Category Archives: Outdoors

Clearing Storm Debris and Confusion: Which Stihl Chainsaws are Made in the USA?

This winter, the Northeast has weathered a series of storms that left lots of downed trees and limbs. At the time, most of us were concerned with just getting the power (luckily we have a generator) but now the aftermath is going to have to be dealt with.

I am probably one of those few people that will enjoy getting out there to tackle the cleanup with one of my prized possessions: “Old Orange,” my Stihl chainsaw. Between my chainsaw, splitting maul and wood stove we were able to have lots of cozy evenings by the fire this year, all from downed trees in our own yard during previous storms.

While the Stihl company was founded and headquartered  in Waiblingen,  Germany, there’s a lot of speculating and misinformation online about whether any of its chainsaws are made here. Frankly, the company doesn’t help by having not a peep of info on its website. So, Kathy went straight to the source and got the model numbers of the 13 chainsaw lines that are assembled in the United States. They are:

MS-170, MS-171, MS-180, MS-181, MS-201, MS-211, MS-250, MS-241, MS-251, MS-261, MS-271, MS-291, and MS-311

Hope this helps in your choice of a chainsaw.

Regards,

Paul

A Campfire in a Can? It’s Made in America

After three  Nor’Easters in less than 10 days here in New Jersey, anything to do with warmth sounds pretty good to me. A campfire in a can? Sold!

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!When I saw this portable campfire by Radiate it made me think back to the days when we used to fill a wheel barrow with dirt and build a fire in it (sort of a poor man’s fire pit). This has the advantage of being easier and WAY more portable.The Radiate  contains non-toxic, recycled soy wax mixed with recycled paper pulp. It doesn’t create soot or a have smokey smell. There are no embers to worry about and it is waterproof.  A typical can will have a  3-5 hours burn time.The Radiate also comes in a version with an all natural Eucalyptus bug repellent. The only downside: you can’t roast marshmallows over that version.

Regards,

Paul

Beer Can Boards: Skateboards Made in America with Recycled Materials

When I was a kid I had a skateboard;  probably the first mode of wheeled transportation I actually owned. Made from pressed wood with a sandpaper surface so your feet wouldn’t slip, it featured the worlds most unforgiving, rock-solid wheels that never seemed to miss a pebble.

Skateboards and longboards have come a long way since those days, both in design and materials. For a company called Beercan Boards the secret to success is using recycled plastic and aluminum cans and making the boards here in America. This small company out of Douglas, GA is trying, in their own words to “take over the world, one skateboarder at a time and we have just gotten started.”

Owner Joel Rawlins was a once-promising skateboarder who, at the age of 15, had a run-in with a car that made him rethink his direction in life.As an adult,  he got into the automotive aftermarket and had success supplying components for classic cars, some of them showing-up in movies like The Fast and Furious. In 2012, the idea struck him that he could use the recyclable aluminum and plastics from his business to fabricate skateboards, and suddenly, he was sharing an old pastime with his kids. There was a lot of work required to design, prototype and refine the boards while trying to maintain his  Made-in-America goal, but the end result was definitely worth it.The great thing about these boards ( besides the cool graphics and the company’s goal to be eco-friendly) is that you can recycle your old board and get a new one for a reasonable fee. If you want a different look, the deck of the board can be swapped out and you have the option to purchase bearings for life.

I wish I was a teenager again!

Regards,

Paul

Behren’s Manufacturing: Everyday Galvanized Steel Items, Made in USA

This morning we learned about a new Made-in-USA manufacturer. I say “new,” meaning “new to us,” since the company has been around since 1911.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!We try to plan ahead on our purchases, because it can take a little time to find Made-in-America items. That often means purchasing online. But today, we needed a metal bucket right away, so we took our chances at a local store. Luckily, we found a galvanized steel bucket made by Behrens Manufacturing, a company that produces the majority of its products in Winona, Minnesota.

In addition to buckets, they make garbage cans, pans, funnels, watering cans and more.And you’ve probably seen their galvanized steel beverage tubs at parties.If you’re looking for the kind of heavy-duty tubs and tanks used to water livestock, there’s a very similarly-named manufacturer called Behlen, located in Nebraska.

Regards, Kathy

 

A Clean Cup of Water, Please: Made in USA

I sometimes joke around about the “zombie apocalypse” and the great excuse it provides in buying yourself the latest guy-toy (I’m looking at you, Tima-Hawk.) However, having  experienced superstorm Sandy and the havoc it caused in the NY metropolitan area, I realize how important it is to be prepared for real-life dangers.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!If you’re putting together a bug-out bag, you might want to check out the MSR Trailshot Micro Filter. This little device can filter out over 99.9999% of impurities in water and can fill a liter bottle in about 60 seconds. The filter is replaceable and can be easily stored in you backpack or jacket pocket.

Created for hikers who need to refill along the trail, this device can be useful in any number of situations. As a cyclist there have been a few occasions where I’ve been out on a hot day, water bottle filled with warm energy drink, when I ride past a cold stream. That’s when I would love to be able to pull over and quench my thirst.

So whether you are out there exploring the great outdoors or running from the living dead or the  White Walkers, you should check out the TrailShot.

Regards,

Paul