TP Kits Asks You to Put Down that Leaf and Pick Up the Zero-Trace Toiletry Pack Instead
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A huge thanks to Megan from Chic Execs PR for contacting me about TP Kits and sending some along for a review. Chic Execs is one of my favorite PR companies and they always have interesting stories and products to talk about. I love working with them! ~DesertRat

Toilet paper, of all things has been front and center lately. From massive shortages which arose during the early stages of the Covid crisis to being a major factor of litter at National Parks, TP is making the news for all of the wrong reasons.

I could spend a whole column, heck – several columns – talking about the disgusting slobs that leave trash and refuse in our beautiful open spaces. It is one of my pet peeves, and it is inexcusable. If you feel like being enraged – check out some articles:

Tourists Leaving A Mess At National Parks

National Parks Getting Trashed During Covid-19

National Parks Being Trashed

Luckily – the good folks at TP Kits have a product that can help with this issue.

From the release:

TP Kits is the company that believes in being prepared when nature calls, even when your bathroom is nothing more than the backwoods as you’re hiking or camping.

Simple and well-designed, these 100% biodegradable kits consisting of toilet paper and sanitizing wipes are the ultimate essential for your summer adventures. TP Kits are useful on road trips, especially when the great outdoors turns into your bathroom while running, hiking, camping or any other recreational excursions.

What did that leaf ever do to you? TP Kits is the clean and sanitary way to finish your back country business without abusing innocent leaves in the process. Best of all they’ve created a toiletry pack that doesn’t impact the environment in the process.

Meet the Kit with 5 Tissues, 2 Wet Wipes, Plenty of Features but Zero Waste:
• Comes in a resealable, water-proof package
• Easy hold in your makeshift bathroom area
• Contains 5 double-ply bath tissues
• Contains 2 cotton blend sanitizing wipes
• All contents are 100% biodegradable

Lightweight and compact, TP kits are portable to anywhere. They come available in single or 10-packs.

So again, Megan was kind enough to get some sent my way to try. Admittedly a toilet paper review is new for me, but I’m always willing to make sacrifices in the name of objective journalism.

I was a bit skeptical when I opened a packet.There were five little folded squares of TP and two wet wipes individually packaged. Without getting into the gory details, there’s no way I thought that would be enough for one trip to the restroom. Full disclosure – this product was tested in the comfort of my own home, not in the forest or desert. Without disclosing my actual testing methodology (you’re welcome) I can say that unless you are ill or suffer from some kind of medical dysfunction – one packet will be enough. Truth be told, one packet might be enough for two trips!

Everything in the packet is 100% biodegradable and if so inclined, you can put the items back into the resealable package for carryout (not recommended for #2 hahahaha)

Seriously, what a great product! I usually have TP wadded up in a pocket, and I know a few people that in an emergency, cut a t-shirt sleeve off. This product is seriously affordable – a box of 10 individual packets will run you 10 bucks or so. I’m not sure what else _ can say – well thought out, economical, works as advertised, AND helps the environment. It gets the Desert Rat Seal of Approval for sure.

The trashing of our beautiful open spaces is terrible. Please do your part – bury your TP. Pick up your trash. Never leave campfires unattended and always make sure they are extinguished. Finally I always bring trash bags and pick up other peoples’ trash. When you are hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, gathering or whatever – be responsible. Always leave an area better than how you found it.

You can read more about TP Kits here: Features and here: The Story. Finally please have a look at their site toshop, read testimonials and find more ways to connect with them.

Don’t do this. C’mon….

Meet The Owner of ASIO – The Newest Camo
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I’d like to thank Joe Miles, Owner of Asio Camo for taking the time to answer a few questions. I’m excited to post this interview because Asio launches TODAY! Wishing Joe and his crew every bit of success. ~DesertRat

1. Camo is a highly competitive market with some really big hitters – what made you decide to jump in?

That’s true! It’s a highly competitive market but one in which that I saw a real niche opportunity. Having bow hunted for whitetail for over 30 years, I saw a need for a very specific tree stand camo for whitetail bow hunters that would work well across all the whitetails range. There are certainly tons of camo options available but none that I have found that can do the job like ASIO Gear. We accomplished just that with our ASIO Raptor Camo – a pattern that works in any tree in any part of the whitetails range.

2. What is the premise of the pattern? Technology? Environment? Hunting application?

The pattern was actually a bit of luck. I was scouting one afternoon and two Great Horned Owls were fighting above me. One flew down and lit in a tree about 45 yards away from me. When he landed, he totally vanished and as I walked over to him, he started moving his head and I could see him again. He then flew over to another tree and landed and vanished again. I thought about how well he blended in those two totally different trees and that is when the “light bulb” went off. I started doing all kinds of research and looking into how a deer’s eye sight works compared to squirrels and rabbits and come to find out, the prey animals of owls have very similar eye sight to whitetails. It just made perfect sense and is Nature at its finest. Owls are made to be able to hide from their prey and whitetails have the same type of eye sight, so why on earth would you not want to mimic the owls? They are incredible tree predators. That is what we did. We spent hours and hours and hours putting this pattern together, getting the depth and shadows and feather patterns just right. There is no question, in our testing and comparisons with what else is on the market, that the ASIO Raptor pattern is head and shoulders above the rest.

3. What is your company’s philosophy when it comes to camouflaged clothing?

Our philosophy is pretty simple – the bottom line is it has to be the best for bow hunters – period! Quiet, maximum dexterity, and performance – those were our three main goals in the fabrics and clothing that we manufactured.

