Showing posts with label Pathfinder Store. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pathfinder Store. Show all posts

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

This week we were kind of busy with a sick kid and Christmas as well as the usual mundane life stuff.

We picked up a battery charger for Wifey's cell phone, a big bag of food for Dog and some odds and ends of pantry stuff. Also Wifey found us a BBQ for $20 from some folks who were moving. The propane tank that came with it alone is worth twice that and the BBQ while simple is pretty new and in good condition. The BBQ is a win in terms of life but the propane tank is probably the bigger preparedness win.

I have been doing some wheeling and dealing in terms of guns. Definitely a lot of contacts lead to a few discussions which now and then brings about an actual transaction. Oh well that is the nature of the thing.

The Solo Stove was tested which was both fun and successful.  My rifle plates finally showed up which was cool.

Of course plenty of running and some lifting happened.  This coming week my schedule is a bit more open so I am going to work in more body weight stuff which has been a weak spot as of late and at least one road march. I have been eating pretty decently (well minus Friday night and Saturday) and that has been having some good effects on my body and performance.

Next week I am going to put some lead downrange. Also want to go over the kit for car 1 and put something together for car 2. In any other motivated time I will start reassembling the old BOB. Testing of the Pathfinder Trade Knife is close to done so a review will come out once my thoughts solidify.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Solo Stove Review And Gratuitous Dog Pics

I have been meaning to play with scientifically test the Solo Stove for awhile now. Sorry to folks with slow connections as this post is 56k death.

For whatever reason today was the day. So I got to fiddling with it.
 They come in a nice little black pouch.

The Solo Stove as packaged.

As you can see this is a really nice well made piece of gear. Yes you can make a hobo style rocket stove with a couple of tin cans and some wire but I seriously doubt it will be as efficient or durable as the Solo Stove. By all means have fun making some home made stoves to experiment with but if you want a piece of gear that is going to last the Solo Stove is probably the way to go.
The top piece/ pot holder in place.

My Pathfinder cup and Trade Knife which are being evaluated and are used to support the Solo Stove effort.

The goal today is to boil water in my cup. While hot chocolate does not require boiling water I wanted it to boil because that is a pretty ambiguous cooking need for emergency food or a variety of other things.  I gathered a variety of small twigs, a decent sized stick as well as some newspaper and cardboard to get it all going. Pretty representative of the way I start most fires.

I cannot claim to understand the physics of why this stove is so awesome as I am not a physicist, a fire fighter or a pyromaniac. However between the grill that the burning material rests on and the holes in the bottom that let air in this thing burns like crazy. It is almost a continuous effort to keep enough fuel in there for it to continue burning. I pulled out an old trick as you can see in the top pic. Instead of cutting a log just stick the end into the fire and when it burns up push a bit more in.
You can see the stove burning away with the cup of water on top of it. Also there is some of the small wood used in the fire, the container of hot chocolate, the Jim Beam that is going to turn it into a non caffeinated redneck Irish Coffee and the beer I am enjoying this evening.
The beer in question is a New Belgium Trippel. A fair interpretation of a stiff (7.8%) Belgium brew though it is filtered a bit more, probably to suit American tastes. Anyway back to the topic at hand.

The water in the cup was simmering after about 4 minutes. It took awhile longer till it really boiled after about 12 minutes. Part of that was the learning curve that to keep the stove really going I have to almost continually be putting little pieces of wood in it.
I added the hot chocolate and as you can see it is solidly boiling.

Letting the hot chocolate cool down while the stove continues burning.
Decided to toss the rest of the wood I had into the stove. It was sort of nice to enjoy some woodsman TV and think about life for awhile.
The stove burned all the wood pretty quickly and then I was hanging out letting the coals burn down.

My Pathfinder cup a but burned up on the outside. The Pathfinder symbol cooks kind of cool here. I think Dave Canterbury would approve except that I did this on concrete (due to fire concerns).

