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dropkick
2005-08-05, 03:02
The other day I was looking for a plastic bottle I could turn into a evaporative cooled* canteen for a fishing trip.
I came up with an old hydrogen peroxide bottle. It was perfect - heavy plastic, screw top, and had previously housed a substance that wouldn't poison me.

Then I started thinking about all the gear I've made over the years out of things that were either already in or were headed to the trash.

i.e. "shelves" for holding my soap, tooth brush, and razor made of plastic cut from milk bottles and string.
Footprints for my tents made from old hay tarps (I don't hike with any of my tents, so weight isn't a problem).
Camp shoes or 'mocs' made from an old leather coat.
Old medicine bottles for emergency kits/first aid.
Etc.

*evaporative cooled canteen- I sew a small quilt out of cotton material (usually an old towel) and then sew and cut the quilt into a cover for the bottle. I wet the cover and set it in a breeze or in the sun, and as the cover dries it cools the interior.
- I almost always lose, destroy, give away, or make them smell fishy during a trip so I haven't ever made one for permanent use.
Usually I make them from old gatorade bottles.


What do you recycle into gear, and what's the cleverest, or strangest, use you've ever come up with?

CanoeCamper
2005-08-09, 03:59
Does the bottle have to be opaque , or will any plastic bottle do for the cooler to work?

I did "recycle" the shock cord that came as side tie-outs on my HH to tension the fly. I like "rocking" in the hammock anyway, and I don't have to pull out a tie just to have a quick seat.

dropkick
2005-08-09, 09:28
Any old bottle will work.

CanoeCamper
2005-08-09, 13:30
Cool. Thanks for the tip. I think now I will never have a warm drink when on the river!

GregH
2005-08-23, 21:25
DropKick,
Comparatively, how much cooler does it get?

dropkick
2005-08-24, 03:21
DropKick,
Comparatively, how much cooler does it get?

It depends on the rate of evaporation, the quicker it evaporates the cooler the "canteen" gets. So strangely enough it gets cooler sitting in the sun than it does in the shade, but this also means that you have to wet it more often. -If it dries out, it just gets hot.
But to answer your question, I would say normally it gets about 20 to 30 degrees cooler.

Kea
2005-08-24, 10:52
The material that you use for the evaporative cooling also matters. Linen, or just about any bast fiber(hemp, ramie, and even rayon) is superior to cotton. However, I am very impressed with the potential of the hi-tech wicking fabrics like my duo-fold shirt.

Linen was used for a very long time to make cloth buckets. You can put a full bucket of water in the shade on a hot day and it will cool it to as much as 20 degrees F below the air temp. If you can find a supplier, I'd give it a try.

Seeker
2005-08-24, 12:50
in the army, they used to hang 'lister bags' under a canopy/gazebo. they were canvas bags with a bunch of plastic spigots on the bottom, maybe 8 or so... held about 2o gallons, i'd guess... anyway, a whole bunch of soldiers could fill their canteens at the same time. usually had a big block of ice in it too, but the evaporative effect was great even without the ice... it could hang out all day, even on a scorcher, and stay pretty cool.

when i was a tanker, we used to set our sodas out at night to cool off (2 x 6 packs). in the morning, they went into the smoke grenade launchers (mounted on the sides of the turret). we soaked the canvas grenade launcher covers with water, and it cooled off as you went down the road. always had cold sodas for lunch and dinner.

old-timey canteens had a blanket material cover, and US military canteens still have a fleece-type cover. evaporative cooling works.

PKH
2005-08-24, 14:11
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, when I was travelling in Australia, I saw canvas water bags affixed to the front grills of vehicles - typically beat up old "utes". It was amazing how cool the water would be, considering the 40 C ambient temperature.

Cheers,

PKH

JPW
2005-08-25, 15:36
Things I have recycled: Pancake syrup bottle for a canteen, bottom of a 1/2 gallon milk jug for a bowl, vitamin bottle with screw on lid for match holder ( glue emery cloth on the side for a striker and use strike anywhere matches) plastic drop cloth for a tarp tent and ground cloth ( put a small stone the size of a marble in the corner and tie around it for the tiedowns ) , coffee can for a cook pot (with bailing wire handle),old horse blanket for a sleeping pad, feed bag with straps made by weaving binder twine for a pack. You get a lot of funny looks and smartass coments from folks with money.

