Showing posts with label fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fire. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Free Firewood and 9/11 Jitters

Yesterday was interesting. Wifey saw an add for free firewood. Needless to say I called. It turned out to be some folks clearing a big downed oak limb for cash. They did not want or need the wood. I ended up pitching in with their clearing job and did about half the work. A buddy and I could have done it in an hour and a half. Dad, son, Momma and I did it in 3 and change. They were nice people but not excessively hard or motivated workers. Anyway after 3 hours I ended up with a bunch of firewood. Suspect it will be over a cord once it's all cut to length and split. Getting off work and spending another 3 hours doing hard manual labor was definitely not my plan but we got a lot of wood for free. Got my next couple weeks evening and weekend work ready to go, in a big ole pile in the yard.

Between all the worlds problems and the 13th 9/11 anniversary coming up we decided to relook our preps and up our level of readiness a bit. Pulled some cash out of the bank, topped off our vehicles today, picked up some various sundries in case we are stuck at home for a bit, etc. I wanted to get a couple more water cans, refill the BBQ propane tank and get another tank but that didn't get accomplished.

Are you doing anything different based on tomorrow being 9/11?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Orange Jeep Dad's House Burned Down: A Sad Reminder

I don't really know this guy though we generally flow through similar circles. Only so many blogs one can follow I suppose. Anyway he finally made the big move to the country then his house burned down. There is an effort to gather donations for the family if you feel so inclined.

Thankfully no lives were lost but a whole bunch of their stuff is gone. That still sucks a lot. It really sucks for normal people but for survivalists, gun enthusiasts and "tangible investors" whose stuff is far less likely to be adequately covered by insurance it could be truly financially terrible. Additionally I would suspect wood homes that heat with wood and are far from the nearest fire station (which describes many survivalists) are more likely to have catastrophic fires than one in the burbs who heats with natural gas.

The same way that we learn from peoples mistakes  we can learn from bad things that happen to others towards the goal of mitigating that type of event's effects should it strike us. Note I am in no way faulting Orange Jeep Dad or his lifestyle here. Sometimes bad things just happen in life.

To be the guy who comes out, maybe a bit too early, and says it this is a harsh reminder about why you need caches and an emergency fund. I certainly hope OJD had these things in place. Lots of things can happen in life from theft to floods or other natural disasters, all the way through the various end of the world events plus well fires. Spread your stuff out and keep some cash put away just in case.

Got Cache?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tinder Hot Box Solar Fire Starter at Camping Survival



A pretty cool product from Camping Survival. Not a replacement for a lighter or knowing how to do it the primitive way but a really good option to have. Definitely on the "I want list". Get yours here.

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.








Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Personal Survival Kit

First I have to note that I blatantly stole this idea from John Mosby. Since this isn't school there is no penalty for this. Anyway I wanted to give credit where it is due.  I didn't so much steal the general idea to have most of this stuff around as the idea of looking at it as a unique kit.

My personal survival kit consists of the following. A knife, in this case a Buck 110 though any good knife would be fine. A compass I had lying around, a couple lighters wrapped in ranger bands, water purification tablets, 550 cord and a small LED light. Also there is a flint and striker which I plan to replace with the much more compact Boy Scout model when I get around to ordering some stuff. I got the little pouch to put it all in. Figured either I could just slip the whole thing into my camelback or cargo pocket or take the stuff out and put it into various places. Either way it would stay in one place and be readily available. Probably not entirely necessary but it helped me put things together and worst case I can always use it for something else.

My kit varies a bit from the one JM described. Not shown is a handgun with a spare magazine because well I am in Germany right now. Also not shown are eye pro but I wear them in the woods. Also I added the small light because they are just really handy. Not pictured or mentioned is a water bottle/ camelback/ canteen. I thought about that for awhile. In the end I sort of consider it an implied item I would have anyway, sort of like how I didn't mention footwear or pants.

This little kit lives in my car and goes with me when I am in the woods or whatever. It is pretty small and as such could be carried during any sort of tasks. Anyway if you do not have some sort of kit like this then it might be worth thinking about putting one together.


Get all kinds of survival gear online at RV Ops.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My EDC

You showed me yours, now it is time to show you mine. It is always better to do it that way;).

I carry the typical stuff like a cell phone, keys and a wallet with some cash. In terms of survival stuff I carry a knife, typically a buck 110,  a bic lighter and a tiny led flashlight. Often I carry a Cold Steeel push knife and when legal/ practical I also carry a Glock 19 with a spare magazine.

