Monday, April 30, 2012

ATV Trail Riding In Washington County

Top of Trumble Mountain
This article is featured in the June 2012 issue of the Maine Sportsman on page 42! 

It is no secret that in recent years, Maine has witnessed an explosion in the number of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) clubs, events and trail systems. This increased interest, accelerated by an extensive network of logging roads, old railways and thousands of miles of snowmobile trails, has helped to fuel a healthy increase in the quality and quantity of ATV trails available to discover. ATV riders are finding many areas of the state, previously off limits to ATVs, are now open. One of the largest factors, spurring this exciting growth and additional riding opportunities, comes from the sizable baby boomer population. Many in this generation, are approaching or now retired and able to invest considerable time organizing and running ATV groups or spending long weekends touring the back country, with others ATV enthusiasts sharing their passion for the outdoors. For this group of veteran sportsmen, ATVs afford an easier means of exploring the remote corners of the state, the low rumble of the ATV replacing footfalls, as many of this generation become less willing or able to hike miles into the back country, in pursuit of their outdoor passions.

Boys Being Boys - Stone Dam, Nashes Lake
Exploration of these newly opened areas is as simple as securing a trail map from one of Maine’s many local ATV clubs. ATV Maine ( has a fantastic website with links to tons of useful information. It has an impressive statewide events calendar of ATV riding activities and links to almost 100 different ATV clubs, representing all areas of the state. Downloading area maps, gathering information on current trail conditions or even contacting local riding groups is as easy as clicking on the club website or Facebook page. Last minute planners or those not “online” will be happy to note that many country stores have also begun carrying local area ATV trail maps for free, as they realize ATV riders also bring with them money to buy gas and other necessities. With a local trail map, it is an easy task to negotiate the clearly marked and well maintained trails. Many trails even have message boards and signage (ex. gas, food, assistance, hazards, unique areas, club houses, etc.), providing additional information to riders.

Local ATV clubs invest a lot of time and money in maintaining these trails and making sure visitors have an enjoyable ATVing experience. To honor them, please stay on marked trails and make sure to pack out any garbage generated in the course of the trip. ATVing in Maine is a unique wilderness experience, so lets all do our part to ensure it remains as such. Even better, join a local ATV club and help make sure trail systems stay clean and safe for all riders.

Many Registered Maine Guides conduct ATV trips throughout the state, providing access to pristine areas or special spots known only to locals. For a small investment, a guide is able to maximize trip enjoyment and simplify much of the planning and logistics involved, in a successful day of trail riding or an extended weekend ATV camping trip. Guided trips are also safer, as they provide an added measure of security for individuals traveling alone or unfamiliar with the area. For a listing of guides and their provided services please see:

Understanding the growing interest in ATV riding, many towns, stores and campgrounds have begun catering to the ATV crowd. State laws limiting paved road travel restriction, are waived in some towns to facilitate ATV rider access to trail connections, gas and supplies. For campers, it is becoming increasingly more common to be able to leave directly from the campground and jump directly on a trail system. As this service is not available at all campground facilities, it pays when selecting a campground to call ahead and ask about their ATV policy. Last summer, I made the mistake of not inquiring about trail access direct from the campground and was forced to trailer my ATV to and from the trail head before and after each ride. This inconvenience greatly complicated access and stopped any chance of spur of the moment riding opportunities, putting a dampener on our trip . . . when in doubt ALWAYS ask.

Lunch at Hundred Acre Wood Cabin
Throughout the spring and summer of 2011, I traveled throughout the state exploring many of these newly expanded trail systems. From Grand Lake Stream to China in Central Maine to Kokajo and Greenville, I managed to fill the glorious season with hundreds of miles of choking back trail dust, sloshing through mud pits and wheeling through some of the most impressively beautiful areas of the state. Of all these newly explored areas, perhaps most impressive were the trail riding opportunities in Washington County. With mile upon mile of quality trail riding and breathtaking scenery around every bend, it is a trip well worth making.

On my trip to Washington County, we stayed at Keen’s Lake Campground in Red Beach. This quaint ATV friendly campground has quiet wooded campsites and ample space for parking equipment. Amenities exist such as a small store and a beach but the campgrounds biggest draw, is its direct access to a massive area ATV trail system and the Downeast Sunrise Trail (

Opened in 2010, the Downeast Sunrise Trail project has preserved 85 miles of the Calais Branch railroad corridor for future rail use, while additionally providing a wide, compact gravel-based trail for recreational opportunities. The scenic trail runs from Calais to Ellsworth, along the entire Downeast coastal area, connecting to multiple scenic conservation areas, intersecting the Downeast salmon rivers, and closely shadowing two state designated scenic highways. The rides major highlights are Schoodic Bog and Schoodic Mountain, near the Ellsworth end of the trail system. In addition to ATV riders, the Downeast Sunrise Trail is also managed for the use of snowmobiles, pedestrians, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and equestrians so use care and moderated speed while traveling.

