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Greg Brouelette
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Greg Brouelette

Help Requests  - 
 
Multiplayer questions.

My grand daughter and I are trying to play Terraria in 1.3 and we started the way we always do. We're both in the same room on the same home network so I check ipconfig for my iP address, host a game, and she joins on port 7777.

This use to work great, but in 1.3 we get tons of stuttering and lag.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to play multiplayer as smoothly as we did pre-1.3?

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Greg Brouelette
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Discussion  - 
 
I had an interesting conversation with some friends Saturday evening over dinner.  They did the south half of the John Muir trail last year and are doing the north half this year.  I told them about my new tent (which I didn't realize was waiting for me in our mail box at the time) and that led to a discussion of lightweight gear.   I couldn't believe how many times I heard some variation of "but I don't want to give up [something]"

Examples:
Them:  But I love my JetBoil
Me: But your Jetboil alone weighs 15.4 ounces.  My entire cook kit of stove, pot, lid, cup, pot cozy, windscreen, spork, water filter, and 3 liter water bag only weighs 16 ounces.  And it's quiet.

Them: I love my 6 pound backpack.
Me:  I love my ULA Circuit and I consider it a heavy pack at 2# 4ozs.  My entire "Big 3" of pack, shelter and sleeping system is only a pound heavier than your pack alone.  You really can save weight and be more comfortable if you try some lightweight backpacking techniques.

Me:  Notice how the only zippers on my pack are in the hip belt pockets.  There are no other zippered pockets because you don't need them.
Them: But I like my zippered pockets.  I like to keep organized.
Me:  What is there to organize?  Beyond "The Big Three", you only carry "The Other Three" which are your clothing (including rain gear), your cook kit, and your personal ditty bag (toiletries and first aid). Each of those are in their own stuff sack.  There's no need for extra pockets.

Them: Oh First Aid! We have to remember to bring a lot more moleskin.  We all had serious blister issues.
Me: I stayed quiet.  I wanted to say "That's because you're carrying 45 pound packs."
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Ultralight Backpack's profile photoGreg Brouelette's profile photoJeff Bond's profile photoDan G.'s profile photo
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... what tent  ?

p.s. only place i've been required to have a bearvault is yosemite +Greg Brouelette, went to the sword lake two weeks ago only recommended bear bags, lol that's where ALL the bears are, they know that ;)
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Greg Brouelette
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Discussion  - 
 
We took a little day hike yesterday.  This is one of the advantages of living in the Sierra Foothills. This place is 1 hour away.

It's good to get out again.
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Ultralight Backpack's profile photo
 
Wow, looks great +Greg Brouelette! I definitely have to check the place out one day. 
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Greg Brouelette

Discussion  - 
 
When I grow up, I'm going to be a Shutter
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Greg Brouelette
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Shelters & Hammocks  - 
 
I'm looking for some tent advice.  Yes, I've been a hard core hammock camper for the past several years, but I'm looking into tents for 2 reasons:  First, I have yet to find an adequate bug net solution for my hammock.
Second, my wife and I are starting to backpack together more and I'm trying to reduce the total weight of our combined packs.  I don't want to bring a tent for her and my hammock/tarp/quilt system for me.

Requirements:

It should be a 2 person tent.

I will be carrying it and using it as a one person tent at least half the time.

It needs to have bug protection so no tarp systems.

As light as possible, but we can't afford Cuben Fiber.

My current choices:
Quest Outfitters Bilgy tent kit.  2# 4ozs  $124.44 but I have to sew it.

Tarptent Squall 2.  2# 2ozs $259

Big Agnus Fly Creek UL2 2# 5oz  $349 (getting into a pretty high price range)

Does anyone here have a 2 person tent in the 'under 2#8oz' weight range which they like? 
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tim mckenzie's profile photoMartin Beran (BeryCZ)'s profile photoGreg Brouelette's profile photoGail Waldby's profile photo
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It looks like the Lunar Duo is 41 ounces. The MSR Hubba hubba is over 50 ounces.

The tarptent squall 2 is only 34 ounces. I think we'll try one of those. Thanks for the advice and opinions.
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Greg Brouelette
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Discussion  - 
 
Tip Sharing #1.  Staying dry in the rain:

In Backpacker magazine's article they correctly mentioned placing your down gear in a plastic bag, but they missed several points which would actually help you stay dry:

1) Use a trash compactor bag or a turkey basting bag to store you down gear.  They're thicker and won't tear as easily.

