Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Lucky Woman

Luck is the frosting on the cake of life. I live in a deep forest, have a studio and share a lovely mountain home with a wonderful man who I love to pieces. I am one lucky woman.

My studio is a metal building 12 x 16 which has been insulated, panelled and carpeted.





There is a lot of wild life too. Yesterday morning I watched a fawn run up and down the trail frisky as a pup. It was hilarious because she wouldn't venture into the clearing. Each trip up and back, her little tail would be flipping back and forth.
The day before that, we had four deer in the yard. I took some footage, and enjoyed watching them for half an hour. Then, I got down to my writing.


There are many bears in our neighborhood. My man has various trail camera which capture photos when movement is detected. We have noted at least 7 different bears. One mother and her two cubs are cute as can be. They seem to prefer the spring trail. Others are thinner, younger and have some scars. After examining the read end photos, we now know there is a small female, and a small male out there as well.
The bear in this photo is 3 feet at the shoulder. You can see his scar.


The seldom seen bobcat was caught coming up the driveway.


So far no snakes have been seen in the yard. That's pretty unusual. Normally we have at least one poisonous sighting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ultralight Silnylon Rain Jacket-Prototype

I took this video, but really the photos and text are needed to describe this prototype rain jacket.
It weighs 4. 5 ounces, is a medium, and come with this pouch which weighs 3/8 ounce. The pouch is over sized so a person can carry spare gloves in it too.

video

I've been using silnylon rain jackets, and sewing them for other hikers for 10 years now. Some have been made with internal pockets. The one shown here has a full frontal pocket, where data books, hand warming and other gear can be stashed. If you have your pack on, the belt will probably hit just above the pocket, giving you full access to the pocket in the rain.


Black in opaque, and good for cold weather because it draws the sunshine. You can wear it in the laundromat without anything under it, unlike a gray or blue silnylon. I have worn mine as a vapor barrier at night, it really adds warmth. I prefer using a light wicking layer between my skin and the jacket. Others say the wear the jacket by itself.

The cuffs are elastic, with finger loops to hold your sleeves down if you use hiking poles.
I sometimes hang my jacket by these finger loops to provide privacy under a tarp set up.


The hood is generous. Some folks have mentioned at first they thought it too large. I explained that this way, when you wear a hat and pull the hood up, you have a natural beak and rain won't be running into your eyes. I bought a heavy rain coat once with a scanty hood and that is one problem I noticed. Hence, I always sew an ample hood with any jacket I make. The hood has a draw cord.

The hem of the jacket also has a draw cord. This keeps heat in when needed. I used a silnylon jacket on all my trails, wearing only a tank top under it. Some mornings it was just for warmth,  days in driving rain it made all the difference between being cold or comfortable.


This pouch can hold many things, and you can hang it from your belt by the strap. You can vent this non breathable jacket by rolling it up from the bottom to chest level, by pushing up the sleeves, or taking the sleeves off but keeping the jacket on. The generous cut allows you to layer underneath as well.



I made a belt loop pouch to keep this rain jacket handy. There's enough room in it for a pair of gloves.

This is a medium jacket, sleeve length is about 32 inches from center of spine. The jacket is 26 inches long, enough to be hip length. Fit depends on each individuals body composition. You can see there are very few seams. Like all the gear I make, seams are double rolled for strength and long life.

You can buy this prototype for $40, which includes shipping, by checking out how to order on the sales page.  http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Ice Was A Buck

Just yesterday I was in Wal Mart, doing the weekly town trip. I check my blood pressure and heart rate at the pharmacy department, make sure to visit the sale aisle, and see what's new in the camping/ outdoor department, lifting various items for weight.

I noticed a bag of ice now goes for $3.50. Where have I been?  Used to be a buck. I know it was, I remember that.

