Its a personal thing ! – What do you take outdoors

I have been watching many videos and articles written by a wide range of people. Some experts some not. Personally, I think most miss the point of the Advice they are giving. They seem to have forgotten that most of us, if not all of us , even the ones of us that do not go outdoors and enjoy the experience, Are ALL different. Each of us is unique in ourselves. We may have the overall common joy of the outdoors. Whether camping, hiking fishing, hunting etc. We wander aimlessly about just enjoying the outdoors. Bird watches will watch birds, Campers will camp, Hikers will hike. That’s why they are outdoors. Its what THEY enjoy about the outdoors. They each have their own reason for being outdoors. They maybe a hiker, along with many others who like to hike. However, HOW THEY choose to hike or enjoy THEIR PERSONAL passion in the outdoors will differ from others within that particular outdoor activity.

The saying “Each to their own” comes to mind. I can almost guarantee, if you gathered 100 outdoor solo campers who enjoy the same solitude of the outdoors alone. Asked them to join you in the outdoors and show you whats in their packs, not one will be the same. Every single one will have something none of the others have. What is it, who knows !.

THEY chose to bring it with them for THEIR OWN personal reason. It could be a simple comfort item, a specific cooking utensil or a favorite candy, what ever they brought along it is a PERSONAL Choice.

And that’s my point. When giving advice, they (experts or who ever is giving the advice, including me!) should be considering this one VERY IMPORTANT factor. We are all unique.

Yes I know, People doing reviews of items will recommend it as the go to item for what ever task it performs. Some do it for the money, (a percentage of they sales they generate ), or because they feel its PERSONALLY the best thing since sliced bread they have, and just want to share that with you. No problem I understand. Some will say its a MUST HAVE, no I don’t think so. Sure, it may be perfect for someone. But there are typically 10 others that perform the same task, that may be better suited for others.

Here I am getting myself into a tight spot. So I will say this. Its a necessary evil. Most of us will suddenly find that we need a specific item for us to perform a specific task that we want to do. That’s when you go looking, the reviews are a great way to fine that some thing. If we are lucky we fine the perfect item for us. Sometimes not. But WE make the CHOICE.

I wish that the experts, And there are many out there, Would be less specific in what WE need, and be a little more general.

Let me give an example.

For most serious campers and outdoor types we have all heard of the “10 C’s list” by Dave Canterbury. Personally I think this comes pretty close to being the perfect “advice list” for the outdoors. Here’s why.

Its a list period!, A list of what you should have with you, in order to be able to survive in the outdoors for 72 hours. It is very general in its way. Nothing is specific as far as the perfect item on the list. The list consists of (in order of importance) the TASKS you need to perform in order to survive in the outdoors for a certain period of time should you find yourself in an unplanned happenstance. For example, Having a cutter is on the list, If not the first item. Along with the advice of having a cutter, the list explains the tasks it will need to perform for you in order to survive. That’s it.

It does not say you need this particular cutter. It basically says, YOU need a CUTTER to PREFORM certain TASKS for YOU. And then lists the tasks you need to perform. The beauty of this list is it leaves YOU to decide what cutter you need to perform the tasks. It assumes you know your strengths and weaknesses in performing the task. And knowing that, YOU will get the cutter you feel is best suited for you to perform those tasks.

And that folks, is what makes this this one of the best GENERAL ADVICE LISTS out there.

I feel pretty strongly about this. To the point of not reading or watching a video that says this specific item is the best choice for me. I do still watch and read advice on lists. For example a column that lists 10 Knives you can use in the outdoors in a survival situation. NOT the 10 BEST knives, just a list of 10 knives that will perform the tasks.

ITS PERSONAL for me, I know my strengths and weaknesses in the needed tasks, and what I will need in a knife, to be able to perform those tasks. That to me is far better advice, rather than this is the best knife for you.

OK! just MY PERSONAL feeling on the subject. You may or may not agree, But that’s you your PERSONAL choice.

So with that in mind, Here my latest look at MY PERSONAL choice of camping backpack. And whats in it. Interested to see “whats in the bag”. And why, Check it out, Its just got all the things I feel “I NEED” when camping. Hopefully it will give you some food for thought.

My PERSONAL choice for a Camping back pack and what goes into it. Whats in yours

Be safe out there.

Remember Knowledge is a survival Skill, how YOU CHOOSE TO USE IT it is your PERSONAL choice

The Novice Survivalist

Watch “THE COTTAGE – 6 months later – see the changes I made after 6 months” on YouTube

Cannot belive its been 6 months already. So much time so little done….,

Watch “THE COTTAGE – Pallet Projects – beating the budget – shelves” on YouTube

As most people are I am on a budget. So I am always looking for bargains for projects around the cottage. What better bargain than free…. i got some pallets from work and trued them out for a small project to start. Check it out. Works for me.

