Inexpensive Quality Knives

You don’t have to spend a ton of money for a decent bushcraft or survival knife. Now I do agree in most cases that you get what you pay for but there are some exceptions to the rule. I own some expensive knives but this year I have mostly just carried my Mora companion, with attached fire kit, and an Esee Avispa folder. Both of which are fairly inexpensive, not overly heavy but are very well made knives. I also usually take a small hatchet for cutting up firewood so I’m not using my knife to baton wood (I just prefer to save my knives from this abuse if I can).

Mora makes great quality products that can take abuse but at an expense that you wont mind if you loose or damage it. I have added a fire kit to the outside of mine. The fire kit consists of a ferocerium rod, 1 piece of quik tinder (burns for 2 minutes) and is attacked with a 1 1/2″ ranger band. The Mora knife I carry is made of high carbon steel. This is a great quality for bushcraft or survival but also means the knife blade needs more care and cleaning. It is highly worth it in my mind.

The Esee Avispa is a great addition to the Mora. I carry a pocket knife on me daily because I find I use it and need it a lot. So it’s only natural for me to be carrying a folder. The blade on the Avispa is made of Aus-8 stainless steel. I like to have a stainless steel folding knife as a companion to any high carbon steel fixed blade I would be carrying because it saves me from pulling out my fixed blade knife every time I need to cut something and the stainless blade needs less care and upkeep than the high carbon steel blade needs. Also I like the fact that if I loose one knife I’ll still have one available to me instead of loosing my only knife and having nothing else to use.

These two knives together weigh less than one more expensive bushcraft or survival knife by themselves. For about $50-$70 you could have a great set up for your wilderness adventures. Before anyone complains, what about this knife or that knife, I know there are many great and expensive bushcraft and survival knives out there as well as better folders but these just happen to be what I’m carrying a lot these days and I think this is a great setup for those that can’t afford much or don’t want to spend a lot on one or two knives. These are fairly inexpensive knives but are better quality than their price portrays.

I hope this was helpful to some and an encouragement that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on gear to go out and enjoy the wilderness. Feel free to let me know what your favorite knife or knives are to carry on your wilderness adventures. As always get out there and enjoy the wilderness and maybe even relax and unwind a bit.


Quick Tip #14

You know that shiny emergency blanket you have tucked away in your backpack or emergency kit? It’s got so many more uses than to be just used simply as an emergency blanket. One use we will be talking about quickly today is as a heat reflector near a fire.

Find yourself two fairly straight sticks that are about an inch or so thick and will be about two feet longer than the shorter side of the emergency blanket. Sharpen one end of each stick to a point. Now lay your emergency blanket out on the ground stretched out flat. Take one of your sticks and lay it across the short side of the emergency blanket. Leave about 1 ½ feet of the sharpened end sticking out passed the blanket and about ½ foot on the other end. Start to roll the emergency blanket around the stick about 6 or so times. Now do the same thing on the other side of the emergency blanket with the other stick.

You are now ready to setup a heat reflector by your fire. Choose whether you want the heat reflector across the fire from you or behind you. If you choose to place the heat reflector near the fire across from you, make sure, depending on the size of your fire that the emergency blanket is a reasonable distance away from the fire so that it doesn’t melt or get holes in it from sparks flying around.

Once you have chosen where you want to place the heat reflector find a thick stick or something else that can be used as a hammer. Push the pointed end of each stick into the ground as far as you can well keeping the emergency blanket in between the two sticks as tight as possible. Now hammer the blunt end of each stick, making sure not to hit so hard you break the sticks wrapped in the emergency blanket, so that the pointed end goes further into the ground. Make sure to leave 2-4 inches in between the ground and the emergency blanket so that it is less likely to get damaged. You should now have a nice heat reflector that will help you capture some of the lost heat from your fire. If you set the reflector up behind you it will help remedy the issue of having a cold backside.

As always get out and enjoy nature at your own risk and have fun doing it. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to leave a comment or let me know some of the extra ways you use emergency blankets.


Quick Tip #13

When putting together an emergency fishing kit try using braided fishing line instead of mono. If you’ve ever tried to straighten out that emergency fishing line in any of the small kits available on the market today you know it’s a feat in itself to get it untangled and to try to ever get it straight again. Braided fishing line can take being wound up tightly unlike mono line can. Also the braided line is thinner in comparison to the mono for the same pound test line. If you ever need that emergency fishing kit you made you’ll be happy (jumping for joy) that you chose to use braided fishing line over mono. Which fishing line do you prefer, braided or mono, for an emergency fishing kit and why?


