The wife and I had been looking for a more compact stove. We didn’t want a backpacking stove per se, just something smaller than what we had been using. We came across a YouTube video about this type of stove so we decided to try it.
We like the concept as well as the size. It puts out 8000 BTU’s which is sufficient for our needs. This stove is designed to run on butane but we have an adapter that lets us use propane if necessary. Why butane? Because it’s much cheaper…I purchased 8 cans for $8.99! And butane works just fine during the warmer months. With the appropriate adapters, we can run any of our stoves off of propane, butane or isobutane. It’s nice to have options.
This should work well for us. Space is at a premium in our Subarus so every little effort to downsize without losing functionality is helpful. Hopefully we will be able to put it to use soon when the weather cools down a bit.
I have about 25 full days using these boots and have grown to like them more and more. In the beginning I had issues with sand, micro-gravel and pebbles entering the boots, but I have remedied that problem.
By running the gravel guard as far down onto the boot as I possibly can, I have managed to keep all of the detritus out of my boots. As the name suggests, they are very lightweight and allow me to wade-fish all day without worry or discomfort.
The traction provided by the Vibram sole is pretty good. It definitely boosts your confidence when crossing sketchy barriers and these have been better than any other wading boot I have used except for felt soled versions. If you are fishing around Didymo covered rocks then felt soles and studs would be the way to go. But for walking trails, going up and down hills and over downed trees, wading small rivers and what not, these boots are great.
However, the increased traction from the softer Vibram sole does come at the cost of durability and longevity. I knew that going into the purchase so I accept the wear and tear.
I used these boots as my portaging footwear up in the Boundary Waters. Wet landings, sand, mud, bogs, beaver dams, rocks etc and they performed flawlessly. For me, I can honestly say these were the best option I have ever used up there to date.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I would gladly buy another pair of these for the type of fishing I do. If durability and longevity were your primary concern, then there are better options out there. Thanks for reading.
I thought I would share a few of the stoves that we use.
First up is the cook system I carry with me when I am fishing. Everything fits inside a TOAKS Titanium 750ml Mug. The kit includes a 100 gram isobutane canister, a Jet Boil canister stand, a Fire Maple 300T stove, a mini-Bic lighter, some coffee singles and a Snow Peak silicone “Hot Lips” guard. Anytime I feel like having coffee or tea, I pull this out and fix a cup on the stream bank.
The stove we carried on our Boundary Waters trip was the Kovea Spider KB-1109 which is a remote canister stove with a pre-heat tube which allows you to invert the canister for use in cold temperatures. It has a relatively small burner head which we noticed was a negative when using a 2L GSI kettle. It took a long time to boil water for meals or coffee and used more fuel than anticpated during the trip.
Upon my return from the trip I began trying to come up with a solution to our issue. Eventually I decided on a multi-prong approach which incorporated a Bulin 1.6L kettle with a built-in heat exchanger, a stove with a larger burner head, a windscreen and an adapter.
I do not like using windscreens with stoves that mount directly on top of a fuel canister…I’ve seen the results firsthand when a canister overheats and detonates. We have several stoves of this type so I began looking at options and adapters.
What I discovered on Amazon was an adapter system made by Camping Moon that did exactly what I had in mind. It basically converts your upright canister stove into a remote canister stove.
We have a few different upright canister stoves from when we used to backpack. I plan on playing around with them to see which one will work best for us. So far I have been impressed with the Z23 adapter. It is CNC machined and very well made. Being able to run two stoves or a stove and a lantern is a neat feature. It adds some weight to the system but I think it is worth it. We are also looking at reducing the size of our camp kitchen gear as well. Size and weight will be our main focus so stay tuned for that blog post coming in the near future.
We have been using Gomexus reel stands for about 2 years now. It is a cheap and effective way to protect your spinning reels. Since we fish rivers and streams a lot, and there are rocks everywhere, these tend to keep the reels off of the rocks when we set our rods down.
We generally use the Gomexus R1 42mm fixed stand but when they released the Gomexus R6 48mm foldable stand, we wanted to try those.
Since we store our reels in padded cases or neoprene covers, the foldable design has been really nice.
At first I was hesitant about using any reel stand. I thought it was a gimmick and that they would be unwieldy of even unbalance the rod and reel. But the more I used them the more I liked them.