My everyday life takes place in a pretty small area. If it was more open a sniper with a .50 could just about cover the whole thing. As such I don't worry about EDC all that much. When I go further away I add items to supliment my EDC.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Random Thoughts: Inflation, Scotch and my Field Survival Load

Today I realized that commenting has been a bit light which lead me to look at the main page and realizing I haven't written in a couple days, whoopsy. I have been working through the errands and logistical needs required for us to settle back in here and spending a lot of time with Walker. Really just trying to get settled here so I haven't tried particularly ambitious stuff on any front. Here is some random stuff that has been going on or I have observed.

I filled up our fairly large Earth hating SUV today. It cost about $10 more than I remember. Not a huge deal as we do not drive much but it was interesting.

A bottle of J and B Scotch Whiskey has gone up two bucks in price. This is my house scotch. It is solidly enjoyable but reasonably priced so I don't hesitate to pour a glass on Tuesday if the mood strikes me. I love me some single malts but they start out expensive and go up in a hurry.

Along those lines I picked up a Glenmorangie 10 year and it is quite enjoyable. It is goes down mildly and has a pleasant, slightly spicy aftertaste. I may have to finish the glass and have another to confirm this.

I started putting together my level one survival load. My plan is a small pouch that I can slip into my cargo pocket. Depending on my level of motivation to dig around our stuff to find the right pieces it should be finished in the next few days or so. More to follow on this later. The only piece I am kind of up in the air about is the fire starter. I will go with a Zippo in the short term because I have one lying around (somewhere). However I would like to purchase a Butane lighter, like the kind you can use to weld thin metal or smoke crack underwater. Thoughts or input are appreciated on a specific windproof and or waterproof lighter you have had positive experiences with.

So that is what's going on right now.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

quote of the day

Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. Government is force; like fire it is a dangerous servant -- and a fearful master.”
-George Washington

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Does Not Forgive

People talk about harsh environments and I think a cold snowy winter beats pretty much anything out. It at least ties with the desert. One could think long and hard about the pro's and cons of each but I don't feel like doing that. In any case simply put a cold snowy winter leaves little to no margin for error or bad luck.

Last night during land navigation a young man almost died.

We were supposed to be back by 8 o'clock. The young man in question has not back by 9:00 so a search party went out. At 10:00 higher ups started getting alerted. At 11:00 everybody lined up so we could walk the entire course at double arm intervals with white lights. Exactly like you see in the movies and on TV. Some folks found this guy at about 11:30.

What happened was that he got a bit wet. Somehow or another he got into some water that was moving and thus not frozen. At this point he started going into shock. I believe he failed to realize the severity of the situation he was in and went to get his last point before heading back. Personally I would have ran back to the start point. The course is roughly 4000m X 4000M and bordered on all sides by two lane hardball roads. You could not cross one by accident.

He was found about a mile out of the course. They found him face down in a snowy field. He was conscious but not verbally responsive. They got him to a hospital and there will be no effects which last more than a few days.

He was wearing the right gear. People knew he was out and when he should return. We had a pretty good idea of where he should be. He knew how to land nav. Heck a guy who could run decently wasn't 15 minutes from a gas station or a fast food joint.

If nobody knew when he was supposed to be back or in what area he was he would be dead. If there hadn't been a whole bunch of people right there to look for him he would be dead. Tonight it is a lot colder than last night. Had it been low 20's instead of 28-32 he would likely be dead.

The winter does not forgive.

This was a

Thursday, January 14, 2010

quote of the day

"I've learned a valuable lesson with this cold snap. First, I've learned that Al Gore is a complete $*#@ing moron, and second, I've learned that I should triple the amount of firewood I think I might need."
-Mayberry

Friday, October 30, 2009

quote of the day

"This used to be a fun house
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down"
-Funhouse lyrics

Heard this on the radio today. Didn't particularly love the song as pop isn't my thing. However the lyrics are so frickin awesome that I (the king of not remembering things) remember it hours later.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Re: Heating Canned Goods in their Original Package

I asked Bush Brother's, the popular purveyor of baked beans, if they
recommended heating their product directly in the can over a campfire
and got this mostly corporate, but somewhat insightful response:

Dear Mr. Xxxx:

Thank you for contacting us.

We do not recommend heating our product in the can over a campfire.
We were able to find in literature several articles that stated that
the temperatures in a campfire are in the range of 500 - 650 degrees C
(932 F - 1202 F). We do not use can liner materials or end sealing
compounds that can stand-up to these temperatures. In fact, I am not
aware of any commercial lining materials and end sealant compounds
that can stand-up to these temperatures. Although our current liner
and end sealant materials are approved for their intended use in a can
that is cooked at high temperatures they are not approved nor have
they even been studied at the typical temperatures that can exist in a
campfire. The concern with the materials is what happens to them at
these elevated temperatures and what the by-products of combustion
might be at these elevated temperatures.


