Not exactly for backpacking, but…


How to make a “Swedish Torch” firelog.

[GREAT!] photo from ciderandsawdust on Tumblr


The Tarp-Tent Is Here!

True to her word, Miss Connie has completed the custom-made, 9 x 9 [+] Khaki silpoly2 tarp that we conspired together…



It should be around 9’4″ square… haven’t measured.

14 edge tie-outs

4 ridge tie-outs + 4 corners

6 surface tie-outs

1′ long daisy-chain w/ 8 loops inside under ridge and the ridge is grosgrain taped end-to-end w/ tie-out loops

Total weight in bag w/ 9- 8″ aluminum gutter-spikes for tent-pegs…19.6 oz. [it stuffed down to fit perfectly in an old L.L. Bean para-foil kite bag that I had lying around, but I’ll need to figure out something to toss the spikes into]

I am totally impressed with how it came out,  and especially at how tiny it packs down. Miss Connie, being the fine clothing seamstress that she is, thinks it looks like a piece of crap; I, being a country geezer, I think that it’s going to do just fine.

I will need to string it up on a bright sunny day so I can run some seam seal along the ridge to prevent drip-through, and I need to scrub a bit of the gradooh off of the old gutter-spikes and give the top half of them a quick spray with some Day-Glo orange paint so they’re easier to see in low-light conditions… then I think we’re rock’n roll and waiting for good weather to do a trial pitch.

If I can find a couple of extra dollars, I plan on buying a package of these patent pull-out clips , and a couple of mini-reels of this Kevlar cord to use as guy-lines. Even without those gratuitous extras, I think this is going to be a tremendous upgrade to my camping gear. I can’t wait for a chance to try it out.