Category Archives: THRIVEtoys

The Tactical Gentleman’s Survival Kit

A good friend of mine recently separated from the military to pursue new adventures.  I wanted to put something together for him, but the cookie-cutter military shadow-box has always seemed sorta lame to me…  A bit like getting someone a gift card to Walmart, in a way.  There’s gotta be a better way to celebrate a man’s military experience.  Well, a while back a couple of us stumbled upon this gem:  The Gentleman’s Survival Kit.  Pretty solid work there, pscmpf!  Ever since, I had been building one in my head.  Now I had the perfect excuse to execute!

I present:  The Tactical Gentleman’s Survival Kit. 

Cheesy name, but fitting, don’t ya think?

20150419-IMG_0439

Cool!  How’d you make that?

I found the vintage briefcase Continue reading The Tactical Gentleman’s Survival Kit

10 Tips to Help Your Camera Kit Thrive Where You Do

Near Thorong La, Nepal | 2011

In 2011 I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Nepal.  I traveled with a Canon Powershot G10 which is an amazing little monster, and great for travelers.  There were times, however, when I just didn’t have the focal range that I craved.  Some shots were  burned only to my mind because of the inherent limitations of a point-and-shoot camera.  (Check out the gallery at Rogue Images.)

This year, when I learned that I would make the journey one more time, I immediately began searching for a new toy.  Mirrorless system cameras like the Sony NEX or Olympus Pen lines really caught my eye due to their large, high quality sensors and compact body size.  For my money though, the technology is not quite there.  I wanted interchangeable lenses, great video capability, and most importantly, the ability to perform anywhere I perform. Continue reading 10 Tips to Help Your Camera Kit Thrive Where You Do

Thrive Camillus Fixed Blade Knife

Check out this old Camillus military-issue fixed-blade knife that was recently renovated in true Thrive style.  Google is pretty sure that this is a Camillus CM-5684B, a relic of the Vietnam era (Source 1, and 2).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a parting gift for a friend who was moving, and preparing to take on a great challenge.  Some serious Dremel action buffed off the phosphate coating and rust, and brought the high carbon steel to a mirror shine (note the second knife in it’s raw state for reference).  A bit of leather conditioner and black polish coaxed the sheath and handle back into service, and a length of cord with red beads retrofitted the leg tie.  Finally, a Lansky sharpening kit returned a surgeon’s edge to the beast.

The engraving reads, “FIRE UP – GET DIRTY – SCARE YOURSELF – BLEED” on one side of the blade.  The other side reads, “Do more than just survive…  THRIVE.”

It is more of a show piece now, but still a very capable tool if need be.

Do you possess any cool old toys like this one?  Shoot me some info in the comment box, or at thriveoutdoors@yahoo.com.  You could be featured in a future THRIVEtoys article!

Like blades?  You might also enjoy reading about the Bolo in, “So You Want to be John Rambo, Part I” and “Part II.”

-TO

10 Things to Wipe Your Butt With in the Woods

This post spawned from a lively discussion during the past weekend’s climbing trip to the Katsu-dake crags in Okinawa, Japan.  I must say that I have had many similar conversations, but this discussion in particular was quite in-depth.  A special thanks to the Okinawan climbing community for the inspiration!  I’m sure you are proud.

Disclaimer:  Some of the items listed are not necessarily “Eco-friendly.”  You are not a child.  If you use an unorthodox wiping material, then pack it out in a ziplock or poop-tube in accordance with local procedures.  No one wants to come across a nasty old sock with remnants of you all over it.

Photo by Justin Watters

Toilet paper, and my personal camping favorite- the baby wipe, are like the comfort food of sanitary products.  We get so used to using them in our day-to-day life  that it is nearly impossible to imagine what to do without them.Here are the facts:  1) You have to eat food to keep your energy level up.  2) Your body processes that food, and must dispose of the waste.  3) It is not healthy or comfortable to “hold it” until you find some porcelain.  4) If you hang out in the nature long enough you will eventually find yourself unprepared and without the standard issue material to clean up afterwards.

So…  Just what should you do?  What can you use to wipe your butt in the woods?  The most important thing to remember is not to panic.  Take a breath, turn your “woods-eyes” on, and you will probably find something that will work just as well, if not better than the real thing.  The second most important thing is to think of this before you settle into that  perfect little tree-well, not during.  Here’s 10 solid alternatives, listed in no discernible order: Continue reading 10 Things to Wipe Your Butt With in the Woods