Saturday, November 29, 2014

Knife used by Creek Stewart on "Fat Guys in the Woods"

Recently, one of our readers emailed us and asked if we knew what kind of knife Creek Stewart uses on the show "Fat Guys in the Woods." Creek, the show's host, also presents this same knife to a participant in each episode who shows outstanding determination or ingenuity.

After watching a couple of episodes of Fat Guys, I can tell that the knife he is using/presenting is an Ontario Blackbird SK-5 Survival Knife with a Hedgehog Leatherworks leather sheath:

I am familiar with this knife/sheath because I reviewed both of them here at RMB last June. Check out the review here.

On a side note, "Fat Guys in the Woods" looks to be one of the better survival shows, presenting good survival techniques while keeping outlandish scenarios and over the top drama to a minimum. I was familiar with Creek Stewart prior to the show, and like Cody Lundin, he is the real deal, with many years of teaching survival and bushcraft under his belt.

Cheers, Jason

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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)

Family heated rocks and put them in rim of spare tire to survive inside vehicle

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reader Adventure: Just out of the military, dreams of bushcrafting in the Colorado Rockies

One of our readers, who wishes to be known as "John", recently got out of the military, and he had always dreamed of having a bushcraft adventure in the Colorado Rockies. Being from the Mid-West, John had never been to the Rocky Mountain wilderness before. After spending time serving his country, John decided it was now or never that he had to make this trip. Below is an email we received from him describing his first adventure.......

Dear Jason,

My bushcrafting trip to the Rocky Mountains in Fairplay, Colorado this summer was quite a learning experience. The area we hiked into (Twelve Mile Trail), was up around 10,500 to 11,00 feet in elevation. We were there during the weekdays, so we had a good bit of privacy.

Here are some of the things I learned from this trip:

-Just as you advised, there are bugs at the treeline - lots of them. I didn't bring a bug net, tent, or deet. Just longsleeves and a boony hat. I'm going to rethink my gear selection next time.

-The bushcraft bed I made (shown in the photo) was actually quite comfortable. There were lots of biting ants around our camp, so having the bed off the ground really helped us to stay clear of them.

-Purifying water was a full time job. I could never drink enough of it. We had two 1.5L cooking pots boiling water non-stop and it was never enough. I wished I could've just drank out of a stream like a deer. There has to be a better way.

-Squirrel Meat + Peanut Butter tastes like China Buffet's "Peanut Chicken!" (I think squirrel is their secret ingredient!)

-Gear- We brought along two pieces of gear that turned out to be especially useful. One of these was a Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe, and the other a book called "Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains." The Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe NEVER lost its edge, even after all the chopping we did.

The "Edible and Medicinal Plants" book was more valuable and relevant than any military training I've had, and was DEFINITELY worth it to take with me. It has a picture index, and it also describes the various plants' preparation methods and uses. The book said that Aspen is great for bowls/spoons, since it doesn't splinter. Willow is great for baskets. Douglas Fir sap can be used for chewing gum to clean teeth. Blue Spruce needle tea for vitamin C, etc. All great info.

Conclusion- Getting out there like this just makes me realize just how much there is to learn. It also really motivated me to get another trip planned. Next time, however, I think I'll go somewhere lower where there is more moisture :)

I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my email, and for giving me some great advice that turned out to be very helpful.



Have a Rocky Mountain bushcrafting adventure story to share? A cool photo? Email us at rockymountainbushcraft @

Ben's Backwoods new hooded sweatshirts

Hey if you're a fan of Ben's Backwoods, Ben has some cool new hooded sweatshirts hot off the presses. Ben brought some of these to the 2014 Winter Camping Symposium that I attended last month, and they were really popular. Makes for a nice mid-layer shirt for bushcrafting in cold weather too.

Here's the link to the sweatshirt:

Cheers, Jason

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Lumbersexual' replaces 'metrosexual' as all the rage

Bushcrafters, prepare to get some extra lovin from the ladies! The "Lumbersexual" look is in, "metrosexual" is out. So all of you manly, bearded, wood-chopping men will finally get your due!