Then it occurred to me I sound like my mom, kinda getting old. And it further occurred to me why youngsters, you know who you are, aren't disturbed by this, or anything bothering the country now.
This is their reality. They don't remember when you could get a Baskin Robbins cone for a quarter. They don't remember when  you could find a pay phone nearly everywhere you went. Now we need cell phones cause you can't call home from the nearest pay phone. Aren't any.

And it occurred to me they won't remember when you couldn't find ultralight backpacking gear. Used to be you had to wait forever for a little cottage industry to fill an order, or buy some silnylon from a outfitters five states away and try to talk mom into sewing something for you.

Its good, all good. No wonder there is a measure of hope in our kids because this is their reality. Some of the older folks I talk to seem out of hope, expecting Armageddon at any time. Breathing down our necks. They remember the times when ice was a buck.

Media can work us over, hammering for a story. I'm guilty of much worry over the economic mess our country is in. Can we still afford to follow our path? Can we afford not to? Life is short. Think Amy Winehouse.

And too, I remember the huge Y2K thing  that was supposed to happen. All the computers going down, people were stocking up on dehydrated goods, toilet paper, not flying. I was working at a retirement center at the time. They asked me if I could be on standby, just in case. Like the ovens might go down? I said, sure, no problem. Just call me.
Last week they warned us about Carmegedon in California. Didn't happen.

Need to warn us about the real things. Like maybe too many politicians on the payroll. I say down size, down size them all. How many senators do we really need? I think one per state would be able to hold up  negotiations just as well as two.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Can't Take the Heat

Guess I am a morning person, but that's not all of it. Just don't like the heat. Heat can sap the energy right out of a person, even when they drink tons of water.


An early start to the day gives  a person plenty of time to get stuff done before the sweat starts dripping off your brow, down your eyebrows, off your nose, onto your shirt.
Sorta salty stuff, that.

When the thermometer is ready 90, the shade is a mighty sweet find. A cold bottle of water, barefooted and fancy free. That's what I'm talking about.

Now, those who have a real job, I'm hoping its air conditioned or else they let you have some breaks. I've worked a line behind the grill, the saute end of things, and the wheel. Love the cooking, just can't take that heat!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Northbounders Meeting Southbounders

I got to the Maine border August 1st. I'd seen a few south bounders before this. It was always good to ask another long distance hiker who has been over the trail section I'm heading into if they have any tips.


One guy who made the most difference had come through the White Mountains. I met him at the frat house in Hanover, New Hampshire. He told me he had more food after finishing the Whites than when he started because he ate at the huts. Every day, after the guests were fed, he'd eat leftovers for a buck.
Well, that sounded really good to me.
Resupplying before the Whites, I took four days of food, not too heavy, and planned on capitalizing on that perk.
Sure enough, it was just as he said. One really decent morning, my friend and I ate blueberry pancakes, syrup, and steaming hot coffee, all we wanted for a buck a piece. The crew was mopping the place, stark naked except for aprons, and just asked if we'd mind eating outside so they could finish their jobs.
No problem, we chimed. Excellent!
We did a work for stay at the Hut of the Clouds, sleeping on the tables after the guests were fed. Our jobs had been to wash dishes. Worked.

South bounders can give you a heads up on the town you're approaching, avoid the certain restaurant cause they give small portions or don't let you bring your pack inside. They can warn you about shelters over run with local thugs.

By the same token, if they ask you for tips, you can give them good information. Some hikers are too nosey, too bossy, or just give a bad vibe. I'm not saying I'd talk to everyone I met.
But if the situation is good, it can really be a benefit.

One thing I always hated was meeting hikers who had an over competitive chip on the shoulder, comparing miles, weights, and expensive gear. My favorite quote "In the end you find no one wins, and the race was only with yourself ."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chicago's Death Wave of '95-Beat the Heat

The current heat wave sweeping the country reminds me of the heat wave we encountered up Chicago way in 1995. Read more about it :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_Chicago_heat_wave

Basically, you have fatal humidity coupled with record heat and people living in a place where its too dangerous to open windows. A place where older people are more isolated, smack in the middle of a huge town whose officials didn't declare the warning until the last day.

