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Author Topic: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature  (Read 39641 times)

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Rosesfirst

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2010, 10:00:58 PM »

Ok, that's a little better. Thanks.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #61 on: August 03, 2010, 07:46:48 PM »

Had an interesting conversation with my nurse practitioner yesterday.  She's about my age and hails from eastern Kentucky.  I'd call her a hillbilly but I don't know if folks from KY embrace the moniker like we WV hillbillies do.  She told me of a variation of using a car as a dehydrator I had not heard of and also an ad hoc outside dehydrator -- both of which her mother used to use.  The car dehydrator technique was to place a towel in the rear part of a sedan where the rear window glass is one one side and the back of the car seats the other.  Items to be dehydrated are placed on the towel and sit in the sun like any other car dehydrator.  The difference is that the car was driven around with the back windows cracked (as in used as a car that just happens to be in use as a dehydrator as well).  This added some hot air movement which speeded the dehydration.  The outside dehydrator she described was a sheet of corrogated metal placed on a simple raised stand a few feet high made of some 2x4s.  A cloth was placed on the metal sheet and the items to be dehydrated were placed on the cloth.  A smokey fire (we here in WV would call it a gnat smoke) was built below the metal sheet and its purpose was to drive away flying insects who would otherwise be interested in what was being dehydrated.  She also told me about dehydrating pumpkins and green beans on a string behind an active wood stove.  When I was a kid, we called such "string beans" or "leather britches (sic)."  Like the idea of placing something like a can of soup or a potato to be heated in a black sock and placing it near the windshield of a car as an inexpensive solar heater, I am very fond of keep it simple cheap and practical adaptations to take advantage of free solar energy.
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jollyquilter

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #62 on: August 03, 2010, 09:20:03 PM »

Oh yes I remember leather britches well. Grandma always had them going in the fall when you had to start lighting a fire in the mornings.

I like the black sock idea too.  :yes
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #63 on: August 16, 2010, 08:57:27 PM »

Got the below link as a link from Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest, a site that isn't as vitreol spewing as one would initially conclude from its name.  Anyhow, the link is to an article in a Vermont newspaper about a professor and some interns building a passive freezer/refrigerator using 3000 two-liter soda bottles in a small two story shed.  The shed has "hatches" which are opened in the winter to let cold air in (freezing the bottle contents) and closed in the summer to retain the cold in the building.  The bottles are filled with a salt and water mixture.  The top floor is the freezer portion and the bottom floor is the refrigerator (cold goes down).  Really interesting and nope, my wife would absolutely positively REFUSE to allow one in our back yard.  I figure I could get the bottles following one of the many festivals we have here in WV.  If someone makes one of these, I most definitely would be interested in the process/results.  If you're close enough, I'll help.   ::D

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20100816/NEWS02/100815019/Essex-project-builds-backyard-passive-freezer
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Creekwoman

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2010, 09:34:55 PM »

Isn't that something!  Sent the link to DH, he loves that kind of stuff.
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Rosesfirst

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #65 on: August 16, 2010, 09:41:58 PM »

Very interesting. Thanks Magispook.
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Kay

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #66 on: August 16, 2010, 10:48:08 PM »

FYI, I routinely use my minivan as a dehydrator. It works especially well for making fruit leather on cookie sheets laid on the cargo area in back. Makes the car smell nice and fruity too. I've also dehydrated fruit slices in it. I don't even bother to open a window, because that would allow flies in. I just place the food inside and forget it for several days in summer. Of course, I live just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, so I could probably bake cookies in there too! LOL LOL
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2010, 08:39:16 PM »

Yet Another Inexpensive SolarCooker Link - Here's a link to another apparently easy to make solar cooker.
http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/EZ-3_Solar_Cooker
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2010, 11:27:37 AM »

Magispook's El-Cheapo Travel Berkey - I read of a cheap table Berkey system over at the Survivalist Blog http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/2010/06/dirt-cheap-berkey-filter.html but just didn't see it as useful in our home since we already have a metal Berkey, a Berkey Lite, and a humongous Magispook's Berkey Lite Knockoff with double the capacity of a Berkey Lite.  However, when pondering a travel Berkey system for use in temporary quarters (as in rent a one-room apartment for a short period of time in another country--  see my post at http://ourcountryhaven.com/OCH3/index.php?topic=21504.0   -- and the ability to carry it with other items to set up temporary living quarters given the notion that everything had to fit into two suitcases and a backpack, I saw some utility in having a small Berkey.  However, I wanted something cheaper and small enough to take up little room in a suitcase.  SO..........my version: the Magispook's El-Cheapo Travel Berkey (METB) is two Mainstay two-quart pitchers purchased at Walmart for about $4, a black Berkey filter candle which I already have on hand, and that's it.  I drilled a small hole big enough to fit the nipple of the candle in the bottom of one of the pitchers and screwed in the candle.  That pitcher is placed down inside the other pitcher to the point the handle on the top (candle filter) pitcher stops inside the filtered water (bottom) pitcher.  At first I didn't like the setup with the top pitcher merely placed in the bottom pitcher as I thought I would not be able to get all the possible output of the top pitcher so I substituted a bigger bottom container.  I got a little more than a quart of water in about two hours (now less time but initially the filter was completely dry).  Production appeared to stop other than about a half cup more water over the next three hours as the unfiltered water stopped at a level of a little more than a pint left to filter.  Then it dawned on me..........this is a gravity filter and works with the pressure of the water pushing other water through the filter candle.  Less pressure = less water filtered.  Since, given the parameters I set for myself such as size and portability, I was stuck with the top pitcher and filter I can now live with using the bottom pitcher as the receptable 'cause the level of filtered water will not rise to the point it interferes with the operation of the filter in the top pitcher.  The pitchers do not nest snugly but I am not worried about it.  I plan to keep a tidy room and if push comes to shove, I'll simply cover the entire setup with a towel or sheet of plastic.  Well, there you have it.  An METB for the lazy.... er folks who prefer to have more time to work on other things but still like filtered water.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2010, 07:26:08 AM »

