It is no secret that I love gear, so when I came across this Uberleben Stoker flatpack stove I knew I had to give it a try. I already own a Solostove Lite which I love. In my opinion you can’t have too many twig stoves.
This afternoon I headed to my local State Park to get it’s fire burning and have some food. Conditions out on the trail aren’t always perfect and today’s weather I feel was a good representative of that. The temperature a balmy 38 degrees in addition to 15-17MPH winds and snow flurries thrown in for good measure. It has been very damp and wet here lately so in order to get the fire going I decided to bring some dryer lint and two small pieces of fat wood and in no time the belly of this beast had come alive.
I filled my pot with 12 ounces of cold water and placed it on top. I continued to feed the fire a steady diet of leaves, twigs and sticks. The one thing I have noticed with these twigs stoves is they are constantly hungry. In these conditions it took 15 minutes for the 12 ounces of water to boil which I felt was reasonable. On a warm day with light wind I’m confident boiling time would be around 8-9 minutes.
I poured the water into a Goodto-Go single serve dehydrated meal (Chicken Gumbo) stirred and sealed and let rehydrate for 15 minutes. I put another 12 ounces of water back into my pot in order to boil for coffee.
The Stove: A little on the heavy side (14.5 ounces with canvas sleeve), this extremely compact and simple 5 panel stove assembles in about a minute or so. The first time I put it together it felt a little clumsy to me and I was skeptical that it would be as sturdy as I have read. All the pieces fit snug together giving it a solid base. This stove is made from heavy duty 304 grade stainless steel which is anti-corrosive. After I had it assembled I truly liked its feel, solid as a tank. You will have no issue what so ever placing a heavy cast iron skillet or pot on this stove. Another great feature about this product was the large opening to feed the fire and the nicely placed holes for consistent airflow.
What I Liked:
Ease of assembly, compact, large opening to feed the fire, Sturdiness, airflow and lastly the price.
What I Didn’t Like:
A little heavier than I would like and extremely sooty during disassembly.
I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives and highly recommend this compact, affordable twig stove. I hope this review of the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove was helpful and if you have a product that you would like me to review please feel free to contact me.
It was August 2009 and we were vacationing in western Maine at the Sunday River Resort in Newry. A spectacular evening was upon us as we had just finished dinner and the boys wanted to go fishing, driving a few miles east to North and South ponds in Greenwood. Locals had told us that fishing from Johnny Bridge Road was good, so here we stood. The boys were becoming professional weed fisherman and dad an expert lure changer. Another cast another clump of weeds. Well when they reeled up this clump it began to move only to reveal a small mouth bass. To say Michael & Max were ecstatic would be a slight under statement. It would be the perfect ending to a beautiful evening with my boys.
For several years now my wife has wanted to try her hand at curling and with the excitement of the upcoming Winter Olympics we decided to give it a go.
I found a place about an hour from home that had a “Learn to Curl” session so I registered us along with our friends Bill and Jamie. Watching curling on TV made it look really easy. We quickly found out there was a little more to it. For me it was getting used to the feel of the ice at first. Then the slipperiness of your one foot that had the teflon under it so it would glide.
We had a really fun time with curling and plan to return for more lessons and hopefully get a little better at it each time.
My previous post I wrote about running this race for fun and that is exactly what I did. The whole weekend in itself was fun. Saturday my friend Sue and I drove to Long Trail Brewing in West Bridgewater Corners, VT where we met up with her cousin Kaye-Lani from North Carolina. We also met up with our friends Chris and Lori who moved recently from Endicott to New Hampshire and as an added bonus my friend Ian made the hour drive from his house as well to join us all for some beer, food and laughs.
Kaye-Lani had rented a rustic cabin retreat about 8 miles outside of Woodstock, VT. After lunch Sue, Kaye-Lani and I got to the cabin, settled in for a bit. Shortly we were off to the pre-race pasta dinner at the Suicide Six ski resort. The evening weather was absolutely perfect, returning back to our cabin we spent several hours enjoying the rest of the evening chatting before crashing for the night as we had an early start to our Sunday.
Sunrise was beautiful as we got ourselves dressed and ready for the days race. Once parked and ready to board our bus that would take us to the start is when the rain began to fall and it fell. It rained during the entire race, after the race and all the way home back to New York. The rain during the race did however feel great, kept the body temperature in check. I did have one issue as my sock was quite wet and was chaffing at the bottom of my right foot making it a little uncomfortable.
We began the race together and I ran the first two miles at 8:44 pace stopped for a brief bathroom break and then gradually got into a really comfortable groove for the rest of the race. I finished the half marathon in 1:41:25 finishing 188th out of 1,890 runners and I had a blast doing it.
