mfioretti: backpacking*

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  1. The Allpa Travel Pack is a rugged, 35-liter backpack system built for adventure travel. This pack is perfectly sized for carry-on convenience, loaded with well-designed features, and tough enough to handle years of use.
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  2. Super light single skin tent. Easy pitch with 2 red colored fiberglass poles. Smallest pack size fit even in the side pockets of hiking backpacks. One to two person tent.
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  3. The Deuce of Spades is an ultralight backcountry latrine trowel that’s also the only trowel in the world that can be used right-side up and UPSIDE DOWN. It only weighs .6 ounces but it’s super effective and ridiculously tough. It’s available here for twenty bucks and a growing number of retailers. You’ve got to check it out.
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  4. Only about 1% of El Camino is a narrow (1-meter wide) dirt trail; 99% is a road (either a dirt road, 2-track road, paved road with little traffic, or a busy highway).
    About half the time you're on a paved road or on a dirt path right next to a paved road. Some of the paved roads have little traffic, but others are quite busy.
    Because you're on a paved road so often, by the end of the day your feet may feel like they've been put through a meat tenderizer. Although I've hiked over 65 km in one day in steep mountains, I found it harder to do 65 km in one day on the flat Camino. My feet just ached too much from all paved roads.
    About 95% of the time, car traffic is within earshot. El Camino often gives you the illusion that cars aren't near because you sometimes can't see the nearby paved road which may have infrequent traffic. However, it takes just one car to remind you that there is indeed a road nearby.
    Amenities distract from any spiritual mission you may have. With endless bars, restaurants, hotels, vending machines, tour groups, you're hardly removed from the "real world." This defeats much of the purpose of living primitively in a search for a deeper meaning or understanding of life. On the other hand, it's nice to have easy access to ice cream.
    The scenery is monotonous. It's endless pastoral farmland everywhere you look. Far in the horizon, you might glimpse some real mountains. The most photogenic places are the towns and villages; since you can drive (or bike) to all of them, there's no practical need to walk between them.
    It's a skin cancer magnet. Infrequent trees means that a brutal sun is hammering you most of the day. In the summer, it's hard to tolerate.
    Unfriendly commercialism. El Camino has become a big business, where the locals are sometimes unfriendly and seem to just care about getting your money.
    It's a cacophony of sounds. Rumbling 18-wheel trucks, ear-splitting motorcycles, angry barking dogs, blaring music from cafes, honking horns, and ringing cell phones. El Camino assaults your eardrums. At least, there were no jack-hammers. Oh, wait. I walked by one of those too.
    It's hard to take a piss. There's little privacy. Cars and pilgrims are constantly passing you by. After 3 p.m. most pilgrims retire to their albergues (huts) and you'll get more privacy to do your business. Nevertheless, at 7 p.m. one jogger still managed to catch me with my pants down.
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  5. Several REI workers at yesterday’s forum spoke of qualifying for and being on food stamps. However, for some, meeting the qualifications for food stamps is difficult even if they’re homeless.

    Ash Crew has worked at Seattle’s REI since 2012. She said students are required to work 20 hours a week in order to receive food stamps in Seattle. But it’s impossible for her to work that many hours at REI no matter how hard she tries.

    Crew also said she’s been chronically homeless, living in her car for over a year while attending school and working a second job. She was forced to cash out her vacation time at REI in order to survive.

    “What REI does is keep many of their students teetering on poverty,” she said.

    Crew’s hours were inexplicably cut, like so many others’, and she was explicitly told it wasn’t due to her job performance. She also said she rarely saw her manager, and even though she kept reaching out, the manager made no efforts to see her. At one point, Crew even tracked down her manager to ask to speak with the person before the end of the work day. This did little, however, as Crew’s manager left without talking to her.
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  7. Skyscape models utilize a dual (trekking or optional fixed length 45" or 115 cm) pole support structure, slightly offset from the center of the tent. The offset yields extra head room when lying down, reducing that claustrophobic feeling. Further, it allows the Skyscape to be extremely rigid when guyed out, creating a structure capable of riding out the worst storms.

    The Skyscape employs Hybrid Double Wall construction. Over 80% of the canopy is separated from you by a mesh wall, keeping that wet canopy at bay. The Hybrid Double Wall construction allows the vestibules roll back. On warm summer nights, convert the Skyscape into a net tent, pesky bugs stay outside while you enjoy the views and breezes.

    The Skyscape's large side entry door lets you easily enter the tent or retrieve gear . With floor length over 100 inches, the Skyscape accommodates the tallest hikers. You can carry a light tent and still sleep well.

    Trekker Model

    The canopy and floor of the Trekker are constructed with silicone nylon. This fabric has been the work horse of fabrics used to build ultralight tents for the last decade. It’s main properties are its strength, light weight and that it’s impervious to mold or mildew.

    The Trekker is a great when you want to be light but don't want to break the bank.
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  8. The hood is set into the ridgeline and seals shut quickly in tarp mode when the ridgeline is under tension without the need to tie up and stake out the hood to prevent water pooling like common circle-in-the-middle hood style ponchos. The MLD SlitHood is also the strongest hood design possible. Our unique hood design requires over 60 manufacturing steps to produce.

    Overall shape tapers front to rear for good coverage in tarp and poncho mode. Widest front width poncho tarp made for full coverage in tarp mode. Tapers to 55� in the rear. In poncho mode the wide end is in the rear to wrap around pack. In tarp mode the wide end is over the chest and head for more rain and wind protection.

    Note: See the review of our older prototype 2004 Pro Poncho tarp at:
    Our newest one is very close to the one reviewed. The current model offers many small improvements and hardware upgrades that drop the weight improve performance. In general, the review places the MLD Silnylon Pro Poncho at the top of pack.
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  9. Place the squares of dough on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F. until the crackers are golden brown. On my old stove this is 18 minutes, but I’d start checking at 15 minutes if I were you. Meanwhile you can roll out and prepare the other ball of dough for baking.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-07-24)
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  10. To dry the meat out you can use the oven of your cook stove. I put a pan in the bottom of the oven to catch any drippings off of the meat then drape the strips of meat over the wire cooking racks in the oven. Turn the oven to its lowest setting (below 200 degrees for sure) and leave the oven door propped open about six inches.
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