In case you missed it, my birthday was Saturday so naturally we spent the day in the woods, enjoying ourselves despite it being a bit on the chilly side. We went out to a forested area we haven't really been to called the Marlborough Forest, which is part of the Rideau Trail. The Rideau Trail is apparently a 300km long walking trail that goes between Ottawa and Kingston, and is a trip that I would love to make some day.
We started on Saturday on the Marlborough Forest trails, which are only open to vehicles at certain times of the year, and this was one of them. Needless to say, we had a great time and I got my Jeep pretty dirty.
I'll have to post an after pic because this one was pretty early on and doesn't really show just how much mud I found in it.
We spent a lot of time driving around and just exploring the trails and found all kinds of cool things, including several areas that appeared to have been cleared and maintained despite not being parked as private property.
These would have been areas initially cleared for farms that didn't last that long, similar to the ghost towns we visited last weekend
. You just have to watch your step so you don't fall in an old well!
Not all of them were as obvious as these ones, so we watched our footing very carefully!
Saturday's outing also gave us a good opportunity to try out one of my birthday gifts- a Wolfyok outdoor cooking set.
I haven't heard of Wolfyok before, although it apparently cae fairly highly recommended on Amazon, so Megan decided that I needed to have one- after all, I have been saying for a while that I need to set up a couple of full cooksets so we don't keep robbing one for parts for another. Sooner or later we are going to grab the wrong set and end up missing something that we need, like bowls, sporks etc. At any rate, the Wolfyok set looked like it was a pretty good setup.
The pot and pan are aluminum and not bad. They have the two piece swing out type handle, which is something I have ever used before, but have always wanted to. And, unlike some sets, the pan isn't the pot lid- they are separate pieces, which is nice. I usually use a traditional type of pot lifter similar to this one:
Sharp eyed readers may recognize the little orange box in the picture and think it looks an awful lot like the one that the Etekcity stove
came in. Luckily I decided to bring along some isobutane so we could make lunch.
The stove is very similar to the Etekcity stove, except this one is black and silver, which means it is the tactical ninja version of it.
I had brought along an Alpine Aire meal that we decided to make for lunch, so everything was put to work.
As with most little pocket rocket type stoves, the water was boiling like crazy in no time and it was then that I realized that the rock I'd set everything up on was right next to a pile of hairy coyote crap.
While we waited for the bag meal to absorb off of that coyote smurfy goodness
I decided to look at some of the other things in the package. First up, the rice ladle...
It's plastic and doesn't have drainage holes, and to be honest, I am not sure what the heck I would use it for. Megan suggested using it to ladle out some of the stuff in the bag meal, but the bag is ten inches deep and the ladle is all of about two inches deep, so I really don't see it being that useful to me.
The bowls are remarkably tiny, and only slightly larger than the rice ladle. This probably makes sense if you are only eating rice, but that's not good enough for a 200lb plus fatarse like me. Needless to say, I had to fill these little bowls multiple times until the bag meal was finished.
The loofah was amusing- apparently you are expected to take a quick shower with the hot water left over when you make rice.
Even funnier was the flashlight- this thing was so flimsy that I am scared to put a battery in it because I don't think it has the structural integrity to withstand the mass of a AA battery.
I mean it- it is more like a thick tin foil than a thin sheet metal! But, it has a clickie tail cap and striker head, so I guess that makes it tactical too!
It makes the flimsy tactical light in the Stealth Angel Survival Kit
look like a Mag light.
It also came with a handheld chainsaw, which was better than I thought in the fact that it didn't fall apart when I used it, but it wasn't good in the fact that it really, really
hurt my fingers to use it. With the right gloves or maybe a couple of twigs put in the rings I could see this thing being useful. I've been thinking of getting one of these at some point because I haven't had one in decades, and the ones I did have were so cheap they usually snapped while unfolding them, before they even got used! Still, I think I'll default to an axe in a survival situation!
The last thing in the kit was the "soup spoon" which was this wooden doodad that doesn't really scream "spoon" in my mind- more like a spatula. Still, as I only had one other spoon with us, I made the best of it. It worked well enough despite being a bit wide, even for my big mouth!
All in all, I really like this kit- it's smaller than my Litech kit from Primus and a fraction of the weight, so it's great for day trips. I think I will need to find replacement bowls and sporks to go with it, but after I ditch the flimsy flashlight and short wooden spatula, the existing bowls and the rice ladle, there should be lots of space for it.
To sum up:
Frying Pan- good
Bowls- small but functional enough
Soup Spoon- barely functional, would be a better firestarter
Rice Ladle- no use to me
Loofah- I showered before I left, and have no need for this
Wire saw- not bad... yet
Mesh bag- Good quality, holds everything well
Flashlight- not sturdy enough to withstand the recoil of the light coming out of the end
Stove- if the Etekcity stove is anything to go by, I should get about two years out of it, and that's not bad for a cheap stove
As I see it, the important parts are good, and the rest is just unnecessary filler. I consider it well worth the price for what it is.
Anyways, that's it for now- Part 2 (Saturday evening) is really cool, but may not fit in the Outdoor forum!