WeatherWool Advisor Mike Dean has spent a huge amount of his life outdoors, often in difficult conditions, alone. Mike is in his 60s now, so that is a lot of experience.
In September of 2018, Mike sent me a couple of pictures and a narrative about his "Always Gear" for May through September in Maine.
The top picture is a closeup of the bottom picture. The smaller, tan-handled knife is one of the original "Cliff's Knives", designed decades ago by Advisor Cliff Jacobson. Mike acquired the knife directly from Cliff while taking one of Cliff's canoeing courses. Cliff's Knife is still made by Idaho Knife Works.
Here is Mike's description of his ALWAYS GEAR:
Hello Ralph , this is the gear I always have with me when I go fishing or scouting around, A little explanation is called for :
What you can’t see in the pack basket is my survival kit, small cook kit, spare food as I try to get some of the [food] from the land which in the spring—— early fall is mostly fish., not a lot of store bought food but some.
What you can see : kayak and fishing gear , old town 14 hunt/ fish , rod is a st. croix medium power with shimano 2500 fi 4 a very lightweight combo, can handle most of the fish I catch. Next my axe is one of the best trail axes I’ve used a granfors Scandinavian forest axe ( I know lots of people say it’s no good for splitting but I’ve split a lot of rounds not 10” stuff but smaller true it doesn’t split like a real splitting axe but I need an all purpose type it works well enough for me ) , my two most used knife combo is my original cliff knife designed by Cliff Jacobson probably not available now as it’s one of the first ones but an awesome woods knife ( no you can’t baton wood ) that’s what my axe is for, leatherman, buck 3 blade stockman folder, or switch out the cliff knife for my first edition bark river wilderness explorer and absolute awesome field knife probably the best I’ve ever owned, comprehensive first aid kit and a serious trauma kit, my water bag( 3 liters) , Winchester m - 94 30-30 ( 1957 ) with 50 rounds of ammo for protection from bears and moose , as a note I’ve had to put more than a few rounds in front of belligerent moose and too close bears , and my ALWAYS HAVE WITH ME WEATHERWOOL for May—— end of September I use a full weight ShirtJac and a Double Hood it can handle most of the weather I am going to be in which is rain mostly and one other thing people may not think about is the mosquitoes can’t bite thru it only one other brand can do that all the others I’ve used they will bite thru, small repair kit, sharpening stones that’s it everything and the most important thing my brain and common sense
People need to know that my camp where I spend a huge amount of my life is a long way back in the north Maine woods, 1 1/2 hours drive time from the nearest town then 1/2 mile down an unimproved dirt road then after you turn off you got 4 1/2 miles to go on a small seriously unimproved dirt road accessible only on foot or 4 wheeler in summer or snowshoes / cross country skis in winter it’s very remote but I have everything I need so my everyday first aid/ trauma kit is serious also my wool clothes have to be the best as by the time help arrives if it comes it’s probably too late 3 1/2 hours back in ( summer) some may not know but I was the first WeatherWool Advisor because I was looking for better wool than the Filson wool I had , Ralph let me put the all around jacket thru the wringer in winter at camp for about 4 weeks there is NO. better wool made today than WeatherWool if there was I would own it. When October rolls around some things change the full weight goes to back up and the all around Jac takes center stage and the full weight pants come on board , map and 2 compasses in case I don’t believe what the first one tells me
call Ralph at WeatherWool and he can put you in touch with me I live a bush lifestyle most of the time
9 May 2022 --- Ralph