The show is obviously getting a lot interest and a number of people want to know what I took and why. So I thought I would break it down for you here. As most are aware we were allowed ten items from an approved list of forty. You’ll see a lot of similarity in what was chose by the guys, some things you just have to have.
The first item I picked was my knife. I chose an LT Wright Genesis Deep Woods Explorer. I’ve done a short video on it you can see here. It’s just a short table top, or cooler top in this instance, video about the knife prior to heading out. The Genesis is a 9″ overall knife with a 4.25 blade. It’s made of A2 and comes with a Scandi grind. This is the first knife I’ve ever had with that grind.
My overall impression of the blade was great. It performed flawless for me when I needed and stood up to some pretty serious abuse in splitting small pieces of wood and basic camp chores. The folks at LT Wright are great and LT himself is a real nice guy. When I ordered the knife from them there was an issue in the shipping and it didn’t arrive on time. I made a call and they immediately shipped another. Of course they both arrived on the same day. Some of you may remember me giving that one away on Facebook.
The next item was my axe. I chose a Wetterlings Chopping Axe. I also had a Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe but chose the Wetterlings over it because it was both heavier and the handle was longer. Axe use has some inherent dangers and the longer the handle the safer the axe.
The Chopping Axe comes with a nice leather sheath over the cutting face. However leather sheaths for tools was not the best up there in the Vancouver as it encouraged rust. Not having time to have a Kydex sheath made I went with it. Not far from me is a saddle shop run by some great people. I took the sheath to them and had a leather thong added to it. They knocked a couple of the rivets out of the bottom and added the thong. On the other end I had a loop made. This allowed me to loop the end over the handle and sling it over my shoulder to carry freeing up my hands. This is a great mod for an axe.
To help in processing wood I brought my take-down buck saw. This is a saw I made from oak that takes a 30″ blade. A piece of 550 cord provided the tension on the top side to keep the blade taunt. Having a saw to aid in procuring firewood is a major help. The saw does the same work with less effort and safer. As I said earlier, an axe is a dangerous tool. Now add to that being tired, cold and hungry and the possibility of injury increases dramatically.
Having the frame I made was nice but in a pinch you can make one in the field. In either an improvised bow or the more complex bushcrafted buck saw. This lets you carry just the blade and improvise the rest of the materials in the field. Since I was being inserted via a float plane and not having to hump the pack I chose to deal with the weight and carry it.
Next on the list comes my sleeping bag. Knowing it was cold and wet where we were going I wanted a really good bag. I went with a Wiggy’s Hunter Ultima Thule bag. The bag is rated to -60F and may sound like overkill but I can promise you one thing, I was never cold at night. The bag also has the added feature of being able to dry you out somewhat if your wet. This came in vary handy as I was able to get into the bag at night in damp clothes and they would be dry in the morning.
I also opted to special order a longer version of this bag. It cost a little more but was welcome as I could get down completely inside the bag and didn’t feel constricted at night. I am not a fan of mummy bags, I feel like I’m wrapped in a burrito to go!
Going into the woods for a long term adventure like this means a kettle or pot is an absolute must. I settled on a Zebra pot choosing the 14 cm version. These are great pots with a solid flat steel handle that rests nicely on improvised pot holders over the fire. I wanted something that could boil a lot water as well as cook whatever I came up with. The pot fit the bill perfectly.
While we’re talking water let’s cover the water bottle. I went with a 64oz Klean Canteen. Again, I wanted to be able to store as much as possible. Most of the water I drank ended up being rainwater I collected. Using a small tarp they gave us to cover the camera gear with. A little re-purposing but it got the job done. The rainwater up there was great. Cold and refreshing with a great taste. Finding water really wasn’t much of an issue. Though there was one instance!
For food I chose the fishing line and hooks. I chose an assortment of hooks with a couple being very large. My thought there was I could make a gaff with them if needed to snag fish by sight. Honestly though, looking back, I wish I would have taken the gill net. This would have been far more effective.
I also took a take down recurve bow. It was the Sage and had a draw of 45lbs. Not very heavy but I intended to fish with it. So two of my six arrows were fishing arrows. I also had two blunt headed arrows for shooting birds and small game and two with broad heads. Except for the fishing arrows all had to be wood. Again, looking back, I’m not sure I’d choose it again. There just wasn’t much opportunity to use it.
Of course I took a fire steel. The biggest one I could find! I ordered a 1/2 diameter steel and added a small lanyard to it. Knowing making a fire would be tough I wanted one that would last for a long, long, time. The back of the Genesis is squared off specifically for using on a fire steel and it performed extremely well, producing showers of hot sparks with little effort.
Lastly there was the sharpening stone. I know a lot people question this choice but for me it was important. I’m from Florida. We don’t have stones suited for the purpose of sharpening a blade. The only thing you’ll find in the ground here is lime stone and even that can be hard to find. So to make sure I had a way to keep my cutting tools up to speed I took one.
I carried the Worksharp Guided Field Sharpener. It’s one of the handiest compact sharpeners I’ve found. With diamond hones, ceramic and even a leather strop it covers all the bases.