Thursday, July 20, 2017

Whats this. a NEW blog post!?

Yes, it's been far too long since I've touched this poor blog, but in my defense, I have been very busy. Between a new job, a new granddaughter and the daily hustle, I've just been slammed all the time.

There are some pretty cool things though that have brought me back here..We recently bought 26 acres that is 75% wooded. There's only one neighbor that is somewhat close, but we share a gravel driveway that splits off to our properties and once on mine, you can't see them. The almost 100% fenced in with barbed wire and down the middle, there is a spring of fresh water that keeps a creek running all year long. Here's a few pictures of my new hideaway:

This is a picture of a small portion of the top-half of the property. It's very easy to drive on and where I'm parked, I now have a full-time teepee-tent with a cot and table for a quick camping option. This is looking at the teepee from the rear:

I keep the top-front half bush-hogged so it's easy to drive on and to ride my buddy's quad. There's an old logging road that goes down to the creek (was only partially logged 25 years ago) so the road needs to be cleared of brush from time to time and maintained otherwise. The middle of the property sits down in a gully, so it's sloped down. Fortunately the old logging road run along side the creek and when you head far enough down, you can walk across the creek and hike up to the other side. Here's a few pics of the creek and front-half trail.:

The second half of the property (after a fun climb) is where I intend to build one of a few shelters for a permanent camp, along with work on some rusty bushcraft skills. Once you get up the hill, it flattens out and looks amazing! There is a lot more to 25 acres than I had originally figured, but I'm very happy about that. I've been up there working on some temp shelters and starting to chop firewood and try out some gear:

I've had the land now since last October, that's why you see so many different colors. I honestly had a ton of fun out there over the winter.

So anyway, I'm happy and very excited to get this old blog going again and plan to have a lot of fun with it over time and document my fun on this land. I'm still getting new gear to review from time to time and will start posting it back here again, as well and keep you up to date on my latest projects. Thanks for reading and checking this out! - Bill

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Review - The UCO Arka Rechargeable USB Lantern

Here's another review I did that just got published over at Woodsmonkey this last weekend. You can read it in full - HERE

I had a really good time working with this light and was able to take it out for a few camping trips, and used it around my house whenever a flashlight was needed. When we lost our power a few times earlier in the year, this light was very helpful.

Check out the full review in the above link and thanks for checking in!


Friday, July 25, 2014

American Backcountry | Do you #Hikerchat?

American Backcountry | Do you #Hikerchat?

I'm an avid fan of #Hikerchat and the two companies that host it each week, Teton Sports and American Backcountry.

If you do a lot of things outdoors, you can appreciate a great shirt with moisture wicking properties. Toss in some great graphics, and you have a great line of shirts. Check out and their excellent selection of shirts. Then, #GetOutdoors !

- Bill

Friday, April 4, 2014

It's been a while! Time for some content.

This poor blog has been terribly neglected and I intend to get it together and start adding things in here again. It's not like I've been sitting on my butt for the last several months either, I've been out on several trips into the woods with lots of overnights, regular hikes and still reviewing gear over time for my primary home over at Woods Monkey and keeping very busy with my job at Indiana University.

Here's a few links to my more recent reviews over at Woods Monkey.

The Condor Speed Machete.

Condor Greenland Pattern Axe.

I have a nice stack of great gear in my hands right now that I'm working on for the Monkey, so I'll be sure to post those links in here as soon as they are available. As for hiking, camping and bushcraft, I have literally hundreds of pictures I've taken since my last post in here. I'm going to set some time aside later today so I can get a few of the more recent outing pictures posted. Thanks for reading! - Bill

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Custom Knife Review for WM

One of my reviews was just posted a few days back over at Woods Monkey, so I wanted to share the link so you guys can check it out, if you haven't seen it already.

Check It Out Here !

In a nutshell, I really liked working with this knife and thank that Dan Eastland has a great thing going with the glow in the dark handle concept. You should check out his web site and take a look at all of the options he has available for purchase, and if you don't see anything you like, just soot Dan an e-mail and see if he can do a custom build for you.

Thanks for reading all, more coming very soon!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Am I alive! The hibernation is over.

Sorry for the extreme lack of posts over the last few months. Along with winter putting a light kink in my plans for regular outings and landing a new job within the university, I have just been very busy and trying to stay afloat.

With that said, I've still been doing a lot of work at my other home, Woods Monkey, doing product reviews and being their primary webmaster. I had a lot of fun on my last review for the monkey, it was on the Rothco Military MOLLE Foldable Solar Charger . I managed to get a few nice days in the middle of winter to test it out and it worked great. Now with spring in full effect, I can't wait to get out and and try it with some of my other USB powered equipment. Here's a few pics from the review and a lot more can be seen my checking out the direct link to the review above.

Another item I had the pleasure to work with over the winter months was the Wetterlings Pack Axe that I got from Garrett wade. This little gem has been though a lot over the winter, from whacking up kindling for the fire, to being strapped to my pack for a fun hike. This is also called a belt axe, and It really does fit comfortably in your belt, but I like to just attach it to my pack and be off with it. Here's a few pictures I snapped while working with it.


The 10" hickory handle feels good in my hand and the axe itself came razor sharp. It's one of the first things I have received where I didn't feel the need to work on the edge at all. Weighing in at a small 1 1\4 lb, this little axe rides very well while sitting inside of your belt, or just toss it in your pack and you're ready to go. The all-around quality, from the head, leather sheath and handle, are top quality, as are a majority of the Wetterlings line.