We really shouldn't need a warning. If someone is feeling very hot, not drinking enough, or not sweating, things are getting serious. If you know someone who lives alone, living in a heat advisory location, call them up, check on them.

One of my best ways of cooling down  when the power goes out is to get a basin of cold water and sit down with my feet in it. Get a cold glass of water, and sip it while relaxing in the shade. If you need some extra cooling, get a paper fan and use it. If you get your hair wet, the fanning feels even better.

If you're planning some hiking during hot weather, get an early morning start. Try to stop by a lake, creek or river at lunch time. Take a swim, get your clothes wet, and stay in the shade. Wait a while before continuing. Remember after 3 p.m things will start to cool down and you can get some more miles in.
One of the worse places to hike through during a heat wave on the Appalachian Trail is that cornfield north of Duncannon in Pennsylvania. I got through there when the leaves were only knee high, early June. Can't imagine what it would be like in July.

All modesty aside on the Pacific Crest trail, when we came near water, I would take off my shirt, rinse it in the stream and continue on. This is one time when a cotton t shirt is better than synthetic because it will absorb more water and dry much slower. Throw a cotton t shirt into your bounce box for the desert and Hat Creek Rim of the PCT if you can.

Three main words of advice if you're out on a trail : Drink, drink, drink. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pimp My Ride

I'm still driving my Geo Metro. I've had it since 1999 when it was only three years old and had only 6,000 miles on it. Right now, it has 127,852 miles and going strong.
Just to celebrate, I decided to gift it with a necklace. Looking around the homestead, I found this turquoise and sinew combination and thought, yeah, that works.


Gotta pimp my ride.
Now experts tell us it costs about 40 cents a mile to keep a car.
That may be true. I decided to figure  out what I spend on my ride yearly.

Going back these last 11 years, I find I spend for car insurance, tags and taxes just under $400.
Four oil changes add another $100. General upkeep like tires, battery, air filter, brakes, muffler, distributor, new hoses and belts for prevention, have run me less than $500 a year, way less.
Bottom line, for under $1,000 I keep this baby running and still get 45 mpg. I really like having my own car. I can do $1,000 a year.
How can a person complain about that?
She's getting old so I don't worry about anyone stealing her. Still, I lock the doors when I go places, especially on  road trips.

I'm averaging 10,000 miles of driving a year. That sounds like 10 cents a mile to me. I know, I know. Its a Geo. If I had a 2009 truck, it would be costing plenty.

Guess I'm living within my means, or even below my means. There's freedom in this lifestyle. Freedom from doing stuff I don't want to do. Freedom to go places I want to go.
Is this a subliminal message to our government?
You bet.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Bag Lady

Sewing is a hobby of mine, a passion. Seems like a lot of my projects are backpacking and outdoor related.
These bags are examples.


The gray water sack is so light and small. Testing water sacks led me to believe a smaller opening would be better, than say the one in the photo below. Friends told me the smaller opening made for easier pouring. They also set them on the ground to warm in the sun. This one holds 3 quarts.

The green bag with the black strap sewn into the side is based on the hiking we did up in Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshal Wilderness.
Each morning we would pack our snacks into this ditty bag, thread it onto the hip belt. The rest would go in the Garcia Bear Canister, which was then locked and loaded into the bottom of my pack. Hard to get to for lunch and snack breaks, especially if it was raining.
So, this belt loop bag came in handy.
If you're making your own gear, just add the black web strap when you're sewing the side seam and be sure to reinforce. Sometimes upwards of three pounds could be in this pouch.

I also use one when I'm doing huge miles and don't want to stop for lunch. I just slow my pace and snack out of the belt bag.

I found that the blue bag is good for things you need to find easily. Blue stands out in the forest. Nothing is naturally blue except the sky and water. This bag is ideal for the hygiene bag or whatever.
The tiny plastic bags are what I use for my Ibuprofen, salt or cinnamon. Pretty handy.


