Posts in the get outdoors category

Mississippi Bill Harris

Mississippi Bill
All small towns have their local heroes. Guntersville, Alabama is no different. We have Mississippi Bill Harris. Bill was best know around these parts as the man who rode the rivers in his 12 foot aluminum boat he named Miss Lake Guntersville. All in all Bill clocked in over 47,000 miles traveling the rivers he loved.

Bill was born in 1912 here in Guntersville, Alabama. His Dad was a local Doctor and he had an older brother. During the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic Bill's father died from the flu. He and his brother were split up and he lived with a cousin and his family.

When Bill was 12 he began working for the local theater. This was the beginning of long road with the theater. Later in his life Bill and his wife Dora owned the local theater in Guntersville they called the Lake Theater. They were well known to the locals and earned the nicknamed Mr. and Mrs. Entertainment. The Lake Theater played movies and hosted local concerts.

In 1933 Bill started working with TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). A dam was going to be built in Guntersville bringing hydroelectricity to the valley. Bill brought TVA engineers out to scout out the location of the Dam. Even after the Dam was built Bill would give tours of the newly formed lake.

During World War II Bill left the valley to fight for his country.

Bill loved the local rivers and after he retired he began to run the rivers in his 12 foot boat. Many of his trips included traveling the Mississippi River and that is how he got his nickname Mississippi Bill This was quite a feat Bill accomplished in small aluminum boat. His first trip was in 1967 from Guntersville Lake to Knoxville, Tennessee. His most famous trip was in 1968 which again began at Guntersville Lake and ended in New Orleans at the French Quarter. All in all he made 22 trips.

In 1986 Bill picked up the key to the city of Mobile. He announced that he was retiring. It was time to spend more time with his wife. He had traveled over 47,000 miles at that time. He was ready to dock the Miss Lake Guntersville. She would be spending the rest of her days at the Guntersville Museum. Bill was 74. Even after retiring Bill could not stay off the river and made three more trips before he died. He made a trip in 1987 and 1991. In 1997 he made his last trip to Chicago and Lake Michigan. He was 85 years old. Bill traveled a total of 55,000 miles in is lifetime. To put that in perspective 57,000 miles is over twice around the earth. That is a lot of miles in a small aluminum boat.

Being a local celebrity Bill became the regular Grand Marshall of the Christmas Parade, riding in his boat and giving the children quarters. In the 1980's Guntersville even had a Bill Harris Day. Bill died in 2004.

If you are visiting Guntersville you may want to stop by the museum and Check out Miss Lake Guntersville and learn more about the travels of Mississippi Bill Harris.
Posted by ES Team on 14 November, 2014 ES family, get outdoors, history | 0 comments | Read more →

Tips for Choosing that Perfect Campsite

There are several things to consider when choosing your campsite:

Tips for choosing a perfect campsite
  • Choose a level and shaded site.
  • The site should have good drainage in case of wet weather.  A storm can come on very quickly, and you should be prepared even if the weather looks good just in case.
  • Make sure that there is a good place to dispose of garbage.  If you cannot dispose of garbage away from your campsite in a closed container, make sure that there is a tree at least 60 yards away that you use to lift the garbage bags into, and always take your trash with you when you leave
perfect campsite
  • Make sure the restroom and bathing facilities are within a reasonable distance.  You do not want them too close, but if they are to far away, it will be difficult to get to them in the dark.
  • If you have not brought your own water/beverages, make sure the water supply is nearby.
  • It is also important to consider the layout of the campsite.  Is the site large enough to meet your needs?  Where will you put your tent(s)? What area will you use for meal preparation and cooking & what about your picnic table? How about your campfire and wood piles?  Is there an area for activities? Where do you park your car?

Posted by ES Team on 13 November, 2014 camping, get outdoors | 0 comments | Read more →

Gifts for Hunters This Year

It seems like that Hunter has everything and will be difficult to buy for this year. ESknives has you covered.

We've put together a list of items the hunter (or huntress) would kill to have.

Start out with an awesome hunting knives.

One good knife we suggest is the Bone Cutter:

Bone cutter Mule Skinner knife

Everyone needs a pocket knife and a hunter probably uses theirs daily hourly. It's always nice to have a new pocket knife. Extremely-Sharp has a good selection to choose from.

pocket knives cut wood  Gerver Fast ESKnives

A good fillet knife would also be good for any fisherman or hunter.  Even if they don't do a lot now, they may want to start. ESknives has plenty to choose from, but you may want to select one that comes with a sharpener or add a sharpener to the gift.

