Posts Tagged ‘mountain’

By Cameron McKirdy

Check out the vintage bike frame I was given for FREE.  I’ve always wanted an old school Specialized Rockhopper, so I had to fix it up, and ride.  The bicycle needed some TLC.  I bought new handlebars for $1, rubber grips, a back tube and tire, plus located a matching racing seat and post.  It must be a 1989, or 1990 Specialized, featuring Shimano Deore LX components.  The original matching wheels came with.  

Survival Bros also pressure washed everything, to get the road grim off.  Just had to share the photos with the fans.  I haven’t seen this bike, this nice, anywhere online in my searching.  I sold the restored project for $150.  Funny part was, the buyer showed up in a classic Volkswagen Vanagon like mine, so we had lots to talk about, and share.  This bike was just too small for me, with a 17 inch frame, it’s best suited for a teen.  It went to a good home, and freed up space inside my van.  More cycling projects being blogged about soon.  

Specialized Rockhopper CompHolding a Battleship Grey colored Rockhopper Comp frame

Vintage Rockhopper Battleship GreyRiding the fully restored mountain bike for the first time on trails

Read about when I found a Specialized Allez Sport from Goodwill!

By Cameron McKirdy

McKenzie River Trailhead Sign

An hour East of Eugene, the McKenzie River Recreational Trail waits to be conquered.  A 26 mile path skirts the cold, rippling waterway.  It’s one of America’s premier destinations for bikers, and hikers.  Outdoor enthusiasts can also be spotted during the summer on the water in rafts of all shapes and sizes.  Survival Bros floated it.  However, here’s what’s its like to attack the upper part of the wilderness trail on my bicycle.

The 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon is locked.  Bike is ready.  God bless my vintage Univega Alpina Pro mountain bike.  It’s a hardtail with tire liners for extra protection, so I shouldn’t have trouble pummeling porous lava rocks.   This will be my first ride with it off of pavement, or graveled logging roads.  Exciting.  Water, check.  Mechanix gloves, yes.  3M safety shades, on.  Let’s crush this.

And I’m off.  Going downhill mostly, to Clearwater Lake from the top of the trail.  I will have to fill my stainless steel water bottle at the campground.  Problem is, it’s hard to know what’s undrinkable, and what’s potable with all the well pumps around.  I may have to take a chance, because I’m not buying water.  I’m looking forward to adding 2 packets of Airborne Plus Energy into my drink for flavor, vitamins, and minerals.

The plan is to tackle the challenging section of course around the lake first, then take an easy trail back uphill to my vehicle.  OK, get centered.  Where are you?  In the moment.  Faster!!!

Root!  Pop the front wheel over, and peddle.  Good.  Lean into this corner.  Branch…We’re bushwacking today.  Alright, NOW break.  Shift weight back, coming off the seat.  Who put this tree down here?  Ever heard of a chainsaw?  Pick up your bike.  Thankfully, it’s lightweight, full chromoly frame.  I’m so happy I invested in tuning this vintage ride up.  The guys at Canyonview Cyclery took care of me.  This is the video I produced at their shop after the Univega was restored to glory.

 There’s the edge of the water at Clear Lake.  I’ve never seen water so pristine.  I bet I could drink straight from the lake.  Ducks do it.  I almost hit one fowl in my way.  Move mallard.  Already, I’ve narrowly avoided about 10 chipmunks, and a large rabbit too.  I’ve seen squirrels try to take on bikes before.  They ended up in the spokes without a head.  That would ruin my day.  I need a bell on this bike of mine to signal wildlife.  

Now comes the hard part.  Negotiating lava rock fields on two wheels.  But I’ve been here before.  Only I came from the opposite direction last time.  I’m going to have to push it up this long hill.  It feels great to get off my butt, and work other muscle groups.  I like my new bicycle handle bar ends.  Now I have more hand positions, and can really pull myself up steep inclines.  

I’m flying.  Let’s not forget our 5 D’s of mountain biking: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!  Corner!  Hard left.  Leaning into it, and looking where I want to go.  Holy guacamole.  I almost sailed into the lake.  The canoers would have liked to see that.  I’d rather not be fishing.  This is what I came to do.

Bump.  My nuts.  Watch the nuts.  You’re going to need those.  Oh God, I have to split between a root, and a rock going fast.  No room for error.  Arrghhh.  Made it.  But that took all of my upper body strength.  I haven’t screamed that loud since…oh, let’s keep it PG.  I’m dumping sweat.  This is my hell workout.  Put it all on the line.  Gasp.  Exhale.  Breath.  Sigh.  Focused.  A few more miles of rocky road, and then a less technical section to savor.  The McKenzie River Recreational Trail is damn tough.  No wonder it’s one of the World’s most celebrated biking areas.  I can do this.  Finish strong.  I’m the man.  BEAST MODE!

mckenzie river map

Map courtesty of the USDA – Link to info on the McKenzie River National Recreational Trail

Watch an exciting video I produced with my GoPro Black Head Camera mounted during another ride here.

