Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stansport Handwarmer Revisit and the Start of the Home Camp, by The Wandering Thinker

Today in the News:  The Wandering Thinker returns today with a guest article.  This subject is near and dear to my heart.  While I enjoy bushcraft, I'm not able to get out into the woods much to practice my skills, therefore, I do it close to home.  I know that backyard bushcrafters are sometimes looked down upon in the community for not being "real" bushcrafters, but family and work commitments tend to keep me on the Happy-Half-Acre.  As you can see, TWT is making the best of what is available.  If you have a guest article you would like posted, please send it to me at . I know you want to!

In other news, I've been working away at the buffalo articles.  Things are coming together.  I said in an earlier post that I may take this week off from posting, but it looks like that may not happen.  We'll see. I'll promise to post something every day, but it may not have content written by me and may be shorter than usual.  Thanks to one and all for reading.  If you like this blog, don't hesitate to click "follow" in the upper left hand corner.  We're up to 43 followers.  When we hit 50, we're going to have a gear give away that will be a simple drawing.  No writing of guest articles, it will just be names in a hat.  Nothing over the top, but some fun stuff just the same!


Stansport handwarmer revisit and the start of the home camp, by the Wandering Thinker

With the deer hunting season closing here in south-east Tennessee I went out at least one last time with my dad today. While I was out I had a bit of an epiphany that lead me to a major portion of what I'm going to write about today. I'll get to the Hand-warmer in just a minute, but first I'd like to tell you a little about myself and what I realized today.

Since I was a kid my father and I have been going deer hunting every winter with the exception of maybe one or two. I've never actually taken a deer, except for the one hunt when I was around 13 when I shot a doe but lost the blood trail in the brush.. I would look forward to the Thanksgiving season when my dad would pull me out of class a few days early and we would take our old converted school bus into the woods for a long weekend, but I never really wanted to actually get up at dawn and sit in the freezing wind just to come back empty handed. I would spend most of the time poking the fire and watching the trees, only going out when my dad would get a little ticked that I wasn't actually doing anything. But, every year I would think about nothing but when we went out, even now that I'm grown and we don't have time to actually set up camp I love going out but I hate sitting in the stand. Well, today as I was stretching my legs under the stand and smoking a cigarette, I realized why I love going so much. I love having the excuse to drop absolutely everything and just go be in the woods. Most days I can't even find the time to take a quick walk around our property, which is on a bluff line in the woods, but when I go hunting with my dad I can say "I can't, I have to go hunting with dad, I need to spend time with him" and not feel bad one bit about putting everything on hold and getting outside. Even though I've been a tech nerd most of my life I realized that deep down I really am an outdoors man at heart. Even as an overweight child that thought more about video games than girls, I really was a woodsman and it's taken me over a decade to realize this. Now, I've also realized that I'm no hunter, but I can find and take a deer in a survival situation. I guess this would qualify me a more of a camper than anything, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop hunting with my dad, it just means I'll probably by carving a spoon or something instead of sitting in the stand.

I've also been a little down and out lately because I haven't been out to the Tellico Forrest in a few years for a weekend of camping but after realizing what I did today, and thanks to an old post here about Mr. Hotel's outdoor kitchen, I found a solution. The property we have is, as I said, under a bluff line in the woods. So I decided that I was going to set up my own "camp site" or whatever you want to call it here. I mostly want a place where I can build a fire, cook a little something, and sit around or even sleep out of site from the house. So I went back to an old spot I used to play as a kid, basically in a rock pile, and started clearing a place out. I only had about an hour of light left so I spent most of the time starting a better trail to the site.

These were taken on my phone around dusk, so they are pretty low quality, but this is what I've gotten done for the day. As you can see its all uphill until I get behind the rock, but the flat spot on up to the bluff is perfect for me.

Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow or this weekend to get some more work done. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

And now to the hand-warmer.

I decided to take a look at the hand-warmer I posted about earlier. I mostly wanted to see how warm it actually got and was pleasantly surprised. The picture quality is pretty bad on these because they were so close, but they will do. Starting out it was about 25 degrees outside.

At almost three minutes after I lit the stick it was already at about 50 degrees inside the case pouch.

After 35 mins. we hit about 70 degrees. So far I was pretty impressed with how well it was doing.

I left it outside for about another hour and when I got back, well, I was shocked. 140 degrees in an hour and a half.

It held at around 140 so I decided to call it quits and take everything in for the night, but after a few minutes I checked it to see if it was cooling down and it had pegged the thermometer at 180. I'm not sure how hot it really was but I wasn't to concerned with that at the time, I was in a hurry to get it back outside before my clumsy self damaged anything with it.

For another hour or so it held at 140 outside. So all in all, two hours or so of 140 degree heat in 25 degree weather ... I'm sold.

That's all for now. I'm almost finished with the work for Do I Haft to pt. 2, so I'll be getting that to you guys as soon as I can.
Thanks and take care!

The Wandering Thinker

That's all for today, folks.  Send me pictures of your home bushcraft project and a paragraph or more about it.  Once I get a few, I'll post them.  I'd love to see what everyone is doing at home and in the wild.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel....out.

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