Seeker
2005-08-25, 18:54
koolaid container into a bowl. water bottle into, well, a water bottle... soda/water bottles into alcohol bottle... cans of all sorts into stoves, electical wire into pot bails, sucrets box into repair kit holder, old packstrap padding into lumbar support for another pack, and i guess that's about it. no, one more- a Reliance 6qt water jug into a washbasin with handles. sort of like a folding pail. use it when canoing to wash in, or when it's really hot, for a daily bath.

yeah, i know what you mean about the 'looks'... with some people (no one on this site... one of the reasons i like it here) if you aren't covered with brand name labels on every piece of gear, you're not a 'real' hiker... oh well... some of my stuff is new and brand name (WM bag, which i saved a whole year for), most of it isn't. i got my HH, Gust and MSR simmerlite stove on ebay at just about 30% off each... raingear and 1 cooking pot are from walmart. msr titan kettle was a gift. blue foam pads-i own three but 2 were found on the side of the road. made a homemade silnylon tarp from the $1/yd remnant rack at walmart, along with most of my stuff sacks. found a perfectly good military poncho on the side of the road a couple weeks ago on the way to work. was all wet, so it had been out all night, but not one person in front of me during what passes for rush hour outside fort polk stopped to pick it up.... hundreds must have gone past it... oh well... mine now.

tinny3
2005-08-26, 08:44
Things I have recycled: Pancake syrup bottle for a canteen, bottom of a 1/2 gallon milk jug for a bowl, vitamin bottle with screw on lid for match holder ( glue emery cloth on the side for a striker and use strike anywhere matches) plastic drop cloth for a tarp tent and ground cloth ( put a small stone the size of a marble in the corner and tie around it for the tiedowns ) , coffee can for a cook pot (with bailing wire handle),old horse blanket for a sleeping pad, feed bag with straps made by weaving binder twine for a pack. You get a lot of funny looks and smartass coments from folks with money.

People with money quite often don't know how to have fun. The money robs them of that simple pleasure. This hobby of making a usefull item from trash can bring me more pleasure than money ever could. checkout this beer can pot and cup.http://minibulldesign.com/myadventure/media/1/20050824-CUP5.JPG http://minibulldesign.com/myadventure/media/1/20050824-CUP6.JPGhttp://minibulldesign.com/myadventure/media/1/20050824-CUP2.JPGhttp://minibulldesign.com/myadventure/media/1/20050824-CUP2.JPG

Lanthar
2005-08-26, 11:18
tinny,
you use that HTS stuff for that?

Turk
2005-08-26, 18:42
yeah, i know what you mean about the 'looks'... with some people (no one on this site... one of the reasons i like it here) if you aren't covered with brand name labels on every piece of gear, you're not a 'real' hiker...


It is funny to hear that. You would find my neck of the woods refreshing
then. We have the exact opposite reactions here. People with "all brand name" gear are referred to as "powder puffs" and "urban warriors". In the local hiking social circles it is a major faux pas to have an entire pack full of "manufactured gear". Rather it is a sign of status in some circles, weighed by the amount of homemade items you have substituted for "standard gear".
I came to this little revelation just after I substituted my gerber hatchet for
a hand made tomahawk.


Hmm things I have recycled:

garbage bags into stuff sack liners, into cooking shelters, into emergency ponchos. does that count?
lap-jointed a gilette razor and a toothbrush end to end with crazy glue. Just dont stick the wrong end in your mouth.
bear whistle into pot handle/remover from fire
oakley sunglasses case into stretchable drawstring stuff sack
(wear this on my hip belt for bits of garbage during snack time and cigarette butts.)
cellphone clip into a map holder with quick release (sewn to hip belt)


current project - sleeping bag into an underquilt for the HH.
(still working out design elements, will post pics when underway)

Seeker
2005-08-28, 00:49
i probably would (in the summer...i grew up in syracuse, ny. hell is not full of flames... it's ice cold.)