To me, it’s a cheap way to keep your reels from being scratched and beat up on rocks or gravel. The Gomexus R1 costs $10 USD. If I’m using a $150 reel, then $10 isn’t much to add a level of protection. The Gomexus R6 costs $12 USD and it’s worth it for the foldable feature.
I have no affiliation with Gomexus, or anybody else for that matter. I’m just showing a few of their products that we use. They also make knobs and reel handles for both baitcast and spinning reels. Most of their items are produced in a range of colors as well. If you’re interested, check them out.
In the previous blog post, I mentioned an issue I had with these boots. How sand and microgravel were getting into these boots in such a way that I would have to take them off to empty them out. Both footbeds would be quite covered and/or the detritus would pile up under my forefoot, heel and toes.
In the picture above, I had been using the Simms Guide Guard 3.5mm Neoprene Socks with these boots. With the Flyweight Access boots being a lower cut, I feel that the Guide Guard Sock does not extend far enough down or the elastic is not strong enough to provide a good seal to prevent sand and microgravel from entering the boot.
I decided to try the Simms 2.5mm Neoprene Wading Sock coupled with the Simms Gravel Guards that velcro around the boot. This allowed me to set them much lower and also to roll the top of the sock down over the top of the gravel guard. Not perfect, but functional. I still want to play around with this setup to see if I can improve upon it.
The end result of the experiment was a major reduction in the ingress of sand/microgravel.
Some might think that I’m “splitting hairs here” but I do not like wading with a boot where the footbed is filled with sand or microgravel. It is uncomfortable as well as damaging to your neoprene wading socks.
The photo above shows what I pulled out of both boots after the 5 hour wading experiment. I can live with that and am happy with the outcome. I can fish all day without stopping to empty my boots out.
And of course, while I was fiddling with my gear and trying to sort things out…she caught the biggest fish! She’s on a roll for 2022!
While we were over in Fayetteville last weekend, we stopped into Pack Rat Outdoor Store. While wandering around the store we came upon a Dometic display containing 12VDC refrigerators, chairs, blankets and a water jug. We kind of liked the design philosophy of the water jug. On the ride home we talked in depth about the jug.
We ended up ordering one and it arrived today. Our reasoning behind this purchase was that our 6 gallon water jug that we currently use is a bit too heavy for us to carry any distance. It also takes up a lot of room in the vehicle due to its shape.
The Dometic is listed at 11 liters or approximately 3 gallons of capacity. It seems really well built and functional.
This particular model has a quick disconnect fitting that is designed to work in conjunction with their new battery operated faucet system. What I saw was a quick disconnect fitting that works with our Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter pump. We can plug straight in and refill the jug from an available water source.
The handles are made of nylon webbing and are removable, not sure why I would remove them but everyones needs are different. This unit is compact enough that it will easily fit behind the driver or passenger seat of the vehicle. I tested it and can confirm that it does not leak at any angle. We have high hopes for this addition to our gear and look forward to using it soon.
We probably won’t buy the faucet system but we really like the design of this jug. Dometic seems to be serious about producing thoughtful, useful gear. Thanks for reading.
I have needed a way to carry a full size spare tire on my Subaru for quite awhile and decided on this particular carrier.
I chose this model due to the fact that it was constructed of Chrome Alloy steel tubing so in theory should be very durable. I wish I could carry a full size spare inside the vehicle but our after-market rims and tires will not fit the factory made space. I have been lugging the spare tire around inside the rear hatch which drastically reduced my cargo capacity.
I like that it swings out of the way of the rear hatch so loading and unloading the vehicle will not be impeded. It has 4 settings: 90 degrees, 120 degrees, 180 degrees and free swing. There are accessories available such as a fold down table or RotoPax holders for spare fuel jugs or water jugs. As you can see from the pictures, it has a Class 3 tow hitch built in so I can still tow a trailer.
What makes this hitch unique is that it is angled so it doesn’t drastically reduce my departure angle going up hills. As I’ve said before: sometimes it’s the little things that make a product stand out.
Installation took me about 45 minutes. The unit weighs 70 pounds and is rock solid. Zero wobble or bouncing. It even comes with a beefy license plate holder that is pre-wired with a light. I still need to permanently wire the license plate light and make the wiring look neater, but it’s my daily driver so I needed a quick solution to keep from getting pulled over.
This should make a great addition to our fishing vehicle due to where we go and some of the roads we drive on. Having a full-size spare gives me peace of mind. And it’s nice to have my full cargo area back.
