Rambling Review: Zenbivy Light Bed

0 Comments

Zenbivy Light Bed

Rambling Review: Zenbivy Light Bed

Why: I’m always working on my sleep system for hunting, fishing, and camping trips. The truth is that the temperature ranges so drastically in Arizona that it can easily be 100 degrees in the summer on a fishing trip and single digits on a winter hunt. I’ve experimented with different bags, quilts, and pads, and all of them have an application. However, the Zenbivy Light Bed is a unique product that provides a versatile sleep system. (This review is based on the 25 degree system)

First impressions:

The system – The Zenbivy Light Bed system is a two part bag system that attaches right to your sleeping bag.

  • Zenbivy Light Sheet – A fitted sheet that attaches securely to the sleeping pad
  • Zenbivy Light Quilt – A down overquilt that attaches to the fitted sheet using a series of hooks.

Lightweight – The Zen Bivy Fitted Sheet and Quilt weigh in at 2.3 pounds.

Field Use:

To be honest, it took me an evening of messing around with the Zenbivy light bed to completely understand all of the ins and outs of this system. Bottom line, it’s extremely versatile and designed to set up the quilt into three different modes.

  • Mummy mode – The quilt is able to be cinched in mummy mode which allows the bottom to be secured all together for maximum warmth.
  • Rectangle mode – Using the hook system, the quilt is secured to the fitted sheet to give a tucked in feel like your bed at home.
  • Quilt mode – If you’re saving ounces, you can leave the fitted sheet at home and sleep directly on the pad with the quilt on top.

Between turkey season, a family camping trip, and an overnight fishing trip, I’ve spent several nights in the Zenbivy Light Bed. I personally sleep really hot. I have a 3/4 zip mummy bag I’ve used forever and I always wake up on fire in it, but never can find the sweet spot to be comfortable. From my experience with the Zenbivy Light Bed, I really liked running the rectangle mode. In the night as I develop hot zones, I was able to take a hook or two out and kick my leg out without the whole sleep system rolling with me. The 25 degree quilt worked extremely well for my summer trips.

Zenbivy Light Bed

Pros:

  • Versatile use in multiple climates
  • Fitted sheet can be used on different sleeping pads
  • No slipping off you’re sleeping pad in the night
  • Lightweight and packable

Cons:

  • Cost – any sleep system worth its salt costs money

Prognosis:  I really dig what Zenbivy has developed with their Zenbivy Light Bed system. It is a great lightweight addition to my backcountry setup.

* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Arizona Elk Hunting

6 Comments

Sunrise in Elk Country

I followed along, watching and listening. I feel comfortable in the outdoors, but this hunt held quite a bit more weight. I’d been building points for a number of years and the moment was finally here. The first six days of the hunt had ebbed and flowed. In the previous days, we had been close on several bulls, but the weather was hot and the moon was full which allowed the elk to spend most of their night rutting and feeding, and most of the day time asleep and out of sight.

But on this evening it was different. The bluff we were on seemed to crawl with elk. We had pushed a few cow elk and could hear them rolling rocks as they skittered away, but we could hear a bull bugling and raking a tree ahead. The sun was setting and we were losing our last bit of light. We pushed forward in time to see two mature bulls clashing antlers. I moved forward while Don hung back behind a juniper and cow called. The two males stopped their ritualistic dance and turned in our direction, closing the distance.

All I could see was antlers walking by me. I forced myself to focus, and when the first bull’s head was out of sight behind a tree, I drew my bow and waited. Each step he took seemed in slow motion. I could see the mud on his face and hear his breathing as he plodded forward. As his front near leg stepped forward, my arrow found it’s mark and he crashed through the trees and tipped over a mere 60 yards away.

As any hunter knows, there is a strange marriage of excitement and sorrow, thankfulness and pride that fills the soul after a successful hunt. Excitement in the moment, sorrow for taking a life, thankfulness for the sustenance that life brings, and pride in a quick kill.

All of that gives way, when you stand over a 800 pound animal and know that the real work is just beginning. We skinned and quartered the old bull where he fell, taking each last bit of meat, knowing that it would feed my family and friends. The sun had long since taken the light from the sky and was replaced by Orion the Hunter and a waning moon.

I am beyond grateful for this elk and the long life he lived. I didn’t deserve such a fine trophy and could not of dreamed of harvesting such an animal. I am thankful for mentors and friends who showed me the way.

Following the Legend
Day #6
Ryan, 2:30 am back at the truck
Heavy old bull
Back at home
A quick anatomy lesson

Family Time

2 Comments

Home sweet home

We took a little time to head up to the mountains with the kids a few weeks back. We kept it simple: tent, hotdogs, s’mores, hikes, scavenger hunts, throwing rocks in the creek. I love seeing the joy the woods and the water bring to my kids. There are times while fishing and hunting as an adult that I can lose sight of all of the small beautiful things that are easy to miss. Little ones have a way of redirecting your attention and showing you a forgotten perspective. Life is good.

