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Topics - 300winmag

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While browsing in a Fjellraven store in Boulder, CO I couldn't find anything that fit but spied some very nice sheath knives by HELLE.

I had not known of theHELLE brand of knives but holding them made me aware that these were very special knives.

Luz bought me the "GT" model which is one of theHELLE knives with a laminated blade having high Rockwell hardness inner laminate/edge and outside layers of softer, more piiable steel. This knife is [email protected] SHARP!

Together with my Council Tool SOOD-CRAFT 19" camp axe and my encyclopedic outdoor skills (hey, I'm 76) I am "Bush Craft Ready". ;o)

Eric B.
BTW, I'm looking for an appropriate slice of deer or elk antler to make a pommel B/C i don't like the cheap looking tang end and my hand fit could use a bit of an extension. Also I may have a custom gunsmith do a bit of checkering on the handle. Or I can woodburn a design on both sides.

Winter Camping Clothing / YEr favorite winter hats?
« on: November 06, 2019, 10:16:02 pm »
I like a "Peruvian" style wool with fleece liner. Wool part made in Nepal. Fleece liner added in US.

But I've recently bought a Duluth Trading Co. "Ushanks" insulated ball cap with rabbit fur ear flaps. I need the ball cap brim to keep snow out of my glasses. This cap is super warm.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / My winter shelters
« on: November 06, 2019, 10:10:30 pm »
I have slept comfortably in winter in the following"

1. tarp ->10' x 12'  rigged with low folded front entrance for storm protection
2. tent -> double walled 1, 2 and 3 person tunnel and dome
3. snow trench -> 2 person with foot "cave" from foot to knees
4. Quinzhee -> 2 person (-22 F. that night but we sere just fine)

What winter shelters have you slept in?

Eric B.
OOPS! forgot one. lean-to -> clear plastic drop cloth roof and front. Roofed with hemlock boughs over the plastic. Clear plastic front permitted a reflector fire to nicely heat the inside for hours.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Winter backpack
« on: February 22, 2019, 07:53:26 pm »
My old Dana Terraplane weighs 7.5 lbs. Much too heavy even for a large pack.

* 4.5 lbs.
* 75 cubic liters -  a large pack
* zippered sleeping sleeping bag bottom compartment (a must for me)
* very adjustable harness (5" vertically and huge horizontal adjustment in hip belt padding)
* removable top lid compartment (for fanny pack on day hikes/ski trips
*excellent quality (I own an Osprey EXOS 58 snd it's top notch, as is my Osprey daypack)

Since I cold camp in the western mountains I need a large backpack. Wish I could take my pulk.

Any other suggestions?

Eric b.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Ski Climbing Skins
« on: February 20, 2019, 11:27:42 pm »
I have a pair of G3 ski climbing skins for my Atomic TM22 Telemark skis and Asnes Combi Combat backcountry touring skis. I need them for climbing "hills" here in the in the western US.

Skis with skins are FAR easier to use than snowshoes if you have even a modicum of XC skiing skill. I may even sell my MSR Lightning Ascent 'shoes.

Anyone else use climbing skins?

Tents and Shelters / Hot Tent W/light canvas tarp over nylon tent anyone?
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:10:05 pm »
I can see protecting nylon tent made for a stove with a light canvas tarp. Also to help hold in heat.

Anyone tried this?

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / NOW is it cold enough??
« on: January 29, 2019, 09:41:31 pm »
You guys in the northern states are getting some really sub-zero temps this week. Time to test your winter clothing and take a short vacation to get out and camp.

I envy you those frigid temperatures. here i am in southern Nevada and even at 9,000 ft. in our nearby Spring Mountains it has only been done to -5 F. so far.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / Not a great camp this week
« on: January 18, 2019, 08:12:31 pm »
Went to 9,500 Las Vegas' Spring Mountains Wednesday. I used my Atomic Telemark skis and climbing skins. My70 liter Dana Terraplane  pack was 38 lbs. with a 2 person Tarptent Scarp 2 tent, -20 F. down bag, -40 F. down belay parka, MSR Whisperlite Universal stove (white gas mode) and other necessary items with meals for 2 1/2 days.

My purpose was to test the "winterizing" mods I had made on my Scarp 2 tent under a snow load B/C the US sweater Service had forecast 2 ft. of snow at that altitude. The mods were optional X'd crossing poles that I ran under the fly for much better wind and snow load than the factory exterior straps system.

Anyway, rain, not snow, from 11:00 PM Wednesday to 6 AM Thursday then finally rain mixed with snow but not in great amounts. In other words just miserable weather that was wet and slushy. The tent did very well with 2 inches of literal slush on the fly so I was a bit satisfied with its ability to handle a heavier load.  But with that rotten weather I packed up and skinned back to my car.

I'd planned to stay two nights but in actual cold, snowy weather, not in that dangerous wet situation. I had an eVent WPB parka but my pants were heavy nylon fabric cargo pants lined with fleece over polyester long johns. They had good DWR water repellant on them but were not water resistant enough for snow mixed with rain. Interestingly the front of my knees & thighs got soaked but I never had water penetrate to my long johns.

I had pondered wearing uninsulated GTX ski pants instead but felt I needed warmth over waterproofness. WRONG! The weatherman got it wrong and so did I.

I had a decent time until Thursday morning but the weather gods did not favor me.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / BAFFLED down parkas?
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:57:13 pm »
I just returned an LL Bean down parka that was advertised as baffled but was actually sewn-thru. Very nice in every other way except that.

Then I ordered an Eddie Bauer PEAK XV down parka WITH baffles for $90. more ($299.on a sale) and well worth it.

Do most of you folks have baffled down parkas for severe weather?

