Rucking as a Workout

Turns out, the best work out for me involves a backpack, shocking, I know.

A eight months ago, I made a decision to start working out five times per week. Being the nerd I am, I started by trying many different work out apps on my phone, and they all sucked. Working out in your house is boring and lame was my conclusion. I started looking at local gyms, but since I don’t ever have any reason to drive somewhere during the day (I work from home) that seemed laughable at best.

There is a very large and nice wooded state park a short five minute walk from my front door. So I started to do short hikes in there on the rugged and hilly terrain. At first this was a casual walk, then I added a backpack since it was a good way to test them for my reviews. Then I added a bit of weight to get a better work out and quickly realized: well this is rucking.

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  • First Look: Meridian Dress Shirt from Bluffworks

    A new travel dress shirt, which has the makings of something many people will love for everyday.

    Currently on Kickstarter for a few more days, the Meridian Dress Shirt is billed as the ultimate travel shirt. It boasts the standard set of travel dress shirt features: multi-day wear (because it is odor resistant), wrinkle free, breathable, and comfortable. Bluffworks sent me a non-final press sample, which arrived just a few hours before I left for a weekend trip. Here’s my initial thoughts on this new shirt.

    I tested this shirt by wearing it while loading my car for the weekend, driving two hours and forty-five minutes, and then unloading the car. I hung it up, and put it back on a couple days later to again load the car, drive the car, and unload the car. Then I wore it for half a day at work (I got too warm with my t-shirt under it) and lastly I wadded it up and stuck it at the bottom of a pile of stinky clothes for the night. So basically, I abused the shirt pretty well in the short time I’ve had it.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 10/16/17

    NAS systems, cell radios, and FaceID.

    An update on my file storage search, and thoughts on cellular iPads and FaceID for iPads. Also a quick question about a possible new member feature.

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  • Triple Aught Design’s Admin Panel

    A great organizational panel for packs with little to no organization built in.

    When I picked up the Triple Aught Design Azimuth backpack, I also snagged an Admin Panel to try and help organize the otherwise organizationaless Azimuth. It was almost an afterthought of a purchase for me, at $35 it’s hard to put too much consideration and I often just try stuff out at that price. I purchased it because it has a clip and rail system that is designed to work in Triple Aught Design packs (I can’t test this, but I suspect it might work in Outlier packs too).

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 10/9/17

    Files, clipboard manager things, and home screen decisions.

    This week, I want to tackle three areas: home screen layouts on iOS 11, those weird clipboard managers, and what to do when you have a shit ton of files to deal with. Let’s get started, this seems ambitious.

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  • Triple Aught Design Azimuth Backpack

    A versatile, packable, backpack for carrying stuff.

    One of the things I am constantly trying to find is a bag to be my “dad bag” — I’ve mentioned my high standards for such a bag before, but want to recap specifically what I am looking for:

    • Something 10-20L in size.
    • Something which can be packed down to fit inside a GR1/GR2.
    • Something which can carry my kids coats in the winter.
    • Something which is comfortable to carry all day.

    The GORUCK Bullet Ruck 10L, is as close as I have ever come, but it’s hard if not impossible to bring it with you. The Outlier Quadzip came tantalizingly close, but the high price, and some framesheet discomfort left me to sell it too.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 10/2/17

    Taking a look at some iPad history, and I share my current iPad home screens, prepare to be underwhelmed by them.

    Diving into the past a bit this week.

    Update on Google Drive: the app has now been implemented to work with, and has removed the shady shit it does to register with every file type. Small win there, big results. Though, amusingly, macOS server is not a native Files integration — collectively we can all laugh and cry at the same time now. Also, it looks as though Readdle’s Documents app does the same shit Drive did. So that’s fun.

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  • Fragility of Free, a Redux

    Six years ago, I didn’t even imagine the worst part about free systems, because back then it was unthinkable.

    Six years ago, I wrote a post called “The Fragility of Free”, ostensibly about how “free” things will always break down over time, using popular apps, and Twitter as my examples. You can read the post here, while the references are dated (except Twitter) I still like the post.

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  • Flowfold Optimist Limited 10L Mini Backpack

    The most stripped down, bare essentials backpack you can buy to hold your gear when you are out and about.

    Note: this is backpack was provided to me at no charge, for the purposes of this review.

    When we last talked about Flowfold, I heaved praise on the their minimalist wallet — which I am still using and love — but I also mentioned that they make backpacks. A couple weeks ago Flowfold sent over their 10L Minimalist backpack, made from the same material (and color in this case, though they sell others) as my wallet. It’s a cute match.

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  • Benchmade Griptilian

    A fantastic backup knife, once you make a few tweaks to it.

    In my quest to find a solid pocket knife to be my backup to my Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 21, I’ve been looking for something larger, and harder use. Something I have a reason to owning, other than wanting a backup. I initially looked at the Spyderco Paramilitary 2, but found that it was far too cumbersome to carry.

    Today, I am looking at Benchmade’s Griptilian, which is the larger of their two Griptilian knives and among one of the most popular knives out there. In this humble knife, I think I might have found my perfect backup knife, and a knife I really enjoy using.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 9/25/17

    Taking a look at the annoyances brings with iOS 11, and no it’s not all bad.

    By now, hopefully, you’ve installed iOS 11 on your iPad. One thing that most were not able to test over the summer beta period (including me) was how powerful really is. Without a robust offering from third party apps, it’s hard to use Files, as it becomes something you actively must think about using, and even more than that, it’s not the defining feature of iOS 11 some would have you to believe it is.

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  • Triple Aught Design SERE Pouch

    I finally found an EDC organizer worth carrying.

    I had almost given up on trying to find a small pouch to house my extended EDC kit in. The Maxpedition was too large, and cumbersome. The Skinth wasn’t quite right, despite being quite nice. Before giving up I decided to try something entirely different, the SERE Pouch, from Triple Aught Design.

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  • Arcade Belt

    A great belt for active wear.

    When I snagged the Ferrosi pants for hiking, I knew I would need to grab a belt of some sort. The common style for hiking is a simple nylon web belt, but I went for something different in the Arcade Adventure Belt. This is a basically an elastic strap with a buckle. What’s neat about this is that it retains a lot of comfort, while allowing you to tighten the belt if you need to support your pants a little more.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 9/18/17

    Let’s talk about document collaboration tools.

    This week: collaborating on ideas, and on editing — the iPad only excels in one of these two areas.

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  • AmpliFi

    I really want to like this, but persistent connection issues are really troubling me.

    When I switched from the Apple Airport routers, to a Netgear Nighthawk I was damned happy. It had good range and never failed me — I stopped even thinking about my WiFi network. But then Netgear failed to keep me safe, and lost my trust.

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  • A Unique Marketing Problem for Apple

    The iPhone X has one hell of a camera system in it, I suspect, much better than Apple leads on.

    If you read this site, then you know what Apple announced about the iPhone 8 and X models. But did you catch how they described the cameras? With the standard and plus model iPhones, it’s always been a “yeah the Plus has a bigger camera”, which allows us to do something like: optical image stabilization, and then later, dual cameras. Apple always side stepped the which camera is better debate, by not saying one was better than the other, but rather that since one was larger they could add more features. But the truth was always that the Plus had the objectively, and subjectively, better camera. Hands down.

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