If you're interested in getting this set, see the sales page
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html  All three bags weigh just 1 3/8 ounces.
$12 includes shipping.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bag Liner Sale Item

This bag liner is also brand new, a prototype made in 1.1 uncoated ripstop. I love the feel of the fabric. Length is 90 inches, 32 inches wide.
Weight is only 5.5 ounces.

video

In studying the possibilities of bag liners, I thought, how about a self contained pillow sleeve? Roll up your jacket and slip it into the sleeve and it can't get away from you at night. Of course any spare clothes would do.




This bag liner is one of a kind, only $25 includes shipping.
I enjoy doing custom gear and prototypes because it never gets boring and I can try all sorts of techniques.
See sales page
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html

 for ordering information.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bag Set and Ultralight Gaiters-Sale Items


Set includes:
black stuff sack 9 x 15.5
green stuff sack 7 x 10.5
blue stuff sack 9 x 14
blue ditty bag 8.5 x 7 (good for stove sets)
black ditty bag 4 x 4.25 (good for wallets)
blue stake bag
gray ultralight gaiters, custom
8 3 x 6 inch resealable plastic bags
8 2 x 3 inch resealable plastic bags

This whole set weighs a total of 3 and 7/8 ounces. Made with first quality 1.3 ounce silnylon, seams all double rolled for strength.


I made these ultralight gaiters to fit inside a 3 x 6 inch resealable bag. They only weigh 28 grams, yes, just one ounce. Made with 1.3 ounce silnylon. My prototype here is designed for simplicity and long wear:seams are double rolled, top cinches with an elastic drawcord. The bottom laces are removable and replaceable because they thread through loops and are not sewn in permanently. They are 9 inches wide, and 11.5 inches tall.


To keep the weight low and the gear maintenance free, no zippers, buckles or Velcro is used.
Good for early snowfalls, muggy rainy weather on the AT, keeping small rocks and sand out of the shoes in the desert. Because they are so light, you can just throw them in the pack without wasting space.

As with all prototypes, just one set of gaiters available. Set is $25 and includes shipping.
See Sales Page    http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html  for ordering information.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Patching Holes in Plastic with Silcone

I started a passive water collection system from my studio roof. When we get these enormous thunderstorms which dump a lot of rain within minutes I find its very easy to let the buckets fill up with run off from the roof. This back up water is used for the garden during dry spells of if the power goes out.
Notice the white buckets sitting on the ground on the left corner.


When I first started this project I had a couple buckets but one of them had holes in it. Several years ago in my Tomato potting project I drilled holes  in the sides and bottom to let the water drain so the root systems wouldn't drown. I have since decided a serious mountain garden  was in order, so the bucket now is being diverted to water collection.

In order to seal the holes I used 100%  clear exterior strength silicone , the kind that comes in a tube and is used in a caulking gun. I filled  the holes both inside and out with silicone.
Time would tell how well it would hold.
Its been two months and all is well. The water has not seeped out, even when its been full for days at a time.
I also use this product to seam seal silnylon tarps, tents and packs.

If you have to patch or glue plastic, I recommend this inexpensive product. You can find it in the hardware section at Walmart. Apply it to clean dry surfaces and allow to dry and cure completely.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Video and Story Bear Swimming in Yellowstone

The bear apparently just happened to be in the same area as a skittish woman hiker.
I don't blame her. Watch the video and decide what you might do.

Like the ranger says, you don't know if you're a stander or a runner til it happens to you.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Silnylon Fabric Starter Kit and Pack Cover


This selection of sewing hardware includes:
5 yards of cord elastic
3 yards of flat elastic
10 cord locks
12 mitten hooks (the black ones)
5 metal clips
1 Caribiner
2 sliding web clips
1/2 yard each (18 inches wide by 60 inches long) black, blue, gray and green first quality silnylon
1 yard no see-um-netting

With this assortment, you can make ditty bags, dunk sacks for cookware, water sacks, silsocks and more. If you need larger pieces of fabric, e-mail me. This set is $20.

