Personal note: new water bottle!

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It is neither particularly Anglophilic, nor particularly Anglican, but I have a “real” water bottle again, after years of making do with reused juice bottles (reduce, reuse, recycle…). Visited REI Outdoors in Columbia yesterday, and splurged a bit to purchase this one.

It celebrates both the Appalachian Trailthe longest hiking-only footpath in the world, running some 2200 miles, from Maine to Georgia – and the 50th Anniversary (2018) of the National Trails System Act; a portion of the proceeds (5%) go to support our National Scenic Trails, so I can use that to help justify the purchase!

Pictured with my digital indoor-outdoor thermometer (the “outdoor” portion of which isn’t working again, darn it!) and an assortment of pocketknives.


Side note: I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t notice until just now that REI was sponsoring a hike at Catoctin Mountain Park (just across Route 77 from Cunningham Falls State Park, where I used to work, and a beautiful area of the state) today… until I saw that it had been canceled! So now I don’t need to be disappointed. I do need to get out to that area again, and do some hiking, though!

New Buck folder! #110 Folding Hunter

Buck #110 Folding Hunter

For the first time in many years, I can feel the reassuring heft of a knife on my belt, riding at my right hip: it is a Buck knife, a #110 Folding Hunter, in a black leather sheath.

Just purchased it this afternoon – appropriately, on the Feast of St. Hubert. It is part of Buck’s “Classic” line, made here in the USA: I am doing my best to limit my knife purchases to ones made in America! And sure enough, here’s “A Message from the Buck Family,” on the reverse side of the “Forever Warranty” card included with each knife:

As my father Chuck Buck would say, if this is your first Buck knife, “welcome aboard.” You are now part of a very large family. We think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives family, and we take care of our own.

Now that you are family, you might want to know a little more about us. Dad said it best when he said, “The fantastic growth of Buck Knives, Inc. was no accident. From the beginning, we determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us with the answer. Each knife must reflect the integrity of management. If some¬times we fail on our end, because we are human, we find it imperative to do our utmost to make it right. If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.”

CJ Buck, CEO, Chairman of Buck Knives

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son; so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3:16

Not only an American-made knife, by a family-owned American company, but made by a Christian family-owned American company! Feels good to have it on my hip. Continue reading “New Buck folder! #110 Folding Hunter”

Essential Manual Hand Tools: Carry a Pocket Knife | The Art of Manliness

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It used to be that a pocket knife was an essential item that a man carried with him. You had your wallet, your keys, and your trusty pocket knife.

Source: Essential Manual Hand Tools: Carry a Pocket Knife | The Art of Manliness

It still is an essential item, for me!

Wallet in right rear pocket, comb and handkerchief in the left; keys in left front pocket, knife and any loose change in the right. Sometimes, but not always, watch on wrist; if not, it joins my pocketknife in my right pocket. I usually pat-check myself to make sure I have everything, and everything in its place, before heading out the door.

In fact, I feel rather naked if I realize that I have gone out without even one pocketknife – or even just the small Victorinox “Swiss Army” one that hangs on my key-ring (2.25″ overall size, 1.25″ blade). Typically, as noted above, I have at least one more, in my right pocket, balancing the key-ring in my left; and sometimes a larger one, either in a cargo pocket – if my pants are so equipped – or in a belt case.

It’s a tradition that is no longer as common as it once was, however. Some of Brett’s videos are a little corny, and the one that accompanies this post certainly falls into that category! But nonetheless, this is a good short article explaining the reasons why the tradition of carrying a pocketknife is still a good one in the 21st century. He comments,

“Men have been carrying pocket knives for centuries. But with increased security at the airport and other buildings, knives have been disappearing from men’s pockets. Yet these minor obstacles are not sufficient reason to give up carrying a knife completely. The carrying of a pocket knife is a manly tradition that should be continued.” Continue reading “Essential Manual Hand Tools: Carry a Pocket Knife | The Art of Manliness”

Review: Gränsfors Bruk Forest Axes

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Gränsfors Forest Axes are made to be used in the forest for everything from felling large trees to limbing small logs.