4. Quality camo is getting increasingly expensive. How do you balance quality, innovation and price?

Yes for sure. The higher-end premium brands are expensive and we certainly fit in that category. However, with our e-commerce (customer direct) sales model, we are able to cut the retail big-box stores out and go straight to the customer. This model passes the savings on to our customers.

5. What has been your most surprising challenge so far, getting your company off the ground?

Time has been the biggest challenge. With the other companies I have started and grown, we could pretty much hit the ground running and have “product” ready to sell in just a few months, if not weeks. In the apparel business, it can takes months and even over a year before you can launch the first product in to the market. We are finally there and it is super exciting to get this going.

6. What has been the greatest reward so far?

The greatest reward has been seeing the finished product. I’ve been able to put on the prototypes and climb into a tree to see just how well it blends. The best news is it works! I also enjoy seeing my close bow hunter friends, that are just as crazy about bow hunting as me, seeing the camo for the first time. Their eyes light up and that’s a great feeling. I really think this is going to help a lot of bow hunters be more successful. To me, that truly is rewarding!

7. You’re a hunter – what’s your favorite thing to hunt?

Bow hunting big mature whitetail deer. No questions about that. I’m totally addicted.

8. What’s on your bucket list?

Hahahaha good questions – the next game I get to play with a 5 ½ or 6 ½ year old buck is always on the bucket list!

Stay tuned for more info on ASIO. It will be exciting to watch the launch and follow their success. I’ll be sure to stay in touch with Joe and his team! DesertRat

No More Sweaty Foreheads!
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I really need to thank Cassandra from Asylum PR for reaching out to me about NoSweat. Cutting to the chase, I thought this product was kind of hokey when I first read about it. On the contrary, it ended up being one of the most effective products I have reviewed. Whenever I hear from the folks at Asylum, it is always something legit so I should’ve known better. ~DesertRat

From the folks at Asylum:

Summer is the opportune time to get outdoors and finally enjoy the recreations that you’ve been waiting to enjoy once the weather warmed up. Whether your choice of outdoor recreations is fishing, hunting, biking, boating, hiking or camping there is one common problem that always seems to arise – sweat. Outdoor enthusiasts can nip the problem before it begins and prevent activities from being cut short with NoSweat. The liners stick to the inside of any hat, visor or bike helmet to instantly wick away sweat preventing stains, odors and the need to take your eyes off what you are doing to wipe your face on your shirt sleeve or the dirty towel that is stuffed at the bottom of your gear bag.

In a great PR Campaign, their media packet included a liner and a test tube full of water to demonstrate the liner. Sure enough, it absorbed all of the water!

So as mentioned, I was really skeptical. I thought the liner wouldn’t stay in my hat. I thought it would be too bulky and make my hat uncomfortable to wear. I thought it wouldn’t work as advertised. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The peel and stick liner fit perfectly in the hat and stayed in easily throughout a day of fishing on the lake. As a matter of fact, it stuck so well in my hat that my wife thought it was part of the hat. It was a hot day on the lake, about 95 degrees of Arizona sun and usually I am dying of sweat and sunscreen in my eyes. I went all day without a drop. The hat fit perfectly and I didn’t even notice it was there. This is an awesome product!

On my deer hunt in southern Arizona last year, I was drenched after packing out a small Coues deer about a mile or two to the truck. My hat was completely soaked and still is heavily salt-stained from that day. I must have stopped 2 dozen times on the packout, to wipe sweat out of my eyes. I can guarantee you that won’t happen again.

In my job I am on construction sites periodically. I will have one in my hard hat. I’ll have one in my fishing hat. I’ll have one in all of my hunting hats. I’m sold. These things flat out work as advertised. The best part? The price. A pack of 6 will run you less than 10 bucks.

You can learn more about them here: How It Works

Learn more about the company here: About Us

You can Find A Store, Buy Online or Purchase on Amazon

If you hunt, fish, work or hike in hot weather; if you are tired of wiping sweat out of your eyes – I highly recommend these liners. GREAT product!

Checking Out Products From Outlaw Soaps
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I’m very appreciative to the team at Chic Execs PR for reaching out to me about Outlaw Soaps. Not only did they arrange for some samples, but they facilitated a very cool interview with the owners. ~DesertRat

I was so intrigued and excited about Outlaw products that I placed a personal order while waiting for the review samples to arrive. All in all I tested lotion, soap, body wash, solid cologne, deodorant and car air fresheners. Make no mistake – these scents are for the whole family, but they’d also make a great Father’s Day gift – and I bet the good folks at Outlaw could still get the products to you!

I was intrigued by the whole premise of the scent line – gunpowder, leather, whiskey, campfires, sagebrush and more. These products embody the west. They embody ruggedness, and embody the outdoors. After all, who wouldn’t want to smell like whiskey and gunpowder??

The air fresheners worked great, the price was good and the scent lasted about a month, which is pretty typical for car air fresheners. They will run you 5 bucks each which is reasonable, especially for such a unique scent. There are 4 scents to choose from.

The deodorant smelled good, and worked good but my sample didn’t go on smoothly. It was tacky – like pull your hair tacky. Not the end of the world – it was otherwise a good product, and that may not be typical. You have five scents to choose from which includes an unscented. A deodorant will run you $13

I get the impression that their soap is kind of their flagship, and it is definitely a hit. The strength of scent is just right. It lathers up great, and lasts a long time – I would highly recommend their soap. It comes in six scents and runs $5 each – which is a great price for handmade soap.