I had a horrible mountain bike accident on the McKenzie a few years ago.  I’m still healing from the traumatic crash, but here’s tips on healing bruises and scratches from that with gruesome injury photos for you to marvel at.

bruise legI’m lucky I didn’t break my leg! 

Cameron McKirdy produced this new Survival Bros IT’S EPIC Youtube channel trailer.

Saddle Mt Summit Photo

Ready or not, my chubby puggle Mocha was going hiking with me.  I took the pug/beagle combo to the top.  She made the summit by herself, but it was a struggle.  It was a sweltering 80 plus degrees out.  My poor dog hasn’t been training hard lately.  Her exercise routine consists of going from the couch to food and back.  But Mocha and I have hiked, so I knew the 5-year-old mutt still had it.  I remember the first time I let her off the leash on a trail.  She was running back and forth, up and down it.  The puggle was so excited to be out of the apartment.  I couldn’t contain her.  Once she even fell off a cliff as the bank eroded and I had to quickly swing her up by the leash and collar to save her.  Mocha is much fatter now, but we are working on it.

Mocha The Puggle

When we got to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area her nose was working overtime.  There were lots of people hitting the trail, and camping.  I brought water, and gave the puggle breaks.  I made her sit, and she would lay in the shade when she could.  The hike is 5 miles round trip,  but the elevation change is brutal. It’s 1603 feet to be exact, with the top at 3283 feet. Mainly I was concerned about her paws bleeding.  There is lots of metal fencing on the ground to contain the loose rocks, and I didn’t know if that would bother her.  On the way up I kept Moc on the leash, 1 because there’s cliffs, and 2 because lots of people were coming down the trail with dogs.  I wanted to protect her.  However, on the way down I decided it would be better to let her follow me off leash.  She didn’t want to walk on the trail because the gravel was hurting her.  So she waddled along side the main path, and didn’t hurt anything.  Plus, it was getting late, and we were basically the last down.

Mocha Survival Puggle

On the way we checked out a geocache hidden on a side trail.  I’ve found it before, but I wanted to see all the new stuff inside, and sign the log book again.  Not many people locate it each year.  I traded in a emergency paracord bracelet for a CD with clues to another cache.  I’m getting into geocaching because it’s something fun to do while hiking, or when you’re just out and about.  There’s more than 2 million geocaches planted around the world.  This hobby also forces me to analyze and use maps too.  I filmed Mocha and I checking out what was inside the ammo box this time.

After a few solid hours of hiking, Mocha, my cameraman, and I reached the peak.  We all sat down and took in the majestic views of the North Coast.  You can see the whole coastline, from Seaside well into Washington State.  Poor Mocha was beat.  She was gasping for air, and I was a little worried about her.  We had just enough water left to quench her thirst, but more would have been nice.  Usually there is a spring about halfway up that I feel is safe to drink from.  My dog did lap up the puddle there, but I wasn’t getting on all fours.  In the end, Mocha killed it.  I was so proud of her.  I kept her motivated with words of encouragement, smacking her butt, and tossing turkey jerky in her mouth.  On the way back I told Moc we were going back to the car and home for ice cubes (her fav).  My legs were jello, and Mocha was walking funny, but we accomplished the mission.  Next time we will be even stronger, and smarter about it.  

Cam and MochaMocha knew we were going to the top.  If you want to rock a paracord bracelet for emergency preparedness made by Survival Bros, send $8 to cameronmckirdy@hotmail.com via PayPal.  Thanks and best wishes from us both.

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

My dad and I just got back to the Oregon Coast, after a 4 day trip playing on the McKenzie River and the trail. First we geared up, and hit the rapids with the Oregon Whitewater Association. A group of 70 extreme outdoor enthusiasts floated 14 miles down the river. The water was brutally cold, at only 47 degrees. I fell off our cataraft for the first time after we smashed into a log along the bank. I didn’t have time to be fearful. I was just trying to catch my breath from the shock of the water, and keep my legs up as I floated down. Of course, I had a class 3 life jacket on. I swam to the back of the boat, but didn’t like being where I couldn’t see the rocks ahead of me. Plus, I didn’t want to get trapped under the massive military grade raft. So I separated from the craft, and tried to swim to shore, but the water was moving too fast, and nobody there could help me. I swam to the side of the raft, and was barely able to climb back on. I had to quickly jump off the river bottom to boost myself up. I was fatigued, and just wanted to sit down and assess my injuries. I hit my knee on a rock, and bloodied by shin up. I was only in the river for a few minutes, but it wouldn’t have been long before my body started shutting down, and hypothermia set in. It was intense.

