Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Council Tool responds to the discontinuing of the 22.5" handled Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe

(photo credit: Omaha Knife)

Hey friends,

As some of you may remember, I wrote a post back on April 26th about Council Tool discontinuing their wildly popular 22.5" long Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe.

An online axe reseller we spoke with at the time said that Council told them that they were having an issue with getting enough high grade hickory wood to make the 22.5" handles. Council said that this led them to the decision to discontinue the popular 22.5" Velvicut model.

Even with this information, many people were still scratching their heads as to why Council couldn't seem to find a way to continue making the axe. We contacted Council Tool recently, and were pleased to receive a response from the Vice President of Council Tool, Miss Pickett Council:

Greetings Jason,

You and the Council Tool distributor referenced in your post are absolutely right – market supply and availability drove the decision.  The longer length handle is somewhat of an “odd duck” for handle suppliers.  When manufacturers grade premium handles, there’s nothing they can do with fallout in the 24” version.  So if a great percentage of handles don’t make the cut, the handle producer has a great deal of excessive scrap.  Hence it’s a more expensive production.  But in addition, the shorter handle is more appropriate for the design of the Hudson Bay.  We experienced a great number of users “over-using” the product.  As you know, the Hudson Bay is designed for lighter uses, not taking down large trees, etc.

Hope / trust all is well with you and in the Bushcraft community.


Pickett Council

Council Tool

Rocky Mountain Bushcraft would like to say a special thank you to Miss Council for taking the time to respond to our questions.



Sunday, June 14, 2015

Who da thunk it? The New York Times writes a positive article about men carrying pocket knives

Wes Siler, a Los Angeles-based blogger, said he reached for his pocketknife to help a man at the site of a car crash.CreditPhotographs by Emily Andrews for The New York Times Barker); John Francis Peters for The New York Times (Siler)

It’s a Jungle Out There? Carry a Pocketknife 
(Article courtesy of the New York Times)

In recent years, office-bound urban men have adopted the accouterments of their free-range rural brethren: the beard, the flannel shirt, the work boot.

To this list add the pocketknife. The staple tool of fishermen and Boy Scout troop leaders is being embraced by guys whose principal workplace implement is a MacBook.

Scroll through the photos on, a website that focuses on items men take along with them, and you’ll find (alongside smartphones, wallets and keys) plenty of pocketknives — some with that old-fashioned faux-bone-handle look, others with titanium handles and utilitarian design.

Bernard Capulong, the site’s co-founder and editor in chief, said a pocketknife conveys ruggedness and lone-wolf competence in a society that is increasingly tech-centric and interconnected.

“There’s an aspect of masculinity and machismo,” said Mr. Capulong, who carries a pocketknife himself. “You can do everything on your own and you’re not helpless.”

Nigel Barker, 43, a New York-based fashion photographer, has noticed that the pocketknife has become de rigueur among the young hipster assistants he works with. “Almost part of their uniform is to have that knife on that belt or in that pocket,” he said.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Jimmy Lile Rambo First Blood Test Knife has arrived!

This knife is a custom, one-off, movie-spec blade created by Vaughn Neeley of Jimmy Lile Knives for a first ever field test and review here at Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. Why is the Rambo First Blood Knife so important? It is the knife that spawned all the popular survival and wilderness blades we have today. I am excited to be the first to field test a real hand-made Lile Rambo knife. Stay tuned! - Jason

SEE ALSO- Rocky Mountain Bushcraft lands first-ever review of Jimmy Lile "First Blood" Rambo Knife

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Beautiful high desert sunset in the Southern Rockies

(photo credit: ©Rocky Mountain Bushcraft 2015)

Hey friends, hope you are well! Just thought I'd share this photo I took of a beautiful high desert sunset in the southern Rockies in Colorado. I took it with our new Nikon D5300 test camera, which has been a great addition to our gear inventory because it makes taking great photos so easy.

Cheers! Jason

Friday, May 15, 2015

SHOT Show 2015: Kel Tec's new weather resistant Nickel-Boron finish

(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

If you like to carry ultra-light semi-autos for trail pistols, listen up. New for 2015, Kel Tec is offering a weather resistant Nickel-Boron finish as an option on its semi-automatic pistols, such as the PF9 (shown above), P11, P3AT and P32. This finish replaces their older Hard Chrome finish.

Kel Tec's Ultra-light PF9 9mm, weighing in at a svelte 12.7 ounces

I got my first look at this finish back in January at SHOT Show and was impressed. Here I am with Derek Kellgren of Kel Tec checking out a new Nickel-Boron finished PF9:

(photo credit: Leah Klocko/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

Kel Tec's featherweight P3AT .380 (only 10 ounces loaded) with Nickel-Boron finish and Optional Neck Lanyard

(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

Kel Tec's pistols are the lightest semi-automatic pistols on the market. This makes them popular with backpackers and hikers who have to count every ounce. The new rust-resistant finish should be a welcome addition for hikers who never know when they'll get caught in a summer monsoon!