The Calais trail head also has several unique attractions, such as Trumble Mountain, boasting expansive views of St. Andrews, Canada and the St. Croix River Valley. Also a short ride away, on the northern end of Nashes Lake, is an impressive 30 foot high hand build stone dam constructed in the 1800s, to facilitate logging operations and to this day still holds back the waters of this man made lake. For the photographer or nature lover looking to spot wildlife, the area is abundant with bear, moose, deer and many other furry critters. Evening trips, done slowly and with watchful eye are the best way to see these animals.

My trip to Washington County was highlighted by the presence of my two sons, who at 3 and 5 years old are already ATV fanatics. Sporting their racing helmets and possessing a go, go, go attitude, they are the perfect camping and 4 wheeling companions. When ATV riding with small children, it is important to take frequent breaks and continually fuel small bodies with food and water. Packing a picnic lunch and reviewing a trail map for kid friendly stops is an easy way to ensure kids take pleasure in ATV riding.

Don't Mess with these ATV Riding Roughnecks!
Keens lake, Nashes lake and many other area lakes and ponds offer opportunities for an afternoon swim to cool bodies, skip rocks, catch frogs and generally provide entertainment for small children. While you’re at it, bring along a fishing pole for great brook trout and small mouth bass fishing right from the lake shore. ATV riding is a fun recreational activity but remember to do it safely and legally. ATVs can quickly transport riders deep in the back country where assistance might be a long time in coming so be sure to practice self sufficiency, should an accident or mechanical issue occur. Riders should practice common sense, by making sure to always carry extra gas, water and food on long trips. Travel in groups when possible, for enjoyment and the safety provided in numbers and always make sure to carry extra clothing, rain gear and a comprehensive first aid kit.

While trail riding, I always wear a helmet as a safety measure and to serve as a good role model for my children. Despite these precautions, an accident this season, unloading my ATV from the back of a friends trailer, left me badly bruised and suffering from a nasty case of road rash. Adding to the potential for harm, I was not wearing my helmet. I was very fortunate I was able to learn a valuable lesson without fracturing my skull. Whenever operating an ATV a helmet should be worn, from the moment the key is turned on to the moment it is turned off. In the state of Maine, children under 10 years of age cannot operate and ATV, 10-16 years of age cannot operate an ATV without first completing an ATV training course. Though critical for riders of all ages, protective headgear is required of any ATV riders under 18 years of age.

For more on Maine ATV laws please see:
For more from the Maine Outdoorsman on ATV riding with small children, be sure to also read ATV Riding with Kids!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Game Cameras Help Pattern Turkeys

As these photos show, game cameras really do assist hunters in pinpointing times and areas where turkeys congregate. With a couple well placed game cameras in areas thought to hold birds, hunters can also quickly see the quality of the animals that are coming through. This creates an advantage for the hunter that allows them to save time and hopefully harvest a mature Tom. Good luck to all those, in pursuit of turkeys this spring season!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Ammo Can Grill and Grill Kit

M1A1 Grill - $29.95
As if having an ammo can stove wasn’t good enough, how about having an ammo can grill! Yes, that is correct a small but very functional grill made right out of an ammo can! Just fill it up with some charcoal, throw on a few hotdog and hamburgers and BLAM instant cookout party!

I can see that this would be a very fun and handy little rig to bring to the beach or on a camping trip, where open fires are prohibited. With just a small amount of charcoal or with some sticks and twigs a person can quickly create the coals necessary to cook a small meal. Though the actually size of the stove’s cooking surface will limit what you can cook (think about 8 hotdogs or about 4 hamburgers) it is still plenty big enough for most picnic style outings with the family.

Just a word of caution, the bottom of the stove can get VERY hot and will burn or melt about anything it is placed on or near. So use caution when placing on a truck tailgate (think burned paint or rubber), grass lawn or wooden picnic table. All of these items will potentially be ruined if they come in contact with the bottom of the ammo can grill. With caution and some insulating tile, all of these issues can be resolved so make sure to plan ahead!