The body wash was also a hit. Again – the scent was just right. Not too weak, not overbearing. It lathered up great, didn’t leave any weird residue and your skin smells and feels great. It comes in seven scents and they even have a subscription service! A bottle costs $14 which I think is reasonable for such a unique scent. It lasts a long time.

The lotion is another great product. Now, I’m not really a lotion guy but I know lots of folks use it, and those that do will love the offering from Outlaw. It absorbs nicely, no greasiness after and the strength of scent is just right. Like all of the other products from Outlaw, this product is chock-full of natural ingredients, and cruelty-free.

I’ve never used solid cologne before but I loved this product. For an amateur like me, spray cologne can be tricky. It’s real easy to put too much on and smell way over the top. The solid cologne solves that problem. It’s easy to apply and provides a level of scent that is just right. They have five scents to choose from at $24 each. Don’t let the price tag scare you – it’s fair. This jar will last a long time.

These are some high-quality, imaginative, great products made and sold by some very cool people.

I love the scents, and love the products. I only ran into one issue – my wife didn’t like the scents, other than her Calamity Jane car freshener. There was one scent that she could tolerate, and several that she didn’t like at all. Not “Meh, it’s not for me”, but vociferously disliked. She has some odd sense of super-smell which also raises its ugly head when I am cooking javelina chorizo. No one else can smell the difference, but she can. The good news is that everyone else enjoyed the scents. All in all I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these products. Heck – I’ve been telling lots of people about them. Great gifts for men and women alike. They have gift packages, assortments and subscriptions. I’m just going to have to try some other scents to see if I can find one the missus likes.

You just can’t dispute the originality of their scents:

Blazing Saddles – Leather, gunpowder, sandalwood and sagebrush

Fire In The Hole – Campfire, gunpowder, sagebrush and excitement

Lust in the Dust – Sagebrush, sandalwood and campfire

Mountain Hideout – Pine trees, damp earth, and campfire

Calamity Jane – Clove, orange, cinnamon and whiskey

Home On The Range – Laundry, blackberries, fresh cut grass

The Gambler – Bourbon, tobacco and leather

Besides their products, check out Their Blog.

A Review – The Adventure H20 6700 Charger
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Thanks to Cassandra from Asylum PR for reaching out to me about the Adventure H2O 6700 portable charger from myCharge. I appreciated the opportunity to review one! ~DesertRat

From the PR campaign “Doing any kind of outdoor recreation leaves you vulnerable to a variety of weather and environment conditions, from rainy and muddy to extreme heat or cold. The Adventure H20 6K portable chargers from myCharge can withstand any condition to provide the power you need while doing any recreation. The chargers are encased inside an insulated, ruggedized exterior case that protects from extreme weather temperatures and are completely waterproof with an IP67 rating. Meaning the chargers will be fully functional after taking a dip in the lake or getting soaked by an open water bottle in your backpack. Adventure H20 chargers are extremely portable with a built-in carabiner that can be attached to a bag, belt or anywhere else that is convenient for you.”

It’s funny – 2 or 3 years ago it was a big deal for me to get a portable charger. Now companies give them away as promo items, you can buy them in the aisle at WalMart, they have solar chargers and more. Now I have several and it still seems like I don’t have enough. Charges have gotten pretty sophisticated and this charger from myCharge is no exception. It is advertised to be drop proof, water proof and dust proof.

I was sent the Model 6700 to review. This model sells for $39.99 on the website. From the website:

Rechargeable 6700mAh portable charger

The Adventure H20 6700mAh portable charger is waterproof and the ideal power pack for the adventurer. The waterproof, rubberized finish is durable and designed to withstand extreme outdoor conditions. Complete with an IP 67 rating the charger is waterproof, shockproof, and dirt proof. The 2.4A output provides up to 3.5 extra charges for the average smartphone battery. With a built-in carabiner, you have the ability to easily attach the portable charger to your belt or backpack so that power is always within reach.

Battery Capacity: 6700mAh
Recharges Via: USB-C Cable
Compatibility: Tablets & Smartphones

The site claims 3.5 charges for an average smart phone. I have an LG G7 ThinQ and easily got 2 full charges out of the charger. I’m not so sure I could get 3 1/2 but 2 absolutely, 3 probably. They claim the charger is shockproof so I literally chucked mine from one side of my backyard to the other, and into my granite landscaping rock.

The unit is supposed to be waterproof so not only did I stick mine under water, but I ran water from the faucet directly over it for about a minute.

I took it along on a fishing trip where it was dipped, dropped, stored in a pack and baked in the Arizona sun for several hours and the charger handled it all like a champ.

If you are looking for battery backup for your device that will handle the rigors of hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, boating and more – I highly recommend you consider the Adventure Series from myCharge.

It performs as advertised and then some.

