Category: Gear

Hiking the Midwest

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

– J.R.R. Tokien

When most people think about hiking, places like Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, etc don’t really come to mind. Unfortunately, people will lose out to some of the wonders and hidden gems that await you in these locations. Not all hiking needs to happen in or around mountain ranges. Hiking the Midwest can turn out to be wonderful experience.

Here are some of my favorite locations (in no particular order):

They each have a wide range of offerings, from hiking, camping, ATV and Snowmobile use. The trails range from easy to intermediate. Devil’s Lake in particular allows you to climb rock formations from during the Ice Age. With naturally cut rocks and a lake with canoe and kayaking.

There are many more great locations and I highly recommend getting out there and trying some out yourself. Whether you decide to do a day trip or a weekend excursion, hiking is great exercise, a great way to get out and enjoy nature, and if your a photographer or just love taking photos for Instagram or a Blog, hiking can help you snap some amazing photos to share.

A couple things to remember if you decide to take the plunge and go hiking. Although many of these locations may not be as challenging or as risky as some of the larger mountain style hiking trails out west, you should always be prepared and up for the challenge. Don’t for get to pack the occasion. Here is my list of go-to items to always take on a hike.

What to Pack

The most important thing is to just get out there and have fun. If you find some good locations, midwest or not, feel free to comment on some of your favorite locations.

Happy Hiking!

Outdoor Edge Slidewinder Utility Knife / Multi-tool

Outdoor Edge Slidewinder Utility Knife / Multi-tool

Outdoor Edge Slidewinder Utility Knife / Multi-tool

The O.E. Knives or Outdoor Edge – Slidewinder is one hell of a workhorse. This little micro utility knife / multi-tool has been able to hold up to some of the roughest tests I could conjure up. Now, let me preface this by saying I did load this bad boy up with a serrated utility blade. The Slidewinder might be small, but is definitely mighty. I was looking for a small, flat, lightweight EDC option. Most of my knife uses end up being opening boxes, cutting para-cord, opening mail, and other daily basics. I decided to give this guy a test due to its low price and the fact that it had all the specs I was looking for. So lets get into the pros and cons after a two week test, followed by a rough use test. ( Links to both the Slidewinder & blades below )

For a slightly more in-depth review and a quick look at the knife and how it performs, check out our video. Video Review: https://youtu.be/cRhznf14g3I

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Has a bottle opener, Philips & Flathead screwdriver (along with the knife)
  • Easy open & close
  • Great clip
  • Super thin

Cons:

  • Blade lock is lacking
  • Part ABS plastic construction
  • Philips head is 3 prong

Now don’t get me wrong, given the nature of what this tool will be used for the cons are not that big of a sticking point for me. The knife itself is not super expensive and with the serrated blades it cuts pretty much anything, while staying extremely sharp. For being such a small inexpensive little pocket utility tool, the Slidewinder is made its way to being my go-to EDC knife of choice.

If your interested in purchasing one and giving it a shot for yourself here are the links.
Slidewinder: https://amzn.to/2D5StLX
Blades: https://amzn.to/2D6PRxk