Source: Gränsfors Bruk of Sweden – Forest Axes

While I’m reviewing products with a Nordic origin and/or ethos, I thought I would mention what I consider to be the gold standard in axes, Gränsfors Bruk. Of themselves they say,

Throughout history, the axe has helped us source wood for our fires, build our houses and protect ourselves against enemies, and that’s just scratching the surface. For much of human history, the axe has meant the difference between life and death.

“Here at Gränsfors Bruk, we feel a keen responsibility to ensure that knowledge of axes and axe making is preserved for future generations. We strive to make the best possible axes, based on three different perspectives:

“Making a good product based on the perspectives above is our way of showing responsibility towards everyone who buys and uses our products, towards our environment and towards our staff.” Continue reading “Review: Gränsfors Bruk Forest Axes”

Buck Knives: doing it right!

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“From the beginning, we determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us with the answer… If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.”

— Chuck Buck: from the “Forever Warranty” page, Buck Knives website

Source: The Buck Forever Warranty – Buck® Knives OFFICIAL SITE

Full version:

As my father Chuck Buck would say, if this is your first Buck knife, “welcome aboard.” You are now part of a very large family. We think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives family, and we take care of our own.

Now that you are family, you might want to know a little more about us. Dad said it best when he said, “The fantastic growth of Buck Knives, Inc. was no accident. From the beginning, we determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us with the answer. Each knife must reflect the integrity of management. If sometimes we fail on our end, because we are human, we find it imperative to do our utmost to make it right. If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.”

We have stood by these values since 1902 and honor our products with this Forever Warranty. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding your knife.

CJ Buck

President, CEO, Chairman of Buck Knives

And they put their money where their mouth is, with the “Forever Warranty.” I particularly like this:

If your knife has sentimental value, please make a note of it when you send the knife to us so that we can determine whether to repair or replace.

That, to me, shows way-above-average class – and compassion, realizing that a knife is more than just a tool: it is (or can be) part of a person’s individual “story,” and often their family history as well. Well done, Buck Knives!

I am in the process of finding a replacement for my old Schrade Uncle Henry 3-blade “Stockman,” and since they are no longer made by the original company, or in the U.S., that means buying “pre-owned.” But I think my next new knife is going to have to be a Buck.

Many thanks to Stephen Clay McGehee, who alerted me to the fact that Buck Knives is not only a family-owned company, but one whose ethic is based firmly in the Christian faith.

The Kind of Men Who Carry Pocketknives | Appalachian Magazine

Pocketknife

Who are the kind of men who still carry pocketknives? They are the type of men who earn an honest living, work hard and stand fearless in a world gone mad. To put it simply, they are the type of men the world could use a lot more of these days.

Source: The Kind of Men Who Carry Pocketknives | Appalachian Magazine

It is a rare occasion that I don’t carry at least one pocketknife – two, if you count the small one on my key-ring. My favorite by far was my old Schrade “Uncle Henry” Stockman-style knife, with Image result for schrade uncle henry pocket knifeclip, spey and sheepfoot blades. Somehow I got separated from it, years ago, and I’ve missed it ever since! Sadly, Imperial Schrade of Ellensville, NY – makers of both the Uncle Henry and Old Timer lines of pocketknives – closed their doors July 30, 2004, after 100 years of business.

The Schrade name and its designs are now owned by Taylor Brands, LLC. Although an American-owned company, all new Schrade knives are made in Asia, primarily China and Taiwan. Quality has, predictably, deteriorated.

Currently, my go-to folder for daily carry is a Remington with a single spearpoint blade; if I feel the need for a bit more knife, and don’t mind the extra weight and size in my pocket, I carry an EKA Sweden folder with a modified Scandinavian profile blade, a sturdy, wooden-scaled folder that I like a lot. But I still miss my Uncle Henry!