Posts Tagged With: pathfinder gear review

Whole Civilizations Were Built Around Containers

by Todd Walker

I’m a container junkie! I can’t get enough.

My most recent addition to my collection is the Ultimate Bottle Cooking Set GEN2 from The Pathfinder Store.

pathfinder bottle cooking set

Cool, huh? But is it worth the price?

I bought this set to replace my old plastic GI canteen with nesting cup for my 72 Hour Kit. Plus, I wanted a water/cooking kit I could grab and throw in my hunting kit or day hike bag. Every thing I need to make fire, collect water, and cook is packed in the water bottle bag.

Here’s what came to my door within two days of placing my order:

The stainless steel bottle adds cooking options I didn’t have with my plastic GI canteen. Now I can cook or boil water within the bottle itself if needed. Couldn’t do that with the plastic canteen. This redundancy alone sold me on the kit.

I’ve got other stainless steel water bottles. As a matter of fact, I was lucky enough to win one (Klean Kanteen) from Camping Survival on Twitter a year ago! It was a smaller bottle without the wide mouth opening. Still, it has come in handy.

The thing about the Pathfinder bottle I like is the size and wide mouth. The only way for it to be better is to include a stainless lid. The plastic screw-on lid seals just fine. It nests in the cup perfectly.

Cons

I’ve done a couple of tests with the set. Right from the start, I noticed a couple of modifications I’d need to make. When removing the cup, which fits snugly in the bag, the metal handle bracket snags on the inside of the bag. This can be remedied with a little tape – or Pathfinder might consider making the bag’s diameter a few centimeters larger.

Sharp edges on the Pack Stove and Grill Top need to be smoothed with a file. Not a biggie. Just be careful using and storing the stove in the top of the bag. I haven’t been nicked using it. But it has that potential.

I’d prefer a metal spork in the kit. But the cost would go up. So the plastic one will do.

Pros

The complete kit is priced at $58.00. If all you want is the bottle and cup, it’ll set you back $32. Buying the items separately would run over $100. The kit is worth the price for me!

The bag has ample storage space for the kit contents and more stuff I’ve added (fat wood, paracord, and jute twine). I like the fact that it can be carried with a shoulder strap (not included) or buckled to a belt or molle straps on a bag. I plan on making a paracord strap like some of my rifle slings I’ve made.

The fire striker comes with an attached hacksaw blade which works well and showers plenty of sparks onto the Micro Infernos fire starters in the kit. I laid open one fire starter with my Mora knife to add extra surface area for the sparks. After a few scraps from the ferro rod, I had fire.

IMG_1071

Another feature I really like is the Bottle Hanger. This item is designed to fit into the wide mouth opening of the bottle. It also fits other bottles like my Kleen Kanteen bottles. This allows you to lift bottles directly from a camp fire or stove. It can also be hooked into two holes in the cup for the same purpose.

The bottle hook on a cup of wild ginger tea.

The bottle hook on a cup of wild ginger tea.

The cup and bottle sit on my Emberlit stove with no problem. I prefer the Emberlit over the stove that came with the kit. But the kit stove works. It’s just not as effective.

Having knowledge and skills allows one to travel with less stuff. This kit is ideal for that purpose. With a good cutting tool and this kit, you could survive in a wilderness emergency. Remember, knowledge weighs nothing.

This cooking kit is very popular at The Pathfinder Store. As of this morning, it is currently unavailable. They sell out quickly. Check their site often if you want one.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, Gear, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Pathfinder Gear Review Interrupted by Randomness

by Todd Walker

Having options and being flexible leads to new discoveries.

This was supposed to be a review of a new piece of gear. But the best laid plans of mice and men tossed a welcomed monkey wrench into my machinery.

I headed out to my proving grounds, an undisturbed slice of heaven in the woods, owned by a good friend. I took my walk-in-woods kit and the new shiny object.

Pathfinders Ultimate Bottle Cooking Set Gen2.

Here’s the shiny object – Pathfinders Ultimate Bottle Cooking Set Gen2.

The plastic bag in the foreground contains Micro Inferno fire starters. A nice addition since we’ve experienced massive raining for a month. Very uncharacteristic in our state.

I gathered tender from hanging dead wood and lit a fire with the ferro rod that came with the kit. I clicked a few pics and went to gather more ‘dry’ wood.

Movement to my right caught my attention. Trespasser was my first thought. Nope. It was my friend’s adult son coming to run off what he assumed was a trespasser.

I’d only met ‘Andy’ once in passing even though I’ve spent lots of time with his dad. Funny how things go that way. But this impromptu meeting proved valuable, for me at least.

We walked down to the fire to rescue it from that ‘dry’ wood. As we stood on a rock in the creek, our makeshift classroom, woods lore took over: wild food foraging, fly fishing, hunting, shaving with a straight razor (may not be considered a bearded woodsman skill – but worthy of manly talk), and all manner of bushcraft.

Our fire was next to the stream Andy had spent his life running. He knew all the freshwater springs feeding the creek – and the location of its edible plants. Bingo!

I filtered some water from a spring feeding into the creek. An unnecessary step according to my new friend who drank from these springs his whole life. I wanted to be safer than sorry. He indulged my added safety step.

With water on to boil, I added pine needles for a cup of tea. Andy jumped from rock to rock across the creek and returned with a single leaf of wild ginger (Hexastylis arifolia) for our brewed concoction. Neither of us had tried the combination of pine needles and ginger. We’re both glad we did this trial-and-error tea. The ginger added a sweetness to the pine needle tea and made it very drinkable.

wild ginger

A wild ginger leaf harvested for DRG to sniff when I got home.

“I wish I could bottle that aroma!” I told Andy.

“You can. I’ve made essential oil from wild ginger for a friend for his soap making hobby.”

Is there nothing my new bushcraft buddy can’t do? was all I was thinking. His dad had told me about Andy’s tinkering skills. He makes beautiful bamboo fly fishing rods (even made a bamboo bicycle), phenomenal  photographer, archer, and now, essential oils from wild plants! And with no institutionalized ‘higher’ education degrees to hang on the wall!

What gives!?

How did he learn so broadly and so thoroughly without those bragging papers professors and corporations and governments say are necessary?

Life changes without notice. It’s random like that. Institutional, factory schooling is rigid. And it stifles, if not completely kills, the natural curiosity encoded in our DNA. Andy immersed his adult life reading what interested him, explored his curiosity, and, as a natural consequence, he’s doing the stuff. Flexibility allows him to stay current on his many skills that give him options.

Options lead to anti-fragility and sustainability.

Talking to smart and interesting people is one of the best educations available. And it’s free!

I never would have known Andy existed if it weren’t for me striking up a conversation and meeting his dad at a dinner party a few years back. Parties are great places to get educated. We became best buds and meeting his son has just widened my scope of things to learn and stuff to do!

On our way out of the nature’s classroom, we picked these for dinner.

chanterelles

Chanterelle – an edible and tasty fungus! Not the green plant.

And the Big Green Egg didn’t let us down…

Chanterelles on the Big Green Egg

Chanterelle on the Big Green Egg ~ with other assorted veggies

The Pathfinder review will be forthcoming. For now, I’ve got chanterelle to dehydrate.

Keep doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S.

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, Gear, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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