Category Archives: Outdoors

Modern, Minimalist Outdoor Firepits: Made in America

Man, metal, fire: it’s a primitive combination, but one that can be beautifully expressed in a modern design.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post. Please do!
Sure, you can make a firepit out of rocks and dirt, but if you want to make a bold statement, Stahl Firepits are a great choice.

They are made from hot rolled steel, which will develop a beautiful patina as it ages. Each 5-piece firepit Is made of precision-cut plates that assemble quickly and without tools.Add a grill plate and you can turn out a delicious meal.or just sit around and enjoy the beauty and warmth.

Regards, Kathy

Brant & Cochran Axe Restoration: Breathing New Life Into Vintage American Axes.

If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time it should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of axes, wood-splitting and the outdoors in general. I always enjoy finding a new axe artisan and Brant & Cochran is the latest one I’d like to tell you about.

Based in Portland Maine, Brant & Cochran at first specialized in restoring surplus military machinery. It was reborn, so to speak, when Steve Ferguson decided to purchase an American made axe for a godson on his way to forestry school, but couldn’t find one locally. Steve, his brother Mark and friend Barry Worthing decided to bring axe-making back to Maine, even if it was just restoration of vintage axes at first. I’ve learned that if something is well-made it’s definitely worth maintaining so you can pass it along to the next generation. I should know – I have my father’s hatchet which, after years of neglect, is going to hopefully get a second life in the hands of the Brant and Cochran team.The axe heads are carefully restored, given new edges without damaging the blade. Wherever possible, original markings are preserved to maintain the authenticity of the head. New hickory handles are added and, as you can see from the photos above, the axes look like they were just forged.

Speaking of just being forged, look for an Indiegogo program in the next few months as the guys from Brant and Cochran get ready to start their own forge in a converted naval base workshop. The plan is to launch a Maine-made, wedge-pattern boys’ axe with a locally sourced ash handle. (A word from the wife: Kathy doesn’t like the “Boys’ Axe” name and thinks it should be called a “Kids’ Axe” or “Junior Axe” or “Starter Axe,” etc. She says she would have been really mad if her brother got a boy’s axe and there wasn’t one for her – and not a pink one either.)

Whatever they decide to call it, we’re looking forward to seeing it on the market.

Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a “new” axe and want a piece of American manufacturing history, I don’t think you can’t go wrong with an axe from Brant and Cochran.



Dinosaur Bone in Your Pocket Knife: Made in USA

One of the key elements of EDC (everyday carry) is a pocket knife. I can’t tell you how many times, whether at work or working around the home, that I reach for one. Sante Fe Stoneworks has  produced a line of limited edition pocket knives that are totally functional but uniquely beautiful. The knives feature Southwestern-influenced  handles made from ironwood, turquoise and, yes, locally harvested dinosaur bone. (Note: the link takes you to a full page of products from Santa Fe Stoneworks. The Made-in-USA items have a little logo to the left.)hw6wkwx9vo_3_damascus-dinosaur_bone_amber_single_0_original

This 3″ Damascus steel blade is accented with Amber and actual Brontosaurus bone.2uo5zipc24_3_damascus-ironwood_turquoise_0_originalThe knife above features turquoise and ironwood, which is a local wood to the Santa Fe area, said to capture the colors of the region.dhoy7z4lpp_3_damascus-kaleidoscope-natural_wood_zig_zag_0_originalThe knife above features a Kaleidoscope Natural Wood zigzag pattern.ytl3qmrelf_3_damascus-woolly_bone_turquoise_0_originalThe Wooly Bone and Turquoise knife features you guessed it, actually bone from a Wooly Mammoth.

Japanese steel us used to make the blades, but on these knives, the rest of the work takes place in Santa Fe.



Timahawk: A New Addition to Your Zombie Preparedness Kit

With the new season of the Walking Dead just underway we wanted to give you another option in the fight against the zombie horde; the Timahawk.timahawkThe Timahawk features a tomahawk, adze hammer,  breaching tool, hoe and pry bar. The axe head is fully hardened so it should be able to cut through Z’s like butta.

You can read about all of our recommendations for defending yourself in the Zombie apocalypse here.



A Big, Bad, Totally Rad Grill: Made in USA

If you are like me you don’t limit your grilling to summer,  As long as my grill is accessible – in other words not covered by snow – I will take advantage of cooking outdoors. With that said, you’ve got to see the unusual new grill on Kickstarter. It’s called the KUDU Safari Braai Grill and it challenges traditional thinking on outdoor grills.Braai_grill3It’s a multi-tiered, split-level house of a grill, where an entire feast can be cooked at once by positioning the various grill surfaces. The inventor was inspired by the way South Africans look to grilling as an important social interaction. All 11 dialects in the country use the same word, “braai” for cooking over fire and there’s even a National Braai Day where people stay home from work and have barbecues with family and friends.Braai_grill4But back to the grill. The key to cooking with the Safari Braai grill is being able to move the food to the desired position relative to the coals. Want to sear a steak? Get your coals red hot and lower the griddle so the steak is just above them. Want to slow roast vegetables? Place them on another level, this time in a pan and raise it accordingly.Braai_grill2The Kudu comes with the fire pit, grill grate and pan along with cooking tongs and Braai wood. While not available yet, there are plans to offer Dutch ovens, rotisseries, bread makers, oyster roasters, chicken roasters, Himalayan salt blocks, cast iron skillets, steel skillets, and a wok. While the influence for this product is South African it’s  being manufactured in Georgia.Braai_grill6At the end of the evening, the Safari Braai grill has one more trick up its sleeve. It converts into a fire pit for the gang to gather around.

With 20+ days left in the Kickstarter campaign, funding is well on its way to hitting the goal. Grab yours today.

Happy grilling!