When planning and outing with your ammo can stove, it pays to have all the elements you might require to cook a meal for the family already packet within the ammo can itself. This pre-thought will ensure that you don’t accidentally forget some critical element at home!

AMMO CAN Grill Kit (Everything can be stored in the Ammo Can!!)
1. Small spatula
2. Small metal fork
3. Tin cup
4. Small frying pan
5. Instant Coffee
6. Ziploc bag filled with “Matchlight” charcoal
7. Tea light candles
8. Matches or lighter
9. Salt and Pepper
10. Knife
11. 8-10 Paper towels
12. Please post a comment and add other suggestions!

Lastly, enjoy your summer time grilling good grub in the wilderness and if your in the market for a new grill why not drop by and check out:

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Amazing Ammo Can Stove

The Blue Ridge - $119.95
What do you get when you take a regular old military ammo can and convert it into a full functioning heating and cooking wood stove? Just say the words abracadabra and magically you get a sweet, highly practical stove that is sure to serve as a great primary or back-up heating and cooking system, sure to be appreciated by any good survivalist.

The stove comes in two sizes, the Trekker and the Blue Ridge, based on the two major sizes of readily available ammo cans. For my purposes, the smaller “trekker” just didn’t seem to fit my needs, so I decided to purchase the larger Blue Ridge model. My plans are to have the stove serve as a heat source for an ice fishing shack that is approximately 5 x 8 feet. I feel that with the shack properly insulated, the Blue Ridge model should be able to adequately heat the small abode on all but the coldest of winter days.

Trekker and Blue Ridge
The ammo cans are highly customized with reinforced with steel and heavy duty hardware, transforming them into rugged and reliable heat sources. With proper care, I can see that these stoves could provide years of practical service. As suggested by the seller, one of the stove life extenders is to line the inside bottom of the stove with a thin layer of sand. This is to protect the bottom of the firebox from the intensity of highly concentrated heat created by a kindled fire. Though a grill plate protects the metal bottom, over time the metal could become brittle with continued use and should be protected. After playing around with the sand option and some of the drawbacks, I will likely replace the sand with a few pieces of heat resistant ceramic tile.

As with any wood-burning stove, it is recommended that you only burn hardwoods. This is to cut back on the amount of creosote created, which could potentially cause stove vents and pipes to become clogged and cause a fire to occur outside of the firebox. If you plan to frequently clean your stove, it is likely that you could burn just about anything you want as long as you take the proper precautions. It is suggested that you can even burn charcoal, which I would have to agree would make for a nice even, long burning and controllable heat.

Trekker - $99.95
If you decide to burn wood, I have found that small oak, maple and birch work great. Wood should be cut in the spring of the year and allowed to dry for at least 6 months before you attempt to burn it in your stove. This “seasoning” ensures that you will be able to easily light your stove and keep it burning with a strong and consistent flame. Any whole or split pieces are great but my favorite collection technique is to just use a pair of bush cutters to hack branches (thumb size diameter) off larger felled trees that most people cut and haul off to the brush burn piles. Why let these free sources of heat pass you by, when they could be heating your ice shack all winter long!

Be sure to cut wood pieces no longer than 11 inches in length, to ensure you are not struggling to cramp them in the firebox and potentially burn your fingers. This also reminds, when operating any woods stove it is always advisable to wear heavy leather gloves to save you from possible burns. For more on the very cool ammo can stove please check:
For more information, check out an additional review on the ammo can stove by Calamity Jane at: 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Fishing Mayhem. . . Pike, Smallies and Large Mouths OH MY!

Travis with a Nice Northern Pike
Duckman with a Small Mouth Bass
Rabid Outdoorsman with a Large Mouth Bass
Duckman with a Large Mouth Bass
Travis with a Large Mouth Bass
For More On Travis and Duckman see: and

Monday, April 16, 2012

Master and Canine Benefit from Healthy Lifestyle

I wasn’t surprised, when the veterinarian stated that my black lab Onyx was mildly obese. Though the outward signs were easily recognizable, in my K9 counterpart, some news is still hard to hear.

Over the years, my faithful companion and I have always prided ourselves in staying physically fit but it was apparent that three years of decadent living had caused the addition of a few pounds in my K9 friend.

To begin the story, I should outline the underlying reasons that led this doggie athlete needing the services of a weight watchers support group.