Cold and completely soaked I found the Harpoon Brewery beer tent and celebrated appropriately. Afterwards we made a quick return to our cabin to wash up and some dry clothes before heading into Woodstock for lunch. We met back up with Chris and Lori at the Worthy Kitchen, the “Worthy” is completely worthy of your business.
After lunch is when we all would part ways ending a fun weekend with friends in Vermont.
It was the summer of 2009 and we were vacationing in western Maine at the Sunday River ski area of Newry. On the morning of August 17th I had ventured out in the early hours with my camera with the rare hope I might see a moose or just something of interest. I got on Route 2 in Bethel and drove west towards the New Hampshire border. As I approached Gilead, Maine the traffic was backed up and moving slowly which I thought was because of road construction. However as I slowly advanced I discovered that late Saturday afternoon on August 16th a westbound St. Lawrence & Atlantic freight train traveling from Auburn, ME to Quebec, Canada had derailed 20 cars along Route 2. Of the 20 derailed cars, 11 contained ethanol but were empty and the other nine carried paper.
I pulled over just up the road and walked back to the derailment sight. Introducing myself to the Fire Chief, we chatted a bit and I went about my business taking several images.
Last week, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a proposal that could bring big changes to the region and potentially enhance both recreational and tourist opportunities between Adirondack communities.
The proposal concerns the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile strip that winds from the southwest corner of the Adirondack Park to the northeast corner. The corridor was originally home to a railroad that was built in the 1890s to bring wealthy families to their seasonal Adirondack estates, but parts of the line began falling into disrepair in the mid-1900s. By 1975, the line had been completely abandoned, and was taken over by New York State.
In 1992, a 4-mile stretch of the track opened from Thendara to Minnehaha, and it was so well-received that it was taken over by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in 1994. After overseeing the repair of additional portions of railway, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad began operating rail service in two sections, as it still does today: between Big Moose and Remsen and between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Unfortunately, the middle section of the rail line from Big Moose to Saranac Lake is still in a state of disrepair.
The combined proposal from the DEC and DOT is an effort to compromise between those who are in support of further railway restoration and those who would like to see the tracks ripped up in favor of a multi-use recreational trail. The proposed changes were described on the DEC’s website as follows:
Removing the rail infrastructure within the Corridor between the Village of Tupper Lake and the Village of Lake Placid and establishing a multiple-use recreational trail
Maintaining the existing rail infrastructure and enhancing train service between the village of Remsen and the Big Moose Station
Rehabilitating the rail infrastructure between the Big Moose Station and the Village of Tupper Lake to allow passenger train service to be restored for a contiguous 85 miles
Developing a community connector snowmobile system both within and outside of the Corridor, which will attract additional snowmobilers to the Adirondacks and Adirondack communities.
In total, the proposal will cost approximately $20 million to carry out, with $11 million going toward rail rehabilitation and another $8-10 million required for ripping up the tracks and converting the 34-mile section into a recreational trail, according to the Associated Press.
The Times Union reports that Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald “said the rail extension would ‘provide train passengers an opportunity to view parts of the Adirondacks very few have seen,” which could bring more tourist dollars to the Adirondacks. The region would also presumably see an economic benefit from more widespread recreational opportunities in the corridor all year round, including hiking, biking, nordic skiing, and snowmobiling.
Interested in learning more about the proposed changes or want to make your opinion known? A public hearing will be held in the Tupper Lake Middle-High School auditorium on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 pm, and all are welcome to attend.
This has battle has been going on for years now and I am literally torn on the issue. Part of me wants to see the rail line intact all the way to Lake Placid. This rail line traverses some of the most beautiful scenery in the Adirondack Park. However another part of me likes the idea of a multi use trail giving other opportunities to see this wonder. In a perfect world a multi-use trail right beside the railroad would be the perfect compromise. No matter the final outcome of this I look forward to exploring this remote section of the Adirondacks.
The sun shined, rain poured, thunder roared, lightning flashed and the sun shined is a very good narrative to my day in the Adirondack’s yesterday.
