NEWS: 31 1530 AUG 2001
Last day of the month and I'm doing a little clean up of the site. Going through some pages I've found some errors in grammar or spelling that I didn't catch on the original posting. I've also added some pictures that my wife was nice enough to scan while I was at work, otherwise you won't find any big additions to the site. Another update probably won't happen for a couple of weeks due to field training. But when I get back I should be able to finish the zip stove review.
I also ordered my ProVent rain gear from Thru-Hiker.com. Since I go to the field for a couple of weeks I probably won't get to use them until I get back.
NEWS: 26 2230 AUG 2001
No real update today, just logging in to upload a new review of the Hennessy Ultralight Hammock to Thru-Hiker.com. Hopefully that and my other article will get posted soon. I guess when I can't hit the trail I find other ways to make up for it.
I've also been bored out of my mind today. I tried to fix my wife's connection thru my computer because we do connection sharing thru my computer. Before we had ADSL we did it thru a 56K modem and now she can't get to sites she could with just a 56K connection - go figure. So I pissed away most of the day staring at computer screens reading FAQs about ADSL and downloading firewall software trying to fix it. Any computer gurus out there with a clue, PLEASE drop me a line.
Good God I need to get out on a trail somewhere!
NEWS: 25 1030 AUG 2001
Small update today. I went through all the different gear pages and added some links I have found. I did this because of some questions about the model or make of some of my stuff. I only linked to stuff that was exactly like what I carry.
Just a thought today about the joy of going lighter. The more simple my packing lists become, and the leaner my equipment is, the more I actually enjoy hiking and camping. I'm probably not the only one to think this way, but it just hit me again as I was going through my current packing list and thinking about the stuff I carried just 4 years ago. I used to take a stove that weighed more full than my whole kitchen list, a tent that weighed more than my whole sleeping bag/shelter/ruck stuff, and enough clothing for three or four people. Add the rest of the unnecessary crap I used to carry and I had a heavier base pack weight than my current wet weight. Now with stuff I might have considered crap only 4 years ago, I have a better trip with. Go figure.
NEWS: 24 1800 AUG 2001
Small update today. I just added a link to the article that was posted at Thru-Hiker.com. I've started an abbreviated review of the Hennessy Hammock for that site as well. If you haven't checked out that site yet, you are missing out.
I've also updated my Packing List to make it current, and updated my Excel Packing list with the latest planned packing list. A recent change was purchasing some Seal Skin brand socks. They are great.
Other news. I just installed an ADSL modem in my computer and it rocks. Updates don't take any time at all to upload anymore. I've also got a confirmed reporting month of May for my assignment to Germany.
NEWS: 19 1930 AUG 2001
Just got finished updating my alcohol stove article with new information. I am still on the fence about whether to stick with the Cat stove or switch to a canister. After running the numbers, they come out almost dead even for a 8 day or longer trip.
Since I've built my backpack and entered the level of ultralight backpacker, I've redone my packing list to reflect my new packing system. If you notice, I used to have a standard and a light, now there is only one packing list.
NEWS: 19 1100 AUG 2001
Yesterday I spent a few hours testing alcohol stoves again for the article at Thru-Hiker.com. While doing it I came up with a more scientific way of testing stoves in the future, like the Zip tests I'm still doing. The Zip review won't be completed until after my trip in September. Look for the article to be published soon.
Playing with my rucksack, I've also hit what I consider the weight limit yesterday. I reached a weight of 27.75 pounds and have decided that it is too much for comfort. So back down to 26.75, I'll call max weight 27 pounds.
NEWS: 17 1900 AUG 2001
Lightning strikes again. First it was NBCi.com which stopped hosting homepages, now 50megs.com will stop hosting free sites larger than 12 megs, and have a 256k file size limit. Not quite 50 megs anymore! So, now I'm on tripod.com. Hopefully I won't have to switch again.
In case you haven't checked out Thru-hiker.com, you should. There are some great articles on this site about thru-hiking and light weight hiking. They also have a good gear store. I've volunteered to do a scientific test of the Cat Stove to determine its efficiency. Look for results here, and a future article at Thru-hiker.com. BTW, check out the ProVent raingear, my next planned gear purchase.
Another cool site is Backpackinglight.com. They have a series about going light which covers everything from basic principles to food, gear, and clothing. Future articles to follow. I've added a link to this site.
I've also cleaned up some errors on my Cooking With the Cat page and my SGT Rock's Ruck page. If you haven't read Cooking with the Cat, you should. There are some tips on lightweight cooking that could apply to any stove system.
NEWS: 12 1900 AUG 2001
I made some modifications to my ruck and have updated the instructions on building and packing the rucksack.
