February 29, 2012

Spring Self-Gifting Guide

  1. Woolrich Homespun Flannel Shirt - You're going to want long sleeves. Those nights get chilly. This soft homespun material will hold your body heat.
  2. L.L. Bean Signature Field Cargo Shorts - Cargo shorts aren't for teens. This classy, rugged revision holds your lighter or flint in the left pocket and flashlight in the right.
  3. Danner Mountainlight Boots - Introduced in 1979, these backpacking boots rank with the best. Not to mention comfort levels.
  4. Hunting Fishing Camping Book - Not familiar with gear necessities, critical knots, or which foods and what quantities to bring to camp? This classic book is revisited for a 100th Anniversary edition.
  5. MSR Whisperlite Stove - The ultimate in portability and functionality. This lightweight backpacker stove will fit cleanly in your Osperey pack.
  6. L.L. Bean 100th Anniversary Trout Knife - You're going to want the sharpest and finest of knives to filet the prize trout you land while at camp. Honestly, why not have the best?
  7. Filson Rutland Duffle - Car camping with family? Heading to camp with the guys? This new duffle easily fits all your necessities. Prepare for inquiries on where you bought it! Made in USA.
  8. MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Man Tent - I've owned this tent for three years. There's a reason it's still produced; it's damn good. Most tent styles die out quickly. Darwinism. 4lbs.
  9. Surefire E2DL 200 Lumen Flashlight - Bright. Thwarts attackers or bears. That doesn't work? The head contains a sharp bezel. One strike will persuade anyone or anything to back up. Made in USA. 
  10. Big Agnes Grouse Mountain 15* Down Bag - On spring evenings you'll want this zipped up. Unzip as you summer transitions. Warm evening? Lie atop the zipped bag for a "down mattress" and fall asleep staring at the stars through the mesh tent roof. 


February 28, 2012

Filson Life: Guest Blog Post

Reaching inside the closet for the last ice fishing trap, my thoughts drift to the frozen lake and landing the largest trout I’ve ever seen. Fishing a new body of water brings excitement to any man’s mind, much like a child anxious for a birthday surprise. Making room for the last trap inside the gear bag, I move the cook stove and cans of chili to the zippered compartments..... 

Please click over to Filson's blog, Filson Life, to check out the remainder of this post and hand-selected photographs. Thanks! 

February 24, 2012

Fun with Snow

Slicing off a little piece of heaven, we took to the woods for an afternoon of snowshoeing. Technically, it was snow-booting as the snow isn't deep enough to top our Muckboots. The dog came along for the adventure. He goes everywhere I go. That's the point of a best friend. 

 The sky tells of a looming snowstorm.

Making a snowstorm before the camera.


A Filson vest and Marmot down jacket are a lightweight option for a cold afternoon.

Snow fingers.

Heart-shaped snow. No editing.

A Mad Bomber hat is a must up North.

Casco shakes snow from his coat as the fluffy stuff begins to fly.

The woods.



Dog breath.


February 20, 2012

The Whites

The Fahrenheit is rising up north. Melting snow and ice is causing an early mud season. In consideration of warmer temperatures around the corner, I'm reminded of one of last fall's trips to New Hampshire's White Mountains. The journey through the back country is always an adventure in itself. I try to take a varied route no matter how many times I frequent a particular location. I love mixing the magnificence of a familiar destination with the excitement of a new route. Such is life.

Leaning ladder against peeling paint.

Stop ahead. America.

New Hampshire houses 48 peaks above 4,000 ft. - an outdoors man's paradise.

Collections of leaves line the river banks.

Red barns call for meticulous stacking of wood.

Calm winds make for splendid hikes and glimmering reflections. 

Store front.

My sidekick in her L.L. Bean Rangeley Camp Shirt. 

Fields as far as the eye can see. Another great site for a front porch.

My kind of front steps.

I love brightly colored wooden front doors. They draw the eye. Up here you'll find one on every road.

Pull up a seat. Enjoy the view. Stay a while.


February 15, 2012

John Deere x Backwoods Plaid Giveaway

Few brands are as emblazoned as John Deere where I grew up. Since 1837, they've been a true symbol of country living. I've partnered with the the good folks at Deere for a giveaway of (3) John Deere Bubba Kegs. Yes, one gallon of your favorite beverage in one cool keg. Sounds like an ideal contraption for Saturday afternoons. This will ship free to the doors of three readers simply by commenting on this post with your e-mail address. Retails at $49.99.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment under this post with your e-mail address. I will choose (3) random winners on February 29th at 6PM.

[For (1) entry]     Comment on this post with your e-mail address
[For (2) entries]   Follow @BackwoodsPlaid on Twitter
[For (3) entries]   'Like' John Deere on Facebook

Interested in winning a customized John Deere Air Stream trailer? Enter the Green Fever Sweepstakes by signing up at a John Deere retailer before the deadline of February 29th. Feel inclined to leave your job and travel across country, camera-in-hand. Good Luck!

02/16/12 Editor's note: John Deere will be shipping out a more expensive keg model, not a keg mug. Sorry for any confusion with the original photo of a mug. Good Luck!

February 13, 2012

Knot Guilty

A fairly mild winter has produced seasonably warm temperatures across much of New England. Low pressure areas combined with Northeast winds, named  Nor'Easter's, typically dump tremendous amounts of snow across Maine. This year has yielded only a handful of "dustings", or light snowfalls.  

At least temperate afternoons require fewer layers for adventuring. A couple sandwiches and a can of cashews in hand, we shoot over to the heart of Maine's coastal fishing community, Boothbay Harbor. With ties to the Revolutionary War (once a rendezvous point for American Naval vessels) it has some serious history behind it. Home to one of the most photographed lighthouses, Boothbay has many scenic landscapes and rustic attractions that draw worldwide travelers.

The fence about the perimeter of Pemaquid Lighthouse casts a shadow as the sun sets along the shoreline.

Brightly colored reminders of summer.

Just in case.

Scraped paint is a sure sign of harder days.

Viewpoint from the shoreline. I'm sure this intense pulsating light has warned many.

A mess of color and snow.

They say every boat has a story behind her name. I'd surely pull up a bar stool alongside the owner and listen to the reasoning behind this one. I'm blindly assuming it would call for a second round.

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February 9, 2012

Inspiration: Cabins

This week has been filled with dreaming. My dreams have consisted of packing up a complicated lifestyle and resorting to a pure and country way of life; a life in which simplicity rules. My inspiration board has derived from FreeCabinPorn.com. The site contains two days worth of "cabin-browsing" and is SFW (safe for work).

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February 7, 2012

Remote Maine

My mind was stuck on the framed words that hang above my bookshelf, "Roughly Paved, Infrequently Traveled Roads Lead to Great Destinations", as I packed my 2-man tent and essentials into my hiking bag. The next few days would prove to be one of few fall get-a-ways from work. I idolize moments I can turn off a paved highway, unbuckle my seat belt, and roll down the windows to hear the clank of rocks hitting the metal frame.

It's Friday morning. Our cooler is loaded down with camp foods, carefully chosen from "The Camping Bible". Dust clouds build behind the truck as loose dirt kicks up in an arch behind the rear tires. Casco tilts his head out the window, as if to smell the tops of the pine trees.  He doesn't exactly reach, but he certainly enjoys the fresh air as much as I do.

We arrive to camp in the early afternoon and setup shop. You can spot the old sheet I toss down for Casco, under the vestibule, in case of rain. He can come and go as he pleases.

A beautifully structured log home sits atop a hill overlooking the country hills.

I stand in awe. I've found my dream home perched in remote Maine.

This lone red leaf marks the completion of the fall season.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the mountains and making our way to the waters' edge.

A dock for bush planes stands nearly deserted on a rather warm afternoon. To be a pilot and take in the landscape from a birdseye view is a dream.

Reds and yellows.

Chatting quickly with a bush pilot who just arrived in from Moosehead lake, we get the latest weather outlook.

Backwoods exploration.

This pack of wild turkeys is surely exploring to a higher degree than us.

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