I am not really one for talking seriously about the “End of Times” but when yesterday a bunch of scientists declared we are 30 seconds closer…it made me…yes… Hummm…
I laughed and made jokes and went about my day. I have heard it all before that we are close but this time, it could be actually true. Hummm… if you knew it was what would you do?
There must be people really thinking it could actually happen this time. As I was approached, not once but twice in this month by people who knock on my door and want to spread the “word”. Good for them, but I would rather do something creative with my time.
The situation is concerning in both Ukraine and Afghanistan. War or the aftermath of war is never easy or fun. Hummm… at least it now seems my former employer is doing something to help!
I know that democracy must win! We can’t wait for others to do the hard work. If doomsday is closer we each should hope we did enough to stop or at least slow it down.
So, do I need Divine intervention?
I think if there is a possibility of a Divine then I think maybe it could give a push to fix some of these issues we are facing, or maybe push some people to do the “right thing” to help.
As far as my plan, I will laugh at the doomsday clock, continue to close the door at people who try to “push” their religious belief on me, help those I can and dance like baby groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 movie intro.
For all you who don’t believe in democracy and want to stop those of us who do… Hummm… I will never surrender!
Disclaimer: All the following suggested items are from my personal experiences of using the product. I have not received any products or special compensation from these companies. I purchased these all these items with my own funds.
It is cold here in The Netherlands as I write this blog. Not Minnesota cold but I am looking at ice on the canal outside our house and for me that signals winter camping. If you have an adventurous camper/hiker/canoe person on your list this this holiday season, we have several items that could help in the comfort of those individuals.
Stoves for heating and Cooking-
Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove – see my Trailspace review linked here. I love this stove. Although I have only used it when I am in Minnesota the last two visits, I would highly recommend this compact, gas stove for any sort of camping adventure (although maybe a bit heavy for those of us who still enjoy hiking with a back pack). This stove is also perfect for that car camping trip when you have a group of people and you need to cook a good sized meal. Large, efficient burners that distribute the heat evenly and provide a fast boil time that Jetboil is known to produce from all their stoves. Downside of this stove is the price, but I found it a much better stove than all the other stoves I have owned over the years that just don’t perform as advertised! I have three in my storage unit just waiting for the day when I can off load them to an un-expecting person. Hummm…
Petromax wood burning cook stove – A German made, wood burning stove we purchased this year. We liked this option for wilderness camping, or as a backup plan for our house. We hope we never have to use this option for our everyday cooking but it could work if our gas is cut off for a long period of time. We found that continuously feeding small pieces of wood into the stove was a bit of a tedious experience, but it produced a very hot cooking surface that cooked a steak! What else would you need camping or in a survival situation? This is not something I would take on a normal camping trip but on those canoe trips where wood is available and gas is not. It is a bit big to pack but it will produce plenty of energy to produce a meal quickly.
Jetboil MiniMo – Again, you see when I like something and it works great, I pay the money to get it! I love this product! Fast boil time, can pack into a backpack, make a meal or just coffee in less than 10 minutes, this stove really packs a punch. Again the price might scare off most people but if you are out hiking this ends the frustration of waiting for water to boil even when temperatures drop. The only downside I have with this stove is that it is a bit large for packing into the backpack (I have smaller stoves that pack smaller but don’t produce immediate boil results). I would highly recommend this stove for any hiker/canoe/camping person.
Stanley Adventure Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set- reviewed on Trailspace this year here
All of you who have followed my blog for a long time really know… I don’t go canoeing, hiking, or camping without my cup of joe! This year I tried a few different products but I only have one I will share that I would recommend for a coffee solution when out on the trail.
Sea to Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper– This collapsible coffee dripper has a reusable mesh filter. I liked this option for those days when I don’t want to bring my stove but still want a cup of coffee while I am hiking. This pour over coffee is not my preferred cup of Joe but better than nothing and this product does the trick without adding space or weight to my hike! I also found it was perfect for those days when I just went to my garden to work. I would recommend a paper filter if you like fine ground coffee as the mesh will allow some grounds into the cup. I found the mesh easy to rinse and this is sustainable and reusable. Good for both me and the environment.
