Some pics of some survival/cooking candles. I made today for use with my Solo Stove.
The progression of pics shows the small olive cans (4 oz) and some 1 1/2″ strips of rolled up corrugated cardboard.
I melt wax in a double boiler and fill the cans about 1/3 to 1/2 full, drop in the rolls of cardboard (I take the rubber bands off) and let the rolls loosen a bit to create some air space.
Then I pour the remaining wax over the top of the rolls and tap it on the counter to get the air bubbles out. I let that sit for a couple of minutes to make sure the cardboard is saturated and then pour the excess wax back into the pot for next time. I put the cans in the freezer to set up the wax. This size can fits nicely into my Solo Stove but I also have a couple that I made out of large tuna cans.
I keep these in my car in the winter in case I get stranded and wanted the interior temp to stay above freezing without running the engine continuously.
Save the lids for snuffing the candles when you’re done with them.
The posting of Picketwire Canyonlands inspired me to to post about another out of the way hidden gem. Irish Canyon, Vermilion Canyon, Vermilion Basin, Browns Park are all destinations in this area. Located in the northwest corner of Colorado in Moffat County about 1 1/2 hours northwest of Craig. The original settlers of this area were the Anasazi. Their petroglyphs are everywhere. There is even a fully intact medicine wheel and burial mounds. This used to be the stomping grounds for outlaws such as Butch Cassidy, the wild bunch, and Annie Bassett. Legend says that Cassidy hid tens of thousands of dollars worth of silver coins somewhere in Irish Canyon.
Today it would be worth millions. Good luck finding it. You can fish or raft the green river, visit the old homesteads in browns park, walk Vermilion canyon to view the petroglyphs, hike the basin to see the wild horse herd, explore badlands, and a lot more. My pictures truly don’t do it justice. You won’t see very many people when you visit. It truly is what is left of the old west. If you see the pictures of just a rock, zoom in because they are pictures of the petroglyphs. The medicine man petroglyph in the picture is about 6 feet tall.
Though somewhat rare and not very often serious, campers and hikers should nonetheless be wary of insect borne diseases. Along with the pleasure of outdoor activity comes the risk of being bitten and infected by a disease carrying bug. And while many of these illnesses are confined to tropical and subtropical climates, the potential for infection still does exist in North America and Europe. Below are a few of the more common and nasty insect borne diseases to watch out for.
1. Lyme Disease. Stemming from the bites of infected ticks, Lyme Disease is one of the more prevalent insect caused diseases in temperate climates. When an infected tick sinks its teeth into you, a bacteria genus called Borrelia enters the body. Early symptoms include a bull’s eye shaped rash, pain in the joints, and fever. Left untreated, Lyme Disease can progress to cause neurological symptoms including depression, loss of muscle control, and even cognitive disability in some. Therefore, tick bites should be treated with caution. When in doubt, see a doctor, as Lyme Disease is treatable.
2. Arboviral Encephalitis. This class of viral illnesses emanates from the bite of infected mosquitoes. Though relatively rare, those infected can experience some pretty serious symptoms. Included are fever, pain associated with bright lights, nausea, and cognitive impairment. Fortunately, disease control methods including mosquito spraying and removal of stagnant water have decreased the occurrence of this set of diseases significantly.
3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Certain types of ticks, specifically dog ticks and wood ticks, are known to carry this disease in North America. It is a bacterial infection, which can be fatal if left completely untreated. At the infection’s onset, one can expect to feel flu-like symptoms, including nausea, fever, or aches and pains. Treatments are most effective within a few days after infection, so it’s a good idea to visit the doctor if you experience any of these symptoms shortly after an outdoor excursion.
4. West Nile Virus. Though it’s known as its own illness, West Nile Virus is actually a type of Arboviral Encephalitis with the same symptoms and health effects of other illnesses in the category. In the early 2000’s, North America experienced a significant scare concerning an outbreak of West Nile. Though the dire predictions of the disease’s spread never came true, the threat of West Nile still exists, especially in the swamplands of the continent’s southern portions.
Generally speaking, your odds of contracting a serious insect borne disease are pretty low. Frequent campers and hikers, however, might find themselves more susceptible to exposure. Therefore, a personal policy of caution should be used. Wear your bug spray consistently, check yourself for ticks and mosquito bites, and never hesitate to seek professional care if you’re feeling under the weather after an outdoor trip.
I’ve been fiddling with my tin can camping stove design and so far this is the best I’ve found. They work amazing, use very little wood, are small, cheap, provide a controlled fire, and you can use the lid the coffee can comes with for cleaner transportation. The trick is to get a good bed of coals.
I used a coffee can and a tomato juice can for the inside, tin snips, hacksaw, and a can opener. Cut the bottom out of the tomato juice can but leave a lip to set your fire pan (I used expandable metal found at TSC that I cut to shape). Cut even strips around the top of the juice can and bend them over the lip of the coffee can and use pliers to squeeze them tight so they snap on and off for easy take down. I bend the sharp edges back and filed them down a bit too since it’s pretty sharp.
You essentially have a floating fire pan. Make sure to leave about 3 inches of clearance between the juice can and bottom of the coffee can so you can stuff paper in there to light the wood in the pan above. Cut a mouse hole in the coffee can to do that. I then used a can opener to make holes around the bottom to allow air flow in. You can even use more of the expandable metal to make a grill pan for the top. I then used wire coat hanger for a handle for moving it around in case the bottom gets too hot. Make sure to burn a big fire in and around the stove after making it to burn out any chemical lining in the cans and stay away from the smoke!