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Old 11-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #76
Roughidle
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
The real pity is that you can't recycle those damn butane cannisters... to the landfill they go,
This depends on the recycle service in your area. Here in Michigan, most recycle services will take them, providing you punch a hole in the canister (with a screw driver or punch etc etc), this empties the remaining fuel out.

The question of what to do with empty canisters came up all the time in the 3 years I worked in the camping department at our local REI. The store had a "test" table to show customers how to use various stoves, we must have burned up 50 canisters in the time I worked there, each one was recycled no prob.

Even so, I cook over wood whenever possible (I have a $12 metal cooking grate that makes this a snap), though I tend to take my dragon fly motorcycle camping since it burns gasoline.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by DirtyOldMan View Post
"and have too many politics floating like scum just above the rich soup of knowledge I'm really after." quote Smithy

You definitely have a way with words!

My surburbanized friends all call me "McGyver" because of my jury rigging/camping skills.

But I got nothing next to you folks, think I'll hang around and see what I can learn.


You caught me in rare form.


Now post up something of your own - this is about the sharing, and even the most modest, common thing you do, might be new to someone else.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:43 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Roughidle View Post
This depends on the recycle service in your area. Here in Michigan, most recycle services will take them, providing you punch a hole in the canister (with a screw driver or punch etc etc), this empties the remaining fuel out.

The question of what to do with empty canisters came up all the time in the 3 years I worked in the camping department at our local REI. The store had a "test" table to show customers how to use various stoves, we must have burned up 50 canisters in the time I worked there, each one was recycled no prob.

Fair enough, and that's really helpful and good that you can do that. Still, it's a massive energy sink just to cook a soup, and adds another layer of properly functioning gear to one's ability to enjoy a warm meal.

I'm not trying to say they're bad, I'm just trying to enjoy my little fire more.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:46 PM   #79
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Fair enough, and that's really helpful and good that you can do that. Still, it's a massive energy sink just to cook a soup, and adds another layer of properly functioning gear to one's ability to enjoy a warm meal.

I'm not trying to say they're bad, I'm just trying to enjoy my little fire more.
Agreed about the energy sink. They always seemed wasteful. But people love convenience, and they sold 10:1 over liquid fuel stoves. The only reason I can see to use one is for mountaineering, but even then liquid fuel is better IMHO.

Melting down old candle remnants and dipping 1" corrugated cardboard squares in the wax, makes great light weight, and easy to use fire starters.

A trick for gathering kindling in the rain (obviously only works if you have a coat or tarp and a knife): Gather some dead sticks 1" diameter or more, and as straight as possible. Split them, or shave off the wet part under your coat or tarp with your knife (be careful not to cut yourself), and carve out dry kindling, light, and enjoy. I've done this several times with good results, though it took some practice to get good at it quickly. Certainly not an ideal method, but it works well under certain circumstances. Just a good technique to have in your tool box.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:06 PM   #80
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I agree with the ease-of-use. Screw on, crack throttle, light up. No pumps, no seals, no spills, no moving parts to speak of, just stow and go.


I once lit a fire with one, when the troop box had no matches (and I was straight from work, and hand't really packed). Kids were wandering around like it was the end of the world, they'd get no dinner, seriously depressed.

I took my ferro rod, cracked the fuel, and threw sparks into it. Poof, flame. Set it in the fire pit and started building a fire around it, got that going, then took out the stove and said "you're welcome."
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Fair enough, and that's really helpful and good that you can do that. Still, it's a massive energy sink just to cook a soup, and adds another layer of properly functioning gear to one's ability to enjoy a warm meal.

I'm not trying to say they're bad, I'm just trying to enjoy my little fire more.
Could you reduce the wasted heat energy out the sides by blocking them in with stones?
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:10 PM   #82
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I'm not talking about burnt inefficiencies... I'm talking about the industrial energy needed to make the damn thing. To the environmentally conscious, is it really worth it just to get dinner made 5 or 10 minutes quicker, especially when you're traveling in a fuel-rich environment?

It's the worst kind of lie, saying one "leaves no trace" because one didn't build a large campfire and scar 1 square foot of forest floor, only to have drilled and polluted and smelted and did all the things it takes to obtain, purify, package, and deliver a few ounces of butane. Displacing one's trace is more like it.


And before anyone attacks me for it, yeah, I'm a hypocrite. I use 'em. But I'm trying to use them less, less often, and only when it's the better way, all things considered.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #83
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Thanks for the animated knots link, now I just have to practice until it becomes muscle memory.