fortunately, i don't run into too many people where i camp now, maybe a couple dayhikers each weekend... and 'do it yourself' is pretty valued around here. not a lot of rich folks. drunk mule-rider tried to run me down a few months back, but that kind of redneck stupidity exists everywhere.

i used to spend a lot of time in the smokies, when i lived in knoxville ('95-'02). a lot of the folks i'd run into were all about brand names, 'trekking', gortex, and such-like. a lot of them were young... some were older. i'd been out of camping for several years (the army doesn't count) and forgot a lot of things, like my common sense... i started rebuilding my kit the wrong way, with advice from enthusiatic young college students at the local outfitters. fortunately, i ran into this web site and a few others, and got headed back the right way. (light, functional, practical). i've made a lot of changes in the past couple years, and am pretty happy with my system. guy asked me the other day, either here or on WB, if i was an "ultralighter"... made me stop and think.. no. i don't want to be labelled anything... just a camper. someone who knows how to read a map and compass and doesn't need a gps... someone who can build a fire without a blowtorch. someone who knows first aid and can be relied on by others. someone who's slowly remembering all the stuff he learned about the outdoors, either by himself or from his scoutmaster/uncle/godfather. someone who carries no more, and no less, than he really needs, in a practical system that works for him. if that makes me an ultralighter, that's his definition... i'm just me.

so what was this thread about before i got off track? recycled gear, i think... and i've already put in my contribution... just thought of another one though. my daughter had a mesh backpack she used for school last year that wore out, and i cut the mesh up and used it to sew side pockets on my backpack. one for my water, one for my fuel.

Two Speed
2005-08-28, 09:06
O.K., I'll drag the pack out and see . . .

Pot Scrubbie . . . was the mesh sack onions come in
Canteens . . . 1 L water bottles
Fuel bottle . . . 12 oz (?) Gatorade bottle
Sm bottle for Vitamin I, etc . . . was a small vitamin bottle
Tinder kit . . . 35 mm film cannister loaded w/cotton balls soaked in baby oil
Nylon thread . . . aka the little box of dental floss the dentist hands out; multi-use too! :p

I know I'm stretching pretty far to include a couple of those items, but I love the concept of hanging on to a piece of "trash" and making it useful again. I think this could be a great way to kick off a "$300 Challenge" kit. Couple more posts and we should have a pretty good selection of free/recycled stuff for the gear list.

Steinberger
2005-08-28, 21:44
This may be a little off topic but speaking of evaporative cooling, I was looking for a replacement for my $2 plastic rain poncho that ripped up and saw these. Has anybody seen these before they look pretty cool, literally. It has all the advantages of evaporative cooling while still being dry to the touch due to the wicking core.

http://216.69.177.125/hydroweave.htm
http://216.69.177.125/cillypad.htm

dropkick
2005-08-30, 06:43
This may be a little off topic but speaking of evaporative cooling, I was looking for a replacement for my $2 plastic rain poncho that ripped up and saw these. Has anybody seen these before they look pretty cool, literally. It has all the advantages of evaporative cooling while still being dry to the touch due to the wicking core.

http://216.69.177.125/hydroweave.htm
http://216.69.177.125/cillypad.htm

Those are cool (no pun intended). I've been doing a similar thing (though not as efficent) with my straw cowboy/hiking hat and a rag for years.
I soak them down, wrap the rag around my neck, and stick the hat on my head, it always makes me cooler.

Steinberger
2005-08-30, 17:16
It sounds easy enough to recreate maybe a quilt with a pretty thick layer cotton or other wicking material then a loose weave sil nylon or something that is breathble but waterproof on either side. Probably not as good as theirs but I know any cooling is welcome during the summer down south here.

skysappr
2005-09-01, 01:20
When I was in Saudi in 90 we were issued a daily supplement of bottled water and our issue wool socks were the perfect size to soak and cool the bottles. Once again from yet another angle evaporative cooling rocks.

tinny3
2005-09-09, 21:42
This baby is all made from recycled stuff and i guess you could call it a poor mans jetboil-----http://www.minibulldesign.com/video/sst.wmv