Archive for May, 2011


Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Bad news today :(  One of my garden boxes experienced a minor failure, and at this early stage, it does not bode well.  It was the one box with center supports going lengthwise.  At a corner over the leg, the short side appears to have pulled away and dropped about 3 inches.  I cant lift it back into place, as it is very very heavy, but I did add 2 more screws in hopes it will not drop any more.

That said, all our plants are in the ground, and I have a list that I am rounding out for the camping medical bag.  Money is getting tighter, but I will post the list, and a budget possibly here in the near future.


Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Well, I am making progress on my next article, doing some research to make sure I have my facts straight.  Get to work on the camper tonight, and will keep grinding away.  No updates until Tuesday, have a long weekend, so go enjoy your long weekend while enjoying it can be done!


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

So for prepping, yesterday I managed to finish some little signs that I am putting in the garden.  With 8 boxes, it will be much easier to label them all so my wife and I can discuss the boxes without having to guess which one is which.  She has also started to plant some or her seedlings, as well as the seeds themselves.  I think she is making a plan, and may post if I can get my hands on it.  Recall that I mentioned that last year we did lots of different stuff, and got poor results.  This year we are going for yield, lots of potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, cauliflower.  some other stuff as well, but we put a lot of effort to make sure the dirt drained well, had the proper level of nutrients, and correct PH.  So now the growing begins.  This is close to completing my “man” jobs on the garden, so I will be turning my attention else were; the camper, and the camping medical bag I think.

Portable Buddy Heater

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Camping this last week was a hoot, we almost didnt go because of the wind, and lack of firewood.  Not to mention it was actually still pretty cold, and it in fact did get below freezing the night we were there.  We set up our large tent, and put out the air mattress and all that, and it all seemed pretty cozy, if not as roomy as I remembered.  This made for a great chance to test our our Portable Buddy Heater.

Firstly, was the concern of how it physically worked.  I keep it in its original box to make sure that the screen and such are kept in good condition.  I had taken it out once before to make sure it did fire up and all, but that was it.  When we were finally all decked out, I took the PBH out of the box and set it up with a  small green tank of propane.  It was simple enough to screw on the bottle and boom, it was ready to go.  But it wouldn’t light.  It has its own built in lighter, but when I clicked it, like a barbecue light, it wouldn’t start.  At this point I was happy to have the directions, and looked them over.  I saw a little note that said if it didn’t start right away, hold down the knob for 30 seconds, then release.  I did and it fired right up to my great relief.  When I went to move it around, the safety kicked on, which was nice to know, even when I bumped it.  I could keep it running by being very gentle.

So how did it work?  Well that’s complicated by many variables.  Let me say that as soon as I had a fire running in my crowded tent, I soon realized I would not be running it all night long like I had hoped.  Even though my tent is a 10 man tent, and 14×10  there was no place I felt safe to place it where it would not get knocked over, or more notably, something accidentally dropped on the flame, like a kicked blanket.  Sure there is a screen over the flame, but there is no way it would prevent a blanket from catching fire.  I put it in a place were it could be easily watched and crawled into bed, to see how it held up.  Our tent has netting for the roof, and the rain fly is what actually provides cover from outside, so I was not concerned about air flow.  For those of you considering using the PBH, airflow should be your very first concern to make sure you don’t suffocate.   But for us in this situation, it was not an issue.

So for the evening result, I will say it worked like a champ.  Even with all the open air flow and tent walls, it kept the tent nice a comfortable.  I didn’t have a thermostat, but I was not uncomfortable in my shorts.

So, I have to sleep.   After about 40 minutes, I finally turned it off and went to sleep.  When the morning rolled around it was very cold, and I was grumpy about getting out of bed to turn it on, but with the hope that it would warm up the tent like it had in the evening, I rolled over and clicked it  on.   I am sad to say that after 20 minutes, it had not warmed up the tent noticeably.  I kept letting it go, but it never did add much heat.  I was able to stand in front of it, and warm my legs like a fire, but on trying to warm up that tent, it was just not up to the job after everything had cooled down so much.  I did find that it was easy to take out to the camp fire and place under my chair, so the fire warmed my front and the heater warmed my back, that was pretty nice and worked well.

Seeing as I didn’t run it very long I really cant tell how much fuel it used.  I will say that I probably ran it for a total of 3 hours, maybe four, and the frost on the outside of the propane tank showed it to be half full.