I'm also reminded of the old Foxfire books my grandfather left me years ago, gonna have to look those up. At any rate, I'm hooked!
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
I'm not talking about burnt inefficiencies... I'm talking about the industrial energy needed to make the damn thing. To the environmentally conscious, is it really worth it just to get dinner made 5 or 10 minutes quicker, especially when you're traveling in a fuel-rich environment?

It's the worst kind of lie, saying one "leaves no trace" because one didn't build a large campfire and scar 1 square foot of forest floor, only to have drilled and polluted and smelted and did all the things it takes to obtain, purify, package, and deliver a few ounces of butane. Displacing one's trace is more like it.


And before anyone attacks me for it, yeah, I'm a hypocrite. I use 'em. But I'm trying to use them less, less often, and only when it's the better way, all things considered.
Ah gotcha, I thought you meant the literal inefficiency of the device.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:01 PM   #85
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Thanks for the animated knots link, now I just have to practice until it becomes muscle memory.

I'm also reminded of the old Foxfire books my grandfather left me years ago, gonna have to look those up. At any rate, I'm hooked!
1-6 are available online in .pdf format, gratis
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #86
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EG is here .... anyone want to do a post on wilderness medicine?












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Old 11-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Chisenhallw View Post
I've bee to Lahti & Helsinki, and sorely regretted not getting to go camping out there. The drive from Helsinki to Lahti was *breathtaking*.
And truly, it only gets more interesting as you head inland and north!
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:34 PM   #88
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Must be why all the Finns settled near where I live (Tapiola, MI)

Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe I have an iron gut or something- but I *never* purify Lake Superior water and there's also usually no shortage of water sources that haven't had much of an opportunity to flow through animal shit.

Someday, I'm sure I'm going to have a story about That Time I Almost Died, but so far, so good.
"Tapio" was a pre-Christian forest God in eastern Finnish and Karelian mythology. Tapiola means the "home/village of Tapio". Tapiola is also a neighborhood in the metro area, and the name of a large bank. It's also the name of a brand of relatively cheap grain alchohol...or so I have heard.

I'm from Wisconsin and the Scandinavian northwoods is a lot like N. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and da UP of Michigan. In N. Minnesota, "they" say you can reliably drink water from the middle of the large lakes, as long as you stay away from shore. This is anectdotal to me, but I have many friends who hit the BWCA and Quetico often and this is their method to avoid filtering/boiling/treating water constantly. For me, I don't know if I'd want to run the risk of illness if I'm ten days into the Quetico...but your mileage may vary!
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:01 AM   #89
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I love birch bark, and wood, but it's not common here in the DC area. I have the (dis)pleasure of trying to practice bushcraft in a part of the country that has been picked over, industrialized, and over-used, for the better part of 400 years now. It complicates my water situation, too, since there's nothing at all trustworthy about any source here, whether it's intense agriculture, chemical waste, or just the runoff from endless suburbia... everything gets filtered or boiled. I know people who've used steripens on upper Potomac water, with no ill effects, but I'm not sure I trust it. It's the heavy metals now, in addition to biologicals, that I have to worry about.
It sounds like you might be aware of this, but just an FYI in case you don't. Water filters won't remove chemical pollutants or heavy metals.

The only thing that might work is distillation, but that's hardly 100% effective and not really something you can do when traveling light.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:30 AM   #90
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EG is here .... anyone want to do a post on wilderness medicine?

That's one of those things you don't want to practice really.

But since most of my stupid outdoor shit involves toys that try to kill their owners every once in a while, it comes up. Thankfully, not to any degree of consequence yet.

Take a basic first aid course, or read a book. The general idea is you don't want to fuck things up anymore than they already are until somebody more qualified than you can deal with it. Often it's just immobilizing people and keeping them warm until help arrives. If they did a real bang-up job, you might get to use tourniquets and splints and maybe carry their ass out to a more accessible point.

If you can, join your local volunteer fire department, first responders, search and rescue, or ski patrol. You get to practice this stuff and learn the most important skill of all- don't panic.

The real thing that freaks me out are the tiny things that sneak up on you- like hypothermia. By the time it actually starts to affect you, it might be too late to do anything about it if you're by yourself.

I should probably write something about risk management here, but in all honesty- I think I'm much better at being lucky than I am at that, so maybe somebody else should take a crack at it.
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