The Gerber XL Chopping Axe II
The story of a decent axe that failed to live up to expectations
That said Ill elaborate. A while back I had the original Gerber XL Chopping Axe. I loved that thing to death, lightweight, kept a great edge and cut like an axe 4 times its price. Unfortunately a good friend accidentally damaged it fairly severely and offered to pay for a replacement. At this time they had just introduced the XL II and I thought I’d give it a shot rather than buying another of the first model. Unfortunately by the time they had the II in stock the I was no longer available so I was sorta stuck with it. When I ordered it I failed to notice that the XL II is a full 6 inches shorter than the original. This was a bit of a problem, me being a guy used to a full handled axe and its accompanied power and reach, found it hard to adjust a moderately shorter and thus less powerful axe with less reach. The main problem with this is, that for the same amount of wood cut you are using more energy, and not really making up for it in space saved or weight reduced. It being a hollow handled axe makes it very light and the six inches less material wouldn’t weigh much more. also in terms of packing a 28 inch axe isn’t really much shorter than a 34 inch axe, but in terms of reach and power it makes a noticeable difference.
still a good axe
shorter than the origional
more expensive than the origional
My new (old) Jeep has been consuming alot of my time recently, but I have six new knife reviews in the works and some other cool stuff ive picked up in the past few weeks
I picked this puppy up Sunday, and after my last class of the day I headed straight for the water to test it (and my new paddle) out.
First and foremost
this vest keeps me (5’11”, 180) floated comfortably in the water (head well clear of the water, and when Its adjusted properly, has pretty much no ride up)
Overall the most comfortable vest I’ve ever owned and possibly ever tried on. The shoulder straps are very soft (no neck chaffing) and the back of the vest rests just below the collar of a standard T-Shirt. You can easily reach all the pockets (on land or in a boat) and all the adjustment straps (not as easy while seated but possible). The vest may seem bulky at first, but the foam is cut perfectly and stays well out of the way for paddling (at least on me). Even when you crank it down as snug as you can, It feels like a warm hug where many vests feel like your under a truck. It has a lower back pad for added lumbar support (a feature many kayak seats lack) and has a mesh gap over-top that for ventilation, on top of that is your upper back float portion that sits over most kayak seats (Native watercraft, Wilderness systems, and most others are well low enough to clear it). Specifically talking about paddling, you have damn near full range of motion. I had no trouble with any strokes I knew (and I do have the BSA Kayak award/certification, which covers a decent amount of stuff).
Admitted I’ve only had it for a day, It seems to be made exceptionally well. There is reinforced stitching everywhere it should be, and there are no visible blemishes in the stitching (and I mean none, no loose backstitches, nothing). The fabric isn’t pulled anywhere and the pockets and lash tabs are well made as well.
2 lash tabs
Two dump pockets and a fishing gear pocket (with a place for pliers, fishing licence etc.)
Reasonably priced for this kind of product (I think it retails for around 120, I got it on sale for under 100)
Texsport “Black Ice” Scouter Cook Kit
Model: “Black Ice” The Scouter cook Set
7” fry pan
1 ½ qt cook pot
1qt cook pot
“Triple coated QT Quantanium”
“Stay cool wire handles” (unfortunately covered in plastic)
Mesh carry bag
I used this on a weekend trip at Voorhees state park here in NJ, and it held up well. The first night I cooked some beans rice and sausage in the 1 quart while heating some cleaning water in the 1.5er. I browned the sausage in the fry pan. I cooked the sausage and beans and rice on my propane stove and heated the wash water over the fire. I spread out my cooking because I wanted to test it out on different heat sources. The next morning I made some eggs and bacon In the fry pan, and made some oatmeal in the 1 qt (and heated wash water in the 1.5, but this time over the stove) and again they preformed well. Overall everything cooked well and the cookware cleaned up great (the pic’s were taken before I used them but they are pretty much the same now). I only had a small problem when the fire got too high on the 1.5 quart and melted one of the plastic handles a bit (really only a little bit, I caught it before it sustained any real damage). The fry pan and the 1 quart pot where great on my propane stove, the aluminum (I’m assuming its aluminum, It doesn’t say on the packaging but it feels like aluminum to me) heated up fast (which can be bad) but it also dispersed that heat quite well, so I was able to effectively use the full 7” pan on my small burner stove. The nonstick coating also preformed above expectations (usually when the thing has nearly a sentence of attractive sounding words describing it on the box, It ends up being crap), It actually did perform well, albeit I was cooking some hearty sausage the first night, and the bacon grease did double duty for the eggs, but you get my point.
Personal opinion: good enough but far from perfect (6/10 the handles really killed it for me)
It’s a decent cook set for the money. Heats up fast, transfers heat well, and cleans up well, that said I don’t like the hardware on it. The plastic covering on the wire handles is a little stupid in my opinion, you have to be ridiculously careful when cooking over a camp fire and they seem like they would break off pretty easy. Also the plastic handles on the pot lids seem like a poor choice. My plan is to strip the handles down to the bare metal (or possibly replace them entirely), and carve some wood toppers for the lid. Other than that it’s a decent kit, the pots are fairly thick and the whole kit packs up pretty tight.
I’ve got a whole lot of stuff I’ve been cooking reviews on and trips to post pictures
Or at at least while I’m at college. so to anyone who actually pays attention to this asswipe of a blog, Ill prob mostly be posting personal interest stories and knife and gear reviews
Awesome weekend at the NJ State Police camp-out, I have some footage of some cool stuff but It barely scratches the surface of this huge event.
I recently aquired an old Buck 184 Buckmaster, and I have to say this is one hell of a knife
The sheath is actually one of my favorite systems that I own, rigid reinforced plastic, heavy nylon, sharpener on the back, and plenty of tie down points. These knives originally came with two pouches but they have been removed from mine long ago ( I have no idea who has them or where) but they would be quite useful.
The knife is just a beast of a blade, about a quarter inch thick, with a hollow ground blade, sharpened swedge serrations and sawback, Its outfitted to kill just about anything (these were issued to navy seals for a brief period of time). It also has two detachable points that are supposedly suposed to turn this thing into an emergency anchor (thats what my research turned up, see http://www.buck-184.com/). It also has a small watertight chamber in the handle (good for emergency fire starting supplies). All that said I do have a few issues with it. Its heavy as hell, at least twice as heavy as my KA-BAR, the handle will beat your hands to shit (I covered mine with 550 cord), and its not a full tang knife (hollow handle); I don’t foresee it breaking but its always a higher chance if you don’t have a full tang knife.
Mean as shit
Holds a good edge
well thought out
heavy as a dead elephant
not too comfy to use
Mora Bushcraft Force video review