Monthly Archives: May 2011
Okay so I was trying to get all of my most recent MYOG all together for one big post but the stoves are taking longer than I expected. So I’m putting up this pot cozy I made in the meantime. The good news is everyone can look forward to a fairly detailed series of posts on home made alcohol stoves! But without any mroe adieu here is the pot cozy I made for my 830ml Snow Peak Mug from the Hybrid Cook Set. I made it out of Reflectix Insulation that I got from Lowes. I went to Home Depot first but they not only didn’t have it but they looked at me like I had to heads, so I wouldn’t reccomend going there.
I used basic duct tape Instead of measuring my pot I went ahead and laid my pot on the Reflectix cut a strip the height of my pot and then wrapped it around the mug, removed mug then cut and taped the two edges together. I then cut out and taped the handle hole. Now the biggest thing I’d like to say about taping the bottom on, The Reflectix is a bit thick and if you don’t account for that in the height of the sides you can find yourself with a cozy that is just a little too short. To solve this problem I found leaving a little extra on the bottom to nest the bottom disk in and then also have the top come up ever so slightly over the top too gives you a little extra to work with that if you feel is too high you can shave off instead of living with something that is not quite right.
The next thing is to cut a circle and tape it to the bottom. How you do it is not really that important but I did it by putting a circle of tape around the bottom of the side and then cutting little tabs to tape down along the bottom, whatever works for you. I will say that the Reflectix is really receptive to duct tape and needs very little encouragement to stick so I found you don’t really need to put any tape on the inside to get the bottom to stay put.
Gotta say I love the way this works and it was really great to be able to have a problem and fix it myself. It was easy and fun to make and only weighs 1 oz. Also, I got enough Reflectix in the one $12 roll to make as many things as I want out of it, That plus already having the duct tape I probably only spent .50 for this whole thing.
Look at what the Mailman left me today!!
Today I got my Kupilka Starter kit that I won from Brian’s Backpakcing Blog today! I absolutely love my new kit!!! I can’t wait to try it out on our next outdoor trip. My first reaction was how ergonomic the design of the bowls were. Something I didn’t see in the pictures was that opposite of the handle is a little triangle shaped bit. At first it looks a little uncomfortable but when you actually wrap your hand around it, it fits the hand perfectly. Another thing I am loving is the handles on the plate are just a little longer than the depth of the plate and that makes it easy to balance them on my legs and not have the plate tip over, which is my biggest frustration with trying to use a plate with no table. Overall I think it’s going to become my favorite go to set for camping and backpacking!
I just wanted to throw up a message dedicated to my mom who instilled in me, my love for the outdoors. I grew up in the 90’s during a time in history when the unplugged childhood was dying a slow death. But we didn’t have cable or video games at my house. We did have bike rides and trips to the park. Vacations were adventures and learning experiences and I got to see some of the most amazing places and do some pretty amazing things. I was taught the skills needed to wander safely into the woods, and with these skills came a confidence and self reliance I see lacking in my peers. There are a lot of pretty amazing things you can do with technology, and I utilize those things and enjoy them. But thanks to my mom, who who limited my access to technology until I was old enough to have self control over it instead of the other way around, my addiction is to fresh air, not a electronic box. My mom gave me a gift that keeps giving for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. So, Thanks Mom!!!
I’ve been thinking a lot about something that occurred to me as I was reading Ray Jardine’s page recently. It’s a thought that feels like it has been forgotten by quite a few people that I run into in the forum world. The theme I saw running throughout Ray’s pages seemed to be that going ultralight is not about ounce counting your gear to death, and it’s not about how much you spent or the prestige of buying certain name brands or staying away from the box stores of the backpacking world (aka REI) at all costs. It is all about enjoying your journey as much as your destination, and being warm and well fed as well as safe along the way. It is, dare I say, the goal we all started with when we started our journey to ultralight backpacking. But it is very easy to forget the reason we started with in the first place. I have found myself guilty of worrying more about the ounces than the item I’m looking at and I think it’s something we all get caught up in from time to time.
I sat down recently and decided to compare the things I have to the things I want and as I started to compare, I realized just how much I had been ready and willing to spend to what ended up being less than a pound of savings in weight! It was truly eye opening. There are ways to save weight and those ways can be great and worthwhile, but it’s actually something Henry Shire said on a forum in response to why he hadn’t used Cuben Fiber in his tarptents, that hit home for me about where we draw that line. He said that it’s not just how much it weighs, the weight to cost ratio matters just as much, maybe even a little more. It got me thinking, is it really worth it to spend $100 dollars more to save 3-5 ounces? When does 3-5 ounces turn into 3-5 pounds? Where do we compromise and where do we just pull the trigger and spend a little more? These are questions I thought I could get the answer to by searching all over the net and someone out there somewhere would tell me the “right” answer. The truth is no one had my answer, because no one can tell a person what they are willing to sacrifice on and what they need to be happy. All anyone can do is ask, will you be miserable if you get out there and don’t have “blank”.
In my sitting down and comparing my “had” to “had not” lists I found something else that was really bothering me. I got my long johns at REI and I got the REI brand ones mostly because they fit were soft and comfortable, I felt like they would keep me just as warm and were the same weight as the more expensive brands, (and on my trip in April they did that very well) and they were on clearance. That is the point of any long john, so why did I feel like I had an inferior product? Is it because they are inferior? I don’t feel like they are, in fact I love my long johns and they work really well for me. But they’re not Patagonia and every time I turn around I find another backpacker that went with Patagonia. Nothing wrong with going with Patagonia, but there is also nothing wrong with REI. It’s just a matter of choice. It’s a simple and maybe even silly example but I find brand names start to matter more than they should. Even in something as anti-mainstream as UL Backpacking, we get caught up in having certain products. Granted most of the time it is because these products work best, but next time you go to buy a UL product you might try just stopping and thinking, is this really going to fit my needs better than any other product out there or what I already have and is it going to work with my current system? If you already ask this, that’s great! I personally find myself drooling over a new product and pulling out my calculator to try and fit it in my budget before I realize I’m trying to buy something I don’t need and won’t even work with the stuff I already have. So now I’m wanting to buy something that will mean I have to change my whole system that was already working for me just because that something has more prestige than the thing I already have. Thankfully I have Richard who always asks, why do we need that?
So that sums up what I’ve been thinking about lately…
So I just wanted to give a big shout out and thank you to Brian Green of Brian’s Backpacking Blog who writes an awesome blog! He does great prize giveaways to his readers and this time happened to be my turn! I entered his Kupilka Starter Kit giveaway just for the fun of it and won. I was utterly surprised because I never really win anything. It took me several minutes to realize just what I was seeing before I even realized that his latest post actually was announcing me as the winner!
I won the Kupilka 21 (cup), the Kupilka 55 (soup bowl), the Kupilka 44 (platter), and the Kupilka cutlery set. It is the perfect addition to what is a pretty sweet cook kit and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to take it out and get some great use out of it! Thanks again to Brian for a great opportunity and a great prize!!
Oh and I’ll be sure to post a review of everything and post lots of pictures!