Our household has recently undergone a series of significant changes that have completely altered the packs dynamics. The birth of two children has refocused time typically invested with an energetic duck dog, to more immediate and pressing concerns. Family time now limits free time with Onyx and ultimately the amount of daily workouts received. Severe cut in our long walks and afternoon swims, have made it challenging for her to maintain a healthy weight. With exercise minimized and food intake maximized, by toddlers who see throwing food as Olympic events, one can easily see the cards were stacked against her from the very beginning.

With opening day of waterfowl season now only 6 MONTHS AWAY, my once svelte puppy needs to begin preparing for what always promises to be a rigorous and demanding hunting season.

As an outdoor enthusiast, I have climbed some of the highest peaks in the Americas, including 22,843 ft. Mount Aconcagua, in Patagonia. These events require months of advanced physical preparations, well beyond the ordinary. Through these journeys, I have learned much about the human body and its strengths and weaknesses. Included in this knowledge is the critical understanding that before embarking on any exercise program be sure to be familiar with your limitations. People and pets, starting any exercise regiment, without knowledge of possible underlying issues, could potentially enter into a life-threatening situation. For the safety of you and man’s best friend, be sure to consult with the experts and have them assist in designing a healthy living plan for you and your pet.

The Basics of Good Health
For man and beast alike, good health basics involve finding a balance between food intake and exercise. Winter months are often a time of the year when the activity levels of most Mainer's drop off significantly. Harsh temperatures, force all but the hardiest of folks and pets to curl up on couches, enjoying hot chocolate and Christmas dinner leftovers. This is a time of year, when we start thinking that our pants have shrunk in the wash. With spring’s arrival, warm temperatures lure us back to the woods and waters and it becomes easier to increase our amount of daily exercise. It is certainly understandable, that at times in our lives, we go through periods of increased and decreased activity levels. If during these times, we fail to modify food intake, our waist sizes are certain to expand.

Nutrition and “Diet”
Why people “diet”, is something I have never understood. While most claim it is an effective way of losing weight, what they are missing is that once returning to eating, as done before the “diet”, all previously lost weight will return. Permanent weight loss is only achieved by a lifestyle change. Food choices for humans and canines are many and varied. To insure healthy food selections, create a balance between quantity and quality. Even nutritionally balanced food can be over eaten, leading to health issues. Make sure to read the recommended serving sizes on bags of dog food, outlining the amount that should be consumed daily by different sized animals. For extremely overweight animals, select dog foods specifically targeted to over weight or older animals.

Through the years, specific brands of dog food have fallen in and out of favor as companies have switched hands. The best thing for your pet is to religiously check ingredient and nutritional labels for changes. Avoid feeding dogs table scraps, as these typically contain a much higher fat content then a dog requires and can be to rich for most dogs to process, leading to intestinal complications. Dogs that appear hungry, even when provided with a sufficient amount of food, can be provided boiled green beans to fill their tummies without adding a significant number of additional calories.

We all understand that exercise is required to enhance well being. A dogs health depends directly on how much love and attention they receive. Considering this, how do humans prioritize their limited available time with their pets? Smart humans exercise with their pets. Any exercise program should be started slowly. Nothing is more discouraging then pulling a muscle or suffering an injury when first trying to get motivated. This doesn’t mean that exercise with your dog need be mundane or ordinary. While a walk in the park or throwing the tennis ball may seem to be effective, most sportsmen will find that tying a dogs exercise routine with something mutually enjoyable will make it easier to accomplish. Many find it more beneficial to supplement dog training and exercise programs with family outings and adventures (walks, hikes, camping, swimming, etc). Caring for a family pet is a valuable skill for all children to learn. Involving children in the process of pet care is important foundation upon which to build a lifetime of healthy living practices. Ultimately to be successful, in an exercise routine, set a time that is a component of the regular daily routine and something man and beast both enjoy.

Final Thoughts
A system of healthy living is the key in maintaining the ability to continue to do the things you love for years to come. The more you exercise the easier and more enjoyable it becomes and the more energy you will have to expand your routine. The strength to effectively paddle a canoe, hike into the backcountry or even haul out a monster buck are vastly improved with a few modifications to your diet and daily exercise routine. Many accidents and injuries can be avoided by having a physically fit body capable of dealing with minor stresses and strains. Pounds of additional weight are hard on human backs and knees and can lead to hip and joint problems in canines as well. Even the loss of a couple pounds can have a dramatic effect!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding Maine’s Bigfoot

The state of Maine is comprised of approximately 35,387 square miles. Most of this land consists of rugged and unclaimed wilderness; with barely 10 percent of the state considered urban or “civilized”. The remaining ninety percent of the state is heavily forested and comprised of thousands of miles of spruce thickets, cedar swamps and endless expanses of impenetrable woods were a man could walk for weeks and never encounter any other sign of human existence. In fact, Maine was recently voted "Most Rural State".

