Three Products We’re Nuts About

Three Products We’re Nuts About

These Are Three Products We Trust

Let’s face it, the Siskiyou Mountains can be a nasty, mean place to get around in. Nestled between the soft pillows of the Cascades and Redwoods, these steep, rugged mountains are known for sending hikers home.

But it’s our mission to work in them, and our crews face the most rugged of conditions as they try to get a stronghold on the area’s wicked trail conditions. SMCers hike on rocky, uneven soils, and work on the most heinous trails known to man. They brave through heat and cold, always to serve a purpose outside.

And when you’re out on a three-week hitch, working a two-days hike in from the nearest trailhead, you need gear and tools you can depend on.

So after years of busting tools, tearing seems, breaking shoe soles, watching materials deteriorate, and altogether pushing our gear to the max, these three products stand out.

Best Made Co. 4 Lb. Felling Axe

Best Made Co’s Felling Axes through the test. We cross chop hardwoods. We pound stubborn wedges. And we do it all summer long. A loose axe-head can ruin an entire trip. So we’ve come to depend on this felling axe to get the job done.

Best Made’s product is consistent. The grain of your handle is going to match up with the lay of your head, which is always hanged tightly and secure. And if it’s just out of your price range, Best Made offers the best instructions out there on restoring your own axes.

Jim’s Crosscut Saws

There’s nothing new about crosscut saws. In fact you won’t find anything from after WWII in our cache. But this antiquated tool is extremely efficient and useful, whether you’re clearing trails in Federal wilderness areas or just cutting your own firewood.

And nothing beats a saw filed by legendary filer Jim Talburt out of Roseburg, OR. You want a saw for fire-killed hardwoods? Talburt has you covered. Working to cut through soft, green conifers? He’s got that too.

Talburt’s saws are filed just for you. And his saws have brought us through thousands of downed trees.
He also sells a number of hard-to-find accessories, including filing implements and western style handles. But plan accordingly and get your orders in early. Talburt, a retired Forest Service employee, doesn’t work all year.

Visit his website. No saw sings like a saw from Jim’s Crosscuts.

Chippewa Apache 6″ Lace-up Boots

We’ve seen a lot of boots fall apart in the field. The soles wear through. The seems burst. The ankles fold.

To a trail worker in southwest Oregon’s rugged Kalmiopsis Wilderness, a broken boot can become a safety dilemma, akin to a flat tire in the middle of the desert. After going through failing trials with Keens and Merrells, we settled on Chippewa’s 6″ Lace Up boot.

The simple leather boot’s stitching persists, and the Vibram sole has proven to stand up to rocky, rugged and corrosive soils.

If the boot does start to rip, it can be repaired. And compared to other high-quality, American-made boots, the Chippewa is affordable, retailing at around $145.

Make sure to follow care instructions. We use a pine-tar grease to condition the boots. The treatment keeps the leather soft, water-resistant and durable.