Sun Oven, Wilderness Stew.

Yesterday I continued to play lumberjack and cut down some dead trees and a few limbs that always seem to hit me in the head when I’m cutting grass.  Before firing-up the chainsaw, I prepared dinner and placed it in the “Sun Oven.”  The sun cooperated better and allowed me to cook much better with the “Sun Oven.”  There were clouds in the sky but for the most part, the day was warm and sunny!  At 9:00 am I combined about a pound and a half of ground beef, 2 cans of mixed vegetables  2 cups of water, black pepper, salt and garlic powder into a pot.  I positioned the oven to the East and within 20 mins it was at 250 degrees.  I adjusted the oven about 3 times during the day to maximize the suns rays and at 5:00 PM the “Wilderness Stew” (as my friend, nicknamed “Ice Water” calls it) was ready to eat.  My friend, my Brother and I ate the entire pot.  Total cost of the “Wilderness Stew” about $6.50.  The temperature in the oven stayed at about 250 the entire day, so it was kind of like using a crock-pot all day!  It turned out better than I thought it would.  Anyone have some good Dutch Oven meal suggestions?

Above, the contents of the “Wilderness Stew.”
Below, the finished product just before consumption.

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Day Hike Essential Gear

Today I took another hike.  I didn’t go very far, about 3 miles, but I still took a small kit with me that contains essential gear for even a short hike (See picture below).

List of Items;
– “Camelback” Hydration System, holds 3 liters of water and other essential gear listed below.
– First Aid Kit (I attach it to the bottom of the camelback backpack with small snap links).
-Ace Bandage / sling bandage.
-“Steripen” water purifier.
-Water purification tablets.
-Folding Knife.
-Latex Gloves, 2 pairs.
-Head Lamp.
-Signal Mirror.
-Signal Whistle

Not Shown in picture but carried in my pockets or on my person;
-Lighter.
-MRE toilet paper (always welcome, even on the shortest hikes especially after eating burritos).
-550 para-cord, 20 ft.
-Energy Bar or two.
-Cell phone.
-Hat.
-Sunglasses.

All gear fits into the “Camelback” backpack or the First Aid Kit that attaches to the backpack.

Water is life and I believe that some way to purify water is essential.  The “Steripen” unit I have comes with a solar case that charges it and can also charge my cell phone when necessary.
Why a headlamp instead of a flashlight?  Because a headlamp allows you to keep your hands free to work with or break your fall.  Why a big First Aid Kit, I just like it!

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Kelty “Car-Port” a Good Piece of Gear!

Today I decided to put up some shade at my camp site.  It was getting hot and my camper doesn’t have an awning so I broke out the “Kelty Car-Port.”  I have not used it in a few years but luckily I saved the directions and set up was pretty easy.  “The Car-Port” is light-weight, easy to assemble and very versatile.  It can be set up with the forward edge on the ground, as I have done today (see picture below).  You can also set it up with the long two front legs that give it sufficient room for a 6 ft tall person to easily stand under.  When in the low position, you can deploy the side flaps giving you protection from the sun in all directions.  In the future I will try to post information about equipment I use that I think is “a good piece of gear.”

 I give the Kelty Car-Port 4 Big-Feet out of a possible 5

Above,  Instant (well almost instant) SHADE.  The “Kelty Car-Port” deployed next to Bertha to add shade to the campsite!

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Monday Morning Cowboy Coffee.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I like coffee shops, but please understand I am not a coffee snob!  I will drink gas station swamp-burnt-lava black coffee as quick as I’ll drink an expensive cup of coffee at a foo-foo coffee shop.  I don’t know but it’s probably the caffeine I’m after?

This morning I decided to save the $2.50 I would have spent on a cup at the coffee shop and made my own cup of “cowboy coffee.”

All you need is a small gas burner (mine is a Coleman Apex), some coffee grounds (mine are generic coffee from Wally World), and then some way to filter the boiling water through the grounds and into the cup (I’ve got a one cup filter that sits on top of the cup), and there you have “cowboy coffee.”

Why does everything taste better when you do it yourself?

Above,  all the materials needed to make a cup of “Cowboy Coffee.”

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Thank You “Adventure Trailers” in Prescott, Arizona!

I needed a small welding job done today.  I wanted to secure a tool box to my Truck-Camper back porch, so I went to ACE Hardware and picked up the necessary plates, pins and U-bolts and started looking for a garage.  I then remembered “Adventure Trailers” and thought that maybe for a reasonable fee they could help me.  I mean they make some of the best off-road overland trailers in the business (see picture below);

www.adventuretrailers.com

So I showed up at lunch time today and explained what I needed.  Dave, one of the employees there had his motorcycle helmet on and was headed out the door to lunch.  He stopped, took my materials and within 20 mins had the job done!  I then asked how much, expecting to pay $30.00 or $40.00 dollars. But to my surprise, he said, “no charge.”  Wow, that’s incredible in todays business world.  I got immediate, custom service at no charge!  Thanks Dave at “Adventure Trailers” in Prescott, Arizona.  Tomorrow I’m going to take him a 6-Pack of his favorite beverage!

The picture above is from the “Adventure Trailers” website, www.adventuretrailers.com

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Introducing Bertha

My home on wheels is a 2002 Bigfoot Truck Camper on a 2005 Ford F350 4×4 DRW Truck.

She has everything you find in a studio apartment, to include a bathroom with a shower.  The best thing  about a home on wheels is that you can change your front yard as often as you like.  The space is small but I’ve found that we use the space available to us.  The more shelves and closets we have the more stuff we acquire to fill those shelves!  When I’m not on the road I park on 20 acres of pasture / woodland in rural Kentucky.

Above is a picture of the Bodiac front 2″ hitch with a cargo carrier.

Below is the Floor Plan of “Bertha” from the BigfootRv website.

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Time For a New Hat.

I have never really been a “hat-guy.”  But after living many years in such places as the Mojave Desert, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea West Africa, and the fact that I am fair-skinned, I decided it’s probably a good time to invest in a hat.  So today I went to the “Village Hat Shop” in San Diego and bought a “Henschel” Aussie Mesh Hat.  It’s light-weight and really does keep the sun of my face!

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Downtown San Diego.

Below, a view of the San Diego skyline from Banker’s Hill.

Above, the Gaslamp District San Diego, California

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Update; New Pocket Camera 2011

It has been a week or so since my last blog entry.  My excuse, my 6 year old Fuji pocket camera bit the dust last week.  I purchased a new small canon PowerShot camera but when I tried to upload pictures onto my Mac Book it didn’t work because my Mac operating system was 4 years old. It’s always something with computers and cameras.  I now have everything worked out so I hope to provide some good pictures for the rest of this trip.

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