Becker Patrol Pack and Ruger GS Scout

Becker Patrol Pack and Ruger GS Scout

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pizza is no match.

This brutal test almost destroyed the Chogan.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

OSB vs Chogan

The OSB  did not stand a chance against this small hawk. Lots more testing to do today, but this is just a little taste of what is going to get put through.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New foot gear

Got a sweet new single boot to test for a while. Either a stress fracture or torn tendons. Gotta love fire fighting.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Very Cool Survival Cordage

Got a package from Gearward the other day. Mark sells some really neat cordage and a few other items. He sent me several types of line for EDC and use in kits. This is obviously not a full review, just a little info about what I have been up to. Anyway, this line is Kevlar and has a 200lbs test strength. It is a 3 strand twist, and come on a compact spool. The spool has 60' of cord.

When it is broken down each strand will hold about 60lbs. Perfect for sewing,fishing,or other improvising projects. Look for a lot of projects with this and other cord Mark sent me.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Hawk, CRKT Chogan

I got a new hawk in trade the other day. I have done a few mods and tried to make it duty ready. I am going to be carrying this tool at work for testing and as an emergency egress tool. Look for lots of very hard use on this one folks. If all goes well with this I will be getting a real RMJ Tactical Shrike in the future.

Also, I will do the drawing for the Sargent M3 on Monday.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Brian Sargent Model # 1 Review and Giveaway

Well folks I have done a bunch of work with this knife and it is time to report what I think.

 To start with here are the specs right from Brian.

Steel: Currently O-1 @ .125" thick,Blade length: 3 3/4 inches, Handle length: 4 1/8 inches , Hardware: Brass Corby Bolts,Handle materials: Phenolic, G-10, Carbon Fiber, Wood, Epoxy: West Systems G/flex, Sheath: Taco with Dangler and Firesteel Loop Optional, Grind: Single Bevel , Heat Treat: Peters' Heat Treat - 60rc and cryo'd.

Pretty standard stuff. My first impressions when I grabbed the handle was that I was not sure I was going to like the blocky shape. I am glad I was wrong. The squarish sandblasted micarta may not be pleasing to the eye, but it out preforms most knives I own. The handle will also stand up to a beating.

  I drove it into this dead Elm tree and then stood on it.

This is kinda of a silly test but it really gets the point across how tough this knife is.

One of my standards is firecraft. Even thought this is a relatively small thin knife, it made light work of several types of woods. This Cedar was like butter.

Withe the 90 degree spine it made great scrapings from hard woods and magnesium. It also strikes a firesteel very well.

Another biggie for me is improvising. A knife has to be sharp and stay sharp. All I had to do for sharpening was some touch up on a ceramic DC-4. Even cross batoning did not dull or damage the edge.

 Like I have stated earlier, the knife is tough. It is also a great size to do fine work. I have been using Willow for making projects lately. The Model #1 harvested them like a champ.

 Once harvested, I removed the bark and bound them together for several projects.

This Roycroft snow shoe was a lot of fun to put together.

I also had a failed project that I used this knife for. I was trying to make a rope machine for twisting natural fibers into cordage. This was a blast to make even though it did not work out like I planned.

Even though it is not a kitchen knife, I did some food prep for the testing. The scandi grind and short blade don't really work the best for chopping up veggies. But it did a serviceable job.

My final thoughts. I really like this knife. I liked it enough that I sold my BHK Boat Tail Scandi. I am very sure you will see me carrying this knife in the future.Thanks Brian for a solid knife.By the way Brian did not give me this knife to test. I bought it from him. but, he did send me another knife to give away!!!!!!!!!

Here is a link with some info on this knife.

M3 Bushcraft/Survival Knife

To enter the contest to win this knife you must post a comment on this blog and include you BushcraftUSA screen name. If you are a Supporter of BCUSA I will enter you twice. I will post the winners name at a thread on BCUSA. Good luck, and thanks for the knives Brian.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gear is stacking up!!!

I have been getting a steady stream of gear in the last few weeks. This is goo and bad. Good because I love gear, bad cause I am getting poorer by the minute. My biggest purchase has been a new pack. Been lookin for a good pack for a few years now. I have tried a bunch. I hope this is the "one".

This Karrimor is a beast!!

I have also received a few different types of pouches. These are the MK-7 EDC pouches from 20$Bandit.

Along the same line is this sweet little map case from Lucky 1-2 Sutlery.

I got news that I will be getting another really cool item to give away in the near future.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Strike Master Padauk Firesteel Review

About a moth ago I was asked to do a review of the Strike Master Survival Tool. I will not lie, I am usually not to keen on combo firesteels. But, I agreed to do it. I told Jeff that I was going to be very honest, he understood where I was coming from and sent me 3 of these fire starters for free to test. He also sent me some history.

Charlie Hutchens is the maker of these. His dad and him started selling firestarters at the Portland Saturday Market in 1981. Gun shows, survival expos, and sportsman's shows were all worked up until Charlie's dad passed in 1995. Charlie now strictly does the Saturday market, and a small handful of sportsman's shows.

They come in 3 sizes. I used the mid-sized one, and I am going to give away the other 2.

I was used to using the magnesium on the Doans bar. That is about a miserable experience. I was very surprised at how easily the mag shaved. Now here is my problem with magnesium, I feel it makes people think they can use marginal tinders. This is a very bad practice to adopt. I tested some wet dead grass with the mag.

It smoked like crazy then went out.

I also used some damp Cedar bark.

 I had a much better result. Bottom line is that marginal tinders should not be used when a fire counts. Just my opinion.

