Reno's Rambles

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Reno Lewis, May 11, 2018.

  1. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    After a long hiatus due to heat, the flu, a death in the family, and generally feeling like crap, I've been back out exploring now that the temp is dropping.

    Those Deer Keds are still around, but thankfully not in force like a couple months ago.

    Been doing anywhere between 3km and 8km every night, nonstop, up and down hills, on roads and in the woods.

    Found a nice spot this evening. Even with the drought, the stream is still flowing, with some fairly deep areas where the hard clay has been eroded into deep channels. I'll be sure to stop by here during the rainy season and take a couple of comparison pics of the same place.


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    My new stainless 4 finally seeing some carry time.

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  2. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Good to see you back Bro! My condolences re your family member passing.
     
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  3. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Thanks brother. It feels good to be getting back out there. And as a bonus, today is the first day of rain here in about two months. Going to be raining for over a week solid, with more in the forecast.

    I got a new rain jacket right before summer that needs testing, so I'm probably going to be heading out into the deluge to put it through it's paces.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  4. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Just a few random pics from a handful of walks I've gone on these past few days.

    Each has averaged 4km in 1.5 hours.



    Mamma doe and her fawn, walking about 8' behind us.

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    Rural road.

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    Dropping off into the woods.

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    There's a Winkler in there somewhere...

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    Little creek.

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    Farmer.

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    Remnants of an old campsite.

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    Old stone fire pit, overgrown with ferns.

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    Some of the dangers we face while bushwhacking.

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    Looks like an old chair, upside down, with the legs broken off and jagged, poking up out of the ground. Solid as a rock too.

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    The compression straps on the HPG Tara can be rather handy for carrying a wet rain jacket, after it's stopped raining.

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    Couple of tracks I wasn't able to positively identify in the field. Men's size 12 boot for scale.

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    Night timber.

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  5. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Just got in from another walk.

    Found some fresh (less than 12 hours old) cougar tracks, and spooked a bear eating berries in some tall grass at about 75' away. Had to pull my spray and slowly back away as it stood broadside on the road staring me down.

    Fun stuff.
     
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  6. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    ^ good stuff!

    you get a lot of rain today? Howe Sound area near Deeks got monsoon rains.
     
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  7. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    About as much rain as we've had so far. Wouldn't call it monsoon rains by any stretch, but a fair bit nonetheless.
     
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  8. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    One of many short walks as of late.

    After finishing my level 1 tracking course a couple weeks ago, I've started to get out more, due to the much cooler weather, and fewer bugs.

    I've also had a little influx of new clothes and gear I've been testing close to home before trusting them further away.

    My new OR polyester plaid flannel shirts might just be my new favorite shirts, period. Paired with a light synthetic base layer, it's just the perfect amount of insulation for these cool Autumn evenings and crisp mornings. But due to it's 100% polyester construction, it wicks sweat and dries out in minutes. It actually functions better as a insulating technical layer than some of my high end fleeces do in the moisture wicking/drying regard.

    Here's the brown/blue plaid version I have. I was wearing my green one tonight.

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    I've also been testing out my new Garmin 64s running Eneloop pro AA's. I've been wanting to see roughly how long I can squeeze out of these higher capacity Eneloops over what we normally use on duty, alkaline AA's.

    I really do need to pick up the map pack for it though, as it doesn't even show towns, roads etc, let alone trails, logging roads, spurs FSR's etc.

    Oh, and my new steel, of course...


    Decided to drop off the road into the woods before dark to snap a few pics of my new steel, and immediately saw a line of sign.

    Aged it to be from late the night before or thereabouts, and decided there was no immediate danger, but pawed the spray on my hip regardless.

    The spray, being carried in my new Mystery Ranch bear spray holster, which has been working well for me so far, save for one mod needing to be made (to the pull handle).

    A few dozen feet down this line of sign, of which I assumed to be bear, I came across this.


    A slug, chowing down.

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    Continuing down the line of sign, with a poorly drawn arrow indicating direction of travel.

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    As I got to a natural barrier of sorts, I found another line of sign intersecting the original. Direction of travel indicated by the arrow.

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    From my initial observations, the bear entered the forest on the original line, went to the water, likely had a drink, turned right, hopped back up onto the bank, and walked back along the fallen log as seen above.

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    As I casually continued along my line of sign, looking for some good photo ops, I came across this.

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    Using my new Acebeam M20 on MED mode, shining toward the camera, I did my best to capture on camera what I was seeing.