Out of the Box at the Airport - Read some interesting info while surfing car camping/homeless etc.  Will try to find a link later.  What if, for some reason, you get stranded at an airport and cannot book a hotel/motel room due to overcrowding or you simply don't have the bigger bucks those places require and staying at the airport terminal at night is not going to happen for personal security reasons or they close it down at night or you are told to leave?  Cheaper solution:  go to the car rental place and rent a car with a big comfy back seat.  Sleep there.  Less cost than a room, secure area, lockable "room," no gasoline costs, basic cost of the vehicle rental only.  You should have a travel sleep mask, travel blanket, and earplugs already anyhow since you're a prepper.  Set your travel alarm to get up in time to go into the airport and take care of most of your morning routine except a shower.  You can make the back seat more comfortable by placing luggage on the floor in such a manner as to build up to the level of the seat.  Better than the hassles of going downtown in a place you don't know about or don't want to go if you've been there before.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2010, 05:10:55 PM »

And Speaking of "Auto Hotels" - Park in a secure parking garage at night for sleeping in your auto if you cannot find decent accomodations or a safe location otherwise.  It should be safe and again is not as expensive as other options.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2010, 07:56:48 PM »

Yet Another Super Simple Solar Cooker - Here's a link to a very simple and cheap to make solar cooker.  It uses a 3 x 2 foot section of Reflectrix and a clip for the main portion of the cooker.  It uses the standard black pot in an oven bag or under a glass bowl for the other portion of the cooker.  This one will fold up nicely for backpack or luggage.  Enjoy!    http://www.solarcooker-at-cantinawest.com/build_a_simple_solar_cooker.html
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2010, 08:02:23 PM »

Tighter Than Bark on a Tree - Just cannot throw away my no longer repairable hiking socks.  Fortunately they are dark colored.  So..... the bottoms with the no longer repairable toes and heels get cut off.  The stretchy undamaged tops that go from the ankle to the calf will become dark (sleeve) covers for cans (like beenie-weenies) to be placed in the above solar cooker.  Have yet to try this but it has possibility and I hate to just throw anything away until it is all used up.   ::)
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2010, 01:57:09 PM »

Constructed and tested the solar cooker in Reply #71 above this morning.  Took about 5 minutes to make.  Got up to 180 degrees between 1030 and 1130 this morning here in north-central WV.  Got called away unexpectedly so couldn't do any additional experimentation today.  I recommed a trivet at least 4 inches high to get better output and next time I will use an overturned glass bowl instead of an oven bag to see If I can increase the heat a bit more.  The completed cooker with oven bag (but minus black pot and trivet) rolls up to the size of a thin rolled up newspaper but is 2 feet in length.  Super light weight and can always be used as an emergency matress pad or hands/feet/body warmer not to mention an enormous shiny Darth Vader-like "tin foil" hat.
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jollyquilter

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2010, 04:07:53 PM »

Great Ideas!!

I am assuming those socks are wool. And if they have been washed in the washer and dried then they are felted and would make fabulous sleeves or wrist warmers too.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2010, 05:53:27 PM »

Great idea JQ!
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2010, 02:45:53 PM »

Used a glass (gallons size) jar over the same cookpot today.  No room for the trivet.  Got to 200 degrees.  Time was from 1300 to 1400 hrs.  Temp measured with an oven thermometer like the one on the global sun oven.  Tomorrow's forecast is cloudy with possible rain so no experiment tomorrow.   Next test will be with a smaller trivet along with the pot under the glass jar.  Just heating water right now.  Must cook or bake something with it this week.
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Magispook

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #77 on: October 16, 2010, 12:29:43 PM »

Got 210 degrees today (water was boiling).  I made a trivet by placing three canning jar lid rings in a triangular pattern.  Used the glass container for cover again today.  Time was between 1030 and 1130.  The cooker kit is now complete.  For storage:  Reflectix is rolled up and held in place by two dark sock tops.  Clips are placed between the sock tops and reflectix.  Pot is in its cookware kit bag nested with thermometer, canning jar lids (for trivet), and oven bag added to the other pot/cups/skillet that came with the cookset.  Weight of the entire setup is less than a pound and  takes up very little space. 
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CountryLady

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #78 on: October 16, 2010, 02:02:07 PM »

Dan, I'm absolutely fascinated by your projects. Thanks for sharing them with us. I think the keys to your success in doing them is thinking them through, your consistency, and being willing to tweak the process. :clap I am really impressed. :congrats
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jollyquilter

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Re: Tips and Tricks of a Miscellaneous Nature
« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2010, 03:42:56 PM »

I am impressed with your ability to stay with a project till you consider it a success.  Thank you for sharing.

I want to plan and do something like this next summer with my grandson. I want him to see that it may not be perfect the first time but you try agian and tweek it till you get it right. I also want him to get the sense of accomplishment in the final outcome.

Thanks again!!
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