Friday, November 21, 2014

3 Years of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft, Upcoming Giveways

Hey friends, hope you are well! Come December 1st, it will be three years since Rocky Mountain Bushcraft first began. I originally started RMB as a hobby to write about products and techniques that interested me, never expecting it to grow the way it did.

Thanks to your support, it has become so much more. Leah and I are honored and humbled to still be doing this-- thank you!

As a way of saying thanks, I am setting up giveaways with the folks at Kelty Backpacks, Mora/Industrial Revolution, and Lansky Sharpeners to give you guys some great stuff.

Thank you all again for your wonderful support and hope you have a great rest of your week.


Jason and Leah

PS- Please make sure to stop by the Rocky Mountain Bushcraft Facebook page and "Like" us!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wintergreen Northern Wear set to reopen under original owners- UPDATED

Ely, Minnesota-based Wintergreen Northern Wear set to reopen this winter

As some of you may recall, RMB reviewed some of Wintergreen's fantastic US-made winter outdoor clothing last year. After spending time testing them, we became a huge fan of these durable, well-designed clothes. It wasn't long after we posted our review that Wintergreen abruptly shuttered its doors, leaving many people to wonder about the fate of this legendary Minnesota brand.

After a year of being out of business, Wintergreen has been revived by its original owners Paul and Susan Schurke, who plan to reopen Wintergreen sometime in the next few months. Check out the full story here.

You can also follow the progress of the reopening over at Paul and Susan Schurke's Wintergreen Dogsled Facebook page

Wintergreen's new website-

Cheers, Jason

Monday, November 17, 2014

TV Guide Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

"If this (Survival) TV craze was about the medical profession, people would be in jail." - Cody Lundin

This article from TV Guide contains shocking revelations about the biggest survival TV shows on the air over the last 10 years. TV Guide managed to get quotes from some of the biggest survival celebrities in the business. What they say is rather disturbing.

As some of you know, we have written extensively on this subject. It appears that reality show producers are pushing things more towards a gladiator-style mentality, as opposed to good survival-related programming.


LINK to RMB's coverage of Cody Lundin being fired by the Discovery Channel

So what do you think? Are reality TV producers playing on a slippery slope, or do you think they are moving in the right direction?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

REVIEW: The Council Tool Boy's Axe - US Forest Service edition, is back!

Ok readers, here's a deal you won't want to pass up. As some of you may recall, Council Tool released a limited number of US Forest Service edition (FSS) Boy's Axes last year (check out our review here). 

For the money, this was just about the best axe on the market if you were looking for a full-sized, traditional Boy's Axe. The reason being is that these axes were spec'd by the US Forest Service, and included improvements over Council's Standard Boy's Axe such as an upgraded handle, plastic wedge (more stable and durable than Council's crack-prone aluminum wedges), better edge profile, as well as special attention to the alignment and handle grain.

Since there were only about 50-100 of these axes available at the time, they flew off the shelves and sold out in less than a week after we posted our review.

For those who weren't able to grab one of these excellent axes last time, the FSS Boy's Axe is back, this time, sporting a Velvicut handle!

The Axe

The return of the FSS Axe can be attributed to the Omaha Knife. They convinced Council to do another run of the FSS Axes.

In negotiating this deal, Omaha requested better handles, taking note of the issues Council had with some of their original FSS Axe handles, many of which did not seem to be within Forest Service specs (sideways handle grains, poor alignment, etc).

The result is that new FSS Axes now come with Council Tool's premium Velvicut line handles. Council Tool's Velvicut handles are some of the best axe handles on the market, so this is a huge score for fans of the FSS.


Omaha decided to give buyers a bunch of options when buying the new FSS Axe. In order to to keep the cost of the axe down, the handles are left unfinished. For $59.00, you get a basic FSS Axe with Velvicut handle and factory edge (Forest Service requests their axes to be unsharpened, so they can be customized for the job and environment).

The basic handle has been sanded at the factory and is ready to use, but is not as smooth or has as perfect grain direction as a regular Velvicut Axe. For an additional $10, you can get a hand-picked handle with a smoother finish and better grain direction. (EDITED: The Velvicut handles on the FSS Axe are in fact standard Velvicut handles and fully sanded. The only difference is that they are not coated in Linseed Oil at the factory.)

