Becoming Simple and Wanting Less

what a mess
Clutter and Mess

Clutter, yes, clutter is the anti space, the one thing that does not allow you to want less.  Why do I say this?  When you have clutter, you have less space and you will want more of it.  It will cause your mind to delve into the possibilities of buying more things to hold the clutter in so you can add more stuff!  

I did an experiment to prove it to myself, for a year, I didn’t clean my “hobby” room, I threw stuff around, I added to it without thought, and I used the room constantly.  Mind you, walking into my hobby room was like walking into a mini dump, there was stuff, and garbage everywhere.  Now, the garbage were rags, and boxes and opened packages, so nothing that would be a biological smell hazard, but still; Some if not most of the items, belonged in an actual dump.

As my room, my brain was cluttered, I was constantly looking for stuff I knew I had…somewhere.  I felt like I was always looking, and if I didn’t find, I wanted to buy it.  I spent money, time, energy, brain power, freedom, rest, and none of it was free!

Condition zero.  

In the marines, Drill instructors would yell “ZERO” and us recruits would respond, “Freeze Recruit, Freeze!”  I decided to yell “ZERO” in my head!  Stop, NOW!

How I opened space and dissolved some feelings of constant wants, I grabbed all I could and gave it away! Yes, you heard that right, I gave almost all the stuff away!  What a refreshing feeling of love, joy, sharing.  The expression on my friends faces when I was giving them stuff was both concern and amazement.  Really, they were in shock, here are some comments: free? really? , this is worth $500.00 dollars, you can’t find this item any more, what the heck J?  Oh what a rewarding feeling.

Now, enough talk on what, here’s how I decluttered.

Take everything you have, everything and separate;

  1. Items you use more than 10 times per year
  2. Items you use once per year
  3. Items you haven’t used in last 6 months
  4. Items you didn’t know you had
  5. Garbage, yes, garbage
  6. Duplicate items, if you have more than one of the same thing or one item can cover for two or more, it’s a DUPE.
  7. Stuff you don’t know what it’s for
  8. parts of things you no longer own

Now, here’s what to do with your first iteration; Give away, throw away or sell everything in numbers 2-8 on the list above.  No exceptions!  you’ve already spent a bunch of time classifying your items….  there you go, free advise.

clean your mess
Get rid of your mess

Next blog, we will review Item 1 on the list above!  yes, there’s more, but do it in steps.. this was probably taxing enough.

Minimalist Deer Gear 2017

Deer hunting gear for the minimalist
minimalist deer gear

I wanted to write a little about the gear I use, specifically for when I deer hunt.  The most important part for me is necessities only, and pack small.  Deciding to prepare for next hunting season as a minimalist hunter is a goal of mine.  This 20 item list is what I like to call, deer gear for the minimalist hunter.  

I’m creating a list of minimal gear for the different types of outdoor recreation I enjoy participating in, today, we start with deer hunting.

My goal before I go on a deer hunt is to have what I need, in a small pack, and just do a grab and go, no need to get out there and wonder if I forgot something.  This is a tried and tested kit, I personally arranged this kit to fit and store  in a small bag or fanny pack.  After every season, I inventory my kit to see if I can make it more “Micro”.  So, after a few years of this, I have come up with my essentials, as small as I can muster, but not so small as it becomes cumbersome to use.

    •  3 pairs latex gloves
    • Mini Shovel (for the times when you have to um.. go.) -add toilet paper in a sandwich bag..
    • One 13 gal plastic bag
    • One deer quartering bag
    • One medium size knife
    • One micro size knife
    • One small Bone saw (I recommend a small saw)

    • One windicador, for wind direction
    • One deer call, micro
    • One small flash light, I love and use a Bushnell TRKR with 275 Lumens, uses two AA batteries, easy to replace!

    • One head lamp 
    • Spare AA,AAA and 123 batteries
    • 2 extra bullets for my long gun
    • One Rifle (your choice, my current choices are 30-06 or 7mm-08)
    • One set of small binoculars (I use bushnell H20 proof mini, they are awesome)

    • One small Gerber pocket fold able tool
    • A KNIFE SHARPENER TOOL – you don’t know how many times I wished I had one every time I went to the field..so I carry one everywhere now.

    • A pair of leather gloves (sometimes it’s safer to haul game with gloves on, and provides better grip when wet )
    • A deer rope or I have a deer hauling rope that attaches to a sling that goes around your torso.

  • Safety gear: Phone, handgun (if legal, or have concealed carry), whistle, micro first aid kit.

And this concludes my basic gear, I put it all in one small bag, that takes up very little space and easy to take with me.  One zipper, nothing complicated with a strap to hang on my side (man purse style).  

I hope this list helps you always be ready in the field, enjoy..

Volunteering as a Guide.

An amazing experience!

We took a day this spring and volunteered to guide some of our soldiers!  I got to guide “Professionally” for the first time of my life! I thought catching fish was rewarding, but seeing your client catch fish, OH MY Goodness, Incredible feeling of achievement, for both my client and me!  I remember when I was a Guide in bootcamp, Paris Island- 1996, this experience was nothing like guiding 60 recruits for the full Marine Corps Training Cycle..lol.

Look at that smile, my client Chris. Medic, Soldier, Hero. Semper Fi Brother.

NC Veterans Fly Fishing Guide Service
NC Veterans Fly Fishing Guide Service

Oh, yeah, We got a free day from NC Wildlife @!!!!

lanceFreeday

Lance helping me learn the ropes on how to guide, with our client Chris!

lanceHelping

Oh yeah, here are your local trout heroes, saving nymphs and scuds from death by trout mouth!

chrisandJ

 

A soundless night

So, I have access to a spot in Caswell County NC that “contains” a small swine population.