Follow them on Facebook here: myCharge

Check them out on Instagram here: myCharge on IG

Testing Grizzly Coolers
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As usual – a huge shout out to Kim at Firefly Publicity Kim represents some awesome companies and always invites me to participate in campaigns featuring some real neat stuff. A huge “Thank You” to Grizzly Coolers for sending me one of their great coolers to review. ~DesertRat

Having never used a “high-end” cooler, I was anxious to give one a try, and see if the price difference was worth it. As it turns out, differences are stark, and Grizzly has some seriously great features. When I first received the cooler, I threw a bag of ice in it, put it in my garage and checked it once a day. It was spring in Arizona and temps were already in the 90’s outside and my non-cooled garage gets hot. The bag of ice lasted well past 2 days. Later, I grabbed 2 blocks of ice, and put one in the “economy” cooler, and the other in the Grizzly. In the economy brand, the block lasted about a day and a half. In the Grizzly cooler, the block of ice lasted almost 4 days, and the water (formerly ice) was cold when I checked it on the 4th day. I have no doubt that several bags or blocks of ice would last close to a week.

To say this cooler is rugged would be an understatement. “A tank could run over it” might be a cliche, but I served some time in armored vehicles and I think maybe a tank could run over one of these. A small tank, anyway..

In most “entry level” coolers I have owned there were two big complaints, besides cooling duration. Handles popped out, and hinges were a vulnerability – either pulling out or popping off. Honestly, I don’t think you could pull the handles off of a Grizzly cooler even if you wanted to. Same with the lid – good luck tearing it off. These things are built crazy tough. The cool thing is yeah – the handles are strong – but they are comfortable too. Fill these things up and you won’t mess your fingers up when you are carrying them.

The latches are heavy-duty rubber and again – I really can’t see wearing these out.

The cooler comes with an over-sized screw in drain plug. Ever mess around with those little spigot ones? Ive opened them by accident. Waiting for them to drain is like watching a toaster. This plug is “dope” as the kids say these days.

I have friends who own “high end” coolers from a variety of manufacturers. None of them have the amount of well thought-out, practical and well-built features.

I reviewed the Grizzly 60. The 60 comes in 8 colors. The 60 quart, hard-sided cooler runs around $350 which is right around the prices of similar brands.

They are dry ice compatible. The hinge is built with integrated interlocking design to withstand the toughest situations.

Each hardside cooler comes with two lock holes to keep your cooler secure and your contents safe.

Each cooler comes with tie-down slots to help keep your cooler secure in your truck, boat or UTV.

The lids seal with a silicone rubber gasket to keep cold air trapped extending the longevity of your ice.

Built in molded handles for easy carry. Part of the Dual Handle System

The 2” Drain allows for quick and complete draining of your cooler.

They are roto-molded and all hard-sided coolers are pressure injected with up to two inches of polyurethane foam.

And maybe the coolest feature? They come with Grip Feet which prevent your cooler from sliding, or you can attach the Slick Feet (included) for easy mobility.

These coolers come with a lifetime warranty and are IGBC certified to be bear resistant!!

I love this cooler and have been recommending it to everyone I talk to. “High end” coolers are definitely worth the money. And if you are going to spend that kind of money on a cooler, buy a Grizzly! I look forward to it being on many hunting, fishing and camping trips,for years to come.

You can learn more about Grizzly here: Why Grizzly?

You can follow them on Instagram here: Grizzly IG

Find them on LinkedIn here: LinkedIn

Finally – follow them on Facebook here: Facebook

Thanks again to Grizzly for the opportunity and I really hope you check them out.

Learning More About Outlaw Soaps
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Now I work with a bunch of California womenfolk called Chic Execs Public Relations and their deal is to tell me about interesting stuff so’s I can write about it. Awhile back they told be about some outfit out Nevada way that makes smelly soaps and other niceties that are meant for men. That’s right – men. Now, I never heard of such a thing, What in tarnation would a feller be thinking if he was wanting to lather all up with fine smelling soap or even more confounding – lotion? These people sounded like snake oil salesmen to me – or worse – varmints. Anyway, them gals over at ChicExecs ain’t done me wrong yet and said they’d make it so I could ask this Nevada crew some questions. To kinda find out for myself what they was all about. My suspicions were placated and I’m willin to try some of that fancy-smellin stuff and write about it soon. They claim I’ll smell good and not like some dude from back east. We’ll see about that. Anyway, I do appreciate these folks answerin some questions to help put my mind at ease. Oh – this outfit goes by the moniker of Outlaw Soaps. Still sounds a might suspicious to me ~DesertRat

1. OK, I’ve been doing this for decades and I don’t get intrigued much anymore. I’m intrigued! How on earth did you get into this business?

I was working a desk job, but at heart, I’m definitely a desert rat. The open sky, the crunch of gravel under my boots, having a steaming hot cup of coffee outside on a bracingly cold morning, the scent of sagebrush in the hot air… that’s my preferred state. So when we realized that we could make soap (and cologne and lotion and all that other stuff) that smelled like literally anything, we started with our favorite thing.

And it turned out that smelling the desert even when sitting at a desk job… well, it definitely isn’t the same as being in the desert, but it’s better than just sitting at a desk. (Now, we live outside of Reno, and that’s our everyday scent)

Lust in the Dust is specifically inspired by my love of the Mojave, but Fire in the Hole and Blazing Saddles are also inspired by our times in the desert.

Once we started making this stuff and selling it, we realized a lot of other people would prefer to smell like sagebrush and leather than lavender and peony. You know what I mean, right?

2. What came first? The soaps?

The scents came first. The soaps were just a low-cost, relatively easy-to-make way to deliver the scents. We started this whole business because I found a bar of soap that smelled like our honeymoon, so soaps seemed like the natural starting point, but really, it’s always been about the scents.

3. You’ve got soaps, cologne, lotions and a bunch of different scents. Do you feel it is more important to add scents, or products, or both?

