Sunday, April 17, 2011

In the last week, I've...

  • Bought, received, and used my new Trangia camp stove. It took about twenty minutes to get a full water bottle to a rolling boil. In defense of the device, I was using using a coleman folding stove as a stand, which is anything but efficient. I've got my eye on the Vargo Titanium Woodstove, which has been shown to work well in conjunction with the trangia, able to boil a similar amount of water in about eight minutes.

  • Found an Oggi food-grade stainless steel water bottle discarded along the Luce Line trail. A bit scraped up and dirty, but no real damage. Score! I picked up a second stainless steel bottle at a thrift store for $2. Both are uncoated and safe to heat water in.

  • Finally stopped deliberating tents and bought this. I've only seen the coal/sage version on Sierra Trading post, and they where running a one day sale. I ended up paying $93 with free shipping. Pictures and more impressions once it arrives.

  • Failed several times to bake damper over a campfire. Ray Mears makes it look too easy, you know? Maybe I'll have time for another attempt tomorrow.

  • Attended an orientation for my new job. It was... long.

  • Trimmed down a 9.5x12ft nylon tarp and am in the process of fashioning the cast-off bits into a fitted bike cover. I also made a pair waterproof shoe covers from the sleeves of a superfluous rubbery raincoat. Pictures when both are complete and proven functional.

  • Added to my camping maps. A few hike & bike sites in Oregon, local stealth camp hideouts, and state forest free campgrounds in New Mexico.

  • Discovered this blog. The post to which I linked is of particular significance. You see, though I plan on driving more traffic to my own blog as my departure date nears, but I'm unsure of how to sell it, so to speak. Most of the successful, captivating, long standing, bicycle tour sites are focused on a different sort of experience than I intend for myself. Laura and Russ of refer to their meandering, vagabond life as an 'open ended bicycle tour', and I think I'll borrow that term. Had I discovered their blog while I was early in the planning of my own meandering, vagabond future, I could easily say I modeled my plans on their own.

  • Felt fairly well cheated by the weather. From 70 degree days and 30 degree nights, it has plummeted back down to 40 degree days, rain, and... well, still 30 degree nights. It's already too late for a 10-day tour in northern Minnesota before I start work, but maybe just a few days would be nice...

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