Ax and Saw Leather Carry Bag

For awhile now I’ve wanted an ax and saw carry bag. I really like the one Meandering Maker makes as well as Bear Essentials, but I didn’t want to spend the money, even though I know both bags are well worth the money. I thought to myself, why not make one out of leather? I’ve never seen anyone else make one solely out of leather and I had just acquired some nice 4-5 oz Kodiak stone oiled leather that I really liked the look of. So, I quickly began thinking about how I wanted to make it and what I wanted it to look like.

I made sure to design the size of my bag so that I could fit my Boreal21 saw or a 24” take down buck saw once I get one made. When cutting the leather for the ax sleeve I laid my ax on the main pouch and then ran the piece of leather over the ax that would form the ax sleeve and cut it so that when the ax was removed it still formed a pocket.

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I saddle stitched the whole bag and retention strap with waxed thread. I used Chicago screws to attach the anchor points for the shoulder strap as well as on the shoulder strap pieces so that it would make for easy maintenance or changing out any parts that fail over time.

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I used 8-9 oz veg. tanned leather for the carry strap and made sure to have enough adjustment for use during warm months as well as colder months over thick jackets.

I really like how my new ax and saw bag turned out. It should last me years of use and I should hopefully be able to pass it on to my kids someday. The only thing that I wish I had added was a small pouch to hold a sharpening puck. I decided what I’m going to do is make a small pouch that will hold the sharpening puck and a fire kit that will mount on the bottom of the shoulder strap but is easily removable so that it can be placed on my belt. What do you think about the bag? What would you change or add? Any leather projects your working on? Have you ever thought about using an ax and saw carry bag? I’ll keep everyone posted on how well the bag holds up as I use it over this year. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your wilderness wandering.     ax2.jpg

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Automobile Winter Emergency Kit

With colder weather and snow rolling in, it’s time to get your vehicle setup with an emergency kit in case of a breakdown or accident. Accidents and breakdowns never happen at a convenient time. Worse yet is to be stuck during a bad winter storm when there’s accidents happening all over and it’s hard for emergency vehicles to get around and they’re overwhelmed. During those times you’ll have no choice but to take care of yourself or loved ones until help arrives. So, now’s the time to prepare an emergency kit and get it in your vehicle.

Here’s some ideas of things you may want to put in your emergency kit.

  • Wool Blanket or Winter Sleeping Bag
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Emergency Candle (2 or 3)
  • Lighter
  • Folding Knife with Glass breaker
  • Protein Bars or any type of snack bar
  • Fill up a bottle of water and put it in the car every time you go somewhere. You can’t leave a bottle of water in the car all winter because it will constantly freeze and thaw eventually breaking the bottle. (At least where I live anyways)
  • 2-3 Flares
  • Jumper Cables
  • Book and or Card Game
  • Warm Clothing and Boots (For those that by virtue of their job, don’t get to dress warm)

 

Get in the habit of plugging your phone into the charger as soon as you get into your vehicle. Try to keep your phone charged up when traveling. The last thing anyone wants is a dead phone when you need to make an emergency call.

If you do find yourself in an accident (where no one is seriously hurt) or broken down, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you are prepared in case of a long wait for emergency crews. Remember, for your own safety, to stay put inside your vehicle well waiting for help. What extra things do you carry in your automobile winter emergency kit? Thanks for reading and be safe out there this winter.

Update On My G. Fred Asbell Wool Pullover

 

Three and a half years ago I did a review on my wool pullover from G. Fred Asbell and I figured it was about time to do an update on that review. Especially since the original review is my most read blog post to date. People are reading that original review daily even after three and a half years.

So, what do I think after three and a half years of hunting and camping in the original wool pullover I purchased? Well, simply put, I love it. First off, you wouldn’t even know it has been used that much. Mine has held up nicely and has become one of my favorite pieces of cold weather clothing. I liked my wool pullover so much that I bought one of their Pathfinder pullovers, got my wife one of their wool jackets (which she loves) and my oldest son ordered one of the Pathfinder pullovers because he liked mine so much.

My wife wore her wool jacket all last winter and loved how warm it kept her. It’s nice to know that I have good quality cold weather clothing that I can rely on living here in central New York during the colder months. I end up wearing my original wool pullover most of the winter when outdoors.

One of the best things about G. Fred Asbell wool clothing is the price point. You’re not spending an arm and a leg to get quality wool clothing. This is wool that the common man (or woman) can afford without breaking the bank. It’s sort of like a Mora knife. You’re getting an awesome product that’s worth way more than you paid for it and you can’t figure out how they do it for that price. Yes, there are a few extra things the higher end wool pullovers have that these don’t but to me the extra cost wasn’t worth it. Maybe if I had money to spend/waste, but a lot of us don’t have the extra to spend.