Tiny
daughter
the boy hooked up on a rock
Sometimes we just get tired and need a lift back to the truck
mama of the century

It’s been a while

6 Comments

This last year has been a whirlwind. We moved into a new house in June of 2018, and last summer was a total wash as far as fishing trips were concerned. It had been so long since I’ve been fishing that I had to buy new tippet and floatant, as well as tie up a few new furled leaders for the day. After a few flubbed casts, it all came rushing back.

I’ve never heard or seen the cicadas so thick in the White Mountains. For most of the day, the fish were looking up and attacking flies as soon as they hit the water. In the evening, the fish backed off from their feeding frenzy and refused any cicada/hopper pattern. I worked my way through the fly box, cycling through different flies, and trying to figure out what they were eating, when I spotted several winged ants in the slower slack water. The one small black foam ant pattern I had in my box caught a half dozen more fish, before the ravaged fly unraveled completely.

Standing in knee deep water watching the sun set and fish rise is a great way to end the day.

Turkey Double

2 Comments

Arizona Merriam’s Turkey

Scouting didn’t go as planned on the day before season opened. We were unsuccessful roosting any birds in the evening and morale for opening morning was pretty low. Our only play was to head back to an area we’d driven through around noon where we had seen a few birds moving through the trees. We figured we’d work one of the two-tracks out in the morning darkness and see if we could get lucky and hear a bird on the limb. It wasn’t a great plan, but seemed to be our only option.

Luck was with us, a tom started gobbling across the canyon in the gray light. We worked one of the ridges out to get close to him, set out some decoys and did some real light calling. Ten minutes later while he was still in his tree gobbling, two other gobblers came screaming into our setup and met with a quick end. Austin and I stood there in disbelief looking down at two mature Merriam’s gobblers realizing that our 2019 Arizona turkey hunt was over just like that.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from turkey hunting – It’s better to be lucky than good.


Arizona Merriam’s Turkey
Turkey Country
Marsupial Gear
Loaded up
Packing out
6am beers at the truck
Talking about turkeys
Turkey feet are cool
Prepped for the freezer
A Texas Rio and an Arizona Merriam’s…not a bad spring.

Rambling Review: Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case

0 Comments

Rambling Review – Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case

Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case?

Why: I was blessed to add a rugged Owens Armory built 6.5 Creedmoor to my arsenal. It quickly became apparent that this was not a firearm I wanted bouncing around in a soft sided case. There are several options for bombproof hardcases, but after a bit of searching I decided on the Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case.

Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case?

First impressions:

The Case: The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case is a rock solid impact resistant case. The lid of the capsule has a heavy duty O-ring which keeps the entire case watertight, and is also equipped with an automatic pressure equalization system. The standard safety latches are beefy and the padlock holes ensure this case to be airline approved.

The Foam: The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case comes with Accufoam (pick and pluck) which makes for great customization.

Made in the USA: All Seahorse cases are made in America.

Lifetime Guarantee: Seahorse Cases are guaranteed against defects in materials and craftsmanship for the life of the case. 

Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case

Field Use:

I was extremely excited to arrange my rifle case and lay everything out. It took me a few minutes to lay everything out how I liked it, but once I had a plan, it was very easy. The pull and pluck foam came out quick and easy with no issue. After about 15 minutes, I had my rifle, ammunition and accessories stowed securely in the case.

I’ve been to the range a couple of times since, and have to say that I really do like everything about this case. Knowing the gun is secure and protected gives a real peace of mind. The Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case also has 6 spots for heavy duty Master locks making it perfect for air travel. This rifle case scales out at 19.6 lbs.

Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case

Pros:

  • Great price
  • American Made
  • Rock Solid Design
  • Air/watertight
  • Perfect for airplane travel

Cons:

  • Pull and Pluck foam only – The pull and pluck works great, but it’d be nice to have the option to buy a hard closed cell polyethylene foam replacement for this case.

Prognosis:  I love the Seahorse 1530F Rifle Case and think it’s an excellent option for a high quality travel gun case.

* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Texas Turkey: Rio Grande

0 Comments

60 miles from the Rio Grande

TSA flagged my carry-on as I stepped through the metal detector. I could see several folks crowded around, pointing, and discussing something on the screen. A woman dressed in a blue uniform with blue latex gloves picked up my duffle bag, carried it to a stainless steel table, and set it down with authority. The x-ray image of my duffle bag and it’s contents appeared on the TV screen above the table.

In a slow thick Texas drawl, the TSA agent took her pen and pointed it at the screen. “Sweetie, what is this mass right here in your bag?”

“Oh, that’s two frozen turkey breasts, ma’am”

“And what are these objects?”

“Those are his feet.”

“Thank you sir. You may go.”

Wildflowers
Posted up
Spurs
Hunter and his Rio

Snowbirds

8 Comments

Sunshine

The day dawned bright, cold and dry. Sunny was hesitant to leave the warm confines of her kennel, and I had every article of clothing on as we left the truck. About halfway through the morning, the first flurries showed up, and within the hour the ground had a light dusting of snow. We hunted until one and moved 5 coveys, but decided to call it a day after lunch to give the birds a rest. I had two pretty males in the vest and am not particularly greedy. Sunny barely stirred in the back seat when I stopped for a coffee on the way home.

My truck still has a faint stink of wet dog. I don’t particularly mind.

A couple of male Mearns
Point
A blue bird start to the day
Brady and JJ