Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

hammock comfort

Posted: June 29, 2015 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, Gear Reviews, hammock skills

There are many advantages to hammock camping in Florida.  Many people think that the heat, humidity, and biting insects are a deterrent to camping.  That does not need to be the case.  Hammock camping is fast to set up.  The the material aids in comfort; say goodnight to hard ground, rocks and sticks poking your back as you sleep.  And the user gets rocked to sleep under a star filled sky.  And when it comes to ticks, chiggers, mites, and mosquitoes the entire sleep system is treated in Permethrin Insect Repellent.



To stay cool we focus on the site.  We look for a place that will aid in keeping air flowing around the hammock.  As kayakers it is easy to suspend the hammock next to and sometimes over water to maximize the breeze; although, doing so has made for some interesting stories.  Pay attention to the tides and animal trails when camping next to the water.  You could find yourself being bumped by a nocturnal animal going to the water.  Or waking up wet due to rising waters.


hammock camping in florida

In many ways to the onlooker it looks like we are topless.  We still set up the tarp over the hammock with bug net; and adjust it in a way that it is not directly over the top of the hammock to allow for quick deployment over the sleep system if we get a surprise midnight Florida shower.  This is simply done by folding the tarp on to itself.  In addition to the tarp being arranged in a way to not restrict air flow and our view to the stars.

Drip lines are also added on to the Slap Straps so rain water does not flow down the hammock. ¬†Some people like to hang a battery operated fan along the ridge line inside the hammock bug netting. ¬†We forgo the fans for a simpler yet effective natural air conditioning system. ¬†Before going to sleep we soak the bug net in water. ¬†This helps to cool the interior of the sleep system through evaporation cooling if the hammock remains dry and there is a steady flow of air. ¬†I also sleep better clean and tolerate the heat easier during the night. ¬†So I take a quick shower away from the water’s edge with potable water, some no-rinse, and a wash cloth.

To protect the trees we like to use a thick webbing nylon daisy chain, also known as ENO Slap Strap.  This protects the bark and eliminates the need to tie knots.  We have had success with TreeHuger Hammocks and ENO Eagle Nest Outfitters sleep system.

There is little need for light when camping when there are stars and the moon.  Never the less, we have occasionally use two types of lights around camp; in addition, we do use a head lamp in camp.  The Luci portable solar LED lantern made by MPOWERD and ENO Twilights.

mpowerd-luci-inflatable-solar-lantern-xlENO Twilight_blue

And let us not forget have an empty bottle with in the sleep system.  If you have a urin bottle there will be less of a need to leave the comfort of the bug net.

I normally sleep on the diagonal with a Klymit Pillow X.  Sean sleeps in the fetal position with a shirt as a pillow

The Summit A Chronicle Of Stones to SerenityThe Summit: A Chronicle Of Stones to Serenity (2009) is a beautiful film.  It is a movie that showcases why adventures go beyond the possible and make the improbable a reality.

The panoramic images of snow clad mountains surrounded by a sea of clouds painted in sunsets is what many outdoor enthusiasts yearn to see; the movie is more than the contrast of the beauty and danger of mountaineering.  It is about the whys of several men during the Meiji era go to Mount Tsurugidake, an unexplored peak in the Hida Mountains, located in the eastern area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan in 1907 .  The story is based on the novel by Jiro Nitta.

On the surface it is a story of explorers risking their lives in an endeavor to survey an area that was never explored and chart the region for national security purposes; moreover, there is a second reason the government needs this undocumented location mapped.¬† It is to save the government’s honor in preventing a group of civilian armatures in climbing a mountain that the Army has failed in the past to climb.¬† But like clouds covering mountains, there are other hidden reasons to why the men of the Japanese Army Survey unit go exploring. ¬†Furthermore,¬†their reasons are in humbling¬†to why the local guide goes, and the purpose of the Japanese Alpine Club.

Beyond the imagery and dialog I’m captivated by the gear used in 1907.¬† The heavy supplies, and the physically demanding costs, and the contrast of traditional and modern gear.¬† The local guide and survey unit gear choices are primitive compared to the modern gear the Alpine team uses.


Japanese Army Survey unit

During the first exchange between the two teams a 1955 Swedish-made Svea 123 makes an appearance when Yoshitaro Shibasaki of the Japanese Army Survey unit speaks with Usui Kojima of the Japanese Alpine Club team; the appearance of the stove is interesting because the movie is based in 1907.¬† Regardless of the gear time line mix up (and it is possible I am wrong in identifying the stove used), we see how extravagant gear can be and traditional supplies can be looked down upon.¬† Even today some of us have fallen into the trap of envying someone who has new gear or chuckled at a person’s old, heavy, and tattered gear.

