Friday, November 12, 2010

The Possibles Bag

Today I grabbed my "possibles " bag and headed out for a morning of bushwhacking and exploration. Knowing I'd be passing a good stream, I left the water bottle at home and used this silnylon bag on a silnylon strap as my possibles bag.

Its easy when day hiking to find something of interest. It could be acorns to taste, mica for my art sculptures, or dry rotted log for alternative fuel sticks.

As I dry out these wood scraps I plan how to shape these into fuel sticks, much like those made of wood chips and paraffin and sold as solid campfire sticks at backpacking or gear stores.

While hiking on the Colorado Trail, we came to a small trail town and I could not find any fuel for my soda can stove. I've used denatured alcohol, 90% rubbing alcohol, 70% rubbing alcohol, and HEET. To burn solid fuel tablets like Hexamine or Esbit, I've turned it over and burned them on the bottom side.

None of these potential fuels were available in town. However, I found a package of Coghlan's Fire Sticks. I broke them into 3-4 inch pieces and used them as solid fuel on the bottom of the stove. Hint, never use a solid fuel in the soda can stove well, which is designed for liquids only. It will clog up the uptake holes in the bottom of the well.

If you must, cut off a soda can and use it that way for burning all kinds of fuels, both liquid and solid.
It won't be as efficient with liquid fuels because there is no pressurization going on, but it is readily available.

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