Hennessy Hammock – A good nights sleep while hanging from the trees. At least that’s the idea anyways. I’ve been reading the reviews on Amazon, and I have to say that overall, it does seem to be the theme. Looking at the majority of the reviews, the strong points seem to be the fast set up time, ease of use, comfort while sleeping, and the only major bad thing was that it’s a little cool, so make sure to have some kind of liner or sleeping pad for insulation on the colder nights. I’ve always wanted one of these Hennessy Hammocks, and I think that this summer I’ll probably get one. If I do, I’ll make sure to give an update once I’ve had a chance to try it out a couple of times.
Swedish Fire Torch – When it comes to campfires, bigger isn’t always better, especially if you’re trying to just heat up some water or do a little cooking. Swedish Torch, Swedish Candle, there are a couple of different names for it, but if you’re looking for a relatively easy way to start a fire and a way to hold a small pot for cooking, then this is a great method. Some people use a chainsaw to make two or more cross cuts on a log, others just use an ax, and split a log into fourths, and then there is the variation like the one in the above video where you can just use multiple smaller branches to contain the tinder. Either way, when it comes to camping or traveling, it’s always good to know more than one way to do something and that is especially true when it comes to making a decent fire.
Multi-Tools – A while back I lost my Leatherman Wave and have been looking for a good replacement. Prior to that I also had a Leatherman PST that I also lost. At this point I’m almost afraid to get another one just because I know I’ll probably lose it, but in any case I’ve been looking at all the new ones that are available. I’ve read a lot of reviews on Amazon. I always try to read the worst reviews and then the average reviews to get the best idea of what to expect. The crazy thing, is no matter what brand, on the worst reviews someone has experienced some kind of major flaw, like the pliers snapping off, the Phillips head breaking, or on the one handed models I was reading about the pliers getting stuck and making it non-operable. Now on the other hand, it does seem like 80% of the people are also happy with whatever brand they end up choosing. I also know that in my own experience that I never had a single problem other than actually not being able to find it. Well after all that, and looking at all the new ones, I think I’ll probably just end up getting another Wave Muli-Tool. I personally just think it’s got the best mix for me of not being too huge and chunky, has all the tools I want i.e. file and saw, and if I buy it somewhere like REI, if it breaks I’ll just take it back and get another one due to their great 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Places to see in Bolivia – I was watching the Bloomberg show today, and they started talking about a new restaurant opening up in Bolivia called Gustu, that is ran in collaboration with the non profit organization started by Claus Meyer called the Melting Pot Foundation. Apparently Claus Meyer is well known for his other restaurant Noma, which has previously been ranked as the best restaurant in the world in 2010 and 2011. Anyways, after hearing about Gustu and realizing that no matter how good the eating is, there’s no way I’m going to travel half away around the world just for some food… I need an ulterior motive to go that far. Well I think I found my motivation. I ran across a blog by Jayson Simon-Jones who is a guide right here in my own backyard of Crested Butte Colorado. After looking at the pictures of a recent trip to Bolivia, I think I’m sold. You can see his blog here – http://www.cbguidesblog.com If anything, I think I’ll definitely have to add the Salt Flats called Salar de Uyuni to my bucket list. On top of all that, as if I didn’t need any more of an incentive, knowing that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid went there while trying to avoid the law, and that Che Guevara made his last stand in Bolivia as-well just kind of adds fuel to the flames, so to speak of wanting to learn more about Bolivia, its culture and history.
Best watches 2013 – A while back I was looking for a new watch, and noticed this company, Magrette Timepieces. They are out of Auckland New Zealand. This company makes some very nice watches at a great value. They are not the cheapest timepieces available, but when you consider that each one is part of a limited edition run, and they only use some of most reliable and proven components in the design and assembly, that and the fact that they only use mechanical movements, speaks to the uniqueness. Personally, I can’t really see spending 5000+ dollars on a great watch that everybody and their grandpappy has, when you can pick one of these up for only 575.00 including shipping and know that the chances of you and your co-worker wearing the same watch is slim to none. On top of all that, these weren’t made to just sit in a safe, these were designed to be worn everyday, and have some great features listed below.
Matt finished ceramic bezel
Pressure escape valve for enhanced diving
Brushed/polished case finish
Double domed sapphire crystal
C3 Super Luminova hands and dial
Water-resistant to 500m/1650ft
The best snorkeling mask is the one that fits right.
After thinking about my last couple of snorkeling adventures and spearfishing attempts, the thing that always stood out was never quite getting a good fit with my snorkeling mask and the constant fogging. A little research, and here are some great tips to help you out so you don’t end up like me.
Cyprus – With Cyprus being in the spotlight right now due to the issues with their banking sector, everyone is thinking of the bailout problems and such… Me? I’m thinking about waiting till some of the dust settles and making that my next vacation spot. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean besides Sicily and Sardinia. I’ve been to Sardinia and absolutely loved the beaches there, so if the beaches in Cyprus are half as good, then count me in. Plus Cyprus has always been on my list of places to go, so depending on how things end up over there, it definitely might be next. And who knows, if things don’t turn around, then I can always start my austerity vacation package tours where you can get your picture taken on the front lines of a riot with moped helmet and gas mask included.
Zamberlan Boots – A while back I was at REI looking at some new hiking boots and these Zamberlan Nuvolao boots caught my eye. I was initially looking at the Asolo and Scarpa boots, but these just spoke to me and called my name. Probably it was the full leather construction, leather lined inside, and the Norwegian welted soles that really stood out, or maybe that they’re made in Italy, whatever it was they felt really great on my feet and they looked awesome. In fact they look so nice you’d almost be afraid to hike in them. If you read the Zamberlan boot reviews on the REI page one guy said it perfectly, “Don’t even look down man just keep on trucking.Every time you hit something you imagine a cow in Italy crying.” I haven’t pulled the trigger yet on getting these because after my recent reviews of the Hanwag boots , and the Limmer Boots, I’m kind of torn on which ones to get. I never understood how girls could have a whole closet full of shoes and spend hundreds of dollars on fancy designer shoes until now, now I feel their pain. If it were up to me I’d just buy a different pair of boots for every day of the week so I didn’t have to choose, and I got to try every boot out there.
Cherry Blossom Festival – Today on CNN I read that in Japan, the Cherry Blossom Festival, or Hanami as it’s called, has got an extra early start due to the weather this year. Normally the cherry blossom season starts anywhere from late March to early April depending on what part of Japan it’s in. Here in the USA, our season is supposed to be March 26th- March 30th for the peak blooming time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. I’m not sure if I’ll be making it over to Tokyo anytime soon, but in the meantime I found out that here in Denver CO, the SGI-USA (Buddhist Association for Peace, Culture and Education) has already planted over 1000 cherry trees in areas such as Cherry Creek, Wash Park, City Park, Sakura Square and other areas. It won’t be the same as an actual trip to Japan but it’ll have to do for now.