Goals for 2016

The mountains are calling.

2015 has passed, and we have ventured into 2016. 2015 was the year that we created this blog. It has been a trying year, learning all we can about creating the blog. We still have plenty of room to grow. We still have big ideas of what we would like the blog to become. For so many people, the beginning of each year brings new year resolutions; we all know that resolutions usually go by the wayside really quick. Instead of making resolutions, we want to set goals. Setting personal goals and goals for Grindstone Sabbatical has been exciting. There is so much out there. Goals can be as small or large as you want them to be. Dream big, but don’t forget the little things.

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25 Days of Christmas: Days 22-25


For the final days of the 25 Days of Christmas, we are going to give our last gift idea. This is a large gift and it also represents the theme of the final days of Christmas. We at Grindstone Sabbatical express a large emphasis on family. This is a time to spend the holidays with those that are important to us. Just like the holidays, we also want everyone to share the outdoors with the people that are important to them. For our final gift idea, I want to share a gift that we received. In earlier posts, I expressed the importance of the outdoors and my excitement to share them soon my infant son. I want to introduce him to the outdoors and the things that we love at an early age. To help with this, we are going to use our new Deuter kid carrier. This is going to be a go to piece of equipment for our future adventures. Some slow down once they have kids. I am more excited than ever to venture outside. Look back soon for a gear review.

Enjoy your family and be safe. Merry Christmas and God bless.

Grahm and Phil

25 Days of Christmas: Days 19-21

Winter is here and it is time for tying flies.  Many of us tie or have friends or family that ties.  Here are a couple of basic gift ideas that any tier would be happy to receive.  These would be great in a single gift as a group, and they would work really well as individual stocking stuffers.  Now, the unique thing about the following gifts is that they are not ordinary fly tying tools.  All of these things will be found in places that look nothing like a fly shop. They are also items that I frequently use at the tying desk.

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 18


For day 18, I have another book that has helped me as an angler tremendously.  There are countless books out there that cover everything fly fishing.  There are some excellent books out there that I would recommend to anyone, but there is one book in particular that I recommend as the first.  The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing was my first book about fly fishing, and I am glad it was.  For those of you that have read my about me page, you will find that I have been mostly self taught.  Books have been a large part of my learning experience, and this one in particular provided the most.  Anyone that reads this book will gain a wealth of knowledge.  The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing is a great read and makes sense to even the most novice of fly anglers.  Pick this book up for a gift for anyone that loves fly fishing or wants to learn to fly fish.


25 Days of Christmas: Day 17


Looking for another stocking stuffer?  Rite in the Rain products will fit in with all of the other widgets and gear stuffed inside the stockings.  Rite in the Rain produces top quality notebooks, field books, notecards, and other paper products.  What is so special about them?  Just like the name says; you can write on any of their products in the rain.  They even have a few products that can be written on when completely underwater.  For those that spend a lot of time outside, whether recreationally or professionally, these are some awesome products.  They even have specific book/journals like the Fly Fishing Journal and the Expedition Journal.  Check out what they have to offer, and pick out what products best suit your friends and family.


25 Days of Christmas: Day 16


Whether you are standing in a river, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or making the approach on you favorite bouldering spot; there is a vital piece of clothing that everyone needs.  Growing up I never wanted to get socks and underwear as a gift.  Neither of those items are fun.  Super boring for a child.  Contrary to my beliefs as a child, wool socks are always welcome as a gift.  I am that guy that wears wool socks regardless of the weather.  It could be a piping 105 degrees or -20 below.  You will always find me wearing a good quality sock.  I have found that socks are one of the most important pieces of clothing that you put on your body.  They can make or break your day.  Cotton causes blisters and stays wet and soggy all day.  Wool keeps your feet warm when its cold and keeps them cool when its warm.  I like short wool socks, long wool socks, gray wool socks, and black wool socks.  It doesn’t matter what they look like.  As long as they are wool.  Use this as a stocking stuffer or pack a whole box full.  Regardless, I am confident that wool socks will be well received by anyone that frequents the outdoors or just likes their feet.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 15


What do you get for those that have absolutely everything.  We all have that person that we rack our brains to figure out a gift that they would appreciate and enjoy.  If that person happens to be a advocate of the outdoors, then we have the perfect idea for you.  If a person already has everything, then they don’t need anything else.  With that said…instead of giving to them, give for them.  Donate to a charity, and make the donation in their name.  This is something that everyone feels good about and is needed in so many places.  We have included a handful of perfect examples.  The charity does not have to be based upon the outdoors, but of course, our examples are all about the outdoors.  That is what we love, why not take care of it.  Christmas is the giving season.  This is a way for everyone to keep on giving.

The following organizations are just examples but would be perfect to promote the cause.

American Rivers

The Arbor Day Foundation

Trout Unlimited

1% for the Planet

Pick one, put it in their name, an help make a difference.  You don’t have to support one of the organizations above, but we highly approve of all of them.  There are many great organizations doing wonderful things.  Find one that supports what you want to do.

Happy giving,

Grahm and Phil


25 Days of Christmas: Day 14

IMG_1094Those of you that have read our other posts will know that I am a big fan of tenkara.  So it is only natural that we highlight a tenkara rod for the 25 Days of Christmas.  Tenkara Rod Co has 6 different rods that are available. As of now, I have two of there awesome rods, but I think their most unique rod is their smallest, the Cascade.  The first time I used this was on our trip to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park to fish for brook trout. The eight foot rod was perfect for the small mountain streams.

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