It’s Official…

On or about April 16th, 2019, the entire Château, in fact, the entire geographic area of the Moosenut Valley and Mt. Wannaseeamoose, staff and contents included, will be inserted sideways into a time space continuum and relocated to the east face of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina


The only difference to the denizens [and meaningless to you readers] is that we will be looking out from the 2800′ heights of Mt. Wannaseeamoose, rather than looking up at its majestic summit.



Preparedness for the Zombie Apocolyptiwhoopsageddon and Rapture Ascension

Quite seriously, preparedness is something I certainly believe in… I have a “home” bucket for power failures and weather related emergencies, I carry a “breakdown-and-stranded” bucket in the car trunk [there is also a repairs tool kit pouch and a pocket emergency kit in the door pocket]. I always carry one of my pocket emergency kits when I go out in the woods beyond my own backlot, and I am usually carrying the “knife/ light/ fire” essentials right in my front jeans pocket at all times.


As TV constantly reminds us, the lizard people, the fascists [or lib-tards], the zombies, or something is always just ahead to ruin our safe little lives. 2019 looks like a great year to get COMPLETELY up-to-date and stylin’ for whatever next end-of-world scenario comes along, and “RINO” has you covered in one of the best looking solutions… not necessarily the best preparedness package, but certainly the “best looking” I’ve seen.


$149 [vs $199 msrp] gets you just the bags.


$300 [$385 msrp] fills them with a full load-out of generic “survival stuff”!



Only three days left today [Feb 10, 2019], so, check them out on Kickstarter for yourself>>>

RINO Companion – The world’s most advanced two person 72 hour emergency survival system. Fusing unmatched organizationquality, and quick access – built to withstand whatever life throws your way.

  • I think it does truly look great, and super well-organized.
  • However, those great looking, snug fitting little packages seem limiting, and their build looks like it wastes space… give me stuff sacks and plastic bags, please.
  • The rigid “pack” looks small to me, and I question just how comfy it’s gonna be on your back.
  • It also doesn’t look like there is much room for your own gear… I mean, face it, you are going to want to take some stuff that doesn’t “live” permanently in the pack.

To each his own/ one size doesn’t fit all/ do your own thing/ it’s your money….. but, personally, I’ll pick-and-choose my own load-out of stuff of know/proven quality, and stick with my 5 gallon car bucket and a regular, soft sided backpack.

Christmas Swag… for the Elf

My lady, elfLiza, is a native Carolinian with little experience with the cold of the Nawthern Wintahs. The Xmas gnomes brought her a USB handwarmer.  It’s a bit of a mouthful as “Human Creations EnergyFlux Enduro Rechargeable Hand Warmer 7800mAh / USB Portable Charger Power Bank/ Flashlight”, so we’ll just call it the Enduro.

The Enduro is indeed all of those things and does each of them passably well.

The warmer function is accessed with a long press on the power button… a longer press yields the higher warmth level. I don’t find much difference in the hand, and would suggest the lower level to increase the length of heating cycle although the difference is represented as 6.5 hrs vs 7 hrs.
The red light blinks faster to indicate the higher heat.
The blue crescent of lights are the battery indicators.
It’s downside is that the battery takes 6-8 hours to charge up from zip, but you can basically use any USB source that’s handy.





The LED flashlight is accessed by a double-click, and turns off the same way. It is a decent enough directional light with sufficient power to get you around a dark campsite or room.

We haven’t had any need to use the Enduro as a USB powerbank, but I trust from the rest of the experience that it will also be perfectly satisfactory.


Our use shows that the hand warmer function heats up quite quickly… after 30 seconds you can feel the warmth and it is at “full” heat within only a couple of minutes. As I said, I’m quite satisfied with lower heating level. The elf likes it hotter.

I have used a Zippo branded, lighter fluid hand warmer since I was a kid. The Enduro surpasses the Zippo in heating temp by a fair bit. However, since one of my own most common uses is to tuck the warmer into my scarf, either under my chin, or against the back my neck, I actually prefer a slightly lower heat so that I don’t get scorched. You can very definitely feel the heat of the Enduro building up in a pocket.

[The other thing I like about my trusty old Zippo fuel heater is that I can hold the tip of my cigarette against the catalytic converter and light it.]

It is always nice to find a product that can fulfill several needs in one unit. The Enduro fits the bill.

A last “however” is that the Endoro is certainly another one that fails to meet my 90%-50% criteria even though the pre-Christmas sale price was considerably reduced from the current offering. But anything that keeps the elf up here in New England seems like a pretty good deal to me and the gnomes.

EDIT~ 45 days in use: this has turned out to be very good choice. I was quite content with the old-school fluid lighters until I found out how convenient it is to have a hand warmer that comes up to heat so fast, and turns off just as quick... the poor elf gets only about half the use of it. If she want to use it she has to keep asking me which pocket of which of my coats it’s in today…

Handy Trail Breakfast

…the lighting is a bit odd today… my hands are not quite that violet ordinarily

Peanut butter filled pretzel bites [140cal. a dozen] and Jack Links new fully-cooked AM Breakfast Sausages [150cal. for three]… nice combo. Tastes a little like crunchy satay. Very good! And just a bag in my pocket.

Finish it off with some Peanut M&Ms and a swig of water… onward into the fog

The Traditional Ash Pack Basket

Contemporary design inspired by the earlier Northwoods pack baskets from the 19th Century.  This one was made by Bill Mackowski in Milford, Maine.

Taken from Bill’s site:

Nothing speaks of the traditions of the Maine woods or the mountains of the Adirondacks like a hand crafted brown ash (black ash if you’re from away) pack basket.  Imbedded in the very creation of the Native Abenakis (People of the Dawn), brown ash is the most unique and durable of all natural or manmade weaving materials.  Nothing can compare with its texture, workability, and visual beauty.  Even its smell has an unusual and inspiring quality.  Although it has been the preferred material of untold utilitarian and artistic basket creations, to me, it’s true beauty reaches its pinnacle in the lines and character of a hand crafted pack basket.

For hundreds of years, no self respecting guide, trapper, or woodsman ventured into the woods of Northern New England and New York without his pack.  It was as critical as his bed roll or tea bucket.  It was his signature piece of apparel.

Many of these packs were made by the guides themselves, but many more were made by the basket makers that lived and crafted throughout the North East.  To me, every one was a unique and artistic creation.  Each maker having his little variation or particular quirk in the crafting.  Unfortunately, most of these craftsman never marked their work, and their styles have been lost over time.  Those packs that remain and are traceable to any of these old craftsman, are truly a piece of North woods history.”

LL Bean used to market one much closer to those shown below [and may still].

A web clip of what I assume entries at a “common-ground” type craft fair

Traditional Pack Baskets are available from a good number of craftsmen throughout New England and can be ordered online from most.