Smoky the Bear Sez:

Remember, with Canada Day and the US Fourth of July festivities coming right up…


How many times in that week will we hear the famous last words,

“Hey, hold my beer, and watch me do THIS!”


BEWARE and Step Away!

I ordinarily don’t go negative on here about much, but every-so-often something just steps into the gunsights and you have to pull the trigger…

I came across this site this morning >>

It seems to be a site that has all the same stuff that’s on the Chinese sites like AliBaba, DX, and BangGood… BUT AT 10X TIMES THE PRICEs!

That blue LED light in the photo blurb above?… it goes for $14.99.

AliBaba will let you have it for $1.38 !!!

Jus’ sayin’…. I’d stay away.

A Couple of New Sites to Check Out

Just came across these in the last few days…

ReddyYETI is a start-up promotion/ give-away site >> 

Discounts [25%+] from the associated vendors with a monthly membership [30 day free trial], a great variety of small companies in a wide field of interests, podcasts introducing the backstories and the folks behind the startup companies, and more.

You also can win packages worth $2500+ of seasonally selected products if you are willing to give them an email sign-up… you DO have a throw-away email account, don’t you?

Remember though… these give-aways are usually subject to MSRP rate taxes come April 15th.


Garage Grown Gear [The Experts On Outdoor Gear Startups] is an aggregator site for marketing by some of the best of the “little guys” and cottage vendors in the outdoors products lines >>

I found a bunch of new things that went right on my Don’t Need It, But…” List

Lots of fun new stuff to drool over on both sites… Check’em Out!

The Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia

A great view from the trail around Spruce Mountain in the Dolly Sods

[courtesy of Chris Meadows from FB]

What I love about the outdoors community online is their openness. Chris was fine with my using his photo over here, and just my mention on FB of not having been to the Sods since the 1970s garnered an invitation to join George Carr from LocoLibre Quilts in September for a trip back down there… George and I only know each other through email exchanges and here he is, willing to ask me to come along with him for an outing.

My mention of plans to relocate to North Carolina led to an immediate invite to join the Tarheel Hangers Group of hammock fans, and I’ve already had the offer of the use of someone’s mountain cabin up around Franklin, NC.

The Return of the “Mystery Lake Paddle-In and Hang” ~trip report

Obligatory Flash’s Feetz Photo…


I was lucky enough to be able to go up to Flagstaff Lake early and get out across to the site on Thursday afternoon, so I got to enjoy some “quiet” time before the rest of the crowd arrived on Friday. This photo was taken up by the fire pit out on the cliff and much closer to the water…  we didn’t use that one last year because of the heavy winds. This year it was the perfect site.


I was able to set up in a nice spot… back from the edge, but with a great view.








and then got my little “day-hanger” set up out closer to the lake for chillin’out with a view.


We ended up with an even dozen folks coming out this year. It was split quite evenly between the gang who came last year and the new-to-the-lake guys. Of course, people hung in the usual wide variety of hammocks. I can’t tell you what each one is right off, but we had Dutchware Chameleons, a couple of Warbonnets, some ones from Papa Smurf at Dream Hammocks, and probably a couple that I didn’t catch.

One of the greatest parts of a group hang is that you can see and try out all of the rigs that other people have brought long. It is the easiest way to keep from having any kind of buyers regret.

Primo though were the two DIY jobbies from our lady “FizzBee”. She was rockin’ a purple top quilt in the Dragon Scales fabric from Ripstop By the Roll  and a mosquito net made from a mesh with gold lamé llamas on it… and her hammock had built-in edge lighting LEDs!

Also worth mention is that the two dogs along were each housed in their own “puppy tents”.


Our flotilla consisted of my two Wilderness Experience PUNGOs [the green ones], three sea-kayaks, my old aluminum Grumman canoe, and another much nicer canoe with wooden thwarts and woven seats.

Despite this, we again faced the problem of those “boatless refugees” who needed to get across at widely different, and needless to say, inconvenient times [up to 10pm and well into most of our crowd’s Caipirinha hour].


In this however, we got really lucky. Our new friend Brenden had a power boat, and made a couple of mercy runs across and back between beers to fetch in the late-comers.

He actually cleared out of the site up on top to make room for us to use the tree-pairs up there.

This is his wonderful family and friends who made us so welcome… Brenden being the one in the plaid with the big grin!

THANKS, big guy!






It’s hard not to enjoy a setting like this… some folks went for a paddle up the lake, some folks broke out their Kindles for a read, and listened to the loon calls.







This group are all pretty experienced campers, and we all keep a pretty clean site, but I have never seen anyone successfully keep up with the chow table!

That’s what happens when you like to cook and to eat as much as we do.


Pancakes, bacon and ham, steak tips, potato/zucc/asparagus/sausage foil paks on the coals, smoked salmon and crackers, MREs [mine, of course], a wide selection of freeze-driedz, and much, much more crossed the table and into our mouths.


We had incredibly great weather with highs pushing 80° and lows in the 50°s… nearly perfect hammocking weather. Bright sunlight, nice sunsets over the lake and the distant mountains, a crescent moon, great star-viewing nights, kingfishers, loon song, the honk of the Canadian geese, and an eagle sighting. The only real sad part was that on Sunday it was headed for 90° and would’ve been the first “sunburn day” in Maine this year… and we were packing to get off and away.

We’ll be going back again next year fer sure….

A Quick, Down and Dirty Job with the new DeWalt Tools

I had to replace the stoop boards leading onto my back entry yesterday since they had finally rotted way after umpteen years of being buried under the roof drop snow though the Maine winters. The stoop is on the north side of the house, and the boards never get enough light to dry out even in summer rains. Add in that the years of sand and grit going thru the cracks had built up to touch the undersides, and there is no wonder they were getting poggy.

It was just a little throw-away job, but the perfect example of the ones that get postponed from the hassle of getting out “all those tools”.

The DeWalt crew made short work of it.


The DeWalt DCS570, 7 1/4″ circular saw gave a wicked clean, smooth, and high-speed cut on the 2×12 stock, despite the fact that I had mounted an old, used blade [24 tooth framer].

I was very impressed with how quickly it powered through the 2 x 12 Stock.It was equal to what I would’ve expected out of my old SKILPro.

I was equally impressed with the blade break feature… almost instant stoppage.

I used the DCS367 recipro for the cutout to fit my post footing. Even though it was just eye-ball guess-timated, it was close enough for government work.

Finally, I ran the 3 1/2″ treated deck screws in with the little Bosch impact driver… 12 in less than 2 minutes. The Bosch set is quite powerful for its small size.

I don’t think that I had mentioned previously that one of the nice things on the DeWalt batteries is their charge level indicators… 3 LEDs that let you see what’s left. I used the same battery in both DeWalt tools [the smaller 2Ah one] and there was no power drop at all.

I was done with the job in twenty minutes, and that included getting the 2×12 down from the barn and the clean up afterward.