Bill dance folding fillet knife

Turkey hunters use fowl language, but you may want to give them a gift this year anyway - many of them like crossbows and would love to try a new one.  Don't worry about them "shooting their eye out" it's part of the fun.  Most bowhunters have long shafts, but don't give them the shaft this Christmas.

Extremely-sharp also has blowguns in case you want to give them something new to try.

Binoculars can be a great item to take on the hunt, to a football game or just to see well on a hike.

If you want to give some basic survival gear such as fire starters, can openers, or a great canvas pack to carry much needed outdoor items in- extremely-sharp has you covered.

"Vegetarian" is an old indian word for "bad hunter." 


Posted by ES Team on 12 November, 2014 get outdoors, holidays | 0 comments | Read more →

Home on the Prairie: First Pheasant Hunt reached out to Richard Cockrell of Rock Ridge Outfitters to write about his first Pheasant Hunting trip. He graciously agreed to tell us all about it.  Read his story below about this great trip to South Dakota. 

Home on the Prairie

Pheasant Hunt Richard Cockrell of Rock Ridge OutfittersMy first and most recent hunting trip took me from my home in Youngstown, Florida to Geddes, South Dakota. There I met Joel Vasek owner and guide of Missouri Valley Guide Service. I was joined by my stepson Jeremy and my fellow working companions: Dan, Mickey and Steve.  Steve is a long time friend of Joel and together they planned a top notch hunting trip for the next three days. Let me say that the MVGS lodge is a first class operation with all the amenities anyone could ever ask for, and we did not have to want for anything. The meals were all included in our stay, and you could not ask for better service than what we received. 
The first morning out the weather was dreary with light snow flurries that turned into a misting rain. Despite the weather the hunt was on! For my stepson and me the weather was a big change. When we left Florida it was 85 degrees. Now we were in South Dakota in weather that was topping out at a mere 27 degrees.  After a tasty breakfast we all got our hunting gear together and prepared to load up on a converted (short) school bus for our ride to the hunting fields. The hunts took place in cut corn fields, milo fields, and some natural cover. This year the pheasant population was supposed to be 60% less than last year but this was not to be the case for us. Joel was able to put us on and abundance of pheasants both hens and roosters. However, you can only harvest the roosters.

Pheasant Hunt Richard Cockrell SuccessWe tackled each field in the grand tradition of pheasant hunting. A few hunters (generally the bravest) stand at the end of the fields they are known as the blockers. The other hunters will drive through the fields to the opposite end they are known as the walkers. The walkers along with the dogs flush up the pheasants and with any luck the pheasants will flush up between the walkers and blockers. Hunters shout out “Roosters!” or “Hens!” and the shooting begins. With some luck a pheasant will plummet to the ground and the dogs are sent to retrieve them.

All three days were filled with plenty of hunting action. The second and third day the weather cleared and the hunting was spectacular. You could have not asked for anymore hunting action than we were able to experience. If the percentage of pheasants were down it must have been elsewhere. In our case we all got our pheasant limits all three days.

I have to say that pheasant hunting has become my favorite type of hunting now.  I have hunted for deer, quail, turkeys, ducks and now pheasants. The hunting action, the dogs working and the fellowship of my stepson and co-workers was the make of a exciting hunting trip. I’m hooked!

Let me say that Missouri Valley Guide Service has a great reputation, impeccable service and outstanding pheasant hunting.  I highly recommend them and I commend Joel for having a first class operation. We are already booked for this time next year, and I can not wait to be back there.

What is your favorite kind of hunt?  Where do you like to hunt?

Posted by ES Team on 29 October, 2014 get outdoors, hunting | 0 comments | Read more →

Surviving the Wire Ring Saw

There are many types of Wire Ring saws out there. They are included in most survival kits. Wire Saws are light weight and they are supposed to cut through wood, metal, plastic and bone. Wire saws can be handy out in the wilderness. They look cool in the survival kit but many perform poorly out in the field. The first rule of thumb is to buy a good one. That way they won't snap when you need one.

We sell a wire saw at Extremely-Sharp that has over 100 lbs breaking strain with a 24" sawing edge. With that type of strength it may well be the most effective wire saw available. Our saw cuts through wood, plastic, bone, and even soft metals. They are constructed with 8 strands of interwoven stainless steel wire.  We call it the strongest wire saw ever.

