Monday, December 22, 2014

Back to Back Episode 4: Knives for Lightweight Backpacking

Hey all, in case you haven't seen it yet, just a quick announcement to let everyone know that Back to Back Episode 4 is complete and up on Youtube.  The topic is one that I find fascinating, as do many outdoor enthusiasts, which is knives.  However this discussion is from the perspectives of two lightweight backpackers, with one having the unique (and very cool) distinction of happening to also be a knife maker.  

I kicked things off with Part 1 

And Jason recently responded with Part 2.  

You can also check out Jason's wonderful text on the subject in question here, which he wrote at the same time as we were doing the planning of this episode.  The knives you see in his video are the ones he documents in the text.  It's a great companion to this episode, and I highly recommend reading it if you are at all interested in knives and especially the finer details of how they are made.  The passion he has for this craft really comes out in the text (and video too), and as I mentioned to Jason via email after reading it, to me it almost reads like a short story.  Readers get to closely follow a narrative of a dedicated craftsman transform a piece of metal into a knife, and Jason makes some bold choices in his unique version of a knife to have while out in the wild.

Thanks again to Jason, it's been a pleasure working with him, and hope that we can collaborate again in the future.

That's about it, go check out another episode of the Back to Back series, and I hope that you find it helpful and/or enjoyable.  As always, please feel free to give feedback via email, comments below, or on the Youtube comments.  And let me know if there are any subjects related to backpacking that you would want to see explored in a Back to Back episode.

Peace out and happy holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cesar's 2015 Shelter Systems for Solo Backpacking

I recently got myself an early holiday gift, which I spoke about in a first impressions video.  It's a 6ft x 9ft (1.8m x 2.7m) Zpacks flat tarp, and I opted for the 1.0 Cuben fiber in a nice translucent black for reasons I discuss in said video.  I finally got a chance to get out and test it out on a short day hike, and am very excited about what will be my new go-to shelter for the colder half of the year.  

Before I get into different pitches and configurations of this tarp, let me first explain the method to my madness for my two go-to shelter systems for the upcoming year.  One will be used roughly between late spring to mid autumn (the "warm" kit), and the other between late autumn to mid spring (the "cold" kit).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Updates: Future Projects, New Gear, Etc.

Hey all, just wanted to write an update with what's going on, what's in the works, and briefly discuss some new gear I recently bought.  I am excited about both some new projects in the works and also my new gear, and looking forward to both.  First thing I want to get out of the way, is that as some of you may have noticed I have not been very active online as of late (this blog, Youtube, forums, etc.).  I've just been very busy with life at the moment, but mostly positive stress, so it's all good.  

I'll spare the boring details of why I've been so busy, but suffice to say that I was not so busy that I couldn't go on my usual one a month section hikes or do a lot of research on a few pieces of gear that I eventually bought for myself as early holiday gifts.  I have noticed that I have been getting a bit more views on my blog and subscribers on my Youtube channel, so hello, welcome, and thanks to you new readers/viewers out there.  And don't worry, new content is on the way, and here is what I have planned: