Tag Archives: review

Frost River – Isle Royale bushcraft Backpack 730

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Frost River – Isle Royale bushcraft Backpack 730

First of all thanks to Albert Dörp from Absolut Canoe for organizing me this amazing Backpack – but i should start with some facts.

Ok, Frost River with a history of about  250 years (“kind of”) of constructing packs does it quite likely as they did in the gold rush days. The backpack is constructed of heavy duty waxed 18oz canvas, leather from the sb foot tannery (this should ring the bell the famous Red Wing´s are made from leather from the same tannery) and rocksolid brass hardware.

My first thought when I received this backpack was “heavy” but not in a negative way. I rather carry 1 kg more of backpack with me than a piece of crap which gives me trouble be-cause its badly and lightweight constructed. (I lost a not properly attached waist belt buckle on a Lafuma backpack before I started a 10 days trip in Norway and a Vaude shoulderstrap buckle broke in the middle of Patagonia – one was about 60L and the other a 80L backpack – so no toys). I started to look for a bad construction or weak spots but could not find one, seams, material and hardware is bombproof. A Land Rover Defender has quite the same characteristics – loved for its proofed design and construction.

It took me probably about half a year to finally field-test the bag. It was packed with 20kg+ of camping equipment, food and drinks (Pernod and Redwine) and cloth. At the first 500m I had to move a hard piece of equipment because the backpack has no backplate construction. I rather packed the pack lazy 21th century not as I learned in the army. A bit later I had to adjust the shoulderstraps a bit and the rest of the 6 hour hike up to 2400m above sea level (1500m up the hill) went smoothly. The only little problem I had on the first day was the waist belt was too big for me since I only hiked with a Polo shirt, so i might punch another hole in the leather strap.

What I really liked about the backpack is it huge capacity to overload it. It is rated with about 45 Liter but due to the long straps I guess even about 60 Liters seem possible I would say. So it will be a perfect backpack for a quick overnight trip with lots of stuff packed in on a night on a bonfire or even a bigger hiking trip for up to 2 weeks. Albert mention a headstrap “Sherpa Style”  for bigger trips – since the D-Rings are there to attach a device like this I will give it a try next time I carry a lot of weight in there.

What else can I tell you about the backpack, the images speak for themselves. Have a look of the nicely leather lined and very comfortable leather shoulder straps attached with 9 rivets!

Honestly I´m sure  this backpack will outlast me and I do not see any reason to get rid of it. I will post my experience with this new friend over the years. Thanks again to Albert Dörp for making this great brand hassle free available to us. He works together with Frost River since 2006 and is the Distributer for them in Germany and most of Europe since 2008.

A direct link to the backpack he offers in his webshop @ Absolut Canoe is here:

FROST RIVER ® Isle Royale bushcraft pack 730

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Denim Lecture by Pike Brothers @ Kings & Bastards

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Denim Lecture by Pike Brothers @ Kings & Bastards

For a long time it was on my agenda to visit Uwe Scheuermann´s Kings & Bastards shop in Leinfelden close to Stuttgart. Very last minute I got told that Uwe was able to get Fabian the man behind the Pike Brother Brand to hold a lecture about denim @ K&B. Uwe was kind enough to not just invite me but also suggested to bring some Feinschmuck with me.  Combined all those pros and no cons I had to go there – finally. I was Overwhelmed by the effort Alexandra did to welcome the guests with some bavarian flair / buffet and the shop itself. Uwe managed to pick some very nice and authentic bands for his store. Quite visible is his ability to collaborate well with those brands. (as he did with us as we made the Kings&Bastards Zippos and Belts for him).

Fabian from Pike Brothers already prepared his lecture about Selvage Denim and the selected guests started arriving in time. In about an hour Fabian started with the differences in cotton fibres, the weaving of selvage denim and various aspects of the evolution of the Jeans. Very informative and usually helt for sellers to educate them it was the first time Fabian did speak to customers in that way. It was a really nice evening with nice talks, good people within a superb location and a relaxed way. Thanks to all who made this event happen.

Tellason Bird Raw Denim Jean

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Tellason Bird Raw Denim Jean

Here some unpublished images of the Tellason Bird Raw Denim Jean, which I took for the review I wrote for Denimhunters. After about 2 month of wear Maria from Feinschmuck is more and more happy with this jean. It took here some wears to break it in and get the denim softer hence she mostly owned pre washed or stretch jean.

Here the post I did for Denimhunters:

” For men, some of the top priorities when choosing our jeans would likely be the general fit, the weight of the denim, the colour and size of the pockets for stowing in our stuff. For the ladies it’s another story; the main issue here is how well the jean makes them look from behind. Disregarding how well it may be constructed, the durability of the denim, or the intensity of the colour, the jean won’t score high at all if it doesn’t score in fit. Tellason seems to have found a way to combine all the things men value in denim with a great fit in the newly released Bird lady jean.