Now is a good time for some discussion on my concept of use for the solo stove. I think it would be great for simple cooking if you have primitive inclinations or are in a long term scenario. Cooking simple, quick meals for 1 or 2 people is where this stove would shine. Also in relatively barren environments (I am in the desert and feed this stove with stuff readily found around here) this stoves very high efficiency will let you maximize the small twigs and such that are available and easy to gather. You can definitely feed this stove with a knife which is really handy for traveling light.The solo stove is going into my bug out bag for sure. 

At reader request we have some gratuitous dog pics.

Dog coming out to investigate what I am up to. He things it is stupid to be outside when it is cold (well for Arizona anyway) and raining. He promptly went back inside.
Dog enjoying the old couch that is his exclusive domain. He is tired after a long day of napping, mooching people food, messing with the Christmas tree (he hides from Walker in the corner behind the tree and randomly snacks on it) and dealing with Walker.

Anyway if you are looking for a good cooking method that does not require gas/ propane/ kerosene I would give the Solo Stove a hard look.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Layered Systems and Redundancy

I believe in layered systems. Sort of did this before really learning the concept in a more formal sense but it is easier to do well with the basic concept in your head. It sort of goes like this. Instead of having a whole bunch of stuff all over the place you have a few systems. These systems are layered from smaller to larger moving from the most basic things in your pockets to larger systems that may fit in a backpack or even a vehicle. The saying that you survive out of your pockets, fight out of your kit and live out of a rucksack is a solid starting point.

The two systems we will talk about today are my everyday carry and my EDC/ Get Home Bag. I should post pictures of this stuff and talk about why this is there and that is not but that's another post.

On Friday I reached into my pocket for a knife and it wasn't there. For whatever reason the knife just didn't make it to my pocket that morning. A further inspection showed there wasn't a lighter in my cargo pocket either. This wasn't a huge deal as I was going to use it for something minor that I can't recall. I had another knife (as well as a lighter) in my bag but didn't bother to dig it out.

So this got me to thinking. Things happen in life. Maybe you leave home in a different pair of pants or an item is lost or stolen or whatever. Within a layered system you still need some redundancy of key items. The old saying two is one one is none comes to mind. Furthermore I think these redundant items should be spread out. Having two knives instead of one sitting in my other pair of pants at home would not help. On the other hand a knife in my bag is a lot more likely to help. This also has the benefit of letting you have slightly different tools for different jobs. Maybe a Leatherman and a more dedicated cutting tool for your knives or a Lazer Bright stick and headlamp for lights.

Kind of along these lines my EDC/ GHB bags contents has been evolving.  The new Pathfinder water bottle pouch helps because it is pretty large so a lot of those little survival things can go there. A box of granola bars was tossed in giving me about 1,500 calories worth of food to make up for a couple missed meals. I'll probably do a write up on the contents when it is a bit more settled.

Anyway that is what I have been fiddling around with lately.

Do you have some redundancy in key items? What items do you consider key?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Suprise: Pathfinder Gear

I am pleased to say that Friday's order from the Pathfinder Store showed up today. Ordering on a Friday and the stuff showing up on Tuesday is really hard to beat. Everything looks good also.

Shown is a Pathfinder Trade Knife with a 1 quart stainless steel bottle on top of a wool blanket. The blanket is big, heavy and soft so basically everything that a wool blanket should be.

The Pathfinder Trade Knife. While it is a bit early to tell it seems like a well designed and handy blade. Certainly made short work of the box this stuff arrived in and my steak at dinner. The sheath is well made with thick leather and retention sufficient for anything except parachuting or scuba diving neither of which fit into this knife's concept of use anyway.

The Water Bottle Bag that is part of the Bag, Bottle and Cup Combo. It is significantly better than the other major name brand water bottle holder I was using previously.

The bag pictured from the side so you can see the generously sized pouch on the side. It is big enough to hold a solid personal survival kit.
I was going to write about something else but spent the evening doing homework and fiddling with my new stuff so you get this post instead. Definitely impressed with the Pathfinder Stores operation and their gear.

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