So yeah, it's supposed to have like a 400 hour battery life on flash... But it seems to have an auto-off feature that kicks in after an hour... What? You make an emergency beacon, that can last 400 hours... but it only flashes for an hour? What the fuck! So, needless to say, we were out longer than an hour… And lost camp. So, as a flashlight, decent little lights, very light weight & fairly tough. As for a beacon to find camp or be found by rescuers, not good! Fuck You Life Gear!
Anyway, back to the fire making. I tried using only the fero rod, with natural tinder for the first time. The tinder I used was pine needles, all smashed up. Most of the ones on the ground were a bit damp, so I gathered some from a low branch that had fallen into the mess of Spanish moss. They were nice and dead, nice and dry! It was getting dark by this time, but I got a pic anyway-
It took quite a few scrapes to get a flame, but finally it caught. Btw, we tried some of this moss (or whatever it is) that grew everywhere, kinda looks like light green cotton balls grouped together… No good for tinder, could be better dried out, don’t know-
My pops found a downed tree not far from camp, and had me come look at it. “Look how hard this wood is!” It was a whole tree of fat wood, so sweet. I assume outer bark & wood had rotted or was eaten off over the years, and only the yellow ambery stuff was left. This stuff was very hard, so I figured it was a good test for my new SOG $18 walmart machete-saw.
It did pretty well, but I found the ever so slightly offset teeth to be less than adequate, binding up fairly easy.
So we chopped a few bits off instead. I found it interesting how strong the amberized wood was, being able to cut a beefy branch till only a very small bit was holding it to the trunk & it was still rigidly attached.
Btw, as part of the SOG machete review, see here the little waves/bends in the edge from striking the hard fat wood branches… I tried to show the dents by angling the machete in the fire light-
These branches burned for hours, and greatly reduced the amount of wood we needed to gather/use. As soon as we got the fire going good, we started in on dinner. It consisted of a Knorr rice side, and a can of chili flavor beans. I brought no utensils, so I made spoons out of cut up water bottles.
Some other tools I made on the outing included a stove valve turner-
A brush to clean out the pot & lid, from green pine needles, still on the branch & trimmed off even-
And a wind screen. I brought a piece of aluminum flashing curled up, but it didn’t have a way to hold it in a circle. So I cut notches & tabs with the mora to connect it, worked great.
The food was good… enough, bottled water finished off the meal. After cleaning up, it was pretty late & we hit the hay. The night was pretty uneventful, though by morning I was pretty cold. It got down to the low 40’s in the area (yeah, I know big deal) and my bag was rated 45* so yeah. Dad did ok, having a thin air mattress under his bag & a fleece blanket… and a tent (no I was not jealous!).
End part 2