The Irony…

of needing a fairly sharp knife to open your bitchin’ new knife sharpener.

I had the pocket sized Work Sharp tool and was impressed. During my time in K Falls this last trip, friend Tom showed me the full sized version (as above), let me use it and, damn, these are sweet. The Morakniv are the best cheap fixed blade knifes you can get. Figured one for the Mosko tank bag and the other for fun.

By the way, I don’t get sponsored or hooked up for writing about any of this stuff. I’m a gear whore/snob/very experienced user and I really appreciate good gear. My life has depended on the quality of the gear I use a good number of times.

Between firefighting (Structural and Wildland), mountaineering, ice climbing, Mt Biking, bla , bla , bla you learn the good stuff. Plus while I was laid off from fire for the winter I usually worked at a gear store. Second Season Sports in Bend was the first, Next Adventure in Portland a few different times (where the above things were purchased about 2 hours ago. Support local!!), MEC in Calgary, a short awful stint at REI (Fuck that location specifically, I like REI. MEC is way better, tho. The Canadian version) and Surefoot in Ketchum, ID.

Pro Deals are sweet, but you have to look at them in context. If you make $75k a year and give retail workers shit for pro-deals, you’re a dick. Be cool and you won’t pay full retail, I’ll hook you up either through a little discount or amazing service, be a dick and you’re on your own. Plus, they don’t make shit! My best combined fire and retail season ever was around $36k total, that involved around 700 hours overtime. Don’t believe the rumor, Wildland firefighters don’t make shit.

The only way you get good $ is OT, lots and lots of OT. 2 Exceptions I know of: Cal Fire, a California State gig with a strong union and Structural FFs who go out on a Strike Team for structure protection or some such, generally don’t have too much action (exceptions noted) and make BANK.

With 20 years experience my rate was around $18.50 an hour my last year. But you do it for the lifestyle, not the pay. Plus, single and no kids makes high level dirt-bagging pretty easy. Retail is the same, near minimum in many cases, I was lucky to work for folks who paid a reasonable wage for the most part. $30k a year and half price gear makes it doable. Now that my pay is much better I’m happy to pay retail if I have to, I’ll generally find a deal, but it’s not longer the deal breaker it was in the past.

So, I’ll probably post a whole lot about anything I find interesting, cool, useful, or to be a total hunk of shit.

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