This year The Cedar Journal looked at options for maintaining our comfort level if our electricity went out. I guess you could call it the Ukraine effect. What would we do? What camping items do we have currently to supply light where we need it most? What did we need to make up shortages we don’t have in our camping gear. How can we get both camping use and needed household use in an emergency situation when we were looking for lighting to fill the gaps. I don’t really care for headlamps. We didn’t even consider purchasing. We have Goal Zero solar storage battery and so we looked into what products would be a good interface. Solar power is almost (maybe not here in Netherlands with grey cloudy sky cover in some times of the year) always available. We tested and have used the following this year and would recommend for your camping needs.
Light-A-Life 350 LED Light – We like the fact that these lights have multiple ways to hang and attach. The option of 12v plug makes this a great way to light off the car or RV battery if that is your preferred camping style. USB if you camp with a good strong power pack. Recharging this light is possible with the full line of GoalZero solar panels, batteries (12v connect). String up to eight inline together to create a full range of indoor or outdoor lighting environments. We recently have been using ours for our living room lighting, eliminating our electrical usage.
Light-life Mini 4 Pack with shades – I love this light! So much so that I recently purchased another string of four! Easy to carry in the backpack, can charge via power pack or with my backpack solar panel. They also have color shades that are interchangeable with the white shades and was told by my son that it was a real morale booster when he would return to his room while he was on deployment to the Middle East. Good job MOM! I would highly recommend as a gift for any camper or someone stuck without electrical power.
Lighthouse 600 Lantern & USB Power Hub – When it comes to emergency lighting this is now my top choice! Another GoalZero win! 600 Lumens can light an entire room, hand crank recharge gives short term light or fully charge via a USB or solar connection for hours of long lasting safe light. Best part, this light has a red flashing light on the top, turn on in times of emergency. Red is the indicator that is the attention getter that could determine the difference between life or death. Think wilderness camping where the weather changes suddenly and a search party is dispatched, red light can be seen in white out conditions. I just purchased one for donation to the Ukraine, the full spectrum of light possibilities can provide a hopeful solution when people are faced with power outages and collapsing buildings.
I also think it could be a good dance light if the electricity goes out, that idea was instantly vetoed by The Cedar Journal staff, The Hubby department!
Luci Solar Portable Light – This light provides a good backpack light for camping and can be fully charged via USB and solar. The bendable silicone arm makes it easy to place this light in almost any position. The company claims that it provides 12 hours of light but when I tested it on high setting it only lasted about six hours. I think this light needs a small stuff sack to protect the solar panel and I am not sure how it would really perform in extreme situations but for normal backpacking conditions I would think this is a reasonable option for the budget shopper.
Those are my recommendations for this year. Hopefully you can find something for those hard to please outdoors persons on your holiday list.
Well, well, well…this month is already shaping up to be an unusual month.
I opened my email this morning and scrolled through before my first cup of coffee I stopped…”hummm…what? No! Really?…ok, I have to open it!”
The White House
Response to your message
Now, I filled my cup of coffee, and had a seat. Maybe this was an actual response to my online comments to the White House about the situation in Ukraine or I had just been punked by one of my kids or friends? Either way I needed coffee before I could read it!
I have been still knee deep in seeking out bargains on wool clothing at the local thrift stores (BTW…if you are looking in the South Amsterdam area for wool clothing…hummmm… maybe you should find another location….), washing, drying, and then packing those items into boxes for the Ukraine. I have drained my savings this month for this effort! That is why I sent an email (really an online comment) to The White House.
I just keep collecting and keep boxing and keep thinking that my small effort will help, at least one person somewhere in the Ukraine!
I passed the boxes the waiting boxes, went into the living room and sat down for my morning coffee. I slowly opened this email coming from The White House…
it didn’t explode…
all my other emails are still there… here is what it said.
Yup, I know he was busy trying to gain the release of a high profile WNBA star. But, this didn’t seem personal or even an answer to anything I asked about the humanitarian effort or support for the Ukraine!
That is ok, I understand totally that I would not get a real response. It hasn’t deterred my resolution to “get my hands dirty”, write more emails to people who might actually solve some of these issues by “getting their hands dirty and doing all they can for people who are facing horrible conditions at the hands of the Russian leadership.
No worries Mr President, I am in the trenches doing the work.