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UNICEF Fountain Pen–the Children Deserve Better

This pen is a human rights violation.   On my last day in Spain, I went to the post office to send postcards to new subscribers. Waiting in line for stamps, I noticed a cup of fountain pens for sale on the counter. They were €7 and the proceeds went to UNICEF. I picked out the blue… Read more »

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Pen Review: Kaweco AL Sport

Kaweco is the Swatch of fountain pens. This week, I’m breaking away from budget pens to bring you a splurge option: the Kaweco AL Sport. “Al” stands for aluminum–as you may remember from the periodic table–and that’s what it’s made of. Other than the material, everything abut it is identical to the plastic Kaweco Classic Sport. But… Read more »

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Kaweco Sport Followup: one Issue

My fountain pen reviews have found an audience on Reddit where they’ve prompted a discussion that has been extremely educational for me. It blows my mind how much there is to know about pens and how civil pen people are talking about them online. In response to my review of the Kaweco Sport, one Redditor (/U/oyogen) pointed out an issue… Read more »

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Pen Review: Platinum Preppy–the FREE Pen

That’s right, FREE. Noodler’s gives away the Platinum Preppy with their inks. Alternatively, you can buy the Preppy on its own for $4.50 or a seven pack, in all the colors of the rainbow, for $16. As for my review, it’d be tempting to say “what do you want? it’s a free pen.” But the fact is,… Read more »

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Pen Review: Pilot Varsity

The Pilot Varsity is a disposable fountain pen. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact as I review it. It’s a disposable fountain pen, I don’t need to go too in-depth… It’s a disposable fountain pen, maybe I should hold it to a different standard… It’s a disposable fountain pen, isn’t that an… Read more »

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Pen Review: Pilot Metropolitan

This week I’m checking out the Pilot Metropolitan: the number one fountain pen on Amazon and arguably the best beginner’s fountain pen ever made. This is the Honda Civic of pens. Like a Honda Civic, it delivers unrivaled quality for it’s price ($13) and it lasts forever even if you mistreat it. The Writing Experience I wanted… Read more »

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Pen Review: Kaweco Classic Sport

  This week, I drafted my first short story in 2 years (more on that soon.) I wrote it with a new fountain pen, which I bought to mark the occasion: the Kaweco Classic Sport . (Pronounced ka-vay-co.) I had moved away from short stories in favor of more profitable but less fulfilling work, and I… Read more »

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Gear Review: Gerber Air Ranger G10

There’s a saying among survival experts, you’re only as good as your knife. With the Gerber Air Ranger G10 in my pocket, I’m great. This is my everyday carry knife, it’s my backup when I go hiking or kayaking, and it recently exhibited clutchness in an AirBnB kitchen full of dull blades.   Value Gerber over-delivered with… Read more »

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Gear Review: Camelbak Quantico

Robert Young Pelton is a different kind of backpacker. His travels have taken him to rebel-held territory in South Sudan, up the Amazon on a gunboat with Colombian special forces, and into the hills of Afghanistan to interview Osama Bin Laden. Pelton has strong opinions on gear. When it comes to backpacks, he advises against… Read more »

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Gear Review: UDT Fins

UDT stands for Underwater Demolition Team. These are the fins used by the frogmen of the 50s and 60s who preceded the Navy SEALS. UDT fins were state of the art in their day, and although the Navy has since upgraded their technology, the original UTDs remain a coveted piece of kit for bodysurfers and… Read more »