Cheers, Jason

For more information, visit:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Benchmade's "Explosive" new Bushcrafter- The EOD

For 2015, Benchmade Knife Company has added a new version of the 162 Bushcrafter knife to its line called the "EOD." The EOD, which stands for "Explosive Ordnance Disposal," was developed after Benchmade got word that members of the US Navy's EOD team in California were using original 162 Bushcrafter knives to cut C4 Plastic Explosives. I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty wild way to use the Bushcrafter! Apparently, EOD team members appreciated the Bushcrafter's combination of cutting performance, rugged build quality, size, S30V stainless blade, and G10 handles.

A member of the US Navy's EOD Team trains for bomb removal:
(photo credit: US Navy)

After Benchmade sat down with some of these Navy Bushcrafter aficionados, they decided to create a new version of the Bushcrafter with a couple of minor changes suggested by the EOD guys. 

One of these changes was to ditch the original leather sheath for a new kydex sheath. A better choice since the guys spent all of their time in and around saltwater:

Because the EOD guys were using the knife for decidedly "less bushcrafty" tasks, no firesteel loop was required on the sheath. This also serves to lighten the knife's carry weight, important when they have to wear heavy, gargantuan super suits designed to withstand a close perimeter bomb blast!

Another minor change was the handle color. The red liners were removed and the color switched from the original Bushcrafter's green to coyote brown.

Everything else about the new EOD Bushcrafter knife remains the same as the standard 162. You can check out our full review of the original Bushcrafter knife here. Bombs away!

Cheers, Jason

For more information, visit

Was this review helpful? 

If you're in the market for a new Bushcrafter EOD Knife, please consider buying one from Rocky Mountain Bushcraft sponsor Lifeview Outdoors. Lifeview is an outstanding company with excellent customer service, and their support helps to make reviews like this possible. 

Show us your appreciation by checking out their internet store here -


Jason and Leah

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Survival Lessons Learned from 6 Animal Attacks (Outdoor Life)

(photo credit: Outdoor Life)

Article courtesy of Outdoor Life Magazine

If last year’s headlines are any indication, incidents of strange and aggressive animal behavior are on the rise in North America. Experts attribute increasing human-animal encounters to a combination of factors—from human encroachment into once--remote wildlife habitat to an ever-increasing number of carnivores migrating into America’s cities and suburbs in search of an easy meal.

In each of these stories, the victim managed to survive through a combination of quick thinking and good luck. Our panel of animal-attack experts examines the likely causes of the vicious encounters, what can be learned from them, and how each might have been avoided.

Read the rest of the story HERE

Sunday, April 26, 2015

High-tech backcountry gear -- with wilderness smarts- can save your life

(photo credit: Monica Tymcio/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

Article courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News

"The influx of technology in the backcountry has been both a godsend to hikers and a headache for rescue crews. As tech for the wilderness becomes more sophisticated and lighter to carry, more backpackers and long-distance hikers have access to lifesaving devices, but the security these high-tech gadgets provide are convincing more novices to tackle rugged outdoor adventures for which they are ill-prepared, wilderness leaders say."

Check out the rest of the story HERE

More information about the death of hiker/mountain climber Kate Matrosova:

The Conway Daily Sun- Expert: Woman's climbing death offers lessons

American Rifleman Magazine: Building An Affordable Survival Rifle

Building An Affordable Survival Rifle'

Emergency preparedness kits come in all shapes and sizes these days. From the pocketable homemade kits tucked into empty Altoids tins to professionally packed 72-hour supply sets, there's something for everyone. There is one idea that’s been floating around the Internet discussion forums for a while now that piqued my interest. It involves repurposing a youth single-shot .22 rimfire bolt-action for wilderness survival.

Read the rest of the story over at American Rifleman Magazine HERE 

(RMB note: I got a chance to hold one of these little Savage Rascal rifles at SHOT Show 2015 and was impressed. For such a tiny gun, you can get a good sight picture, which is usually tough for guns this small due to the shorter length of pull. I plan to test and review one these in the Fall. On a side note, I am working on finalizing the initial reviews of the Chiappa Survival guns and Marlin Papoose .22 Survival Rifle. I think you will find the results rather interesting. Cheers, Jason)

Council Tool discontinues popular 22.5" handled Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe, leaves 17.5" as only option

In a move that is bound to cause head-scratching across the bushcraft world, North Carolina-based Council Tool has discontinued selling their Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe with its highly popular 22.5" handle size. This leaves the diminutive 17.5" handle, shown above, as the only option.

Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe with the original 22.5" handle
(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

From left to right: 19.5 inch Wetterlings Large Hunting Axe, Original 22.5" Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe, and  26.5 inch Council Tool Standard Hudson Bay Axe (far right)

(photo credit: Rocky Mountain Bushcraft)

For many, the 22.5" handle was the perfect size for the Council Tool Hudson Bay. According to one online axe reseller we spoke with, Council told them that they were having an issue with getting enough high grade hickory wood to make the 22.5" handles. Council said that this led them to the decision to discontinue the popular 22.5" Velvicut model.

If it's true that Council is having a hard time getting enough high grade hickory to build these axes, could this be the start of a shortage for Grade "A" axe handles, or is it just a company related issue with a specific supplier? Hopefully, it's only the latter. We plan to contact Council Tool this week and see if we can get more information. We will post an update here as soon as we hear back from them.