Carhartt Woodcutting — New Quick Duck Line — Nice

Post by blogger | September 4, 2012      

Wood chopping is to backcountry skiing as a Chevy mud bogger is to a Porsche Cayenne. Clothes that work well for human powered backcountry are sensitive to slash fires the size of nuclear bomb tests, hot chain saw mufflers and bar oil. Thus, Lou and I have always worn wool and cotton lumbering outfits. Carhartt is the gold standard when it comes to such. So with our port-a-hut wood sheds and camp fires as the perfect test bed (prep for winter!) — time for a Carhartt review.

While we’ve used Carhartt for years, they recently came up with a new line. Carhartt’s lightweight durable Quick Duck outerwear is made with a 9-ounce, 60 percent cotton/40 percent polyester blend and a durable water repellent (DWR) finish making it 30 percent lighter than Carhartt’s traditional cotton sandstone, while water repellent — a first in Carhartt’s 123 year history.

Carhartt Mankato jacket.

Lou in the Carhartt Mankato Jacket and Weathered Duck 5-Pocket Pant. He likes the pants because they're not as beefy and warm in the Colorado sun as other Carhartts, 'easier to move in.' We're not sure the weathering is that necessary, as we could always work a few extra hours a day for the same effect. But they do look classy straight off the rack. Like, 'hey, I listen to Merle, so?' The Mankato is interesting. It's cotton, but with DWR treatment and sealed seams. Could this be the ultimate barn coat? We're loving it so far. Click all images to enlarge.

Defensible space

Defensible space = heavy work.

The tool to get it done.

The tool to get it done.

Cutting logs to fit. 14 inches is the perfect size for the cabin's small woodstove.

Cutting logs to fit. 14 inches is the perfect size for the port-a-hut's small wood stove.

Wood shed

Careful stacking prevents the whole thing from toppling over. After a while, it becomes a challenging game of Jenga. This shed is our long-term storage for unsplit aspen biscuits. After a year of curing they burn nice and clean, actually preferred by us over conifer for firewood.

hut woodshed

Lisa stacked the wood shed by the port-a-hut. Not quite as good at Jenga as Lou, boards keep the pile in place. Lisa's wearing Carhartt's Tomboy Cardigan Sweater, a comfy cotton/wool/nylon blend. Favorite photochromatic shades, Monterosa by Julbo. Scarf by Krimson Klover made of Italian designed yarn from Australian Merino wool - luscious!

Lou takes a break to spot a herd of elk.

Lou takes a break to spot a herd of elk.

Aspens are beginning to change into their fall colors.

Aspens are beginning to change into their fall colors.

Standing dead.

Standing dead is chopped down for kindling wood. Lisa wearing Carhartt Irvine flannel shirt, 100% soft cotton gathered in the back for a femie fit.


Scraps are burned in the 'campfire'.

So there you go, traditional Carhartt work wear is the standard of the industry, and now we have a specific clothing line that’s a bit more on the comfortable style side of things. Take your pick. We can see the usefulness of this lighter weight choice, but we’re also still fans of the traditional beefy Carhartt garments. Downsides? Not much. A bit pricy for work wear (especially compared to hand-me-downs), but the ‘Hartt does last ten times longer than that stuff.

Shop for Carhartt at Altrec, they appear to have a fairly complete line.

Lou says we need a few bonus shots of woodshed construction (he’s afraid of fluff-post accusations!). According to Mr. Carpenter, the idea for this structure was a take on the classic pole barn. Money was saved by using aspen logs for the roof beams, but he opted for the beefy landscape timber posts since the shed is on a small hillside and we might need to reinforce or add knee braces to the the posts to hold against snow creep. The roof tin is recycled from having our garage re-roofed last summer. Funny story about that: Years ago when we bought our house, we discovered that the corrugated steel roofing on the garage was nailed through the valleys of the corrugations, rather than on top of the ribs. This resulted in massive leakage every time it rained. We didn’t have the money back then to replace the roof so we spent hours hanging from a climbing harness, smearing silicone caulk on each nail head. A few buckets in the attic completed the picture, though during heavy downpours a drip would always appear somewhere.

When we discovered the weird roofing install, we wondered how anyone could be that mentally challenged. The explanation occurred later, when we found out the former owners of the house had taken their sale money, started a pot farm not far away, and were subsequently busted. Apparently they’d been sampling product for their first seed purchase when they nailed down the garage roof.

Pole barn style posts, girts and beams.

Pole barn style posts, girts and beams.

Filling the shed. At this point our wood supply is a bit random.

Filling the shed. At this point our wood supply is a bit random, resulting in a less than uniform stack. When we start cutting wood specifically for firewood rather than forest thinning we'll refine the process.


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21 Responses to “Carhartt Woodcutting — New Quick Duck Line — Nice”

  1. Bill September 4th, 2012 11:14 am

    I am not sure if I run a chainsaw to cut wood or cut wood to run a chain saw.
    Kinda helps with the summer snow desperation.

  2. Sue September 4th, 2012 11:32 am

    I like the styling work clothes! I have always liked the Cathartt look but it’s too heavy for me. Do they do women’s jackets in the lighter DWR duck?

  3. Lisa Dawson September 4th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Sue, I’ll check with Carhartt. We hope to get some of the new women’s jackets to test soon.