This ultralight pack cover has a self stuffing ditty bag, and weighs only 2 1/4 ounces total. An elastic drawcord and wind strap are special features I always used. This should cover a pack with dimensions up to 18 wide by 24 long, with good wrap around sides and back. The elastic drawcord makes it easy on, easy off with adjustable sizing to smaller packs as well.



This packcover is designed for daypacks, and ultralighters. It is brand new, never used.
Price includes shipping , $13.

video


See sales page http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html
 for e-mail and to purchase.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Activities with the Grandson

This  summer I got a chance to spend time out west with the family. My grandson and I are painting this stool, he is doing all the trucks in Boy Fashion. I did the brown base paint, and the clear acrylic sealer over all.
First my daughter found three truck cookie cutters. I traced the truck shapes onto a top sheet of paper, then stacked 3 more sheets with it. I cut the paper shapes out with a scissors, put tape on the back and had my boy place them on the green stool. Then I spray painted the stool brown.
We removed the paper shapes and he painted the  trucks which were greenish. I outlined his work, and he enhanced the trucks with other colors. We allowed it all to dry, and finished it with a spray acrylic. His name and hand prints are painted on the top as well.





When I got home from my Out West adventure, I wrote Everything Except Corn Pasta, the book about trail food, trail stories, and ultralight cooking. Today I put it on sale as a way to say thanks for reading this blog.


This photo was taken up in Muir Hut on the Pacific Crest Trail. We'd stopped there to cook some hot lunch after slugging through snow all morning. 192 miles from Kennedy Meadows to Vermilion Valley Resort, including the side trip to Mt. Whitney without a resupply.  Food was pretty rationed out.


Everything Except Corn Pasta is 25% off for a limited time available at Kindle.  Kindle for PCs has a free download.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Appalachain Maps on Bandanas, for Sale



You can buy these for 12. 95 each at http://www.antigravitygear.com/mapdana.html

They do a good job describing what they are. I got a set of 4, the entire trail, but never used them.
This set is $25. Weighs 7 ounces, total.

New 10 x 12 Tarp for Sale

Sold!

This is the same size tarp used in making the video about how to make a tarp tent with a flat tarp. The staking loops are 2 feet apart on the 12 foot length, then centered and quartered on the 10 foot length.


It comes in a blue stuff sack, brand new. Total weight is one pound, 5 7/8 ounces, just under 22 ounces. Made with first quality 1.3 ounce silnylon. The tarp in this video sold so quickly, I made another one.  Stakes not included.



I shared another set up at youtube, which I called the E-Shelter.
http://youtube.com/user/brawny03



Tarp with shipping is $100. --Sold
Watch the tarp being set up on the video embedded in the blog at this site.
For details on how to order see:
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html

This tarp can be set up in many ways, including the basic a frame, flying diamond and canopy. A flat tarp is so versatile, it could be considered a  Must Have for campers and backpackers alike.

Brooks-Range Solo Tarp for Sale

Sold!


I've tested this tarp and made an ultralight sleepnet to go with it. The tarp was used in my Five Pitches series at http://youtube.com/user/brawny03.
You can see the actual tarp at brook-range website by following the link.



http://brooks-range.com/Ultralite-Solo-Tarp.html

Red my review at http://thefemalesurvivalist.blogspot.com

on July 10, 2010.


For 9 ounces carrying weight you get a sleepnet, measuring 25.5 x 30 wide. It has a hanging clip on the front and an elastic drawcord so you can cinch it up. Customers said they wore a hat under it which worked really well.


Stakes not included. Cost is $25, which includes shipping too.See sales page for more details.