What we’ve found — and definitely experienced ourselves — is that once people find the scent that works for them, they want that on everything. So, for example, Blazing Saddles smells like leather, gunpowder, sandalwood, and sagebrush. I think of it as the scent of Clint Eastwood walking into town in A Fistful of Dollars. If that’s your scent, then you don’t just want your shower to smell like that, you want your car, your home, your body, your sheets… It’s an everything thing.

Kind of like your soundtrack, but in scent.

So for now, we’re making sure that we have our most unique scents pretty well represented across every aspect of life.

And we’ve found that, of our Magnificent Seven scents, there’s really something that almost anyone can find as their scent soundtrack.

4. Can a business like yours have too many offerings?

Definitely. We worry about it. People get confused and aren’t sure which scent is the right one for them, or if you have one product that’s just an outlier, and everyone asks for it but no one buys it, then what are you keeping all that inventory around for? There’s a risk of over-expansion, and we’re really small, so we have to pick and choose.

For example, people ask for beard oils in their favorite scents, and we did have a beard oil for a while, but it just didn’t do too well… It was super stuff, but a lot of companies make beard oils, so it’s not like people with beards are out there desperately hunting for beard oil. So we have to decide, “Is this going to help us attract more customers who wouldn’t have bought from us? Or is this going to serve current customers only? And if it’s mostly our current customers, how many of our current customers have beards? How many people are going to be delighted by this?” And as we get more Outlaws in our gang, more people will be interested in our beard oil, but we have to wait until that time comes.

As more people discover us, though, that of course opens us up for more experimentation. 🙂

5. What has been your biggest challenge so far, getting the products developed and to market?

Honestly, inventory. We have had a really hard time keeping up with demand. But we recently moved to Reno, so we’ve hired a lot more people (yes, in this economy… it’s something we’re very proud of that we’ve been making jobs when unemployment is so high, and we have our customers to thank for it!), and so our inventory challenges are hopefully resolving themselves soon!

6. What has been your biggest surprise so far?

Our customers ….. I mean, I knew from the beginning that anyone who wanted to smell like campfire and leather and the high desert would be really cool people, but WHOA our customers our amazing. Many of them are in the military (or are veterans), first responders, medical professionals, police officers (yes, even the police force is heavily infiltrated with Outlaws!), truck drivers… I’d say most of our customers are in the service of our country in some way or another, and all of them are life enthusiasts, getting out there and seeing the world (I follow people on Instagram …. I see it).

And it’s a real honor to be in the presence of such awesome people, providing something that makes them feel most like themselves at their best. I knew that would feel good, but honestly, I didn’t know how good.

Our connection with our customers is absolutely the most surprising and rewarding thing, and we see it every day. On this past Saturday, one customer wrote:

“I have a precious memory thanks to this lotion. Last year about this time, I went to see my oldest sister for the last time. She didn’t know me at first but the second morning I went to see her, she took my hand and held it close to her face for a moment and then her face lit up and she said she smelled cinnamon and I told her it was my lotion and she said I’d have to bring her some of it next time I came. We were able to have a fairly clear conversation for awhile. The next day i brought the lotion and shared it with her. She thanked me by name and it was such a precious moment. Thank you for your wonderful products, most especially the Calamity Jane lotion. Oh, and my sister’s name was Jane. ” – Vicki

I mean, I can’t even tell you how incredible that feels.

People have told us that our scents have even helped them recover from PTSD. One group from the Air Force scent us this Certificate of Appreciation. It’s just not possible to articulate how much that means to us.

A close second – biggest surprise would have to be how rewarding it is to be able to provide employment to people. We have an incredible team of dependable, hard-working, amazing folks from all walks of life and all experiences. And to be able to provide a steady job with a safe place to work is very rewarding. I am surprised by how rewarding it is.

7. Companies are making custom, individualized scents now. Some say there is a science to scents. Do you think certain scents work better with certain individuals or personalities, or heck – should we just pick the one we like best?

Scent is such a personal thing. If you can’t find anything that works for you, absolutely find the right one. It should make you feel like the superhero of your own movie, so no matter whether you’re standing in line at the DMV or stopping a kidnapping, you smell like the person you want to be.

That said, custom scents are expensive, and having that scent across your life is even more expensive… we have been testing scents since 2013, and found these seven are perfect for our customers:

Blazing Saddles – The scent of leather, gunpowder, sandalwood, and sagebrush
Fire in the Hole – Explosively awesome campfire, gunpowder, sagebrush, and whiskey
The Gambler – A warm, complex scent of bourbon, sweet tobacco, and leather
Calamity Jane – Spicy and sweet: clove, orange, ginger, cinnamon, and whiskey
Lust in the Dust – Heat rising in the desert, sagebrush, sandalwood, and campfire
Mountain Hideout – A wild scent of the damp forest after a soft rain
Home on the Range – The fresh, comforting scent of ripe blackberries, fresh laundry, and cut grass

I’d say try whichever sounds most like your favorite thing, and try it. If it’s not what you wanted, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we’ll replace it with something you think might work better (or refund your order).

8. Where do you see your company five years from now?

These are complex and uncertain times, so seeing the future is really hard. We try to be of service how we can, and go day-by-day.

Ultimately, as hokey as this sounds, we want to be a company that helps people be their best every day, and we want to do that everywhere we can, whether that’s in grocery stores or truck stops or hardware stores or the Military Exchange… We believe in our product and our company, and how it helps people.

