket


Today we take a look at the Condor Summit Softshell Jacket.

NOTE: This video is a little rough around the edges as I was trying some new video editing software.


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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The USMC Boonie Hat Review - The Outdoor Gear Review

A boonie hat, also known as a bush hat, is a form of wide-brim hat commonly used by military forces. Its design is similar to a bucket hat but with a stiffer brim. Often a fabric tape band of 'branch loops' is sewn around the crown of the hat. This 'foliage ring' is meant to hold additional vegetation as camouflage. A strap provides stability. The crown may be vented with rivets or mesh panels. Snaps may also be provided with which to fix the brim in the style of an Australian bush hat.

The boonie hat was introduced to the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, when U.S. Army Green Berets began wearing them in the field, along with Australian and Army of the Republic of Vietnam units. These leopard spot or tigerstripe boonie hats were locally procured, the camo cloth was usually salvaged from other uniform items or with the former from a parachute or made up by the tailor.

In 1967, the U.S. Army began issuing boonie hats, as the "Hat, Jungle, with Insect Net", made of cotton and wind-resistant poplin, in olive drab, tigerstripe, and ERDL pattern. It was meant to supplement and replace the patrol and baseball caps that had been in service since World War II. As the U.S. military evolved away from a garrison mentality, the boonie found a permanent place as part of the uniform of all services. The boonie has changed little through the decades since the Vietnam War and was used in the Iraq War and still in the War in Afghanistan as an alternative to the patrol cap. The U.S. military boonie hat has come in a variety of camouflage patterns; the current assortment includes U.S. M81 woodland, three-color desert, UCP, MultiCam, and both desert and woodland versions of MARPAT, as well as the Air Force ABU pattern. The boonie hat is often worn with the wearer's rank insignia pinned to the front, above the branch loops.

Hat, Camouflage (Tropical Combat) Type II

In 1968 the U.S. Army authorized use of the woodland ERDL pattern (Engineering Research Development Laboratory) material, used in the 1969 and later production of hats in cotton ripstop material. These were labeled, "Hat, Camouflage (Tropical Combat) Type II" with contract dates starting in 1968. They were in use from 1968 for both the Army and Air Force, and from 1969-70 for the Marine Corps and Navy. Hat, Sun, Hot Weather[edit] Later boonies are called "Hat, Sun" or "Hat, Sun, Hot Weather", which is still the designation for this type of cover. They are made in various patterns, in cotton ripstop or nylon blend cloth.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Mountain Hardwear Hunker 1- First Look - The Outdoor Gear Review

Today we are taking a first look at the Mountain Hardwear Hunker 1 Assault Tent. The review will be in the future after testing.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Purchasing a Hydration Bladder / Reservoir - Advice - The Outdoor Gear R...

Advice : Purchasing a Hydration Bladder

Hydration Bladders generally come in three sizes but there are some variances.  1L, 2L or 3L are the most common.

My personal advice when it comes to selecting size is to go with a 3L model.  It’s better to have a bladder than can hold 3L of water for when you need it.  If you need less water, simply don’t fill it as full. 

The weight difference between a 1L bladder and a 3L is minimal.  An example of that weight is with the Platypus BigZip line.  A 2L weighs 5.5oz while the 3L is 5.8oz.  Ultimately you won’t notice the weight difference by going with a larger bladder but the versatility that is gained will be noticeable. 

Also the price difference between models is generally very little.  Just a few bucks between liter sizes.
-           One factor to consider before purchasing a bladder is what carrier or pack are you going to be using it with?  If you pack can only handle a 2L bladder and you don’t want to get a bigger pack, don’t buy a 3L bladder.  Otherwise, get the 3L and enjoy all of the benefits of having additional water capacity. 


In general there are two types of bladders.  Non-pressurized  (where you have to suck) and pressurized.  Personally I like non-pressurized bladders the best namely because of their simply use.  You fill it up and you drink what you want.  Pressurized models add additional hoses and steps that I have never found to be beneficial for my use.  Geigerrig is a great company and offer good systems but it’s not something that I would consider important for my needs.  They are also more expensive, heavier, and more complicated but if you rather have a bladder that squirts instead of requiring you to suck, it might be something to check out.


When it comes to filling a bladder with water, there are two main types.  Bladders like the camelbak that have a screw lid and bladders like the Platypus with the zip top. 
Personally I prefer the ziptop as it makes drying and cleaning the bladder extremely easy and simple.  If your bladder has the screw lid/cap it makes the cleaning process a bit more complicated and depending on model, you may be required to use some cleaning instruments. 


Another thing to look at when purchasing a hydration bladder is the hose and how it connects to the reservoir itself.  Some have a quick connect/release that allows you to effortlessly remove the hose to clean it or to even replace it.  Some others don’t and that makes for replacing or cleaning a bit more of a chore.  Also some bit valves have the quick connect and release as well which is very nice in case you need to replace it.


Generally prices are very competitive when it comes to hydration bladders.  This Antidote bladder runs around $31. And the Platypus BigZip runs about $32.  Little Difference. 