This Item is now sold.

http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html

Silnylon Day Pack

This day pack weighs only 3.75 ounces. It has adjustable straps, and a front mesh pocket for water bottles. Measures 20 x 18 x 4 inches deep.
Works really good for day hikes, and packing into luggage for air travel cause its so light and really packs into a small space.



Price is $25. Its brand new.  Sold

video


I made one of these for a friend in Yellowstone. He was amazed how light it was, and that he could pack his jacket into it, along with several other things.
I feel the pack shouldn't weigh more than the stuff you're carrying.
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html
See the sales page for ordering information. Sold

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Town Day Update

I went to town today, my one day a week I actually go in to shop.
Things are sorta strange. I read the story of the second bank here in town that went under in 18 months. Seems they were heavily invested in real estate loans that just weren't working. Seems they weren't able to raise enough capital to stay afloat.

Other businesses have gone under. Two new restaurants are trying to make a go in the same building others just failed in.
I hope they make it, a pizza joint, and a bar and grill.

I love the library and thrift stores, checking out the books and reading the newspaper. Talking to friends who do town the same day I do.

Its tourist season for us here. Gas prices are dropping every time I go in. Still, its 25 cents per gallon cheaper if I go into a different town same distance away.

Choices. Choices to keep our own people in business, even if it costs just a bit more. I know I'm buying from local markets instead of Walmart if I can. Just to spread the money around a little.

We do what we can.

Stay tuned for more gear sales. I updated the page, and will blog about the four new items tomorrow.
Happy trails, ya'll.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Bug Shirt Prototype-Sale

This prototype bug shirt has a hood and face protection designed to keep the insects out of your life without the use of Deet. Its a medium, sleeve length 27 inches.


It weighs only 3.5 ounces and even has some mittens built right in. I created a fold back top to these mittens, with velcro closure. Sort of an all out solution to a very annoying problem when you're sleeping under a tarp, hiking in the mountains, or just watching someone target practice in the dense woods.


I made the head protection as a hood so that the neck can be totally protected. The netting over the face can be lifted up and rolled back if you want to eat something. I made the hood oversized so that a cap worn under it would make a nice Bee-Keeper sort of situation.


Once again, this prototype is something I do as a hobby, a learning process. I roll the seams, and create something that will last while I learn about product designs. You can get this trail-all purpose no see um netting shirt for only $25. There's only one of course, so first come first served.



Eureka Kotey 35 Degree Bag, Sale

This bag is 6 feet long and I was able to test it one night in Georgia. So, its nearly New, only $30. Check out the
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html for details how to buy it. I'm selling it to make room in my studio .


You can read my review at:
http://www.trailquest.net/BRfile.html#How

I swapped out the heavy compression stuff sack for a silnylon sack I make for my line of gear, called Brawnygear. This blue stuff sack has that label in it.

Stuff Sack and Water Set

This set has a lot in it and weighs a total of 3.75 ounces, not even 4 ounces. Complete set is only $25.

You get:
a water sack (3 quart capacity)
6 - 2x3 resealable plastic bags
6-3x6 resealable plastic bags
one stake bag(stakes not included)
two ditty bags- 4x4.5, and 4 x 5
black stuff sack 8.5 x 15
blue stuff sack 8x13
green stuff sack 7 x 11
small blue stuff sack with bottom loop 6 x 8






All of these bags are new. Seams are rolled. Made with 1.3 siliconzied first quality silnylon.

This is a water sack in action. You can fold them and carry to the water source in your pocket. Hang on the tree when you get back. Easy to pour out of, too.

This set is now sold. We'll be offering another set soon, Stay tuned.
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html for details on how to buy this.

The Bag Liner on Sale

I've started a Page, located on this blog, where new and used outdoor gear will be for sale.
http://brawnyview.blogspot.com/p/sales-page.html

Today I'm starting with this blue sleeping bag liner.
sold- check out another prototype bag liner on July 14, 2011
It is made of 1.1 ounce ripstop, and folded it fits into this sandwich Ziploc bag. It weighs only 5.5 ounces. Its purpose is to add warmth to your sleeping system, keeping it clean. Also, on hot nights it can be unbuttoned and used quilt style.