9. For readers who have never heard of your products, what would you like them to know about your products and/or company?

Outlaw is a company unlike any other… we make products with unique scents and natural ingredients, using ethical production methods (cruelty free, low-waste production, fair wages and benefits for employees), and are committed to US manufacturing. My husband Russell and I founded this business in 2013 because we believe that if you smell the things that remind you of who you are at your best, you’ll be that person. And it’s true.

We have a happiness guarantee, so if you don’t love what you ordered, that’s no problem at all. We’ll replace it or refund your order.

10. Looking at your website, it (and your products) appear deliberately fun. Is that who you guys are, or is that a marketing strategy?

Yes, this is who we are! I know some companies have a carefully crafted marketing strategy to sound fun, but this is who we are every day. Russ and I are just a couple of goofballs who love Westerns (I started making a movie guide, if you’re interested: Movie Guide and love the outdoors.

This business has been built on all of us being ourselves (not just me and Russ, but all our employees, as well as our customers, and anyone we work with). Even the vendor who provides our military, first responder, teacher, and trucker discounts told us that he remembered us because I stood out as a fun and friendly customer (I was really flattered).

I don’t think we’d be able to keep up a ruse like this for 7 years. I mean, that’d be a loooonnnnnng con, speaking as an Outlaw…

When people say they love our marketing, I always wish we could hang out so they could see what we’re like … because it’s not marketing, it’s just us. And yeah, there are a lot of challenging days (especially recently), but I write about those things, too: Outlaw Blog and then one customer had such an inspiring response that I wrote about it the following day: Be Your Best

Being ourselves gives us the opportunity to have real conversations with our customers and vendors, and sure, that’s good for our business, but it’s also part of the fiber of who we are. We wouldn’t be able to do it any other way.

I think this is part of having integrity, which is something we try to do in every aspect of our business, whether we’re working with vendors or customers or each other. It’s not easy, and we’re not always perfect, but we do the best we can, which is all anyone can do, right?

Thank you for interviewing us! We’re so glad to be here! ~ Danielle

I’m much obliged to Miss Danielle for ponyin up and answering my inquiries. I’m thinkin she’s a fun little filly to be around. Smart as a whip to I suspect. I’ve agreed to try some of these sundries to let you know how I like em. I reckon in the next week or two I’ll be needin a bath, so that will be an optimimum opportunity to try some of this new fangled smelly stuff. Maybe if the missus dont like it, I’ll have to check with Maybelline down at the saloon. She seems a might more amenable to my activities than the missus does most of the time anyway. Stay tuned. ~DesertRat

Shooting the CVA Cascade
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It’s funny – I hadn’t yet shot the popular 6.5 Creedmoor until this spring. Now I’ve shot three different models, including the brand new Cascade from CVA. For the purposes of this test we topped the rifle with an X3 Conquer from Riton Optics. This new offering from CVA comes in a number of popular calibers. The MSRP of the rifle I shot was $657.95

“The CASCADE™ is CVA’s first ever bolt-action centerfire rifle. Long the leader in both muzzle-loading rifles and single-shot centerfires, CVA has applied it’s nearly 50 years of experience into making what we feel to be the best bolt-action on the market at $600 or below.

The CASCADE’s 4140 carbon steel barrel is finished in a rich, matte blue or available in Cerakote® Flat Dark Earth. The series features a threaded muzzle, making it ready for a brake or suppressor whenever you are. The bolt design incorporates a 70° throw for smooth and fast operation, plus generous scope clearance. The two-position safety is conveniently located for natural and instantaneous operation. And loading is a breeze with its four-round, flush-fit, detachable magazine (extra magazines available from CVA).”

Here are the specs and some other info from the CVA website:

42.5” Overall Length
6.85 lbs. Total Weight
Threaded muzzle 5/8 x 24
70° Bolt throw
Two-position safety
Flush fit, detachable magazine
Synthetic stock with fiber-glass reinforcement in either charcoal gray or Veil Wideland™
SoftTouch finish on stock
Adjustable length of pull
Dual front swivel studs
Compatible with all mounts built for the Savage® 110 AccuTrigger™ models
4140 Barrel finished in Blued or FDE Cerakote™
Lifetime Warranty*
14 Day Money Back Guarantee
MOA Guarantee

So cutting to the chase. The rifle shot well, and was on par with rifles in similar price ranges from other manufacturers. Where this rifle out-competes other manufacturers is it just looks cool. This is a sharp-looking rifle. From the stock in Veil Wideland camo, to the bronze cerakoted barrel, it is a nice-looking rifle.I liked the trigger on this rifle – pretty smooth, especially at this price point. The barrel is threaded which is nice if you want to add a brake or suppressor. Bolt tolerance is what you might expect for a rifle in this price range, maybe a little tighter than most. It functioned nicely with no feeding issues.

The rifle shot MOA out of the box using Match ammo from Hornady. This was with no fiddling. Just checking zero on the scope and getting rounds on paper.

Oddly, the barrel isn’t fluted which seems almost standard these days. That being said, it didn’t seem to affect performance. An afternoon at the range is pretty warm temps didn’t expose any performance issues indicative of an overly warm barrel. I love the stock. Not only does it look great but it is made of a good material that isn’t as mushy as Hogue, but isn’t hard plastic.The rifle felt a little heavier than the actual weight, but I had a pretty big scope on it so that was probably the main factor. The stock comes with a spacer so it can be adjusted to fit smaller shooters. The bolt release was functional and nicely located. One nice feature of the rifle is two studs on the forestock which allow for a sling and a bipod.

