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Mike Creuzer
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Backpacks  - 
 
Advice requested.

One of my issues with a big bag, is that I will always cram it full. So I bought a cheap hip bag at walmart for $10. The straps suck. I used the water bottles out of it for the baby's diaper bag, so the money spent was well spent. I can do an overnight trip out of the bag, but it's a tad small to be comfortable.

I saw this Kelty Oriole at Cabelas today and fell in love. Shoulder bag or hip bag with nice wide mesh straps. 350 in^3 and 13 oz. Supposedly there is a delrin frame in there! 

Is 350 cubic inches enough for a good weather weekend bag? Keep in mind I have gone in the woods for a weekend with a painters drop cloth and an empty soup can for a pot and 'rough it'.

My concern is I have new-gear-goggles on.

P.S. I bought my first pair of nylon convertible pants while at Cabelas today. Turns out, if you spend 2 hours wandering around, employees will notice you. One approached me and we got to talking about pants. I had a pair in my hands half off, which I liked. We wandered around a bit and found a $70 pair I loved. I told her I couldn't afford it, so we kept looking. She said hang on, came back, said I could have them for $50. I love it when stores empower employees.
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Mike Creuzer's profile photoGreg Brouelette's profile photoJeff Bond's profile photoShawn Jones's profile photo
9 comments
 
+Jeff Bond two of my packs have that, too. I'd forgotten about it.
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Mike Creuzer
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Shelters & Hammocks  - 
 
Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and thought I'd give it a try. $50 is too rich for my blood given the mixed reviews and stories how it's a tight fit. Only been wanting one for 2 years.

The features I liked in the ads are the unobtrusive green color, heat reflective construction, and waterproof while being breathable.

I ran it through it's paces as best as I can with the temps running around 0 outside.

Initial test. I filled the stuff sack with water. The sack is made of the same material, without the nicer seams. The water poured out the seems, but no seeping on the main material. Sticking your hand in the bag, you do feel the 'space blanket' effect with nearly instantly warmer hands.

First night I climbed in it in bed, and tossed my usual quilt and wool blanket over me and the bag. I felt decidedly warmer than usual even with lots of skin contact to the bag. In the morning there was no clamminess so the breath-ability claim is substantiated in my book. If it didn't breath, I should have been swimming like a fish.

For the 2nd night, I decided to 'camp out' in my basement with my oldest 2 girls. The basement runs mid 60s during the winter. I rigged up a pair of hammocks for my girls out of bed sheets and lots of blankets. 
I slept in a hammock and the bivy wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. I froze! My trip out in 3 degree weather and strong winds in  down bags had me less chilled (although much colder in spots) than 65 degrees with this bivy. 3 am, I folded and grabbed my light down jacket and wool hat. Covering my torso and arms and I slept great the rest of the night.

This again confirms what I've known for a while. Space blankets need space in order to work. This bag is SO tight on me that I doubt I can get my summer weight down bag and myself stuffed inside. Warm thin clothes is the best I can hope for.

I think I may modify the bag by adding a heavy space blanket diamond to the bottom. Slit the bag about 3 feet and tape in a diamond shaped patch maybe 6 inches wide. I am going to try to seal the stuff sack with some Gorilla brand clear repair tape to see how well it sticks and durability before I cut the bag.

This isn't a down bag, for sure. I don't foresee any use for this in cold weather. It is also not a comfortable bag. Given the size and weight, it will be my ultralight summer setup. I will be using this bag a lot I expect simply because it's so svelte. Cowboy camping in my future in this bag for sure!

Anybody else try this bag?
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Greg Brouelette's profile photoLiam Phoenix's profile photoJesse Perry's profile photoMike Creuzer's profile photo
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+Jesse Perry You can probably find an orange one in a store locally to you. Check it out first. The bag is the same as the stuff sack.
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Mike Creuzer

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I built an Altoids tin multi-fuel backpacking stove. I spent an hour or two on Youtube the other night, coming up with ideas for this. So, none of the ideas are original to me, but I didn't see a multi-fuel setup or a capillary action alcohol stove out of a Altoids tin. 

97 grams as it currently sits. It will gain a little bit of weight as I add a small fero rod and jigsaw blade, wind screen and protective wrap. The tin will be the handle for the small saw. I am also going to add a leather wrap around the tin. The wrap is to contain the parts and also be used for a base for keeping tinder dry when making a campfire. The leather thong will be long enough for a bow-drill.

The capillary stove is pretty cool. The fuel wicks up inside the metal wick by capillary action. The metal gets hot, vaporizes the fuel, and it burns. The X shape of the wick is to increase the amount of flame area while providing good air flow to the flame. The X is a slice of a soda can, folded down to the shape.
Currently, I have a problem with boiling of the fuel before it can vaporize, so the stove will spit little fire balls nearly a foot away! It needs work yet.
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Jeff Bond's profile photoChristopher Poff's profile photoMike Creuzer's profile photoColonel SixSixSix's profile photo
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+Mike Creuzer
The hexamine tablets do not need crushing but you can if you want to use a magnesium striker rod with tinder. Put more than one tablet to boil water.
The brand is Coghlan's and I bought one (24) pack for $5.49 (free shipping) on eBay.
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Mike Creuzer
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Meta [changes to this community]  - 
 
Well we add a makers Mark section? 
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Mike Creuzer's profile photoJ Stekervetz's profile photo
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+Mike Creuzer I'll add something when I get home :)
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Ava's room.
When we bought the house, there is one room we referred to as the 'stupid room' as it was the smallest room, biggest closet, and 2 doors. We set it up as an office and library. Worked great.