2) Cinch up the wrists of your rain parka.  An awful lot of water gets in by running down your arms. That brings us to point 3 . . .

3) Shorten your trekking poles.  This way your forearms will be pointing downwards slightly and you'll have less chance of rain coming into your jacket.

4) Your rain jacket does have pit zips doesn't it?  A lot of moisture will come from you sweating.  So make sure you can vent that moisture.

5) Slow down!  This is a point which Backpacker magazine correctly made.  When it rains the humidity is 100%  So you'll sweat a lot more.  Don't soak yourself form the inside.

6) NEVER EVER WEAR COTTON!  I'm a big fan of merino wool shirts from Icebreaker.  They're expensive as hell, but they soak up moisture and keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat.  I also like polypro shirts although while they evict the sweat, they keep the smell.

7) Keep a 2nd lightweight polypro or nylon shirt in your pack.  When you get to camp set up your tent or tarp, get under that tarp and get out of your wet shirt.  Put on your down jacket and you'll be amazed at how quickly you go from miserable to happy.

What are your wet weather tips?
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Jeff Bond's profile photo
 
NO PONCHOS !!!

definitey a good rain jacket, lightweight, with a great hood, cinch wrists, and a elastic band at the bottom to tighten it up.

rain pants, no pockets, really lightweight goretex, BIG zipper at the bottom so i can put on/off without having to take off my boots, elastic band at bottom to tighten up.

gaiters, man i hate making it all the way dry only to have water flood into my boots, i wear gaiters and they work like a champ to protect my laces and keep my footsies dry !

drink water, it's easy to forget and dehydrate.

contingency plan immediately, have a backup in case the original plan goes bad ... have an emergency plan in place, an emergency shelter, food, water scenario for a quick emergency setup ... just think about it while hiking.

merino wool ... so true !!!

be prepared to light a fire immediately upon arrival at camp ... start drying things out or get warm !!!

i use a backpack, it has a full rain cover ... when i hike with my rain gear on, and the cover on the backpack, i can go 20 miles and be perfectly dry and my gear dry, so my most important comment is probably ... do what you are most comfortable with, but DO NOT f up, i t can go bad real quick if it gets cold and you are wet ;(

happy trails, jeff
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Greg Brouelette

Discussion  - 
 
I need some student advice.  I've had a student for over  a year and he's not progressing.  I use to think that he simply didn't practice but now I'm realizing that the real problem is that he simply doesn't have the talent to play music.  He can't hear the chord changes, he can't hear the rhythm, he can't hear the melody, he can't tap his foot in time.  He simple doesn't have any musical talent.

I want to keep  lessons fun for him (and for me) but I'm running out of ways to get him to change chords in time.

I think I just have to back off even more and simply play music with him every lesson.  If all we do is strum G and D chords for half an hour and he enjoys it then that's a good lesson.  But  it feels weird to have to drop to that point after a year of lessons.  I'm basically saying "this person can't be taught. So we'll just hang out" and that feels wrong.
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Greg Brouelette's profile photoBest Beginner Guitar Lessons's profile photoTaura Eruera's profile photoClarence Delaney 's profile photo
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I have encountered this type of student. I found we made more progress when I upped the transactions. Meaning, we just used his guitar for the lesson. I show him a small thing then give him the guitar. When he plays it I take the guitar off him to show him the next thing. Key points: he only has the guitar when i give it to him. I take the guitar off him as soon as he has played.  He never doodles.  He only plays what he is asked and what he can play.  I have observed over the years students with low progress--for whatever reason--respond to these high transaction lessons. They love the toing and froing. In my experience. Maybe this can help a bit.
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Greg Brouelette

General Discussion  - 
 
I got a chance to play a little bit of 1.3 last night.  I started with a new character and new world in the expert mode (or was it "Extreme" mode?).

I can't believe that I died in the first 10 minutes from a slime hoard.

I like the new setup interface and loading screens.  I haven't played long enough to really notice game play or item differences yet.  Bit I think I'm going to enjoy starting over again.
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Shit!
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Greg Brouelette
owner

Shelters & Hammocks  - 
 
We just got our Tarptent squall 2 from Henry Shires. I'm really impressed. There's a ton more room inside than our old REI Clipper tent. I can lay down and still have 6" of space beyond my feet and another 6" beyond my head. The two of us can easily fit inside and I think that in an emergency we could fit three.