So overall, I liked this rifle. It shot well and functioned well. I hate to call a product “average” but none of the features, functions or components were the worst of comparable products, but nor were they the best. They were middle-of-the-pack, and that means “good”. This rifle’s strength is in its appearance – it is a nice, nice-looking rifle that you won’t be afraid to take into the field. It will hold up well. It doesn’t come with a scope and you can certainly find combo packages that are a similar or slightly lower price point. All in all, if you bought this rifle, you’d be getting a nice rifle that shoots well. It would be a personal choice as to if you wanted to pay a little extra for a rifle that looks so damned cool!

Sparky Sparkes Talks About Joker’s Wild Outdoors
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If you’ve been coming to my site for more than a couple of years, you’ll know that I talked with Sparky Sparkes from M2D Camo a LOT. I first met Sparky when he came out with M2D Camo – a great pattern that works in any environment. I last had a good check-in with Sparky almost 2 years ago exactly. I thought I should touch base with him again. Sparky has consolidated a bunch of his activities all on one site – Joker’s Wild Outdoors. In particular, I thought it would be interesting to chat with Sparky about his hunting properties and guided hunts which you can check out at M2D Camo Properties. Thanks again to Sparky for taking some time out of his crazy busy schedule to answer some questions for my readers! ~Desert Rat

1. You have properties now in Idaho, Washington and Indiana. How did you get stated in outfitting hunts?

I have had the Idaho properties now for over 13 years. Specializing in Elk, killing 60-75 a year both cows and bulls. We also kill plenty of Whitetail deer, some antelope (not enough), bears and the occasional moose. In Washington, we have been chasing turkeys for about 15 years now and are fortunate in that we can hunt Merriams and Rios both in our area. We also have WT deer hunts in Washington. Indiana, I picked up because it is a great mid-western state with the potential for BIG bucks. To shoot 160-plus class bucks you have to hunt where they exist. I also recently picked up a new lease of 6000-plus acres in Western Kansas with WT deer, Mule Deer, Pheasants, Turkeys and Waterfowl. 2020 will be a trial year in Kansas but I already know the land and expect good things from it.

2. Are all the tags over the counter or are some of them draw?

Every state is different, and every animal is different. Idaho rifle bull elk is a draw, rifle antelope is draw. Archery elk is OTC, Archery antelope is draw but guaranteed. Deer are over the counter for archery and rifle. Moose is draw. Bears are OTC. In Washington, turkeys and deer are over the counter, no draw. Indiana is over the counter for WT Deer and turkeys. Kansas is a draw for Deer only.

3. Of all your hunts, which one do you feel is the best value?

I think our Idaho elk hunts are one of the best in the US especially for archery elk. Elk every day and potential for 350+ bulls on an OTC tag is rare. Our Idaho deer hunts are almost guaranteed rifle deer for good, respectable bucks. Our Idaho ranch is 90-100% rifle success on most animals depending on the client’s ability. It’s very hard in today’s world to have such high success rate. All our hunts are respectable, reasonable and we work our asses off to be successful. We’re also very honest about what we offer and what you can expect to shoot. We do not oversell anything.

4. Which hunt is the most under-rated?

Cow elk in my opinion along with our Idaho deer hunts are the most underrated. The cow elk is about 98% shot opportunity and they are delicious. It is the same hunt as hunting a bull elk but 1/3 the price with the same experience. Our WT deer are so plentiful that you are 100% shot opportunity so that makes it a great hunt, but because it is Idaho people don’t think of it as a great WT deer state.

5. For someone going on their first guided hunt, which one of your hunts do you recommend?

This is a tough question as it really depends on what that person wants to hunt. If you want a bear, a guided hunt is the right way to go. If you want a deer, a lot of guys can learn on their own. Elk I feel is a must to do a guided hunt if you have never hunted them. They are not easy, and they can take years to harvest. The average archery elk hunter shoots an elk once every 8 years. That is a long time to hunt to kill one elk. I say go on a guided hunt every other year, or every 3 years and increase your odds drastically as long as you hire a good, reputable guide that will put you on the animals. Too many bad outfitters are out there, selling promises and failing the clients. I hear a lot of horror stories and I hope there was a better way for people to avoid that. I wish more people would do a lot more research when booking guided hunts, even with me.

6. You’re becoming quite a celebrity – do you make an appearance at each of the hunts?

I am just your average guy that has made a good business in the hunting industry. I am no better than the guy hunting with me. I enjoy taking people and getting them their first of anything. I do not need accolades and am definitely no celebrity. I am just a hard-working, fun guy that loves to do things right and be successful and possibly enjoy a drink or two.

7. Talk about food, lodging, etc. at your hunts – what can we expect?

On our fully-guided hunts you will stay in a nice cabin with all the normal luxuries of life – showers, TV, beds, etc. As I was a firefighter for 20 years the food is usually pretty good. We do not skimp on food and we serve high-end food. It is usually rib-eyes, brisket, salmon, shrimp, tacos, ribs and more. We mix things up and cook to please if we have allergies or people who don’t like certain things, but you will not go home hungry. We also enjoy some spirits in the evening while telling lies.

8. How do you select your guides?

Finding a guide is not easy as it takes more than just a hunter. They have to know how to hunt many species, be friendly, courteous and know how to read their clients. They also have to be thick-skinned because I expect perfection and hard work and can be a real asshole. It’s not always easy to put up with or work for me, that is for sure.

