A while back I wrote about my every day carry (EDC) items, and on that list was my Gerber 06 FAST knife. Well, I've since traded up for something that is way less expensive, and I feel is just as good of a knife if not better. I'm talking about the United Cutlery Tailwind Assisted Opening Urban Tactical Stiletto knife.



Before I go any further, here are the specs:
  • Razor-sharp 7Cr13 stainless steel blade
  • Exclusive Tailwind assisted-open mechanism
  • Built-in blade spur for one-hand opening
  • Slim profile makes it discreet
  • Injection-molded nylon handle
  • 4 3/4" closed; 8 3/4" overall
This knife goes for about $10 on BudK, so at this price point I actually bought three of them. I bought one as a gift, one to carry and one as a backup in case I lost the one I was carrying. Now, BudK has tons of cheap ass knives, so I normally admire them for their looks then keep flipping through the catalog. This one was made by United Cutlery though, which actually makes pretty decent knives. I have quite a few United Cutlery knifes that have lasted me a very long time.

Well this one is no different. Despite the $10 price tag, it really is a very well made knife and holds an edge like you wouldn't believe. I've used it for everything from wood carving to box opening and it hasn't failed me yet. It also has a clip on one side so you can clip it to your pocket or belt. I tied a little bit of paracord on the end of mine for some decoration.

This knife is basically a switch blade, and the opening is lightning fast. Just a flick on the blade spur releases the blade and the spring assisted opening does it's job. One handed opening and closing is a breeze. I couldn't imaging carrying another knife around with me every day now, and I own a lot of knives! This one is just so convenient, and durable it immediately became my goto for EDC.

Are there better knives out there? Yes. Are there better knives out there for the price? I don't think so. I highly recommend this knife.

Solo camping on The Grand Mesa in Colorado

Posted by El DiPablo | 6:00 AM |

I just got back from a simple two night camping trip. Other than my dog Sadie, I was alone. My smoking hot girlfriend was supposed to come with me, but she had a last minute family event she had to attend. I would have gone with her, but I desperately needed to unplug from the world and clear my head since work has been so tough.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of the pictures I took and stories to go along with them. I even filmed a couple of short videos to help tell the story as well.

Let's go!

Day 1


When I first got to camp, I walked around and scoped it out. I heard running water so I went to check it out and I came across this beautiful little stream which was perfect for a water source.

Walking back up from the creek I ran into these two deer. I took the picture using my smart phone, so it doesn't really depict how close they were. I was wearing a .45 pistol, and they were close enough for me to hit them with it. They didn't seem to be bothered by me at all.


After hiking up past the deer I decided to setup camp. I started with my Coleman Easy-Up tent, and placed a tarp under it to protect the tent floor, and also give me a lip where I could take off my shoes if they got muddy. I love this tent, it sets up in about 5 minutes.

After setting up my tent, I put up a tarp near my fire to protect my firewood and tools from possible rain. Luckily it never rained up there, but I'm glad I had it.


After setting up camp, it was time for lunch. I brought MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) with me so I wouldn't have to carry in a bunch of cooking gear. Lunch the first day consisted of lemonade flavored drink base, toffee rolls (Tootsie rolls actually) and a white-chip cookie. I'm a huge fan of MREs, I actually think they taste pretty good.


After lunch I started making a fish trap. I decided to use willow branches because they are fairly pliable. After about 4 hours I only made it the outer cone, and I still had to weave in more willow branches to fill up the holes. I decided to give it up for regular fishing, and will try again some other time. I didn't want to waste my whole camping trip weaving the trap.


After getting skunked out at regular fishing, I decided to head back to camp to get the fire going. It was rough trying to find material to put into my tinder bundle. This bundle is made from old mans beard, and some dry inner bark material. I also added a squirt of hand sanitizer so it would take a spark from my ferro rod and ignite. It worked!


Now that the fire was going, it was time for dinner. Again it was MRE time, this meal consited of beef brisket in gravy, a biscuit, crackers and cheese spread. The beef brisket dinner sort of tasted like stew meat. All in all, it was pretty tasty.


Day 2

Day two started off with boiling some creek water for my MRE's hot beverage of instant cappuccino powder and patriot cookies!



After breakfast, I needed more firewood so I dragged a bunch of decent sized logs from a place nearby where someone had cut down the tree. I guess they didn't need the large branches. No problem, I'll use them! Here is a short video of me processing the firewood. Beware! I was sporting some plumbers crack, but I pixeled it out for your protection!



Sadie and I decided to fish one of the other lakes on The Mesa, and through dumb luck I caught a fish. He had swallowed a hook on some fishing line that someone threw in the lake and my line got caught on the line he was hooked on. I don't care how it happened, it was dinner!


Sadie helping me fish
Since we had a fish, we headed back to camp. Here is Sadie chilling.

 Since I had fish for dinner, I decided to have the hot MRE dishes for lunch. This meal consisted of buffalo chicken, and Santa Fe rice and beans. I mixed them together and it was damned good!


After lunch Sadie and I took a nap for a while. When I got back up I decided to boil more creek water to refill my canteens. Sadie hates fire, so he hung out in the tent.



After water was boiled it was time for dinner. I paired my trout with some turkey jerky, tortillas and jalapeno cheese. The cheese was nasty by the way! For my trout I cut a two prong skewer and roasted the fish over the fire hot-dog style. The skin of the fish was black, but easy to peel off. The meat on the inside was tender and white!




Fires were kind of difficult to make on The Grand Mesa. On my last night I made the fire rip-roaring with all the firewood I cut earlier. Here is a video I made to share my fire with you:


This last picture is of Sadie stealing my bed after I got up in the middle of the night to pee. I think it illustrates how cold the nights were, even in August! Poor girl, I think next time I'll bring her some blankets.


The next morning on day three we simply packed up and headed home. We were done, and our minds rejuvenated!  I had a really good time, and it was the first time I have ever gone camping alone, or alone with my dog. It felt really good to unplug, and get my head straight.

Have you ever gone camping alone, or just you and your dog? Did you like it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.