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Field Trip Wrap Up

I had just a few  notes to add regarding my most recent field trip and and as miserable as it is outside today, this is a good time to reflect on nicer days!  We have gone from summer directly into late fall up here and I’m not really ready for it.

On the recent field trip I had and opportunity to use one of the Blackjack knives and was pleased with its overall performance.  I also did a little more experimenting with the Baddest Bee Fire Fuses.

Don’t get the idea that the Fire Fuses are strictly for the prepper or regular camper crowd.  If you have a wood burning fireplace or just enjoy a fire in a backyard fire ring the Fire Fuse is a handy and effective fire starting aid.  They’re particularly handy when combined with some fatwood.

Before I went on the last field trip I took a couple of the fatwood sticks and drilled a 3/8″ hole in side of the stick.  When I was ready to light a fire, I shaved a rooster tail on the fatwood and inserted about a 1″ length of Fire fuse.

Fire Fuse
Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick

A brief note, if you drill a hole try to save the shavings from the drilling and save them in a small zip lock.  Those shavings make great fire starting aids.

Baddest Bee Fire Fuse Field Test
Fire Fuse inserted in Drilled Hole

The whole purpose of drilling the hole rather then just wedging the Fuse into the rooster tail was to make for a more secure ‘attachment’.  I light the Fire Fuse with a Fire Steel on a solid surface and then move it under my kindling.  This is much easier then placing the fatwood stick and then trying to ignite the fire fuse.

Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick
Light the Fire Fuse on a solid surface
Fire Fuse and Fatwood Stick
Place the light Fatwood stick under the kindling.

The Fatwood and Fire Fuse combo will burn for 3-4 minutes which will usually get your kindling ignited even if you don’t split it particularly fine.  This combination is really effective if you’re in damp conditions.

Field Trip Campfire
And you’re ready to get the frying pan on the fire!

Over the years we’ve gotten pretty good at cooking over an open fire and have worked up a few recipes that are quick, easy, filling and taste good.  Now, before you choke and gag at the following picture, let me tell you this is one of our favorites AND it tastes a whole lot better then it looks.

It’s a combination of cooked hamburger/onions and Cream of Chicken Soup.  Simmer it for a few minutes and mix or serve over cooked long grain and wild rice.  Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy.  If you really want to get efficient, prepare your hamburger/onion/cream of chicken soup mixture at home and freeze it in a zip lock.  I use Uncle Ben’s minute rice so that’s easily cooked in camp.  You can warm up the hamburger in the zip lock bag in a pan of boiling water then serve it over the cooked rice.  That’s about as easy as it gets.

On an entirely different note, I’m glad we went on the field trip a week ago as we hit the leaf colors at their peak.

Field Trip Leaf tour
Leaf Color was at it’s peak.

Just a few weeks earlier we were starting to see the leaves starting to change, the blueberries were finishing up and the Choke Cherries were at their peak.

Picking Choke Cherries
Blue Berries
Ripe Choke Cherries

We ate the blueberries as we picked them but if you’re familiar with Choke Cherries, you don’t eat them without some prep.  Personally, the best way to serve the Choke Cherries is in the form of Jelly or Syrup over pancakes.  Both the Jelly and Syrup are easy to make and bBelieve me, it’s well worth the effort.

Choke Cherry Jelly

So that’s how we finished up the trips north.  Good eats while we were there and when we got home.  Not a bad way to end the season.

The boats are out of the lake and we’re wrapping things up for winter.  Next weekend I have a gun show in Fergus Falls, MN and the following week we go to North Dakota pheasant hunting for a few days.  Then in another month I can start bitching about the cold weather.  It’s been a good year so far.

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New Products Added To The Storefront

A couple of new products arrived this week I wanted to mention.

The first is truly a new item to to TSA Knives.  It’s the “Baddest Bee” Fire Fuses.  Being a camper and always interested in a better way to get a fire lit in the outdoors, I just had to try these out.   Each water resistant tube contains 8 fire fuses approximately 4″ in length.

Fire Fuse 3 Pak

In addition to the 3 pak of the Fire Fuses, there’s also a Kit available that includes a small pak of the Fire Fuses, a small fire steel and a ‘collapsible’ bellows.

Kit

The Fire Fuse is incredibly simple to use and effective.  Simply take one of the fuses, fray the end a bit with your knife tip.

Fray the Tip

And throw a good spark from your Fire Steel and….voila!!!!

Stick the fuse under your kindling and you’ve soon got a campfire.  The Fire Fuses burn fairly slow and can be snuffed out once your fire is started so you can save the remaining fuse for later use.  They come in a water resistant tube, work under wet conditions and from what I’ve experienced are idiot proof.

The next item isn’t really ‘new’ but deserves mention.  I originally received some of the EdgPro Apex Bench Mounts some time back but failed to make much mention of them.  A customer ordered one from me this week and asked why I’d never made mention of them on the blog.  My apologies.

It’s an incredibly simple device to resolve a common issue.  You previously needed a smooth surface such as a formica, granite or similar solid type of surface to mount the Apex Sharpener.  This simple bench mount makes it possible to mount it on most surfaces with an edge you can attach a clamp to.

The other ‘new’ item is an expansion of the line of Blackjack Classic knives I carry.  I’ve long been a fan of the Bark River line and the Blackjacks are quickly growing on me.  The Blackjacks have a strong Randall influence but are much more affordable AND available.  They’re built by the folks at Bark River primarily using the time proven A2 tool steel.  Good stuff.  Fit and finish is outstanding and they come with a razor sharp convex ground edge.

Model 3 Sambar Stag
Model 4 Natural Canvas Boot Knife

Camping season is coming and the Blackjack line offers some great camp knives.  I just received a good sized order and will put together some sale prices on a couple of the Blackjacks to give you a chance to try one out at a great price.  Keep an eye on the blog.

I’m always on the hunt for something new and the Edge Pro, Fire Fuses and Blackjacks fit the bill.  The key is, I’ve gotta believe it’s a great product or I don’t want to carry it.  If I wouldn’t use it I sure as hell don’t expect my customers to!!