NEWS: 11 1630 AUG 2001
I made some pictures to update a few pages. There are now pictures of the SGT Rock's Ruck, instructions on building it, and how to pack the ruck over on that page. There are also some updates like pictures of my Lemonade Jar which replaced my trusty old Gatorade Jar, my pot cozy, and the zip stove.
NEWS: 11 1100 AUG 2001
Updated my lightweight packing list to include my recent gear changes like the mesh backpack. I've also started a page for the SGT Rock's Ruck. It will include instructions and eventually a review. The page is still under construction.
I've also added a site index since the Hiking HQ is getting so large. I currently have almost 20 megs of files on my site.
NEWS: 10 2100 AUG 2001
I know I already did one update today, but I gotta do another.
Now for the other news. I finally made my backpack! I went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping for stove parts, which wasn't very successful, but I'll keep on trying there. Anyway, I had been conversing via e-mail with Sweeper who is fresh of his AT thru hike, and Long Trail thru hike and has some cool lightweight gear ideas. He mentioned looking at an industrial strength large laundry bag to build his ultra light backpack. So I go look at it and it is impressive. I believe if I calculated right, the bag has a 5,900ci capacity, uses a very strong webbing, has a nice drawstring system, has a nylon bottom, and weighs 6.1oz.
So I buy one for $6 and bring it home. I salvage some parts from an old school book bag to make a 3500ci pack with a hip belt, haul loop, compression strap, and an extension collar that makes the pack's capacity about 5500ci and only weighs 13oz. I used the LWgear 1 pound backpack as my inspiration but with my own improvements. I built this all for just $6, an old backpack, and 1.5 hours work. I'll put up some pictures and a review later.
NEWS: 10 0900 AUG 2001
Today's update was to fix some problems with the on line Excel pages. I didn't realize I had left some errors on the web version and didn't get a chance to check the pages until today because of critical phone traffic and crappy web connections yesterday. So I also ordered DSL service from Bellsouth.
The fixes were problems with the Lean Body Mass Calculator which was missing some critical math stuff, and enabling protection on the web version so you didn't accidentally delete the formulas. I hope someone can try using the latest version and send me some feedback, not on if it shows up on your browser (that is still a problem because Microsoft wants to rule the world), but try downloading it or if you can use it on-line and tell me what you honest opinion is. I know it works well for me, but I don't know if I made it too complicated.
I recently got an e-mail from DayHiker who was planning to use the cat stove and had a great question: how do you cook on a cat stove? For experienced alcohol stove users, you know how to cook and simmer on these things, and how to get the most out of your stove for the lest amount of fuel. So I plan to add a page on how to cook using the cat stove with various meals. After I get the page up (or even before), please send me some cooking tips for meals. I already plan to cover tea, steak, omelets, pastas, rice, potatoes, and the standard hot oatmeal/grits & coffee breakfast.
NEWS: 09 1700 AUG 2001
I'm a glutton for punishment!
What I mean is, as soon as I start to get my projects in order and finished up, I decide to take on a ton more. I have not even finished building beta 2 of my wood stove, and I have already designed beta 3 in my head, I need to go to Wal Mart to get parts and make a new design. I have also decided to try and build my own backpack. I'm thinking of using the GVP G4 as my base design.
I've also made a new Excel Workbook from scratch. I tried a cool program called BPWeights. It works well if you don't have a spreadsheet, but it isn't as customizable as a spreadsheet. It gave me some ideas, so now I have a new weight calculator/trip planner/menu planner ready for download. It now has locked formulas to prevent accidental formula deletion, a checklist function so you can "X" in the gear you have packed, number columns, imported food weight from the menu planner, extra gear lines for each category, weight calculations for planned and actual weight, a weight goal helper to help you reach a pack weight goal, a Lean Body Mass (LBM) estimator to help calculate your LBM if you want to use that as a target for pack weight, and lots of other cool functions.
I made it with Excel 2000, but I have tested it with Office 95 and 97. If you have IE 4.01 or higher, you may be able to see my on-line demo under the Excel section.
On top of that I still have work to do on the compass pages and on my book reviews. Man I need to slow down.
NEWS: 05 1230 AUG 2001
Howdy, another month of this site down, 2 more to the one year anniversary.
Today I have to perform some auto repair, then it is on to some more zip stove testing. The homemade stove is on hold until I can find an adequate fan.
I also added a message board I called "Around the Campfire" I don't intend to limit the messages much if at all. Feel free to ask questions, post jokes, philosophy, rants, whatever. I will have to delete any pornography, extreme stuff, etc. BUT I hope to let it be pretty free over there.
All dates are done in military day/time group. Example:
20 1945 OCT 2000
This means 20 (20th day) 1945 (7:45 PM) OCT (October) 2000 (year 2000). Hope this clears up any confusion.