Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ice and Rain - Setting up a Winter Camp

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The day is cold and wet as freezing rain settles into the mountains...the Lone Wolf heads out to sets up a Day Camp.

Thank you for joining Luke on his latest adventure...this is a wet one!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

$140? No Way! - Hazard 4 Poncho Villa Softshell Poncho Review

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Let me get this straight...
$140 for a poncho that isn't waterproof?

Why does this even exist?

Today Luke is reviewing the Hazard 4 Poncho Villa Soft-Shell Poncho.

Agenda Free Link :

Price : Retail is $140.  On Amazon the older black version can be found for $94

Weight : 2.3 lbs.

2020 Version : What you see here is the previous gen. of the Poncho Villa; there is a 2020 version and it isn’t all that much different.  In the end, the main points in this review will apply to the new version.

Colors : Black, Coyote, OD Green (The colors have been refreshed for 2020 and are slightly different than the old version.  I have the old version)

Waterpoof : No!  Water Resistant

Material : (86% polyester, 14% spandex; liner is 100% polyester)

Taped seams throughout

Expanded Size : 79.5" L x 53.5" W (201.9 x 135.9 cm)

Folded Size : 13" L x 11.2" W x 2.2" D (33 x 28.5 x 5.5 cm)

Features :

Our thoroughly modernized version of the classic military poncho has more in common with technical sport jackets than the old vinyl camping stand-by that usually comes to mind.

The poncho can be stuffed into its own front pocket for storage. It even has a vent for drying!

Water-resistant breathable softshell

Modernized version of the classic military poncho.

100% waterproof fully-taped seams throughout.

Can be stuffed into its own front pocket for storage.

Size: One size fits most.

Review Pros :

Excellent design.

Very good quality.


Can be stowed in its own pocket


Suitable for light to moderate rain, snow, mist and light pressure type of conditions.

Can fit over packs/bags/chest-packs

Front and back velcro panels for agency i.d.

Velcro panels on the shoulders and head-back

Hood with brim section fits over head-wear

Hood-cinchers for front and back-of-head adjust

Zipper front to chin for full rain-coverage of throat

Large perimeter grommets for hanging as tent/tarp

Side snaps for closing edges in severe weather

Fully covers the torso and most of legs; some of arms.

Allows access to pockets and chest bags

Can become a SMALL make-shift tent in an emergency

Two ponchos combine for a larger tent – I don’t have two of these and haven’t been able to test this out.

Easy to put on

Easy to take off.

Cool looking

Easy to clean

Review Cons :

Heavy and with enough exposure to rain, it will get heavier as water soaks through

Not suitable for long duration, heavy rain events.  This will eventually wet through. Waterproof only under light pressure.  In truth I shouldn’t count this as a con as the poncho performs exactly has Hazard 4 has designed for it to but you do need to be aware that this is not a waterproof poncho.  Water resistant, not waterproof.

Expensive especially consider its performance.

Stowing this into the chest pocket can take time and patience. Not super easy to do. no instructions on how to refold it back up

Takes up a lot of space inside of your pack for a poncho

Summary :

Do I recommend this poncho; for the most part I don’t but ultimately it depends.

I like the looks of the poncho but the performance of this poncho is very limited considering it’s limited water resistance. In my opinion, in the snow is where this really shines and that is what I would recommend it for. While it is water resistant it isn’t a waterproof poncho; consider that for a moment, $140 for a poncho which isn’t waterproof!

For snow adventures, yes.  For rain conditions, no.

If you want something to wear that block minor amounts of rain and looks cool; then yes.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Behind the Scenes - Viewer Mail Episode #72 - Best Coffee in the World

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Today Luke and Susie are opening some awesome packages from our friends.  Also in this episode, they discuss the body that was found at the campground which they recently visited and share some behind the scenes experiences.

As always, we are very, very thankful for all of the kindness and generosity.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Pathfinding old Forest Roads - Surrounded by Coyotes - Solo Overnight Ad...

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Picture this;

The sun has gone down and the moon is rising.

The crackle of the fire is all that you hear while enjoying your dinner when a sharp howl releases from the forest followed by dozens more.

You're Surrounded!

You see eyes in the forest watching.....

Thank you all for joining me for my next adventure, this was an awesome trip and I am excited to share it.



