All posts by Michael Zimmermann

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Gear Review — Grand Trunk Hammock

I like camping in hammocks, and sleeping under the canopy of stars and leaves. In early summer, this isn’t possible with an open hammock design in the woods because of the bugs, but during the day, any hammock is just heaven.

I recently conducted a test of the Grand Trunk Single Hammock, and if you’re in the market for something to bring with you this Fourth of July weekend, you can’t go wrong with this simple little number.

Read the full review

Mosquitno Products in packages

Gear Review — Mosquitno Bands and Spotz

Happy (soon-to-come) Canada Day/Fourth of July/First week of summer!

Spring is officially done, and for many people that means that summer fun can begin in earnest. More active, outdoor lifestyles means more weekends at the local park, at the cottage, biking, hiking, and, of course, camping — all of which mean mosquitos.

In the buggy times for the upper USA and Southern Canada, it’s time for me to stay along the lakes, where it’s breezy and bug-free.

You can’t always choose when you’re needed in bug country or season, so you should have a good roster of deterrents, and their relative effectiveness.

Today, I look at the Mosquitno line of products, which include their flagship wristbands (“Bands“), and a secondary product called “Spotz“. Their website seems a little light, but this is a simple, straightforward family-run company, so most people’s questions would be answered in their FAQ, and, of course, reviews like this one!

Read the full review

Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” movie version, with Robert Redford

Not sure how this slipped by me, but yes, it looks like they’re making a movie version of the very entertaining and insightful tale about his adventure on the Appalachian Trail, “A Walk in the Woods”. No relation, of course, to the name of this site. :)

Looks like it will be directed by Ken Kwapis, and will star a pretty awesome cast: Emma Thompson, Robert Redford, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson!), Mary Steenburgen, and Nick Nolte as “Katz”.

Bill Bryson is also the author of “The Lost Continent”, “Neither Here Nor There”, “Notes From a Small Island”, and “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” — arguably novels about travel, but often filled with wit and social commentary.

I’ll keep an eye on this one for sure! Check out the link on IMDB for details and updates!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1178665/

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Knife-making with Dean Piesner and Robb Martin

Knowing as much about my tools as I can has always been the way I’ve been wired. It’s the reason I took up an interest in blacksmithing in the first place — I took a one-day historical society course on how to make a traditional Native neck knife (the pocketknife of the fur trade era). That cemented the fact that if you know how to make your tools, you adopt a mindset that is very versatile, very flexible.

This lends itself well to survival, to bushcraft, and to daily living, in or out of the city.

That course was a revelation, and started me down a road that had me seeking out new teachers, building my own forge, and realizing how tough it is to actually spare the time to get good at anything. I tried to keep moving forward nonetheless, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to bring the past few years of occasional smithing experience (including studies with Robb Martin of Thak Ironworks) together, and learn how to hand-forge the ultimate general-use tool, the fixed blade knife:

I’ll be writing a bit more about the process involved from start to finish, but for now, I still need to finish and haft the first of these knives, and of course, I’m looking forward to making the sheath. After that I have many more to make, and still much to learn.

Mike Zimmermann - Forge work

Cody Lundin announces he’s “been fired by Discovery Channel”

Cody-LundinCody Lundin, “Dual Survival” television host and survival and primitive living instructor, announced on his Facebook feed yesterday (February 17, 2014) that he has been fired by Discovery Channel, citing differences over safety and health concerns.

More details have yet to be revealed. As of this posting, the Discovery Channel website still sports Cody Lundin’s bio, with no mention of the change.

Lundin’s Facebook post appears below.