Our test unit was a "hand picked" model, and had near perfect alignment and grain direction/tightness:

Another excellent option is Omaha's free sharpening. For no charge, Omaha will sharpen your FSS Axe with a mirror polished, razor-sharp edge. I was frankly surprised at how sharp my test sample was, easily cutting through paper like my sharpest Mora knives. Omaha assured me that this is how all FSS Axes with the optional sharpening will come. 


The FSS Axes do not come equipped with sheaths. However, Omaha has a couple of options if you want to order it with a sheath. The cheaper option is a universal Council Tool buckle-style leather sheath, shown below:

At $16, the sheath is not on par with a custom-fitted sheath like on Gransfors Bruks axes, but seems very well made and durable. The only issue I had was that the strap didn't have enough holes to adjust it tight to the FSS's head. I had to punch a hole in the strap to get it to fit right. If you don't have a leather hole puncher, just lay the strap on a 2x4 and drive a small to medium sized nail through it to punch a hole.

For $25, Omaha will sell you a Velvicut leather sheath, which is the same sheath used on Council's Velvicut "Bad Axe" Boy's Axe and a perfect fit on the FSS:


I was curious to see how the FSS Axe felt with the new Velvicut handle, and also wanted to know how well it would chop with Omaha's sharpening job. After using it to buck this large pine log in half, I have to say that the handle felt fantastic, and the razor sharp edge cut deep and threw big chips in the process. Great job Omaha!


As I stated in our original review of the Council Tool FSS Axe, this is simply the best full-sized, traditional Boy's Axe on the market for the money. Even though it is a little more expensive than last time ($59 vs $45), when you factor in getting an upgraded Grade "A" Velvicut Hickory handle, plus Omaha's outstanding free sharpening, it's an even better deal than before.

Even if you add one of the optional sheaths, the FSS Axe is still a whopping $56 to $65 dollars cheaper than Council Tool's Velvicut "Bad Axe" Boy's Axe. That's what I call an outstanding deal. I don't know if Omaha will be able to get more of these after this batch runs out, so you may want to grab one ASAP.

5 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

The Council Tool Boy's Axe Forest Service edition is available exclusively from Omaha Knife

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Just Arrived: Marlin Papoose .22 Survival Rifle


Hey folks, just picked up this super cool Marlin Papoose .22 Survival Rifle today. The Papoose is a semi-automatic .22 Long Rifle with a detachable barrel, 7-round magazine (10 round magazines are optional) and it comes in a case that is supposed to float in water (we'll find out!).

Here is the official description of the Papoose from Marlin's website:

"If you like to take a rifle with you when you're backpacking, boating, four-wheeling or just taking a hike, the Model 70PSS, with its 7-shot clip magazine, is a natural for you. You can take it apart or put it together in a matter of seconds. 

This all-weather version of the famous "Papoose" enjoys the versatility of stainless steel construction, combined with a rugged fiberglass-filled black polycarbonate stock. 

It's also equipped with an automatic "last-shot" bolt hold-open. It comes in a padded carrying case with built-in flotation."

I have been trying to get my hands on one of these Papoose rifles for over two years, so it's great to finally have one in hand. My dad gave me a Marlin Papoose for Christmas when I was 11 years old, so it's going be a real nostalgia trip to review this gun. I plan to field test the Papoose over the next couple of months and post a full review this winter.

Cheers! Jason

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Council Tool releases new Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe with 19" handle

Long time axe maker Council Tool has just released a 19" handled version of its popular Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe. The original Velvicut Hudson Bay Axe, which we reviewed back in December 2011, has a 22.5" handle. This shorter-handled Velvicut Hudson Bay should appeal to hikers and bushcrafters who need a compact axe that can easily fit inside their packs.

Rocky Mountain Bushcraft in 2015 Tropical Forestry Handbook

Looks like some of the text from our Primitive Bow Saw article is going to be included in the 2015 Tropical Foresty Handbook, due out next summer. Specifically, they asked to use our explanation of the two different types of bow saw blades (Raker Tooth vs Peg Tooth blades). Being as I'm a lifelong nut about trees, it's an honor to be included. 

Cheers, Jason