My conclusion for this Portable Buddy Heater was generally positive.  For use in a prepping situation, I think it would heat a room in my condo just fine, although we would still need to be concerned about the air supply.  And with a full size propane tank, it would probably last more then a couple days.  For my tent, I will have to work out some method of making it secure, by lifting it off the ground in some way that it will not get knocked down or covered.  I am considering hanging it from the center pole, but I will have to work that out, and report back.  My recommendation, I do recommend the Portable Buddy Heater, with the standard safety precautions and warnings.  I also recommend you read another review, that talks about fuel filters, which I have not had the chance to test yet.














Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Morning all,

My work weekend is over, and hopefully things will be returning to normal.   As I mentioned, I did go camping a week ago, and have a review of the Buddy Heater, I will put it together this week, and let you know how it worked, along with some other camping/prepping tips.  I spent the whole weekend scrambling at work, so no prepping this weekend, besides making cute little signs to label our garden boxes.  Its lots easier then saying “You know that one box in the middle, to the right side a little south of the building”.   I understand I haven’t posted much lately, but I will get some good stuff this week.

Oh, and I read a good link over at another blog

About using the bathroom.  I haven’t tried these, but I may now.


Friday, May 20th, 2011

Work is continuing. Green up has happened, and we are planting.  My work project is getting big but should be complete by Monday, more then.


Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Another day of prepping for the future.  I hope you all will be patient with me, I have a major project at work which is delaying everything else in my life.  I hope to have it complete soon.

But I did get to talk to my wife about our next step in prepping, that being the medical camping kit.  Couple years ago, we went camping, and one of our camping buddies daughters cut her hand with an axe.  This also reminds me that while we are out camping, we may be able to help others and not just ourselves, so I want to plan accordingly.  We will start putting a list together, and get a bag and such.  I prefer to make my list according to need.  Right now I am thinking I will start with the following;

Medical Camping Kit

  • Cuts (Major/Minor)
  • Digestive ailments
  • Colds
  • Aches and pains
  • Allergic reactions
  • Shock
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac
  • Respiratory
  • Hypothermia
  • Documentation

The goal being that the kit should be able to treat any common ailment that we may encounter, and that medical services may be sought immediately.  The assumption is that medical care will be a maximum of 12 hours away if needed.  Also, the whole thing should fit in 1 cubic foot, a small backpack perhaps.  Do you have any thoughts of other things that a MCK should be able to handle?


The standard disclaimer applies.  I am not a medical professional, only a layman trying to adapt to circumstances, and you should not rely on anything I put here as means to treat anything.  Seek a medical doctor for any conditions you may encounter.


Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Hello all,

Sorry for the delay, but I was happy to have a little break.  I will getting some more posts done soon.

I have a great tip today, that I should have figured out myself, but still, I am happy to know.  You will recall I am building the raised garden beds, and have decided to use regular wood, as it will all rot anyway, and the pressure treated stuff will not lend more then a year or two to the life of the boards.  But I also choose OSB for the bottom.  It is so far working out OK, except I needed to add a set of legs to strengthen it, as all that dirt and water is very heavy.  But the other day I saw a raised bed and thought to my self “Why didn’t I think of that?”  It was a raised bed that used wire fencing (the holes were 1/2 inch) for the bottom.  It has great drainage, is very strong, and will last quite a while.  There are 3 drawbacks that prevent me from going this way right now, but I will likely do this in the future.  1) is the cost, the wire fenceing will be more expensive then my 10 dollar boards, 2) I would also have to add gravel at the bottom that will be expensive as well, and 3) I already have all my dirt in place.  Still for those with the means and desire, this may be a great way to go!

As for general prepping, I am still working on the trailer, and agreed with my wife that the next thing we should work on together (aside from continuing to collect food) is a camping medical bag.  Stay tuned, and I will publish a list of its contents.


Monday, May 16th, 2011

Out Camping, will be back Wednesday


Friday, May 13th, 2011

Got to work on the retreat camper last night, but didn’t get as much done as I wanted.  There was some detail work and odd angles that had to be addressed, so it took some time.  Still, we got 2 pieces of the roof on.    I would continue to urge you fellow AD’s to get a form of backout plan, either a camper or in your community.

I plan on going camping this weekend, and look forward to bringing back some reviews of the big buddy heater.  Also may take the time to work some more on articles and other planning, but mostly want to send time with the family.

Blessings on all till next week!