The humble fixed blade knife. Much used by many and overlooked by so many others who think that only a folder can be small enough to carry regularly. I have been using the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Fixed Blade ( really could they not think of a shorter name) for two years now. It is my favorite knife in the BG series. It has one major flaw and that is in the sheath. The belt sheath has a reversible clip to hold it on to the belt and it will not stay attached. It slips loose and the knife wants to fall off your belt. I fixed this issue by glueing the clip in place, this removes the versatility but it keeps the knife on your belt. This is a small knife with only a 3.4 inch blade and an overall length of 7.8 inches and it weighs in at a light 3.77 oz. I have found that this is one of my most commonly used knifes around the house. Any time I am doing yard work or working on a project in the garage I slip it on my belt. As a utility knife the serrations have actually come in handy as I find myself cutting string, rope, Weed-eater line you name it. The blade has stayed sharp with only minimal maintenance and the coating has held up very well. You can commonly find this knife for about 20 dollars on sale or online so it is very affordable. It is thicker than most Mora’s and being full tang I have no problem banging on it when needed. It is very comfortable and the handle is very ergonomic and very grippy when wet. I have used it to cut everything from rope, to grass when laying sod, to trimming small branches when I was to lazy to go grab the clippers. My 10 year old son has also used the knife at several of this cub scout campouts to do cub scout things such as turn sticks into spears and generally whittle on as much wood as he can. The sheath holds the knife well after two years and shows no signs of slippage. The knife will still make feather sticks and will strike a ferro rod very well. After two years of use I can not recommend the knife enough. If you want a good small utility blade to throw in a tool box or a pack or the glove box of your car you can’t go wrong with this little gem.
We had a wonderful time with my parents and brother this weekend and had our family Xmas celebration. My parents really surprised me this year with my gifts. My mom found me a vintage hudson bay style wool blanket and my dad got me a H&R 12 gauge shot gun. All in all a wonderful time. Cant wait to get out and use them.
When Bill and I last went out camping we both took our charging devices to field test them. I took the Power Practical Power Pot V. Bill brought his Biolite Camp stove. We were using an iPhone 5 for testing.
I was very excited to test out the Power Pot. I liked it size of it, even though its big, i was able to fill it up with spices and other cooking gear, to keep things from floating around in my pack. I used the lid/cup all weekend to drink out of. The handles are coated in a nice heat resistant rubber coating and it just looks very cool. The problem that I did have with it was the charging. I had it over the camp fire, make sure you have it filled up with water, the light on the cable would indicate that it was ready to charge so I would start charging. My device would charge for about 2-3 minutes and then I would get an error stating that the device wasn’t recognized, and it would stop charging, i would then have to unplug the phone and plug it back in to get it charging again, repeat until you go crazy. I think the reason for the issue was that as the fire shifted and the hot spot shifted and when that happened the power level dipped and thats when the error happened. The device is nicely built, I love the idea but i really don’t like to have to babysit my device to make sure that it’s actually charging.
Then we got out the Biolite. One of the benefits of this one is that you don’t have to make a separate fire first, its all self contained. With the biolite we didn’t have any problems with the device not being recognized. I think that is because the phone is charging off the battery, not off the fire directly, so if there is a dip in the heat of the fire it doesn’t cause an error on the device. The only issue was that the charge is really slow, but at least all you have to do is feed the fire, not babysit the device as well.
I think that the power pot would work much better over a gas stove with a consistent heat. However, if that is the case and I need to carry a gas stove and fuel as well as the Power pot I think the biolite is a much lighter choice, even with the slow charge time, especially for a long hike in. But if you are day camping with a short hike, I think the power pot with a gas stove is the way to go.
I am looking forward to trying out some other charging methods, like solar. The one that i am most interested in testing is the myFC PowerTrekk, which is a hydrogen powered battery charger.
Its been a while since we were able to post, work and summer hit and life got busy. We are working on some new ideas for post and videos and have a couple of them that we added to the youtube channel. I have a few upcoming things I will be working on. I just got my copy of Bushcraft 101 by David Canterbury and I plan on doing a review of it soon. I also have a few new items that I have gotten over the last several months and hopefully we will get to do some test videos of those items.
Until then here is a short video where we break down an MRE.