Are You Ready for Your Close-up?
The Brilliance of New England in the Fall
Two weeks ago I posted a few photos of Autumn here in New England. Luckily the winds and rain have been gentler this year so we still have lots of leaves on the trees – enough to get some great close-up photos of them.
Since words don’t do justice to the beauty of Nature, I’ll just post some of the photos that showcase the trees’ stunning reds, oranges, yellows and greens (click on any photo to start the slideshow).
United Cutlery M48 Tactical War Hammer with Vortec Sheath
Over the years we’ve found that Hiking, Camping and Shooting gear comes in 4 categories:
1) Essential Necessities – Gear that you absolutely must have to even consider a Hiking, Camping or Shooting adventure. Gear like a good pair of hiking boots, a quality tent or hearing protection. Without these items you either can’t start your activity, or you risk having a bad outcome during the outing.
2) Need to Have Gear – This is gear that is one step up from the minimum necessary gear. Gear that you might get away with not having initially, but that really need to have to be prepared for the Hiking, Camping or Shooting activity. This type of gear includes items like a hiking first aid kit, lightweight trail food, a sleeping pad, slings or paper targets.
3) Nice to Have Gear – This category includes the gear that you invest in as you participate in more Hiking, Camping or Shooting adventures. You really don’t “have to have” this gear, but it makes doing the activity easier or more fun. In this category we would include a camera to take on your hikes, a good saw to take camping with you and a good range bag to keep all your stuff together when you go shooting.
4) Want to Have Gear – Finally there is the category that includes all the gear that you really don’t need – but want so much that you purchase it anyway. Here we include multiple compasses (since there’s always a better one out there on the market somewhere), another knife or other bladed tool (after all who doesn’t need a pocket knife, mid-sized locking blade knife, fixed blade survival knife, machete, hatchet, axe, etc.,), or another firearm that’s a different caliber or design than the ones that you already own.
In our opinion, the problem with being a long time Hiker, Camper and Shooter is that you quickly acquire the “essential necessities” and “need to have” items since they are what really make your adventures possible, practical and fun. Then, over the next several of years, you buy the “nice to have” items since they allow you to do more and make your adventures easier and more comfortable. After that you’re just gilding the lily by purchasing more and more gear that seems novel, better or just cool.
Well, we’ve been Hiking, Camping and Shooting for quite a while, so we are now clearly in Phase 4 – purchasing gear that we “want to have” – but really don’t need. Being in that mode leads to purchases like the United Cutlery M48 Tactical War Hammer with Vortec Sheath; an item that you can have a lot of fun with – but has no real practical value.
The M48 Tactical War Hammer (Item #: UC3069) is a hammer/axe combination with a 7 ¾” black oxide-coated stainless steel head (cast 2Cr13) with a 5-spiked war hammerhead on the face and a piercing spike on the back side. The hammer is 15 ½” in length and weighs 2 ¼ pounds. The hammer has a reinforced nylon handle that includes 30% fiberglass in its construction. The axe head is attached to the handle by three metal bolts. Since the hammer face and the rear spike are so sharp it comes with a Vortec Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) cover for the entire head. The TPR cover folds in the middle so that you can easily put it on and take it off.
The design allows for comfortable one-handed use even though the hammer feels pretty solid and hefty when you are swinging it. The hammer face has four edge spikes and a thick central pyramid spike that gives it real smashing power. The backside spike is quite sharp and penetrates deeply into wood and everything else that we have used it on. Although it might be useful as a demolition tool, we just use it for fun (poor watermelons, pumpkins and cantaloupes). If you want to see the M48 Tactical War Hammer in action here’s a great video from Adam Celadin, a 4 time World Champion knife thrower, using it to destroy everything in sight.
You can buy the United Cutlery M48 Tactical War Hammer on Amazon.
In addition, if you like tactical bladed weapons, then you might want to check out United Cutlery’s entire M48 line of products at:
Gotta Love the Fall Colors
Autumn in New England
Well, it’s the middle of October, and here in New England that brings both good news and bad news.
The good news is that we're surrounded by beautiful Fall colors wherever you look. The bad news is that some of the beautiful leaves that you see on the trees will end up on your yard and you will have to rake them. But, most people that live in New England are more than willing to make this tradeoff since the beauty of nature vastly outweighs the effort to pick up the leaves.
Here are some photos from this week showing the magnificence of Nature in the New England woods that surround us (click on any photo to start the slideshow).
Beautiful Buffalo River
Roaming the Ozark Mountains
This week we were fortunate to get to spend some time in the Buffalo River Valley portion of Arkansas. As always the woods are peaceful, the scenery is gorgeous and the wildlife is everywhere. Here are two photos of the elk that we saw as we walked along the Buffalo River.
For those of you not familiar with the area, the Buffalo National River was established in 1972 as America's First National River and flows freely for 135 miles making it one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 United States. The park encompasses over 95,000 acres that surround the free-flowing Buffalo, much of which is linked together by a network of trails that accommodate hiking and equestrian activities. These trails allow you to hike to locations that showcase both the natural and human history that have shaped the Ozarks.
Here are a couple photos of the massive bluffs that tower over the Buffalo
Of course the most beautiful areas are those actually on the river - which are comprised of everything from running rapids to quiet pools, all surrounded by the bluffs and forest, as you float through the Ozark Mountains down the Buffalo to the White River.
Although my friends and family don’t want to let other people know about the Buffalo River - so that they can keep it to themselves – you really might want to take a trip to the Ozark Mountains to see it; especially in the fall since that’s when the trees turn the mountains a spectacular set of colors. If you want a little taste of what the area is starting to look like now that it is October, you should check out the recent article from Arkansas Living Magazine titled: “Autumn in Arkansas – Through the lens of Tim Ernst”:
If you want to make the trip, here’s the link to the National Park Service’s webpage about the Buffalo National River:
Here's their hiking page for information and maps about the park's trails:
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