In the end, after three and a half years of use, I’m glad for every purchase I’ve made from www.AsbellWool.com  Disclaimer, I’ve bought and paid full price for everything I’ve received from G. Fred Asbell. They have never sent me anything for free and are unaware, to my knowledge, of my reviews. These are my experiences with the wool products I’ve owned from G. Fred Asbell and nobody else’s. If you own any of their wool what are your thoughts? Do you like it and why? If you don’t like it, why?

Reasons To Buy

  • Price Point
  • Quality
  • Built To Last
  • Supporting Local Mom and Pop Businesses
  • Tired of garbage outdoor clothing falling apart

If you’re on the fence about buying one of their wool pullovers, I’d recommend jumping over the fence and making the purchase. You won’t regret it, in my humble opinion. Thanks for reading and now I’m going to throw on my wool pullover and head out into the cold outdoors with snow covered ground knowing I’ll be toasty warm on my adventure.

 

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Quick Tip #20

If you’re tired of getting smoke in your face and wasting your breath get yourself a V3-pocket bellows. They are awesome! It will help direct your air exactly where you want it to go and you can get a longer sustained blow. Instead of having only a little of your breath of air actually reach the dying fire you can now have all of it reach the base of the fire with no smoke in the face or burnt eye brows.

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UST Orange Survival Bandana

I’m not one for promoting deals I’m running on my website here on my blog but I thought the current deal was worth mentioning. Now through December, with every purchase of $25 or more, you will receive a UST orange survival bandana. These are no ordinary bandanas. Printed on them are many survival tips that can be very useful in the event of a survival situation. These would be great for kids or adults that are lacking in survival/camping knowledge. There’s the obvious many extremely useful ways to use a bandana but now you would also have many survival tips that you wouldn’t necessarily have to remember or have to call back to memory in a survival scenario. This is just a great way to take something you may already be carrying and make it even more useful. Also, all orders in the continental U.S. will receive free standard shipping through December. Just click on the store button and place an order of $25 or over to receive your free bandana and free standard shipping. Hope everyone is doing well and getting the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

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550 Para Cord 101

In the last 3-5 years 550 para cord has gained mainstream popularity. With a lot of survival gear designed out of 550 cord or incorporating 550 cord somehow, a lot more people are carrying it. Since the invention of 550 cord, which was originally made for and used in parachutes for the military, many outdoor enthusiasts have carried this cord for building shelters, lashing things together as well as many other things. Many people that were familiar with its strength have always kept some in their garage as well. 550 Cord is useful for so many applications that it is considered the duct tape of cordage. It wasn’t until “survival bracelets” became popular and became very fashionable, that many people became familiar with this type of cord. Many veterans that were familiar with 550 para cord because of their military service continued to carry and use 550 cord after they left the military just because of its usefulness.

I as well as many others have always carried some 550 cord in their packs well outdoors. 550 para cord is great because it is made of a synthetic material (nylon or polyester) and because of that it does not rot or mildew. This is great for water applications. Since I like to Kayak it’s great to be able to not worry about my cordage deteriorating because of water contact. 550 cord is affected by UV rays and will weaken with prolonged exposure to the sun. Dirt and oils, like the oils from your skin do affect synthetic materials as well. That is why climbers take very good care of their robes. After each climb they are washed, dried and stored in a dark place. This helps any synthetic cordage to last longer. I’m not telling you that you have to wash your para cord bracelet every time you wear it but remember the dirtier and older it is the higher the chance the cord will not be as strong when you use it. You also want to be careful around open flames or intense heat because 550 cord will melt. That is one of its weaknesses.

If you are buying 550 cord or any gear made out of 550 cord make sure that it says that it is made in America. All of the American cord is tested to meet the 550 lb limit and some of the cord even surpasses 550 lbs. The stuff coming from china is not tested to meet the 550 lb limit even though it is labeled as 550 cord. One of the local companies that I order my 550 cord from, they make 550 cord for our military, has tested Chinese para cord and most of it is failing around 150-200 lbs. You can use this cord if you want but don’t expect it to hold 550 lbs.

