24 June 2013

Boy Scout Hatchet- Bringing it Back to Life

If you have visited my blog a few time you might have read a post of something,that I been messing with to get a few more years of life out of.Such as my Military gas can restoration or working on a set of roller cam brakes.

But now I have the interest to work on some camp and outdoor tools. What better project to start off with than my Boy Scout hatchet from the mid 80's.

C-clamp to the work bench.

For being being 27 years old or so, the hatchet is in good overall shape. The blade did have a bad ding that I wanted to workout. I don't know if I ever had a good edge on this hatchet but after reading different post I felt like I could bring the life back to my hatchet, a camp tool from my childhood.

Getting all the right tools to do the job was the hardest part of the process. Just forget about going to a big box store to find the items that you will need. Find a little family owned hardware store in a little country town will be your best bet.

My goal here was to put a good sharp edge on the hatchet and get it cleaned up. I did not want to repaint the head. After an hour or so I feel like I made my goal and learned a few things along the way.

Finished product

I am sure I will be able to get another 27 years of service from it and I hope that I will be able to pass it on to one of my kids. Not sure which one... I look forward to some camping this fall in the mountains. Can't you smell the campfire?

20 June 2013

Wingnut Enduro-Bag Dump!

Sherando Lake was my first multiple hour ride wearing my Wingnut Enduro pack. I was very pleased how well it carried. What I love about the pack is that you do not have to take it off to get to items in the wing pockets. With the pack sitting low on your back it really helps keeping your center of balance even riding downhill on rocky and washed out trails.

Here list the list of items in the picture

Adventure Medical Kit
Tool Kit
Source Bladder
MSR in-line filter
TP Kit
Fire building Kit
SOL Emergency Bivvy
Petzl Tikka
Esbit (type stove) and 4 Esbit fuel box
Army Pocket Knife

The only items that I used during the ride was the Source Bladder and food. But you have to pack just like your out on a day hike.

18 June 2013

Sherando Lake- A Father's Day Adventure

On Father's Day I like to get out for a few hours of adventure and then come back to the house to have the Father's Day dinner with family. This year it was time for a mini epic and I figured Sherando Lake in the George Washington Forest was a good place to make it happen.

January 1999 was the last time I rode the trails a Sherando Lake. That time, I was with another rider and we had the worst crash that I have had on a bike. But that's another story..

My Plan was to start my ride from Fire Road 42 or Coal Road. This gravel road is just a few miles down the road from the main entrance of the recreation area. About 1 mile up FR42 you will find a small packing area and a gate to the left. I could not remember if I kept up FR 42 or started at the gate. After a mile up FR42 I figured it was the gate.

I had downloaded two gpx files from gpstrailsource.com and had some issue on figuring out which gpx file to use. This was operator error on my part. Lesson learn- zoom into the track file..

Once I got to the first ford I knew I was on the right trail.

Or did I miss the trail and ford. Yes I did..

Knowing that I was going to cross the creek a few times I had packed a spare pair of sock to change into. Somehow they did not make the transfer into my Wingnut pack. Great! Wet feet for the rest of the day!

I ford the creek about five times.

The Mountain Laurel is still out and the higher I went the more of it. You could see the Mountain Laurel on the next mountain which was cool.

I love Mountain Laurel and so do the bees

The switchbacks kick my ass! But I made it. About the same time as 6 backpackers.

But the reward is the view

After a couple of miles riding down the Blue Ridge Parkway I picked the trail back-up at The Slacks Overlook.

Just a few hundred yards down the trail I ran into a group with their dogs on a Father's Day hike. They let me pass and I guess I got 50 yards in front of them I saw a black bear in the middle of the trail. By the time I turned around to tell the hikers to get their dogs that there was a bear in the trail, the bear had ran off. Anytime you see a bear it just makes your trip a little more adventurous.

Virginia is full of history.

It's just sad to see it falling apart. 14 years ago it did not look like this.


You can also download GPX files for your GPS from gpstrailsource.com or get a firsthand look at the trail terrain360.com


Ride what you bring! I did this trip on my Bontrager. A full rigid set-up. If that did not make it epic, then I don't know what does!

This was also the first time I got to use my Wingnut pack other than on the local trail. Post to follow with pictures of a bag dump.


I used a on-line tool for my "PLAN B" called ineversolo.com I will do a follow-up post on just this tool.


I had to make a stop in Wanyesboro VA to get a quick bite to eat. Wanyesboro is a small town and this would have been the last place that I figured I would find a small classic Porsche dealer . I also stopped at Rockfish Gap Outfitters. Just down the mountain from that AT. I made the stop there just to see the Helle knives and Gransfor Bruk axes

09 June 2013

Repairing A Meiser Presta Valve Gauge

Everything I read today on blogs and other sites that talk about tire set-up is, "How much tire pressure" someone is running for the type of wheel/tire set-up they have. As you know wheels and tires play a huge role in your ride. If you are like me and are still riding a retro bike (aka 26er pre 1998) then the tire pressure makes the difference between a sweet ride and one that beats you up!

I had purchase a Meiser presta value gauge sometime ago and I cracked the gauge lens and it stop working like it should. But for some reason I did not throw it away. Fast forward to the present,the replacement gauge that I purchased to replace the Meiser just stop working the other day.I guess it might be time to purchase a new one!

So I dug out the old Meiser gauge and figured I would see if I could get it to work again.. Now for the sexy pictures of repairing a Meiser presta valve gauge.

The Gauge: Since the "chuck" part is made from brass I figured it could be taken apart and serviced.

Using a shop rag I put the gauge in a vise to hold the brass chuck in-place while I unscrewed the gauge from the chuck.

Gauge removed from chuck. There was some trash in the chuck when I removed the gauge. This must be the issue??

Next I shot a little bit of Ballistol to lube the pushbutton release valve. If you are an outdoor guy you should have a can of Ballistol on your workbench. Click here to to learn more about Ballistol

Add a little piece of pipe tape

Yep! I thought it was one piece but it breaks down again

After cleaning with Never Dull. Just like new other than the cracked lens..

Well there you have it. The first and only step-by-step of repairing of a Meiser value gauge.