Eric B.

Winter Camping Clothing / New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:43:21 pm »
A few days ago  I ordered LL Bean's men's "Ultralight 850 Big Baffle Down Jacket" (Item #TA505278)

It was and still is on a double sale at a final reduction of 32%. For my size of Large Tall it was $309.  but now on sale at $209.!

This is Bean's warmest parka because of the baffle design instead of being sewn-thru. Only the hood is sewn-thru, which is OK for me B/C I always wear a warm hat anyway.

1.  Velcro-detachable fur ruff form Glacier Wear in Maine $60. + $12 S&H (Not a cheap date but as folks here know fur is 'spensive unless you trap yer own. Should arrive within 7 days from today (1/3/'19).
2. Down filled internal zipper baffle over the plain strip provided by the factory (Got to buy some down for it.)

This parka will be my "camp parka" and hunting stand parka as well as for a very cold weather alpine skiing parka when at high altitudes above 8,000 ft. here in the western states.

Q. What do you folks wear for an extreme cold garment or do you just keep adding layers?

Eric B.

Sleds and Toboggans / PHANTOM 2.0 Permenant ski wax for pulks
« on: December 24, 2018, 06:47:03 pm »
There is s revolutionary new synthetic ski wax that is supposedly permanent.

Sounds like a very good thing for pulk bottoms. Ne pas?

Eric B.

What is your main winter bag's temps. rating?

I'm not a hot tenter so mine is a -20 F. 750 fill LL Bean goose down bag. Mattress-> REI FLASH Insulated 3 season (+Ridgerest if below -10F.)

Eric B.

Saws, Axes, Knives, Cutting Tools / What's yer preferred collapsable saw?
« on: December 15, 2018, 02:15:53 pm »
I have a triangular collapsable SvenSaw but, being triangular, it limits the full use of the blade larger logs.

Is there a "tried and true" all metal NON triangular collapsable saw that you guys like?

Eric B.

Winter Camping Clothing / In praise of synthetic clothing
« on: December 14, 2018, 01:41:41 am »
I get it - wool clothes, fur ruffs and mittens, canvas mukluks etc. are all nice for that feel of the old Calvin Rustrum and voyageur days. It's nice to have that kind of get up that still works well in sub zero temps.

But I'm, by necessity, a cold tent camper, whether backpacking in the steep mountains of Nevada or hauling a pulk with skins on my skis.
And to do this I need synthetic clothes, in fact much prefer them.

->mid weight or Polar weight polyester long johns, top and bottom W/ zip T neck top

->fleece lined synthetic shirt from LL Bean  (OK, sometimes my Norwegian wool sweater)
->200 weight fleece vest or jacket - depending on temperature
->Thermolite Micro synthetic fiber insulated jacket and pants for VERY cold weather

->Gore-Tex mountain parka
->Gore-Tex OR brand mitten shells W/removable double layer fleece mitten liners
->Gore-Tex gloves W/ various thicknesses of removable pile liners
->DULUTH TRADING Dry-on-the-Fly fleece lined nylon cargo pants (Best general use winter pants I've ever found)
->fleece balaclava - sometimes under fleece Peruvian style hat
-> fleece face & neck mask if very windy or bitter cold
->ski goggles if very windy

->US Divers brand closed cell 3 mm neoprene sox over thin polyester liner socks (NO wool socks needed. This is a VBL for my boots.)
**Even if you are a Bush Crafter you absolutely need these VBL divers' sox to keep your boot insulation dry and warm all day.
->Scarpa T3 plastic Telemark 3 pin ski boots  W/ Vibram soles and removable liners (that go into my sleeping bag at night)
-> or... Sorel "felt" pacs W/ liner of inner layer of polypro felt and outer wool felt - if snowshoeing

Yes, I do own a pair of Dachstein boiled wool mittens that did very well under nylon/leather shells at -40 F. They are amazing.
And I own another pair of Knut & Knut ex. Large wool gloves I boiled down to merely Large. Again very warm liners for my GTX glove shells.

I ain't "agin'"wool but usually the synthetics work better, are lighter and last longer. 

*The last time I used wool base layer was in the '80s and it was a Norwegian wool fishnet which worked well - until wifey put it in the drier!! That woman is no longer allowed to launder any of my clothing. She's ruined too many items.

Eric B.

General Winter Camping Discussion / New rifle
« on: December 13, 2018, 02:40:58 pm »
This October I bought a 6.5 Creedmoor Browning X-Bolt Pro.

The Pro model is what is called a "semi-custom" rifle because it has features not found on standard X-Bolt rifles. Last week while zeroing the rifle my last three shots in the X ring were less than 1/2" at 100 yards. Groups are measured from the center of each bullet hole.

->6 lbs. 1 oz. (for short actions) This is "mountain rifle" weight.
->stainless steel barreled action
->carbon fiber stock
->burnt bronze Cerakote on barreled action and stock (but you still can see that 'spensive carbon fiber weave. ;o)
->factory lapped barrel
->option of using either screw-on muzzle brake or muzzle thread protector cap. Both are supplied.
->fluted barrel, bolt and bolt handle (less weight)
->four round detachable rotary magazines
->excellent adjustable trigger
->22" barrel (mine) or 26" Long Range barrel with faster twist for heavier bullets

The stainless steel barrel and action, Cerakote coating and synthetic stock make this an "all weather" rifle that does not need to be babied. I recommend light 1st aid tape over the muzzle when hunting in rain or snow. Water inside a barrel will always make shots go wide.

OK, SAKO makes a similar and very nice Model 85 Carbonlight but it is $1,000. more. IMHO the X-Bolt Pro is at least as good in quality.

Eric B.

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