Thursday, May 26, 2011

Boy Scout

My mother-in-law took this picture today with my cell phone
It has been a busy week as you may be able to tell being my last blog was Sunday and this is Thursday.  We spent Monday visiting at the nursing home and getting caught up on work at the house.  Tuesday we had the Ladies Bible study but did not go down to Lorena for services there.  I had a headache that lasted three days.  It is gone today and I am glad.  Headaches don't usually hang on that long for me.  Wednesday was usual and this morning we left for Henderson stopping to eat lunch in Corsicana.  When we arrived we took my mother-in-law to the cell phone store to get her account straitened out.  That took a while and afterward we took her out to eat.
New Vargo wood stove
When I was a child I wanted to be in the boy scouts.  My mother and father said no and I am sure at the time they had good reason.  Camping out is fun.  I love the outdoors and especially hiking.  I have purchased a new hiking stove.  My older brother put me onto it a year or so ago.  I watched some youtube videos of it in use and liked what I saw.  Janie allowed me to purchase the thing and it arrived yesterday. It is a Vargo Titanium Hex Stove.  It weighs just a little over 4 ounces.  This evening just before sunset I went outside here at my mother-in-law's house and gave it a try.
My day hiking back pack
I have a small day pack that I have put together which contains some survival/camping/hiking gear.  I keep it in the car and take it whenever I go for a day hike.  It has a 2 quart water bladder. I have a first aide kit, knife, snacks, a freeze dried meal for 2, flashlight, cook stove, a pot, fire starter,  and a handful of other things that would help if I got lost in the woods.  Getting lost should not be a factor due to the fact I keep my GPS in the pack as well with fresh batteries.   The Boy Scout motto is "Always be prepared" and I think that is a good idea.  This pack weighs 9 pounds with its current contents including water.
Breaking up some twigs, it only took a handful
I took my stove out of the pack along with my pot and set it up to boil 2 cups of water.  It only took a handful of twigs according to the youtube videos I had seen and sure enough that is all it took.  I placed three cotton balls in the bottom of the stove and then piled some small twigs on top. I used a fire steel to light the cotton balls but the fire burned only a minute then went out.  I added another cotton ball and put a little alcohol on it and this time it caught on and burned real good.  I placed the pot on top and started the stop watch on my cell phone.
8 minutes to boil 2 cups of water with twigs
It took right at 8 minutes to bring the water to a rolling boil.  I was amazed at how little wood it took.  you can see the little pile of twigs next to my foot and I did not use all of them.  I left the little door open most of the time for it seemed to burn better that way.   The problem with using wood for fuel is the soot.  It blackened the pot and the stove.  I used soap, water, and elbow grease to clean them both up.  The carrying case for the Vargo will be needed to put the stove in so that it does not soil everything it touches.  When hiking and primitive camping water is usually a precious commodity so you don't want to waste it cleaning a stove or the exterior of a pot.
I like this new stove it is definitely a keeper.  I plan to cook with it when I take my grandkids hiking and camping during the three weeks we keep them this summer.
Vargo stove setup and ready to go
Tomorrow morning I will be taking my mother to a doctor in Longview.  It is time for them to check her pacemaker.  I plan to take her to a fabric store and then over to Gary, Texas for some reminiscing.  I will take some pictures of our outing and post them here.  God bless you.
Ready for the pot

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