G. Fred Asbell Wool Pullover Review

I’ll be honest I was looking at buying the wool boreal pullover that many of you may have seen reviewed on many YouTube videos, but I just didn’t have the money available to spend on it. The boreal pullover looks really nice and looks well made with options that are not on the pullover I purchased but it costs a whole lot more as well. The boreal pullover was well outside my budget.

As I was searching the internet for wool clothing I came across this website, I looked at the site and all that is available and narrowed down my choice to a wool pullover in the Timber Ghost color. I really wanted a pullover in the blanket weight but I also liked the Timber Ghost color for everyday use so the color choice won. Note each color comes in different weight wool. The Timber Ghost color comes in extra heavy weight wool (25-28oz).

The Weight Guide:
Light Weight——————9 – 10oz.
Light/Medium Weight—–13 – 16oz.
Medium Weight————-17 – 20oz.
Heavy Weight—————-21 – 24oz.
Extra Heavy Weight——– 25 – 28oz.
Blanket Weight—————29 – 32oz.

Manufacturers Info:

Wool Pullovers

“There’s nothing like wool in the woods, it’s whisper quiet and interacts with daylight and shadows like a natural camo. Our pullover shirts are the base layer of our unique wool layering system. They’re generously cut to hang loose and help break up your silhouette. Hand warming pockets are standard. There’s a hood option for those who like the idea of a little extra protection and comfort. Our hoods are oversized to accommodate hats of all sizes. Try one of our Asbell wool pullover shirts today, they’re the natural choice.
Our Wool Pullovers are available in:
Medium, Large, XLarge, and XXLarge please select your size below. Also available with or without hood.”

zipper_timber_ghost    IMG_0336

I decided to get a pullover without a zipper because in my mind that’s a stress point on the wool, the zipper will inevitably have problems, and I didn’t want anything that could reflect light or make noise well hunting. I wanted a simple pullover with little chance of failure. After deciding what I wanted I purchased one in December as well as an Olive Drab bandana. I ordered the bandana so that I could use it around my neck since the pullover hood does not cinch closed. Everything on their website is handmade by them so expect to have a little wait time. I received my order as expected with the expected amount of wait time. No complaints.

First off I will say that these are very well made and are exactly what you expect you are purchasing. The bandana is much bigger than I was expecting, which is a good thing in my mind. The pullover is perfect for what it is. No frills, but functions very well. The pockets are generously sized and the hood works very well, well wearing a hat underneath it. I ordered a large but could have ordered a medium because they are oversized on purpose. The larger size grew on me because I can easily fit it over other clothing and it still hangs loosely. Also by having the larger size I can sleep comfortably in it well in the woods by pulling the sleeves down over my hands easily and the hood covers most of my face when I’m lying on my back or side without a hat on. The pullover really does function very well. I wore my pullover all winter as we had a colder than usual winter this year in New York. It made this winter much more bearable. If you know anything about wool you know that wind does blow right through it so you would need a wind breaker shell of some sort on cold windy days. I wore my wool pullover in conjunction with my light mountain hardware winter jacket. With these two coats and only a tee shirt underneath I would stand out in -15 – -30 degree temperatures with winds blowing over 30 mph and be toasty warm. It was amazing. Trying to do much physical activity and I would get to warm. Whenever it wasn’t windy I would just wear the pullover.

This wool pullover was in my budget and functions very well. The only few things I would have liked that the much more expensive boreal shirt has is the neck gusset, a cinch cord for the hood and a cinch cord for the waist. Those things would be nice but I can live without them with the difference in price. This is a great wool pullover that should last you a very long time, and if well taken care of, you could pass on to the next generation. If you’re looking for a wool pullover or jacket I recommend checking out G. Fred Asbell’s website before you make any purchases. I am really glad I found this site and purchased the pullover I did. It works very well for spring, fall, winter, hunting, camping and any other outdoor activity where you want to stay toasty warm. As a plus, wool pullovers won’t burn and melt like synthetic materials will. As always get out and enjoy nature and maybe do it well being a little warmer.

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything from G. Fred Asbell or anybody involved with his site to do this review. I paid full price for what I received. I did this review because I really like the products I received and think others would as well.


Quick Tip #12

Take along a folded up piece of Tyvek when you go camping, backpacking or bushcrafting. You can make it any size you want depending on your needs. Tyvek is very lightweight but very useful. When camping or backpacking with a hammock it’s nice to have a small piece of Tyvek to set your bag and shoes on when you’re sleeping at night or to lay things on well you’re setting up your shelter.  Depending on the size of the piece you take it could be used for many things, it could be used to cover firewood to keep it dry, ground cloth, make shift rain fly, food prep surface, make shift umbrella to keep rain or intense sun off, extra layer over or under your sleeping bag for added warmth, food storage bag, makeshift day bag, makeshift poncho or any other useful ways you can come up with to use it. What ways can you come up with to use a piece of Tyvek (size you would be using as well) for camping, backpacking or bushcrafting?