The weight is just 2 pounds 2 ounces. That's way less than half of what the 5 pound 8 ounce Clipper tent weighs and honestly, the Squall looks more comfortable.

I can't wait to get it out in the mountains.
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Hahahaaa thanks alot. 
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Greg Brouelette

Discussion  - 
 
My grand daughter and I would just like to say . . . this is not an addiction.
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Add flying squirrel if you can find one. Nice collection
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Greg Brouelette
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Tip Sharing #2  First time backpackers.

Backpacker magazine gave some reasonable tips for first time backpackers.  But they still missed the mark on several points.  Here's what I would add:

1)  Go with an experienced person your first time.  Seriously, there are so many things that can make it a fun experience, or just destroy the thought of ever going again.   Learn from someone else's pain and let them help you.

2) Don't try for 20 mile days, or even 10 mile days.   We just did a trip with my 10 year old grand daughter.  We didn't leave the house until 11:00, we had lunch together, and then drove up to the trail head.  4 miles was more than enough.  That gave us time make camp, have dinner while it was still light out, make a camp fire and have hot chocolate.  Hiking out 4 miles the next day was plenty of distance.  Everyone had the backpacking experience without being too overwhelmed.

3) Borrow or rent gear the first few times.  Until you get some experience in the woods you don't really know what works for you and what doesn't.  I love my ULA Circuit backpack.  But my wife still loves her Kelty external frame backpack (which weighs 4 pounds and looks like a truck on her back).  Hike your own hike, but until you do it several times you don't know what your hiking style is.

4) Are you an ultimate hiker or ultimate camper?  Ultimate hikers like to move and see things.  They pack light and get joy out of seeing as much as they can on the trail and covering miles.  Ultimate campers enjoy the destination more than the journey.  They want amenities and comfort in the campsite.  These two styles are not mutually exclusive.  I hike light but sleep warm and cozy in a hammock at night.  However, your style will affect what kinds of extras you will bring.

5) Think about the "Big Three" and "The Other Three".  Your Big Three is your pack, your sleeping system, and your shelter system.  If you're going lightweight each of your Big Three should be no more than 3 pounds each.  If you're striving for ultralight then drop that to 2 pounds each.

The "Other Three" are the only other things you need to carry.  They are : Clothing (including rain gear),  your cook kit, and your personal ditty bag.  That's it.  Your ditty bag is a source of a lot of weight so be careful.  It should have your toothbrush and toothpaste, first aid kit, repair kit (duct tape and sewing kit), your poop bag (trowel, TP, soap, hand sanitizer, mini flashlight attached to the trowel), and your water filtration.  This is where most of my weight comes from and it's a constant source of recalculation and restructuring.  

If it's not in the big 3 or the other 3 then it's optional.  A camera is probably fine, but anything else should be looked at with suspicion.

Now it's your turn.  What are your first time backpacker tips?
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Jess Mink's profile photoDan G.'s profile photo
 
I try and tell people not to worry about things too much.  They're just going for a walk where they happen to sleep where they end up.  Everyone knows how to go for a walk.

When I bring people for the first time I just have them carry rain gear, a sweater, a spoon, a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, a bottle or two of water and a small bag of gorp.  I carry and get together everything else so it doesn't seem to complicated.  This also lets people use their normal day to day backpacks.  It's worked out pretty well.  Clearly you wouldn't want to take that approach for crazier trips 'since they don't have any emergency gear, but the chances of people knowing how to use emergency gear on their first trip are low anyway.
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Greg Brouelette
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Discussion  - 
 
Hi folks:  I was just reading Backpacker magazine (which always seems to be a mistake).  It made me think of a cool idea for the community.  Backpacker magazine gives tips for various aspects of backpacking and they always seem silly and misinformed.  So I'm going to start a series of post on various topics where we can share our experiences.

Watch this space!
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Yes please and thank you.
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Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
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Musician, Luthier, Software guy, Dog lover, Fly fisherman, Freethinker
Introduction
I'm a software engineer by trade and a musician by passion.  In addition to playing acoustic fingerstyle guitar and jazz guitar I also play mandolin and the occasional banjo.

I also build instruments.  I'm moving from building mountain dulcimers to building acoustic and electric guitars.

I'm married and living in the foothills of the Sierra mountains.
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