  4. George September 4th, 2012 2:02 pm

    Good stuff. I hope you have a heavy snow winter that makes you blow thru all that wood.

  5. Lisa Dawson September 4th, 2012 2:08 pm

    George – I agree!

  6. Mick McL September 4th, 2012 7:09 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I would love to see an article on ski storage racks. How do you keep the quiver restrained in the garage?

  7. d September 4th, 2012 7:11 pm

    Be careful what you wish for. I think a heavy snow year might just bring down that woodshed 😉

    ok, I’m just envious.

  8. Mark Worley September 4th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Two stroke fashion mavens do I see? Pretty nice stuff, that Carhartt. I have one pair f their heaviest duck pants, and those things can nearly stand on their own. Nice looking wood pile, by the way.

  9. Glenn September 5th, 2012 6:07 am

    Over in Meredith we have enough blowdown near the road all I have to do is cut it up into biscuits, then haul them to my place for splitting. I use a wood grenade to split the logs in half. Then 2 or three beers worth of splitting with a hatchet for the wedge and a 4 pound small sledge. Let it dry a year and presto. Wood for winter.

    Of course my neighbor has one of those hydraulic splitters that can split granite!
    I need to borrow it.

    It’s time to get the legs ready for skin’n!!!

  10. Lou Dawson September 5th, 2012 8:20 am

    Glenn, the only problem with those hydraulic splitters is most are slow, if wood splits easily it’s quicker using a maul. Our 14 inch aspen biscuits, once dried out and cracked, split super easy. If we owned a fast powered splitter I’d use it, but the slow one would be tedious. Different story for big conifer biscuits, in that case the power splitter is a joy. Lou

  11. Glenn September 5th, 2012 8:25 am

    Followup: Lou,,,,,I find splitting Aspen is easier when the wood is still green and fresh.. I notice you dry yours in and then split. Covering them is a must though.

    You can make a life size Jenga game from two by four woods. Fun on the deck when board.

    And for Lisa more tips from .


  12. Jack September 5th, 2012 9:06 am

    Seeing your port-a-cabin made me think of the site: (don’t worry, it is not porn). Have a look at beautiful cabins from Finland, New Zealand, Maine, Colorado……. everything from alpine shelters to lakeside family small cabins to architecturally designed houses in Japan. I don’t have any association with the site. I just feel that yours would fit right in. Not a lot of words, just photos.

  13. Rob September 6th, 2012 5:48 pm

    Great post, Lisa…I was snickering throughout at your tongue-in-cheek fashion captions. Unlike the LL Bean catalog, you two look like you’re actually getting some work done!

  14. Cooper November 5th, 2012 1:54 pm

    That looks like a pro Stihl chainsaw? Is that the 261? Curious about your opinion on chainsaws.

  15. Lou Dawson November 5th, 2012 3:48 pm

    Hi Cooper, that’s a Stihl MS 311, it’s been awesome, I’ve worked it to the bone for three years now and it still has not had its first service (my bad).

    Couple of glitches.

    Easy fix was they had to rip off the stupid government mandated limiter cap on the mixture adjustment so I could actually get it to work at 9,000 feet elevation.

    Of more concern is the defective cam/lock fuel cap that comes off unless you get it on there perfectly. Really bogus and an example of an industrial design fail if I ever saw one. I’ve had it come off twice and dump a whole tank of fuel on my leg, while I was sawing!

    Weird thing is I never saw any sort of recall for the cap. Anyone know anything?

    Once I adjusted to the above issues, it’s been fine. The anti vibration system is amazing, and it has exhaust you can nearly breath.


  16. Cooper November 6th, 2012 11:22 am

    I’m looking at either a Stihl 261 or 362. I need it to run good up above 9000 feet as well, and had the limiter removed on my 250 to help out. I have run a 250 or 025 for a long time, but it feels underpowered up at elevation. The cam lock fuel caps are finicky for sure on the newer saws.

  17. Lou Dawson November 6th, 2012 11:45 am

    You’re going to loose power at higher altitude even with proper mixture, so the bigger saw is probably the one. If you’re not doing much work on the ground or much bigger diameter stuff, get a shorter bar to save weight and add a bit of power with less friction, but the reach and ergonomics of the 20″ bar can not be denied. Saved my back over the last three years of defensible space work that’s for sure. Lou

  18. Cooper November 6th, 2012 1:26 pm

    What mixture do you like to use at high altitude?

  19. Lou Dawson November 6th, 2012 1:36 pm

    Cooper, I’m not that good at tuning 2-cycle. I just lean it out till it runs without stalling but doesn’t howl and burn itself up. The guys at the saw shop claim to be able to get it close if you tell them what altitude you’ll be at.

    Or are you referring to gas/oil mix? Same as always, 40/1


  20. Cooper November 6th, 2012 1:39 pm

    I was referring to the mix, thank you. What saw shop do you prefer to go to? Go Rentals?

  21. bob November 23rd, 2012 10:01 am

    On the fuel mix/bar oil caps: I don’t know the years, but Stihl dealer/service shops will. The originals of the lever caps are notorious. The second gen are much better, though far from prefect. Dealers in the north east seem happy to replace 1st gen with second gen no charge. I might be wrong the 1st vs 2nd too, but there is definitely a newer design that is better than those before.

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