A quick nap after work coupled with the excitement of test paddling some very light weight pack canoe’s was all the fuel I needed for a long day. I made really good time, reaching Lake George in just under three hours. A short bathroom break, a stretch of the legs and the remaining 40 miles to Hornbeck Boats in Olmstedville, NY. Pulling into the driveway I noticed the Hornbeck staff gathered around a table beneath a large tree conversing and eating lunch. I extended my apologies for interrupting them however they were very gracious and welcoming. Shortly after introductions I was lead down a dirt road to a rather large pond. It is here where I was to test paddle two particular boats I have been drooling over for quite a while now. The first was the “Classic 12″ which is 12 feet in length, 28.25” wide and weighs all of 18 lbs. due to its kevlar layup. Next up was the canoe I had REALLY wanted to paddle the “New Tricks 12”. At 12 feet long, 24.5″ wide and a whopping 15lbs she was a joy to pick up and carry. A mix of carbon fiber and kevlar this boat was just awesome! Tracked like the arrow of a hunter, its primary stability excellent but where it really shined was in secondary stability. Heck, I was able to lean this baby until the gunwales touched the water never once feeling like I would swamp the boat. She was smooth as silk through the water, graceful responding to my every demand. I was in love…
After asking what seemed like an endless freight train of questions I left Hornbeck smiling and elated that the experience had gone just as I had hoped. Now with several hours to kill before my next test paddle it was time for some lunch.
With my stomach growling as loud as the Hudson River rapids in the distance I’m found myself searching for a place to eat in North Creek, NY. Perusing the Village’s Main Street my eyes caught a glimpse of Izzy’s Market & Deli. If ever there were a salesman the gentleman sitting on the front porch reading the newspaper and having lunch this had to be the place. Stepping inside Izzy’s is inviting, greeted bya friendly staff, there is plenty of room to sit, eat, read and chat. A large an inviting menu written in chalk hung on the wall. The sandwiches had names like Engineer, Boxcar, Conductor and Train Wreck. Ok I’m an engineer and there seems to be a railroad theme going on here so I went a little Crazy Train and decided on the “Train Wreck”. Layered with ham, salami, roast beef, provolone, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, sliced red onion, lettuce and oil & vinegar only to be compliment with fresh sour dough bread. I splurged a bit more adding a very delicious homemade cranberry/orange scone. I chose wisely!
Now your probably wondering about the railroad theme. North Creek sits on the former Delaware and Hudson line that branches off its main line in Saratoga Springs, NY. No longer part of the Delaware & Hudson Railway or its subsidiary Canadian Pacific this scenic line is now the tourist operation of the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad and it is also their northern terminus. Sitting in the cafe enjoying my lunch I couldn’t help to reminisce my test experience in the “New Tricks” canoe just shortly before. I was left pondering what the next one had in store for me.
Still with more time to kill I decided to make my way the 18 miles from North Creek to Indian Lake to check the scenery out. About a mile out of North Creek route 28 parallels the Hudson river which has many pull offs to take in the views. In the distance my ears are treated to the rumblings of an approaching storm. The sky turning to darkness, large drops of water pelting my windshield and a ferocious deluge of water rains down from the heavens. I thought for a brief moment maybe an Arc would be a better choice. Peering through my windshield and out over the Hudson I can see several whitewater rafters making their way to the next set of rapids most likely already drenched. Brave the elements and grabbing a quick picture of the small convoy. The downpour didn’t seem to phase them as one boat saluted me with their bright yellow paddles.
In the safe shelter of my car I continue onward and the rain literally coming down in buckets that I can barely see. My car feels more like a hydroplane than an automobile. Into Indian Lake and the rain is still driving I decided to pull over at the bottom of the lake and settle in for the show. Heavy rain, roaring thunder pierced by bright flashes of light made this show something I have not witnessed in a long time.
About an hour had gone by and the rain had let up and the skies began to brighten I needed to get headed back. My next test paddle was rapidly approaching.
Now I was in Minerva, NY for scheduled 4:30PM appointment with the Adirondack Canoe Company. A new and small venture by two gentlemen who had worked at Hornbeck Boats for many years. I was here to test paddle their “Skylight”. A 12 foot carbon/kevlar layup pack canoe with a width of 28.5″ and tipping the scales at 20 lbs. Shortly after arriving I was greeted by Chad who was one of the owners. After some brief introductions and a tour of the shop Chad loaded a demo boat onto his car and we made the short drive to Donnelly lake. Boat unloaded, some more chit chat and I was on the water. Puffy white clouds above and the warm sun was painting the lake. I was in my element and enjoying this boat. This piece of Adirondack tradition tracked exceptionally well. To be honest not as well as the “New Tricks” but it was a pleasure to paddle. With its amazing secondary stability I again was able to lean it to the gunwales without the fear of swamping this boat. I was impressed again.
After my paddle I spoke with Chad at length again asking a multitude of questions before we shook hands and parted ways. Chad did make sure I found my way back to the North Way. Entering the highway I glanced down on my watch, the hands at 6 O’clock, two hundred forty miles until home and I was left with many things to think about.
NOTE: With respect to both these amazing boat builders I did not take any images of my own in order to preserve individuality of their designs. These images here are readily available on the internet.