Of course for winter use insulated tube covers and packs can be purchased but that area is for another video in the future.

Again my advice is this; get a 3L bladder and fill it with the amount of water that you need for the adventure you are going on.  Also get a bladder that fits your pack and is easy to clean and replace components when needed.

Of course if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.  Happy to help.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Incoming Gear : Mountain Hardwear Hunker 1 Assault Tent

Purchased from:


This is just a first look at the tent that I have ordered.  A preview and review will be coming in the future.

Made for and issued to NSW (SEALS), only available in very limited quantities. Once they're gone, they're gone. 

Mountain Hardwear Hunker 4 Season Military Tent, Coyote
Shelter is the number one priority for survival in inclement environments- then water, then food. If you have ever wanted a single person shelter system that will perform in all 4 seasons for your survival kit, this is the limited opportunity you do not want to miss. 

This product was developed for Naval Special Warfare sniper/observer teams, and has never been available previously to the public in its original military Coyote color. Like most premium outdoor brands, Mountain Hardwear has on occasion produced specialty products for the Special Operations community in limited quantities that are not offered to the public. Also like most premium outdoor brands, the vast majority of Mountain Hardwear products are made overseas in large factories to leverage a wide range of commercial materials and achieve economies in manufacturing. Due to the fact that our military Special Operations units require Made-in-USA products to comply with the Berry Amendment (if you don't know what this is, Google it), often these special not-for-public items become even more exclusive by the fact that they are actually MADE HERE. 

  • Style Name: Hunker 1
  • Style Number: OU9459
  • Capacity: 1 Person
  • Category: 4-Season Expedition
  • Minimum Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Stuffed Size: 23" x 7"
  • Floor Dimensions: 91.5" x 48"
  • Peak Interior Height: 28.5"
  • Floor Area: 24 ft sq
  • Vestibule Area: 15 ft sq
This tent does not come with assembly instructions because NSW did not request any. If you are at all familiar with modern tent set-up you are good to go. If you are not, just ask a friend who camps and you'll be amazed at how simple it is.

5 Piece Esbit Trekker Cook Set Review - The Outdoor Gear Review

Esbit 5-Piece Trekking Cook Set Includes Brass Alcohol Burner Stove and 2 Anodized Aluminum Pots
$40 on amazon.
·  Complete cookset includes brass alcohol burner, two cook pots, stand , solid fuel base, and mesh carry bag
·  Cook pots constructed from extremely light, hard anodized aluminum
·  Small pot can be used as lid; large pot includes volume indicator in liters and ounces
·  Burner features a variable flame regulator, fold-away handle, and sealable screw top that holds fuel
·  Set nests compactly in large pot; total weight is 15 ounces
Cookware Features and Specifications:
  • Light, hard anodized aluminum construction
  • One 33.3-ounce/985 milliliter pot
  • One 15.9-ounce/470 milliliter pot
  • Small pot serves also as lid
  • Pots have two hinged grips made of stainless steel
  • Big pot has volume indicator in liters and ounces
Alcohol Burner Features and Specifications:
  • Brass construction
  • Variable flame regulator with fold-away handle
  • Sealable screw top stores fuel
  • Includes stand and mat for solid fuel application

This product has vastly exceeded my expectations.
The flame produced by burning denatured alcohol is very large and hot due to the great design of the burner. Filling the burner reservoir just 1/4 full will fuel the flame for around 15 minutes. Pair this with a Triangia fuel bottle filled with denaturated alcohol(available in any store with a paint section) and you have a great little portable stove that will get you through a week of backpacking. I have also found that an egg pan fits perfectly atop the burner. In addition, I am going to purchase a small grill grate so that I can use my stovetop espresso maker with this unit. The included cookset is truly of great quality so with the addition of these few small add ons, I have everything I need to cook on a backpacking trip. You could easily cook for 2 with this set if you had to, but id recommend one for every member of your particular voyage.

I have ran a couple of tests and have found that this kit will BOIL....
The alcohol burner will hold approximately 4 ounces of alcohol
Total burn time per Esbit is 30 minutes with 70ml of alcohol.
the alcohol burner is a clone of the Triangia  but the simmer ring has a fold-able handle, which makes this IMO even better than the Triangia.

:::1 cup of water in about just under 6 minutes with the TOP OFF
:::2 cups of water in just under 10 minutes with the TOP ON.

The water I boiled was straight from the tap cold. 3,500 ft
Yes it’s made in china but the quality is excellent.
Both solid fuel and alcohol make for great solutions when it comes to heating and cooking.  Of course it’s important to know the pros and cons of each before you take one or the other out on an adventure.  With this set both the solid fuel plate and the alcohol plate are the proper distance from the pot for adequate heat displacement.

In the past I have shown this system being used with solid fuel cubes as well as trioxane and in the future you will see it used with the alcohol stove from both Esbit and Triangia. 

Verdict : Great buy.  It’s a good kit that gives you plenty of options to heat and cook and each of the options work well.  The system is light weight, compact.  There are lighter, more expensive option out there but for $40 this is a win!

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