After seeing this movie you will be hard pressed not to want to discover someplace new.¬† And to borrow a quote from the film “nature is eternal but life is fleeting”.¬† There is no time like the present to start your adventure.

– Jeffrey


Japanese Alpine Club team

Japanese Alpine News

Skin ‘tastic thinking First Aid

Posted: May 1, 2014 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, ten essentials
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Knowing First Aid is one of the ten essentials that every outdoor enthusiast should know.¬† Survival is about your mind working with skill to live.¬† It’s about staying calm in the¬† remote wilderness settings and thinking how to use the items you have available in multiple ways to get home.

There are many posts and articles about what to put in a First Aid Kit.¬† And my wife thinks I am crazy because I have several different First Aid Kits. Each kit is tailored to fit the activity I am engaged in.¬† I have a trail running kit, a day hike kit, rock climbing kit, and several kayak first aid kits.¬† The idea is to satisfy the requirements of the Ten Essentials definition, “to improve the chances that one is prepared for an unexpected emergency in the outdoors”.¬† The stuff I take is important; never the less, the way I think and prepare to act is more important than any gear.¬† Future posts will explore First Aid thinking, and more gear.¬† Presently, let me introduce my favorite first aid little friend.

jeff-fabiszewski uvThe first thing I think about is my skin.  I wear a wide brim hat, long sleeve rash guard, Buff, and uv gloves.  I also wear sunblock.  And when skin wears down, gets cut, or bit I use two small and effective solutions.  New-Skin has saved me many times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 2011 during our 190 mile kayak expedition my skin broke down.  On day three after 50.4 miles I experienced nipple rash and blisters on my hands from friction and waterlogged skin.  New-Skin solved both problems.  It is antiseptic, flexible, waterproof, and lets the skin breathe. The liquid bandage dried rapidly to form a tough protective cover over the effective areas.  I will admit applying the liquid bandage to my nipples stung.  The protective breathable layer also enabled my body to absorb the fluid in the blisters on my hands and gave the skin a chance to harden.  Sean also discovered an infected cut on his foot; after irrigating his cut and putting New-Skin on it, the red puffiness faded and the cut healed within two days.

WoundPackWhen the cut is larger I use a Wound Pack.¬† In a small resealable bag I have 4×4 gauze, Compound Benzoin Tincture, Wound Closure Strips, and a Transparent Semi-Permeable Dressing.¬† After the cut is irrigated the aforementioned items work great to promote healing of large cuts in flexible regions of the body that are prone to come in contact with dirt and water.

In Florida the most common bite is the mosquito.  Soaking the bit area in sea water is a natural way to cure the itch.  Mud also provides a cooling sensation that temporarily relieves itching.  And I have also discovered that New-Skin worked to provide relief from itching and acts it as a seal to protect the bite.

– Jeff

1000 bornes card game

Posted: April 7, 2014 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, Games

1000 bornes card game campingThis past campout Sean introduced me to an old card game 1000 Bornes.  This game has existed since 1954 and goes by many names, and there is even a Cars Lightning McQueen edition.

The object of Mille Bornes is that the players are in a road race.  I know, we went kayaking to Travestine Island to getaway from the city.  And now Sean wants me to play a game about cars racing to a mythical finish line.  Never the less, the game is fun and it is easy to see why people are still playing it after its orginal published date.

Mille Bornes is played with a special deck of cards.  After dealing out six cards we took turns playing distant cards.  Granted there are also hazard, remedy, and safety cards. Each hazard is corrected by a corresponding remedy, and is actually prevented from happening in the first place by a corresponding safety.  Occasionally, Sean slowed my progress by giving me a flat tire.  I then would set up a speed limit against him.  I ran out of gas, and he had an accident.  There is a bit of strategy

Each race‚ÄĒor hand‚ÄĒis usually 700 miles (or kilometers) long, but the first player to complete that distance exactly has the option to declare an extension in which case the race becomes 1,000 miles. Other times the game is played up to 1000 miles first, and then the first player to complete that distance has the option to declare an “extension” for 1,200 miles.

BoardGameGeekFor more details and other exciting links to board games check out

– Jeff

1000 bornes card game

The game packs up small. The plastic car card holder is cool; however, I think it will break overtime if constantly placed into a dry-bag.

Mille Bornes classic auto race card game