I really love the firesteels on these units. They are not mishmetal. They are just like the Light My Fire type, which is my favorite. It works great on shavings.

You can also scrape the African hardwood handle to produce a ready to light tinder. You can also see that the scraper which is provided is not a piece of crappy hacksaw blade. It is thicker and ground to a 90 degree angle which scrapes well.

 I also used this to light my new MSR Universal.

Bottom line, if you like using magnesium you will love this product. For ordering and pricing check out this thread at Bushcraft USA.

Now for the giveaway. just post a comment on this entry. This is what I will send you.

 If you are a member of Bushcraft USA, post your screen name and I will enter you twice.  Good luck.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Level 1 Survival Class

Had a really great time last weekend teaching a survival class for 88 Tactical. Got a lot of shelter and firecraft practice in. Had about 20 people in camp. This means I was very, very busy. I did not take a lot of gear pictures but I did get some.

I got my Don Rehmke drop point some good field time. While I was walking the creek at camp I found some Red Mulberry root that was exposed. It is a great cordage resource.

The shelter of choice was a free standing A frame. This is a great pic of one of the guys after he got it completed.

We also built a real nice natural shelter. Came out great.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Glock model 42 .380

I got a chance to shoot this new offering from Glock. I am no expert on pistols but it is very cool. I was up at 88 Tactical to set up for my class and Shea said shoot away. Pretty neat little gun.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gearing Up For A Survival Class This Weekend

I have been busy packing for a class this weekend at 88 Tactical. Teaching these type of classes is where a lot of my real world testing comes into play. If I have wet cold students, I am using this gear to make fires,drying racks, and fast shelters. If it is time to feed them there is food to prep, wood to gather, and utensils to make. I think you can see where I am coming from. I have taken a few pics of just a small amount of the gear I am taking.

I am going old school for my pack this weekend. This Kelty has been around a long time. I saved it from a dumpster, sawed the frame down, and did a bunch of repairs and small mods. It has seen a bunch of miles.

Sleeping gear is pretty simple. MSS and a therma rest.

Lots of cutting and sharpening tools.

I will be taking out the Hill People Gear Serape this trip. I will be using it and a Bushcraft Outfitters MEST to show some emergency shelters.

Gonna be a great weekend. It was supposed to be a Winter Survival class, but temps will be to nice for that. So, we will make due with what Ma Nature gives us. Hope to do a video. See ya next week!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Heavy Cover Winner!!!!!!!!

Congrats to Barbarossa4U, former US Army. is the winner. Send me your mailing addy and I will get the kit out to you in a few days. FYI I am teaching a class this weekend and I have a lot on my plate right now. so be patient.

Send info to  .

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dave Beck Hide Scraper Winner

Well folks I am sending a brand new piece of steel to DCM over at Bushcraft USA tomorrow. Sorry I have not been postin for the last couple of days. Gonna get out for a while tomorrow. Also I will be posting up the winner of the Ti Heavy Cover Canteen set up on Tuesday. Stay cool fools!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Standards For Testing Knives

Since I have several knife reviews coming up, I thought I would share some of the tests that I feel are important. Some may not agree with how I treat knives. But I feel that most knives are tools not objects to hang on a wall or look at in a drawer. There are a few exceptions that I make though. Maybe a knife has sentimental value, is an art knife, or is very collectable and to use it would significantly reduce its value. For me those are valid reasons not to use a knife as it was made to be used. Other than that it is a no go.

One of the big standards for me it that a knife should be able to make a split wood fire. All the way from battoning to making scrapings. It should also be able to strike a firesteel with the spine of the knife.

Improvising is another big one for me. Is the knife able to make fine cuts, notches, and splits.

Toughness, is this knife going to stay together when I really need it. If I have wet and cold students, am I going to be able to beat this knife into wrist size trees to improvise a shelter or get to dry wood?

Ease of sharpening. Once I am done for the day can I use simple sharpening tools to touch up my edge.

This is not the total thought process that goes through my head. There are several other standards that I use, but that is for another time.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Heavy Cover Ti Giveaway and Review

After 4 months of hard use I am ready to tell you folks what I think of the Heavy Cover Titanium canteen and mess kit. It is freaking awesome!!! This piece of gear is light weight and very tough. It is .5 mil thick. That is a full .1 thicker that most of the other Ti cookware out there. Chris, the owner of Heavy Cover, told me the prototype was .4 mil. He said it felt flimsy. So instead of calling it good enough he had them made thicker.
 The standard kit comes with the canteen, cup, and lid. The standard cap for the canteen is the same pattern as the Klean Kanteen lids. For a few more bucks you can upgrade to a Ti lid. The base price is about $143.00. I know it is expensive, but life is short.

This is what you will be getting if you win the giveaway.

 Mine does not look like this anymore. I have baked, boiled, and used the crap out of this thing. The lid held up great even with a fire built on top of it.

I used the cup and lid to bake and heated water in the canteen many times.

it worked equally as well for heating water on my homemade wood burning tent stove.

The cup worked great on the fire. The Titanium seems to transfer heat a lot faster than other metals.

This is a little peach cobbler that I made, came out great.

I have posted this a few times but baking in this set is works great.

The kit also saw some use on my new MSR stove.

I carried this set with me in my kit bag. It worked great.

  I would like to thanks Chris for sending me this an trusting me to do an honest review. It is a must have for people who love outdoor gear.

To enter the giveaway just post a comment on this blog. If you are a veteran say so and I will assign you 2 entries. If you are active duty, say so, and I will assign you 3 entries.