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As soon as I learned I was heading to Philmont, the quest for knowledge was underway. Emails went out to friends who had been there. Google searches for sage advice were next, followed by gear reviews, and eventually, shopping. The last time I did a gear overhaul was 1993 and my investment served me well. I worked this out on a pretty tight budget and I think I came out ahead. Nobody has to spend a small fortune to be adequately outfitted, and I found some alternatives for high-end gear that worked very well. If you are starting from scratch, or have bare minimums that are good enough for weekend camping, pay attention. Trust me when I tell you that my advice is liberating, and it will save you from hassle your very first day at Base Camp. What I am sharing is what worked for me and many others will have their own opinions about what worked for them. By all means, I encourage you all to share your own knowledge by adding your comments at the bottom of this post. Let’s take a look at basic gear needs:. This is a matter of personal preference. People will debate the merits of internal frame backpacks over external frame packs. I owned an external frame Kelty Super Tioga for more than 19 years until the side pocket ripped and the waterproofing delaminated. It was comfortable and I’ve hiked as many as 20 miles a day with it. My son completed our trek using an updated Kelty Super Tioga 4900 with no complaints, but last year I crossed over to an internal frame Gregory Palisade 80 and it made the trip... Size matters. Noah’s Kelty holds 4900 cubic inches and my Gregory (a medium) holds 4973 cubic inches of stuff. This is just about the right size. Anything smaller and you may have trouble carrying your personal gear plus crew gear and all the trail food you will tote from the commissaries to the backcountry. Backpack cover. You definitely will need a cover for your pack to protect your gear not only from rain, but also from timber tigers (chipmunks) and mini bears (ground squirrels). Mountainsmith, Gregory, Granite Gear and Sea to Summit all make decent backpack covers. I do not recommend using a garbage bag. It simply is not sturdy enough, will not pack well, and will be a hassle if you have to hike with it on…not to mention the noise that will chase away the wildlife and make your crew mates. Source: backpackersblaze.blogs.theledger.com
Roland Piquepaille writes "A new composite plastic built layer by layer has been created by engineers at the University of Michigan. This plastic is as strong as steel. It has been built the same way as mother-of-pearl , and shows similar strength. Interestingly, this 300-layer plastic has been built with 'strong' nanosheets of clay and a 'fragile' polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), commonly used in paints and glue, which acts as 'Velcro' to envelop the nanoparticles. This new plastic could soon be used to design light but strong armors for soldiers or police officers. The researchers also think this material could be used in biomedical sensors and unmanned aircraft. I was just about to try to tag it "transparent aluminum". , it's made from opaque alcohol. TFA: The glue-like polymer used in this experiment, which is polyvinyl alcohol, was as important as the layer-by-layer assembly process. "stronger than steel" says Roland. OK, fine, but is that per volume, per pound, per dollar's worth. I'm assuming volume, but it didn't say. The technique they are describing is called "Electrostatic Layer-by-Layer Deposition", and the resultant materials are called polyelectrolyte multilayers [wikipedia. Basically you dip a substrate alternately into baths of different polymers, with each step depositing a thin layer of polymer. These materials have been studied for the last decade or so. This group is investigating layering one polyelectrolyte with strong clay platelets (rather than using two polyelectrolytes). Thus they create a "brick and mortar" assembly, where strong (nano-sized) clay platelets are glued together with flexible polymer layers. The process is good for creating very thin layers, but as you can imagine it's very slow for making thick materials. Each deposition step only adds on the order of a nanometer of material. Hundreds of steps are needed to create films thick enough to actually pick up, bend, and perform mechanical testing. However some researchers have already investigated switching from the laborious "sequential dipping" technique to a "roll-to-roll" technique. So, instead of dipping a glass slide (or whatever) into vats of liquid one after the other (each time adding a very thin layer), the idea would be to use roll-to-roll technology (like in printing presses) to dip huge sheets of material through... Source: science.slashdot.org
Even nimble mental gymnasts will find it hard to figure out the connection between Crofton House School, Doolin’s Irish Pub, and the Starlight Casino. Now add golf courses, yacht clubs, movie-catering companies, and Big White Ski Resort to the mix. All are environmentally smart enough to use disposable cutlery made of wood. If you’ve ever accidentally heated a plastic fork, you know that although it shifts shape it’s still a hunk of plastic, as it will be generations from now, which is bad news for landfills. “They can’t provide an answer on how long it takes plastic to degrade,” says Darrel Scorah of year-old Vancouver company Ecoware Biodegradables ( www. ecowareproducts. com/ ), which he runs with his sister Amber. Scorah is a graduate of BCIT’s entrepreneur-focused Venture Program, while Amber’s background is in sales. When you grow up in Vancouver, he says, “You have that connection to natural surroundings. You don’t want to see products that are detrimental [to the environment]. ” Spotting similar cutlery in London, England, Amber brought samples back, and that was the impetus they needed for what Scorah calls “several months’ research and a lot of groundwork”. The utensils their company sells are made of birch that’s harvested from farmed forests in China (now home base for Amber, who is fluent in Mandarin). “In comparison to other trees, birch is fast-growing,” says Scorah, pointing out that wooden cutlery composts in 45 to 60 days. Feedback from the company’s distributors is that “the response has been absolutely positive,” he says. “People feel there’s a need for it. Our number one customers are schools and universities. Schools are really pushing for this kind of stuff. ” The company will soon be supplying cutlery to Trinity Western University for a composting study that will be conducted by its bioscience department, and is finalizing an agreement to do the same on a larger scale as part of the university’s... It makes you wonder why all takeout and fast-food restaurants aren’t switching to wood. The bottom line: a wooden fork costs only a fraction of a cent more than one made of black plastic, according to Scorah. Even when you compare it to the cheap white plastic variety, which cost a minimum of one cent each—with wood running a maximum of four cents—you’re still only looking at a few cents’ difference that most thinking consumers probably wouldn’t object... “One restaurant. Source: www.straight.com
Don't bother taking all of your cutlery and mess kit with you. All you will need to shovel that goodness in to your face is a spoon. I removed my Brunton titanium spoon from the set and packed it. Take a Lexan® spoon (available at your local discount
An ultra-light plastic would be valuable for so many things, from cutlery to possibly safer alternatives to metal for pins and plates within the human body to a replacement for aluminium in airframes to a replacement for metals (lead especially) in
Mountain Equipment Co-op (130 West Broadway and 1341 Main Street, North Vancouver) will sell you a nested knife, fork, and spoon set made of a strong metal alloy called Halulite ($10.50), or the same in stainless steel on a ring ($4), or in Lexan ($2.10).
Find great deals on eBay for lexan cutlery gsi pinnacle. Shop with confidence.