Gear List :

Warrior Assault ELITE OPS X300 PACK :

This pack is hard to find in the USA but can be found and ordered here;

Kelty 1 Person Field Tent

MLD Ground Sheet

Rakaia Designs Yekka - Double Sided Sleeping Pad

Thermarest Sleeping bag

Woox Rock 62 knife

EKA Viking Combi Stove

Woox AX1 Bushcraft Wood Axe

Befree Water Filter Bag

SOTO G stove ST 320

Butane Bottle

Thermostack Cook Set Combo

Helikon-Tex Numbat Chest Rig

If you have any gear questions, email me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Serious Waste of Money! - Rothco General Purpose First Aid Kit

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It is a windy and rainy day in the mountains so Luke is indoors to take a look at the Rothco General Purpose First Aid Kit and it becomes clear that this is one of the worst first aid kits on the market for the money.

$53 for this?

I don't think so!

Agenda Free Link :

Price : $53

Weight : 1lb 6oz

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Ask Us Anything - Part 9 - Question Submission

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It has been a while since I have done one of these;

Ask any question that you like and Susie and I might just address in in the next Q&A.

Thank you everyone!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Camping in the Truck at an Abandoned Campground (Overland Adventure)

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This is one wild trip which involves an Abandoned Campground in the middle of nowhere and a human body being discovered nearby which is now part of a murder investigation.

Join Luke and Susie for an Overland Camping Adventure!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Japanese Backpacking Coffee Dripper - SOTO Helix Coffee Maker

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This is a Japanese Coffee Dripper and today Luke is here to share his review.

Agenda Free Link :

Price : $16.49

Weight : 1.6 oz for the basket – 2.3oz for the basket, bag and filters

Materials : Stainless steel

KIT – Set includes mesh bag and 10 coffee filters. Uses #2 cone filters

SPECS – Stainless steel, Weight: 46 g (1.6 oz), Carry Case Size: 135 x 120 mm (5.9 x 5.5 inch)

Pros :

Lightweight (half the weight of the gsi product)

Compact – folds flat enough

Not bulky

Dries quickly so you can stow it again.

Bag carries the stand, filters, and coffee which I put into small zip lock bags

Makes good coffee

Included coffee filters work just fine and I haven’t had any issues with them. 

#2 filters are easy to find and can be purchased very inexpensively.

Easy to clean up- there are numerous products which have integrated filters which can be a pain to clean and stay wet for a long time.  With this one, you remove the filter, air dry for a moment and you are good to go.

Price isn’t bad even though I don’t blame anyone for questioning $17 for a wire basket but if you go out and look at similar products, some cost $40, some plastic models cost $13 and so on.

Cons :

Can be challenging to use if you are in forest as you will need a flat spot to put your cut and then the Soto on top. If it isn’t flat, it will slide.

Time – using this product will take a bit of time for you to have a full cup of coffee and it may not be as hot as you want it to be once full.  Because of the small design, the amount of filtering that it can do is less than larger products which are out on the market.

For Two – The product states that this is for two cups of coffee but I use it for one


Summary :

The most important thing to keep in mind with this product is that it is super simple; it’s ultralight and if you are seeking the ability to make coffee while hiking, backpacking, traveling and so on, this will allow you to do that.  It’s fun to use but if there isn’t a flat surface nearby, you will have to make one. Folds flat, no bulk,

I’ve read of this product being popular with soldiers who are able to take it out into the field.  In my opinion, it’s a great portable option that I will be sticking with.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Company Responds - River Country Trekker 2.2 Updated Version Review

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Today Luke is here to review the latest version of the Trekker 2.2 tent from River Country Products and will share with you what the company has told him concerning the problems with the latest version and what is in store for future versions.

------------------------ Video Links ------------------------

Adventure with Latest Version of this Tent :

Link to setup/first look video :

River Country Responds about the Original Trekker 2.2 Tent Failures Link :

⚠️Warning ⚠️ Do Not Buy the River Country Trekker Tent 2.2 Link :

⚡ Incredible Failure! ⚠️ - River Country Trekker Tent 2.2 - Test Night Link :

This Tent Costs How Much? - River Country Trekker Tent 2.2 First Look Link :

Agenda Free Link to Product :

Friday, February 7, 2020

They Stole From Us and Others and We Took Them Down! - Viewer Mail Episo...

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Today Luke and Susie are opening some awesome letters and packages from our friends.  Also in this episode, they discuss someone that was caught stealing from them and other Youtubers and what they did about it.

As always, we are very, very thankful for all of the kindness and generosity.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Worth $30? - Coleman Folding Table - Overland and Car Camping

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This is the Coleman Folding Table and Luke is here to go over the pros and cons and as a bonus, he has a hilarious online review to share concerning it.

That is why you never trust an Amazon Review.

Agenda Free Link

Price : $28 at the time of filming

Weight : 9 lbs. 8 oz.