Wire Ring SawYou can cut from the front or from back.  The most efficient method is the wrap around pull.   However you decide to use your saw it is much like flossing your teeth, nice long strokes.  The wire ring saw works well using the saw alone.  But a partner, one person on both ends make cutting faster and easier.The rings of the wire saw can hurt your finger.  The rings  get cold in winter.   There are some wire saws that come with nylon handles, but they are heavier in a pack and bulky in a survival kit.   An easy fix for handles is to take some additional para cord with you and make handles for your saw.  Most people in a survival situation have access to para cord.  When camping or backpacking para cord is a vital item to pack. Hand straps can save your fingers.

Start your cut small and slow.  As the cut deepens the surface area will increase.  With a even steady pull your speed can increase.

Remember that you are using energy when using your wire saw. If you are in a survival situation make sure the job is necessary before you expend the energy.

Wire SawYou don't want to let the saw blade get hot.
  The hotter the blade gets the more potential for snapping and breakage.   While cutting with your saw take some breaks and feel the blade.  If it does not burn your fingers it is OK to continue sawing.Wire saws are designed for smaller sticks.  In most survival and camping situations you will not need to cut large trees.  You never know when you might need to cut bone.  These saws cut bone fast and smooth.

You can take your wire ring saw and turn it into a bow saw.  Find a smaller branch that can bend.  Green wood works best and is easier to make a bow with.  Notch both ends of your bow and string the bow with your wire saw.  Now you can saw from the top.   Don't rush it, let the saw do the work.  Using the bow saw means a  lot less effort and less calories.  Using the wire saw as a bow is one and half times faster than using a plain wire saw.   Using your saw in a bow helps prevent breakage of your saw, keeping your wire blade straight.

Wire Saw Diagram

A wire ring saw is a great addition for anyone whether for survival, backpacking or camping.  Wire saws don't weigh much and  well worth packing.Maintenance of the wire saw  is easy.   They store well.  It is important to keep a coat of oil on your saw to prevent rusting.  The oil will ensure years and years of hard use  from your saw.

When you are out practicing your survival skills your wire saw can be used for survival projects.  We have used our wire saw as a snare and have had good results.  With a little imagination the wire saw makes survival fun.

Posted by ES Team on 28 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, how-to, survival | 0 comments | Read more →

Hobo Backpacking Stove Packs a Whole Lot of Power

Being a backpacker I am always looking for ways to lighten my pack. I thought I would look for a lightweight, easy to use stove that I could use wood as the fuel  That way I would not have to carry fuel and that would lighten my pack. I immediately thought about hobo stoves. Hobo Stoves are traditionally made from old coffee cans and use wood as the fuel source.  Of course a coffee can would be too big for my pack. Maybe I could make a smaller one.

I measured my backpacking pot that my kitchen fits in.  I needed a can that would be slightly larger than my pot.  That way my pot would slip in the stove for storage taking up less room in the pack.  Off to the grocery store I went with my measuring tape.  I started looking at cans and I started measuring.  I am sure I looked a little silly in the isles measuring cans.

I stopped in the Juice isle.  The large juice cans looked like they might be what I was looking for.  I measured and they were just the right size.  My pot would fit nicely inside the juice can.  I settled on the V-8 can.  Not because I like V-8 but because it seemed to be the strongest can.  I needed a can that would take a beating.

I got home and I started designing my stove. I think my design came out pretty well.

Here is our video explaining how we made the stove.

My son an I have taken this stove out on the trail several times. It performs well. Collecting a few sticks, using some tinder and a fire starter you are on your way to a hot meal. I have been able to boil water in around 8 minutes after lighting the tinder.

Here is our video using the stove and boiling water.

The pot will get black from soot with regular use. You can wash some of it off but everything fits into a sack so there is no dirt or soot in the pack.I did learn to use hardwoods when cooking. Pine tends to burn hot and leaves a resin on the pot.

My whole kitchen fits in the stove and then in a stuff sack. Takes up little room and weighs around 14 oz. The best part is that I don't have to carry fuel. I don't even have to carry tinder if I don't want too. I can find tinder on the trail. But a few cotton balls weigh almost nothing and are easy to light.

ESknives Hobo StoveYou can pack this stove and your alcohol stove. This stove makes a nice windbreak for the alcohol burner.

The Good – it’s very easy to make and there is plenty of fuel for it here in the Maine woods. A few handfuls of twigs and you’ll be able to boil a couple of cups of water in no time.

I like the way the stove focused the heat, which meant no wasted energy.

It’s lightweight and if you were so inclined carrying it around wouldn’t be a big deal.

I used hardwood twigs (oak) and there were very few sparks from this fire meaning that I’d feel comfortable using this stove in an area where there was a high fire hazard. By being extremely careful or through sheer dumb luck I’ve never lost control of a fire yet!

The Bad – it needs a lot of attention once you light it to keep it going. The wood used is fairly small and you need to feed it every five minutes or so or else the fire will go out.