The great thing about 550 para cord is that, say you only have a two foot piece of cord, you can take that short piece, cut the melted ends and pull the seven inner strands out and now you have eight cords, two feet long. You will now have enough cord to tie the frame of a shelter together. You can also take one of the inner strands that you just took out of the outer sheath and unwind it so that it can be used for fishing line. There are tons of uses for 550 para cord. Here are just a few:

Making a Shelter                                              Attaching gear

Fishing Line                                                         Snares

Knife Lanyards                                                  Neck Lanyards

Bow Drill                                                              Shoe Laces

Making a Hammock                                        Fishing Lure

Lashing a Knife to a Spear                             Hanging Things around Camp

Tourniquet                                                         Gun Slings

Belts                                                                      Repairing Failed Gear

Equipment Handles                                        Color Coding Gear

 

I could go on and on about how useful 550 para cord is and all of its many uses but I’ll stop here.  550 cord will only be limited by your problem solving skills and or imagination. If you do not have or are not using 550 para cord I suggest that you get some and keep it in your bug out bag, backpacking bag, hunting bag, garage or anyplace you may be able to use it. I always carry 100 feet of cord in my backpack no matter what I’m doing. It is to useful not to have some on me at all times. What things do you use 550 cord for? Are you familiar with its strengths and weaknesses? All of the 550 cord gear in my store is made in America by Americans out of American made parts. You don’t have to buy from me but make sure you are buying quality para cord gear that is made in America out of American made parts.

SOG Powerlock EOD 2.0 V-cutter Review

Let me start out by saying this is the best multi tool that I have ever used. The SOG Powerlock EOD 2.0 with V-cutter far surpassed my expectations. The plier has gearing which makes it much easier to cut thicker gauge wire. If you find yourself needing to cut fencing this is the multi tool you’ll want. Trying to cut wire with other multi tools is beyond a pain and a workout for your hand.

I love that each feature in the handle locks into place when in use. Not all multi tools for sale these days have locking accessories. I also like that the accessories have a cover to keep them securely in the handle until needed. No more having to deal with accessory items wanting to fall out well using the pliers.  I have used just about every accessory on it and they all work great. The knife blade is very sharp. It is half serrated so some people might not like that but I do. The serration comes in very handy at times. The saw works amazingly well. It is a much better design than most saws you find on multi tools. The philips and flat head screwdriver tips are actually usable. I have the ballistic sheath which I really like. It easily clips on a thick leather belt. I’m not sure of the quality of the leather sheath but I have to believe it is made as well as anything else SOG makes.

Here is SOG’s description for the Powerlock EOD 2.0 with V-cutter:

“Using the proven PowerLock chassis, SOG is the only company to apply Compound Leverage™ technology to EOD(Explosive Ordnance Disposal). This makes it a breeze to crimp blasting caps and demolition cord with less hand pressure. Another unique SOG feature is the positioning of the crimper device within the confines of the handle…not in the plier jaw, like all other designs. This serves to minimize collateral damage to the crimper and allows the operator to have full use of the uninterrupted plier surface. Additionally there is no weakening of the pliers that often causes breakage of the plier tips. The crimper produces non-flaring, high pull out strength crimps that meet government fuse well specifications. It is also GSA approved. The multi tool includes the V-Cutter, which can be used to cut seat belts, paracord, fishing line, electrical cable sheathing and much more!”

Here are the specs:

Overall Length 7″ 17.78 cm Closed Length 4.60″ 11.68 cm
Product Weight 9.60 oz 272.16 g Product Type Multi-Tool
Country of Origin Assembled in
the USA
Engravable Yes
Finish Black Oxide Tool Count 22
Lanyard Hole Yes Packaging Unibox – Display Ready
Sheath Included Yes Sheath Color Dark Brown
Sheath Details Ballistic Nylon (Material), Secure Clip (Attachment), Hook & Loop (Closure), Leather (Material), Belt Through Loop (Attachment), Snap (Closure) Blade Steel Type 420
Handle Material 420 Stainless Steel Hardness Rc. 51-53
Lock Blades Yes Lock Tools Yes
1/2 Serrated Blade Yes 1/4″ Drive Yes
3-Sided File Yes Awl Yes
Blasting Cap Crimper Yes Bolt Grip Channel Yes
Bottle Opener Yes Can Opener Yes
Hard Wire Cutter Yes Large Flat Screwdriver Yes
Medium Flat Screwdriver Yes Needle Nose Pliers Yes
Philips Screwdriver Yes Ruler Yes
Small Flat Screwdriver Yes Wire Crimper Yes
Wood Saw Yes

If you are looking for, or in need of a good multi tool then I highly recommend this one. It would be a great addition to your EDC, bug out bag, 72 hour emergency bag, vehicle glove box, tool box or anywhere else you think that a good multi tool would come in handy. I always have mine on me, even when I’m lightweight backpacking. It’s worth its weight. I just leave the sheath at home and stick it in a pocket that snaps. It’s too valuable to lose it because I didn’t have it secured. So go ahead and buy one! You can thank me later. If you already have one, what are your likes or dislikes about this multi tool?