Thursday, May 29, 2014

Testing the SOG E-Tool Shovel, eating Grasshopper, enjoying the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

After burying my head in my laptop for the last 2 weeks, trying to catch up on a boatload of new material I plan to post this summer, I finally got a chance to trek around the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. They really are an awesome place to be in the late Spring. While I was out, I also played around with SOG's new Elite E-Tool Ultralight Entrenching Tool and had a grasshopper snack in the process.

(click on photos to enlarge)

While hiking around the edge of the San Luis Valley where it meets the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hunger pangs caught up with me. Just then, I spotted a big, juicy grasshopper on the ground in front of me - snack! (Ok, it's not my first choice for food, but I like to eat them from time to time to keep myself conditioned to eating "lesser" survival foods).

The SOG E-Tool's shovel head and lightweight construction came in handy because I was able to use it like a net to pin the grasshopper down and catch it. After processing the grasshopper, I dug a small pit in the ground and made a fire to roast it. All the grass and other small tinder in my vicinity was wet from a recent thunderstorm, so I carved the dry inner wood from a dead Chokecherry branch to make tinder to get the fire going.

Chokecherry tree:

The SOG Shovel made a great tinder holder for the Chokecherry shavings:

Here is the pit I dug with the SOG. First impression-- very good. The SOG E-Tool really came in handy while weighing much less than a traditional steel E-Tool. It seems to be durably built, but of course, only long term testing will tell if it's as tough as it seems. I plan to carry it with me on future adventures, where I will test the saw and use the shovel in harder ground to see how it holds up. You can check our SHOT Show 2014 review of the SOG E-Tool here.

Ready for roastin'! I wanted to make the grasshopper a quick snack, so I put it on a short stick and used my Leatherman to hold it close to the fire to roast it:

Grasshopper isn't the greatest tasting food, but compared to Carpenter Ants, it's almost gourmet. If you've never eaten roasted Carpenter Ants - they are very nasty! They're much better if you roast them and grind them up to add to a stew. That seems to lessen the bitter taste.

Actually grasshopper tastes a little like....(no, not chicken) shrimp! Bon appetite'!

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 @ (without spaces)

No comments:

Post a Comment