If it’s raining starting this stove and keeping it going will be a bear. I haven’t tried it in the rain yet, but past experience with wood stoves tells me this will be tough to keep going unless you have a dry supply of wood on hand.

I’m going to replace the coat hanger with a couple of aluminum stakes the next time I use it.

Posted by ES Team on 26 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

Charming the Fiddle Worms - Fishing Bait

Fiddle worms make excellent bait for catfish, bass, bream, and trout. They are especially valuable because of their length: One worm, broken apart, will easily fill several hooks, and the worms are tough enough to stay securely in place. Charming worms is a southern tradition. Fiddling  is still used in certain parts of the southeastern U.S. today, though it probably reached its peak during the 1960’s. Charmers are hard to find now a days.

In North Alabama this is how many of us catch our own bait.  Where I come from Fiddling worms is considered a art.  First time I saw worm fiddling was when I was around 10 years old.  I was a city boy and we were vising my Uncle and Aunt on top of  Brindlee Mountian in  North Alabama, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  My Uncle showed my dad and I how it was done.  In minutes we had a bucketful of worms, ready to go fishing.

Fiddling worms 

My Uncle got us a bucket of worms with nothing more than an old  rusty handsaw missing a few teeth and a bucket. He told us that the best time to go worming is in the spring but I have found that you can capture worms any time of the year, unless the ground is frozen.

There have been studies that confirmed worm grunters (another name for fiddling) have actually been tricking these worms into thinking they are being chased by its primary predator; moles. That’s why they appear above the ground almost like magic. They are in fear for their lives and quickly crawl from their burrows to escape.

Here is how we do it:

The success of worm charming can often depend on soil conditions, with charmers choosing damp locations or using water to attract the worms. A crucial factor in finding a good site to "play up" the worms is to have good moisture in the soil. Fiddle worms like the earth damp.  In dry weather they move down into the lower parts in search of water. The first thing is to look for is good soil.

When you've located an area you believe there may be worms, begin to look for worm  casings. Worm casing is another term or worm poop, which are small, round casings that the worms discharge as they munch on the soil.  Casings can be found easily among decaying leaves at the base of a young trees.

Once you have found a small sapling, around three inches in diameter, it is time to start fiddling. Cut your sampling and leave around 18" for a the stump. Before you go out cutting peoples trees down, ask for permission.

Take an old wood saw, that the teeth have been dulled, and start fiddling by simply dragging the cutting edge back and forth across the top of the stump. The vibrations that are created travel down the tree's root system, sending tremors down into the earth that jolt the worms to the surface. In good damp ground you'll start seeing worms in five minutes maybe sooner. Dryer soil will take longer. Give it at least 10 minutes before looking for a new site. Just keep playing and worms should appear, they might be as far as 25-30 feet away. Fiddle worms on an average are between 12 and 15 inches long.

When your worms begin to surface, collect them in a bucket.  Make sure your bucket has some holes.  You don't want your worms to drown.  Fill your bucket with dirt.   You can keep them in the bucket for up to two months.  Keep them watered which means keep them moist.  Throw in a little cornmeal every once in a while.

If you can't find a worn out saw, there are other methods of fiddling for bait.  Instead of  a saw you can use a metal bar and instead of a sapling you can use a wooden stake.  Find a roughly 3-foot long wooden stake and pound it about halfway into the ground.   Take a piece of flat, or round iron, roughly half as long as the stake and run it across the stake.  You'll have to lean into it because you want those vibrations to go deep into the ground.  This method will get good results.

There is a technique that involves a chainsaw. Take the chain off your chainsaw. Start your chainsaw and hold it against the ground. This usually brings up buckets of worms. A friend gave me a long metal pole that you plug in and shove it in the ground. I don't know if it works but I have it. I have known people to take a big rock and hit their sapling stump over and over to get worms. This technique is a little to rough for me.

Whatever technique you use it is best to start around sunrise. After 11:00 it is time to give up. My experience has been that temperature does not matter but the ground can't be frozen.  You can sprinkle  your spot with with water, tea or even beer for a slight edge. Some grunters poke their area with a pitchfork before fiddling. The point is to start fiddling, practice, experiment and create techniques that work for you.

Fiddling worms tool 

Don't worry about having to many worms. Bait shops and fishing camps love to buy fiddle worms. You may be able to sell the leftovers. 25 worms in a large Styrofoam cup, a few contacts and you are on your way to worm profits.  Get the whole family involved. Kids love to fiddle worms.  Bring several buckets.

