Monday, August 31, 2009


I'm pretty unhappy with my Gerber hatchet (Gerber Gator II, it's the one with the saw in the handle).  It's misbalanced, the saw in the handle comes out with any real force and probably most importantly it just doesn't match my aesthetic of wool and canvas camping.  The look fits my light weight camping kit better, but I just carry a knife with that kit.  So I'm relegating the gerber to the emergency kit in the boot of the Sabb and seaching for something a bit more "old man".
First impulse is to buy a Gransfors Bruks, they are the bee's knees of hatchets from what I
understand.  I was looking at the 418 vs 420.  Hunters Axe vs Small Forest Axe.

Hunter's Axe, 418:
"Specially made for hunter. The poll is forged thinner than normal and gently rounded and burnished to a flay poll to be used when skinning an animal. You pull the hide with one hand at the same time you hit with the Flay Poll of the axe between the hide and the flesh; and stroke by stroke the hide comes off. The axe is good for chopping, in wood as well as meat. The grip of the handle has circular grooves which gives a steady grip even if your hands are wet or sticky. This axe has received, as the first and only axe in Sweden, a design award from The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design."

Small Forest Axe, 420:
"Same size as the Hunter's Axe but a more traditional pattern and poll. The blade is thin. The handle is long enough to allow powerful chopping but not too long so it will fit into a rucksack, the back of a car or a boat. Practical for splitting small sticks for the fire or cutting small-diameter limbwood for starter fuel in a fireplace."
There is a huge price jump between the 2 axes, but the idea of being able to skin game with my hatchet is pretty sexy.  But wait isn't that what my puukko is for?  I'm not sure how much I'd actually use my hatchet to skin game.  So ok I'll go with the 420. 

While researching the Bruks I kept coming across Bruks vs. Wetterlings debates.  Looks like they are both traditional Sweedish forges, and when fixed up a Wetterlings can perform as nicely as a Bruks.  If I went the route of Wetterlings I'd also save almost 50 bucks!  Here's the kicker however almost all reviews mention that Wetterlings need to be purchased in person to make sure your haft is aligned with your poll.  I don't have anywhere local to purchase a Wetterlings, that and the fact that i really don't want to spend the time sanding the finnish on the Wetterlings haft to make it less slippery.   On top of that the poll on the wetterlings comes with a secondary bevel which i would want to remove and then spend more time on the edge because it arrives as dull as a spoon.  The amount of time saved on the Bruks seems worth the 50 bucks to me.

So looks like I'm getting a Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I plan on phasing out most of my pants this winter in favor of bib.  The extra pockets make them so much more versatile without having the douche factor of cargo pants.  I really like the look of the low cut rear, we'll see how functional they are.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playlist 1

The Beatniks Won
  1. God Only Knows  -The Beach Boys
  2. Colours -Donovan
  3. Love You -Syd Barrett
  4. Horses -Bonnie "Prince" Billy
  5. Mean Woman Blues -Roy Orbison
  6. Planet Queen - T.Rex
  7. The Soul Of A Man -Etta James
  8. Play With Fire -The Rolling Stones
  9. She's Got You -Patsy Cline
  10. I Dig Rock and Roll Music -Peter, Paul And Mary
  11. Blood and Bones -Scud Mountain Boys
  12. Lover Lover Lover -Leonard Cohen
  13. Snake Mountain Blues -Townes Van Zandt
  14. Don't Leave the Light on Baby -Belle & Sebastian
  15. Golden Brown -The Stranglers
  16. Old World -The Modern Lover
  17. These Days -Nico
  18. The Old Black Hen -Songs: Ohia
  19. Spoonfu -Howlin' Wolf
  20. Grudge Fuck -Pernice Brothers
Pretty much what I've spent the summer listening to

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pining for Winter aka Plaid on Plaid

Sorry for the long break from posting, the new house has needed a lot of work.  Still nowhere near done, the barn has been barely touched and well looks like next year we are gonna need a new roof.

I was unpacking and repacking my winter camping gear when I came across my "snowshoeing outfit,"   thought I'd share as I pine for some snow.

The shirt is a vintage Pendleton I picked up on ebay, for a thick wool shirt it has gotten a lot of wear this summer.  It's been cold and rainy hear in Central Ma.  The bibs are vintage Woolrich, made in the USA.  Woolrich still makes these bibs, but now in Mexico.  The vest is a modern Filson.  Like the Pendleton it has seen a lot of use this summer, usually over a canvas shirt with shorts.  The jacket is a NOS Filson from around 1987, it's a model 81.  Basically a little heavier version of the single mac cruiser with a quilted recoil pad built right in.  The boots are my LL Bean "Main Hunting Shoe," they have seen about 8 winters now, besides a little Nikwax every season they are holding up pretty well.

I like how there are 4 different plaids going on but still look good together.