Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BLOG UPDATE- Off the Grid!

No, RMB hasn't been sleeping on the job! If you're wondering why the post count has dropped recently, let me take a minute to explain........


I was lucky enough to secure a remote test location in the mountains thanks to a fan of the blog, who owns property which borders the National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park. I have been working very hard to set up a base camp there from which to blog from, hence my conspicuous absence.

This location is completely off the grid, to the point where I will have to backpack in my food, water and supplies. My home will consist of a single 10'x14' canvas tent, with power coming from a portable solar power unit, which I will use to charge my digital camera and laptop. This will allow me to edit photos and write reviews offline, which will then be published when I visit town once or twice a week. I will be staying there for the duration of the summer, and since this location is in active bear country, performing tasks as simple as eating and sleeping should be "interesting" to say the least.

This place is also perfect for launching on and off-trail hiking and backpacking trips, and the extreme weather makes it excellent for field testing gear. Due to these extreme conditions, there are lots of blow-down trees that make great fodder for reviewing axes, hatchets and saws. With Dave's assistance, I will also be testing bug-out scenarios for natural disasters as well as base camping gear. This should keep me very busy indeed!

I am very excited to have this opportunity to live the bushcrafting life 24/7 and to take all of you along with me on this new adventure!

My base camp:

(click to enlarge)




Blow-down trees illustrating the high winds that frequent this location:



View from the clearing!

(click to enlarge)


Cheers,

Jason

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

10 comments:

  1. This is going to be a great read for your fans who can't do stuff like that.
    How about a little fishing too?
    I see Fatwood!
    Cattledog

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    1. Hey Cattledog, thanks for the comment. Yes, fishing will be involved too! And yes, some of those very old stumps are fatwood from Lodgepole or Ponderosa Pines.

      Cheers, Jason

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  2. Thanks for rubbing it in Jason

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    1. Sorry mate. If it makes you feel better, sleeping can be hard at times, because if I leave just one crumb of food on me before going into the sleeping bag, I might wake up with a bear on top of me-- not fun! Doesn't make for a "relaxed" feeling if you know what I mean!

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  3. It doesn't make me feel better

    The adrenaline rushes are all part of the experience.

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  4. Hi Jason;
    Would it be possible for you to post a link or zip to a nearby weather station for your faraway readers? I think it would be fun to know the weather from thousands of miles away.
    Looking forward to your miles high blogging trip.
    Be safe and Good Luck!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Cattledog,

      Try this weather station- http://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:80510.1.99999

      It's down the road a ways but the weather and elevation there are similar (I'm at about 200 feet higher in elevation). So far, MASSIVE windstorms. Really pretty scary situation to be honest. My Kestrel weather instrument is being repaired, so I haven't been able to clock wind speeds, but I think some of the gusts have been in excess of 75mph (having been through a hurricane before). 3 straight nights of this and the tent shook so violently that everything was flying around at one point. No bears yet thankfully! Outrageously beautiful days though. Article and review photos will be spectacular. Tons of downed trees for testing axes and hatchets! Thanks for checking in!

      -Jason

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  5. Thanks for the link, That's Cool! Sure have a wide temp range up there.
    Once the sun goes down it gets very chilly.
    75mph wind speed is cause for concern. Watch out for widowmakers and wildfires. I saw a couple axes in the first picture, is one of them a Hudson Bay? Might need to start making a windbreak or better yet a leantoo or cabin lol.
    Hey can you talk about your lighting and cooking set up down the road. And what kind of grub your eating always interesting stuff right there. Is there any way to bump a thread on these blogs? I think the Bears are munching fruit in the berry patch.
    Watch out for Falling Rock ;)
    cattledog

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    1. Hey Cattledog,

      Yes, temps are very extreme. Was around 70 during the day yesterday but went down to about 32 at night. This is why I'm always harping on readers who trek to the Rockies to be prepared. It's a deathtrap if you're not.

      As for widowmakers, yes, always look for them! Log cabin might be in the works. Good way to test all these axes! Speaking of which, I'll be posting reviews of the Husqvarna Forest Axe (my new favorite), Fiskars X15 (another fav), and the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet soon. To answer your question about the axe in the photo, it was either a Best Made/Council Tool 26" Hudson Bay or my 3.5lb Council Tool Jersey Axe (32" handle).

      As for my gear list, already working on it! Fire bans EVERYWHERE, so only canister/liquid fuels. Lighting is from a GoSolar Solar Power unit (review coming).

      Cheers,

      Jason

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  6. Hey Jason,
    Thanks for the info. Looking forward to the updates.
    When cooking at your altitude do some stoves or fuels work better than others. I currently use a snow peak with butane propane and wondered if it would work efficiently over a mile high. It is an area in my gear that needs an update.
    thanks
    cvattledog

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