Archive | December, 2011


Snowshoeing in Roosevelt National Forest near Nederland, CO. Hope everyone is having a happy ending to 2011.

December 29, 2011 | Public Lands | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }


The NYTimes’ style site, The Moment, asked me to put together a gift guide for the holidays. Might be a little late, but you can read it here.

December 22, 2011 | The Campster | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Happy Holidays

To all you wonderful people out on the interwebs,

There’s no doubt about it. 2011 was one hell of a year. We hope you have a great holiday season and get to spend some well-deserved time with friends and families.

We’re going to try and sign off  Cold Splinters for a little while (though who knows how that will actually play out), so we’ll see you back here when the clock strikes 2012…

Thanks for everything,

MP3: Randy Newman – I’ll Be Home (Live)

December 19, 2011 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

PicWay Hikers

They probably fell apart after the third mile of your hike, but for $16.88? Not bad, I suppose. And that “speed lacing” system really looks like it’d save you a lot of time..

Unfortunately for all of us, PicWay was bought out by Payless in the early 90s.

December 15, 2011 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

The Desert, My Home

I imagine that many of you are getting away for the holidays: Whether that means going home to see ma and pa, going on a road trip to some far away place filled with cactus and cholla, or, hopefully, a combination of the two. Cold Splinters is off to the California desert for a couple days (Palm Springs + Joshua Tree National Park) then to to the foothills of Colorado (Boulder + Nederland), and in preparation fore the trip – at least the desert portion – we’ve been blasting Bombino’s Agadez over and over and over. (Thank you Justin Gage.) Sure, it’s the wrong desert (his is the Sahara), but the sentiment is the same. I guess the only real difference is an Ace Hotel, right?

MP3: Bombino – Tenere (The Desert, My Home)

MP3: Bombino – Iyat Idounia Ayasahen (Another Life)

December 13, 2011 | Desert Solitaire | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Cameron Pendleton

When I was 10, I spent my summers at camp in Bemidji, MN where I hiked, canoed, pretended to like archery, and learned to play the guitar. And while I’m not knocking the “outdoorsiness” of camp (I still think about my time there very often), it seems like city living compared to Cameron Pendleton’s adventures. The kid started the AT with his dad when he was 10, turned 11 three weeks into the ordeal, and six months later, made it to the top of Katahdin. Boys’ Life interviewed Cameron, now 12, about his experience on the trail, the challenges he faced, and of course, the origins of his trail name. (Hint: It’s “Chili.”)  You can listen to the audio right here.

December 13, 2011 | Long Hairs | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

New Jersey Bear Hunt

According to state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Ragonese, as of Saturday night, the kill tally for New Jersey’s six-day bear hunt was 464 bears. (Last year was 592.) That number represents about 13 percent of the state-estimated population of 3,400 bears in areas north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287. One of the bears killed weighed 829 pounds (!), a new New Jersey state record.

More info here.

December 12, 2011 | The World Is On Fire! | Continue Reading | Comments { 7 }

Trail Mix Volume V

This week’s Cold Splinters Trail Mix comes from our ax-making friends at Best Made Co. (Now you get the “Deep Cuts” title, yes?) For the past couple of weeks, they’ve been spending time at their treehouse hideout in Lumberland, NY. Cold Splinters was lucky enough to drive up in early November (Tom from Archival Clothing, whose Trail Mix is coming up next week, was along for the fun) for a big fire, bourbon balls, and copious amounts of spiked hot apple cider and mallow pumpkins. Needless to say, it’s a hell of a time up there.

Enjoy “Deep Cuts” while reading the Best Made Project’s Lumberland Diaries and have yourself a damn fine weekend. We’ll see you soon.

Download: Best Made Co. x Cold Splinters Trail Mix Volume V

December 9, 2011 | Trail Mix | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

Whelen Lean-To


Colonel Townsend Whelen, noted hunter and outdoor writer, designed a tent he called the “hunter’s lean-to” in 1925.  David Abercrombie ( of the old Abercrombie & fitch fame) manufactured the style  and marketed it as the “Whelen Lean-to”.  It has been called the Whelen ever since, Colonel Whelen, as a devout minimalist,  hardly believed in tents for shelter at all.  He wished to be as close to his natural surroundings as was possible and practical.  The Colonel considered this design, which almost has the appearance of half a tent, more than adequate for anything short of -20 degrees or severe bugs.  With a sloped rear roof, slanted and splayed sides and a short fore roof panel, this tent is a relatively dedicated specialized tarp.  Light and easy to pack.

If you want to read a little bit more about the Whelen Lean-To, which I’m sure you don’t, start on page 80 of Bradford Angier’s  Basic Wilderness Survivial Skills. And don’t forget to check out Conway, New Hampshire’s Tentsmiths, who make a large array of “authentic period tents” like The Forester, first used by Daniel Beard, founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, which later merged with the Boy Scouts of America.

December 8, 2011 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Blackberry Brandy

Antler tells us to use blackberry brandy as a “telescope to bring the stars closer in.” What does 1911′s Harper’s Camping and Scouting: An Outdoor Guide for American Boys tell us to use it for? Yes, of course, diarrhea!

MP3: Medicine Head – Wishin’ And Wishin’

December 7, 2011 | History | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }