We recently received the story below from a customer about using some of our knives and tools to help him get out a situation. We were hoping to get some pictures but they we too busying getting home to take pictures.
SOG "Saved Our Granola"
The two of us were four-wheeling in our side-by-side UTV machine on a West Mountain, Idaho, backwoods ATV trail. An early autumn had the weather extra cold with beautiful, clear skies. The Quaking Aspen leaves were turning color and all trail dust had been settled from recent, heavy rain/snow storms that broke several precipitation records in the Northwest. We had no plans to spend the night in the wilderness - we do, however, try to prepare for the unexpected. This was unexpected:
After traversing nearly 100 miles on a combination of logging roads and various trails, we descended down a rarely-traveled, 50-inch ATV trail of moderate difficulty. The ruts, rocks and forest-product obstacles became increasingly challenging but passable with gravity in our favor. All was well and according to plan until we unexpectedly came upon a large area that had been recently and partially logged. The wet/stormy weather must have prematurely halted the work. The trail was obliterated by the marks of heavy equipment, skidded logs, large slash piles and debris strewn everywhere. What began as a moderately passible trail became a ‘trials’ competition obstacle course with no spectators (or points toward a winning trophy).
Having traveled too far to return the way we came (and somewhat limited on time and fuel), we surveyed the steeply tilted ‘playing’ field to pick a line thru the harvested hardwood and found the overgrown trail on the other side (alongside a freshly cut logging road). We proceeded with vigor, picking up branches and tossing them on existing slash piles. Some larger branches were placed against fallen, rotting trees to build make-shift ramps to prevent ‘high-centering’ our machine while crawling over. After an hour or so of tedious progress the machine got snagged atop a large log by a protruding, broken branch that held the 4-wheeler firmly (yet teetering) on its precarious perch. This was not going to be an easy extraction! The machine was too heavy for the two of us to lift sufficiently and with no apparent way to rig the winch for levitation from the log’s grip.
Enter SOG: not to saw the broken branch stump responsible for this predicament (that would come later), but, rather, to begin preparations for a campfire to aid in warmth/comfort during the ensuing work. Recall the recent storm had dampened everything and it was cold with patches of snow all around. The SOG folding shovel made quick work of clearing a sufficiently large area of combustibles and digging a small fire-pit. We used the SOG multi-tool’s knife to shave wet bark away to make dry shavings for fire creation. We used the SOG folding saw to cut and de-bark small pieces of branches for a good supply of firewood knowing that we may have a few hours of work as nightfall nears. While one of us worked on the culprit, the other worked ahead to better clear a path to the target trail. The fire was a welcome amenity enabling us each to take brief work-breaks to dry and warm.
Because the suspect snag was well under the machine and impossible to reach with the folding saw (and requisite hand/arm motive power), we used our SOG hatchet to carve a cavernous channel into the log below the skid plate. After careful, efficient hacking, the bummer branch became barefaced. The SOG saw made quick work of belittling the beastly branch.
With my extended time and the improved visibility under the machine I noticed a brake line stem had been ‘tweaked’ by some other recent encounter and, again, the SOG multi-tool was quick and handy; the pliers proudly pressed it into its pre-tweaked position preventing further damage.
With a few more branches strategically stuffed under the wheels and a little oomph, we glided the 4-wheeler to terra firma with ease – before nightfall! With fire extinguished, SOG tools stowed and headlights on, we made it back to the cabin late but in time for a hot bowl of venison stew in front of another SOG assisted fire.
Next week we will try this same trail, in the reverse direction, to climb up the pesky ‘pine field’ to the mountain top. It is all good! ‘cuz it’s all HIS^