It measures 90 inches long by 31 inches wide and is only $25. Brand new., . The seams are rolled. That's a very strong way to finish seams so they don't fray or pull out. I created this special process way back in 2001 when I began sewing tarps for people.

I love to sew and create new prototype gear.
At some point, I give it away, or sell it to make room for more projects. Read how I designed it on this blog March 21, 2011.

video


That's the story of most of the items that will be sold on these pages. Stay tuned for more.
If you're interested, click on the Sales Page where there are directions on how to proceed.
sold!
Happy Trails!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Still Use Silnylon, not Cuben

Hi Carol,

I've been enjoying your channel. I wanted to ask you if you've had any experience with cuben fiber material for shelters. Cuben fiber seems to be the latest thing but not many videos out
                                                                   --D.


For all you readers,
I'm still using silnylon, 1.3 ounce silicone impregnated ripstop. Its lightweight, very strong, comes in many good colors.
Here's an exchange between a friend and I on YouTube videos.



Hi D,

I know a guy who sews it, Mountain Laurrel , and its very expensive stuff. The only colors available at the time (and with research) are not in my acceptable range. I do stealth stuff.

The weight savings are not that dramatic, in my opinion. Keep your gear sized to fit you, simplified in design and structure is my best advice.

best
Carol



Carol,

Well now you got me thinkin'. Cuben fiber is certainly very expensive. I contacted the material manufacturer and it seems the manufacturer has a tight grip on who received material and what its being used for. I'm not very good at rigging guy lines, so ... I might scrap the tarp shelter idea, however I do like your tarp shelter with a floor. It didn't seem to have all the stakes as those other tarp systems require.

Thank you for your reply. I've learned a lot from you.

D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rusting Minds and Air Filters

"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather become frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind"--Leonardo da Vinci

I love this quote. Leonardo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci, has credibility in the Creative World.

Another favorite quote goes something like this: If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space.

The world needs some innovation. We're in a mess. Our current sources of power include oil, coal and nuclear. These things are hazardous.

For my part, I love the solar powered LED lights, my little '96 Geo Metro that just keeps on going, and a life style of voluntary simplicity.



The other day I finally got my air filter replaced. Because the car is 15 years old the part was a special order. Last time it was replaced it cost only $10. This time it was $20. The auto parts store guy put it on for me while I watched. Easy.
So, when I got the old one, it looked like the filter on my vacum cleaner. Its washable and reuseable. Its a no bag vacum cleaner and been going for years, a very excellent system.

One thought led to another until I decided to wash this air filter and see what happens.
After dumping out the dirty water, it is now drying. Looks like new.

Any of you car buffs out there want to warn me about using it on my car,please do. Once the brand new one gets dirty, about two years from now, I plan on trying this.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Even Huddle House Offering Coupons

No one can say times are not rough when even the local Huddle House is offering coupons.
Even a dollar off if you buy something over six bucks.

Seriously. Our little town here has had two banks closed and taken over by other banks (FDIC shut them down) and several decent restaurants. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy, Dairy Queen and Huddle House, in that order, seem to be doing the most business.

Hopefully people are putting in gardens cause  with the new immigration laws, Georgia farmers are worried they won't be able to find enough workers to harvest the crops. They say Americans just don't last in the fields. It gets upwards of 100 degrees and no shade. That would be rough.
Maybe if they looked at improving conditions, like shady breaks, more pay, some recruitment of high school kids for 5-6 hours a day, they could find solutions.

When I lived up north, teen agers picked corn. It was something that happened every summer, and they would bus them from the high schools.
Now, sometimes its a research facility for a seed company, or sweet corn, or detasseling. But the point is the teenagers could make some money, spend time with friends and get in some work experience.

Just saying, there has to be a solution, in these tough times, with so few jobs.