The novice Survivalist

Watch “Mods and Maintenance on my TRAIL BOSS AXE” on YouTube

Summer is coming, take time to check your outdoor kits and prep for the season. What ever the reason.

The Novice Survivalist

Watch “WORK SHARP Guided Sharpening System – It saved me from bad sharpening” on YouTube

Looking to get all your cutters sharpened. Struggle like I do. Not anymore. I got this sharpening kit from Work Sharp. Life saver for me.

The Novice Survivalist

Watch “BuckShot Knives – Hand Axe. It’s an Odd one!” on YouTube

Well my bad habit of buying everything shiny and sharp may just have back fired on me. For once I have got one that may just be of no use. Or I am missing the whole point of this. You decide.

Knowledge is a survival tool.

The novice survivalist


Although in a pinch I can sharpen (Kinda) a dull blade when in the outdoors, I am in no way good at it. In fact I am terrible at it. Free hand sharpening is something I have never mastered , truth be told not even close to it. I can get it to cut what I need but in the process I totally mess the blade up. Then its off to the local sharpening hero to save the day. This on my budget is not working for me. I needed to figure this out.

I have spent a lot of time online looking at videos and reading up on how to information. Which as a whole has improved my knowledge but not my physical ability to be successful at it. If you are suffering from this same melody as me , HOLD FAST. Help is available. Yep, found me a blade saver. No I did not stop using my knives and axes, although I was at the point of seriously considering this. Along with put your fancy blades on the wall for display, never to use and buy cheap throw aways …., Uh Huh I actually considered that.

But as was usual for me, The budget came into play and even cheap knives would not save me. So I looked for other help that if affordable enough to save me money and agony in the long run is the way to go.

Oh yes ! after long hours scouring the web I came across the perfect solution. What caught my eye was the line “for the NOVICE and PROFESSIONAL. SIMPLE and cost effective.” ……BOOOM!!!. Clicked on that right away. And low and behold there it was. My life (and Budget) saver.

I had discovered the WORK SHARP WEBSITE. The joy! They have a wide range of sharpening tools for everybody and every use. From a basic field sharpener to a bench top full sharpening system. Like I said before the joy. I went straight to the for “for the NOVICE sharpening system”.

And bought it. Yes I considered the price and the long term saving. The Warranty on this is 42 years , Yes not a typo, they say 42 years. How they came up with that I do not know. Do I care , Not really. I doubt I will be concerned about the warranty after 10 years. Even on my budget.

So here it is. Truth be told, This all started with me attempting to clean up my Knives and Axes, in preparation for spring which, fingers crossed is starting to show up. I was simply wiping and oiling the blades and checking the handles and sheaths for damage etc. I was certainly not going to sharpen anything. That’s for sure. To my horror my new COLD STEEL TRAIL BOSS AXE was damaged . Yep. I had chipped the blade, pretty badly to say the least. How this happened I have no Idea. Needless to say this was not just your everyday touch up fix. It would need some serious work

The damage to my COLD STEEL TRAIL BOSS blade

Work which I felt I was not up too. That meant another ding to my budget. Not Good. So I started the whole previous research I talked about and now here I am. spending a little more than I wanted to, but with the idea that this will save me in the long run. So money spent and I waited in antisipation of my new purchase to arrive. Fortunately It arrived sooner than advertised and I immediately sprung into action.

I tore into the package, Quickly went through the contents and was extremely satisfied with the results so far of my long research time. When I decided to purchase this, I downloaded all the info from the website ( Greedly read it all and felt semi- prepared to “give it a go”

I was not going to get the AXE out and grind away. I decided to pull out my pocket partner, (EDC) always in my pocket, that is my Folding Buck. A blade I have owned for ^&%$ years. One that I had sharpened. (Well Kinda). It needed fixing after my many abusive attempts to sharpen. well,

The joy, 30 mins later I had a new blade on my Buck. Well an old blade, finally sharpened correctly, as good as new again.

After the success, right out the box, first time at it. I decided I was now qualified to repair my TRAIL BOSS AXE. Ok mostly qualified.

How successful was I, well heres the visual story of my quest to repair my Trail Boss axe blade and the purchase I made to do that.

Happy viewing. Dont forget to leave a “yay or Nay” comment below.

Remember Knowledge and a little bit of research and elbow grease is a survival Skill.

Stay safe out there, and remember to leave no trace

The Novice Survivalist

Watch “THE COTTAGE SERIES – Veggie PLUS Sammich” on YouTube

One of my favorite summer time, weekend backyard relaxing day in the sun lunch snacks. Its even healthy if you to add meat…..

Oh, its a great camping lunch time familly snack….

Remember knowledge is a survival skill….even eating healthy and smart

The Novice Survivalist

Watch “Mossy Oaks Fixed blade Hunting and Pocket Knife Set – Right on Budget” on YouTube

Looking for an inexpensive starter camp/bush knife. I was surprised at this one. $15.00 to start.

Knowledge on a budget is a survival skill

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