A pile of worms
Posted by ES Team on 18 October, 2014 ES family, fishing, get outdoors, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

Life as a Trailblazer

ESKnives Trailblazer
In our line of work, selling survival gear, knives, swords and other awesome things. We have adopted our favorite word that encompasses the many people we come across all the time- TRAILBLAZERS. The thing that our friends have in common (hikers, fishermen, hunters, outdoor enthusiast, explorers, adventure seekers, etc)... is their spirits define this awesome word.

Are you a trailblazer 
Are you a trailblazer?

Trailblazer defined 

Trailblazer: (n.) a person who makes a new track through wild country. Pioneer.

hikers trail sign  

The hiker symbol. Known to many at

ESKnives Mountain View  

There are some views that only Trailblazers can enjoy. This hiker reached the peak and a remarkable view as a reward for their bold and adventurous hike.

ESKnives I'm a trailblazer

I am a trailblazer.  Pin this if you are one too!

Posted by ES Team on 17 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, hobbies | 0 comments | Read more →

Adventure Partner Giveaway - Prizes and Info

Pin some of these great graphics to tell your friends about it!

Trade in normal life for one filled with adventure| Extremely-sharp gear|  Quote | Outdoors

wander without a purpose or reason quote 

An adventure is a great way to learn quote 

adventure of a lifetime quote 

good to be lost quote 

let the adventure last till a new sunrise 


Extremely-Sharp has launched the Adventure giveaway!

Did you know that you can be the first to know about all of our giveaways when you join our email list?  You also get a free entry in the giveaway - that means you're automatically entered 1x in ALL our giveaways. Sign up for our email list at: 


Enter the ADVENTURE GIVEAWAY now at: for a chance at this amazing prize pack filled with items to get you outdoors in your next   wild adventure:
ESKnives adventure prize pack

The grand prize winner will receive: 1 Jungle Knife, 1 Jotsu Jo Black Shuriken set, 1 Seat Belt Cutters, 1 Wire Saws and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker. Teton Sports is giving the grand prize winner an Oasis1200 hydration backpackavailable for this. Offhand gear is giving the grand prize winner a 42" soft scoped rifle case with 2 large outside pockets for ammo and accessories.

The second place winner will receive: 1 Kubaton Knife, 2 Seat Belt Cutters, 1 Wire Saw and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker.

The third place winner will receive: 1 Kubaton Knife, 1 Wire Saw, 2 Seatbelt Cutters and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker.

Retail value of all prizes is $409.38!!!

Posted by ES Team on 15 October, 2014 contest, get outdoors, quotes | 0 comments | Read more →

6 Awesome Reasons You Should Never Shave Your Beard

...that you don't really need.

Never Shave. Not Ever. Razor Free. No Doubt. Not gonna happen.

I know what you’re thinking… “never say never” right? In this case, WRONG. Usually I take that as my mantra, and of course I don’t mean it when I say it hung-over like, “I am never drinking again…” HA. HA. HA. But really, don’t shave your beard. EVER.

Beards have self-explanatory awesomeness. EPICness is inherent to every fiber of your beard. Occasionally, we need reminding. With that in mind, here are 6 awesome reasons not to shave your beard... in case your girlfriend needs convincing.

1. You’re a man.

Two Kinds of People Without Beards

Or you’re a lumberjack, which is basically the same thing.

Lumberjacks, warriors, and badasses have beards


Or a pirate, which is even cooler than a lumberjack

Shaving Before and After


Shaving Before and After Man


2. Because this happens:

Shaving with an Axe.

Shaving with an Axe. Via

...or this

Man to baby face in one clean shave


3. Your beard can win you an Oscar.

Observe beardless, has-been Ben Affleck:

Ben Affleck's Beard won an Oscar


I mean, it doesn’t really get much cooler. Oh and we can debate the whole Batman thing later.

4. You’re an American. Better yet, you’re ‘MERICAN.

No explanation needed.

5. Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Beard


6. Beard...just beard

If you're thinking of shaving, don't. Simply, don't.

There you have it, 6 awesome reasons not to shave your beard. Let’s be honest, there are hundreds of more reasons to be bearded, but it impossible for anything to follow Chuck Norris… you get my point. As if you need anymore convincing (you don’t), there are so many more reasons, but most of them just reiterate how awesome beards are and/or the fact that probably look like a 12-year-old boy scout without one; see more awesomeness below:

Beards are Epic


Ramen Beard Bowl


Bears, Beards, Battlestar Galactica

No Beard, No Respect.

Posted by ES Team on 12 October, 2014 get outdoors, humor, quotes | 0 comments | Read more →

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