Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Christmas Haul

Since we are nigh on a month after Christmas I thought I should blog on the bushcrafty items I received this year. Pictured above are (from top center moving clockwise) 100' of parachute cord, a noseeum mesh bag for my new Grand Trunk Skeeter Beater Pro hammock, Mora 510 sheath and knife, Etowah 10'x10' tarp and it's stuff sack. All the items are from Ben's Backwoods (of course) via my Mom and Dad (love you both!). When we were opening presents at my folks house I had received a small shirt-sized box. I was expecting a shirt, or wool socks but when I opened the package there were four pieces of paper. On each piece of paper was a picture of the items above with a note that said that they hadn't gotten here in time. I was really excited because this was pretty much everything I asked for this year (except world peace and a Pontiac Crossfire in silver, maybe next year...). After everyone had opened their presents I went to the kitchen for some water. As I was standing there drinking I noticed through the bottom of my glass there was a fuzzy box on the table. I lowered my glass and realized the box wasn't fuzzy at all, but rather it was the optical allusion created by the refraction of light from the combination of the thick cut glass and the water. I decided to investigate the box even if it wasn't actually fuzzy. Low and behold it was from Ben's Backwoods! Then I remembered while we were eating "the noon meal" (half the family calls it lunch, the other half dinner) there had been a knock at the door and my Dad had said it was the mail carrier. Here my present had been there the whole time.

I haven't had a chance to test out the tarp or the hammock just yet, but as soon as I do I'll write up a review. I can attest to the high quality of the 510 though. It was razor sharp out of the box and I am just tickled with it. Like my old Mora #2, it is easy to sharpen and holds an edge. The handle is safer in my opinion because when I grab it without looking I can tell by feel which side of the blade is sharp, with the oval #2 handle I always had to look. The sheath for the 510 is made to wear on a belt, or to be snapped over a button on a pair of bibs (which is how I am wearing it this very moment). Another difference between my 510 and my #2 is that the 510 has a carbon steel blade.

It is more ridgged that the #2 and threw GREAT sparks when the back of the blade is struck on a piece of chert. I have started a couple of fires that way and it really boosted my fire lighting abilites in the field. The first fire I lit I with it was at my mother-in-laws up in Allamakee County. I went to a dry run that sits just to the east of her house and broke a pice of chert out of a overhanging bank. I took it inside and lit a fire in her fireplace using a small piece of charcloth I had in my pocket, some shreded Northern white cedar bark (Thuja occidentalis) cambium and a small chunk of charred wood from a previous fire. All items that I could find (except the char cloth) on a walk through an average public area here in Iowa.

Just as an aside, I have been asked to do some guest post on another blog recently and the first one should be up on Monday. When it is up I will link post a link here for anyone that interested.
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