After a cursory search online, I was able to determine that Yeti did indeed make a larger version of their Water Bottle Pouch/Sling so I ordered one. I was wanting one that would hold the Sawyer Squeeze water bottle since I use that the most when fishing. Plus it would get it out of the backpack and be more accessible.
I know everyone complains about the prices of Yeti goods, but when actually comparing similar items, it’s just about on par with everything else. The quality on every Yeti item we have purchased has been outstanding and I feel it was money well spent. I have no affiliation with them and have purchased everything with my own money…I’m just saying that their stuff is pretty damn good. And again, I’m not selling anything, just showing what we use. Fish can’t read so find what works for you and go with it. Take care and Happy Easter.
Today the wife and I were on a mission. We were trying to find 2-piece Medium Power Bass Spinning rods and weren’t having much luck. We hit Bass Pro and Academy in Tulsa to no avail. The rods they had were either 1-piece or super cheap rods. We like to purchase stuff somewhere in the middle. We ended up heading home empty handed to get some chores done around the property.
Fast forward a couple of hours and I mentioned that I was hungry and sought her opinion on grabbing something to eat. We decided to head over to the next little town to eat. After that, as we were driving to the highway, I offered to drive over to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We both kind of laughed since we’d never had much luck buying fishing gear there. But we said what the heck and drove to it.
We did manage to find an Okuma 2-piece Medium power rod and as we were walking to the checkout stand…we stopped at the Yeti area to see what was new. I told her that she should get the Yeti Sidekick to go on her Panga 28 since it adds room to hold regular use stuff like soft plastics. She snatched one up. As she was checking it out I noticed something on the bottom shelf of the display and asked her to hand it to me. It turned out to be the Water Bottle Pouch/Sling for their 18oz Rambler. I looked it over and we decided to each get one. We have been trying out various methods to attach a water bottle to the side of the Panga 28 but never really liked any of the options.
These are very well made and seem to be really practical. They’re easy to put on and take off and don’t flop around all over the place. Now on to the pictures…
We think these will work out really well and plan to test them out thoroughly. I need to do some research and see if they come in a bigger size. That would be nice for the Sawyer Squeeze Filter Bottles we use a lot.
On a side note: I tried to talk her out of getting a Yeti Panga 28. Instead I suggested she get the Yeti Hopper Backflip cooler so she could carry the ice cold beer while we were fishing but she was having none of it. Can’t blame a guy for trying! Catch you on the next one…
This is another backpack I use from time to time when fishing a river or stream. It is waterproof and has a roll-top closure, but what is unique about this pack is that it has a secure closure toggle system. This keeps it from unrolling.
Another nice feature that I use is the water bottle pockets on the sides. They are almost full length and easily hold one liter bottles.
The harness system is minimalist. There isn’t any padding on the back, other than the sit pad. Just pack carefully.
Also, on the back is a pocket for a removable sit pad.
Yet another nice feature is a removable Wet OR Dry bag. It has a built in roll-top pocket with a clear face for your phone or passport or whatever.
I like this pack since it is simple and relatively low-profile. Quality is great and I haven’t found any flaws or issues with it. Prices are all over the map but if you search online, you should be able to find them for around $80 US.
Just thought I’d share another option I use when fishing…
Received a package from Digitaka yesterday. In talking with my wife, I asked why she didn’t use her trout spoons more. Her response was that she was afraid to lose them because she only had a few. So I ordered some more spoons. Problem solved.
I also ordered a couple of packages of plastic lures to try out. It’s nice to have various options in case a maker goes belly up or they are sold out.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain or understand the names. Catch you on the next one…
Something I wanted to try for the 2022 fishing season was the NiteIze Runoff Pouch. There were times when we hit the river/stream with only a few jigheads and a package or two of plastics. This little pouch will fit the bill. Waterproof TruZip zipper and IP67 rated to 1 meter should suffice for us.
I think this might work really well. It’s thin and unobtrusive. This waterproof zipper is a lot easier than the TiZip on the Yeti Panga and Patagonia Stormfront slingpack. I may just make a little 1/2 inch webbing belt for it instead of using the single belt loop on the back. I think that would keep it from sliding around better.
An issue we had last year was waterlogged packages of plastics and some corrosion on the jigheads. This will alleviate that. I prefer to keep my most used lures such as these readily accessible.
Can’t wait for Spring to fully test this idea out…