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    And for even more ease, I just (albeit very roughly) drew over it on my phone.

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    Front left black bear paw. It's forefinger and middle finger spread apart, likely for grip, while climbing over the log.

    The claws made an impression in the moss as well, but I couldn't photograph it. They were just too faint.

    And for size reference.

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    I did mention steel, right?

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    Absolutely love the color of my new light. It's called "tan" but it's more like an FDE. It changes with the light.

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    I found a chunk of 3.5" to 4" diameter Maple that had been cut earlier in the year, the end of which was split in half, and stuck in the ground.

    Quite literally standing dead wood, just not in the traditional sense. Didn't get a pic of that though...

    Decided to see how my Difensa chops, as, in a pinch, it might just be the best tool I have access to.

    First bite actually surprised me, at about 1.5" depth.

    Took me about 45 seconds total to cut through the whole thing, and with a rather well balanced blade no less.

    I also love how the coating looks after use. It's not actually wear, just the oils being rubbed off. A little light oil and some paper towel, and it cleans right up, no worse for wear.

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    Just a deer that got spooked, even though she saw me coming from about 100 meters.:rolleyes:

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    Gotta love those Autumn colors.

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    And finally, the crescent moon before it got too dark for photos.

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    Fin.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  9. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    Good stuff Reno, funny thing , my walk companion spoke to me about that same tiny little sliver of moon the other night. I must tell you that the self portraits with the long staff cause me to say "Filthy Hobbitiesss!" every time. :D
     
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  10. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    I dare say Chappie, did the hounds drive off in your 'Landy? (Land Rover) :D

    fORQplX.jpg
     
  11. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Member

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    Awesome stuff
     
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  12. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    freaking AWESOME PHOTO!

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  13. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    Been fairly active as of late, just haven't been documenting it. Figured I'd take a few pics of my outing tonight.

    Less than an hour in my local woods, primarily to collect a suitable Maple for a project or two.

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    Need to identify this tree, haven't seen it before. Plum perhaps?

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    Found a perfect Big Leaf Maple sapling being choked out by larger growth, bent over the trail, and decided to take it.

    It'll serve well for my project, a Roycroft pack frame. I cut them to length in the field, and took them home to clean up the ends, any rough spots/knots that would abrade a tarp/clothing, and dry a little before notching and lashing.

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    Two great tools.

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    With what sounded like a bear in the area, I decided to grab what I needed and head back home. Only leaving behind the tiny, spindly top of the sapling I had cut off.

    I utilized a portion of it to make a friction fire set once I got home, for the sole purpose of trying it. I've never used fresh cut green wood for friction fire before, and wanted to see if I could dry it out enough to get an ember.



    Splitting the hearth.
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    Spindle from the top of the sapling, hearth from the bottom.

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    Drilling pilot hole.

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    Cross batonning right through the 1.5" section to split out a green bearing block.

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    Split a flat off of it and presto, near perfect bearing block sans pilot hole.

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    Burning it in.

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    Cutting the notch.

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    Four or five attempts later, my wrist was right on the brink of failure, and my spindle had worn down.

    I was able to produce a decent amount of smoke and powder, but wasn't able to get an ember.

    Regardless, it was 30 min or so of great fun, and I now know a green maple is more feasible for friction fire than I thought it was. I fully intend to return to it with a new spindle later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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    Thanks for coming along!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  14. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    So I gave the green wood another 5 or 6 attempts, half of which were with a dry spindle and a frictionless bearing block, and it was still a no go. The hearth is just too spongy.

    Just to prove to myself it wasn't my technique, I carved up a new spindle and used last years Maple hearth which has been sitting out all year.

    Knocked this out in about 30 seconds.

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  15. Se7eN

    Se7eN Member

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    This picture is incredible @Reno Lewis
     
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  16. Se7eN

    Se7eN Member

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    Friction fire is a real interest of mine. I think it’s a “must have” skill.

    Love this thread Reno!
     
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  17. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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  18. The Marsh Gorilla

    The Marsh Gorilla Member

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    So why there’s no love for Reno since he left when the other two maple leaf guys left?!
     
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  19. Reno Lewis

    Reno Lewis Knot-A-Challenge Champion

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    I'm still kicking:)

    Just super busy with school, training, re-certifications etc.
     
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  20. The Marsh Gorilla

    The Marsh Gorilla Member

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    Glad to hear!
     
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