Survival Gear

Survival Gear

Friday, February 27, 2015

My adventures in Photography!

DSLR Cameras and accessories

Heilsa folks, It sure has been a while...
I recently took a trip with the "Brothers of Bushcraft" to Canada, just to have a little fun and relaxation.  What I found while there, is that my camera equipment was piss poor.

I don't usually blog about tech stuff but I don't think I have ever put a restriction on myself for what I can blog about we go.   My cheap video and still cameras seemed to die almost immediately as soon as they were brought out in the cold.  Even with the 5 batteries that I had, I couldn't manage to record a full scene in the sub zero temperatures.  The other guys cameras seemed to hold up just fine and keep a charge for a long period of time.  The others all had one version or another of the modern DSLR variety so as soon as I got home I started researching them.  What I decided on was one in the upper echelon of the entry level DSLR variety.  I got a Nikon D5200 kit from Amazon and I will never look back.  Applying some of the photography training that I got as a Marine Sniper I was quickly able to take advantage of most of the major features without simply putting the camera on auto.  A few clever YouTube searches revealed some of the more advanced features and how to use them also. What I found is that I would have saved a ton of money and frustration, if I had gone this route earlier.  I cannot imagine how many great photos I would have if I had a camera like this years ago.  There are plenty of less expensive and more expensive DSLR cameras to choose from and this one just happened to suit my needs.  If you are the type of person that enjoys spending time out doors, shooting video, photos or just hunting with a lens, it is time to upgrade.  Later this year Ill be attending a guide/packer course and I cannot wait to get out there and shoot everything in sight.  Here are a couple of pictures so you can judge for yourself.  Keep in mind that this is just me running out to my backyard to show some basic capabilities of my camera.  I will learn more as I go and hopefully glean the ability to show you my adventures as I see them, not as my old cheap cameras allowed me.  

So here we go, my adventures in Photography:

This just some weeds in the yard but this level of detail can make it very easy to photograph unknown plants so that I can identify them later.

Have you ever seen a simple pine cone look so artsy?  This kind of depth can only be achieved with the right equipment.  The ability to separate the subject from the background can open all kinds of doors in the word of outdoor photography.    

This is just a dead tree among a bunch of live ones,  Nothing special until you add a zoom lens and shoot it with the color separator function.

Now it is stunning,  what a cool feature.  I can imagine all kinds of ways to use this out on my adventures.  

These are shot with the same color separator feature used with a little more subtlety than before.  Its amazing how it draws you in.

Just a woodpile, slightly overexposed,  can you imagine what the weather is like outside?  Looks warm and sunny doesn't it?  It was actually cold and overcast...In fact we had a lite dusting of snow yesterday.  

I just included this one because I liked it,  not sure why, but it is visually pleasing to me.  

This may be the coolest feature! Below is a hand held shot with the camera on auto and the popup flash engaged, taken off my front porch.  It looks like a pretty standard night shot, however, the shot below was taken just minutes later.

In this shot I put the camera on (M) manual, mounted it on a tripod and adjusted the exposure, ISO, and aperature.  It probably sat there with the shudder open for 30 or more seconds just exposing the sensor to any and all light. Now that is amazing! 

You know that I see pictures online all the time that make me wish I could do that.  I am no professional and I have almost no training.  I now understand why the photo-guru types love it so much.  It really is cool to take amazing photographs to remember your woodland excursions. 

Modern DSLR cameras come with all kinds of cool accessories like lenses, filters GPS and WiFi adapters and some even have it built in.  The in camera editing is just amazing.  All of the above pictures are shown exactly like they were shot without any editing, save putting on my watermark.

If you are interested I am putting a link below that you can follow and check out what is available.  I could not be happier that I finally moved up and I am sure you will be also.  everybody sees the world differently so you might as well have the ability to show it exactly how YOU see it..Right?

Be well, Norseman

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tops Knives / Norseman - SNAP Kit

I have been working with TOPS Knives USA to produce my second knife design with them.  My first design is the HOG 4.5.  I did not Blog about it but that will be coming soon.  This post is about my latest blade which actually comes in a small tin survival kit. The SNAP Card (Survival Needs And Preparedness.)  The little tool that fills some big shoes when it comes to survival in the wilderness.