What are these swine? Wild feral pigs, which escaped pig farms, were released during extreme weather conditions, or simply migrated from locations unknown further east and south.

Now, here are some things I’ve learned;

  • These pigs are smart.
  • The animals move extensively and are very unpredictable.
  • Feeders don’t fool them.
  • They can smell your scent blocker products and know it’s human.
  • They can hear you breath from 20 yards away.
  • They stink.
  • Their vitals (organs that are vital to their use of oxygen and neurological exchange) are very well protected and compacted forward of all other big game species.  Compressed up behind the shoulders.
  • They are extremely aggressive if threatened or surprised.
  • The list goes on, but I will focus on these top few.

The quest to hunt wild angry pigs started this past fall, just learning the land has been taking me about 100 hours.

I have spent about 4 nights out there, in the soundless night between 9pm and 4am with no actual sightings, but here is what I noticed.

The night is busy, very busy with wildlife.  Soundless it is not.  Sitting up on a tree stand has been a very rewarding experience during the sunless hours.  As the night comes, things move, they call out, they trample in the realm of the non visual.  Everything is about sound in the night.  Echoes from coyotes, as they howl like movie inspired thrillers, aaaoooooohhh, from the right, maybe 60 yards away.  Responses of high pitched  oooooooooohh from multiple locations to my front and left.

Surrounded by unseen figures, expressing their locations and territories as they search for things unknown to me.  Little steps begin to sound out bellow and behind, tiny eyes shine back from my green LED light mounted on my 10mm Glock 40 Hunter model with it’s extended full 6″ barrel.

The red dot sight is contrasted by the green illumination with shadows from branches and colorless features, green has not other color to it, so everything looks green with darker and brighter shades of green, features of the ground in relation to objects of all sizes disappear completely.  I also noticed with white light, the color returns, and the ground, the trees and leaves become visible.

What returns and becomes something to analyze in my brain are always the eyes of little rodents and creatures rummaging in the leaf litter of the forest floor.  The cold chill in the night is a distant hollow feeling of invisible cold.  Unlike the daytime, when you can catch a little warmth from the sun lit side of a tree, the night provides no reassurance of warmth from any direction.

Layers upon layers of wool are just not enough, a wool blanket is a requirement, to block the wind and warm the air you breath, using escaping body heat.  Crevices around your clothing, around your foot wear, around your neck, all bleed out the sustenance and comfort of warmth.  The wool blanket is a must have.

The soundless night is a maker and taker, it makes you realize how life could be without our comforts, it takes away your feeling of being better than the animals around you.

Wake up one night, and go sit next to or up on a tree, surround yourself with the power and wisdom of the night.

Waterfowl Season’s Big End.

photo 1Went out with our favorite Guide, Capt Froggy and his son Capt Randy.

Slow season, but I shot a banded Green Wing Teal drake.. with my Remington 11-87 20 gauge I named, “The Dirty Chicken”.  It’s a heck of a duck slayer.

photo 2

Bellow, banded pair of Green-Winged Teal, I got the Drake, and fellow hunter got the Hen.. both on the same blind and about 2 hours apart, both banded!. Amazing..photo 3

Gear:  Remington 11-87 synthetic Sportsman (black)  “The Dirty Chicken”

Kent #4 Steel 3″ shells 20 ga

Coffee!.

NY Steelhead, on the fly…

The Crew off in NY…after some Steelhead!  Enjoy the pics…

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Above, Lance giving some advise..

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Above, Lance still giving some advise..

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Above, Lance casting real close to some ice, mind you, it’s melting and falling all around us..

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Above, break!  Lance and his dad enjoying a little down time.

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Above, Yes, it was that beautiful..

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Chillin’ by the big boat, then at the big reservoir..

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What a work of art…

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Bellow; Stevo landing his first Steely..

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Releasing that beautiful creature which lives in wata..

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I got two, one landed the other threw the hook while being guided to the net..

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Time to eat!!!  Crayfish boil..

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Time to head out again for some steelhead action, this time, Lance spots two and guides his father to a hit..

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Our final destination, New River Gorge.. Amazing!

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Thanks for spending a little time here, looking at the pictures and enjoying the show..

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Season of the Duck

Well, Nay and I decided it was time for us to explore “the duck hunt”, in doing so, for first timers we’ve been very very successful in our quest..  see…  From Mallards to sea ducks, to wood ducks in the swampy timbers..  Using my Winchester SX3 12 ga. with Kent Steel 3″ No. 3 Steel loads.  I think I’m liking wing shooting more than big game hunting..

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Dove Hunt 2014 Video

I love dove hunting, well, I kinda love the outdoors.. can you tell?

So, the big question, how do you get good at this?  Go to your local sporting clays range and practice, practice, practice.  It pays off in the end…

Here’s Nay and I with our Dove Win!  We had a competition with other shooters, best hunter gets $5.00 from each of us!  Well, Nay and I tied!  He’s a pro, which makes me a pro, and we are both $5.00 richer!

Dove Win

Kids shoot off!kids competition

Here’s my CZ 720, only bad thing, some shells jam more than most, but they all jam..  I clean it constantly, but still, it jams. I oil it constantly, but still, it jams.  I change the ammo type, but still, it jams.. oh the joy.

But the gun hits what I tell it to, on first shot, else, it’s not going to shoot again.. hahahaha.

Dove hunt cx 720

backyard dove