Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Down and Dirty at Horns Pond Mixer

From left to right, Ian, caretaker at Horns Pond, Dan, Care committee Chairman, and me, Brawny, getting ready to mix a load of human feces with wood chips, so it can be put in the composting bin and "cook" to a germ killing heat.

After Dan starts the rototiller, I blend the ingredients. Ian has been well trained in this procedure, and supervises to insure the correct texture is achieve. We all wear "haz-mat" suit, because in the end, we do have Sh** smeared on it. Talk about Contaminated!

Here Grace, caretaker at Piazza Rock, shovels from beneath one of the privies. It was quite fresh and ripe. The odor was outstanding.....yikes!

Below you can see the freshest batch of human waste. Each privy door can be locked to prevent a bin from becoming overfull. 

I am quite fortunate. At the Gulf Hagas, I do not have to manage a composting privy. North Maine Woods does the two located there at the parking lots.

To see the video of this process, check out my Youtube channel or my other blog,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Light Situation

Here in the Gulf, I'm learning a lot about base camp lighting in an off grid situation.

The reflector sheet is actually an emergency blanket tucked around my two burner propane stove. It seems to really help and the warmth it generates is remarkable. I can really tell the difference when some of the panels are zipped shut on the vestibule. Of course, my candles are short and in no way damage the tent.

This base campfire is about 12 inches in diameter. Take a look on my YouTube channel for more details. For some reason, embedding those videos here seem to crop them.

Far in the upper left hand corner, you can see two yard lights, each with a solar panel designed for recharging the batteries, embedded on top. Recently purchased in an effort to provide a bit of light during the long dark nights, each one emits one lumen of light. Its actually enough. However, sometimes during the day, its so dim at my base camp, the lights go on and wear down the battery. I found I must carry them to the river to recharge the batteries. But for a total of $9.47 (including tax) I feel its a decent deal.

This base camp has proved to be very comfortable and weather proof. So far no mice. I credit that blessing to keeping a meticulously clean camp, sweeping my vestibule and washing my tent floor often, never eating in bed, keeping all foods in plastic bags, then sealed in solid containers with tight fitting lids.
When ever I return from a ridgerun or days off, I check all my gear, clothes, bedding, and kitchen compartents for new critters that may have birthed in my absence. Keep your fingers crossed for me.....
A previous ridgerunner reported mice had set up housekeeping in his stove. That would really piss me off!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shoe Review On Location

I spend 10 days off grid and in my spare time, analyze what's working, what I need, what could be useful information. Here's a short video of the shoes I had on location as of a week ago. Then, when someone abandoned a set of blue crocks, my size, I adopted those as well. As a ridgerunner, I find my pack must be light for the return trip to base camp. Often I'm carrying abandoned gear or trash. Please, if you pack it in, pack it out, even if its broken. Most trails are maintained by volunteers who spend time cutting blowdowns and improving drainage so the tread way is passable. By removing your trash and unwanted gear, carrying it to the next town, you help others enjoy their time in nature.