We all have different ideals about what makes the perfect outdoor and survival blade.  This is what makes the knife industry so diverse and exciting.  But for all the millions of designs out there I could not find a single one that fit snugly in an altoids tin and could also be used for more than skinning a sparrow.  So I set out to design one.  What I came up up with is the SNAP Card.  The tool itself comes in the SNAP Kit produced by TOPS Knives.  It is 1095 HC Steel with a coating of Ceracoat in canyon red.  It is 1/8" thick and it has sort of a modified chisel grind on the two cutting edges.  We are still working out the price for the kit but it is rumored to fall somewhere within the 50.00 range.  All in all, a fair price for a pre-fab survival kit with contents that are actually useful and complete.  The full kit weighs in at just 5 oz and the blade alone is 2oz.  So at 5 oz and about the size of a pack of cigarettes you can carry it practically everywhere and never leave home without the ability to survive a few uncomfortable nights stranded in the wilderness.

the kit contains:
1 SNAP Card Knife
1 Metal storage box
1 Fresnel lens
1 Signal whistle (126 Db)
1 Button compass
1 Cotton pad
12' Orange marking tape
25' Fishing line
2 Fish hooks
12' Nano cord
1 Sail needle
2 Safety pins
1 P38 can opener
1 Ferro rod
1 Acrylic signal mirror
1 Heavy rubber band
1 ID card

As you can see from the contents list that this kit contains just about everything that you need to get you through a rough day or two.  It lacks any major sized water container but that is a small trade off.  You can always boil and drink water directly out of the metal tin and there is almost always some trash around that you can put water in.  So here is a bunch of pictures of the tool in use.  Take a look and comment below to let me know what you think.

 Truncating a small tree for shelter or tools

  Hide scraping and removing hair from hide leather...or anything else that needs a good scraping.

Traditional cutting and game preparation tasks.

Bark scraping and truncating for traps and camp tools.

Notching and battoning for traditional camp chores and processing resources.

 Starting a bow drill or hand drill divot and notching the hearth.

Prepping wild edibles and shaving up some fuzz sticks.

Prepping some birch bark for camp tools or fire making, same techniques used to cut leather and prep meat for smoking and drying.

Attaches to a staff for the big chores.

Reach the resources up high without the risk of climbing the tree.

Defend yourself and your camp in the woods or anywhere you need to.  Also useful for dispatching live game caught in your traps.

So there it is, the SNAP Card,  the most useful tool that you can fit in a pocket survival kit.  here are a couple of other options for carry that I have been working on.

The first picture is an I phone case with credit card slot that I picked up at the dollar store.  The second is a Kydex neck sheath that I whipped up in the garage...Perhaps I can find someone to produce them in the future.

I hope that you enjoyed this sneak preview of the SNAP Kit from Tops Knives and I hope that you can see the endless possibilities that it presents for the true survivor.  After all, the key to survival is adaptation and imagination.  With the right mindset and some basic tools you can survive anything that comes at you.

Be Well, Norseman

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gopher up!

Took a short break from the shop for some gopher therapy...the boys decided to get in on that :)

Sent from my iPhone

Dehydrator at work

Over the past few weeks we have had a surplus of eggs thanks to my feathery ladies. Last week I found a great blog post

detailing the dehydrating process and I decided to give it a shot.

A worker may be the Hammer's master, but the Hammer still prevails. A tool knows exactly how it is meant to be handled, while the user of the tool can only have an approximate idea.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ANARCHY is upon us...

Hello Everyone!
For some reason my time between blog posts keep getting farther & farther apart.  Sometimes I forget that I am now supposed to be a "blogger"   I also get it stuck in my head that I need to write a whole big blog post, instead of just a little one.  For this post though I plan on going big! :)
Norseman is a now a MOVIE STAR!!! 
Hahaha, I'm just kidding...well sort of.  Norseman is in a wicked cool new web series called Anarchy The Series. 
Anarchy is a No Budget original series from Ervin Studios in Spokane Washington.  Ervin Studios has produced successful television campaigns, short films, music videos and much more.  This production house has won multiple awards over the past 8 years!
Anarchy is an original series written by Dale Fruit.   Anarchy takes place 9 years after the fall of the American Government.  The  primary characters in Anarchy consider past Governments, past leaders, some of the great philosophical thinkers as they work to build a new society that maximizes liberty and minimizes tyranny. 
Anarchy The Series made its debut September 2013.  There are as of right now 2 episodes available and episode 3 is in pre-production.  Here are some behind the scenes photos from the first 2 episodes.



Now that these photos of Anarchy has wetted your are the episodes :)
Anarchy Episode I
Anarchy Episode II (mild graphic violence & an F-Bomb)
Keep in mind that this wicked ass series is a NO-budget production.  The cast and crew are all volunteers and love what they do.  You can follow Anarchy on Facebook, just click the link below and like their Facebook page to get updates & behind the scenes photos on upcoming episodes.
Don't forget to invite all your friends to their page and share their videos!!!
Maybe if we get Anarchy to go viral, they can get a budget and we can all be Chillaxing on the couch watching it on the big screen!
Norseman says..."Now go spread it like VD"!