Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Aid

I have been shopping pre-made first-aid kits for my outdoorsman supplies. I looked at military surplus kits, which are fine things, but I think that my favorite is the Web-Tex Small First-aid Kit, available directly from Web-Tex. This company manufactures high-quality personal-purchase goods for the British military, so it is fraught with that degree of Britishness that I seem to need. Or, at the very least, that I like. More later.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shopping List

There are a few outdoorsy items that I want to add to my immediate collection.

  1. Gloves – As discussed below, a pair of good quality, leather work gloves with a leash-clip fastener to hold them together. Whilst I want leather, I am averse to spending a fortune on these because, as a struggling writer, I really cannot afford to put a fat stack of cash into them. I will be checking at Harbor Freight Tools soon.
  2. A small first-aid kit – Possibly military surplus. Not one of the Nalgene kits, for numerous reasons which I will handle in another post. Just something to address scrapes while in the field.
  3. Flashlight – A good quality tactical flashlight, probably LED, compact enough to be lightweight and readily packable.
  4. Stout Hiking Boots – I love good hiking boots, and I generally despise modern hiking boots. What I am currently wearing are a pair of, I must admit, really nice Teva hiking shoes, but I want something that will lend support to the ankle as well.
  5. Hat – As discussed earlier, I would really like a nice Montana Peak, though that is somewhat cost restrictive. I want something to keep my head warm and to keep the spider webs from accumulating in my hair. Additionally, as spring comes upon us, I would like something for spring and summer other than my Panama. I am thinking of a nice palm.
  6. Knife I have several functional clasp knives. One is a Leatherman Wave multi-tool that I keep in my letterboxing kit, and I take every opportunity to use. (I just love that thing!) I would like to add a nice sheath knife to the kit, however, because when you really want a knife, a good sheath knife is much easier and functional to use.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Something that I understated earlier is the need for a pair of stout work gloves. These need to be lightweight and well fitted for dexterity in tight places, but they need to afford a good degree of protection against brambles, spider and insect bites and oogy stuff. I have a pair of cheap work gloves from OSH, but I am definitely considering something a bit more leathery, though that is purely aesthetic on my part. Additionally, because you will likely not want to wear your gloves all the time and because they tend to take up a pretty substantial amount of pack space, you might want to get a pair that clip together. That way they can be slung from a hook or ring on your pack.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Old Apple Tree

Last Friday we went up to Apple Hill in Camino, California to kill our annual evergreen in honor of the season. As is usual, we got a beautiful tree and, as is unusual, we got it in record time! For reasons that escape me, we did not have to look at every tree on the mountain prior to making our selection.

As a result, after we completed our tree hunt we had time for a letterbox! We chose one of a handful in the Apple Hill area called Old Apple Tree. It was in a beautiful location on Apple Hill, readily findable to even the greenest letterboxer with the help of the information available for free at any of the Apple Hill growers. The stamp is hand carved, and is a beautiful keepsake of your trip to Apple Hill. If the weather gets harsh, this may be a difficult one to find, especially if a layer of snow is covering the ground, but in the absence of inclement weather, it is very straightforward and fun.