On a more recent cold weather trip, I took the axe and a few other things to test out in the cold Indiana weather. I hiked out into the hills for some cold weather hammock camping with my large pack, a lot of my old favorites and some new items to test out as well

The main thing I wanted to try out in the frigid weather was the Grand Trunk Hammock Sleeping Bag.  Basically what this is, is a mummy style sleeping bag with two slits at either end for your hammock to pass through. They have their own system for staying closed and from my own experience, they worked well. The bag itself is 88" x 34", which worked well for me since I am 6'2. The weather that night was down to just below 30 degrees, so for a little added warmth, I tossed in my old trusty military poncho liner for a little added warmth. The bag is rated down to 32 degrees, so I just wanted to be sure that I would be warm enough that evening. It worked great and despite the issues I had with one of the zippers that refused to fully close, I managed to stay very warm and slept well. Check out the link above for more info on the sleeping bag. Here are a few pictures from that last trip out. With winter gone and the sun coming out, I'll be able to get more woods-time soon and keep working on different things. Enjoy the pics and thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This is a great deal that I plan to take advantage of! The awesome folks over at Camping Survival are having an amazing sale right now on Mountain House products. The sale ranges from #10 cans to other kits as well.

It's certainly worth a look, I've always liked Mountain House products as they are easy to prepare, store and  actually tastes great!

Click on the banner above and check it out. Let me know if you get anything! :)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

New to Instagram

So, after being asked by multiple people if I use Instagram and having to tell them "no", I decided to create an account and start doing some picture dumps from my phone.

It's nothing too exciting, but if you use Instagram and would like to link up, here is my page --

More to come soon!

- B

Monday, February 4, 2013

SOG's New Voodoo Hawk

Another recent one I did for my primate friends over at Woods Monkey  recently was a full write-up on the SOG Voodoo Hawk.

Full review and a lot more pics can be found HERE. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Condor Engineer Bolo

I had a great time working with the Condor Engineer Bolo through my second home over at Woods Monkey.

Here's one of the pictures and some links to check out the rest of my review. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Condor Knife and Tool Engineer Bolo - Review

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A few updates..

I've been so busy with work and other things that this poor blog has been neglected for too long. Time to get back into the saddle!

I have some cool gear I'm checking out right now and will toss up reviews within the coming days. Until then, here's a few reviews I did recently for my other home over at Woods Monkey

Stay tuned for more good things to happen here at Hoosier Bushcraft and Outdoors. Thanks all!

- Bill

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gerber Steady - Field Report

I've been having fun with this little guy now for a few months and really like it's primary function of as a mini tripod. Leave it to the engineers at Gerber to come up with a tripod that also has twelve other useful components that will come in handy on a daily basis. While the tool is full of greatness, it does have a small downside in my opinion that I will chat about later. It's pretty small compared that what I like about it.

The Gerber Steady comes with a tough nylon case with a Velcro closure on both the front strap and the belt loop as well. There really isn't a whole lot to say about the case other than it's sturdy and should stand the test of time. I do like how the Steady sits down in the case and won't move around at all when adventuring in the woods, or just walking around town.

When opening the nylon sheath, you first see the tripods suction cup in it's own little pocket. The suction cup is held in place with a strip of elastic webbing and ides some effort, I could not get the cup to pop out of the sheath.

The Steady has about twelve different tools that can make anyone's life a little easier. To start with you have larger blade that is 1/4 serrated. With the Steady closed, you can easily access and open this blade with your thumb (I'm right-handed). On the same side, you also have smaller blade with a straight edge that you can use for smaller jobs. In the middle of same handle, you have a Phillips head screwdriver bit and the suction cup mount.

Along with the needle nose pliers, that also have a wire cutter built in, you also have two more screwdrivers bit (micro flat and medium) a bottle opener, an awl, and other items that will always come in handy. Here are the basic dimensions:

  • Height: 2.10 inches
  • Weight: 7.20 Ounces
  • Length: 4.90 inches
  • Width: 2.60 inches

The special function of the Gerber Steady is what I really like a lot. The tripod legs on the Steady fold out and allow you to customize the height easily The rubber coated feet on the legs can help eliminate slipping when using the tripod function on a slick surface. 

The thing I found very surprising was how well the suction cup worked on my smartphone! I have an HTC Incredible (first gen) and the suction cup worked great on the back of this phone. I'm surprised because the back of my phone is not perfectly smooth, but the suction cup was still able to grab onto the back of my phone and hold it until I was done. The great thing about the suction cup is the attached lever that you can use to secure a smartphone. It's a great design that works and is easy to use. If you brought your digital camera with you and want to use the Gerber Steady, just use the same screw that you would have for the suction cup and you're good to go. Note that you should only use your "point and click" camera on this tripod.

The one item that stops me from completely loving the the Gerber Steady is the fact that so much of the product is made out of plastic. While this is somewhat of a turn-off, I guess what you get in return is a lighter product that is also within reason price-wise. That's not bad at all! 

The Gerber Steady is going to be in my kit when I head out and need a small tripod for quick pictures. It's very adjustable, which really makes is useful and the array of other tools you get with it doesn't hurt as well.

Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions. I've always been a big fan of Gerber ingenuity and having a lifetime warranty doesn't hurt as well . Thanks and be safe!

- Bill