I had my iPhone 4S in my pocket with a LifeProof case on when I went overboard. It worked. No water got in thankfully. In my other pocket I was carrying the new Coast DX335 rescue knife. It stayed clipped on, but luckily I didn’t have to use it. You’d be surprised how many people die on the river getting tangled in ropes. Below is a funny clip I took with the LifeProof case on my cell. It took great video, and you can hear my dad yelling at me to put it away. He thought it was going to get splashed, or fall in as we hit the drop in the rapids. Also below is an HD video review of the Coast Products knife. I will update this blog as I get media online. I used my GoPro Hero 3 Black camera to record my treacherous mountain bike ride down the McKenzie River Trail. That will be up soon. Thanks for visiting Survival Bros. Follow us on Twitter, Youtube, and join the community on Facebook. Peace.

 

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Produced by Cameron McKirdy

In this HD video I test a brand new blade from Kershaw Knives out of Tualatin, Oregon.  I hiked with it in my pocket near the crater of Mt. St. Helens, from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  This park is a National Monument, and a true American treasure.  The Junkyard Dog 2.2 is also a gem.  It’s a rigid manual opening knife, loaded with style.  It’s bold, from the slick pocket clip, to the textured black G10 handle.  Kershaw thought of everything.  It comes with a protective zippered pouch too, which will keep the sand and dirt out of it, and save it from hard falls.  My favorite part of the design is the way it opens.  The flipper on the top is easy to grip with one finger, and flick open, and into a locked position.  The liner lock is also the beefiest I’ve ever seen.  It’s no joke.  The blade isn’t closing unless you deliberately push the lock to the side. 

Overall, the Junkyard Dog 2.2 is easy to handle, and use.  I recommend it fully.  I like it’s aggressive design.  Plus, for a folder, it has a thick and wide blade.  It must also be mentioned that the blade is made of composite steel.  It’s quality engineering, boasting both D2 steel, and high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless on the spine.  The Junkyard Dog 2.2 can take any beating you dish out.  Survival Bros has even battoned it with wood to cut kindling for a fire.  It has sliced through every material I’ve tried; duct tape, rope, fabric, tree branches, elk meat, and more.  If you’re looking for a bigger EDC knife, this one is epic.  The JYD 2 retails for $149.95.  The version tested is Model 1725CB.  More reviews soon.  I’d appreciate your comments.  Thanks!

jyd 2.2

It’s my pleasure to bring to you, my hike on Saddle Mountain in the snow, at night, solo.  I love doing extreme stuff in the outdoors.  It’s a rush, and you’ll get one watching this HD movie.  This is the longest video I’ve produced to date, but it’s packed with action, and epic views.  I will update this post with the details of my journey, and my full review of the LED Lenser products I tested.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros! 

The short version of my hike!

cam hikingProduced By Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros Founder

 

Red Survival Mountain Bike and Backpacking Gear Photo

A Survival Bros contributor took this picture of his bicycle, and gear on a day trip. He likes to blaze new trails, and use a machete to cut down vegetation in his way. He has everything to survive the outing; gloves, water, lights, knives, food, caffiene, etc. He is prepared. What do you think of his survival mountain bike? It’s a work in progress.

Survival Bros is hungry and focused. We promise to bring you quality reviews of the products we actually use. This blog looks at the Jetboil Zip cooking system.

At $74.95 the Jetboil stove is not cheap. It’s nicer than the ones you can get at Big 5, and other smaller sporting goods stores. Survival Bros invested in the Zip because it’s compact, efficient, and light weight. Not including the pot support and fuel stand, it weighs just 12 ounces. The system can be packed up, and self contained. Even a small fuel tank can store inside the cup securely.

It takes just over 2 minutes to boil 16 ounces of water, depending on how cold it is, and how much fuel you have. That means you can prepare freeze dried and dehydrated Mountain House meals at camp in minutes. The 0.8 liter cup is insulated too. These guys thought of it all. The lid strains liquid, and the bottom cup can measure, or be a bowl. Also included is a tripod stand to avoid spilling.

The entire Jetboil Zip cooking system is perfect for weekend backpacking trips into the outdoors. I’ve used it several times to make hot coffee, cook, and boil sketchy water for safety. It’s extremely convenient.

Survival Bros highly recommends this stove for short trips, and light cooking. I’d love to have the bigger size to cook even more hot food. Until then I’m keeping the Zip, and stocking up on Jetboil fuel. I actually bought mine off eBay for about $20 less than retail. It pays to plan ahead, and price around. Have a Jetboil? Tell us what you think of it.

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