My 10 Survival Items I would take if I were on History channels new show “Alone”

I’ve seen the previews a couple times for this new T.V. show called “Alone” that debuted on the History channel last week. I also got to catch the end of the first episode that was rerun on Father’s Day. Ever since I saw the preview I’ve thought to myself what 10 items would I take if I were on this show and had to survive with only those ten items and the clothes I was wearing. So here are the ten items that I came up with after much thought.

1)            Gransfors Bruks 430 Scandinavian Axe: Having a good quality axe would make my chances of surviving in the wilderness much higher. I would be able to process larger amounts of wood for fires as well as build a more permanent shelter to survive in modest comfort and possibly beat my competition.

2)            SOG Powerlock EOD Multi tool: To be honest I did have a quality bushcraft knife here to begin with but the more I thought about it, it made more sense to have a good quality multi tool instead. To me the multi tool is more useful than a single knife. I already would have an axe and I could possibly fashion a primitive knife out of things in the environment, the pliers alone would be very useful.

3)            Buck Saw (Homemade): Having a saw would make processing wood quicker and easier as well as take some of the wear and tear off of the axe.

4)            Lansky “The Puck” Tool Sharpener: Why have all these quality cutting tools without an easy quick way to keep them sharp and functioning properly.

5)            Fire Steel Rod: For obvious reasons I would want an ignition source to be able to create fire.

6)            Sawyer Personal Water Bottle: As long as nothing malfunctions, this water bottle will filter 1,000,000 gallons of water (should outlast my competition). That alone would give me an advantage over my competition. By being able to purify water right away on day 1 without needing to process wood for a fire as well as spending time trying to get a fire going, I would put myself in a better position of staying well hydrated. By having an easy way to stay hydrated I would be able to use precious energy elsewhere.

7)            Stainless Steel 3qt. Kettle Cook Pot: For cooking as well as collecting and boiling water if the water filter were to fail.

8)            550 cord: I would fill my cook pot with as much 550 cord (one continuous length) as would fit. We’ll just leave it at as many uses as your imagination or skill will allow.

9)            Hennessy Hammock Shelter: Not sure if this is allowed or would be considered more than one item. If allowed, my reasons for taking this shelter system are; Quick setup time, off the ground sleeping, very comfortable, easy to stay dry and should last for a while well building a more permanent shelter to outlast the competition.  If not allowed, I would take a tarp, possibly made out of oiled canvas, ripstop nylon or Cuban fiber.

10)          -15 degree sleeping bag: Obviously the warmer I could stay and more comfortable I could be would help me possibly outlast the competition. With that being said if I couldn’t use the Hennessey Hammock Shelter I would probably go with a high quality wool blanket instead. The wool blanket would more than likely hold up much better over the long haul than the sleeping bag would.

These are the 10 items I would take if I were to be on this T.V. show. This is not the perfect list by any means but it’s the list I put together if I were going to try to survive and win the show. Making the early days and weeks as comfortable and “easy” as possible would help keep me in a better frame of mind. That was my thinking when I put this list together. By having an easy way to stay hydrated and an easy dry shelter that would also keep me warm and off the ground, would be huge on the very first night and days to follow. With a very short setup time I would be able to have a comfortable shelter and water, all without ever doing very much work. That would leave me free to set snares and process firewood.  Your list would probably look different than mine so let me know in the comments section what you would take and why. Thanks for reading and as always get out and enjoy nature.


Quick Tip #11

Having trouble keeping moisture from affecting your ammo? Or maybe you would just like to keep your ammo dry for long-term storage. If you have access to a vacuum sealer you’re in luck. First you need to figure out how many shotgun shells or bullets you want to place in each sealed bag. Next seal one end of your bag. Now place what ever amount of ammo that you decided on, in the bag as well as a copy of the front of the box the ammo came out of so that you will know what is in each sealed bag. Now vacuum seal the open end of the bag. Lastly write the date of purchase or the date that you vacuum sealed the ammo on the bag. You can know rest assure that your ammo will stay “fresh” and you’ll have them separated out into useable amounts. This also helps keep spare ammo dry in the field.


*Be careful to keep the ammo away from any hot part of the vacuum sealer being used. Try this at your own risk.