9. Of all the hunts you offer, which one is your favorite?

I enjoy most all of our hunts but the experience that you receive on a fully guided archery elk hunt is a lot of fun. You are so close to the majestic animals, calling them to you, playing games with them, and seeing inexperienced hunters or new elk hunters have that close encounter is special. Especially when they do everything right and put an arrow in any elk.

10. You hunt a ton – what’s on your bucket list?

I have been very fortunate over the years and have harvested many spectacular animals. I actually enjoy watching others harvest more than myself anymore, but I still enjoy a great hunt with good friends. I would rather spend a week in camp with good friends hunting and being unsuccessful than going on some special hunt and killing something just for me. Hunting is about time in the field together; too many have forgotten that. Someday I will check off a few things that I would like to harvest like a brown bear, mountain lion ( have hunted 7 times never killed one, my nemesis), and also – Africa is on the list, hopefully a lion.

Thanks again to Sparky – an all-around great guy. I really hope to make it up to hunt with him one of these days. He’s got a bunch of stuff going on.

You can learn more about his TV Show here: Livin The Dream

He offers some of the best pricing around on a number of hunting products. You can shop online here: BUY Hunting Gear I have sent several people to him to buy Vortex optics – he has the lowest prices I have found.

And of course – you can learn more about his camo here: M2D Camo

Finally – if you want to look at his hunts in Idaho, Washington, Indiana or Kansas – visit him here: Guided Hunts

A Review – Boost Oxygen – Goodness In A Can
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I can always count on the ladies at Chic Execs PR to send me cool things to review and this time was no exception. They sent along the Press Release for Boost Oxygen and easked if I’d be interestedin reviewing some of their products. Well – yeah! It looked interesting and I thought it might be of interest to my audience. A big shout out to Katie and Andrea for getting some product in my hand to try!

From their release:

In normal conditions, the air we breathe contains around 21% oxygen. That’s also not taking into account any pollution in the air. Boost Oxygen is 95% PURE Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen. Now, think about how much regular air your breath when you’re exercising or doing any strenuous activity. Every cell in your body is designed to burn oxygen–it’s the basic fuel for cell metabolism. Cut back on oxygen and all of those cellular processes become sluggish…you start to feel fatigued or short of breath. Less oxygen equates to cells losing the energy they need to repair DNA. Your immune system begins to weaken.

Using supplemental oxygen has a positive impact on one’s health-related quality of life. Not only does it improve sleep and lift your mood, it also increases mental alertness and stamina. Boost Oxygen is safe for all ages, and also supports altitude acclimation and migraines. Imagine how much your body could benefit from Boost Oxygen?

Boost Oxygen comes in natural and three aromatherapy fragrances – pink grapefruit, peppermint and menthol. They are all-natural, completely safe for inhalation and water soluble. Aromatherapy is the art and science of using naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit – doesn’t that sound refreshing??

So, admittedly – I was a little skeptical. Of course, understanding the benefits of oxygen is a no brainer (hey, I watch TV!) I just wasn’t sure that sticking it in a can and sucking it in would make that much of a difference!

So, full disclosure – I didn’t try the Boost Oxygen after a killer workout, or at some crazy elevation on a mountainside. I did use it a couple of times when I came in all tuckered out from yard work, a few times when I was feeling tired and worn out and a few other times like I just felt like I needed a boost. It works! It definitely gives you a boost – you feel more clear-headed, more awake, just more “bright”. You’re not jittery like caffeine, it’s just a nice feeling. If you visit their site, you can see several different uses of supplemental oxygen, including altitude, recovery and performance.

The product that really made an impression on me was the Think Tank – supplemental oxygen infused with Rosemary. I used to have a co-worker that loved rosemary and always seemed to have some fresh sprigs on her desk. From the site:

Rosemary aroma has been independently studied and found to increase short term memory up to 75%. How? There are compounds in Rosemary oil that help with memory retention: 1,8-cineole found naturally in Rosemary aroma causes an increase in the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

This is nothing new – scholars in ancient Greece were known to wear wreaths of rosemary around their brow to improve recall while taking exams. Shakespeare’s Ophelia petitions Hamlet with, “There’s Rosemary- that’s for remembrance, pray you love, remember.”

Rosemary aroma is being increasingly researched and implemented with both the young and old, and its use as an all-natural, safe and drug-free cognitive supporter is becoming more accepted and widespread globally.

Now I know why she was always sniffing rosemary. A couple of huffs of this product not only gives you a lift (as described above) but it does increase your focus and clarity. I’ve used it at work several times when I felt I was getting bogged down in mind-numbing, tedious projects. I have tried it when suffering writers’ block or slogging my way through tasks that required some focus.

You can buy these products online at the Boost Oxygen STORE or you can also buy them at Big 5 Sporting Goods or other retailers nation wide.

The price point on these products is really very reasonable also. For example, a small can of the Think Tank (about 100 puffs) will run you right around 10 bucks. A can of the Boost will run you less than 15 dollars and will get you about 150 inhalations.

I’m sold on this product and its’ effectiveness. I’ll be buying more of the Think Tank and I’m really wanting to try some of the other Aromatherapy scents – Pink Grapefruit, Menthol, and Menthol. I’llalso keep one of the little cans in my backpack during hunting season to help with those hikes up and down Arizona canyons.

You can learn more here: