Sit. Rep. #110: Cheap Cuts, Hips, Camp Sites

1- I have been called CHEAP, or FRUGAL.  I think of myself as resourceful and cheap and frugal and economical, and thrifty. -)    In other words, what can I use on hand before spending money?  What can I alter to use in a different way and get a second use (instead of throwing it away)?
1B- I have used wool socks as mittens over my winter gloves.
1C- I have cut the toes out of wool socks to use as wrist bands (cotton socks for sweat bands in hot weather) to keep cold winter air from rushing up my coat sleeves.
1D- I have worn socks (with the toes cut out) as leggings to keep the cold at bay for my legs.  (Think Dancer’s leg warmers)  Wool, fleece, silk, or synthetic materials are good choices instead of cotton.

P: What has ears but can not hear?
Q:  A cornfield.

2- Here is how I set up my backpack.  My goals are to keep anything that could contaminate anything else or that I need during a hike in the outside pockets.  My pack has 5 outside pockets.  My poncho, water bottle, map, compass and flashlight, small first aid kit, and stove fuel fill those 5 pockets.  In the bottom section of the pack are my clothes.  In the top portion go food, pots/pans, and other gear.  Outside I strap on my sleeping bag on the bottom.  The sleeping pad on the back of the pack.  And my tent goes on top.

Notice that everything that is heavy is close to my back.  It well balanced between top & bottom.  Everything goes in the same place every time.  I developed this system for myself while doing a 50 miler.

2B- I alternate between carrying the pack weight on my hips and on my shoulders.  Therefore different parts of my body get to rest and have full blood circulation even while moving.

2C- Experiment and find out what works for you and then stick with it!

R: I had a dream last night that I was a car muffler.
S: I bet you woke up exhausted.

3- A couple more thoughts on where not to set up your campsite or tent.  1: Under or around a solitary tree.  2: Anywhere near bees, wasps, or yellow jackets nests.  Always look for potential “widow makers” about your site.

4- Set your campsite where nature gives you the best protection:

  • 1: Just downwind from a fallen log.
  • 2: Downwind from rock formations or hills that provide shelter.
  • 3: Build a snowbank.
  • 4: If you choose a cave; make sure that you are not intruding on wildlife!
  • 5: Build a lean-to upwind facing downwind and a fire reflector on the downwind side.
  • 6: Cover your tent with an extra layer/tarp to keep the heat in during the winter and will keep the heat out during the summer.  Let the tarp touch your tent ONLY at the peak.  The air pocket between the tent & the tarp is where the insulating is happening.
  • 7: If in marsh or swamp; you may want to build a platform to put your tent on.  (Lashing skills will be very handy.)
  • 8: If next to a lake, pond, or seashore; camp above the waterline.  Make allowance for wind-driven waves that you do not want in your tent.  At the shore, camp on the lee side of the dunes.

NOTE: Build only what you must have.  Camp like a ghost.

5- Pay attention to the current weather and do your own personal forecast based on your observations at that location.  What do you know?  What can you surmise?  Check your forecast against someone else’s forecast.

T: Why did the clam not share his candy?
U: He was shell-fish.

Esto Paratus,

Scout Cheers by Thomas Mercaldo

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