Again, we thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate
your interest in our products.


Sincerely,
Yyyy Yyyy
Consumer Relations Coordinator

It seems that she is implying that their linings will hold up to
canning temperatures of 100 C (212 F) and that this would be an
acceptable way to heat up canned food. So I asked her that question
directly and got this very corporate response:

Dear Mr. Xxxx:

We suggest following the heating instructions on the can.

We appreciate your interest in our products.


Sincerely,
Yyyy Yyyy
Consumer Relations Coordinator

I've eaten plenty of canned beans cooked over a campfire, but now I
will be more conscious of the temperature at which I cook them. The
safest way would obviously be to remove the beans from the can and use
a pot or pan, but the second best way is probably to try to indirectly
heat canned goods through boiling water or steam.
-Michael P

TOR here: Michael, thanks for sending this my way. It is certainly interesting. I think we have all heated some sort of canned stuff up in its original container at some point. Think setting chili on the stove was my way. Odds are it will not kill you if you do it once (though I am not an expert so who knows, consider yourself disclaimed) in a blue moon but it is probably not good to have some sort of can liner break down into food you eat on a regular basis. I don't think I will do this again, it is just too easy to have a small pot or a metal canteen cup.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Survival Sunday- Fire

Fire is basically what makes us different from the animals. Warmth, cooking, purifying water, protection; everything requires fire.

Fire building requires three things: tender, kindling, and fuel. Tender is the stuff which you start the fire with; there are a number of things you can use for tinder, paper, leaves, grass, bark and resin. Kindling is what you add to the burning tender, such as small twigs. Finally, fuel is actual wood which you burn. The goal of both the tinder and the kindling is to set the fuel on fire.

From what I have seen there are two basic ways to create a fire: The hand drill and the flint and steel methods. The hand drill method creates a coal, which can then be blown into a flame, by using friction between two pieces of wood. A hearth board is placed on the ground and a spindle is then rotated back and forth onto the hearth board. The friction created between the two pieces of wood produces dust, which will heat up enough to form an ember or coal. This ember can then be moved into a bundle of tinder and blown into a flame. Using a bow, much like a bow and arrow bow makes it more efficient.

The flint and steel method uses, you guessed it, flint and steel. By striking the two together, sparks are created. These sparks are then caught by your tinder and can be blown into an ember and then into flames. The only thing you need in addition to the flint and steel is charcloth.

Charcloth is a natural fiber, such as cotton, which has been heated to the point that its chemical makeup changes, but the air is kept from the fibers so that it will not burst into flame, but rather just char. The reason you need charcloth is because it catches a spark extremely easy. You can then place your red hot charcloth into your tinder bundle and blow it into flames. You just place the natural fiber into a container, close it up, and stick it in the fire. After awhile you can pull it out and it will be black but not burned up.

A ferrocerium rod (aka a ferro rod) is the next step in the flint and steel evolution. The rod will throw off a lot of sparks when a piece of steel (such as the back of your knife blade) is run down the rod. These sparks can then be caught in charcloth or another tinder and be blown into flames. The advantage of the ferro rod ofer flint and steel is that it is a smaller package and easier to use.

Information taken from here. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting Armed

Over an evening around the fireplace somehow our family discussion turned to guns. My (absolutely not at all evil) Stepmom is totally against guns. She has never handled one and intends to keep it that way. However unlike the gun grabbing totalitarians she sees no reason other people should be prevented from owning them. The rest of my family are armed.

My Grandmother was raised by Montana ranch folks and owns 3 guns.

Almost Brother In Law owns a Glock 19 and talked of getting a shotgun with his tax return. He spoke of getting a pistol grip Mossberg 500. Mentioned that having owned both the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 I prefer the Remington. Its fit and finish seem to be better and the gun is a lot more smooth of action. Just about every police department seems to use them which may or may not mean much to you. I did specifically caution him about the pistol grip shotgun. Aside from being difficult for the small or weak of hand/ arm to handle in recoil they are very difficult to shoot well. Long guns are inherantly easy to shoot well. Assuming ones stance doesn't suck 2/3rds of aiming a shotgun (and you do need to AIM it) is done by orrienting your body to the target. Pistol grip shotguns are far more difficult to hit anything with. Regardless of the choice of Mossberg or Remington (functionally equivalent is probably a fair term) I urged him to get an 18.5-20 barreled shotgun with a full stock. He also mentioned wanting to get a Mini-14 somewhere down the line. He shot a relatives in Tennessee and liked it a lot.

My youngest sister mentioned that she is going to get a pistol soon. She regularly leaves work late at night and would like to have the option of carrying. I gave her some specific advice and we are going to talk more about it as she gets closer to making a purchase.

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