Included within these vast expanses are twelve million unpopulated acres, in the northern most part of the state, so remote and undisturbed, that many areas still have not received proper naming conventions. There currently exist unorganized townships in Maine, only identifiable by numerical classifications. It is not uncommon, when exploring these remote sections of wilderness, to identify were you are by saying you are in *T3 R10. (*Standing for Township and Range).

Within this largely unexplored wilderness, scientists hypothesize that potentially hundreds of life forms exist that have yet to be identified. Though most of these unnamed species of flora and fauna are certain to be plants, insects or perhaps even a few small rodents, other professionals argue that something much larger, as yet undiscovered creature prowls in the dark Maine woods.

Throughout Maine’s past, many sighting have occurred, by a large number of individuals, describing having seen a creature that doesn’t easily fit into the standard confines of Maine flora and fauna. These people, many from well-respected professional level backgrounds, have reported seeing humanoid like creatures lurking in the Maine woods. All descriptions seem to coincide, depicting a large, hairy animal with “humanlike” characteristics and walking on two legs. Though given many names, including Ridge Monster, Durham Gorilla, Maine Mutant, Turner Beast, Greene Monster, Leeds Loki, ultimately what locals are depicting is the infamous missing link or more commonly named Bigfoot.

Over the years, many of these sightings have been categorized and cataloged on various websites, in an attempt to better understand the patterns and behaviors of these mysterious creatures. Dating back to the original sightings made in the early 1800’s and consistently reported up to present day, these reports provide valuable pieces to the puzzle.

By retrieving, compiling and mapping this online information, a pattern emerges and one can easily begin to determine the Maine counties with the highest concentrations of reported Bigfoot sightings. Through this review, it is not surprising to note that the areas of the state with the largest human population densities seem to enjoy the highest incidence of Bigfoot sightings. I conclude that this is likely because these areas have more people exploring the neighboring woods and therefore increased chances of an encounter. More remote and less populated areas of the state are likely to harbor Bigfoot type creatures but because of low population densities they are never seen. The classic, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it doesn’t make a sound!

Big Foot Sighting Concentrations by County:
1. Kennebec - RED
2. Cumberland - RED
3. York - RED
4. Somerset - RED
5. Androscoggin - YELLOW
6. Oxford - YELLOW
7. Piscataquis - YELLOW
8. Sagadahoc - Green
9. Lincoln - Green
10. Knox - Green
11. Hancock - Green
12. Penobscot - Green
13. Aroostook - Green
14. Franklin - Green
15. Washington (None)
16. Waldo (None)

Tracking Maine’s Bigfoot is not a task for the faint hearted. Given the vast tracts of unpopulated wilderness that exist, cryptozoological explorers will want to be proficient with a map and compass and carry proper survival gear before venturing into the woods. Bigfoot explorers, interested in coming to Maine and tracking this elusive creature, are encouraged to drop me a comment on this post requesting additional information on specific areas to begin your search!

While visiting Maine, be sure to stop by and see the Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. It contains a large number of interesting Bigfoot artifacts and even boasts an 8 foot tall Bigfoot replica that is sure to impress. Please check the link provided above for times open and admission pricing.

Check out interesting areas where BIG FOOT might lurk with the help of: One Minute Hikes Map
Helpful BIGFOOT Links:
Bigfoot Stalks the Coast of Maine

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wassookeag Moccasins the Rolls Royce of Footwear

I am regularly impressed by the quality of Maine based products found throughout the state. You certainly do not have to look very far to find skilled craftsmen plying their trade out of small shops, building superior pieces of handmade merchandise. These individuals have honed their skills over decades and are masters of their perused craft. Because of the huge number of craftsmen, around the state, creating truly exquisite pieces of what I would categorize as “art”, I am always on constant alert as to what could be the next new and interesting Maine made outdoor products.

While searching the internet the other evening, I stumbled into the virtual storefront of a innovative little company called Wassookeag Moccasins, operating out of the small town of Dexter, Maine. Through the expert hands of proprietor Mark Wintle, this shop is responsible for creating a truly amazing assortment of moccasins.