Materials : Aluminum and Plastic Construction top – Steel Frame

Features : A Slat Top

Includes : A carry bag

Weight capacity : 100 lbs

Folded Size : 5.5" x 5.5" x 27.5"

Measurements – Grab Tape Measure

Color : Silver only


Uses : Perfect for car camping, beach, hunting camp, RV and so on.  Too heavy to backpack with naturally.


Pros :

Easy to setup – takes 2 minutes or less once you know what you are doing.

Excellent size for a car camping table

Excellent price – there are a lot of rather inexpensive tablets out there and at the same time, there are a lot of very expensive ones with some running over $100 easy.

Surprisingly stable considering the weight capacity and the weigh of the table itself. Wont tip over unless you personally do something strange with it.

With my use so far, no staining.

Easy to clean

Folds up nice and small

Easy to break down

Because of the materials and coating, you will not have issues with rust.


Cons :

Coleman says that it is perfect for 4 people; in my opinion, no.  2 people yes with full size plates. 4 people would have to use smaller plates for there to be enough room on all 4 sides.

Surface can be scratched and if you slide something course enough across it, it will scar it

Because of the design, it isn’t possible to put your legs under the table unless you have a really low chair.  There is enough space to store gear, a cooler and so on under the table though.

Due to the slated design, it can be troublesome to cut on it; most people will have zero problems with this as I have personally used it as a cutting board with not problems.

While I haven’t had an issue yet, I could see the plastic caps on the bottom of the legs popping off.

The weak point is the elastic cording that holds the table together.  Luckily if you had a problem with this a repair shouldn’t be that difficult.  The plastic pieces are also of a concern.

Could be a little taller; I’m short and I could feel my back beginning to burn a bit after hunching over to food prep.


Summary :

The low cost of this table makes it an excellent option for many uses and it is a Coleman product which means that the warranty actually means something.   There are a very companies which have tables with the same design, most of them are Chinese companies and are even more expensive.  Alps Mountaineering has a version which looks to be the same but I have to admit that I haven’t seen it up close so I can’t comment on differences but it costs over twice as much.


Mentionable Funny Review :

When it comes to Amazon reviews, you have to take them with a grain of salt and that’s because companies can hire other companies to leave positive feedbacks for their products.  Competitor products can also hire companies to leave negative reviews for competitor products and when I was getting my details together for this review, I saw one which I felt was funny enough to mention;

Total waste of time and money, unless you are backpacking. Don't waste your money on this, and forget trying to return it, that won't work out well for you! The table is extremely difficult to assemble, and when assembled, it is very flimsy!

Monday, February 3, 2020

German Elephant Skin Groundsheet – Military Classic Surplus

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Today Luke is taking a look at an interesting Classic Military piece of gear; the German Elephant Skin Groundsheet.

Agenda Free Link :

Price : $15 (not sure if there is a shipping fee with this site) – price can range depending on where you find it for sale.

Weight : Weight will vary due to size; mine is – 14.2oz

Measurements : These were never made to an exact spec so the size will vary by a few inches; mine is – 8’ x 3.2’

NSN : 8465-12-301-9147

Genuine European Military Surplus. Made in Germany former west germen forces.

Made of strong, durable and waterproof 100% ripstop nylon. Color: Olive Drab OD.

Rubbery sort of feeling to it.

These are very popular overseas; not so much here in the USA.

Known as "Elefantenhaut" (Elephant Skin) in Germany -Made in the Former West Germany in October 1985

Designed To Protect Sleeping Bag from Wet Surfaces

The BW Ground Sheet is also known by German soldiers as elephant skin. The name comes from the reinforced fabric structure of the tarpaulin, which is robust and durable. As a ground sheet for the sleeping bag when lying directly on the ground, it protects against sharp stones and also from moisture. Also suitable for other equipment.

This is often described as a tarp but that really isn’t accurate.

Pros :

Excellent price.

A history of being strong and durable.

Much stronger than the groundsheets that I generally use

Good size for a one person tent groundsheet

Cons :

The biggest problem with these is that it wasn’t designed to be staked down; luckily you can correct this in numerous ways.

I wish that they made larger versions of this

Summary :

Heavy in my opinion for backpacking but if you can come up with a use which justifies the weight, more power to you.  Excellent for camping, overland use and so on.

A single modification of tie off points would make this a much more versitale product – as it is, the amount of uses is basically limited to groundsheets and sitting pads as there is nothing stopping it from being blown away.

Make sure to pay attention and ask questions if purchasing used – you want to make sure that your sheet doesn’t have any holes.

The question is; what would you use one of these for?  How would utilize it with your kit?