Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Year In The Rear-View

I know, you've heard it all before, New year/New you- ad naseum. Don't fall for the hype. You were responsible for what happened in 2017. Some choice you made ended you up right where you are today. You might be thinking that hey- that drunk driver that crashed into me isn't my fault! Yes, it's your fault. You chose to accept the risks when you pulled out of the driveway. Had you stayed at home you'd be safe(er). But wait, there's more. A plane falls out of the sky and lands on your house, yep, you chose to live in a metropolis or near an major hub and accepted the risk of higher flight numbers.

Quit blaming others for random stuff. You can hold another accountable for their actions in the case of the plane or drunk driver, but what about holding yourself accountable? Do you look in the mirror every morning thinking that you made perfect choices all day every day? No. We all have room for improvement or self improvement if you like.

Every year you see people talking about being ready to start a new year and forget about the dumpster fire that was last year. That is exactly the wrong idea. You started and fed that dumpster fire with your choices. Own up to it and start making decisions with your head instead of your heart. Analyze your investments daily- That means looking at them for what they are, regardless of how you feel about them. That means time investments, financial investments, vanity investments, relationships, habitation, Etc. If you can't admit that you made a mistake, you've already made 2 mistakes. If that dude that you've hung out with for 20 years is dragging you down, you need to improve him or lose him. Your goals and standards are defined by your surroundings.

Quit being jealous. If someone won the genetic lottery, good for them! That may not be your lot in life, but it's not an excuse to demonize someone or deflate your own self worth. If you're a hater, you're allowing someone else to live rent free in your head. Toss that luggage to the curb and work to grow your own flock of haters. The measure of a person is how they deal with adversity. You beat it, or it beats you.

You are responsible for you. That means that you should be willing to own up to your shortcomings and learn to handle them.

Be humble. You are no better than anyone else. How you treat people that can do nothing for you defines your character.

Be productive. The only way  to deserve anything is to earn it. A promotion that is worked for is held in esteem by your peers.

Time is money. You're trading time for everything you buy. Instead of looking at a prospective purchase by price, look at it in time. If you're willing to trade an hour of your day's pay every day to eat out at lunch, just understand the cost. Your time is finite and growing shorter every day, don't squander it.

Be content. If you gave it your all and came up short, learn from it. Don't let it break you. Trying to live up to the expectations of others can run you ragged. Keep your grass tended and it won't be greener on the other side. Live your life, not what others think is great and exciting.

I'm speaking from experience. I've made all the mistakes you can make, then stopped and owned up to it.

Make 2018 your year, then 2019. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My 2017 Best Gear Purchase

With the added income associated with the current contract I'm fulfilling, Ive purchased some higher(ish) end gear and supplies to increase my camping comfort level and some weight savings. With all the purchases, I've made some good ones, a few decent ones and a couple bad ones. It wasn't tough to make a decision on the best purchase though, that was easy with a strong standout such as this.  So for 2017, my best purchase has been the Klymit 20 degree down sleeping bag.

klymit official site.

I know, you're thinking- "It's just a sleeping bag, What gives?" Well, let me tell you why this one is so significant. It weighs less than my synthetic bag and is at least 2x warmer. I would struggle at 40 degrees in my 20 degree browning bag, but I was toasty and warm at 30 with no tarp shelter over my hammock. I've since taken it down past 20 degrees without an issue. The best thing about this item is the fact that it comes in an oversized version which is far less constrictive and you don't have to be as rigid during the night. You have room to move and even turn without dislodging your bag. This is especially nice in a hammock because I like to put a pillow under my knees to make it more comfy. The extra room also means more fluff to keep you warm, all in a bag that packs down to 16x8".

I purchased the large model and have no issue taking the extra .4 pounds it weighs over the standard model. It's still almost 2lbs lighter and about 3/4 the size of the synthetic bag I used to use. The bag has a moisture resistant outer shell to keep you warm even in the cool dew of night. It rained cats and dogs during a shooting event and some water got in my hammock, but I never felt it, the outer shell did it's job!
If you add in the Hammock V insulated pad, it's even warmer. No need for an under quilt anymore. I woke up to a coating of frost on my hammock netting the morning after this pic was taken. I was toasty, refreshed and ready to go hunt! I made a 2 for 1 shot on a couple tree rats, and later that day my son got his first all on his own tree rat.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wow, how did that happen?

Sorry all, I received a contract advancement and what I thought would be a end of the year completion date ended up getting extended indefinitely. I'm really busy, like ungodly slammed at work and still keeping my business floating on weekends. Add in a family and youth stewardship volunteering, this has really taken a side line. I do have TONS of new great gear to review, but making the time has been tough. Every spare minute has been spent in the woods with my boys. I'll get back to you every time I get some time.

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