Now I know what you are going to say, what could possibly be amazing about moccasins? Well my friends, as did I, you have a lot to learn. First, I would suggest you toss into the garbage those old ratty lame plastic bottomed mocs you are currently using and upgrade to the big league with a pair of all leather, hug your foot, feels so good you wanna slap your momma Wassookeag moccasins. They are truly the Rolls Royce of footwear and from the first second you put them on you are going to immediately understand what I am talking about.

Available in a huge selection of configurations, styles and fits for both men and women, it would be difficult not to find a pair that matches your every wanton desire. For Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other gift based celebrations, you would be hard pressed to find a more elegant and well fitting gift for that special someone. When you place an order, please mention the rabid outdoorsman sent you!

Given my penchant for destroying just about everything I place upon my feet, WAY before its anticipated end date, Mark suggested I order the bull hide, deer skin lined, triple sole canoe moc. Though certainly a mouthful, the Moc provides extra protection in the sole, sure to delay the time it will take for me to completely and utterly destroy them. I can already see me shuffling down my coarse gravel driveway, trying to keep the dog from getting run over by the UPS truck, strapping crampons to them or becoming involved in some other completely ridiculous practice that no self respecting piece of footwear should ever have to be subjected to. I will be sure to post updates, as time marches on, as to how my mocs hold up in these completely unfair conditions.

When visiting the WassookeagMoccasins site be sure to check out the section on “Earthing”  or the health benefits of reconnecting your feet with terra firma and the cool How They are Made Video


Mark Wintle
Interview With Mark Wintle of Wassookeag Moccasins: I conducted this interview with Mark to gather a little more information on his products and answer a few simple questions that I had. I am posting, hoping others will find the information helpful.

Rabid Outdoorsman: Do you suggest a certain product to help keep my Wassookeag Moccasins leather pliable and supple?

Mark: It’s not necessary if the intent is to wear them inside most of the time, however I do use a waterproof mink oil paste on mine about once a month or so to keep them from soaking up too much moisture since I wear mine both inside and out pretty much every day. I also like to use the mink oil on the rawhide laces to keep them from getting dried out and brittle, keeping the rawhide laces moist also helps to keep them tied.

Rabid Outdoorsman:Is there a break in period? I know that they are comfortable but do they further mold to your feet over time?

Mark:They are soft and pliable right out of the box, but they definitely will mold to your feet over time, conforming to the shape of your feet, especially under foot, the leather will compact slightly under the heel and ball of the foot where most of the pressure is applied and stay nice and fluffy under the arch, creating a natural arch support and padded bed for your feet.

Rabid Outdoorsman: For high wear and abuse you suggest certain mocs and leathers over others . . . do you also have a suggestion for "around the house" as opposed to other uses?

Mark: For around the house, the softsole mocs would be perfect. For indoor and outdoor use or as a driving shoe or casual shoe (as I use them) I recommend the triple sole mocs. The buffalo hide is a bit more “spongy” and has a little more stretch and give to them, the bullhide is more compact and stands up a little better to extensive outdoor use since they have a tendency to soak up a bit less moisture, but both the bullhide and buffalo hide will stand up very well to regular outdoor use.

Rabid Outdoorsman: How long with regular use can a person expect a moc to last? I have a pair I got 2 Christmases ago and they are COMPLETELY worn out with holes in the toe box. Your product appears VASTLY superior.

Mark: I use 8 to 9 ounce (a little more than 1/8th inch in thickness) buffalo or bull hide for the bottom sole, inner sole and vamp (which wraps around the entire foot in one piece), this not only provides lots of comfort but also guarantees many many years of wear. It’s pretty hard to estimate the number of years they will last since every person is different, how they wear them, where they wear them, etc. If used mainly indoors, they can last a lifetime, if used and abused like an everyday shoe or if the person is a “scuffer”, scuffs their feet when they walk, particularly when they walk on abrasive concrete or pavement, they may only last 4 or 5 years. The wear will generally be primarily in the bottom sole . . . and yes, I do provide a resoling service, $45 and I ship them back for free.

Rabid Outdoorsman: How long does it take you to make a pair of mocs?

Mark: Well, If I struck out to make a single pair from start to finish, which is rare since it is much more efficient to do multiple pair at a time, it would take me about 4 hours.  The process is very labor intensive as you can tell from the “how there made” video, but generally I can make about 3 pair a day, sometimes 4 such as during the Christmas rush when customers are expecting their mocs to get there by Christmas.
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