VOTD: 4×4 Winter Driving Recoveries

via West County Explorers Club: Winter’s on the way. To help you get ready, here’s a video showing some snow recoveries by the Search and Rescue Unit in Pierce County, Washington. One involves raising the truck with a Hi-Lift to pack snow under the tires. In the other a Hummer gets winched out of the snow.

When using the Hi-Lift, always keep your head (or any other body part) out of the area between the Hi-Lift frame and the handle, so the handle doesn’t accidentally snap up and whack you. One way to keep yourself out of the “whack-zone” is to put a foot on the base of the Hi-Lift and work the handle with your opposite hand, pulling with the weight of your entire body.

VOTD: A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout

via West County Explorers Club: Having visited a couple of fire lookouts this year, I found them to be pretty fascinating places. In this age of electronically monitored everything, rangers and volunteers still head to the tops of mountains to scout for forest fires with nothing more than simply surveying gear.

When smoke is spotted, a bearing is taken using something called an Osborne Fire-Finder, basically a circular map and a sight on a rotating turntable. Once the fire’s bearing is recorded, it’s shared with other towers, who, if they are within visual range, also report a bearing. With a bearing from at least two towers, an approximate fix on the fire can be made. Using the line of sight across the circular map (the lookout tower is located in the center of the map) estimates of the fire’s location can be made if no other lookout is within visual range.

This video, about the Mt. Tamalpais fire lookout in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, is more about the view but I’ll hope you’ll enjoy it just the same.

Camp-spresso: The Moka Pot

It’s Overland Journal’s fault. I’ve long appreciated the pleasures of the morning coffee ritual, an easy vice to maintain in the city, but one that is typically tolerable at best in camp. Working in an office…

OAUSA BorregoFest

BorregoFest 2012

If late October finds you in Southern California longing for adventure, or just a weekend getaway, swing by Outdoor Adventure USA’s annual BorregoFest.

Review: The WaterField Cargo

Over the past several months I’ve been trapped in the seemingly endless search for that perfect balance between got-it-all, and the liberty got-it-all prevents in an “everyday” bag. You name it, I’ve carried it—from sleek and…