With Ava, we decided that the time had come, the office is going away, it's the nursery. We'd discussed the very thing when we bought the house. 

So, this had the last of the original carpet. So I replaced the carpet. Katie ordered a wall decal set that I made work with the crib. 

Today I hung adjustable shelves so the largest closet in the house can be put to better use. It's a mix of baby stuff and kitchen stuff. 
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David Bates's profile photoTim Cunningham's profile photoJesse Daniel's profile photoBob Roth's profile photo
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Beautiful
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I have a tired old car that needs a new home. It runs good, stops, not so much. Needs a brake line and possibly front pads. It came to me in a time of need, and it would be a shame to junk it as I think is has one more good run left to it.

Free to a friend or a friend of a friend. 
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Gregg Dennison's profile photoMike Creuzer's profile photoJeff Bond's profile photo
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I think I found a home for the car. I had been given a pair of tires from a friend of a neighbor. His son blew up an engine. I may be able to return the tires, mounted, on a car. 
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Outside the office this morning. A bit of snow.
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Mike Creuzer

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Great tip video!
 
Great videos Ben thank you for sharing! Posted a thread link from OpenBuilds hope thats ok. Keep up the great work!
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Mike Creuzer
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Four Seasons Packing  - 
 
There is something about being on the Ice Age Trail in single degree weather. Wife sent me packing with a buddy for my birthday. I think she started a dangerous precedent.

43 lbs missed the ultra light mark by a shade but that had food for a week, not two days. A pound of summer sausage weighs a pound. Who knew?

I was packing for -7f. Clouds rolled in last minute and it only got down to 3. But windy! Likely negative teens to twentys windchill in a hammock without one of those nice wrap around tarps. In fact, my 'tarp' was a wool blanket.

I fell in love with bits of my gear and learned to trust it better.

I got cold, but never froze. My buddy with twice the weight froze his butt off. He was cold for a full week after the trip.

Oh, the unexpected clouds? I drove home into a blizzard. #irony
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Jesse Perry's profile photoMike Creuzer's profile photo
4 comments
 
The wool drape was nice and warm. I had a thermo rest under me and a space blanket under that. No under quilt.

I could see where a fleece cocoon could be nice. Creates a bubble of warmth.

My wool drape was open on both ends. Wind gusts along the length of the hammock would strip the heat out of my little shelter. Across was not a problem. 
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Mike Creuzer

commented on a video on YouTube.
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That looks like a 24/40 joint to me, what is the upper glass called? 
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Mike Creuzer

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Working on some cell phone holders for the cars. My wife's is a magnetic stand. I am building in wireless charging and NFC. Just place the phone in the stand, and the apps she wants will turn on automatically and it will do what she wants. Trying to make it really easy to use.

Mine won't be magnetic, but will function as a dash cam.
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Jeff Bond's profile photoMike Creuzer's profile photo
2 comments
 
I am REALLY digging the NFC tags. Set tasks such as turn on certain apps, set phone settings, etc. with just a tap of the phone. Needing to have the phone on and unlocked is the only UI need is pretty simple.

I've been playing with Tasker, Automateit Pro, IFTTT, and just got a Bluetooth ODBII adapter for both vehicles to try to get the phone more situationaly 'aware'. Nothing compelling yet, but getting close. I've a few more bottom dollar gadgets on order to try to make things 0 effort for our most common uses.
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My wife recently got a galaxy s5. She loves it, I want one badly. I can't justify it. So I got a pebble smart watch instead. I love this thing. I haven't used the SDK to program it yet, just an app that I can toss in data at in JSON format. I've got a server monitoring and marketing status app on the watch right now.

Probably my favorite app is Sleep as Android. It uses the watch to detect movement to figure out how asleep you are. I've been waking up earlier and not groggy using it.

I was looking at this app, and realized a friend could use this for his ghost hunting adventures. It can record and time stamp sounds from the phone. It looks like there are other data loggers he can use to save other readings. Should be handy sorting out sources of noise. 
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Mike Creuzer's profile photoJacob Hill's profile photoGa R's profile photoMike Nowakowski's profile photo
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If you don't let your band dry completely it will smell funky. I had one in red but got tired of the funk.
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There are 3 Mike Creuzer's in the US currently. Make sure you got the right one...
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"I was inspired by @creuzerm who has a never ending stream of accomplished projects. I usually end up getting my garage swept or some windows washed in the time it takes him to carve a dining room set from a tree he felled with an ax he made (or at least it seems to me)." --@kingsoloman http://www.kingsalomon.net
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My wife's favorite place for the first baby cravings.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Clean and curtious
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reviewed 6 months ago
Nice little park.
Appeal: Very GoodFacilities: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
For being located in a gas station, this is an awesome local short order kitchen. I've never been disapointed. One of the few places left with specials under $5.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
7 reviews
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Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
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reviewed a year ago
We pre-paid for parking and show up and they are full. 2 other families on the shuttle from a nearby lot that had space had the same story.
Public - 3 years ago
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reviewed 4 years ago