The details of the jean:

  • Straight leg lady cut
  • 12.5 oz. blueline non-stretch raw selvage denim form Cone Mills White Oak
  • Unlike the men’s Tellason jeans the Bird has a zip fly

Tellason’s European distributor Amtraq was kind enough to let Maria from Feinschmuck try out a pair of the Bird – the one pictured throughout this article. The jean looks great and will look even better once worn in. As it’s not a stretch denim and the fit is rather slim, we expect great fades with this one. We love the fact that Tellason accepted the challenge to create a proper pair of lady jeans, top of the line in quality and fit.

Buy your bird a pair from Tellason’s website.”

Tellason Clampdown Denim Shirt

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Tellason Clampdown Denim Shirt

Somehow it seems that taking a new Tellason piece with me on vacation turns into a habit. While the images of the Tellason Ankara on the coast of Liguria at the end of Summer 2012 were somehow cheerful and sunny, the weather and the hills in Piedmont now were mostly nebulous (thats what the famous Nebbiolo (Barolo) grapes got their name from).

The weather fitted the planned use for the Tellason Clampdown 10.5 oz Denim shirt too well. While I would rate the Tellason Topper 7,5 oz Denim shirt as the perfect warm/all weather shirt, the Clampdown fills the gap when the temperature drops. Hardwearing denim, double and even triple seams, solid buttons and front pockets. As an upgrade to the topper shirt the clampdown got additional to the pen holder in the breast pocket an additional a knife holder. If you already own a Tellason Jean you might not having trouble to carry your knife in one of the spacious pockets but If you own a really nice knife – now you got the chance to show it.

Autumn hiking and bivouac – Trangia stove

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Autumn hiking and bivouac – Trangia stove 

We probably caught one of the last weekends for our bivouac in the alps. Probably a week to late, the yellow leaves already dropped down. After about close to 3 hours we reached the summit and our campground. On the way up there I spotted a badly wounded tree which blood/resin I took as a fire starter. Two years ago I collected some wood and leaned it to a tree, it was still there so the fire was started really quick. We barbecued some Frankfurter/Kraken and had a good bottle of red wine.

The night was very mild for end of october but quite windy. Tillmann had his sheep skin and thick felt army blanket which were sufficient for the night. Sunrise was great and a task on this trip was to review the abilities of the Trangia alcohol stove with non conform add ons.

First task was to get good coffee, with the Bialetti espresso maker he worked just great.

Second task was to heat up the De Buyer fried egg pan which worked perfect as well.

Unintentionally the Trangia frying pan served as a water cup for Tillmann and the 2 pots for collecting blueberries.

It was a great trip, perfect weather and very comfortable. The Trangia stove added very much to its comfort. The Trangia cooking system is a absolute fool proof compact way to dine outdoors. Alcohol is widely available to run it and has the huge plus that its smell is way better when spilling some of the content than petroleum, diesel or gasoline. Gas cartridges I somehow dislike since they are always a big hassle to get, produce a lot of litter and can not used up all the way. (and are pricy)

If you wonder why this images look somehow familiar to you check a post about this spot two years ago. (it was more than 2 weeks earlier, thats why the leafs look much nicer)

Otter Wax(ed) the Rising Sun Outdoor Vest

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Otter Wax(ed) the Rising Sun Outdoor Vest

Yesterday I decided to try some Otter Wax to treat my brand new Rising Sun Outdoor Vest in Raw Brown Duck Canvas. It took me about half an hour and 1/3 of this XL bar of Otter Wax. I strongly recommend to watch the Otter Wax Video on Vimeo for some hints. Working the wax into the fabric with your fingers is the way to do it right. There is the option to treat the fresh waxed fabric with a blow dryer for a deeper saturation and a more even distribution. The wax gets more fluid then, but I liked the contrast of some hard to reach areas (see the image 2) and also the not too perfect applied look.

At the beginning of the treatment the wax is a bit sticky but this has changed already within the last 10 hours. As mentioned in the Video by Otter Wax it is settling in for up to 3 days. I hope the development and difference between the two vests is clear. To describe the waxed one, I would say it looks a bit like some “well broken in greasy suede leather vest”. I´m sure this vest will develop a nice character within the next month – stay updated here.

Thanks to Amtraq Distribution and Otter Wax Distribution Europe for the samples.

Ships, a 5000 year history told by Brian Lavery

5000 years of boats by brian lavery - book title

Ships, a 5000 year history told by Brian Lavery:
While being in France and walking trough the streets of Bayonne I saw this book in the window of a bookshop. They had a nautical festival that week and 5 vintage boats down the river on display. So the bookshop rearranged the window for that reason. We were glad to hear about the exhibition (we went there before meeting Mr. MotArt) and to get a present with this book for a friend as well.

The book covers 5000 years of maritime history and adventures in about 400 pages. Loaded with a lot of images and drawings.  Perfect to get some basic knowledge and some inspiration.